June 2016

NEWS AND GUIDANCE

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News and guidance

In the news

ASCL has been quoted widely in the media over the recent period on a range of issues. Expand

ASCL has been quoted widely in the media over the recent period on a range of issues.

ASCL Annual Conference attracted widespread media coverage. We featured on BBC Breakfast on both mornings. On the Friday, an ASCL/Policy Exchange joint paper on teacher supply published to coincide with the start of conference was covered and included an interview with ASCL’s Director of Policy and Public Relations Leora Cruddas. The paper contained a series of essays setting out new ideas to boost teacher supply in order to address the severe recruitment difficulties affecting schools and colleges. It was also reported in The Guardian, TES and many other publications.

On the Saturday, a survey on children’s mental health and wellbeing conducted by ASCL and the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) was featured, including an interview with ASCL Parliamentary Specialist Anna Cole. The survey raised concerns about the difficulty in obtaining mental health care from local services for students who need specialist support and cutbacks in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in many areas of the country. The findings were also reported in several national and local newspapers and websites, including BBC News Online and The Daily Telegraph.

We also released the results of a survey on funding that showed the damage being caused by the financial pressures on schools and colleges and called for greater investment in education. This was covered by a large number of newspapers and websites and formed the basis of a feature in TES magazine, published on the first day of our Annual Conference. Earlier in the week, we also published the results of a survey that showed the impact of the teacher recruitment crisis, which also received widespread publicity.

In addition to coverage of Annual Conference, ASCL’s responses to the government’s education white paper and Budget announcements on education were covered by a large number of newspapers and websites, including The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Schools Week, The Independent, Daily Mirror and Sky News.

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ASCL Influence

Here is just a small selection of the meetings and lobbying activity that senior ASCL officers have been involved with on your behalf and, in particular, we have highlighted areas where ASCL has had a direct influence on policy. Expand

Here is just a small selection of the meetings and lobbying activity that senior ASCL officers have been involved with on your behalf and, in particular, we have highlighted areas where ASCL has had a direct influence on policy.
White paper: ASCL Council on 21-22 April in Sheffield discussed extensively the government’s White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere and resolved a number of responses.

Academisation

ASCL disagrees with the policy of compulsory academisation as outlined in the white paper. We ask for a streamlining and reduction of bureaucratic burdens on academy trusts related to both conversion and financial reporting, and propose that the cost of academisation should be borne by the Treasury and not taken from the education budget.

Replacing Qualified

Teacher Status (QTS) The white paper proposes to replace QTS “with a stronger, more challenging accreditation based on a teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, as judged by great schools.” ASCL believes the policy will only achieve its aims if the new training model is properly funded.

Teacher supply

The DfE should engage fully with ASCL to determine an effective recruitment and retention strategy to deal with the teacher and leadership supply crisis.

Alternative provision (AP)

ASCL supports the need for high-quality AP. However, we have concerns about the lack of clarity in the white paper over a proposal for mainstream schools to remain accountable for the education of pupils in AP and systems for obtaining and commissioning high-quality provision.

Achieving Excellence Areas

ASCL welcomes the focus on areas of disadvantage. We urge the government to connect social policy and education policy in these areas and draw on lessons learned from existing successful programmes.

Year 7 re-sits

The white paper proposes re-sits in Year 7 for those pupils “who have not achieved the expected standards” at the end of Key Stage 2. ASCL is in total opposition to this proposal. Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe and Director of Policy and Public Relations Leora Cruddas have urged the Secretary of State’s special adviser and the head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, in recent meetings, that the government should relax the compulsory requirement when it brings forward its white paper proposals. In addition, ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe has met with Lucy Powell, Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He was able to stress the ASCL position that schools should not be forced to become academies. Malcolm gained support from her on the need for the government to address the teacher shortage crisis and to campaign for sufficient funding for our schools and colleges. In a wide-ranging discussion, he also explained the ASCL position with regards to curriculum and qualifications reform, the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), and vocational education.

Additional areas of influence…

School business leaders and managers’ pay

Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe wrote to the Secretary of State Nicky Morgan to voice the association’s concerns over the pay levels of school business leaders and business managers. There are particular issues in the maintained school sector where ‘single status’ is being used to set the salary levels at unacceptably low levels. The letter was copied to the Minister of State Sam Gyimah and was also discussed with him at a meeting. For more on this issue, read the article on page 28 by ASCL Business Leadership Specialist Val Andrew.

