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  • Lesson plans to promote learner voice and encourage democratic engagement

    Advice November 2015

    The Cabinet Office has produced a collection of free online resources to encourage democratic participation and develop political literacy.

  • August accounts return live webinar

    Advice November 2015

    Registration is now open for the 2 December EFA webinar on the accounts return.

  • What’s your vision? The importance of strong governance

    Leader article April 2015

    Emma Knights explores how schools can strengthen their improvement strategies and highlights the central role strong governance has to play in raising standards.

  • School teachers’ pay 2015-16

    Advice July 2015

    The Secretary of State Nicky Morgan has formally accepted the STRB’s latest recommendations.

  • Worth the risk?

    Leader article September 2015

    Julia Harnden examines the value of spending precious leadership time and resources on risk management.

  • 10-point plan to tackle recruitment crisis

    Advice April 2015

    ASCL has drawn up a 10-point plan to tackle the ongoing teacher recruitment crisis, with proposals for both government and the teaching profession.

  • Use of the pupil premium

    Advice November 2015

    Members may find the NFER research report, Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Articulating Success and Good Practice, useful.

  • DfE Sponsor Capacity Fund

    Advice July 2015

    The sponsor capacity fund supports eligible academy trusts that need additional funding to take on schools. This includes academy trusts with an open free school or a free school in approved pre-opening.

  • The Prevent Duty: safeguarding children and young people against radicalisation and extremism

    Advice October 2015

    On 1 July 2015 the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 introduced the Prevent Duty on schools and colleges, as well as specified authorities such as local authorities, health and the police, “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

  • Making allowances?

    Leader article July 2015

    Pay rises could push you over the tax relief limit and into trouble with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so check your position, warns Stephen Casey.

  • The taxman cometh

    Leader article September 2015

    Changes to the Lifetime Allowances limit are likely to mean more of us paying tax on our pensions, says Stephen Casey.

  • Guidance on the headteacher standards

    Advice January 2015

    The DfE has published a new set of headteacher standards for England, titled National Standards for Excellence for Headteachers. These are non-mandatory standards intended to be suitable for use across all types of schools and colleges.

  • Essential Support

    Leader article February 2015

    Member support is a cornerstone of ASCL’s work. Richard Tanton explains the different services and functions provided.

  • Professional Standards for School Business Managers

    Advice November 2015

    NASBM has launched a new set of Professional Standards for School Business Managers. ASCL has been supporting the development of these standards as part of a wider stakeholder group.

  • University challenges

    Leader article September 2015

    The University of Southampton is supporting sixth form students taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to give them a taste of what academic life is like – and what skills they will require – at a research-intensive institution. Dorothy Lepkowska reports.

  • Equalities and Diversity

    Advice September 2015

    ASCL has established an Equalities Network which aims to empower members to connect, coach and build mutually supportive programmes, thus providing all school and college leaders with opportunities to develop at every stage of their careers.

  • ASCL Response to the Education and Adoption Bill

    Advice July 2015

    ASCL sent the following briefing to all MPs on the Education and Adoption Bill Committee.

  • Sixth-form scrutiny

    Leader article February 2015

    How are inspectors awarding the new numerical grade for sixth forms? Suzanne O’Farrell digs into the detail.

  • Update on Level 3 Value Added (L3 VA)

    September 2015

    The background to this summary is the new accountability measures for post-16 providers that were announced by the government in March 2014.

  • Sixth sense

    Leader article July 2015

    As timetables are tweaked in readiness for the new sixth-form provision in September, schools and colleges should ensure that their 16-19 study programmes will meet tight new financial and curriculum standards, says Kevin Gilmartin.

  • Initial teacher education

    Advice June 2015

    Important update for all schools employing School Direct or running school-led ITE from NCTL on behalf of the DfE, ‘Initial teacher training (ITT) criteria: supporting advice’.

  • Unlocking potential

    Leader article September 2015

    Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan sets out her priorities for the next five years and says she is committed to working with ASCL members to achieve them.

  • No barriers

    Leader article December 2015

    Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson brushed aside society’s low expectations of disabled people to achieve multiple golds on the athletics track and a seat in the House of Lords, yet still faces prejudice in everyday life. She talks to Julie Nightingale.

  • EFA funding guidance for 2015-16

    Advice March 2015

    Funding guidance for 2015-16 has now been published on the EFA website. A significant change is the qualifying period for a student to count for funding.

  • Timetable for change

    Leader article February 2015

    Cherry Ridgway, ASCL Curriculum and Assessment Specialist, highlights the key dates for implementing the latest set of reforms and their implications for schools and colleges.

  • Deregulation Act 2015

    Advice September 2015

    The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The DfE has provided details on the commencement of provisions set out within Schedule 16 (Schools: Reduction of Burdens), that will come into effect on 1 January 2016 together with those provisions that now will not be commenced.

  • Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) – securing value for schools

    Advice July 2015

    Schools looking for the best deal when purchasing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) may be interested in this arrangement.

  • Mapping the future

    Leader article February 2015

    ASCL is expanding its presence in the English regions to help meet the changing needs of leaders. Brian Lightman explains the thinking behind the move.

  • Key Stage 4 and 5 destination measures data (2011–12 cohort)

    Advice January 2015

    The next set of Key Stage 4 and 5 destination measures data is being published today, six months earlier than previous cohorts, showing the destinations of the 2011-12 cohort in 2012-13.

  • ASCL Influence

    Leader article February 2015

    Here is just a small selection of the meetings and lobbying activity that senior ASCL officers have been involved with on your behalf and, in particular, we have highlighted areas where ASCL has had a direct influence on policy.

  • Applications for 2016 Social Mobility Foundation Programmes now open

    Advice December 2015

    The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) supports ambitious young people from less-privileged backgrounds to access top universities and careers.

  • 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.

  • Know your boundaries - curriculum and assessment

    Leader article May 2015

    Cherry Ridgway explains how comparable outcomes work for setting GCSE grades and looks ahead to the national reference tests, starting in 2017.

  • Influential focus

    Leader article December 2015

    Six months after the General Election, we have a much clearer understanding of how the political land lies. Whatever the challenges may be, there are numerous opportunities for us to influence policy makers both in government and in opposition, says Brian Lightman.

  • Inspections update

    Advice January 2015

    Ofsted has published Issue 1 of the School Inspection Update, which is guidance for inspectors and details key areas of focus such as IAG, SMSC, governance, outcomes for groups, and disqualification by association, warning notices and the 2014 performance measures.

  • STRB evidence

    Advice February 2015

    In response to the Secretary of State’s 25th Remit to the STRB asking them to consider the arrangements for the 2015 pay award, ASCL has submitted evidence calling for a fully funded pay award above the government’s proposed 1 per cent.

  • Basic tenets of sound financial planning - business leadership

    Leader article May 2015

    Val Andrew outlines some basic tenets of sound financial planning to ensure that your school or college is running at maximum efficiency.

  • Reintroduction of primary academy chain development grant

    Advice December 2015

    The government has re-introduced grants designed to incentivise and support primary schools to form or join multi academy trusts (MATs).

  • Condition Improvement Fund

    Advice November 2015

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

  • 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.

  • ‘Coasting’ schools

    Advice June 2015

    ASCL Deputy General Secretary Malcolm Trobe is giving evidence today to the parliamentary committee scrutinising the new Education and Adoption Bill. The Bill strengthens the Education Secretary’s powers to compel schools rated as ‘inadequate’ to become academies.

  • Update on changes to primary and Year 7

    Advice December 2015

    A recent update from the DfE has confirmed the following in terms of proposed changes to the primary and Year 7 assessment and accountability system.

  • New Ofsted guidance

    Advice December 2015

    Ofsted has published new guidance which outlines the timing of inspection for schools that change their status. It sets out how Ofsted will select new schools for inspection starting from the 2015/16 academic year.

  • Independents’ Day

    Leader article September 2015

    The ASCL Information Conference for Independent School Leaders offers a valuable opportunity for heads, deputies and assistant heads to hear from ASCL staff about key changes in the national education landscape affecting their roles as both employers and employees.

  • 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.

  • Sex and Relationship Education in Schools (England)

    Advice December 2015

    The Government has issued an overview of the legislation and guidance currently in place regarding sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools, and also outlines related reviews and proposals in Parliament. The full report can be viewed here with the key points summarised as follows:

  • Supporting disadvantaged pupils

    Advice December 2015

    The DfE and NFER have published a briefing for school leaders on supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils together with a shorter note that identifies seven building blocks that are more successful in raising disadvantaged pupils’ attainment.

  • Update on sixth form accountability

    Advice January 2015

    The DfE is introducing post-16 retention measures for 2013/14 and 2014/15 data. In addition, a new package of accountability measures for 16-19 providers will be published in 2017 (based on 2015/16 data).

  • 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.

  • Young people’s mental health

    Advice December 2015

    In light of the growing concerns about mental health issues among young people, members may find two documents from DfE guidance helpful: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools and Counselling in Schools.

  • A lighter touch - inspections

    Leader article April 2015

    Schools rated ‘good’ are the focus of the most important change to the Ofsted framework this year with more emphasis on professional dialogue.

  • Off the chart

    Leader article December 2015

    The obsession with tracking and recording data threatens to annihilate joyful learning and teaching, says Dame Alison Peacock. To make assessment truly meaningful, we need greater expertise throughout the system.

