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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mathematics Teaching for Mastery

    Guidance paper December 2015

    This paper is suitable for teaching staff involved in setting and teaching the mathematics curriculum in all schools including academies, and across all Key Stages.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cymru timeline – suggested activities to manage curriculum and assessment and accountability changes from 2014-18

    Guidance paper March 2015

    Changes to assessment, curriculum and school performance measures mean that school leaders will have a range of matters to consider as they plan their offer for the coming and future academic years. This document offers some guidance which we hope are helpful.

  • ‘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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Curriculum and Assessment

    Policy paper June 2015

    The curriculum is the sum of all the experiences that a child or young person has at school or college. It is not simply a series of inputs (a framework of subjects to be taught over a defined period) – it is the expected outcomes of learning.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Primary Curriculum and Assessment Reform

    Guidance paper August 2015

    The following information is relevant to members in England working with primary schools or groups of schools including primaries. It helps school and system leaders understand how curriculum changes will impact on primary and secondary schools.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Timeline – suggested activities to manage curriculum and assessment and accountability changes from 2015-18

    Guidance paper October 2015

    ASCL’s updated timeline reflects qualification reforms at Key Stage 4 and 5 and suggests activities to help members manage curriculum and assessment and accountability changes from 2015-18.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GCSE and A level subject reforms 2016 - 2017

    Advice April 2015

    ASCL has received a lot of queries recently about which subjects are going to be reformed for first teaching in 2017 and which are not. Here are documents detailing the specifics of the changes, which we hope prove helpful.

  • How GCSE grade boundaries are set by comparable outcomes – March 2015

    March 2015

    GCSE grade boundaries are currently set using a system called comparable outcomes. Ofqual state they are using this system to protect the cohort in a time of rapid change.

  • The post-levels challenge - primary leadership

    Leader article May 2015

    Julie McCulloch explores the rationale for the overhaul of primary assessment and looks at how a new commission will aim to resolve some of the problems raised.

  • Implementing A level Reforms

    Advice March 2015

    Guidance for A level reforms

  • Implications of being self-employed or setting up a limited company

    Advice October 2015

    Are you working as a self-employed consultant, a sole trader, a business partnership or as your own limited company?

  • IGCSE English

    Advice August 2015

    A number of ASCL members have contacted us regarding disappointing CIE IGCSE English results. We have been in discussion with the board and established the following points which may go some way to explain current issues particularly around grading.

  • Exam results 2015

    Advice August 2015

    Although there are no major changes to the examinations or awarding processes this year, we are anxious to ensure that any issues that do emerge are quickly brought to the attention of the DfE, Ofqual and the examination boards.