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  • Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF)

    Advice November 2017

    £100 million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). This fund is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing access to facilities such as dining facilities and sports facilities.

  • Level 3 Value Added (L3VA) ready reckoner

    Advice November 2017

    The DfE is carrying out a survey about the L3VA ready reckoner. The L3VA ready reckoner is the tool the DfE provides to help schools and colleges calculate Level 3 value-added measures.

  • BBC Survey: What's happening to creative arts subjects in secondary schools?

    Advice October 2017

    Please check your school admin inbox today (17 October) for a BBC online survey that’s been sent out to all state-funded secondary schools in England.

  • Progress 8 toolkit

    Advice October 2017

    ASCL member David Blow has produced a detailed analysis tool for Progress 8 together with helpful notes that include prompts and questions on its use.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) update

    Advice September 2017

    Key Stage 2 data is now available in ASP (the replacement service to RAISEonline) – this is provisional data for 2016/17. CLA data is not currently available, therefore breakdowns of data have not been published; this will be added at the end of October along with KS1 and Phonics data for 2017.

  • Rise Above for Schools - new PHSE resources for schools

    Advice September 2017

    Public Health England (PHE) has launched Rise Above for Schools, providing new PSHE resources to support secondary school teachers when promoting positive health, wellbeing and resilience among young people aged 11 to 16.

  • Government response to primary assessment consultation

    Advice September 2017

    Last week, the government released its response to the consultation on primary assessment. ASCL has produced a detailed summary for members.

  • Technical Award Update - certification for 2019

    Advice September 2017

    There are a number of technical awards, which have not been approved for league table points, in the latest update of qualifications counting in the 2019 performance tables. The list was released at the beginning of September.

  • Reviews of marking: centre-assessed marks

    Advice September 2017

    JCQ and its awarding body members (AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC) have issued a reminder to centres that candidates must now be informed of their centre assessed marks (for example EPQ) so that they may request a review of the centre’s marking before marks are submitted to the awarding body.

  • Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up funding

    Advice September 2017

    The DfE has confirmed the arrangements for Year 7 Literacy and numeracy catch up funding for 2017 to 2018.

  • Early estimates of Attainment 8 averages by prior attainment

    Advice September 2017

    ASCL has been working with SISRA Ltd to provide early estimates for 2017 Attainment 8 averages. Schools using SISRA have been invited to opt in to an anonymised data sharing exercise.

  • Stepping stone qualifications

    Advice September 2017

    ESFA has published a list of the stepping stone qualifications that members can use for those students who are not resitting GCSEs but who are taking other English and maths qualifications.

  • GCSEs 2017: clarification on resit requirements for English

    Advice August 2017

    Following publication yesterday of this year's GCSE results, it has become apparent there is some confusion regarding the requirement and eligibility for resits for English. ASCL has therefore been in direct contact with Ofqual and the DfE to clarify this matter.

  • Update on Ofqual announcements on severe grading of MFL

    Advice August 2017

    ASCL along with ALL (Association for Language Learning), ISMLA (Independent Schools Modern Language Association) and HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference), wrote to the Chair of Ofqual to raise concerns regarding the severe grading of modern foreign languages (MFL) at GCSE and A level.

  • Key Stage 2 SATs marking: Standards and Testing Agency response

    Advice July 2017

    A number of members have raised concerns about the marking of the Key Stage 2 spelling, punctuation and grammar papers, particularly Paper 1 Question 2, which asked children to insert a semi-colon in the correct place in a sentence.

  • Ofsted consultation: Short inspections of good schools

    Advice July 2017

    Ofsted’s consultation on Short inspections of good schools closes at 11.30pm, 18 August 2017. The consultation seeks your views on proposals for changes to the short inspection approach for good maintained schools and academies from October 2017.

  • Marking or moderation errors

    Advice July 2017

    Ofqual has announced that schools and colleges in England will in future have a second opportunity to challenge GCSE, AS level, A level and project results if they continue to have concerns about marking or moderation errors.

