September 2016

NEWS AND GUIDANCE

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News and guidance

ASCL Influence

We have had considerable success in the number of policies where we have directly influenced the outcome and/or where an official body such as the DfE, Ofsted, Ofqual and the Education Funding Agency ( Expand

We have had considerable success in the number of policies where we have directly influenced the outcome and/or where an official body such as the DfE, Ofsted, Ofqual and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) has adopted our proposals. We have also been very influential with the Education Select Committee, the National Audit Office (NAO), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Number 10 Policy Unit. We have also successfully lobbied parliamentarians to have changes made to draft legislation. Our Blueprint for a Self-Improving System has also gained political traction. Below is a summary of some of this activity:

Accountability 

Definition of coasting 

Adopted The DfE accepted the arguments we put forward that the definition of coasting set out in regulation should be more than three years and progress based and should ensure that regional school commissioners (RSCs) do not treat this as a ‘tick-box’ exercise, but where a school is captured by the definition, should interrogate all data.

Education and Adoption Act

Influenced and Adopted 

ASCL successfully lobbied Parliament as the Education and Adoption Bill made its way through the stages of Parliament to effect changes to the regulations defining coasting schools and possible interventions.

Regional School Commissioners (RSCs) 

Adopted 

The Education Select Committee adopted our proposal that recommends greater transparency in decision making and a published framework for decision making in relation to RSCs.

Transition matrices 

Adopted

The case we made for RAISEonline to include transition matrices for disadvantaged pupils in all subjects, and by gender for all subjects has been accepted and these have now been published.

Redesigned performance tables 

Influenced 

Through strategic engagement with a senior civil servant, we have significantly influenced the redesigned performance tables, specifically how progress 8 should be displayed.

Primary floor standards

influenced 

As a member of the primary assessment group, ASCL pushed for confirmation in writing that the proportion of schools below the floor this year will be similar to last year. In 2016, no more than 6% of primary schools will be below the floor.

Performance accountability measure for post-16 GCSE English and maths

Influenced and Adopted 

ASCL has voiced considerable concerns about the intended progress measure with the DfE’s Inspections and Accountability Team and Ofsted’s Data and Systems Team. This performance measure has now been changed by the DfE to be a much fairer measure. We are still in dialogue with Ofsted over its interpretation of this new measure, which they have delayed due in part to our concerns.

Ofsted inspection data dashboard 

Influenced 

We have had considerable influence over aspects of the Ofsted inspection dashboard (layout, focus and removal of poor measures) and sixth form performance and assessment data (PANDA) – soon to be 16–18 dashboard. We have also influenced aspects of the Level 3 value-added tool and their approach to modelling.

New-style Ofsted reports 

Adopted 

Ofsted accepted our recommendation for shorter, more concise, outcomesfocused reports. These have replaced the much longer, process-focused reports on which we were consulted.

Teacher supply and initial teacher education

Challenge meeting: Teacher Supply Model

Influenced

ASCL requested the Secretary of State to convene a challenge meeting with senior civil servants to interrogate the Teacher Supply Model (TSM). This took place in June. We identified that the cumulative effect of not recruiting enough teachers in some subjects like maths and science, for many years, is having a devastating effect on the ability of our members to recruit teachers.

The Public Accounts Committee’s report

Influenced and Adopted

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report, Training New Teachers (http://tinyurl.com/ h654pg2), which quotes ASCL and reinforces the findings from our challenge meeting. We have met with the Secretary of State and written to the permanent secretary citing the Public Accounts Committee report and offering to work with civil servants to facilitate dialogue between DfE and school leaders to develop a clear plan for teacher recruitment.

Teacher supply: Flexible routes into teaching

Adopted

ASCL published a document jointly with Policy Exchange offering a number of policy solutions. A specific proposal in the document was the need for more flexible working, particularly for women returning to teaching following pregnancy. The Secretary of State responded immediately, saying that the DfE would offer guidance to schools on how to offer flexible working opportunities to encourage them to think about how teaching roles can be designed for part-time, job sharing or flexible working. She also announced the launch of a new website to make it easier for women to search for teaching roles that offer part-time or flexible hours – and to match them with schools that have suitable positions available and a package of coaching and mentoring.

