Public Health England and the DfE have updated Guidance for full opening: schools –27 July 2020

National Funding Formula for Schools and High Needs

DfE has published a guide (20 July 2020) to the National Funding Formula. More details of the funding system for schools and high needs can be found here. Tables showing provisional allocations for the schools, high needs and central school services blocks from 2021 to 2022 can be found here.

Catch-up Premium

DfE has published guidance (20 July 2020) on the catch-up premium. The £650 million of universal catch-up premium funding will be available for all state-funded mainstream and special schools, and alternative provision.

STRB report and Government Response

21 July 2020  the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) published their 30th report: 2020. The Secretary of State for Education has accepted all the recommendations from the STRB to raise the starting salary for new teachers by 5.5% and increase the upper and lower boundaries of the pay ranges for all other teachers by 2.75%. These recommendations are equivalent to a 3.1% increase in the overall pay bill.

Governance Update

DfE has published the most recent Governance Update. (17 July 2020)

ITT Criteria and Supporting Advice – amended guidance (20 July 2020)

DfE has amended mandatory guidance  accompanying advice.  ITT providers must have regard to the mandatory guidance when carrying out their duties relating to ITT. The associated regulations came into force on 21 May 2020. Accredited ITT providers must ensure they meet these criteria to remain compliant. Please note that ITT providers who do not comply with these criteria may be subject to withdrawal of accreditation.

School Snapshot Survey – Winter 2019 (published 21 July 2020)

The school snapshot survey is a twice-yearly survey which gathers views from senior leaders and classroom teachers in state-funded primary and secondary schools. The Winter 2019 survey covers a range of topics, including:

Financial transparency – consultation response (July 2020)

DfE has published a response to a consultation on financial transparency of local authority maintained schools and academy trusts.

Academy data

DfE has published new data in a report 16 July 2020) that analyses the number of academies that have moved trusts from the financial year 2013 to 2014 to 2019 to 2020 and the total grant funding provided. It will also compare the reason that academies move trust. The spreadsheets (16 July 2020) list all the academies that have moved trusts and the funding provided for the same period, along with the reason for moving trust.

DfE has also published an updated data on open academies, free schools, studio schools and UTCs.

National pupil projections – July 2020

A new statistical release provides national projections for the number of pupils in schools by type of school and age group.

Helping children to continue their education during COVID-19 – new and amended guidance

DfE has amended several guidance documents with a banner that states: “From the beginning of the autumn term, the DfE will expect all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time. Information on what parents and carers need to know about the opening of schools is available. It is vital for all children to return to school for their educational progress, for their wellbeing and for their wider development.” (10 July)

DfE has also amended guidance to help primary school children continue with their education (16 July 2020)

New guidance, 10 top tips to encourage children to read, has also been published. (16 July 2020)

Providing free school meals during the coronavirus – amended guidance 15 July 2020

DfE has amended guidance and application form for the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.

Guides to free school revenue funding July 2020

DfE has published a series of guides to free school revenue funding:

NQT support and inductions from September 2020 – new guidance 15 July 2020

DfE has published information to help schools and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) prepare for NQT induction from September 2020.

Taking exams during COVID-19 – amended guidance 13 July 2020 

DfE has amended guidance on taking exams during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some questions relating to outdated information have been removed and a new section on centre assessment grades has been added. Details about the autumn series of exams have been added and there is a new section on 2021 exams arrangements.

Staff taking leave over the summer

The guidance on quarantine is here: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK. (6 July 2020)

Protective measures for out-of-school settings – amended guidance (10 July 2020)

DfE has amended guidance on protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus during the Summer holidays.

Exceptional costs funding – amended guidance (10 July 2020)

DfE has amended guidance on ‘exceptional costs’ funding relating to the summer holidays that are not covered by the national voucher scheme, and ordering vouchers for the summer holidays.

A reminder that costs already incurred must be claimed before 21st July – click here for more details.

Education Select Committee Report – Getting the grades they’ve earned (7 July 2020)

The Education Committee has published its report: Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades. The report summary can be read here and the conclusions and recommendations are here. This report examines the fairness, transparency and accessibility of this year’s exam arrangements.

Keeping children safe in education: proposed revisions 2020

This consultation has been withdrawn, permanently.

