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  • 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.

  • To grade or not to grade?

    Leader article December 2014

    Tony Thornley shares his insights into what an outstanding school looks like and why best practice demands more than ticking Ofsted’s boxes.

  • 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.

  • One for all

    Leader article December 2014

    Andy Buck looks at building trust, harnessing talent to the right task and other elements that go towards building a great senior team.

  • Realise our ambition

    Leader article September 2014

    If the education system is to become genuinely school-led, then the responsibility lies with us as leaders to shape it, says Brian Lightman.

  • Worries about an increasing workload

    Leader article May 2014

    Worries about an increasing workload are now being cited by business managers as a key source of anxiety. Val Andrew has some tips for the stressed.

  • Updated approved vocational qualifications

    Advice April 2014

    The list of vocational qualifications that will be included in 2016 school and college performance tables has been updated to include all approved qualifications.

  • 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.

  • Wary of social media?

    Leader article May 2014

    Wary of social media? Think Twitter’s a time-wasting distraction? Avid tweeter Peter Monfort offers a guide to its professional uses that could change your mind.

  • How to manage a major incident or emergency

    Leader article Advice April 2014

    A death or accident can knock an institution sideways but a good disaster plan will enable you to control the immediate fallout and also avoid lasting damage to students, staff and/or reputation.

  • Summary of the key changes to the STPCD 2014

    Guidance paper August 2014

    ASCL Pay and Conditions Specialist Sara Ford has produced a summary of the main changes to the STPCD since 2014

  • 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.

  • Discretionary Reference Pay Points

    Advice September 2014

    In line with the recommendations in the STRB’s 24th Report, the STPCD 14 has had a 1% uplift applied to the statutory minima and maxima of all pay ranges. However the document only includes discretionary reference points for the main pay range and leadership group pay range.

  • Taking action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision

    Advice September 2014

    An in-depth study of careers advice and support for young people Edit | Delete reveals massive variation across England. It shows that in one region there are 134 careers providers whilst in another there is one.

  • The Equation of Life

    Advice June 2014

    Article by Sam Ellis, ASCL Funding Specialist. The title is a slightly tongue in cheek reference to the way I have been presenting and analysing the financial and curriculum situation in all types of school for the past few years.

  • Unqualified instructors

    Advice March 2014

    Amendment to the Education (School Teachers’ Prescribed Qualifications, etc) Order 2003.

  • Ideas Take Flight

    Leader article October 2014

    The need for an authentically school-led system was one of the key conclusions to emerge from ASCL’s Great Education Debate (GED). Here, Leora Cruddas spells out the blueprint or how it may be achieved.

  • Reducing Teacher Workload: a Ten-Point Plan

    October 2014

    ASCL’s position is that we need a more sophisticated understanding and definition of unnecessary workload.

  • Withstanding G-forces?

    Leader article July 2014

    Sam Ellis bids farewell and leaves readers with some final thoughts about how to measure the benefits of education re-organisation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GCSE Early Entry Guidance for Schools

    Advice May 2014

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

  • Tackling Inequality

    Leader article December 2014

    I’m a third-generation teacher. My grandmother, born in 1901, was the child of a shipyard foreman and a domestic servant. Clever, she passed the test for the grammar school in Jarrow (Tyne and Wear) and became a pupil teacher and then a certified one, earning her own living up to the end of the 1920

  • Thinking alike…

    Leader article September 2014

    ASCL’s first independent schools conference heard how the key challenges of a modern, self-improving education system are actually common to schools and colleges of all kinds, says Rosanne Musgrave.

  • School readiness for the implementation of the new SEN Code of Practice

    Advice May 2014

    ASCL’s Inclusion Committee has been working closely with the DfE on the development of the new Code of Practice. This has now essentially been finalised, and will be approved by Parliament in the near future.

  • Vocational qualification reform

    Advice June 2014

    Ministers have announced further reforms to vocational qualifications at Key Stage 4 and post-16. These are not new qualifications but set out the requirements for awarding bodies who wish to have qualifications accredited for performance tables in 2017 and 2018.