National Audit Office (NAO) report on teacher supply

Adopted

We worked closely with the NAO in relation to their report on teacher supply. The NAO wrote to ASCL to acknowledge our considerable contribution and support with the evidence for their report.

Review of Official Shortage Occupation List

Adopted

We wrote to the Home Secretary on 4 May to make the case for a review of the Official Shortage Occupation List. We argued that a decision to include teachers as a category (like nurses) would provide a lever to ease the recruitment challenges. 

On 26 May, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) announced a review on teacher shortages. MAC is calling for an evidence review on whether teachers should be retained on the UK Shortage Occupation List.

Carter review of initial teacher education (ITE)

Adopted

Several of our proposals were adopted and included as recommendations in the final report.

National Teaching Service (NTS)

Influenced and Adopted

In January, the Secretary of State announced the implementation of the NTS. Several of our specific proposals were adopted or partially adopted.

Curriculum and assessment

Consultation on the compulsory English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

three specific proposals adopted

We said that the 90% target of students to be entered for EBacc should be a national ambition and not a requirement on individual schools. 

We said school leaders should be able to decide whom they put forward for EBacc entry.

We said that no single measure should determine the outcome of an Ofsted inspection and that the floor standard should not be linked to EBacc.

Ramadan and exams

led the way

We have been working with a group of senior Muslim scholars to develop guidance for our members to talk to faith leaders, parents and young people about fasting during the exam period.

Commission on Assessment without Levels

Adopted Several points we made are reflected in the commission’s final report.

Modern foreign languages (MFL) review

Adopted

Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP used our National Curriculum summit to announce a review of MFL, led by ASCL past president Ian Bauckham. We have been in discussions with senior civil servants about the need for this.

Funding

Schools National Funding Formula

Adopted

ASCL has campaigned relentlessly for a national funding formula. The government issued a consultation document in March for the national funding formula and high needs funding (that will now be implemented in 2018/19). The summary document, Schools and High Needs Funding Reform: The case for change, includes a reference to the ASCL blueprint that confirms our call for fairness and that the formula should be sufficient, sustainable and equitable.

Financial health of academies

Adopted

ASCL made a significant contribution to the financial health of academies. EFA has deployed our resource to support academies. The DfE is now seeking to engage with and support institutions at an earlier stage than is currently the case. The DfE has indicated that it will now work with ASCL to develop a framework agreement that incorporates a range of interventions and services that deliver sustainable strategic financial plans and planning tools.

Penalty provision (FE)

Adopted

We made significant input on the penalty provision for institutions where eligible students did not enrol for appropriate levels of English and/or maths. The outcome for non-compliance should have been that institutions received zero funding for those students in the following year’s lagged funding. 

ASCL input led to a policy amendment announced by the minister saying that there will be a margin of tolerance built in for institutions that were within 5% and a lesser reduction of penalty funding for students above the 5%. This has real financial benefits in cash terms.

Funding for English or maths GCSE retakes

Influenced ASCL raised the issue of lack of funding for students wanting to retake their GCSE English or maths with the aim of achieving the new ‘good pass’ level (grade 5) after summer 2017. 

The DfE has confirmed that civil servants will put this recommendation to ministers over the summer. This is not a guarantee of the outcome (and therefore not yet a policy ‘win’) but it is an example of ASCL initiating or proposing a policy that senior civil servants put to ministers.

Strategic direction

The influence of ASCL’s Blueprint for a self-improving system

Influence

The language and some specific policy proposals in the blueprint have gained considerable traction. The language of the self-improving system has entered the professional and political lexicon.

ASCL Cymru Blueprint

Influence

Eithne Hughes, former Cymru President, has been appointed by the Welsh government to pull together a strategic plan for North Wales bringing together Cymru education policy and the thinking in the ASCL Cymru Blueprint. The new Cabinet Minister for Wales, Kirsty Williams, has given her explicit support for the vision outlined in the blueprint.

Workload

Influenced

The three groups looking at marking, lesson planning, and resources and data were either attended by ASCL staff or shadowed by working with other organisations. Shadowing the groups helped to mitigate risks and prevent unhelpful directions of travel. 