Further Education – Social Market Foundation Speech 9 July

The Secretary of State set out plans for Further Education in a virtual speech hosted by the Social Market Foundation You can read the speech here. In the speech, the Secretary of State indicated that he will be publishing a White Paper that will set out plans to build a German-style further education system in Britain. The speech was followed by a discussion with James Kirkup, Director of the Social Market Foundation. You can watch the discussion  here.

Behaviour and discipline in schools – checklist July 2020

DfE has published a checklist for school leaders to support full opening: behaviour and attendance.

Relationships and sex education – FAQs 9 July 2020

DfE has published information for parents and carers on the introduction of compulsory relationships education and RSE from September 2020

Coronavirus financial support – amended 9 July 2020

Trust Capacity Fund – reminder (6 July 2020) 

The Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) 2020 to 2021 launched on 6th April 2020. Full details including information for applicants, eligibility checkers and the application form can be found here.

There are two periods within the 2020 to 2021 financial year to apply for the Trust Capacity Fund:

  • The first opportunity to apply began on 6th April 2020, requiring all growth applications to be approved at headteacher boards by 31 July 2020 – perhaps understandably given the COVID-19 lockdown, few projects have been received in this period.
  • The second opportunity to apply will begin from 1 September 2020, requiring all growth applications to be approved at headteacher boards by 31 December 2020

If you are eligible to apply and have not yet done so, you may wish to consider using the second opportunity from 1st September. Applications for TCaF must be linked to a successful growth proposal, approved by the relevant RSC, in order to be eligible. All funded activity must be completed by 31 March 2021.

Funding for PE and Sport Premium confirmed (5 July 2020) 

Gavin Williamson has confirmed that funding for the PE and Sport Premium will continue at the higher rate of £320 million next year (2020-21).

Guidance on the full opening of schools

Links to the full suite of guidance that was published 2 July 2020:

Guidance for parents and carers

Guidance for parents has also been published 2 July 2020: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.

Leicester lockdown – new guidance 1 July 2020

DfE has published local lockdown guidance for educational and childcare settings in Leicester and the affected parts of Leicestershire

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children – new guidance

DfE has published new guidance (1 July 2020) on protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings – new guidance

Alongside the protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs, DfE has published new guidance  (1 July 2020) in the form of Q&A for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.

Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms – consultation response

The government published its response to the consultation on 1 July 2020.  The response confirms that the Government will proceed with offering schools the opportunity to adopt the final reforms from September 2020, followed by statutory national implementation as planned from September 2021.

The consultation response confirms that local authorities will no longer be required to externally moderate the EYFS Profile within schools when the measures become statutory from September 2021.

Reception classes have been invited to bring in the EYFS reforms a year early if appropriate. Early years foundation stage profile 2021 handbook for early adopters was also published. It should be read alongside the early adopter framework.

Exceptional costs – how to submit a claim

DfE has issued instructions on how to claim exceptional costs related to COVID-19. You only have until 21 July 2020 to submit an application form.

COVID Summer Food Fund – new supermarkets added

DfE has amended guidance (30 June 2020) on the COVID Summer Food Fund, adding Company Shop Group and Iceland, including The Food Warehouse Stores, to the list of supermarkets you can order eGift cards for. They have also added an example to show how you could schedule smaller gift cards.

Temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups – updated guidance 30 June 2020

DfE has updated guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups. This is to reflect the change in annual household income threshold to £16,190 after tax. A sample application form is also included.

Free School Meals over the summer – clarification

Guidance on providing Free School Meals can be found here.

Disapplication Notices 

The Secretary of State for Education has issued third notices covering July 2020 to:

  1. Disapply Offences for non-attendance in schools
  2. Disapply The suspension of routine Ofsted inspections
  3. Modify the duty relating to education, health and care (EHC) plans
  4. modify pupil registration requirements

Condition Improvement Fund – outcome announced

DfE has announced the outcome of the Condition Improvement Fund 2020 to 2021.

School admissions for children born in the summer – statement 26 June 2020

DfE has published a statement on admission of summer-born children: 2020.

Reducing burdens on educational and care settings – amended guidance 26 June 2020

In April 2020, DfE published guidance which cancelled or paused all but the most essential data collections, services and requests until June 2020. A review of the list has now taken place and the pause period has been extended to September 30 for those collections which remain paused.

COVID-19 Summer Food Fund – new guidance

DfE has published guidance (25 June 2020) for schools and local authorities on providing vouchers to support pupils eligible for free school meals over the summer holiday period during COVID-19.

Alternative provision year 11 transition funding – updated guidance

The DfE has updated guidance (24 June 2020) on Alternative Provision transition funding.

