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  • 2015 summer exams

    Advice November 2015

    Following issues surrounding the quality of marking with the 2015 summer exams, ASCL has been continuing discussions with exam boards as well as seeking reassurance that similar issues will not recur in 2016.

  • A common purpose

    Leader article January 2016

    The English and Welsh education systems may be diverging but both must be shaped by the values of their educators if improvement is to be sustained, say ASCL’s Leora Cruddas and Tim Pratt.

  • A level reform – changes to new A level roll out programme

    Advice November 2014

    Ofqual are currently making further changes to the programme for the first teaching of new A level subjects. Please be aware that all published lists regarding when certain new A levels come online are now incorrect.

  • A level science fact sheet

    Advice July 2014

    Ofqual has produced a fact sheet on practical assessment in the new science A levels.

  • A silent epidemic

    Leader article March 2016

    Mental ill health is an issue affecting every classroom in every school, every day. The statistics are staggering...

  • Adjusting to assessment without levels

    Advice June 2014

    How will schools adjust to a new assessment landscape without National Curriculum levels? This was the question discussed at ASCL’s Annual Conference in Birmingham, at GL Assessment’s Life without Levels panel debate.

  • Advice from Pearson on changes to BTEC assessment

    Advice May 2014

    Pearson have asked us to make some advice and guidance available to members following some expressions of concern from ASCL members about changes to BTEC assessment.

  • Alcohol awareness resources

    Advice March 2019

    Drinkaware for Education is a free, curriculum-linked alcohol education programme for teachers of 9-14 year-olds. Its resources are specially designed for use in PSHE classes and are accredited by the PSHE Association’s Quality Mark.

  • Amended OCR notice on GCSE Computing

    June 2014

    OCR has taken down a notice posted on its website which stated that controlled assessment tasks for units A452 and A453 for GCSE computing were being withdrawn with immediate effect.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) - December update

    Advice December 2017

    The DfE has asked us to make members aware that KS4 2017 provisional data and destinations data for 2015/16 is now available in ASP.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) update

    Advice September 2017

    Key Stage 2 data is now available in ASP (the replacement service to RAISEonline) – this is provisional data for 2016/17. CLA data is not currently available, therefore breakdowns of data have not been published; this will be added at the end of October along with KS1 and Phonics data for 2017.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) update - March 2019

    Advice March 2019

    KS4 revised data for 2018 and revised Destinations (after KS4) for 2017, is now available in ASP.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) update - November 2018

    Advice November 2018

    Key Stage 4 2018 provisional data and destinations data for 2017 is now available in ASP. Three-year time series data is also included within this release.

  • Anti-fraud lesson plans

    Advice October 2018

    Together with PSHE Association, and Economic education, Cifas, the fraud prevention organisation, has created four Anti-Fraud Education lesson plans with accompanying resources. The lesson plans are aimed at 11-16 year-olds and cover Key Stages 3 and 4.

  • ASCL self evaluation tool

    Advice April 2018

    Building on previous self-evaluation (SEF) tools created by consultant Tony Thornley, ASCL’s Inspection & Accountability Specialist, Stephen Rollett has developed an April 2018 (SEF 2018) update to ASCL's framework of SEF tools to support school leaders.

  • ASCL's summary of Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice 2014

    Guidance paper July 2014

    The SEN Code of Practice 2014 (the code) is the new statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures for schools, colleges and other agencies that stem from the Children and Families Act 2014 (Part 3). Subject to Parliamentary approval, it comes into force from September 2014

  • Assessment of reformed qualifications

    February 2016

    Ofqual has confirmed the assessment arrangements for reformed GCSEs, AS and A level qualifications for first teaching in 2017.

  • Autumn 2014 consolidated list of DfE changes

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE has helpfully put together a consolidated list of the autumn 2014 changes with hyperlinks to all of the relevant documents. This should be a helpful list for schools and colleges to cross-reference with their plans for September.

  • BBC Survey: What's happening to creative arts subjects in secondary schools?

    Advice October 2017

    Please check your school admin inbox today (17 October) for a BBC online survey that’s been sent out to all state-funded secondary schools in England.

  • Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

    Advice February 2017

    Modern Language Assistants (MLAs) bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, heads of modern languages reported improved exam results, raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more.