Prevent and the radicalisation agenda

Adopted

The DfE said that it intends to change the focus of Prevent towards a wider debate around values, equalities, critical thinking skills and open debate and discussion around identity, politics, belonging, immigration, religion and so forth. A senior DfE official confirmed that this has been influenced very significantly by ASCL’s training. DfE officials attended the training. Our training has been so influential that the DfE has requested that we stage a training session that will be published on the DfE website.

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ASCL urges government to sort out careers guidance

ASCL has warned that high-quality careers guidance is vital to the economic future of the country but there is presently a mishmash of services in the market with huge variation in terms of costs and quality. Expand

ASCL has warned that high-quality careers guidance is vital to the economic future of the country but there is presently a mishmash of services in the market with huge variation in terms of costs and quality.

In our response to an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education inquiry (http://tinyurl.com/hwxt9ws), we have said that it is increasingly difficult for students, teachers and parents to navigate their way through the array of training and education options. 

ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said: “Young people need access to expert independent careers advice. It’s important for them and for the economy that their aspirations are matched to the needs of the labour market. Schools and colleges are required to secure independent careers guidance. However, there is a mishmash of services in the market and budgets are also under enormous strain. Schools and colleges are once again being sent out to the crease without a bat.” 

ASCL recommends a three-step solution to preparing young people for the world of work: 

  1. Further development of careers education as a fundamental part of the curriculum so that young people learn about the range of roles available. 
  2. Further development of links between employers and schools and colleges. 
  3. A national quality-assurance system for careers services providers on both quality and cost, and an increase in school and college budgets so they can provide a full careers programme. 

The full consultation response can be read at http://tinyurl.com/zrqlnrt

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Funding update

On 21 July, the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening released a statement on school funding ( Expand

On 21 July, the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening released a statement on school funding (http://tinyurl.com/zc7pe7w). In the statement, she has confirmed the government’s commitment to the introduction of fairer funding for schools. 

The second stage of consultation on the National Funding Formula for schools and high needs will be released this autumn and the Secretary of State has confirmed that implementation of the new formula will apply from 2018/19 (not 2017/18 as indicated in stage one of the consultation). 

The statement included information about the arrangements for school funding in 2017/18. There are no significant changes planned for 2017/18 and arrangements will be broadly the same as for 2016/17. 

The DfE has said for 2017/18 no local authority will receive less funding on the schools and high-needs blocks than they did in 2016/17 and the minimum funding guarantee will remain at -1.5%. The department has also published the local authorities’ funding levels in 2017/18 (http://tinyurl.com/j9gqzp2) and these will be finalised in December. The DfE has confirmed that in 2017/18 it will not introduce local flexibility on the minimum funding guarantee (MFG), ring-fence the schools block or create a central schools block. 

Commenting on the announcement, Julia Harnden, ASCL Funding Specialist, said: 

“While we understand the government’s reasons for delaying the introduction of a new funding formula, we are extremely disappointed that no interim support has been put in place for the lowest-funded schools in the lowest-funded areas. The financial situation in these schools is already critical because of huge increased cost pressures and the delay in the introduction of the new funding formula is potentially catastrophic. “Additional financial support must be put in place for 2017/18 for these schools and the government has to understand the urgency of this situation. Through no fault of their own, and despite exemplary leadership, some schools are in danger of financial collapse.” 

In addition, in a joint statement, leading education organisations including ASCL have called on the government to increase school and college funding – see the statement online here http://tinyurl.com/hb72xzs

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Financial health checks

The DfE has released information about the Financial Health Checks structure that forms part of the programme of support and guidance being developed for the Financial Health and Efficiency webpage ( Expand

The DfE has released information about the Financial Health Checks structure that forms part of the programme of support and guidance being developed for the Financial Health and Efficiency webpage (http://tinyurl.com/j6sytjd). 

Having access to good financial advice and support is an important part of running an effective school. Schools can take advantage of this advice and support to help them review their current financial position, identify issues and take appropriate action to address them. The DfE has started to develop a directory of some of the suppliers that can provide these checks, or elements of these checks. ASCL is pleased to be included on the list of registered suppliers (see http://tinyurl.com/jfj9wc9). To find out how ASCL can help your school with this, please email consultancy@ascl.org.uk

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Pupil referral units get new regulations

New regulations took effect in June 2016 that enable the Secretary of State to force pupil referral units ( Expand

New regulations took effect in June 2016 that enable the Secretary of State to force pupil referral units (PRUs) to become academies in certain situations. 