  • Ofqual workshops

    Advice June 2017

    Ofqual is inviting teachers from across the country to workshops to offer their perspectives on the assessment of this summer’s reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels.

  • Special consideration: Minimum requirements for enhanced grades reduced to 25%

    Advice June 2017

    The move to linear qualifications and recent tragic events have led the awarding organisations to review how enhanced grades are awarded for GCE and GCSE qualifications.

  • Online training for primary school teachers

    Advice May 2017

    The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) believes that teachers play an important role in helping to shape children’s food understanding so it has launched a free online course on teaching food in primary school.

  • European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

    Advice April 2017

    The Technical Award list has been updated for 2018 and the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) has been withdrawn, which means it will no longer count in performance tables from summer 2018.

  • Primary assessment consultation

    Advice April 2017

    Last week, the government published a wide ranging consultation on the future of primary assessment in England. The consultation includes a number of significant proposals and ASCL Primary Specialist Julie McCulloch worked closely with the DfE to shape this consultation.

  • STEM insight

    Advice March 2017

    The National STEM Learning Network offers a unique STEM Insight programme for staff in schools and colleges to experience STEM-related work in industrial or university settings. Candidates take part in a placement, supported by face-to-face and online CPD.

  • Year 7 catch-up premium grant for 2016 to 2017

    Advice March 2017

    EFA has published funding allocations and conditions of grant for the Year 7 catch-up premium for the 2016/17 financial year. Academies should have received payment of the premium on 1 March 2017.

  • Ofqual Guidance: Regulation of GCSEs, AS and A levels

    Advice March 2017

    Ofqual has produced a short video and guide explaining what schools and colleges can expect from exam boards and what exam boards, in turn, expect from schools and colleges.

  • Ofqual consultation on changes to GCSE drama

    Advice February 2017

    The DfE has recently made changes to the subject content, which introduces an explicit requirement for GCSE, AS and A level drama specifications to: “require students to experience live performance, where they are a member of the audience in the same performance space as the performers.

  • Changes to the review of marking, moderation and appeals systems

    Advice February 2017

    Ofqual has announced further changes to the review of marking, moderation and appeals systems.

  • Ofqual's National Reference Test (NRT)

    Advice February 2017

    The test is taking place in over 300 secondary schools from 20 February to 3 March. Ofqual welcomes any feedback from our members on the arrangements that were made for the test and its administration in schools on the day of the test.

  • Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

    Advice February 2017

    Modern Language Assistants (MLAs) bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, heads of modern languages reported improved exam results, raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more.

  • New guidance on PE and sport

    Advice December 2016

    ASCL in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust have been looking at how emerging and established multi-academy trusts (MATs) can take a strategic approach to PE and sport across their academies.

  • Teach alcohol awareness with Drinkaware for Education

    Advice November 2016

    Drinkaware for Education is a free, curriculum-linked alcohol education programme for teachers of 9-14 year-olds. Its resources are specially designed for use in PSHE classes and are accredited by the PSHE Association’s Quality Mark.

  • New careers guidance tool

    Advice November 2016

    The Careers & Enterprise Company, in partnership with The Gatsby Foundation, has launched Compass, a new online tool for schools to evaluate and monitor improvements in their careers education against eight benchmarks.

  • Rochford Review final report

    Advice October 2016

    The final report of the Rochford Review of assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests was published 19 October.

  • Summary of primary and Year 7 assessment and accountability announcements

    Advice October 2016

    Secretary of State Justine Greening made a number of important announcements on primary assessment and accountability on 19 October.

  • Opportunity for Global Learning Programme

    Advice October 2016

    If your school participates in various global learning initiatives, this is your last chance for your school to apply for over £3,375 of funding, training and support provided by the Global Learning Programme (GLP)

  • Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny: considering forming or joining a group of schools

    Guidance paper October 2016

    This guidance is for senior leaders, trustees and governors of local-authority maintained schools and single academy trusts in England as they consider the future of their school in a system likely to consist largely of academies in multi-academy trusts (MATs).