  • Briefing note on English and maths GCSEs

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE and BIS have published a briefing document on the Maths and English briefing - New GCSEs and old, containing an overview of content, which members may find helpful.

  • Broadening their horizons

    Leader article January 2016

    As the latest research shows, children learn the basics best when they are taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, rather than in splendid isolation, says Julie McCulloch.

  • Call for evidence: JCQ Independent Commission into malpractice in the UK assessment system

    Advice February 2019

    As part of the programme of evidence gathering for the Commission on Examination Malpractice, the Commission would like your views and is asking if members can complete a short survey.

  • Careers and employer engagement

    Leader article July 2014

    Close links with employers can pay dividends for schools and colleges in terms of introducing young people to the working world and to the skills and qualities that will make them employable in the future, as Karleeen Dowden explains.

  • Careers engagement: a good practice brief for leaders of schools and colleges

    Advice April 2014

    Careers engagement: a good practice brief for leaders of schools and colleges is published in partnership between NFER, ASCL, ATL and the 157 Group of colleges who have come together to support schools and colleges to help young people to take charge of their careers and futures.

  • Careers events

    Advice January 2018

    Give your school leavers some extra help to navigate their post-school options and get them to attend What Career Live? and What University Live? Taking place at Birmingham's NEC on 2-3 March and at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool on 23-24 March.

  • Careers guidance

    Advice January 2018

    The DfE has published new statutory guidance for schools on careers guidance and access for education and training providers.

  • Careers Guidance and Inspiration for FE and Sixth Form Colleges

    Advice September 2014

    New guidance on careers education for further education and sixth form colleges has been published by the DfE and BIS. The guidance is designed to sit alongside the statutory and non-statutory departmental advice for schools issued in April 2014.

  • Careers guidance briefings

    Advice February 2018

    Following the launch of the governments new Careers Strategy and statutory guidance, the Careers & Enterprise Company is running a series of briefings entitled, Implementing the Careers Strategy: A Careers and Enterprise Company Briefing for senior leaders.

  • Careers guidance for colleges

    Advice February 2018

    The DfE has published new guidance for further education colleges and sixth form colleges on how to provide independent careers guidance.

  • Careers guidance survey - share your views

    Advice August 2018

    The Gatsby Foundation has commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to carry out a targeted survey of school and college leaders to understand what they think about the subject of careers guidance, and how these views have changed since the release in December 2017 of the Government’s Careers Strategy.

  • Changes to point scores for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 in 2017

    Advice April 2015

    Progress 8 and Attainment 8 will be introduced as new headline measures in 2016, or 2015 for those schools which choose to opt in early.

  • Changes to rules regarding new GCSEs and early entry

    Advice June 2015

    The DfE also announced that only new reformed GCSEs will be included in performance measures as the new GCSEs come on stream. Legacy qualifications will not count.

  • Changes to the review of marking, moderation and appeals systems

    Advice February 2017

    Ofqual has announced further changes to the review of marking, moderation and appeals systems.

  • Changes to threshold measures

    Advice June 2015

    The government also announced that, as the new GCSEs come on stream, the threshold for a ‘good pass’ will be grade 5.

  • Changing outlook

    Leader article September 2014

    Reforms coming in for September represent a shift in political thinking about special educational needs (SEN), and while many of the changes are welcome, there could be unforeseen, negative consequences for young people, schools and colleges. Anna Cole sets out what leaders need to know.

  • Commonwealth Education Pack

    Advice February 2018

    The DfE has recently published its Commonwealth 2018 Classroom Education pack. The free resource has been designed in collaboration with the British Council and Commonwealth Secretariat.

  • Condition Improvement Fund

    Advice November 2015

    The Condition Improvement Fund application round for 2016/17 is now open to academies and sixth-form colleges.

  • Conversations on the curriculum

    Advice November 2018

    With renewed focus on the curriculum, ASCL invited education advisor Mary Myatt to share her views on what leaders in all phases of education can be thinking about now to ensure they have a clear understanding of the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum.

  • Curriculum and Assessment

    Policy paper June 2015

    The curriculum is the sum of all the experiences that a child or young person has at school or college. It is not simply a series of inputs (a framework of subjects to be taught over a defined period) – it is the expected outcomes of learning.

  • Curriculum and qualifications changes

    Advice April 2014

    On Wednesday 9 April, the Secretary of State announced the publication of the content of A level and GCSE content to be taught from September 2015 and 2016 respectively.

  • Curriculum reforms

    Advice January 2018

    UCAS has produced a useful guide to qualification reforms in the UK. The guide is intended to provide a high-level overview of what is happening throughout the UK for HE providers, teachers and advisers and contains videos and factsheets.

  • Cymru timeline – suggested activities to manage curriculum and assessment and accountability changes from 2014-18

    Guidance paper March 2015

    Changes to assessment, curriculum and school performance measures mean that school leaders will have a range of matters to consider as they plan their offer for the coming and future academic years. This document offers some guidance which we hope are helpful.

  • Destination measures

    Advice January 2016

    The DfE has published revised Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 destination measures, showing the destinations of the 2012/13 cohort in 2013/14 and including information on independent schools.

  • DfE curriculum and qualifications fact sheet

    Advice May 2014

    The DfE has made this fact sheet available which gives a summary of information about changes to curriculum and qualifications and useful links to websites offering subject-based support.

  • DfE Data checking exercise

    Advice June 2016

    The DfE has written to schools to notify them that the June data checking exercise is now open. Schools should take the opportunity to check the list of eligible pupils and their characteristics. Ensuring these are correct can make significant differences to performance tables and RAISE; this data e

  • DfE guidance on raising awareness of technical education and apprenticeships

    Advice November 2017

    The DfE has published guidance for schools on letting pupils from Years 8 to 13 hear from a range of technical education and apprenticeship providers.

  • DfE publishes assessment principles

    Advice April 2014

    The DfE has published a set of recommended assessment principles to help schools to effectively assess their pupils’ progress against their school curriculum.

  • DfE publishes statement on primary accountability and assessment

    Advice March 2014

    On 27 March, the DfE published a response to the consultation on primary accountability and assessment following the introduction of the new national curriculum. ASCL members will find parts of this document informative as it includes arrangements for the new Key Stage 2 assessments from 2016.

  • Digital awareness resource

    Advice June 2018

    HMC and Digital Awareness UK have produced a ground-breaking video and lesson plans on digital addiction which they are sharing with all schools.

  • Disability Matters in Employment: new resource for schools and colleges

    Advice September 2018

    A new resource is available to support further education colleges and schools, and help them build links with employers to create and sustain supported internships and lasting employment opportunities for disabled young adults.

  • Do you have a great idea for bringing research alive in school?

    Advice June 2016

    Partnership Grants from The Royal Society of up to £3,000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects.

  • Download the new FFT/ASCL 2017 KS4 school dashboard

    Advice November 2017

    Schools subscribing to FFT now have access to a full national analysis of their 2017 KS4 results. This year's reports include Attainment 8, Progress 8 and the new DfE 9-1 point score measures, together with results re-calculated from previous years.

  • Drive iQ resources

    Advice February 2018

    Drive iQ is a free virtual experience of driving for young people that will improve their skills and that is perfect to set for homework or run as workshops in tutorials or PSHE.

  • Early Adopter School Programme

    Advice April 2019

    The DfE is still recruiting schools to the Early Adopter School Programme for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education to start teaching the new requirements from September 2019.

  • Early estimates of Attainment 8 averages by prior attainment

    Advice September 2017

    ASCL has been working with SISRA Ltd to provide early estimates for 2017 Attainment 8 averages. Schools using SISRA have been invited to opt in to an anonymised data sharing exercise.

  • Early years national funding formula (NFF) funding rates and guidance

    Advice December 2018

    Early Years NFF hourly rates and guidance have been published for 2019/20. These documents are for local authorities.

  • EBacc for all

    Advice June 2015

    The government announced that pupils starting secondary school in Year 7 this September must study the key English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects of English, maths, science, history or geography, and a foreign language at GCSE.

  • Edexcel A level maths exam - June 2018

    Advice June 2018

    We are aware of the allegations of malpractice or wrongdoing in relation to Edexcel’s A level C4 maths paper taken on 22 June 2018. ASCL is in discussions with Ofqual seeking urgent clarification of the situation.