The Foundation for Leadership in Education 

We were pleased to see specific reference in the education white paper to the Foundation for Leadership in Education and a commitment from the government to work with the foundation to develop a long-term strategy for leadership qualifications. Independent Chair of the Foundation Sir Michael Barber, Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe and ASCL Immediate Past President Dr Peter Kent hosted a dinner with the Secretary of State Nicky Morgan to discuss the foundation, in particular the leadership pipeline, pathways and professional learning.

The Leading Women’s Alliance

The government’s white paper also specifically acknowledges the work of the Leading Women’s Alliance. It commits to support the creation of a Women in Education network to further support women with career progression, helping to overcome unconscious discrimination, sharing effective practice, and coaching and mentoring. The white paper commits to work with ASCL, #WomenEd and with schools already leading the way to ensure that this provision does not duplicate existing support for women in education. The Leading Women’s Alliance is an alliance of leadership and academic organisations, including ASCL, The Future Leaders Trust, University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE) and #WomenEd and schools (Mulberry School for Girls and Hackney Teaching Schools Alliance). The alliance aims to encourage and empower more women to become headteachers. ASCL Leadership and Teacher Professionalism Specialist Carol Jones is a founding member and chair of the alliance. For updates follow @LeadingWomenHT

Meetings with HMCI and ministers

Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe also met with Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education Sir Michael Wilshaw to discuss with him concerns over teacher supply and the need to press the DfE for urgent and sustained action on this issue. Malcolm also asserted how important it is for HMCI to help build up public confidence in the education system, indicating that generalised comments about specific areas of the country did not help. They also discussed the need to have confident leadership of our schools.

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Trade union subscription

Currently, under the ‘check-off process’, employees who are union members have their subscriptions taken directly from their salary. Expand

Currently, under the ‘check-off process’, employees who are union members have their subscriptions taken directly from their salary. The check-off process was introduced at a time when many people did not have bank accounts and direct debits or digital payments were not a convenient and secure way of transferring money.

Under the Trade Union Bill 2015–16, the change is aimed at modernising the payment process and moving away from using public resources to administer the collection of trade union subscriptions. This move also aims to give employees greater control over their subscription, allowing them to set up their own direct debit with their chosen trade union, and giving them greater consumer protection under the Direct Debit Guarantee.

The process has already been abolished in some central government departments and academies and local authorities are the next priority. The Trade Union Bill is yet to be finalised, but it is likely to come into effect during this summer term. As a result, schools will need to be prepared and ensure there is not a break in union subscriptions.

You do not need to meet with all unions, but this may be an approach you would like to take, depending on union relations and whether your school has an obligation under any Recognition Agreements. We would advise that schools decide an approach and then


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Changes to term dates and length of school day

In the 2016 Budget, it was announced that up to £285 million a year would be provided by the government to give 25 per cent of secondary schools increased opportunity to extend their school day. Expand

In the 2016 Budget, it was announced that up to £285 million a year would be provided by the government to give 25 per cent of secondary schools increased opportunity to extend their school day. The White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, echoed this, stating that this funding would enable schools to include a wider range of activities, such as sport, arts and debating.

Current legislation provides that local authority maintained schools must open for at least 190 days during a school year and that the local authority determines term dates in community, voluntary-controlled, community special and maintained nursery schools. Schedule 16 of the Deregulation Act 2015 will change this position so that the school’s governing body will be able to set the dates of their own terms and their own school day – reflecting the position for foundation, voluntary-aided and foundation special schools. Academies and free schools also set their own term dates and school day, although this reportedly remains one of the least used academy freedoms.

The House of Commons recent report confirmed that extending the school day would be voluntary for schools but compulsory for the pupils.

Commenting on the announcement, ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said, “It is highly divisive that the funding will only be available to 25 per cent of secondary schools as this will potentially disadvantage children at the three quarters of schools which miss out.

“Many schools already provide after-school activities so we also need to understand how this new provision will be differentiated from the existing provision and what will be expected of schools.” Read Malcolm’s full response here www.ascl.org.uk/news/after-school-activities


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Admissions appeals

For many schools, the summer term brings with it the need to attend admission appeals and set out the reasons why the school cannot admit all the pupils who may have wanted to attend the school. Expand

For many schools, the summer term brings with it the need to attend admission appeals and set out the reasons why the school cannot admit all the pupils who may have wanted to attend the school.