Reception Baseline Assessment – delayed

DfE  announced 25 June 2020 in a blog that that the statutory introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment will be delayed until Autumn 2021 because of the issues brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.

Keeping children safe online – updated guidance

The DfE has updated guidance 25 June 2020) for parents and carers about keeping children safe online.

Statistical releases

DfE published a series of statistical releases 25 June 2020 including childcare and early years, schools, pupils and their characteristics (January 2020 census), school workforce in England,  and further education

Exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 – amended guidance

DfE has amended guidance on exceptional costs,  adding information on the impact of schools’ financial reserves on eligibility for this funding.

Early Career Framework Reforms – policy paper 

DfE has published a policy paper setting out details of the Early Career Framework reforms. From September 2021, the government is funding an entitlement for all early career teachers so they can access high-quality professional development at the start of their career. New teachers will receive development support over 2 years instead of one.

Actions for early years and childcare providers – updated guidance

Dfe has updated guidance for early years and childcare providers to reflect that early years providers are now able to open for all children and to provide additional information on protective measures.

Procurement Policy Notice 04/ 20 

The Cabinet Office has just published further guidance which affects all schools and trusts. Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19 sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak. It updates and builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20. It is effective from 1st July to 31st October 2020.

Extended powers of the SEND tribunal – trial extended

This guidance on single routes of redress sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017. It explains how the appeal process will work, what happens if recommendations are not followed, and the support available for commissioners and families. Further guidance and support for the trial can be found in the SEND national trial toolkit.

What parents and carers need during the COVID-19 outbreak – updated guidance

Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care – updated

DfE has updated guidance to clarify PPE advice and changes in access to testing.

Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers – progress data 

DfE has released information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers we have delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts.

Flexibility in welcoming more pupils back to school – amended guidance

Primary and middle schools

DfE has amended the Planning Guidance Primary Schools on how primary schools can use flexibility to welcome back additional pupils this term.

You should still follow the approaches set out in the protective measures guidance and your own risk assessments.

Secondary Planning Guidance

The amended guidance for secondary school provision states that you should not welcome back more children to secondary school at this time, beyond the face-to-face support schools can now offer year 10 and 12 pupils, and provision for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

According to the guidance, you may invite pupils in other year groups in for a face-to-face meeting before the end of this term, where it would be beneficial, as long as this happens in line with this and wider protective measures guidance, and guidance on the numbers of pupils permitted on-site at any one time.

Schools complaints procedures – amended guidance

DfE recently amended guidance for maintained schools on the procedure for handling complaints during COVID-19. There is separate guidance for academy trusts.

Remote education – summary of guidance and amendments

DfE has amended some of its guidance on remote education. The list below is a summary of guidance and the changes that have been made, where applicable.

Deciding what to teach during a phased return:

Identifying and addressing gaps in pupils’ understanding:

The curriculum and expectations for those groups returning to school

The DfE has updated guidance for parents on the curriculum and expectations of those groups returning to school (section 1.14)

Travelling to school

General guidance on staying safe outside the home is available here.

In the light of this general guidance to the public, the DfE has updated guidance for parents and carers.

When  planning the journey to school, if using public transport, parents are advised that their children should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

Teaching about mental wellbeing

The DfE has published a training module for teachers which supports the physical health and mental wellbeing section of the statutory relationships, sex and health education curriculum.

School governance update 

DfE has published the most recent governance update focusing on the role of governance in COVID-19.

Definition of clinically vulnerable

The government has updated the definition of clinically vulnerable people on 31st May.  The DfE’s guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings sets out that staff with conditions that mean they are clinically vulnerable “are advised to take extra care in observing social distancing and should work from home where possible.

Year 11 transition funding for pupils in Alternative Provision

DfE has published new guidance which sets out the financial support available to alternative provision (AP) schools and colleges to support current year 11 students into post-16 education.

Guidance for schools on opening more widely

DfE has made small amendments to the primary school planning guidance to reflect the Prime Minister’s decision to move forward with wider opening of education and childcare settings.

Initial Teacher Training (ITT) – updated guidance 

DfE has updated mandatory guidance on criteria and supporting advice based on current public health advice, to help ITT providers reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their ITT provision.

DfE has also updated general guidance, based on current public health advice, to help  ITT providers reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their ITT provision. Note that the arrangements set out in this guidance are subject to secondary legislation. DfE has laid the necessary regulations and these are now in force as of 21 May 2020.

