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  • 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.

  • MAT Development and Improvement Fund

    Advice October 2017

    The DfE has just launched a new grant aimed at supporting trusts in improving schools. In order to qualify, trusts must plan to either take into your trust and improve at least two additional schools or form a new MAT of two schools or more and improve them, both within the next 12 months.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted: short inspection consultations

    Advice October 2017

    Ofsted published the outcome of its consultation on the conversion of short inspections in September. Following feedback, Ofsted has now published a second set of proposals and ASCL Inspections and Accountability now provides a summary of the consultation documents.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Removal from sixth form - legal clarification

    Advice September 2017

    Following reports in the media, ASCL’s legal partner Browne Jacobson provides clarification for members.

  • 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.

  • Academies Financial Handbook - 2017 version

    Advice August 2017

    This core document for academies has been reviewed and updated and the revised version published 27 July 2017. ASCL's Business Leadership Specialist Val Andrew provides a summary of the changes.

  • 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.

  • RAISEonline update

    Advice July 2017

    The RAISEonline service will close on Monday 31 July. It is important that you save any data you need from RAISEonline such as school summary reports before this date.

  • 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.

  • Clerking Competency Framework

    Advice April 2017

    The government has published a Clerking Competency Framework, which sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

  • RAISEonline - ASP

    Advice April 2017

    An initial version of the replacement to RAISEonline – Analyse School Performance (ASP) – was published on 21 April. Additional data will continue to be added to the service over the coming months.

  • National Audit Office (NAO) Study: Converting Schools to Academies

    Advice April 2017

    ASCL has been asked to submit views on the DfE’s arrangements for the conversion of schools to academies. NAO studies are very important and we would like as much up-to-date information from members on this as possible. We need to respond to the NAO by Fri 28 April.

  • 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.

  • Key Stage 4 shadow measures

    Advice April 2017

    The DfE has published shadow Attainment 8 data using 2017 points. The information shows how national 2015 to 2016 Attainment 8 scores look when re-calculated using a 2017 point score methodology.

  • 2016 secondary inspection dashboards update

    Advice March 2017

    Inspection dashboards for secondary schools have now been updated in line with validated data.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pilot changes to section 8 short inspection conversions

    Advice February 2017

    Ofsted is currently trialling changes to the way section 8 short inspections are converted to section 5 full inspections. It is emphasised that these do not alter the Common Inspection Framework and the changes only apply to section 8 short inspections which convert to section 5 full inspections.

  • New governance handbook and competency framework

    Advice January 2017

    The DfE has published an updated version of the governance handbook, and a new governance competency framework.

  • Online safety

    Advice January 2017

    The UK Council for Child Internet Safety Education Group has developed guidance for school governors to help governing boards support their school leaders to keep children safe online.

  • Updated Key Stage 4 transition matrices tool with 2016 national figures

    Advice January 2017

    A powerful subject value-added (VA) grid combines DfE transition matrices (TMs) published in December for subjects with the existing pupil-level data already produced for each school by DfE for the exam result data-checking exercise each October.

  • 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.

  • Insurance top-up funding for academies

    Advice December 2016

    Academies eligible to claim top-up funding for their insurance premium can now use the academies funding claim form on GOV.UK for academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17.

  • Academies - submission arrangements for 2015-16 audited accounts

    Advice December 2016

    All academy trusts that have a signed funding agreement during the accounting period to 31 August 2016 must submit audited accounts (annual report, financial statements and auditor’s management letter) for the period ending 31 August 2016 to the EFA.

  • Academies Accounts Return 2015 - 2016

    Advice December 2016

    The accounts return online form is under review and should be available soon. The EFA will be contacting all academy trust accounting officers with instructions for registering and setting up the new online system for their accounts return.

  • Ofsted inspections

    Advice November 2016

    ASCL Inspections and Accountability Specialist Stephen Rollett responds to questions raised by ASCL members regarding Ofsted inspections

  • Ofqual update - November 2016

    Advice November 2016

    Ofqual has announced it is planning to review the guided learning hours assigned to the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification. Information about the teaching time assigned to this qualification has been gathered by Ofsted as part of its general inspection activity since September.

  • Inspiring Governance

    Advice November 2016

    Inspiring Governance connects schools and colleges with skilled volunteers interested in serving as governors and trustees and provides support, advice and guidance to ensure that volunteers newly appointed to boards are able to govern effectively right from the outset.

  • Join the conversation about school inspection

    Advice November 2016

    Ofsted’s National Director, Education Sean Harford has a highly active Twitter account, with much of the conversation centred on Sean’s continuing quest to dispel old myths about Ofsted inspections.

  • 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.

  • Funding for IGCSE Post-16

    Advice October 2016

    The DfE has confirmed that regulated IGCSEs count in the 16-18 performance tables’ English and maths progress measure.

  • Progress 8 scores available in data checking exercise

    Advice September 2016

    The DfE has made 2016 data available. Schools’ provisional Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores are included. These provisional figures will be published nationally in October.

  • Updated DfE guidance: Children Missing Education

    Advice September 2016

    Following the consultation on children missing education, the DfE has revised the ‘Children Missing Education’ statutory guidance.

  • GCSE results - Ofqual analysis

    Advice September 2016

    Ofqual has published analysis of this year’s GCSE results.

  • DfE Statement of Intent

    Advice September 2016

    The DfE has published the statement of intent that outlines the full list of performance measures to be included in the primary, secondary and 16-18 performance tables for 2016, which will be published in the 2016/17 academic year.

  • Outstanding Governance Awards

    September 2016

    The national awards for outstanding governance are now open. These biennial awards celebrate the unique and inspiring contribution that school governors, trustees and clerks make every single day in schools around the country.