In preparing for the appeals, it is necessary to produce a statement setting out the school’s case for the appeal panel – the prejudice statement. This document sets out all the reasons why the school cannot admit further pupils and is the most important document for the school in the appeals process. As a minimum, the prejudice statement should cover: 

l school background – ethos, admission policy, numbers on roll, capacity, published admission number (PAN) (and reasons why exceeded – appeals and fair access admissions) 

l resources – staff numbers, teaching accommodation, classroom sizes in general and specialist rooms, social areas; set out whether there have been recent changes to resources available and impact on admissions 

l the problems caused by further admissions – reduced performance/ outcomes, less individual time, stress for staff, overcrowding in lessons (especially in specialist areas) and social times (dining rooms and so forth) and associated health and safety concerns, problems accessing school facilities including toilets

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Improving behaviour

A recent High Court case involving a school has highlighted the need for compliance with the procedural safeguards in place to support pupils who are directed to attend alternative provision to improve their behaviour. Expand

A recent High Court case involving a school has highlighted the need for compliance with the procedural safeguards in place to support pupils who are directed to attend alternative provision to improve their behaviour. While the case only directly applies to maintained schools, given the reference to DfE guidance on the issue that is stated to be good practice for academies, it will be useful for all schools to put in place the minimum procedures to avoid challenge. The judge found issues with the school’s approach in certain key areas:

l The power to direct attendance at alternative provision to improve behaviour rests with the governing body. That power can be exercised by the headteacher under their duty to manage the school on a day-to-day basis but cannot be further delegated. Therefore, evidence of delegation from governors is required in case of challenge.

l Parents must be given notice of the directed attendance at alternative provision, which must set out certain prescribed details (address, contact person and so forth) alongside the reasons why this alternative provision is able to meet the assessed needs of the pupil. The reasons are necessary to show that the decision taken is a reasonable one.

l The placement needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure the objectives of the placement are being met and that it remains appropriate. Parents must be involved in the review process and provided with outcome letters following the review.

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Latest RAISE, Progress 8 and Transition Matrices information

ASCL member David Blow has provided a summary of the latest important updates in RAISE ( Expand

ASCL member David Blow has provided a summary of the latest important updates in RAISE (including Inspection Dashboard) and Progress 8 guidance. Slides from David’s recent keynote at our Leadership of Assessment – Advanced Conference in February are also provided. David has also once again kindly updated the Key Stage 4 transition matrices tool following the DfE validated data that became available from last January. See the updated information on the ASCL website at www.ascl.org.uk/progress-8-toolkit

CPD In addition, you may be interested in attending the ASCL PD – Getting to grips with Accountability Measures: Leadership of Data Autumn Conferences 2016, in September. For more details or to book your place, see here www.ascl.org.uk/leadership-of-data

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Are you retiring this August?

Are you looking to take pension benefits from 6 April to 31 August 2016? If so, you may need to apply for protection. Expand

Are you looking to take pension benefits from 6 April to 31 August 2016? If so, you may need to apply for protection. Following the 2015 Budget, the government announced that the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) will reduce from £1.25 million to £1 million with effect from 6 April 2016 (further information is provided in the ASCL guidance paper www.ascl.org.uk/gp/pensions-tax-liability).

In section 5 of their Newsletter 73, HMRC has advised that the legislation for both the reduction in the LTA and the protection regimes (fixed protection 2016 (FP2016) and individual protection 2016 (IP2016)), will be delivered in the Finance Bill 2016, and thus scheme members cannot apply for protection until after April 2016. However, the new online self-service scheme is not available until July 2016. 

From April to July 2016, Teachers’ Pensions has introduced an interim process for pension scheme members who want to take benefits before the introduction of the new online service. If you require protection or if you are not sure how to find out if this applies to you, see here www.ascl.org.uk/are-you-retiring-thisaugust for more information.

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Associate membership

Retirement need not mean the end of your involvement with ASCL. Expand

Retirement need not mean the end of your involvement with ASCL. We have valued your membership and hope you feel the same. By becoming an associate member, you can continue to enjoy many of the benefits of ASCL membership at a reduced cost.

Associates continue to receive ASCL publications, including Leader and a regular associates newsletter and can access our website www.ascl.org.uk There is representation through an elected Associates’ Committee, an annual reunion lunch and committee involvement at local level. Associates also have the chance to give something back through the Associates Voluntary Service, which offers assistance and support to members still in post.

