Help and advice

Clear search

43 results

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • School Data Dashboard

    Advice March 2014

    The Ofsted School Data Dashboard was updated on 6 March.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Updated Ofsted guidance

    Advice July 2014

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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’.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Academies – Calling to account

    Leader article October 2014

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

  • Regional schools commissioners and headteacher boards

    Advice May 2014

    The DfE recently announced the appointment of the eight regional schools commissioners (RSCs), who will take on key decisions regarding academies and free schools in their regions on behalf of the Secretary of State.

  • 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’.

  • Supporting pupils with medical conditions

    Advice June 2014

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • No notice inspections of behaviour

    Advice February 2014

    Ofsted has reiterated its commitment to a rolling programme of no notice inspections of behaviour that can be triggered by parental concerns over discipline or as a result of a recent Ofsted inspection.

  • 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.

  • Update on destination measures

    Advice January 2014

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

  • HMCI announcement

    Advice January 2014

    Sir Michael Wilshaw announced a review of how inspectors will judge training providers.

  • Countering Fraud In Education

    Advice October 2014

    As the accountability agenda gathers momentum, there is an increasing emphasis on corporate responsibility and the need to ensure that financial systems and processes, both internally and externally, withstand close scrutiny and testing.

  • Flawed but fairer

    Leader article September 2014

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

  • Root causes

    Leader article October 2014

    Andrew Thraves looks at how attitudinal surveys can help senior leaders understand the causes of challenging behaviour and provide evidence of improvement when inspectors come calling.

  • How inspectors should be using data

    Advice November 2014

    A helpful summary about how inspectors should be using data and a broad overview of the proposed changes to inspection for September 2015

  • 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.