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Spring 2017
Education news
For school leaders, teachers, governors and local authority heads

Welcome to our spring customer newsletter

New website for Cambridge Education

Following on from Cambridge Education's new branding towards the end of last year, we are pleased to launch a new, improved website at

For course bookings, there is now a fast track booking option, and it's very easy to browse our courses from either categories or a complete alphabetical list.

You can also click on the links to read our thought leadership papers, see our news or catalogues and flyers, or find out more about what we do in other sectors, like health and social care?  This information and much more can now be found at our new website.

Governance handbook for academies, multi-academy trusts and maintained schools January 2017

The Department for Education (DfE) released its latest edition of the Governance Handbook on Thursday 12 January 2017. An essential resource for governors and trustees, it outlines the roles and responsibilities for those governing including the legal duties of the governing board for all state schools in England.

This edition has been re-structured around a new clearer articulation of the key features of effective practice and revised to take account of changes made to the law and policy over the past year. The DfE have also given the handbook a complete restructure with a new summary description of the
six key features of effective governance. This provides the structure for the six sections that follow and also for the department's new Competency Framework describing the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for effective governance.

"Governing boards have a significant degree of autonomy in our increasingly school led system. They are the vision setters and strategic decision makers for their schools. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education that takes every child as far as their talents allow. Crucially, that means creating robust accountability for executive leaders by using and being familiar with objective data
on the performance of pupils, teachers and finances to ask the right questions. It means ensuring resources are allocated to strategic priorities and safeguarding the highest standards of financial propriety – for example on executive pay and expenses and on related party transactions. It also means ensuring that schools prepare pupils for life and the workplace and implementing their Prevent duty and promoting fundamental British Values to protect them from the risks of extremism and radicalisation."

John Nash
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools


New course: Governance in MATs

Cambridge Education has developed Governance in MATs – a unique three module CPD programme for your governors and trustees, a new, unique programme of professional development, designed to specifically support those involved in the governance of academies.

This has been specifically designed for MATs and academies and is lead by Andy Guest who developed our successful programme, Building Capacity in a Multi Academy Trust - the critical role of the executive leader and Matt Miller MBE, National Leader of Governance and NLG Advocate and chair of governors for a London secondary school.

Each module is a half day, from 10:00 to 13:00.  

  • Understand how effective governance principles apply to MATs.
  • Learn from the emerging national lessons of other trusts.
  • Take away ideas and resources to support the development of governance within your trust.

The course is supported by a self-directed study element, based on a course booklet and task, for completion between modules.
 Module 1: Understanding the structure and legal status of MATs - 8 March 2017 in London
 Module 2: Understanding the structure and legal status of MATs - 31 March 2017 in London
 Module 3: Balancing the books - financial oversight for governors - 26 April 2017 in London

This course is suitable for the trustees or directors and the senior governors from the local governing bodies within a multi-academy trust. 

To book or find out more, click on the course title above, email or call us on 01223 463757.


Forthcoming training events

Find out more about delegate training courses taking place from now until summer 2017 here.

Call us on 01223 463757 or book online.  Tailored in-school and cluster training is also available for all courses and can be delivered to any group size at a reduced per head rate.


Growing MATs: strategic and business planning

Our recent work with Dr Tim Coulson (Regional Schools Commissioner, East of England and North East London) and some of the multi-academy trusts in the East of England produced guidance and useful case studies, including suggestions for how to grow a successful MAT. We will be sharing extracts from this guidance document in these newsletters.
In this edition we focus on Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). CMAT was formed in 2011 and currently comprises six academies with another one in the process of joining. The trust operates from hubs in Cambridge and Peterborough, covering both rural villages and inner city estates. The  current annual operating revenue of the trust is £26 million, with 14 staff employed entirely in the central team. Find out how the trust turned their vision and values into reality here.


Focus on working with local authorities: Slough and Norfolk

Following our excellent track record with the London Borough of Islington, we applied the lessons learned over 13 years to provide a similar service to Slough Borough Council (SBC).The three year contract covered school improvement, integrated support service (including SEND), access and early years, including 10 children's centres.  Click here to read our case study about improving children's life chances in Slough.

Cambridge Education has been working since 2013 on behalf of Norfolk County Council
providing school improvement visits (Education Challenge Partner (ECP) visits) to Norfolk schools.
Click here to find out more about this programme.


