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.
Blueprint for a world-class education system
ASCL’s blueprint to create a world-class education system and boost the life chances of every young person was unveiled in February.
It proposes a system in which the government would step back from micro-managing schools and colleges and in which the teaching profession would step forward to lead development – taking responsibility for creating a culture that would be constantly self-improving.
The blueprint has had the backing of several main political parties with many senior political figures endorsing it, including Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan, Schools Minister David Laws and Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt.
ASCL President Peter Kent said, “We believe that the best way to take our education system from being good to great, and to improve the life chances of every child, is for it to be led by those who best understand it.”
Read the press release for more at www.ascl.org.uk/blueprintunveiled You can see the final blueprint at www.ascl.org.uk/blueprint where you will also find a short animation video that gives an overview of the document.
In addition, General Secretary Brian Lightman attended an Ofsted seminar at which there was extensive, in-depth discussion on all aspects of inspection. In particular, Brian had a number of useful discussions with senior Ofsted and DfE officials about ASCL policy and the blueprint for a self-improving system. Ofsted is arranging a follow-up visit with HMCI and us.
We are also in ongoing dialogue with Ofsted about the eight regional conferences that they are planning for June/July to launch the new inspection framework. We will be involved in these conferences and will confirm dates with you as soon as we receive them from Ofsted.
Business leaders’ and managers’ pay
As part of ASCL’s ongoing commitment to leading the campaign for more consistency in the way that pay for school business leaders and school business managers is decided, we are appealing to all employers – starting with local authorities (LAs) and academy chains (see letter at www.ascl.org.uk/localletter) – requesting an urgent review of their systems and processes used for making remuneration decisions. It is imperative that all role profiles and job families held within any evaluation scheme accurately reflect the evolving nature of roles and responsibilities at both strategic and operational level.
We have provided copies of our new guidance paper (see www.ascl.org.uk/settingpay) and offered to support their review process to ensure that there is no longer any disadvantage for those who are working as an integral part of their school leadership function.
Funding Specialist Richard Newton-Chance attended DfE special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) seminars to feed back ASCL’s views on the implementation of the new SEND arrangements. This was followed up with individual conversations with officials.
We have been keen to emphasise that there needs to be clear direction from the DfE to local authorities about the need for schools to be allocated enough notional SEN funding to deal with the majority of need and then for them to have simple and quick access to high-needs top-up funding.
We also support the move to allocate high-needs funding to local authorities via a formula plus place funding, to address the historical unfairness of the present system.
ASCL broadly welcomed the publication of the government response to the Workload Challenge but indicated that it did not go far enough, particularly around issues related to Ofsted. ASCL wants to see a review into the consistency of Ofsted judgements and an opportunity to include this in the DfE’s action plan has been missed. ASCL, together with four other associations, wrote a joint letter to Secretary of State Nicky Morgan and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to express this concern (see the letter at www.ascl.org.uk/workloadchallenge).
A and AS level reform
General Secretary Brian Lightman wrote a letter to Secretary of State Nicky Morgan (see www. ascl.org.uk/decoupling) reiterating ASCL’s view that decoupling A and AS level is against the interests of young people. This followed the recent statement by Graham Stuart MP in his capacity as chair of the Education Select Committee, adding his voice to the large number who want to retain the link between AS and A2.
Nicky Morgan has responded by letter (see www.ascl.org.uk/decouplingresponse) confirming that the government will still be pressing ahead with the decoupling of the qualifications regardless.
ASCL will continue to lobby further on this.
AQA working group
Brian Lightman attended the AQA working group on assessment. The group discussed some of the most challenging issues around assessment and each member of the group will write an article on a specific aspect that will be published by AQA at a special launch in Parliament on 8 July.
Teacher supply and initial teacher education
Brian and Leadership and Teacher Professionalism Specialist Carol Jones attended a meeting in Parliament chaired by Ian Mearns MP, to discuss teacher supply and initial teacher education.
They had a wide-ranging discussion including on initial reactions to the recently published Carter Review (see http://tinyurl.com/ kddbxmn) that reflected a large number of the recommendations in ASCL’s submission (see www.ascl.org. uk/carterresponse).There was widespread agreement about the need for the teacher supply model to be improved. In addition, a new free service called Teachvac has been launched, which monitors main scale vacancies at more than 3,000 secondary schools and links them with potential applicants. For further information, see www.teachvac.co.uk