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  • LGPS update

    Advice January 2014

    The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2014 project has been working to agree the major design elements and governance mechanisms for the scheme for implementation in April 2014.

  • 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.

  • Good practice on competition among institutions

    Guidance paper March 2014

    This paper is a response to the current changing vista of education, following the Academies Act 2010 and the influx of free schools; academy chains; as well as various groups of institutions appearing in the market place, and how they function within that market place.

  • 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

  • Letter from Vince Cable

    March 2014

    ASCL General Secretary, Brian Lightman, received a copy of a letter from Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) last week stressing that he did not mean to cause offence by stating in a speech about careers guidance that “teachers do not know anything about the

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pensions unpicked

    Leader article February 2014

    Even if your planned retirement date is some way off it is worth being prepared. There may be unexpected circumstances that bring the date forward or possibilities within your pension scheme that you hadn’t thought about. There are a number of aspects to consider.

  • 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.

  • Behind the headlines

    Leader article February 2014

    Bad news stories about the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results don’t give the whole picture of how our schools compare internationally, says Ian Bauckham. Nevertheless, PISA contains important messages that we cannot afford to ignore.

  • 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.

  • Save and prosper

    Leader article March 2014

    In tough times, ‘resourceful resourcing’ comes into its own. Val Andrew offers business managers a guide.

  • A level reform

    Advice March 2014

    Ofqual has announced that there is a change to the timeline for A level reform.

  • 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.

  • Managing Changes to Curriculum and Assessment for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4

    Guidance paper March 2014

    Changes to the National Curriculum, assessment and qualifications are extensive. This guidance provides an overview of the changes and proposes a strategic planning cycle that schools may wish to use between now and September 2016 to prepare for the changes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Premium: Make it pay

    Leader article March 2014

    The Pupil Premium gives us a huge opportunity to change for the better the lives of poor and disadvantaged young people, says John Dunford. We need to exploit it to the full.

  • 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.

  • A level developments

    Advice March 2014

    The development of A level geography has been delayed for one year.

  • 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.

  • Annual pension increase

    Advice February 2014

    Members receiving pensions from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or other public sector pensions, will receive a pension increase from April 2014.

  • Sense of direction?

    Leader article February 2014

    A new special needs code of practice is being heralded by the government as ‘the biggest shake-up of special educational needs (SEN) in 30 years’. Jonathan Fawcett looks at what leaders can expect and sees some potential problems looming.

  • 16-19 funding developments

    Advice January 2014

    The outrage from across the post-16 sector at the EFA’s announcement of a 17.5 per cent funding cut for 18 year-old students was followed by the Education Select Committee pursuing the matter.

  • School Data Dashboard

    Advice March 2014

    The Ofsted School Data Dashboard was updated on 6 March.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted: Schools inspection policy FAQs

    Advice February 2014

    Ofsted has produced a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which focus mainly on the judgements around the quality of teaching and progress and these can be found on the Ofsted website.

  • 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?

  • E-cigarette ban

    Advice January 2014

    The government has announced a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18-year olds.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted good practice guides

    Advice March 2014

    Ofsted and the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) have published a series of good practice case studies for vocational education and training.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A question of balance

    Leader article February 2014

    Sam Ellis has been worrying about even-handedness in school since he was a lad. Instead of concerns about being kept behind in class, he’s now anxious about education funding being reasonable and just or, at least, fairer than it was.

  • 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.

  • 16-19 latest funding developments

    Advice March 2014

    The EFA has issued updated student numbers to a number of schools and academies.

  • 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.

  • The Pupil Premium Summer Schools Programme 2014

    Advice February 2014

    Secondary schools can now apply for funding for this year’s Summer Schools Programme.

  • Your Guide to Apprenticeships

    Advice March 2014

    The challenge of providing accurate, impartial and objective careers guidance to young people has never been greater. Young people face a bewildering range of career opportunities and have access to an equally bewildering amount of information of variable quality.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted update

    Advice February 2014

    Ofsted has issued guidance to inspectors – Why do Ofsted inspectors observe individual lessons and how do they evaluate teaching in schools? – stating that when observing lessons, they should not give an overall grade for the lesson and nor should teachers expect one.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The new National Curriculum

    Leader article January 2014

    The new National Curriculum (NC) becomes statutory in September with further reforms in the pipeline to GCSE, post-16 qualifications and performance measures. Sue Kirkham looks at the detail.

  • 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.

  • GCSE dance and drama

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE has announced that it has reviewed its decision that dance and drama should discount against each other in performance tables.

  • SFA funded qualifications for 2014/15

    Advice March 2014

    At the end of January, the SFA published the new rules for funded qualifications for adult learners.

  • Changes to accountability

    Advice January 2014

    The DfE has announced changes to the new Progress 8 measure, particularly relating to the role of English literature and to estimating school performance.

  • 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.

  • The national curriculum from September 2014

    Advice February 2014

    The new secondary national curriculum (except for Key Stage 4 English, maths and science) is available for schools ready for first teaching to begin in September 2014.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 2014 Key Stage 3 Teacher Assessment

    Advice February 2014

    Following publication of the new national curriculum, the assessment arrangements for Key Stage 3 were disapplied from 2013.

  • 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.

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