The new law applies the latest provisions of the Academies Act (that came into force earlier this year) to PRUs so that the Secretary of State has a mandatory duty to issue a PRU with an Academy Order if the PRU is inadequate according to its most recent Ofsted inspection. The regulations also reflect other duties relating to the academy conversion process that previously only applied to school governing bodies. For example, there is now a duty on a PRU’s management committee to facilitate the conversion process where the PRU is being forced to become an academy due to its Ofsted grade. 

The aim of the new legislation is to bring consistency to the academy conversion framework, ensuring that regional school commissioners can tackle underperforming PRUs in the same way that they deal with underperforming mainstream maintained schools. Interestingly, wider intervention measures, for example, warning notices and the ‘coasting’ provisions, still do not currently apply to PRUs. 

However, the government has indicated that it intends to keep this under review. We anticipate a further focus on alternative provision performance in the future and additional changes to legislation.

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Academies Financial Handbook

The Academies Financial Handbook ( Expand

The Academies Financial Handbook (AFH) has for some time sought to control not only financial matters but also governance issues and the introduction of the Academies Financial Handbook 2016 is no exception. 

There are three key themes around the changes from the current handbook, which can be categorised as governance skill sets, senior leadership, and transparency. See a summary of these below. They came into force on 1 September.

1. Skill set of governors

Paragraph 1.5.14 of the AFH now emphasises that boards of trustees should “identify the skills they need and address any gaps in their skills through recruitment or training. The board should also address this for any local governing.” 

While the DfE has always been keen for trusts to review regularly their current governance arrangements and skill sets at trust level, the AFH now clearly states that this review should also take place at local governing body (LGB) level as well. 

While the merits of adopting this approach are clearly self-evident, the DfE should be mindful that some trusts struggle to recruit sufficient numbers of volunteers at trustee level (not to mention that LGB level is limited). They should also note that, as a number of posts at LGB level are also elected, this will also limit the ability to recruit on a purely skills basis.

2. Senior leadership

The DfE has also changed its terminology around senior leaders and this is aimed at ensuring that there is one steady point of accountability at senior leadership level. In previous versions of the handbook, it mentions principals and chief executives. The new handbook extends this to ‘senior executive leader’ and it may be a recognition that the scope of the role of senior leaders varies. 

However, a provision has been introduced to state that this role should not rotate. We suspect that this is to counter proposals for more collaborative (or flat) MATs where heads have agreed to rotate the role of senior leader. This reflects the DfE view that this position should not be shared.

3. Transparency

It will now be mandatory under the AFH to publicise governance arrangements on the trust website, including the Scheme of Delegation (SoD) where the trust is a MAT. This increases the level of operational information that is needed to be submitted to the public. Additionally, under the current handbook, the appointment and resignation of members, trustees, accounting officers and chief financial officers must be notified to the EFA. The new handbook extends this list to the chair of trustees, chairs of local governing bodies, accounting officer and chief financial officer. The method of communication of these changes has also been amended, where it would go through Edubase.

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School attendance prosecutions

There have been further developments following on from the High Court decision on prosecutions flowing from term-time holidays. Expand

There have been further developments following on from the High Court decision on prosecutions flowing from term-time holidays. The High Court decision found in favour of the parents as the local authority failed to establish that all the necessary factors to prove the offence had been satisfied, that is, there was no evidence to support a finding of failing to attend regularly. The local authority involved (Isle of Wight) has been granted permission to appeal the issue to the Supreme Court as a matter of public interest. The appeal is being funded by the DfE as part of its approach to clarify the law on this issue and may be the first step in changing the law to ensure that government policy around term-time holidays can be enforced. 

In the meantime, it is worth remembering that the case only affects the decision to prosecute parents for the non-attendance at school of their children. The case does not change the legal position around authorising holidays during term-time. That position remains clear – term-time holidays may be authorised by the headteacher of a school only where there are exceptional circumstances. That test must still be applied and information has been sent out from the DfE to remind schools of this responsibility.