Associate membership is available either by payment annually or by a one-off payment for a lifetime subscription. Join as an associate member today and find out more about how we can support you in retirement – see online for more details www.ascl.org.uk/why-join/associate-membership

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Schools causing concern: Government response

The government has now published its response to the consultation undertaken last year on intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools ( Expand

The government has now published its response to the consultation undertaken last year on intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools (see the response online at http://tinyurl.com/hkhnn9g). At the same time, the government has issued revised statutory guidance for local authorities and Regional School Commissioners (RSCs), the title of which remains ‘Schools Causing Concern (Guidance)’ (see here http://tinyurl.com/o3ukh3w). This now covers intervention in both maintained schools and academies. The guidance came into effect from 18 April 2016, which is also when the majority of the provisions of the Education and Adoption Act came into force.

The consultation response and guidance answer a number of questions surrounding the new school intervention regime.

First, with regard to coasting schools, it is clarified that no school will be formally labelled as coasting until 2017. The regulations that provide a legal definition of coasting will be finalised in the autumn but the consultation response document includes a firmed-up definition that we expect will become law and it answers some of the questions around the previous illustrative definition. It is also confirmed that, for the time being, the coasting intervention measures will not apply to special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs).

The guidance fleshes out the matters that an RSC should take into account in determining the appropriate course of action for any coasting school or academy.

There is mention of considering the school ‘in the round’ and a suggestion that where a school’s data is skewered by, for example, a high number of pupils who have special educational needs (SEN), the RSC will take this into account. The guidance also sets out the range of actions that an RSC could take in intervening in a coasting school or academy. The guidance provides more detail on how sponsors of schools becoming an academy should fulfil their new statutory duty to communicate information to parents about their plans for improving the school. This communication must occur before the conversion. There is a fair amount of flexibility for sponsors in terms of how they meet this duty but they will need to draw a clear distinction between meeting this duty and running a formal consultation.

In relation to warning notices, the guidance provides some ‘objective indicators’ for local authorities and RSCs to consider in determining whether a school is demonstrating ‘low standards of performance’.

From 18 April, we know that all inadequate maintained schools will receive an Academy Order and that all existing academies’ funding agreements will essentially be amended by statute to provide the RSCs with consistent intervention powers for any underperforming academies. However, further changes are also on the horizon. The government has suggested that regulations will be passed in the next few to months to apply the general intervention powers (not including the coasting intervention powers) to pupil referral units. In addition, the contents of the recent white paper hover in the background. If those plans are implemented, the sections of the guidance that apply to maintained schools will be completely redundant by 2022.

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Baseline assessments

The DfE has announced that reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress following a comparability study. Expand

The DfE has announced that reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress following a comparability study.

Commenting on the announcement, ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said, “We are pleased that the current approach to baseline assessments is being reconsidered. It was too narrow a way of assessing the ability of young children and having different assessment methods in different schools was muddled.

“We are wary of formal assessment at such a young age, however ‘light touch’ it may be, and favour an approach which utilises the informal assessment carried out by schools and teachers. The government needs to talk more to school leaders about what assessments would work effectively with such young children.”

In addition, read the blog by ASCL Primary and Governance Specialist Julie McCulloch – Baseline assessment: jubilation, schadenfreude, frustration… and optimism, online at www.ascl.org.uk/blog/ baseline-assessment

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New law on governor DBS checks

New legislation has come into force that requires enhanced Disclosure Barring Service ( Expand

New legislation has come into force that requires enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checks to be undertaken in relation to all governors of maintained schools.

The governing body must apply for an enhanced DBS certificate for any governor of a maintained school appointed on or after 1 April 2016 within 21 days of their appointment. For any existing governor who was appointed or elected before 1 April and in relation to whom no enhanced DBS check has been undertaken, the governing body must apply for the enhanced DBS check by 1 September 2016.

These new statutory requirements are set out in the amended School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012. They contradict the requirements set out in the current version of Keeping Children Safe in Education, the key statutory safeguarding guidance for schools, which suggests that carrying out an enhanced DBS check on governors is optional unless the governor is engaging in regulated activity. Presumably this guidance will be updated shortly to reflect the revised position.

The changes made via the above regulations do not apply to academies. However, the matter of what checks should be carried out on academy governors continues to cause confusion. This is in part due to the different types of academy governors (members, trustees, local governors) and also because there are various sources for the requirements, including the Articles of Association, the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2014 and Keeping Children Safe, all of which appear to conflict in one way or another. We understand that a number of bodies have brought this issue to the attention of the DfE and urged them to clarify the requirements.

