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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:
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.
- 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.
| |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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
| |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
Ofsted is as stressful as it can get for teachers. Is that stress level about to be dialled up?'
TES, 20 June 2017
New MAT formed by 450-year-old grammar school foundation to recruit comprehensivesActivities to tackle hate speech
TES, 16 June 2017
Are left-handed people more gifted than others? Our study suggests it may hold true for maths
The Conversation, 14 June 2017
Brexit fallout stunts recruitment for first 'super-SCITT'
Schools Week, 9 June 2017
Schools urged to review trip plans in wake of terror
BBC, 7 June 2017
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
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION IS A MEMBER OF THE MOTT MACDONALD GROUP.
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