  • New requirement for a web based SEN Report

    Advice November 2014

    From September maintained schools are under a duty to include on their school website a report on their policy for pupils with SEN called a Special educational needs (SEN) report.

  • Funding for third year students aged 16-19

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE reduced the funding for those students in the third year of study aged 16-19 for next year by 17.5 per cent. ASCL and other organisations mounted a vigorous campaign to get this funding raised back up to the level of other students aged 16-19.

  • Opportunity to comment on the summer examinations 2014

    April 2014

    If you wish to comment on any aspect of the summer examinations please use the form and email it to the address shown for the relevant awarding body.

  • The perfect addition

    Leader article May 2014

    As more schools struggle to fill headship vacancies, business managers are successfully stepping up to leadership. Dorothy Lepkowska reports.

  • Ofqual response to ASCL’s concerns about ‘maximising results’ survey

    Advice June 2014

    Brian Lightman wrote to Ofqual Chief Glenys Stacey last week objecting to Ofqual’s survey asking about strategies used by schools to maximise students results.

  • Raising our voices

    Leader article May 2014

    Dialogue with the profession has been sidelined by this government, says Brian Lightman, with damaging results. It needs to be restored, whichever party is in power, if the vision of a great education service that we all share is to be realised.

  • Vocational courses for first teaching 2015 (performance tables 2017)

    Advice December 2014

    The government has just announced the pre and post-16 lists of technical and vocational qualifications approved for first teaching from September 2015 and first reporting in 2017 performance tables.

  • RE:SEND

    Leader article December 2014

    Richard Newton Chance explores how the calculation of funding for special needs education is changing as the system moves from statements to education, health and care plans (EHCPs).

  • A lighter touch

    Leader article September 2014

    Suzanne O’Farrell looks at the changes to Ofsted inspections being introduced this year ahead of a new framework in September 2015.

  • Meducation

    Leader article December 2014

    Chronic health conditions can permanently damage a young person’s educational chances without the right support. Libby Dowling looks at the policies, training and other measures schools need to think about under a new legal duty.

  • Post-16 funding campaign

    Advice June 2014

    A group led by ASCL and consisting of AoC, PPC, IAA, FASNA and SFCA has written a further letter to Mr Gove regarding the dire situation being created by post-16 funding reductions.

  • Asbestos management in schools and colleges

    Advice August 2014

    The DfE is producing revised guidance on asbestos management. In the meantime, members may find it useful to read the guidance on Asbestos management in schools that has been published by the Welsh government.

  • Changes to Ofsted inspections in the Midlands

    Advice June 2014

    As of 9 June, Ofsted will be piloting a change to inspections in the Midlands.

  • 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.

  • Extending the right to request flexible working is delayed

    Advice March 2014

    The extension of the right to request flexible working was intended to come into force in April 2014. However, this was dependent on a clause in the Children and Families Bill 2013, which has only just received Royal Assent.

  • Guide to effective middle leadership

    Advice October 2014

    Effective leadership is a crucial factor in the success of a school. But how do you become a good middle leader, and what qualities and traits does the role require?

  • 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.

  • Updated Ofsted guidance

    Advice July 2014

    HMCI, Sir Michael Wilshaw has written a letter to all schools

  • Keeping children safe in education

    Advice October 2014

    Members should note that the revised guidance was published on 10 October. Although the majority of the changes relate to early years and children under the age of eight, members are advised to ensure that they have checked their policies and practices against this most recent statutory guidance.

  • JCQ 2015 exam timetable

    Advice June 2014

    JCQ has published the 2015 exam timetable. This is of course the common timetable and each awarding body will be using this document to produce their own examination timetables, populated with the specific details of their own GCSE and GCE subjects.

  • More than bins and bells

    Leader article July 2014

    Invited to participate in the Great Education Debate (GED), Peter Kent’s students had some frank views on the flaws in the education system – and, in particular, why young people need more than good academic grades to equip them for adult life.

  • Updated GCSE and A level information

    Advice December 2014

    ASCL has seen information from Ofqual that confirms decisions for subjects to be first taught in 2015.

  • Rising costs and rhetoric

    Leader article July 2014

    As sixth form funding continues to decline, staff need to understand the financial position but they also need to pull together to find creative solutions. Stephan Jungnitz offers some suggestions for building up esprit de corps.