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Hotpoint Privilege Purchase Club

Need a new washing machine? Fancy boosting your five-a-day with a new juicer? This exclusive members’ only scheme offers a choice of more than 850 different appliances and includes three great brands: Expand

Need a new washing machine? Fancy boosting your five-a-day with a new juicer? This exclusive members’ only scheme offers a choice of more than 850 different appliances and includes three great brands: Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit. Choose from their extensive range of washing machines, fridges, cookers and dishwashers to Hotpoint’s small domestic appliances, including juicers, kettles and toasters.

Prices include free nationwide delivery and free removal, all direct from the manufacturer. Save an extra 10 per cent off already pre-discounted prices by entering voucher code ASCL10 at checkout. See online to gain direct access www.ascl.org.uk/added-value/hotpoint


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Legal benefit for ASCL members

ASCL has an arrangement with Pattinson & Brewer solicitors who have offices in Bristol, London and York to provide a personal injury service to members. Expand

ASCL has an arrangement with Pattinson & Brewer solicitors who have offices in Bristol, London and York to provide a personal injury service to members. Subject to there being reasonable prospects of success, members will not have to pay any legal fees or disbursements. Furthermore, unlike other firms of solicitors, Pattinson & Brewer will not charge ASCL members a success fee, so that there will be no deduction from any compensation awarded. ASCL believes that this is a substantial benefit to any of its members unfortunate enough to be injured, including: in the course of their employment, road traffic accidents, slips and trips, fatal accidents, product liability, fatalities, leisure and holiday accidents and clinical negligence. Initial enquiries should be forwarded to the ASCL hotline on 0116 299 1122 or hotline@ascl.org.uk


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Teacher workload

During the Easter break, the government published three reports from the Teacher Workload Review Groups on reducing workload burdens related to marking, planning and data management. Expand

During the Easter break, the government published three reports from the Teacher Workload Review Groups on reducing workload burdens related to marking, planning and data management.

ASCL has welcomed the government’s recognition of the problem of workload. However, we have argued that while the workload challenge highlighted these three areas of teaching as potentially burdensome, trying to tackle the areas separately may oversimplify matters. Teaching is a complex activity and the areas are interlinked. It may be, for example, that a small increase in time allocated to planning could generate considerable savings in marking and collecting data. Therefore, we recommend that a broad view be taken when considering these reports.

ASCL has produced a summary of the three reports (see www.ascl.org.uk/workloadsummary) that focuses on the principles in each report and the recommendations for school and college leaders. We will also shortly be publishing guidance for members in relation to managing and reducing workload – this will be made available to you through our usual communication channels.

Speaking at our annual conference in March, Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said that achieving a better work–life balance is one of the keys to retaining teachers in the profession. His comments come as schools and colleges across the country struggle with a recruitment crisis. Read Malcolm’s comments in full in our press release www.ascl.org.uk/news/slaves-to-bureaucracy

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Latest ASCL guidance papers

This updated guidance paper is relevant to senior leaders, governors and trustees who are considering growing their stand-alone academy trust or establishing a multi-academy trust ( Expand

MATs and Federations: Leading and governing groups of schools

This updated guidance paper is relevant to 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.

Framework Supporting Progression and Assessment in History

This new guidance paper is suitable for school and subject leaders in England with responsibility for planning and delivering the history curriculum. The paper suggests a framework that schools may wish to use to provide ways in which a history department can develop and embed a culture of professional development in their subject.

Progression and Assessment in History: Short-form guidance

This new paper provides a summary of ASCL’s full guidance paper Progression and Assessment in History and works in conjunction with the framework on history mentioned above. To simplify a complex concept, the purpose of formative assessment is to find out what students currently know and understand, and to use that information to help them improve in that subject. This guide provides suggestions for how to ensure that this is the case in your history department. It also outlines some basic principles of good practice to guide any formative assessment systems that departments may decide to put in place.


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Ramadan and exams

ASCL has worked with imams, Islamic scholars, experts, Muslim chaplains and leaders to produce an information paper for school and college leaders to use to initiate discussions with Muslim students on how best they can fulfil their Islamic obligations during Ramadan, including the obligation to perform well in their exams. Expand

ASCL has worked with imams, Islamic scholars, experts, Muslim chaplains and leaders to produce an information paper for school and college leaders to use to initiate discussions with Muslim students on how best they can fulfil their Islamic obligations during Ramadan, including the obligation to perform well in their exams.