  • Exploring the relationship between pupil academic achievement and activities with employers

    Advice October 2016

    Following the recent Education Endowment Foundation literature review on the impact of careers-related education, Education and Employers Research is exploring how pupils respond to their participation in employer engagement activities and its impact on academic achievement.

  • Education committee inquiry into primary assessment

    Advice September 2016

    The House of Commons Education Committee has launched an inquiry into primary assessment. This inquiry intends to scrutinise reforms to primary assessment and their impact on teaching and learning in primary schools.

  • Phonics: a guide to teaching reading in schools

    Guidance paper August 2016

    This information will assist school leaders to ask informed questions about how reading is taught in their schools.

  • Responding to members’ concerns about exam results

    Advice August 2016

    We have changed the way in which we are collecting information from you regarding any issues or concerns that you may have with this summer’s exam results.

  • Understanding and Interpreting the 2016 Key Stage 2 Results

    Guidance paper July 2016

    On 5 July 2016 the Department of Education (DfE) published a statistical first release with provisional headline results of this year’s Key Stage 2 assessments. This year’s assessments (commonly known as SATs) have changed significantly from previous years.

  • Ofqual update

    Advice July 2016

    Ofqual has published a key guide for schools and colleges on what they can expect from exam boards and what exam boards expect from them.

  • Do you have a great idea for bringing research alive in school?

    Advice June 2016

    Partnership Grants from The Royal Society of up to £3,000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects.

  • DfE Data checking exercise

    Advice June 2016

    The DfE has written to schools to notify them that the June data checking exercise is now open. Schools should take the opportunity to check the list of eligible pupils and their characteristics. Ensuring these are correct can make significant differences to performance tables and RAISE; this data e

  • Lesson Planning and Teacher Resources

    Guidance paper June 2016

    Purposeful, lean and effective lesson planning can have an enormous impact on student learning and help teachers to manage and reduce workload.

  • Marking and Feedback

    Guidance paper June 2016

    Marking is an excellent teaching strategy when used effectively, is purposeful and within clear parameters. A rigorous and refined approach to marking can support both pupils and teachers.

  • KS3 curriculum: The diamond standard

    Leader article June 2016

    ASCL Specialist Suzanne O’Farrell offers top tips to help schools inject more challenge into the curriculum and ensure that the latest wave of reforms translates into higher standards.

  • Primary Assessment and Accountability Changes: what do they mean for your school?

    Guidance paper May 2016

    This guidance is relevant to school and college leaders with responsibility for Key Stages 1 and 2. The way in which primary children are assessed, and primary schools are held to account for their progress and attainment, is changing at a sometimes bewildering pace.

  • New guidance published by KIDS charity

    Advice May 2016

    KIDS – a charity that cares for over 8,000 disabled children, young people and their families, has published new guidance that has been funded by the DfE.

  • Ofqual consultation on setting grade standards

    Advice April 2016

    Ofqual is consulting on its approach for setting grade standards in all subjects from 2018, and on a modification to its previous decisions for English language, English literature and mathematics about how grades 8 and 9 are set.

  • Primary-trained French language assistant placements

    Advice April 2016

    Take advantage of a new offer from the British Council to support French in your primary school with the placement of a primary-trained French language assistant.

  • A silent epidemic

    Leader article March 2016

    Mental ill health is an issue affecting every classroom in every school, every day. The statistics are staggering...

  • Stem the tide

    Leader article March 2016

    School and college leaders need to take the initiative and accept collective responsibility for the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers before it’s too late, says Sir Michael Griffiths.

  • Key Stage 1 and 2 assessment

    Advice March 2016

    The DfE has published a clarification document on Key Stage 1 and 2 teacher assessment and moderation for this summer.

  • Teacher focus groups for reformed GCSEs and A levels

    Advice March 2016

    Ofqual is seeking teachers’ views on how prepared they feel for teaching the new qualifications for GCSE and A levels. To do this they are holding a series of two-hour, twilight seminars around Easter and they are inviting teachers from all types of schools to attend.