  • Key Stage 4 and 5 destination measures

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE has published KS4 and KS5 destination measures. The data relates to those students who left KS4 or who took A level or other Level 3 qualifications in 2010/11 and shows their destinations in 2011/12.

  • Non-statutory guidance on statutory school policies

    Advice May 2014

    The Department for Education has published non-statutory guidance to help schools understand their statutory obligations and duties.

  • Inspections – What’s the outcome?

    Leader article October 2014

    Individual lesson grades have been dropped, so now inspectors are gathering evidence from a range of activities and lesson observations to judge the quality of teaching. Suzanne O’Farrell examines the implications.

  • New Special Educational Needs Code of Practice

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE has produced a PowerPoint presentation that schools may want to use in governor/staff training or to provide information for parents/carers about the new SEN Code of Practice.

  • Regional School Commissioners

    Advice April 2014

    The DfE has announced the names of six of the recently appointed Regional School Commissioners.

  • Impact is what counts

    Leader article December 2014

    Workload pressures in schools are exacerbated by the often arbitrary demands of ‘compliance’, says Brian Lightman. The government needs to recognise the fact and take a grown-up approach to accountability and inspection.

  • Industrial action

    Advice June 2014

    The NUT and Unison are taking industrial action in the form of a national strike on 10 July as part of the ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and workload.

  • Challenges – and opportunities

    Leader article July 2014

    Brian Lightman looks ahead to some of the changes facing school and college leaders from September in what promises to be another turbulent academic year.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Penalties for non-compliance with National Minimum Wage (NMW)

    Advice March 2014

    The government has published the draft National Minimum Wage (Variation of Financial Penalty) Regulations 2014, which will increase the maximum financial penalty payable by employers who flout the NMW from £5,000 to £20,000.

  • Feeling taxed?

    Advice April 2014

    Personal taxation is becoming increasingly complex, with many more people being obliged to move to self-assessment tax returns that can prove complex and are prone to errors.

  • 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.

  • Combined English/English Literature discounting in performance tables

    Advice November 2014

    Despite strong and prolonged discussion with ASCL, the DfE has refused to reverse its decision to discount English and English Literature GCSE exams. While this affects a minority of schools, we know that some will be very seriously disadvantaged in the performance tables.

  • Ofsted clarification on inspection

    Advice October 2014

    Ofsted have published a new document, ‘Ofsted inspection - clarification for schools’.

  • 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.

  • Powers of intervention

    Leader article September 2014

    Events towards the end of the last school year have made the basis and extent of powers of intervention in schools of greater interest, as Leora Cruddas explains.

  • Evaluation framework on safety, safeguarding and radicalisation

    Guidance paper December 2014

    This exploratory evaluation framework does not provide a complete or comprehensive framework that will ensure compliance with all general and specific duties set out in each of the legislative frameworks referred to in the guidance.

  • Children’s needs first

    Leader article May 2014

    Richard Bird examines new government guidance on safeguarding and is reassured to find it emphasises professional judgement rather than box-ticking.

  • The Verdict

    Leader article October 2014

    After more than a year of passionate discussion, the Great Education Debate (GED) has concluded. Here, we record the key findings and explain the next steps for ASCL and the profession.

  • Academies – Calling to account

    Leader article October 2014

    Val Andrew explores what’s new in the 2014 Academies Financial Handbook.

  • 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.

  • Headteacher standards

    Advice April 2014

    The DfE has announced a review of the 2004 National Standards for Headteachers. The aim of the review is to establish a set of standards that are unequivocal, clear, easy to understand and focus primarily on the key elements of high-quality school and system leadership.

  • Amendments to Ofsted guidance April 2014

    Advice May 2014

    Ofsted has made some minor changes to its subsidiary guidance and handbook in April. There is a new paragraph to ensure ‘Inspectors clearly understand the governance arrangements for a school and that they identify and engage with the right people’.

  • Capital ideas

    Leader article July 2014

    With the general election less than a year away, now is the time to start tackling MPs about their party’s policy on education. Leora Cruddas sets out the questions politicians need to address if they are serious about securing long-term, sustainable improvement for our schools and colleges.

