Wednesday, 18 November 2020

18 November 2020 Northern Powerhouse Partnership publishes new school leagues tables

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) has published new league tables that attempt to take into account the background of the pupils taught

It has created a 'Fairer Schools Index' which uses an adjusted Progress 8 score which, it says, takes into account long-term deprivation, whether students are eligible for free school meals and their ethnicity and gender

Using the measure, 46% of schools judged 'well below' average or 'below average' under Progress 8 moved up out of these bandings

Of the 20 schools that climbed the most from their official Department for Education (DfE) Progress 8 ranking, 15 were in the north of England

Friday, 13 November 2020

13 November 2020 Ofsted releases second report following visits to schools

Ofsted has released its second report following visits to 380 schools between 29 September and 23 October

The main findings are

School leaders reported that pupils were happy to be back but, in some schools, outlined concerns about self-harming and eating disorders during the first lockdown

Almost half of the schools reported that some parents had elected to home educate their children

Leaders found their workload 'overwhelming and unrealistic' with the chief inspector praising their 'remarkable resilience'

They 'very occasionally' reported a rise in fixed term exclusions as they could not use their usual sanctions as a result of space restrictions

In a separate briefing on SEND provision during the pandemic, Ofsted found a mixed picture with some pupils benefitting from the 'simpler routines' but being seriously affected when speech and language services were unavailable

Friday, 6 November 2020

6 November 2020 Academies minister urges trust boards to nurture members who could replace chairs

Speaking at a governance conference, Baroness Berridge urged academy trusts to put succession planning in place in order to ensure continuity of leadership

A government report (The School and Trust Governance Investigative Report) found that 'succession planning was not commonly happening, with individuals generally being asked to fill the role (of chair) following a resignation, rather than volunteering'

Baroness Berridge said that this needed to change, with people not being coerced into the role because there was a vacancy

She said that there was 'a difference between coercing and nurturing.  As current chairs, I look to you to help nurture board members who may be interested in stepping up'

She also said that 'diversity is critical to maintain this effective challenge and ensure that boards better reflect the communities they serve'.  Currently, 3.5% of governors are black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME)