Friday, 29 January 2021

29 January 2021 Ofsted publish research on the role of MATs during the pandemic

Following its visits to schools in the Autumn term, Ofsted has published the findings of some research, based on discussions with school leaders, on the role of multi-academy trusts (MATs) during the pandemic

School leaders valued a strong MAT-wide approach to managing risk assessment and planning, including the support provided to schools for managing social distancing, setting up 'bubbles' and reviewing safeguarding, attendance and behaviour policies

In most cases, this central support complemented local autonomy, so that school leaders could design policies suited to their own context.  MATs also helped schools in practical ways, such as organising recruitment and sourcing PPE

MATs helped schools to develop their remote learning offer, source IT equipment and learning platforms as well as organising training. Some MATs supported schools with the curriculum, particularly through their subject networks and specialists

School leaders also said that they appreciated MATs monitoring and supporting the health and well-being of all staff 


Wednesday, 20 January 2021

20 January 2021 DfE confirms that that the early years profile will not be mandatory this year

The DfE has confirmed that the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) will not be mandatory this year; whilst the process will continue to go ahead, schools are being asked to use their 'best endeavors' to carry out the assessment instead

The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said that the assessment was being made optional 'in recognition of the additional pressures reception teachers face'

Schools that do decide they can complete the EYFSP this year, and provide information to parents and Year 1 teachers, will not be externally modified.  Additionally, the requirement to submit the data to LAs, or confirm whether they have completed it, has been removed

The EYFSP was not completed last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, 14 January 2021

14 January 2021 Ofsted releases guide for schools on what works well within remote education

Based on research and visits to schools, Ofsted has released a guide to what is working well within remote education:

- live lessons have advantages, including making it easier to align the curriculum and keeping pupils' attention, but it can make it harder to build in interaction and flexibility which means that feedback can be less effective than using recorded segments followed by interactive tasks

- feedback and assessment are still as important as in the classroom, but can be harder to deliver remotely; Ofsted says that it is important for teachers to stay in regular contact by using technology such as automated check-in emails

- Ofsted has warned that there is only so much that teachers can do to engage pupils remotely, and says that schools should ensure that efforts to engage don't distract from teaching the curriculum

- peer interaction can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes' and Ofsted advises schools to use chat group and video-lining functions to facilitate this

- the guide states that pupils using a laptop tend to spend longer accessing a remote lesson than those using a phone or tablet; schools should therefore think carefully about whether pupils have access to the right kind of device

- schools should consider about where they choose to host content, so pupils are not more easily distracted; platforms such as YouTube can distract pupils because of their advertising content

- the guide advises that sometimes it is more effective to deliver remote education through worksheets or a textbook because they can provide the curriculum content and sequencing that pupils need

Thursday, 7 January 2021

7 January 2021 DfE to establish a new 'Institute of Teaching'

The DfE has announced that it will establish a new Institute of Teaching to train up to 1000 teachers each year, with an emphasis on knowledge-based curriculum and high standards of pupil behaviour

It will begin offering initial teacher training courses from September 2022 and will also deliver the early career framework for new teachers as well as national professional qualifications for more experienced staff

The new 'Institute of Teaching' will provide lifelong training and development for teachers through at least four regional campuses, with the training likely to be delivered through a mixture of online, face-to-face and school-based means

At full capacity, it is expected to train around 1000 ITT trainees, 2000 early career teachers, 2000 mentors and 1000 national professional qualification participants each year