Actions for schools during the Coronavirus – updated guidance (3 June 2020)

DfE has made substantial amendments to guidance for schools on wider opening of educational settings from 1 June and 15 June.

What parents need to know – updated guidance (2 June 2020) 

DfE has updated information on what parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak.

Actions for early years and childcare providers – updated guidance (2 June 2020) 

The guidance has been restructured in line with wider opening, updated content on funding including in relation to the Competition and Markets Authority and insurance, updated content on infection prevention and control, a new section on attendance, new information on the use of community centres and before and after school clubs, a new section of safeguarding and welfare including provisions for children with SEND and a clarification on paediatric first aid certificates.

DfE has published important dates and deadlines for academy conversions in October, November and December 2020.

Early Years Foundation Stage COVID-19 disapplications – amended guidance 

The EYFS disapplications guidance has been updated to reflect wider opening of early years settings from 1 June 2020 and to provide a clarification on progress checks for children aged 2.

Safer travelling – new guidance

As more staff, parents and pupils travel to education settings, general guidance on safer travelling is available here.

School Capital Funding (27 May 2020)

The DfE has updated school capital funding allocations for 2020 to 2021.

SAGE modelling and the DfE’s explanatory note

The official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) paper offers an overview of the modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for opening schools more widely.
Papers for the meetings on 30th April and 1st May, most relevant to schools, can be found here.  Also the overview of the modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for opening more widely.

The DfE published an explanatory note.

Early years and childcare settings guidance

The government published guidance for early years and childcare settings

Guidance for secondary school provision from 15th June

The Prime Minister announced on Sunday 24th May that it is the government’s intention “from June 15th, for secondary schools to provide some contact for Year 10 and Year 12 students to help them prepare for exams next year, with up to a quarter of these students in at any point.”

The DfE published guidance for secondary school provision from 15th June.

Additional funding for support to those children who most need our care and support

On 22 May 2020, the government announced £16.5 million of additional funding for support to those children who most need our care and support.

Assessment only route to QTS: criteria and supporting advice

The DfE has updated the candidate assessment advice to explain what should happen when candidates’ progress on the Assessment Only route to QTS is interrupted as a consequence of the COVID-19.

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak – amended guidance 

DfE has updated guidance including adding a new section clarifying the position on welcoming back all children to early years settings from 1 June, information on testing for essential workers, and information for parents on temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

DfE Recovery Strategy

Planning for primary schools – DfE guidance

The purpose of this guide is to help primary schools prepare for opening from week commending 1st June.

DfE has updated guidance on supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and trusts prepare for wider opening.

Supplier relief due to COVID-19 (PPN 02/20) 

The government has amended PPN 02/20 to include additional sector guidance for state-funded schools.

Opening schools for more children and young people: initial planning framework for schools in England
initial planning framework.

DfE guidance on actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening

The first in the suite of guidance documents sets out actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening

Protective measures

The guidance on protective measures needs to be supplemented by the detailed planning guidance we expect later this week.

Guidance for parents

Alongside the guidance on actions to prepare for opening more widely and protective measures, the DfE also published last night guidance for parents.

DfE Statement ‘New rules on staying at home and away from others’ (23 March 2020)

This statement clarifies that “If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school.”

Physical distancing (23 March 2020)

Schools should, where possible, reduce physical interaction between and among pupils and adults. The official guidance is here.

Also guidance on self-isolation or household isolation for all.

DfE Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision – 19 March 2020
Guidance for maintaining education settings, giving information about the definition of key workers.

DfE Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers – 19 March 2020
Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). This will be updated as the DfE have further information available – here

DfE COVID-19: free school meals guidance – 19 March 2020
Guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

CST was delighted to be asked to support the press release for the DfE’s announcement about behaviour hubs.

National Leaders of Education (NLE) advisory group – Recommendations on NLE reform


NLE Standards

Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice

Where to find the latest information

Public Health England blog

Guidance for educational settings

Guidance to educational settings about COVID-19
Guidance for schools and other educational settings in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

A poster accompanying the guidance can be downloaded, printed and displayed in all schools and education settings. It is aimed at parents, carers, students, headteachers, teaching and support team staff.

Multi-academy trust performance measures at KS4: 2018 to 2019
Statistics on the performance at key stage 4 (KS4) of state-funded mainstream schools in multi-academy trusts in England

Britain set for post-Brexit education revolution (January 2020)
A school exchange scheme is being extended as part of plans for Britain’s outward-looking education ambitions after the UK leaves the EU.

