Letter to academy trust accounting officers – September 2018

Eileen Milner, chief executive and accounting officer of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), writes to accounting officers of academy trusts about financial management, accountability and governance.

Read a copy here

Working together to safeguard children – August 2018

The DfE has published two pieces of statutory safeguarding guidance. These set the framework within which all practitioners should operate in order to protect children from abuse and neglect and promote their best interests, they can be accessed by clicking the button below and are:

  • revised Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance; and
  • Local Safeguarding – Transitional Arrangements statutory guidance.

Find out more 

Understanding your data: a guide for school governors and academy trustees – 6 July 2018

The DfE has published the a guide which forms part of the ‘School Resource Management’ collection page.

This product aims to encourage both schools and trusts to use educational and financial data when reviewing performance, and supports governors and trustees to engage and challenge the executive teams in their school or academy trust to:

  • set the right strategic direction
  • improve outcomes for the communities it serves
  • discharge its duties responsibly
  • take proper account of effective use of the tax payer’s money
  • ensure probity
  • manage risks and mitigating actions
  • strengthen decision making, by bringing together information to better understand educational performance and financial stability

This resource is not about collecting more information or additional reporting. It is about collecting the right information, understanding it and using it. This will allow governors and trustees to engage with their executive teams about the educational performance and the financial sustainability of their school or trust.

MAT Development Programme resource

The DfE have published a resource from the 2018 MAT Development Programme so that MATs not on the programme can use it if they wish. The resources are available on GOV.UK through the links below.

The resource is a set of developmental questions covering school improvement, governance and finance to help MATs to reflect on and improve their practices. It includes suggestions for how the questions can be used, either as a self-evaluation tool or in partnership with another MAT. It is for MATs to decide whether and how to use this resource.

Damian Hinds speech at National Governance Association conference – 9 June 2018

Education Secretary sets out plans to boost training for governors and strengthen accountability of academies

Read a transcript

Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS)

The Department for Education (DfE) and The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have published the Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS) guidance and tools on GOV.UK.

GEMS is a new online resource to help make sure land and buildings are well managed, support educational objectives and excellent resource management.

It has been developed with technical experts and education organisations (including CST) and will be a one-stop shop for everything schools should consider when managing the estate. It contains everything from guidance on health and safety, to advice on how to minimise energy and water usage. GEMS will help those responsible for school sites manage the efficiency of their site, by suggesting areas they should monitor and tools to do this.

It sets out:

  • the fundamental policies and procedures needed to manage the school estate effectively
  • guidance on strategic estate management, organisational oversight, understanding your land and buildings, energy and water management and managing projects
  • updated guidance on health and safety, compliance and maintenance (replacing existing guidance in Essential Schools Maintenance)
  • the skills organisations need access to, links to tools and resources that can help

The guidance is for anyone with responsibility for overseeing or managing the estate. This includes: leaders and governors of schools, charity trustees of academies and academy trusts, trustees of schools, school business professionals, those with responsibility for day to day running of the school estate, local authorities, Diocesan authorities and other religious authorities and bodies.

If you have any questions, please contact the ESFA at GEMS.esfacapital@education.gov.uk

Teacher workload challenge: school research project reports

Project reports for the teacher workload research projects funded in 2016 to 2017.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential:  A plan for improving social mobility through education

On 18thDecember the Department for Education published a plan for improving social mobility through education.

No Community Left Behind

The purpose of the plan is to bring together and give coherence to the steps the government is taking and – building on recent reforms – to provide a platform for further action.

The plan is structured around a set of guiding ambitions, intended to provide a framework that all sectors – educators, government, business or civil society – can use to help to transform equality of opportunity.

Four Ambitions

The plan has four ambitions:

Ambition one: Close the ‘word gap’ in the early years:

  • According to the Plan, good early years education is the cornerstone of social mobility
  • We need to tackle development gaps at the earliest opportunity, particularly focused on early language and literacy skills

Ambition two: Close the attainment gap

  • There remain unacceptable differences in outcomes in different areas of the country
  • We need to build on the many more good school places and the innovation unleashed by recent reforms, and focus on raising standards in the areas of the country where it is now most needed

Ambition three: High quality post-16 education choices for all young people

  • Technical education has yet to fully benefit from wider determination to drive up standards. This disproportionately affects young people in more challenging areas and from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • We need a skills revolution for them and for British business, and we need to expand access to the best universities for young people from less advantaged backgrounds

Ambition four: Everyone achieving their potential in rewarding careers

  • Young people from lower income backgrounds are less likely to have access to the networks of advice, information and experiences of work to enable them to turn aspiration into reality – it is very hard to aim for an opportunity that you do not know exists.

We need to ensure that everyone can build a rewarding career, and provide far better opportunities for adults who want to retrain and upskill.

Ways of working

  • Identifying and spreading what works:
  • Evidence at the heart
  • Embedding and extending successful reforms
  • Developing the evidence base
  • Spreading best practice to where it is needed

Building lasting success through partnerships:

  • Asking key partners – employers, business educators, civil society – to step up and join a coalition which will seek to unlock potential for all

The admission into school of children previously in care outside of England

Letter to local authorities and admission authorities dated 4 December 2017 from Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP.

Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents

Skills minister Anne Milton has launched the government’s new careers strategy.

Download a copy

Every school and college will be expected to have a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new school year who can “give advice on the best training routes and up-to-date information on the jobs market, helping young people make decisions about their future”.

There are five elements to the Careers Strategy:

•    Dedicated careers leaders

The government “will aim for every school and college to have a dedicated careers leader, with £4 million to provide training and support for at least 500 schools and colleges, so they can give the most up-to-date advice and fully prepare young people for the world of work.”

•    Quality interactions between schools and businesses

“Secondary schools will be expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with businesses every year, with a particular focus on employers from science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries to help deliver the high-skilled workers we need in these industries.”

•    Careers hubs to be set up across the country

“To support young people in the most disadvantaged areas, £5 million funding will develop 20 careers hubs, led by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Hubs will link together schools, colleges, universities and local businesses to broaden the aspirations of young people.”

•    Trials of careers activities in primary schools

“Backed by £2 million, these pilots will test out ways of engaging children from an early age on the wealth of careers available to them, helping to raise their aspirations. These trials will focus on some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country through the government’s opportunity areas programme.”

•    Specialist advice for long-term unemployed and those with additional needs

“The National Careers Service will provide access to specialist support for adults who need it most, ensuring that we help create opportunities for everyone, no matter where they live or their background.”

Statistics: initial teacher training

TSM and initial teacher training allocations: 2018 to 2019

AGOG Bulletin

The Department for Education (DfE) wants to ensure that there are enough great leaders across the country and, in particular, in our most challenging schools and areas. We are therefore delighted to announce the selection of 42 leading providers to deliver the new and improved National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for school leaders.

Teachers and leaders interested in applying for one of the new NPQs should visit the Gov.uk websitewhich includes details of £10 million funding to support the take-up of NPQs in Opportunity Areas and Category 5 and 6 areas.

Visit Gov.uk

As you will be aware, last year the DfE brought together top headteachers, multi-academy trust (MAT) CEOs, and other sector experts to reform the NPQs to better prepare leaders for the range of leadership roles in today’s school system. We presented a working model of the reformed NPQs to the Advisory Group on Governance in October 2017, and we were grateful for the many constructive insights we received from members.

Alongside enhanced National Professional Qualifications for Middle Leadership (NPQML), Senior Leadership (NPQSL), and Headship (NPQH), the reformed suite of NPQs includes, for the very first time, a National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) for MAT leaders and executive headteachers.

These qualifications will equip participants at every stage of their leadership careers with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to meet the challenges of today’s school system – the new NPQs include, for example, a stronger emphasis on financial and risk management and improvement strategies for schools and their staff.

Our new providers, comprising some of the country’s best schools and organisations, will be in the driving seat of leadership professional development. Working within a flexible set of frameworks, they will lead on the design, delivery, and assessment of the new NPQs. While ensuring robust quality standards, these frameworks will give providers the freedom to meet the needs of their participants, through specialised content and innovative delivery methods.

To ensure that teachers and leaders are aware of these new professional development opportunities, we would welcome your support in sharing this information with your networks.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at NPQ.reform@education.gov.uk.

MAT Development and Improvement Fund

Education Forum: Analyse School Performance (ASP)

You may be aware that DfE have recently built Analyse School Performance , the replacement to RAISE Online. The new service allows governors to have their own user accounts to easily identify the data that frames discussions around school performance and priorities. It is also the same view of annual performance that Ofsted inspectors use.

This is the time of year where 2017 results are being loaded for your school.  As such, now is the right time for you to be asking your school to get your account set up.  Here at CST we really encourage governors to access the service.

In order to get access, DfE recommend you ask your school the following:

“Please can the  ‘Approver’ of Secure Access accounts within the school set me up with a governor role account to Analyse School Performance.  If the Secure Access Approver within school is unclear how to do it, then guidance for them is available here. If the school is unclear who the Approver user is, then it is often the Business Manager, or the person who provides returns such as school census to DfE.  If they are still unsure, then the school can ask to know who the Approver is within their school by submitting a helpdesk request ”

Once you have your account set up, a short demonstration video is available here.  Whilst the demo is based on a secondary school the key functions of viewing data in detail, filtering, and scatterplots are entirely consistent across primary as well.

Information from DfE on exclusion from school

Email sent to schools on 7 September 2017

Teaching schools and systems leadership: monthly report

Collaborative fund: grant funding agreement terms and conditions

Teacher supply model: 2017 to 2018

Initial teacher training: criteria for providers

Arrangements for ITT accreditation submissions

Timelines for schools: mandatory and useful information

School workforce planning guidance

This publication provides non-statutory guidance from the Department for Education on reviewing school staff structures, following requests from school leaders and their representatives.

Local leaders of education (LLE)

Governance handbook and competency framework