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  • New governance regulations

    Advice March 2016

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

  • To grade or not to grade?

    Leader article December 2014

    Tony Thornley shares his insights into what an outstanding school looks like and why best practice demands more than ticking Ofsted’s boxes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What’s your vision? The importance of strong governance

    Leader article April 2015

    Emma Knights explores how schools can strengthen their improvement strategies and highlights the central role strong governance has to play in raising 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tables Checking Exercise

    Advice October 2018

    The window to check the results of pupils opened on 27 September. Measures published in performance tables are based on this data so ensuring it is correct it vital. Schools see their provisional Attainment 8 and Progress 8 results as part of this exercise.

  • 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.

  • Leading and Governing Groups of Schools

    Guidance paper March 2015

    This guidance is for senior leaders, governors and trustees who are considering growing their stand-alone academy trust or establishing a multi-academy trust (MAT) or federation. It is intended to be a general guide, not a comprehensive list covering every consideration.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Sixth-form scrutiny

    Leader article February 2015

    How are inspectors awarding the new numerical grade for sixth forms? Suzanne O’Farrell digs into the detail.

  • Removal from sixth form - legal clarification

    Advice September 2017

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GCSE results - Ofqual analysis

    Advice September 2016

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Accountability Measures

    Policy paper June 2015

    Accountability is the obligation of an individual and organisation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.

  • 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.

  • Inspections update

    Advice January 2015

    Ofsted has published Issue 1 of the School Inspection Update, which is guidance for inspectors and details key areas of focus such as IAG, SMSC, governance, outcomes for groups, and disqualification by association, warning notices and the 2014 performance measures.

  • 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.

  • Early estimates for Progress 8

    Advice September 2018

    Following another extensive collaboration exercise between schools, SISRA has kindly allowed ASCL to publish early estimates for Attainment 8 (A8) overall and the respective elements. The estimates are based on the results of around 185,000 pupils.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What governing boards should expect from school leaders and what school leaders should expect from governing boards

    Guidance paper April 2015

    This joint paper aims to improve the effectiveness of school governance; underpinning it is an expectation that governing boards and school leaders will jointly develop effective working practices which are mutually supportive and respectful of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A lighter touch

    Leader article September 2014

    Suzanne O’Farrell looks at the changes to Ofsted inspections being introduced this year ahead of a new framework in September 2015.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted: Schools inspection policy FAQs

    Advice February 2014

    Ofsted has produced a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which focus mainly on the judgements around the quality of teaching and progress and these can be found on the Ofsted website.

  • Does your governing board or clerk make a significant impact on your school?

    Advice September 2018

    The Outstanding Governance Awards 2019 are the only national awards that celebrate school governors, trustees and clerks.

  • 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.

  • Changes to Ofsted inspections in the Midlands

    Advice June 2014

    As of 9 June, Ofsted will be piloting a change to inspections in the Midlands.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • A lighter touch - inspections

    Leader article April 2015

    Schools rated ‘good’ are the focus of the most important change to the Ofsted framework this year with more emphasis on professional dialogue.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Updated Ofsted guidance

    Advice July 2014

    HMCI, Sir Michael Wilshaw has written a letter to all schools

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Updated Key Stage 4 transition matrices tool with 2017 national figures

    Advice February 2018

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

  • Creating the perfect mix - leading and governing groups of schools

    Leader article May 2015

    Hard partnerships between schools are likely to proliferate in the next few years so what basic principles should they be built on? Leora Cruddas explains ASCL’s guidance.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Non-statutory guidance on statutory school policies

    Advice May 2014

    The Department for Education has published non-statutory guidance to help schools understand their statutory obligations and duties.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Inspections – What’s the outcome?

    Leader article October 2014

    Individual lesson grades have been dropped, so now inspectors are gathering evidence from a range of activities and lesson observations to judge the quality of teaching. Suzanne O’Farrell examines the implications.

  • Impact is what counts

    Leader article December 2014

    Workload pressures in schools are exacerbated by the often arbitrary demands of ‘compliance’, says Brian Lightman. The government needs to recognise the fact and take a grown-up approach to accountability and inspection.

  • Regional School Commissioners

    Advice April 2014

    The DfE has announced the names of six of the recently appointed Regional School Commissioners.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted update

    Advice February 2014

    Ofsted has issued guidance to inspectors – Why do Ofsted inspectors observe individual lessons and how do they evaluate teaching in schools? – stating that when observing lessons, they should not give an overall grade for the lesson and nor should teachers expect one.

  • Changes to point scores for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 in 2017

    Advice April 2015

    Progress 8 and Attainment 8 will be introduced as new headline measures in 2016, or 2015 for those schools which choose to opt in early.

  • ASCL self evaluation tool

    Advice April 2018

    Building on previous self-evaluation (SEF) tools created by consultant Tony Thornley, ASCL’s Inspection & Accountability Specialist, Stephen Rollett has developed an April 2018 (SEF 2018) update to ASCL's framework of SEF tools to support school leaders.

  • Combined English/English Literature discounting in performance tables

    Advice November 2014

    Despite strong and prolonged discussion with ASCL, the DfE has refused to reverse its decision to discount English and English Literature GCSE exams. While this affects a minority of schools, we know that some will be very seriously disadvantaged in the performance tables.

  • 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.

  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 - statutory guidance for schools

    Advice March 2015

    New guidance on disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 and disqualification by association has now been published by the DfE. This replaces the guidance published in October 2014.

  • 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.

  • Ofsted clarification on inspection

    Advice October 2014

    Ofsted have published a new document, ‘Ofsted inspection - clarification for schools’.

  • Ofsted inspectors: South East England

    Advice July 2017

    The Ofsted Director for the South East is keen to recruit some recently retired heads, or those who will be retiring in the next year or so to train and work as Ofsted inspectors. Ofsted is keen to increase the number of inspectors who are current headteachers or who have recently retired.

  • 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

  • Performance tables, discounting rules and implications for current Year 10 and 11 students

    Advice February 2015

    We have received a number of queries from schools where students will take English language, literature or maths in summer 2016, when they are in Year 10 (or even Year 9).

  • GCSE dance and drama

    Advice March 2014

    The DfE has announced that it has reviewed its decision that dance and drama should discount against each other in performance tables.

  • Ofsted inspections

    Advice November 2016

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

  • Powers of intervention

    Leader article September 2014

    Events towards the end of the last school year have made the basis and extent of powers of intervention in schools of greater interest, as Leora Cruddas explains.

  • Changes to accountability

    Advice January 2014

    The DfE has announced changes to the new Progress 8 measure, particularly relating to the role of English literature and to estimating school performance.

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