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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A level developments

    Advice March 2014

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

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Post-16 PANDA reports

    Advice March 2014

    Post-16 PANDAs have gone out via the provider gateway. Members facing an inspection are advised to download and read over them.

  • 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.

  • Core maths qualifications

    Advice March 2014

    The government has now set out its plans for the overwhelming majority of young people in England to study mathematics to age 18 by 2020.

  • Exam timetables for November 2014 and summer 2015 (information from JCQ)

    Advice February 2014

    The finalised GCSE November 2014 examination timetable has been published. This version is the ‘common timetable’ and the awarding bodies will be publishing their own finalised version, via their websites, during the course of this month.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Be Prepared

    Leader article March 2014

    Leora Cruddas suggests some key activities for schools and colleges to undertake ahead of changes to the curriculum, assessment and qualifications.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Update on destination measures

    Advice January 2014

    The DfE have published the Key Stage 5 SEN and LLDD breakdowns of destination data.

  • 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.

  • The state of independence

    Leader article March 2014

    Autonomy isn’t a new concept for schools and colleges but its success in the long-term depends on everyone being honest about what it means and costs, as well as the provision of safeguards for schools and colleges that get into difficulty, says Brian Lightman.

  • 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.

  • Flawed but fairer

    Leader article September 2014

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

  • P scales: attainment targets for pupils with SEN

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE has published guidance on the use of P scales for pupils with special educational needs.

  • 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.

  • A level science fact sheet

    Advice July 2014

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

  • 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

  • Urgent advice to Welsh members regarding GCSE English language January entry results

    Advice March 2014

    100 schools are represented in the evidence that ASCL Cymru has received to date of the concern that is widespread about the results issued on Wednesday 5 March. These contributions, accompanied by the general notes below, will be presented to the Minister on Thursday 13 March.

  • SEN reforms

    Advice March 2014

    The Children and Families Bill 2013 is expected to receive Royal Assent in March, with the consequent requirements for education, care and health plans (ECHPs) replacing learning difficulties assessments.

  • New GCSE grades

    Advice September 2014

    Ofqual has released details of new GCSE grades and how they will be applied from 2017 onwards. The new GCSE grading structure will have three fixed, ‘hard wired’, links to the current system.

  • Reforming the accountability system for 16-19 providers

    Advice April 2014

    The government published its response to the 16-19 accountability consultation on 27 March, describing in more detail the intentions for both performance tables and minimum standards in 2016 and beyond.