Education news

Schools fear business rate rise will be 'breaking point'
BBC, 17 February 2017

Grammars 'unnecessary distraction', say MPs
BBC, 13 February 2017

Theresa May urged to let schools teach girls about FGM
Evening Standard, 7 February 2017

Schools call on MPs to fight 'grossly unfair' Progress 8
Schools Week, 6 February 2017

Almost two-thirds of children worry 'all the time'
BBC, 6 February 2017

Secret Teacher: My 'outstanding' school felt like a results factory
The Guardian, 4 February 2017

'Great teaching is the opposite of what you learn in training'
Schools Week, 4 February 2017

Pisa boss warns England's school funding squeeze will hit standards
TES, 3 February 2017

Schools have no funds to train teachers, says study
BBC, 3 February 2017

How pygmy goats have transformed pupil behaviour
TES, 3 February 2017

Transgender teenager sues former school that told him it was 'just a phase'
The Independent, 2 February 2017

Cambridge intake no longer most privately educated
BBC, 2 February 2017

Katie Hopkins said I was brainwashing children. But they need to learn about protest
The Guardian, 2 February 2017

Six ways to stop boys being left behind in the classroom
The Conversation, 1 February 2017 

Nursery schools: 'What society gives children less chance than their parents?'
The Guardian31 January 2017

Term-time holidays must be made illegal, Supreme Court told
The Independent, 31 January 2017

'We're not hippies, we're punks.' School that has projects, not subjects, on the timetable
The Guardian, 31 January 2017


DfE news

Speech: Justine Greening: teachers - the experts driving social mobility 
DfE and The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, 17 February 2017

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening addresses the Chartered College of Teaching with her vision for the profession. 

Guidance: Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners 
DfE, 16 February 2017

Definition of child sexual exploitation, potential vulnerabilities and indicators of abuse and appropriate action to take in response.

Guidance: Expanding your academy trust: resources for multi-academy trusts 
DfE, updated 15 February 2017
Updated information and links to a selection of sources of support and guidance for MATs looking to take on more schools and grow their academy trust.

Speech: Robert Halfon: careers speech at Westminster Academy
DfE and The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, 31 January 2017
The Apprenticeships and Skills Minister outlines his thoughts on the future of careers.

Research and analysis: Children with SEND: meeting their needs in the early years
DfE, 27 January, 2017

Report on the experiences of children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) in early years settings.

Speech: Nick Gibb: the evidence in favour of teacher-led instruction
DfE and The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, 26 January 2017
The Schools Minister talks to the Education World Forum about teacher-led education.
Research and analysis: Female genital mutilation early intervention model: evaluation
DfE, 24 January 2017
An evaluation of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) female genital mutilation early intervention model.


Assessment for learning

Would you like to improve assessment for learning in the classroom?

Assessment for learning practical classroom guides
£34.95 for the set of four (free P&P to UK schools) or £14.95 individually

Our Assessment for learning practical classroom guides include four easy-to-read booklets, each with practical strategies on how to improve and develop assessment for learning in the classroom. If you would like to buy this resource, click on the resource titles below to order individually or click here for the set, or call us on 01223 463896.

This invaluable in-school CPD resource is suitable for primary and secondary school teachers and includes the following readers:

Asking better questions
Asking questions that challenge pupils' thinking and check understanding is one of the characteristics of effective teaching. Using questioning to assess the effectiveness of teaching and promote pupils' learning is a key component of teaching. Without doubt, the ability to ask relevant questions is a central part of what it is to be a teacher, and it is one of the key aspects of assessment for learning.
Making feedback count
Giving good quality feedback to pupils is one of the key aspects of assessment for learning. A key role in helping someone to learn is to support, structure, mediate and scaffold their learning by helping them to work in the gap between what they already know, understand or can do at the moment and what they will want or need to know, understand or be able to do in the future.
Promoting assessment by pupils
Promoting assessment by pupils is the fourth booklet in this series on practical ways to implement assessment for learning in the classroom. Some argue that assessment by pupils is the ultimate goal of assessment for learning, as it is about helping pupils take more responsibility for their own learning and ultimately their own lives.
Sharing learning outcomes
The job of a teacher is to help young people learn. Yet amazingly, while many teachers explain the task to their pupils thoroughly, they don't share with their pupils what they intend them to learn from the task, what they are learning while they are doing the task or how well they have learned once they have completed the task!

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