  • Exam Results Helpline

    Advice August 2016

    The DfE will be opening its Exam Results Helpline on Thursday 18 August.

  • System leadership study

    Advice July 2016

    The '7 System Leadership Study' is an international, comparative research project focusing upon leadership development and leadership practice.

  • 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.

  • Entries to BTECs report

    July 2016

    Pearson has launched a new report that it has developed with the Social Market Foundation (SMF). The report looks at trends in entries to BTEC, drawing on data from the National Pupil Database, as well as a series of interviews with headteachers and a poll of parents.

  • Academies Financial Handbook

    Advice July 2016

    The 2016 edition of the Academies Financial Handbook has been published on the DfE website.

  • Rapid school improvement

    Advice July 2016

    The Education Development Trust has published a report on Rapid School Improvement. The report is important reading material for all school leaders and policy makers in England.

  • Ofsted myth-busting information

    June 2016

    Ofsted is running a campaign – #OfstedMyths – as part of its aim to dispel myths that surround school inspections and reduce unnecessary teacher workload.

  • 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

  • Do you work with international leadership organisations?

    Advice June 2016

    ASCL is keen to build strong relationships with organisations focused on school leadership in other countries, or similar organisations with international remits.

  • 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.

  • Have your say on school governance

    Advice May 2016

    The NGA has once again joined forces with TES to survey the nation's governors, trustees and headteachers, with over 5,800 taking part in 2015.

  • Urgent update for ASCL members in ATT academies

    Advice May 2016

    The Academies Transformation Trust (ATT) has proposed cuts to a substantial proportion of the finance, estates, and HR jobs and resources in its schools. ASCL is extremely concerned that under their proposal, a number of ATT staff face losing their jobs or being downgraded to lower paid roles.

  • 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.

  • Updated Key Stage 4 transition matrices tool with 2015 national figures

    Advice April 2016

    A powerful subject value-added (VA) grid can be calculated by combining DfE transition matrices (TMs) for subjects with the existing pupil-level data already produced for each school by DfE for the exam result data-checking exercise each October and updated in January.

  • Every School an Academy : The White Paper Proposals

    Advice April 2016

    Following the Chancellor's announcement in his Budget statement of 16 March 2016 and the subsequent publication of the White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere, the House of Commons has published a briefing paper Every School an Academy: The White Paper Proposals.

  • What the White Paper means for you and your school

    Advice March 2016

    On 17 March 2016 we issued a special newsletter on the government's Budget announcements and following publication of their White Paper: Educational excellence everywhere.

  • Progress reports

    Leader article March 2016

    Marie Cordey highlights the trends emerging from Ofsted full and short inspections since the new framework was introduced last September.

  • We’re in this together

    Leader article March 2016

    ASCL Director of Policy Leora Cruddas looks at the different roles played by inspection and peer review in a self-improving system and examines three peer review models.

  • 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.

  • Inspections update - March 16

    Advice March 2016

    The latest issue of Osted's School Inspection Update is now out.

  • New DfE guidance for academies

    Advice March 2016

    The DfE has produced new guidance and application forms for academies wishing to make significant changes to their school (such as expanding, merging with another academy or changing the school's age range or faith).

  • New governance regulations

    Advice March 2016

    The government has published the new School Governance (Constitution and Federations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

  • 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.

  • How governors should and do influence strategy

    Advice February 2016

    Governors are meant to be the strategic decision makers for their schools. However, there is a lack of clarity around what this means.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New Ofsted myth busting information

    Advice January 2016

    Ofsted has updated its website to include the latest myth busting information on inspections.

  • 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.

  • Storm Warning

    Leader article January 2016

    Julia Harnden looks at what the outcome of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review means for education and how schools can navigate the choppy waters ahead.

  • Improvements to Progress 8 and Attainment 8 reporting

    Advice January 2016

    Three small but important changes have been made to the RAISEonline interactive reporting of Progress 8 and Attainment 8.

  • 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.

  • Schools Together – Independent State Schools Partnership

    January 2016

    A new website has been setup by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and the DfE to celebrate and encourage partnership projects between independent schools, state schools and local communities.

  • Looking for governors (or volunteers) for your school or college?

    Advice January 2016

    Inspiring Governors is a new service that allows you to find people for free who are interested in serving as a governor. Many of the volunteers are highly skilled professionals in areas such as in finance, law, HR and marketing.

  • New Ofsted guidance

    Advice December 2015

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

  • New Governors Handbook

    Advice December 2015

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

  • Parent View

    Advice November 2015

    ASCL has been working closely with Ofsted to ensure that Parent View is as helpful as possible for members.

  • 'First entry' definition changed for BTEC Firsts

    Advice November 2015

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

  • 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.

  • Coasting Schools Consultation

    Guidance paper November 2015

    This guidance paper is relevant to senior and system leaders in maintained schools in England. It outlines the DfE’s proposed definition of a ‘coasting’ school and details the consultation process.

  • 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.

  • RAISEonline data on disadvantaged pupils

    Advice October 2015

    As a result of pressure from ASCL, the DfE has published Key Stage 4 transition matrices for disadvantaged pupils for 2011- 2014 within RAISEonline. Data for 2015 will be published in early February.

  • 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.

  • Summary of the new Inspection Framework for September 2015

    Advice September 2015

    ASCL Inspections Specialist Suzanne O’Farrell has compiled a summary of the main changes to the Inspection Framework.

  • Summary of the Key Changes to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document 2015 and 2014

    Guidance paper September 2015

    Pay progression linked to performance for all pay progression has been in place for all teaching staff since September 2013.

  • Brief encounters

    Leader article September 2015

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

  • Summary: Academies Financial Handbook 2015

    Advice September 2015

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

  • ‘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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