  • Brief encounters

    Leader article September 2015

    The impact of leadership is the key evidence that inspectors will be seeking under the new shorter Ofsted inspections. Suzanne O’Farrell explains this and other significant changes to the framework.

  • Sea-change for ‘coasting’ schools

    Leader article September 2015

    The Education and Adoption Bill 2015-16 would give the Secretary of State (SoS) greater powers to act when schools are deemed to be ‘coasting’ and to create academies. Katie Michelon of Browne Jacobson LLP explains the changes.

  • New duty to report incidents of female genital mutilation (FGM)

    Advice October 2015

    The Serious Crime Act 2015 introduced a new duty on teachers, social workers and healthcare professionals to report to the police known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) involving victims aged under 18.

  • Creating the perfect mix - leading and governing groups of schools

    Leader article May 2015

    Hard partnerships between schools are likely to proliferate in the next few years so what basic principles should they be built on? Leora Cruddas explains ASCL’s guidance.

  • 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.

  • Managing and Reducing Workload

    Policy paper June 2015

    Additional workload is work teachers do for perceived and/or unnecessary compliance processes which takes them away from the complex process of teaching and learning. This is driven by an out-of-kilter accountability culture.

  • Central lines

    Leader article December 2015

    John Banbrook looks at the advantages of centralising services for schools in a multi-academy trust (MAT) and the issues for leaders to consider in terms of governance, staff and costs.

  • 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.

  • Pupil Premium for children adopted from care

    Advice December 2015

    In 2014, the Pupil Premium Plus was extended to children who had left care through adoption, special guardianship order or child arrangements/residence order in recognition of their continuing level of vulnerability and need.

  • Staying The Course

    Leader article February 2015

    It’s not just students who need to be able to withstand challenges and learn to persist. Senior leaders and staff, too, would benefit from gaining a better understanding of how to build the personal resilience that will help them succeed, say Les Duggan and Mark Solomons.

  • Finding our pride

    Leader article July 2015

    While many schools and colleges now actively address homophobia for students and staff, leaders who are members of LGBT communities still face a dilemma in ‘coming out’. Carol Jones highlights the challenges and looks at what ASCL is doing to meet leaders’ needs.

  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 - statutory guidance for schools

    Advice March 2015

    New guidance on disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 and disqualification by association has now been published by the DfE. This replaces the guidance published in October 2014.

  • BME leaders - How to be courageous

    Leader article May 2015

    Dorothy Lepkowska talks to those involved in a pioneering scheme encouraging more black and minority ethnic (BME) women to pursue leadership roles by focusing on character, resilience and self-knowledge.

  • Performance tables, discounting rules and implications for current Year 10 and 11 students

    Advice February 2015

    We have received a number of queries from schools where students will take English language, literature or maths in summer 2016, when they are in Year 10 (or even Year 9).

  • National Reference Tests

    Advice June 2015

    Ofqual has released more information regarding National Reference Tests that will take place for the first time in 2017 and that will be used in grade awarding from 2018.

  • Know your numbers

    Leader article July 2015

    Pay progression data can reveal hidden – possibly discriminatory – trends, so it is vital to study it carefully, says Sara Ford.

  • Know your options

    Leader article December 2015

    Stephen Casey explains the new laws on freedom and choice in pensions and highlights what you can do to boost your pension at retirement.

  • The new normal

    Leader article September 2015

    At the start of the academic year, education is going through a period of transition with system leadership fast becoming the norm. Reflecting this, ASCL is introducing a raft of changes of its own, says Brian Lightman, to recognise the new skill-set that leaders now require.

  • Retiring thoughts - pensions

    Leader article April 2015

    Stephen Casey and David Binnie highlight the changes in the pipeline for teacher pensions.

  • Letter from Claudia Harris of the Careers and Enterprise Company

    Advice July 2015

    Claudia Harris, Chief Executive, The Careers & Enterprise Company, writes to ASCL members to share early plans and seek input and collaboration.

  • Comparison of overseas qualifications for teachers

    Advice May 2015

    The DfE has published updated guidance about overseas qualifications. The guidance supports initial teacher training (ITT) providers and applicants in making a judgement about the equivalent UK degree classification of an overseas qualification.

  • Report on Commission on Assessment without Levels – September 2015

    Advice September 2015

    The government’s report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels, set up to provide schools with guidance and support on designing their own assessment polices and approaches after the abolition of National Curriculum levels.

  • IRIS Connect Protocol

    Advice September 2015

    The NASUWT and ASCL have worked closely with IRIS Connect to develop a protocol premised on teachers choosing to use this system for self-reflection and professional development and to ensure it is used in the way it was intended.