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Qualifications reform: resources for teachers

Ofqual, in collaboration with the DfE, has published a pack of slides and notes with information that teachers can use to explain the reforms to parents. Expand

Ofqual, in collaboration with the DfE, has published a pack of slides and notes with information that teachers can use to explain the reforms to parents. 

The purpose of these slides and accompanying notes is to provide teachers with a single source of information that can be used to communicate with students and parents on the changes that are happening to GCSEs, AS and A levels and school and college performance measures. You can download the information here http://tinyurl.com/j2lzgkj

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New ASCL premier partner

Browne Jacobson is a national law firm that is independently recognised as an award-winning leading provider of legal and HR services for education organisations across the country. Expand

Browne Jacobson is a national law firm that is independently recognised as an award-winning leading provider of legal and HR services for education organisations across the country. The firm has a genuine long-standing pedigree as trusted advisers to the education sector and is proud to have been endorsed by ASCL as a Premier Partner for legal and HR advisory services. 

Browne Jacobson has dedicated specialist lawyers and HR consultants who are passionate about the education sector and truly understand the needs of ASCL members. The firm has an established client base of more than 1,000 education sector organisations and clients choose and stay with the firm because of its sector expertise and exceptional client service. Its staff will work in partnership with you to support you with your day-to-day operational challenges and help you to deliver your strategic vision. 

As ASCL’s premier partner for legal and HR advice, Browne Jacobson is offering members a 20% discount on future education and HR conferences. Please email events@brownejacobson.com quoting reference ‘ASCL’ for further information.

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National database of governors

On 1 July, the DfE launched a national database of all those involved in the governance of state-maintained schools. Expand

On 1 July, the DfE launched a national database of all those involved in the governance of state-maintained schools. The database is linked to Edubase and is intended to increase transparency on who governs schools, enable the DfE to identify quickly individuals who have a role in governance and to help boards identify people who govern in more than one context.

Academy trusts are currently required by the Academies Financial Handbook to update the Education Funding Agency (EFA) via the Information Exchange service of any changes to members, trustees and local governors. As of September, maintained schools will have the same duty and will also have to send a range of information to the EFA including name, date of appointment, date office ends, postcode, date of birth and nationality – which could sit uneasily with some governors.

It also requires an email address for the chair of the board so that the regional schools commissioner can directly contact them and that could be used to send information about the issues that national performance data suggests the board needs to address with its senior leadership team (SLT).

It is not clear what sanctions there are for failing to inform the DfE about a school or trust’s governance changes or how the DfE would know that the details are out of date. The system appears to rely heavily on schools volunteering the information in a timely fashion. Further publicity and regular reminders to schools will be needed for the database to achieve the government’s stated purpose.

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Medical needs

We have received a number of queries around school responsibilities for children and young people who are absent for medical reasons and whether there are any legal requirements for support to be put in place for the child such as work provided or home tuition. Expand

We have received a number of queries around school responsibilities for children and young people who are absent for medical reasons and whether there are any legal requirements for support to be put in place for the child such as work provided or home tuition. In general terms, there is no duty on schools to provide support for short-term absences.

In such cases, schools may liaise with parents around the provision of work but that would be discretionary and would need to be based on individual circumstances and particularly on whether the illness would allow work to be completed. For longer-term issues and particularly where the child has been absent for 15 school days in a term (consecutively or cumulatively), schools should refer the matter to the local authority for support to be offered to the child. Local authorities retain a legal duty under section 19 of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements to provide a suitable education in cases where a child is medically unfit to attend school. 

Schools should consider their local authority’s policy and procedure on this matter and ensure sufficient evidence of illness is provided to the authority to allow provision to be put in place for the child as quickly as possible.

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Risk Protection Arrangement

The 2016 Academies Financial Handbook ( Expand

The 2016 Academies Financial Handbook (AFH), released in July, has introduced a new requirement that trusts should consider opting into the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) unless their commercial insurance provider can provide better value for money (AFH 2016, para 2.3.11). 