The paper is relevant to all school and college leaders, and those involved in administering GCSEs and A levels. There are also safeguarding implications for students considering how to observe Ramadan, therefore this will affect all teaching staff, and all staff engaged in the delivery of exams over the summer. 

The intention of the paper is to provide information and practical advice for schools and colleges; ASCL does not endorse any particular interpretation of Islamic law or practice. Download the full information paper online www.ascl.org.uk/ramadan-and-exams-2016


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ASCL response to consultation on school funding

In our response to the government’s consultation on school funding, we said that education funding represents investment in economic growth and should reflect the expectations of our global positioning in future years. Expand

In our response to the government’s consultation on school funding, we said that education funding represents investment in economic growth and should reflect the expectations of our global positioning in future years. Expenditure on the education system should not be regarded as a cost but as an investment to secure the right of every child to reach their educational potential. It is our view that the principles that should underpin the national formula are: 

  • The overall national education budget should be set such that all schools and colleges can be funded at a level that enables them to provide an outstanding quality of education for their pupils. 
  • The distribution of the national education budget to educational institutions should be sufficient, sustainable and equitable. 
  • An individual school or college budget allocation should be transparent and predictable to enable effective strategic financial planning by schools. 
  • A national funding formula should take into account the needs of educational institutions and their pupils. This should not be predicated on the historical way in which funding is allocated.
  • A reformed funding formula is not about creating winners and losers – it is about sufficiency and establishing an equitable base level of funding. 

See our full response online at www.ascl.org.uk/news/national-funding-formula 

In addition, in our response, we have called on the government to review private finance initiative (PFI) contracts to check whether they are providing value for money for schools. 

We said that PFI costs remain a significant and increasing pressure on school budgets and can jeopardise the financial health and efficiency of an organisation. 

CPD ASCL PD is hosting a series of regional seminars, in June and July, to help you plan for the National Funding Formula. Designed for heads, business leaders and those involved in delivering budgets in schools and colleges, the half-day seminars are a must for all primary and secondary schools as well as post-16 providers. To book your place or for more information, see online www.ascl.org.uk/pd/nationalfunding-formula-seminare

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Laugh, cry, think

The conference for leaders in education is back: Expand

The conference for leaders in education is back: Inspiring Leadership 2016 will take place from 15 to 17 June in Birmingham. A carefully curated programme of thought-provoking speakers and practical master classes will give you a fresh perspective on leadership – both within and beyond the education sector.

Inspiring Leadership is brought to you by ASCL, Education Development Trust and the NAHT. It is the conference that is by leaders, for leaders. What does it mean to be a leader in education today? We understand the pressures and the demands – which means that we also understand how important it is to take time out to reflect, reconnect and re-energise. At Inspiring Leadership, you will have the opportunity to learn from fantastic speakers and link up with like-minded leaders to recharge your batteries for the challenges ahead.

For more information and to book, go to www.inspiringleadership.org @InspLdrshipconf #ILconf16

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Online safety

Schools and colleges are expected to have a far greater focus on online safety under the new Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016: Expand

Schools and colleges are expected to have a far greater focus on online safety under the new Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016: draft guidance (see http://tinyurl.com/jd3wpp8). Assuming that the guidance comes into force as drafted, new paragraphs 75–8 make it clear that online safety is back in the spotlight and schools and colleges will need to ensure they have filtering technology and monitoring systems in place.

This change is linked to the concerns surrounding online grooming and the use of social media and websites as a tool to promote extremist views and ideologies. Given the seriousness with which the Prevent duty is taken by the DfE and Ofsted, schools and colleges are likely to find that during an inspection, their ability to evidence how they safeguard students in the online world will feature heavily.

The guidance is expected to be in force for September so now is the time for schools and colleges to start thinking about whether their current filtering and monitoring systems (if any) are fit for purpose and to review existing policies and practices regarding what happens when those systems trigger an alert.

In addition, please also see ASCL’s guidance paper Statutory Duties Related to Safety, Safeguarding and radicalisation, online at www.ascl.org.uk/guidanceonsafety The guidance is relevant to all school leaders and staff in all schools and colleges and outlines the statutory duties in relation to safety and safeguarding, equalities, British values and the curriculum. It identifies the requirements in the inspection framework and considers the role of governance, as well as the actions to take if governors are disregarding their statutory duties.

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LEADING READING