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  • Commonwealth Education Pack

    Advice February 2018

    The DfE has recently published its Commonwealth 2018 Classroom Education pack. The free resource has been designed in collaboration with the British Council and Commonwealth Secretariat.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Download the new FFT/ASCL 2017 KS4 school dashboard

    Advice November 2017

    Schools subscribing to FFT now have access to a full national analysis of their 2017 KS4 results. This year's reports include Attainment 8, Progress 8 and the new DfE 9-1 point score measures, together with results re-calculated from previous years.

  • 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.

  • Schools financial efficiency: Metric tool

    Advice April 2018

    The DfE has recently updated the guidance and methodology relating to the Metric Tool which includes 2015 and 2016 data.

  • Provisional exam timetables for summer 2019

    Advice April 2018

    AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC have released a joint provisional timetable for GCSE, AS and A level exams for summer 2019 via JCQ. The common timetable, which you can view here, captures the exam boards' plans for next year.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ofqual consultation on GCSE computer science

    Advice November 2017

    Ofqual has announced a change to the way GCSE computer science will be assessed for this year’s Year 11 students and has launched a consultation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Oxford University launches free digital outreach portal

    Advice December 2017

    Oxford University has launched an innovative new digital outreach portal aimed at engaging students aged 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom.

  • National Cyber Security Centre CyberFirst courses

    Advice May 2018

    The National Cyber Security Centre is running free, short residential and non-residential CyberFirst courses this summer for 14 to 17 year-olds, designed to introduce young people to the world of cyber security.

  • 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.

  • Edexcel A level maths exam - June 2018

    Advice June 2018

    We are aware of the allegations of malpractice or wrongdoing in relation to Edexcel’s A level C4 maths paper taken on 22 June 2018. ASCL is in discussions with Ofqual seeking urgent clarification of the situation.

  • Careers guidance

    Advice January 2018

    The DfE has published new statutory guidance for schools on careers guidance and access for education and training providers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Updated Ofsted handbooks and ‘myths’ guidance - including the EBacc

    Advice July 2018

    Ofsted has published an updated school inspection handbook for Section 5 (full) inspections and Section 8 inspections, ready to start in September 2018.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A level reform

    Advice March 2014

    Ofqual has announced that there is a change to the timeline for A level reform.

  • Progress 8 toolkit

    Advice February 2018

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GCSE Early Entry Guidance for Schools

    Advice May 2014

    The DfE published a guidance paper on the rules around early entry in March 2014.

  • 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.

  • Careers guidance for colleges

    Advice February 2018

    The DfE has published new guidance for further education colleges and sixth form colleges on how to provide independent careers guidance.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Anti-fraud lesson plans

    Advice October 2018

    Together with PSHE Association, and Economic education, Cifas, the fraud prevention organisation, has created four Anti-Fraud Education lesson plans with accompanying resources. The lesson plans are aimed at 11-16 year-olds and cover Key Stages 3 and 4.

  • 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.

  • Careers guidance briefings

    Advice February 2018

    Following the launch of the governments new Careers Strategy and statutory guidance, the Careers & Enterprise Company is running a series of briefings entitled, Implementing the Careers Strategy: A Careers and Enterprise Company Briefing for senior leaders.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Condition Improvement Fund

    Advice November 2015

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ‘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.

  • A level developments

    Advice March 2014

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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:

  • The Careers and Enterprise Fund 2018

    Advice June 2018

    The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2018 (CEF2018) is inviting bids for grant funding.

  • 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.

  • Maths premium guide

    Advice July 2018

    The ESFA has updated the advanced maths premium guide on gov.uk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • STEM careers showcase

    Advice March 2018

    On 24 May 2018, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is holding a STEM Careers Showcase specifically for girls aged from 11-15 years.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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