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

Welcome to our summer customer newsletter

The outcome of the election has left us in a somewhat 'hazy' situation. What is clear however, is that the government is heavily focused on the issue of 'Brexit'. The Queen's speech outlined plans for 27 bills and 27 draft bills but what is planned for education? It seems that the plan to create new grammar schools has been dropped or at least considerably reduced to a possible 'pilot'.  Provision for free school meals for four to seven year olds appears to be retained with the notion of scrapping it in favour of free breakfasts for all primary school pupils dropped.
School funding decisions seem to be in limbo.  On the one hand we hear that austerity is to be reduced while on the other hand we hear that now is not the time to take this course of action. Background notes to the Queen's speech state that deficit-cutting includes the "flexibility to support the economy if necessary in the near term".  A commitment to changes in school funding has been made i.e. to increase the school budget further, but will this mean a rise in cash terms or real terms? A priority on any increase in government spending must be on schools. 
You may have heard that Ofsted has been piloting a different approach to short inspections (section 8). If a lead inspector deems a full inspection necessary (section 5) it will take place at any time within a period of up to 15 working days after the short inspection. If there are safeguarding concerns the 48 hour approach will be maintained. The TES reports that the full inspection will involve two days in addition to the one-day short inspection, bringing the total length of the inspection to three days.

If you have not read Amanda Spielman's speech to the Festival of Education (23 June), here is a link.
In her speech, HMCI develops her thinking for the future roll of Ofsted. She makes it very clear that education "should be about broadening minds, enriching communities and advancing civilisation. Ultimately, it is about leaving the world a better place than we found it".  She goes on to say:
"I have become ever more convinced of this, as a visitor to schools and as an observer of some of our inspections. In some of those, I have seen GCSE assessment objectives tracking back into Year 7, and SAT practice papers starting in Year 4. And I've seen lessons where everything is about the exam and where teaching the mark schemes has a bigger place than teaching history".
Her key pointers to the future for Ofsted include:

  • a greater focus on using research and Ofsted's data to enrich education
  • seeking the views of parents, teachers, governors, the government and all the other users of inspection outcomes and reports – on how well Ofsted informs and advises  
  • concentrating on the curriculum and the substance of education, not preparing pupils to jump through a series of accountability hoops
  • inspections must explore what is behind the data, asking how results have been achieved. They should be about "looking underneath the bonnet to be sure that a good quality education – one that genuinely meets pupils' needs – is not being compromised"
  • looking at whether schools know that pupils are making progress 
  • the place of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development' and the active promotion of fundamental British values in schools
  • education for 'disadvantaged' students
  • the valuing of leadership and management in schools.
In short, HMCI alights on key issues for education. "I want Ofsted to be a force for improvement in education". Which reminds me of an old strap line about Ofsted "do good as you go". 

For those of us involved in the education of young people the future is clear, keep calm and carry on providing inspirational teaching for great learning.

Christopher Deane-Hall
Divisional Director

Governance in MATs

The challenges of governance in multi-academy trusts proved a recurring theme for many of our delegates attending our Building Capacity in a multi-academy trust programme; motivating us to develop a new programme. Aimed exclusively at experienced MAT trustees and the Chair of their LGBs, we piloted delivery over three modules.  

Led by Andy Guest, working in partnership with Matt Miller MBE, National Leader of Governance and NLG Advocate, the programme proved a success and will be rolled out more widely from the autumn, with some adjustments following on from the evaluation feedback.

Now being offered as an intensive one-day session, the programme will run from 09:00 to 17:30 and the sessions will cover:

  • understanding the structure and legal status of MATs
  • developing a MAT business plan
  • self-review of governance across the Trust
  • preparing for inspection.

Delegates will learn from the emerging national lessons of other trusts and take away ideas and resources to support the development of governance within your trust.

Pete Hutchings, a governor at Portswood Primary Academy Trust and a delegate on the pilot course commented:

"Overall, we have really valued the 3 sessions, got a lot out of them, and felt that it was money well spent.  We have lots to think about and, more importantly, apply to our own situation… I believe that it helps to meet an ever-growing need and would be happy to recommend it to others."

The programme can also be run in house.

To register your interest or find out more, email or call us on 01223 463757.

Being the best a MAT can be

Cambridge Education have again organised a conference on behalf of Dr Tim Coulson, 'Being the best that a MAT can be'.
This conference offers an exclusive opportunity for all MAT CEOs in the Eastern Region to explore what good governance and leadership mean for a MAT, as well as providing a unique opportunity to build and strengthen support networks.
The conference this year is on Tuesday 29 August and Wednesday 30 August at Homerton College, Cambridge. There is an optional dinner on the evening of Tuesday 29 August after which a lively after dinner speaker will present on a topical theme. Overnight accommodation is available for those who require it.
Click here to see the flyer which gives further information on the programme and details of how to book.
Unfortunately, entry at this conference is restricted to only those MATs in the East of England and North East London RSC region.
If you have any queries about this conference please contact Dom Staskevicius on 01223 577442. 

Childcare Works

Together with Hempsall's and Action for Children we (Mott MacDonald) have been appointed by The Department for Education to support Childcare Works, a new project that will see the extended entitlement of free childcare for working parents rise to 30 hours. The additional 15 hours of free childcare will help families by reducing the cost of childcare and will support parents into work or to work more hours should they wish to do so.

Read the full story here.

Teachers 'need training to spot honour-based abuse'

The BBC have reported that the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has backed calls for more information and training for school staff on how to spot the signs of "honour-based abuse".

Some forms of abuse can go undetected because teachers are unaware that they exist, the ATL annual conference has heard. 

Since 2015, teachers have been required to report cases of female genital mutilation in under-18s to the police.

Read the BBC article in full here.

Cambridge Education offers a one day in-school training course, Honour based violence (HBV), forced marriage (FM) and female genital mutilation (FGM) - within the context of diverse community issues.  We also offer a variety of other safety and wellbeing training courses which can be delivered in-school and some as national delegate courses; please click here for more details.


Forthcoming training events

Find out more about delegate training courses taking place from now until autumn 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.


Education news
Activities to tackle hate speech
Sec Ed, 7 June 2017

Charity backs overhaul of SEND system
Children & Young People Now, 7 June 2017

It's still not easy being a trans child. This is what schools can do to help
The Guardian, 5 June 2017

Ofsted trials three-day inspections amid warnings they 'will make teachers ill'
TES, 5 June 2017

Most school support staff have been assaulted by pupils
The Guardian, 4 June 2017

#humiliation – how more teachers are falling victim to pupils' cruel online 'pranks'
TES, 2 June 2017

Top private school pupils more likely to end up with drug and alcohol addictions, new research reveals.
The Independent, 1 June 2017

The return of touch typing: Leading schools put the skill on the timetable to make pupils more employable.
Daily Mail, 29 May 2017

Eight in 10 heads say EBacc is limiting opportunities for less academic children
TES, 22 May 2017

The surprising science of fidgeting
The Conversation, 24 May 2017

A music producer helps his son tackle his exams
BBC, 21 May 2017

Almost one million families to be hit by Theresa May's plan to end free school lunches, think tank warns.
The Independent, 21 May 2017

Secret Teacher: we're not reading – so why do we assume children will?
The Guardian, 20 May 2017

How gaming in the classroom prepares children for life in a surveillance state.
The Conversation, 12 May 2017


Government news

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