  • Educating young people about Islamophobia

    Advice May 2018

    Equaliteach, an organisation specialising in equality training, has produced resources, including worksheets, lesson plans and videos, for both primary and secondary teachers to work with young people and educate them about Islamophobia.

  • Education committee inquiry into primary assessment

    Advice September 2016

    The House of Commons Education Committee has launched an inquiry into primary assessment. This inquiry intends to scrutinise reforms to primary assessment and their impact on teaching and learning in primary schools.

  • Education packs and resources for Safer Internet Day, 5 February 2019

    Advice November 2018

    The theme for Safer Internet Day 2019 is 'Together for a better internet', with a focus on the issues surrounding consent online.

  • End of Key Stage Assessments Letter to Schools from Department of Education (DE)

    Advice October 2015

    ASCL Northern Ireland has been made aware by our members of the letter sent out to schools on 18 September 2015 regarding the reporting of outcomes of Key Stage 3 Assessments.

  • English GCSE

    Advice September 2014

    Nationally there has been a 1.9 per cent drop in A*- C grades in English entries this year however behind this figure the effects of new systems on individual students and schools, are much more complex.

  • English GCSE results

    Advice October 2014

    This is a serious concern for schools whose students took English Literature GCSE for the first time in November 2013 or June 2014 – and whose students also took combined English GCSE during the same time period.

  • Erasmus and funding opportunities for schools

    Advice September 2018

    Get the essential information on Erasmus funding and eTwinning opportunities at twilight sessions across the UK.

  • European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

    Advice April 2017

    The Technical Award list has been updated for 2018 and the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) has been withdrawn, which means it will no longer count in performance tables from summer 2018.

  • Exam dates 2019

    Advice January 2019

    A reminder to members about the earlier start this year to GCSE and A level external exams, and about the exam contingency day.

  • Exam results 2015

    Advice August 2015

    Although there are no major changes to the examinations or awarding processes this year, we are anxious to ensure that any issues that do emerge are quickly brought to the attention of the DfE, Ofqual and the examination boards.

  • Exploring the relationship between pupil academic achievement and activities with employers

    Advice October 2016

    Following the recent Education Endowment Foundation literature review on the impact of careers-related education, Education and Employers Research is exploring how pupils respond to their participation in employer engagement activities and its impact on academic achievement.

  • First Principles

    Leader article January 2016

    The profession needs to take back the initiative on assessment and recover the ground lost during the decades when it became a tool of accountability rather than an aid to learning, says Brian Lightman.

  • Flawed but fairer

    Leader article September 2014

    Duncan Baldwin explores the moral issues raised by the new performance measure, Progress 8.

  • Free books for your school library

    Advice December 2017

    Free school library or special school library packs are offered as part of the Book Trust’s reading for pleasure programmes that offer children a variety of books to inspire them to read for fun. Sign-ups operate on a first come first serve basis and registration closes on Friday 22 December.

  • Free coding sessions

    Advice November 2018

    From 27 November 2018, people can register for thousands of free Hour of Code sessions available at all Apple Store locations from 1 to 14 December. The sessions will provide opportunities for people at a variety of skill levels to learn coding.

  • Free resources for deaf children using English as an additional language

    Advice February 2019

    The National Deaf Children’s Society, together with The Bell Foundation, have produced a booklet and a short video to help teachers and education professionals address the challenges faced by deaf children using English as an additional language.

  • Free STEM support

    Advice June 2018

    Schools and colleges in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country can now benefit from a new programme of free support from STEM Learning, called Aspire to STEM.

  • Free teaching resource to help boost students' literacy skills and confidence

    Advice April 2019

    Penguin and the National Literacy Trust have launched a free teaching resource inspired by Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, Becoming, to boost secondary students’ literacy skills, leadership abilities and confidence.

  • Fully-funded student places on Architectural Drawing Summer School 2019

    Advice January 2019

    Bruton School for Girls in Somerset is hosting a fantastic opportunity for Year 12 and 13 (A level students), who have an interest in studying architecture, to learn more about the subject with some of the best lecturers teaching architecture in the UK.

