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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.

  • Exam dates 2019

    Advice January 2019

    A reminder to members about the earlier start this year to GCSE and A level external exams, and about the exam contingency day.

  • 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.

  • Reception Baseline Assessment

    Advice March 2019

    In response to the 2017 primary assessment consultation, the government announced plans to introduce a statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) in autumn 2020. The government will use it as the baseline for measuring the progress primary schools make with their pupils.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Free resources for deaf children using English as an additional language

    Advice February 2019

    The National Deaf Children’s Society, together with The Bell Foundation, have produced a booklet and a short video to help teachers and education professionals address the challenges faced by deaf children using English as an additional language.

  • Update on new multiplication check for Year 4 pupils

    Advice November 2018

    The government has released an update on the development of the new multiplication check for Year 4 pupils, to be introduced from the 2019/20 academic year.

  • New free resource kit to support learning about pollution

    Advice April 2019

    A new free resource kit for primary schools aims to help children learn about plastic pollution in our waterways and explore the concept of the circular economy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Alcohol awareness resources

    Advice March 2019

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Digital skills programme

    Advice June 2019

    A new digital skills programme is being made available to secondary schools across the UK to improve young people’s understanding of tech, build their digital skills and encourage them to explore a future career in technology.

  • 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.

  • Information leaflet: Changes to statutory teacher assessment

    Advice April 2019

    The DfE has produced a leaflet recapping for schools, the changes to statutory teacher assessment from the 2018/19 academic year.

  • 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.

  • Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the SEND sector

    Advice July 2019

    Gatsby, in collaboration with Disability Rights UK and The Careers & Enterprise Company, have released a new publication on using the Gatsby Benchmarks with young people with SEND.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New Change4Life teaching resources to help pupils cut back on sugar

    Advice January 2019

    Public Health England has developed dedicated English and maths teaching resources for primary schools across England, to help pupils and their families understand how much sugar is in their food and drink. It will also teach them about making healthier swaps to reduce their sugar intake.

  • Progress 8 toolkit

    Advice February 2019

    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.

  • Funding for international exchanges for schools

    Advice January 2019

    The DfE is providing £2.5 million to enable young people to take part in international exchanges and visits, in a programme delivered in partnership with the British Council.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Gresham College's free lectures: school booking introduced

    Advice July 2019

    Gresham College’s free lectures have helped students with career choices, been useful for ‘stretch and challenge’ and featured in students’ EPQs (Extended Project Qualifications).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • Research on the impact of career talks on GCSE results

    Advice July 2019

    Research conducted by the UK based charity Education and Employers has for the first time in England demonstrated a link between young people’s engagement with the world of work through career talks and their GCSE attainment, by using a Randomised Control Trial (RCT).

  • 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.

  • Analyse school performance (ASP) update - March 2019

    Advice March 2019

    KS4 revised data for 2018 and revised Destinations (after KS4) for 2017, is now available in ASP.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Call for evidence: JCQ Independent Commission into malpractice in the UK assessment system

    Advice February 2019

    As part of the programme of evidence gathering for the Commission on Examination Malpractice, the Commission would like your views and is asking if members can complete a short survey.

  • Ofqual updates - April 2019

    Advice April 2019

    Updates from Ofqual: Exams officers, consultation, and exam pressure and test anxiety resources.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Curriculum reforms

    Advice January 2018

    UCAS has produced a useful guide to qualification reforms in the UK. The guide is intended to provide a high-level overview of what is happening throughout the UK for HE providers, teachers and advisers and contains videos and factsheets.

  • New DfE guidance on schools causing concern

    Advice January 2018

    The DfE has published new guidance on schools causing concern – guidance for local authorities and Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) on how to work with schools to support improvements to educational performance, and on using their intervention powers.

  • Change4Life free resources

    Advice July 2019

    The latest Change4Life with Disney resource packs have now launched.

  • National Reference Test 2019

    Advice October 2018

    Schools chosen for the National Reference Test (NRT) in 2019 are being contacted this term. The NRT measures students’ attainment over time in English and maths and provides additional evidence that Ofqual and exam boards will take into account when setting grade boundaries.

  • 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.

  • Teacher Effect

    Advice June 2019

    The DfE is encouraging teachers to tell their own stories about teaching and celebrate the effect they have on their colleagues, students and the communities around them.

  • Teacher Development Fund call for applications

    Advice November 2018

    Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund supports arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom. It aims to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum, by supporting teachers and school leaders to develop their skills, knowledge, confidence and experience.

  • New Special Educational Needs Code of Practice

    Advice July 2014

    The DfE has produced a PowerPoint presentation that schools may want to use in governor/staff training or to provide information for parents/carers about the new SEN Code of Practice.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Trans guidance focus groups

    Advice April 2019

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission is inviting ASCL members to participate in two-hour focus groups to discuss the commission’s new trans guidance for primary and secondary schools, based on the Equality Act 2010. They will be held in Cardiff, Manchester and London.

  • 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.

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