ASCL response to education White Paper

17 March 2016

The Department for Education has today published a White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere.

Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “We welcome the Secretary of State’s acknowledgement that significant progress in our education system has been made and we share the ambition of raising standards further.

Teacher accreditation

“We welcome plans to replace existing Qualified Teacher Status with a new system in which teachers will complete an extended period in classrooms before being accredited by school leaders. We believe this will help to ensure the highest standards and that it will be good for both new teachers and for schools. We look forward to working with the Government on the detailed plans.”

Ofsted ‘improvement period’

“We are also pleased to see plans to introduce an ‘improvement period’ during which schools won’t be inspected by Ofsted to allow the time and stability to put in place sustainable improvement. This is an important step in ensuring that leaders in struggling schools are given a period in which to embed improvement measures. Transforming a school does not happen overnight and this measure reflects that.”

Teacher supply

“The most significant challenges the system faces are the recruitment of teachers and funding. Teacher recruitment is becoming more difficult. There are some good proposals in the White Paper to get more teachers into classrooms, including a new national teacher vacancy website, but these plans do not go far enough or fast enough. Action to better incentivise and promote the teaching profession is urgently required.”

Funding

“We welcome the repeated commitment to the introduction of a new funding formula, however this alone will not address the severe financial situation faced by schools and colleges as a result of rising costs and frozen budgets. More investment is needed.”

Curriculum

“Schools are undergoing a time of unprecedented change with wholesale reforms to the curriculum and qualifications, which is putting great pressure on leaders, teachers and pupils. We therefore welcome the commitment to give schools and colleges as much curriculum stability as possible once these changes are complete.”

Academisation

“The announcement about all schools becoming academies by 2022 represents a significant system change and will be very troubling to some. We need to find ways of managing this process and ASCL will be supporting school leaders to find practical ways forward.”

Stay in control of your school’s destiny with our ASCL PD seminars: What the White Paper means for you