  • Primary assessments

    February 2016

    The DfE has announced that the deadline for primary schools to submit Key Stage 1 and 2 teacher assessments has been postponed to 30 June. Schools Minister Nick Gibb confirmed the change in response to concerns raised by the sector.

  • GCSE, AS and A level marking review and appeals system

    February 2016

    Ofqual is proposing to make changes to the appeals and reviews of marking of GCSEs, AS and A levels and, it is sending a letter to all schools to explain the main proposals.

  • New UCAS tariff implementation

    February 2016

    The new UCAS Tariff is being introduced for the 2017 application cycle. This means that learners applying to university from September 2016 will use new tariff points.

  • The Rochford Review

    Advice February 2016

    The Rochford Review was asked to advise the DfE on statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

  • Assessment of reformed qualifications

    February 2016

    Ofqual has confirmed the assessment arrangements for reformed GCSEs, AS and A level qualifications for first teaching in 2017.

  • New guidance on primary accountability

    February 2016

    In January 2016 the DfE published a technical guide to some of the key changes to the primary school accountability system

  • Ofqual survey on perception of qualifications

    February 2016

    Ofqual is conducting its annual survey to gather information about perceptions of GCSEs, A levels, and other qualifications. The insight gained from this enables Ofqual to highlight areas where more could be done to increase public understanding and confidence.

  • Timetable to track accreditation

    Advice February 2016

    Ofqual has launched a detailed timetable to enable schools to track the accreditation process and likely timescales for all specifications of reformed GCSEs and A levels for teaching from September 2016.

  • Update on technical and vocational qualifications

    Advice January 2016

    The DfE has updated the list of technical and vocational qualifications for reporting in the 2018 performance tables.

  • Destination measures

    Advice January 2016

    The DfE has published revised Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 destination measures, showing the destinations of the 2012/13 cohort in 2013/14 and including information on independent schools.

  • First Principles

    Leader article January 2016

    The profession needs to take back the initiative on assessment and recover the ground lost during the decades when it became a tool of accountability rather than an aid to learning, says Brian Lightman.

  • A common purpose

    Leader article January 2016

    The English and Welsh education systems may be diverging but both must be shaped by the values of their educators if improvement is to be sustained, say ASCL’s Leora Cruddas and Tim Pratt.

  • Broadening their horizons

    Leader article January 2016

    As the latest research shows, children learn the basics best when they are taught as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, rather than in splendid isolation, says Julie McCulloch.

  • Ofqual recruiting subject experts

    Advice January 2016

    The opportunity to be involved with crucial pieces of work such as the current reform of GCSEs and A and AS levels and the continuing improvement of vocational qualifications is not one to be passed up, with this sort of work frequently seen by experts as excellent CPD.

  • Ofqual update – January 2016

    Advice January 2016

    Ofqual has launched an online consultation about changing the review and appeal systems used by exam boards in England for addressing concerns about a candidate’s GCSE, AS or A level marks. We would urge members to respond to the consultation. The deadline for responses is 11 March.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Condition Improvement Fund

    Advice November 2015

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

  • Calling all maths experts

    Advice November 2015

    The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) is seeking applications from three to four individuals to join an expert panel that will develop a project on the professional development learning journey for all teachers of mathematics.

  • 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.

  • Grants for post-16 education providers

    Advice November 2015

    Schools and colleges are being invited to bid for grants to accelerate improvements in the teaching of English and maths to 16-19 year-olds in further education who do not hold A*-C GCSEs in these subjects.

  • EBacc consultation

    Advice November 2015

    The EBacc consultation of 3 November 2015 sets out the government’s ambition that 90 per cent of students study EBacc subjects.

  • 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.

  • ASCL self evaluation tool

    Advice October 2015

    Following the demise of the Ofsted SEF, many members have asked for a simplified, fit for purpose self-evaluation guide that can be used along with the current inspection framework. We are grateful to consultant Tony Thornley for working with us to develop this tool.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ‘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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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