  • Briefing on the Education and Adoption Bill

    Advice June 2015

    As indicated in the Conservative election manifesto, the government intends to strengthen the Secretary of State’s powers of intervention through the new Education and Adoption Bill. The main points related are as follows.

  • Preventative measures

    Leader article December 2015

    The new Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a significant responsibility on schools and colleges and leaders need to ensure they have plans in place to help carry out their duty, says Anna Cole.

  • Mathematics: overcoming the barriers to learning

    Advice November 2015

    Council member Julia Upton has looked at the barriers to learning mathematics and the implications of these barriers for senior leaders.

  • Q&As regarding English and maths GCSEs for Year 11 students September 2015

    Advice September 2015

    ASCL Curriculum and Assessment Specialist Suzanne O’Farrell has put together the following questions and answers about English and maths exams for current Year 11 students that members may find useful.

  • Background briefing on Regional Schools Commissioners

    Advice October 2015

    The House of Commons has published a briefing note together with a report which provides information on the role of Regional Schools Commissioners and that outlines some of the issues that have been raised since their creation. See the briefing and report online here.

  • Summary: Academies Financial Handbook 2015

    Advice September 2015

    Here is a summary of the key changes in the handbook that academies will need to be aware of:

  • 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 December 2015

    Much of the philosophy of ASCL’s Blueprint applies to both independent and state schools so we should join forces to deliver it, says Barbara Stanley.

  • Routes into Teaching Training

    Advice December 2015

    In response to requests from school leaders and potential teachers ASCL has produced a simple guide on the current routes into teaching.

  • Recruitment drive

    Leader article December 2015

    The number of graduates entering teaching is falling and the confusing plethora of routes into the profession isn’t helping. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at how schools are tackling the problem themselves.

  • Fair shares - business leadership

    Leader article April 2015

    ASCL has drawn up new guidance encouraging schools and local authorities (LAs) to pay school business leaders and school business managers at a rate that reflects their role in school leadership.

  • Autumn DfE announcements

    Advice July 2015

    DfE ministers have said that they are committed to implementing all of the Conservative party’s manifesto promises on education by the end of this Parliament in 2020. We have already seen evidence of that with the announcements before recess about the Ebacc and coasting schools.

  • New Governors Handbook

    Advice December 2015

    This new edition has been re-named The Governance Handbook to make clear it applies to all those involved in school governance.

  • 'First entry' definition changed for BTEC Firsts

    Advice November 2015

    The DfE has changed the definition of what will count as 'first entry' for BTEC First qualifications.

  • Joined-up thinking

    Leader article July 2015

    Peter Kent unveils plans for a new foundation, backed by teachers and governors, to nurture leadership development and says if the government is serious about letting the profession lead the system, it should fund the idea.

  • Room for manoeuvre…

    Leader article July 2015

    Many voices in the education world have called for a ‘period of stability’ now that a new government is in place. But that does not mean a let-up in meeting the significant challenges facing us, says Brian Lightman.

  • The Foundation Code: values and behaviours needed to deliver high quality CEIAG

    Advice March 2015

    The Foundation Code has been developed, and is fully supported by ASCL, AoC, 157 Group, ATL, AELP, PPC and SFCA who represent schools, colleges and independent learning providers across England.

  • Care to Learn – change in arrangements

    Advice September 2015

    If you have any students who are young parents at your school or college, you need to be aware of new funding arrangements that will enable them to continue in education and receive childcare support.

  • Taking the next step? Aspiring to headship

    Leader article April 2015

    Headship is potentially as rewarding as it is busy, so don’t let the scale of the job put you off.

  • Travel advice to France

    Advice November 2015

    The current state of emergency in France has meant that all school activities for French schoolchildren have been stopped until the weekend (Sunday 22 November 2015). The UK government has posted the following advice from the French Government on its website.

  • Marking policies

    Advice May 2015

    Members should be aware of NASUWT’s stance on marking, which was outlined at a meeting ASCL attended last week. As part of their action short of strike action, they are instructing their members not to comply with requirements that place undue workload burdens on teachers.

  • New path for careers - CEIAG

    Leader article May 2015

    Karleen Dowden explains the thinking behind a new foundation code on Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) and highlights how schools and colleges are collaborating with employers to enrich their students’ careers education.

  • Turning the tide

    Leader article September 2015

    The number of women deputy and assistant heads is growing but if they are to aspire to headship realistically, the profession needs to offer them more targeted career support and development now, says Carol Jones

  • Making the grade

    Leader article July 2015

    A successful qualification reflects the achievements of its holder and it signifies the attainment of a specific set of skills, explains Ofqual’s Phil Beach.

  • Delivering a clear message

    Leader article April 2015

    The incoming government has a golden opportunity to work with the profession to create a world-class education system, says Brian Lightman. But it will need to focus on a few key priorities.

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