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.
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.
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.
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.