ASCL published its evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body ( Expand
ASCL published its evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) over the 2016 pay award. We warned that the government’s continued intention to limit teachers’ pay awards to 1 per cent will hamper recruitment and urged the STRB to press the DfE for fully funded pay rises above the proposed 1 per cent.
We said that limiting the pay award to 1 per cent would compound the erosion of teachers’ pay since 2010, which has already led to a drop in excess of about 15 per cent in real terms, and that teacher shortage is one of the most significant issues affecting schools.
We urged the STRB to press the DfE to fund fully pay rises rather than expecting them to be met from existing school budgets that are already under huge pressure. In our evidence, we also said that the pay award should be applied consistently and addressed a number of other issues including non-consolidated payments.
For more details see ASCL’s full response online: www. ascl.org.uk/STRB26
Funding Specialist Julia Harnden and Deputy General Secretary Malcolm Trobe met with members of the DfE and Education Funding Agency (EFA) Capital Funding teams to discuss the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on school capital spending arrangements. There were some interesting suggestions around ‘invest to save’ and we anticipate producing guidance on this soon.
Julia, Malcolm and Colleges Specialist Kevin Gilmartin also met with staff in the Treasury to discuss the implications of the CSR. They emphasised that schools and colleges need early information on changes for 2016, including the reduction of the education services grant that we understand will be in the region of 10 per cent in the first year. We were again able to press the concerns that we have continually voiced over the woefully inadequate level of base funding for 16–19 year-olds.
Funding debate Graham Stuart MP quoted ASCL’s analysis of the funding gap in a Westminster Hall debate on school funding. Graham Stuart said, “The Association of School and College Leaders has calculated that this year the ten best-funded areas will receive an average schools block grant of £6,300 per pupil, compared with an average of only £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas. For a typical secondary school of 920 students that equates to a budget of £5.8 million in the best-funded areas and £3.9 million in the least well-funded areas – a difference of £1.9 million in a relatively small secondary school.”
The debate was led by Sam Gyimah, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education.
2015 summer exams
ASCL has been continuing to discuss issues around the quality of marking and awarding with exam boards following the 2015 summer exams and we have been seeking reassurance that similar issues will not reoccur in 2016. As a result of our discussions, both Cambridge Internal Examinations (CIE) (0522 English GCSE paper) and Pearson (Edexcel maths GCSE paper) have produced papers outlining their awarding process for the summer exams and these can be found on the ASCL website: www.ascl.org.uk/2015exams
Education and mental health
General Secretary Brian Lightman, Deputy General Secretary Malcolm Trobe and Director of Policy Leora Cruddas attended the relaunch of the think tank Centre Forum with David Laws as its executive chair. Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan gave a speech welcoming the planned research programme that will be strongly focused on education and mental health. ASCL will be working in partnership with Centre Forum on this influential work. Role of chairs of governors
Brian represented ASCL at the first of a programme of profession-led meetings about the role of chairs of governors. Working with a group of successful chairs, the programme will seek to capture and share best practice. DfE and Ofsted representatives attended the meeting and are following the project with interest.
Education Minister Nick Gibb has written a response to a letter from Brian Lightman to confirm his support on the issue of taking pupils out of school for holidays during term time. Nick Gibb said he appreciated ASCL’s support in realising the disruption caused to students’ education by taking time off during school time. He said, “Our evidence shows that missing the equivalent of just one week a year from school can mean a child is significantly less likely to achieve good GCSE grades, having a lasting effect on their life chances.”
Joint review on education, skills and productivity
The Education and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committees of the House of Commons have, for the first time ever, initiated a joint review. Malcolm Trobe attended the introductory seminar, entitled ‘Education, skills and productivity’, at which he was able to put over a number of key aspects of ASCL policy including on curriculum, English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and the concerns members have over teacher supply.