This new requirement comes when the DfE is introducing changes to the arrangement following its consultation exercise. From September 2016, the RPA General Annual Grant (GAG) deduction will reduce from £25 per pupil to £20. This will be a significant cost reduction for most academies and trusts. The DfE has also set a time limit for reimbursing long-term insurance arrangements in that it will not meet the extra cost of such arrangements after 31 August 2017 (relating to the additional funding that compensated academies that had entered into such arrangements before the RPA commenced). 

There is also a significant change in that, in certain circumstances, the RPA will consider providing an indemnity on a ‘claims occurring’ basis where the academy previously had a commercial insurance policy on a ‘claims made’ basis. 

This in effect means that there would be no gap in cover where the previous insurer did not cover an earlier incident because that policy was a ‘claims made’ policy and the claim was made after that policy had expired and during the RPA period of cover. 

Further changes that will also come into effect in September 2016 include:

  • The DfE will increase the number of risk-management audits for academies to drive up risk-management standards and identify best practice.
  • The AFH introduces a requirement to co-operate with risk-management auditors and risk managers and implement reasonable risk-management audit recommendations that are made to them.
  • The notice period for leaving the RPA is being reduced from six months to three months.
  • The DfE has clarified that multi-academy trusts (MATs) may join in a phased manner where some academies in the trust still have commercial insurance contracts in place (subject to a commitment to the remaining academies joining the RPA as soon as practicably possible). 

These amendments should make the RPA more attractive to academies and when coupled with the new AFH requirement to consider the RPA, may lead to increased uptake. For more information, see the main page on RPA on the government’s website at www.gov.uk/guidance/academies-risk-protectionarrangement-rpa and see the RPA public consultation response (changes September 2016) at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/risk-protection-arrangementfor-academy-trusts


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Keeping children safe in education

Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment was updated on 26 May and it comes into force on 5 September 2016. Expand

Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment was updated on 26 May and it comes into force on 5 September 2016. Until 5 September, schools and colleges must continue to use the statutory guidance dated July 2015. From 5 September, schools and colleges must use the updated guidance. Please also note that any school or college policy that refers to the guidance must refer to the new 2016 version. See the new guidance online here http://tinyurl.com/h5sy7h8


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Notes on guidance

Leader contains general guidance on the law that has been supplied by our partners Browne Jacobson LLP. Expand

Leader contains general guidance on the law that has been supplied by our partners Browne Jacobson LLP. If you have a specific legal issue relating to your role as an employer, we recommend that you seek advice from a qualified legal professional. Members can also call the ASCL Hotline on 0116 299 1122 with respect to legal issues relating specifically to their own employment.

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Teacher training must be based on best evidence

The DfE has published the reports ( Expand

The DfE has published the reports (http://tinyurl.com/jso4mku) of three initial teacher training expert groups. 

Malcolm Trobe, ASCL Interim General Secretary, said: “The reports on initial teacher training are a first step in ensuring that new teachers are as well prepared as possible for the classroom. We think the next step is to ensure that the content of teacher training courses is guided by the best evidence available about the most effective approaches, including behaviour management. There is a large body of evidence to guide great teaching and we need to make sure that we make full use of it. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Department for Education to develop this evidence base for teacher training providers.”

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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 said that the new Education Secretary, Justine Greening, must address the problems of funding and recruitment. Our comments were reported in BBC News and TES. Director of Policy Leora Cruddas also wrote an article for TES Online in which she said that another key issue for the new Secretary of State must be to ensure that the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) does not have the effect of narrowing or skewing curriculum design.

ASCL specialists were widely quoted on a range of issues. These included Funding Specialist Julia Harnden in TES and BBC News on the delay over the introduction of the funding formula; Colleges Specialist Kevin Gilmartin in BBC News and The Daily Telegraph on government plans to overhaul technical education; Primary and Governance Specialist Julie McCulloch in several media, including an interview on LBC, on Key Stage 2 test results; and Curriculum and Assessment Specialist Suzanne O’Farrell in The Guardian and the Daily Mail and in an interview on Talk Radio, about changes to the marking reviews and appeals system. 

ASCL’s comments on a range of other topics – and the award of a CBE to ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe – were also widely reported in the media.

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LEADING READING