Blog

Schools Bill U-turn is another fine mess

After the first phase of parliamentary scrutiny of the Schools Bill, the government announced this week that it would be removing several clauses following concerns raised in many quarters, including ASCL. In his latest blog, Geoff Barton outlines why this most inauspicious of starts matters.  

Posted: 01/07/2022 14:25:11
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • MAT
  • Government
  • DfE
  • Blog

Creating a Cohesive Trust: Making sure all schools benefit from being in a MAT

Following their blog in March 2022 highlighting their research on creating a cohesive trust, ASCL Premier Partner Arbor now shares part 2 of their series which includes testimonies from five different MATs on how they’ve built resilience and cohesion in their trusts. 

Posted: 30/06/2022 12:32:26
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Governors and Trustees
  • MAT
  • Trusts
  • Organisational culture
  • Blog

Teacher shortages are the real issue – not strikes

The government’s pitiful record on teachers' pay is directly linked to severe teacher shortages, says Geoff Barton in his latest blog, and the Education Secretary should be focusing on recruitment and retention rather than adding to media speculation on teachers' strikes. 

Posted: 24/06/2022 08:41:26
  • Leadership
  • Pay
  • Teaching
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • DfE
  • Blog
  • Industrial action

One Voice? Many Languages! The value of multilingualism in our modern world (Part 2)

In part 2 of her two-part blog, education policy expert and Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques, Bernardette Holmes MBE, considers the value of multilingualism in education and our communities. 

Posted: 20/06/2022 10:16:16
  • Inclusion
  • Teaching
  • Curriculum
  • MFL
  • Diversity
  • Blog

One Voice? Many Languages! The value of multilingualism in our modern world (Part 1)

In part 1 of her two-part blog, education policy expert and Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques, Bernardette Holmes MBE, considers the value of multilingualism in education and our communities. 

Posted: 20/06/2022 10:12:31
  • Inclusion
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Curriculum
  • MFL
  • Diversity
  • Blog

Is a centralised education system the government’s real priority?

Are we seeing a conspiracy around a centralised education system where there is none? Geoff Barton considers the evidence in his latest blog.  

Posted: 17/06/2022 10:38:29
  • Leadership
  • Funding
  • Governance
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Accountability
  • Inspection
  • MAT
  • Blog

Curriculum for Wales, what’s the point?

With the new Curriculum for Wales beginning in schools from September 2022, ASCL Cymru Director Eithne Hughes argues in her latest blog that qualifications and accountability systems need to support schools' delivery of this ambitious curriculum rather than limiting it.

Posted: 15/06/2022 15:09:44
  • Leadership
  • Funding
  • Cymru
  • Wales
  • Accountability
  • Curriculum
  • Blog

Independent schools and Labour’s plan to end tax exemptions

If Labour wins the next general election, what might that mean for education, and in particular, an ongoing ideological debate? In this week's blog, Geoff Barton shares the results of our recent survey with independent members and their views on the impact on their school if charitable status was removed​.  

Posted: 10/06/2022 09:03:14
  • Leadership
  • Independent
  • Policy
  • Strategy
  • Blog

The Schools Bill: Should we be worried?

Is the list of powers in the Schools Bill a green light for more government meddling, and should we be worried? Geoff Barton considers this question in his weekly blog. 

Posted: 27/05/2022 08:45:55
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Regulations
  • Legislation
  • DfE
  • Blog

A Brief Introduction to Physical Literacy

Following her recent conversation on the Primary Podcast, PE scholar Dr Liz Durden-Myers explains more about the concept, principles and practice of physical literacy in her guest blog.  

Posted: 25/05/2022 09:34:48
  • Curriculum
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Primary
  • Mental Health
  • Early years
  • Blog

Governance of the Future: Getting your MAT board ready

In this guest blog, ASCL Premier Partner OnBoard shares tips and advice on how to get your MAT board ready for the future. 

Posted: 24/05/2022 09:08:12
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Governors and Trustees
  • Planning
  • Strategy
  • Organisational culture
  • Blog

Ofsted, trusts and the shape of things to come

What does the recent schools White Paper mean for inspection? How do we make inspection work better for schools, for colleges, for students, communities and for the taxpayer?  ASCL General Secretary Geoff Barton starts the debate in his weekly blog.

Posted: 20/05/2022 09:10:28
  • Accountability
  • Inspection
  • Ofsted
  • Blog

Student anxiety has emerged as the biggest challenge of exams season

Our member survey published this week showed headteachers reporting significant levels of stress and anxiety among students taking exams this year.  Geoff Barton highlights steps the government should take to tackle the issue. 

Posted: 13/05/2022 09:48:37
  • Funding
  • Assessment
  • Examinations
  • Mental Health
  • Government
  • DfE
  • Blog

GCSEs must be reformed for the sake of pupils’ mental health

Following publication this week of Ofqual's three-year plan, Geoff Barton argues in his latest blog that it's time for a rethink of our outdated GCSE exam system for the sake of pupils' mental health.

Posted: 06/05/2022 08:36:34
  • Assessment
  • Examinations
  • Key Stage 4
  • GCSE
  • Mental Health
  • Ofqual
  • Qualifications
  • Blog

Leaders and teachers have acted while government has served up only platitudes

After a bruising two years, the reality behind the latest attendance statistics is bleak, while the response from ministers is frustratingly tone deaf, says Geoff Barton in his latest blog. 

Posted: 08/04/2022 10:32:13
  • Leadership
  • Examinations
  • Coronavirus
  • Attendance
  • Education recovery
  • DfE
  • Blog
  • Staff absence

Living with Covid and Exams: More questions than answers

Covid and exams: The unanswered questions we’re asking on behalf of school and college leaders. See ASCL Curriculum, Assessment and Inspection Specialist Tom Middlehurst’s blog.

Posted: 01/04/2022 13:52:58
  • Assessment
  • Post-16
  • Health and safety
  • Examinations
  • GCSE
  • A Levels
  • AS Levels
  • BTEC
  • Ofqual
  • Coronavirus
  • Risk assessment
  • Blog

The government must stop taking school and college leaders for granted

Rather than supporting schools and colleges, it sometimes feels like the government is working in opposition to them. This is one of those weeks, says Geoff Barton in his latest blog.

Posted: 01/04/2022 10:57:45
  • Leadership
  • Funding
  • Government
  • Education recovery
  • DfE
  • Strategy
  • Education system
  • Blog

Learning Without Artificial Walls: Stage not age

How can leaders address the attainment gap?  Post-lockdown, Martin Blain, Principal, and his SLT at Canary Wharf College, reconsidered their approach to interventions and teaching to ‘stage not age’. He shares his school’s experiences in his guest blog. 

Posted: 31/03/2022 10:54:19
  • Inclusion
  • Teaching
  • Curriculum
  • Primary
  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Intervention
  • Blog

Creating a Cohesive Trust: What does having a shared culture really mean?

What are the factors which create a successful, shared culture in a MAT? Harriet Cheng of ASCL Premier Partner Arbor shares their latest findings in her guest blog. 

Posted: 28/03/2022 12:00:11
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • MAT
  • Collaboration
  • Strategy
  • Blog

The white paper, academisation and a tidying-up exercise

Ahead of the government’s long-awaited schools white paper, Geoff Barton considers why, after nearly two decades, we’re still trying to sort out academisation.

Posted: 25/03/2022 15:59:36
  • Governance
  • MAT
  • Government
  • DfE
  • Blog