Friday, 29 November 2019

29 November 2019 Higher proportion of secondary schools lost their outstanding grade

Schools graded as outstanding are currently exempt from Ofsted inspections.  However, Ofsted can inspect them if it has concerns, and in 2018-19 382 of them were inspected.

Data published this week shows that 75% of the outstanding secondary schools inspected were downgraded, compared to 38% in the previous year.

86% of the outstanding primary schools inspected were downgraded, compared to 80% in the previous year.

In September, plans to lift the exemption were announced but the process for this has not yet started.

Friday, 22 November 2019

22 November 2019 Report shows rise in the number of home-educated children with complex needs

A report published by the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) has shown a rise in the number of cases with 'social care, SEND and multi-agency involvement'

The report indicates that responses were received from 132 councils, showing that an estimated 78000 children and young people were home-educated at some point during the 2018/19 academic year

Of this cohort, 38 councils said that between 6% and 10% had an education, health and care (EHP) plan

The report says that 'The surge (in the number of EHE families) notably involves cases which are increasing in complexity and, consequently, require more robust monitoring, support and multi-agency involvement'

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

13 November 2019 Law group calls for reform of school exclusions

The law reform group Justice has called for a reform of school exclusions; in a recent report, it said that schools do not always fully understand their duties under the Equality Act 2010 which require them to make reasonable adjustments to school policies that may put pupils with SEND at a disadvantage

The report calls for mandatory training for school leaders on the law relating to exclusions, the establishment of a new independent reviewer with powers to investigate individual exclusions and dissatisfied parents having the option of appealing to a judge-led tribunal 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

6 November 2019 DfE publishes guidance on character education

The Department for Education (DfE) has published non-statutory guidance on character education in schools; this is based on recommendations from the advisory group on character established in April 2019

Intended for school leaders and teachers when planning the development of character education, the guidance covers six character benchmarks which summarise the most important features of good provision, including

- What kind of school are we?
- What are our expectations of behaviour towards each other?
- How well do our curriculum and teaching develop resilience and confidence?
- How good is our curriculum provision?
- How well do we promote the value of volunteering and service to others?
- How well do we ensure that all our pupils benefit equally from what we offer?

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

5 November 2019 Government to extend 'Opportunity areas' funding until 2021

The Department for Education has announced that funding for 'Opportunity areas' will be extended until August 2021; it was originally intended to finish next year

'Opportunity areas' were established in 2017 in twelve parts of the country - including Blackpool, Derby, the North Yorkshire Coast, Bradford and Doncaster - where it was felt that there were significant barriers to social mobility

The funding is used to support a range of activities such as additional mathematics classes for disadvantaged pupils in Year 11