  • Scheme for financing schools

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE published a revised guidance document on 26 February.

  • Increase to employer pension contributions

    Advice March 2014

    ASCL received a letter from the DfE last week that outlines a proposed increase of 2.3 per cent in employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, taking the contribution to 16.4 per cent.

  • Preparing for National Curriculum reform

    Leader article May 2014

    Preparing for National Curriculum reform needs to take into account how changes will affect all year groups and for years to come, says Sue Kirkham.

  • Emergency salbutamol Inhalers for children suffering from asthma

    Advice September 2014

    The Government published new guidance on 27 August after a consultation where the responses were overwhelmingly supportive of changing the law to allow schools to hold emergency salbutamol inhalers.

  • DfE advice on trade union facilities time

    Advice January 2014

    The DfE has published non-statutory advice on trade union facilities time. By law, trade union representatives are entitled to reasonable paid time off from their regular job to enable them to perform their union duties and to undertake relevant training.

  • Supporting pupils with medical conditions

    Advice June 2014

    The DfE has published revised guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.

  • School Business Management Pay and Conditions Survey 2014

    Advice July 2014

    ASCL has been campaigning for more equality in the remuneration of its business management practitioner members for several years. Earlier this term the association launched a survey to establish the impact that changes on the education landscape.

  • 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.

  • Be true to your SEF

    Leader article May 2014

    As Ofsted announces a shake-up of the inspection framework, Tony Thornley looks at how approaches to school self-evaluation have evolved and explores what a genuinely useful SEF should contain.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The grim reality of secondary school funding in Wales: Facts and implications for school leaders and policy makers in Wales

    Guidance paper November 2014

    This document seeks to describe the reality of the pressures that are currently being put on secondary school funding in Wales.

  • Pensions – Countdown to change

    Leader article October 2014

    With six months to go before the implementation of the reformed Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), David Binnie highlights the main issues behind the modifications.

  • Governing body reconstitution

    Advice October 2014

    We would like to recommend and remind members about the importance of timelining governing body reconstitution in maintained schools now in readiness for September 2015.

  • 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.

  • Filling in the post 16 census

    Advice October 2014

    It is critical that schools pay close attention to the completion of this year’s census. This is particularly important in schools with sixth forms that have not had a similar process in previous years.

  • Promoting social mobility

    Advice December 2014

    There is broad consensus that social mobility is a major issue for the UK, in terms of ensuring long-term economic prosperity and creating a more just and equal society.

  • Key Stage 4 performance tables: Early entry guidance

    Advice March 2014

    Following pressure from ASCL that early entry policy should be explained more clearly, the DfE has produced a guidance document which brings together the rules for counting the first exam entry.

  • 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.

  • National Headteacher Standards

    Advice May 2014

    A National Headteacher Standards Review Group has been set up to define a revised set of standards for headteachers in England.

  • Inspection, Oversight of and Intervention in Schools

    Guidance paper December 2014

    This guidance provides a factual overview of the respective roles of Ofsted, regional school commissioners and local authorities in relation to schools they maintain.

  • Post-16 maths and English announcement

    Advice July 2014

    The Minister for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock has announced in a statement the government’s plans for replacing existing GCSEs in English and maths.

  • Guidance for Academies and Free Schools – Good Practice in Financial Management

    Guidance paper May 2014

    As the number of academies and free schools increase, more educational establishments are seeking clarification of their responsibilities for financial management and how to implement systems and processes that comply with the regulations laid down in the Academies Financial Handbook (AFH).

  • Overview of AS and A level results

    Advice August 2014

    Ofqual has prepared a short briefing document that outlines the headline figures from last week’s AS and A level results.

  • Trade union facility time

    Advice March 2014

    Following the production of facility time advice from the DfE, the teaching unions have produced an advice note for all employers. This advice note has now been circulated to all local authorities and academy chains. For more information, see a copy of the joint union advice for employers.

  • Take part in a new project on lesson observation and CPD

    July 2014

    There is an opportunity to participate in a nationwide schools project approved and funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

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