  • Funding for four-plus A levels

    Advice July 2014

    A DfE announcement last week stated that from 2016 schools and colleges will receive funding above the basic rate for students taking four or more A levels or larger technical qualifications for students who study four A levels and large TechBacc programmes.

  • Funding for international exchanges for schools

    Advice January 2019

    The DfE is providing £2.5 million to enable young people to take part in international exchanges and visits, in a programme delivered in partnership with the British Council.

  • GCSE and A level subject reforms 2016 - 2017

    Advice April 2015

    ASCL has received a lot of queries recently about which subjects are going to be reformed for first teaching in 2017 and which are not. Here are documents detailing the specifics of the changes, which we hope prove helpful.

  • GCSE combined science grading update

    Advice August 2018

    The safety net grade for combined science in 2018 was expected to be 4-3 on the higher tier. During the awarding period, exam boards reported to Ofqual that while they were confident in standards set at 4-4, there were more students than expected getting an unclassified result on the higher tier.

  • GCSE computer science

    Advice April 2018

    Ofqual has published its plans for GCSE computer science for 2020.

  • GCSE Computer Science assessment arrangements

    Advice January 2019

    Ofqual has confirmed the long-term future of computer science assessment arrangements.

  • GCSE Early Entry Guidance for Schools

    Advice May 2014

    The DfE published a guidance paper on the rules around early entry in March 2014.

  • GCSE maths and English resits

    Advice March 2019

    The government has issued a welcome change in guidance to the condition of funding rule for GCSE English and maths resits for 2019/20.

  • GCSE reform: regulations for English language

    Advice June 2015

    Ofqual has announced how the new GCSE English spoken language assessments will be conducted, assessed and graded.

  • GCSE, AS and A level marking review and appeals system

    February 2016

    Ofqual is proposing to make changes to the appeals and reviews of marking of GCSEs, AS and A levels and, it is sending a letter to all schools to explain the main proposals.

  • GCSEs 2017: clarification on resit requirements for English

    Advice August 2017

    Following publication yesterday of this year's GCSE results, it has become apparent there is some confusion regarding the requirement and eligibility for resits for English. ASCL has therefore been in direct contact with Ofqual and the DfE to clarify this matter.

  • Government response to primary assessment consultation

    Advice September 2017

    Last week, the government released its response to the consultation on primary assessment. ASCL has produced a detailed summary for members.

  • Hay Festival launches free programme for schools 2019 live streams

    Advice April 2019

    Hay Festival Wales will be broadcast live into schools UK-wide on Thursday 23 May (KS2) and Friday 24 May (KS3 and KS4), widening access to the festival’s Programme for Schools.

  • Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF)

    Advice November 2017

    £100 million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). This fund is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing access to facilities such as dining facilities and sports facilities.

  • How GCSE grade boundaries are set by comparable outcomes – March 2015

    March 2015

    GCSE grade boundaries are currently set using a system called comparable outcomes. Ofqual state they are using this system to protect the cohort in a time of rapid change.

  • IGCSE English

    Advice August 2015

    A number of ASCL members have contacted us regarding disappointing CIE IGCSE English results. We have been in discussion with the board and established the following points which may go some way to explain current issues particularly around grading.

  • IGCSEs in 2017 performance tables

    July 2014

    Further to the media reports circulating today that IGCSEs will not be counted in performance tables in 2017, we have been informed that no official decision has yet been announced by the DfE.

  • Impact: The Science of Learning complementary journal

    Advice February 2018

    A complementary journal from the Chartered College of Teaching, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, will arrive in every UK school from Monday 26 February.

  • Implementing A level Reforms

    Advice March 2015

    Guidance for A level reforms

  • Implications and Implementation of DfE Careers Guidance and Inspiration

    Guidance paper May 2014

    Ofsted recommended in its Going in the Right Direction? Careers Guidance in Schools from September 2012 report that the government should provide clear and more explicit guidance to schools.

  • Implications of being self-employed or setting up a limited company

    Advice October 2015

    Are you working as a self-employed consultant, a sole trader, a business partnership or as your own limited company?

  • Increase in Erasmus budget and new opportunities for 2018

    Advice February 2018

    For 2018, €30 million will be available to UK schools to apply for Erasmus activities, compared to €21 million in 2017.

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