School resource management adviser (SRMA) pilot evaluation (January 2020)

An evaluation report about the pilot programme to provide tailored advice to academy trusts and schools on effective resource management

Academy trusts: school governance update (January 2020)

Struggling schools set for specialist support (January 2020)
Schools Minister announces six successful new Teaching School Hubs to support struggling schools

PISA 2018 England Report

Achievement of 15-
year-olds in England:
PISA 2018 results

The initial teacher training (ITT) core content framework

Defines in detail the minimum entitlement of all trainee teachers. It sets out the content that ITT providers and their partnerships must draw upon when designing and delivering their ITT programmes, drawing on the best evidence. The ITT core content framework aligns with the Early Career Framework to establish an entitlement to a 3 or more year structured package of support for all new teachers at the start of their careers.

A review of the subject content for GCSEs in Modern foreign languages was announced on 5 November 2019.

An independent panel has been convened that will review the content and recommend changes to ensure it continues to be rigorous, as well as supporting high-quality teaching.

Character Education Framework

The Dfe have published a new non-statutory guidance to schools on character education and development for pupils. (November 2019)

The guidance will support schools and trusts as they consider:

Pre-election guidance (November 2019)

The Dfe have published pre-election guidance for schools and multi-academy trusts.

The DfE has published a series of resources for schools and trusts including: (October 2019)

  • Benefits of flexible working: promotional materials outlining the benefits of flexible working
  • Flexible working case studies
  • Flexible working guidance

Pupil premium strategy statements

Schools and trusts in receipt of the pupil premium must publish a pupil premium strategy statement. The DfE has published templates and sample strategies here.

The Education Select Committee published a report into Special Education Needs and Disability (October 2019)

School resource management self-assessment tool

The DfE has published a self-assessment tool that can be used to reassure trusts that they are managing resources effectively and to identify any adjustments they need to make.

The DfE has added documents for schools converting to academy status on 1 March, 1 April, 1 May and 1 June 2020 (October 2019)


The DfE has updated the Teachers’ Pay Grant Methodology to include 2019 to 2020 figures and Teachers’ Pensions Employer Contributions Grant Methodology to reflect the publication of grant allocations and supplementary fund 2019 to 2020 (October 2019)

National funding formula tables for schools and high needs: 2020-21 (11 October 2019)

Tables showing provisional allocations for the schools, high needs and central school services blocks from 2020 to 2021.

National funding formula: Impact of the schools national funding formula 2020-21 (11 October 2019)

Correspondence from the DfE (11 October 2019)

State of the Nation 2019: Children and Young People’s Wellbeing (October 2019)

Research Report

Teacher Workload Survey 2019 (October 2019)

Research report

World Teachers’ Day (5 October 2019)

To mark UNESCO’s World Teachers’ Day on Saturday, 5 October 2019 the Department for Education is encouraging teachers and leaders across the country to share their stories about what makes them Proud To Teach.

Headteacher board meetings schedule and preparation templates (24 September 2019)

Schedule of headteacher board meetings 2019 to 2020 and meeting preparation templates.

Guidance for schools on leaving the EU (17 September 2019)

Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, has sent a letter to all academy trusts and local authorities regarding the EU exit preparations that all schools need to take into consideration. This letter contains key actions that academy trusts, LAs and schools will need to take/ be aware of regarding Brexit. The letter has been sent directly to all academy trust accounting officers. There is also a second, more specific letter that is addressed to schools in Kent, as schools in this county are likely to be more affected by Brexit than other areas. This letter contains the same information as the other letter, as well as a number of Kent-specific points, which have been developed in collaboration with Kent County Council.

As part of this letter, the Department for Education asks academy trusts to complete an online survey about the steps they have taken to prepare for Brexit. Information gathered through this survey will help the DfE to gain a better understanding of school sector readiness and to identify further steps to help the education sector better prepare for 31 October. Once accounting officers have received these letters, DfE would be grateful if your trust could complete the following actions:

  • Read the letter, and ensure that key staff are familiar with the DfE’s published guidance on Brexit;
  • Share the letter with all headteachers in each academy within your trust to ensure they are familiar with the above guidance, and to outline any specific actions they should take; and
  • Ensure that an appropriate person within your trust completes the survey noted within the letter by Friday 27 September. Individual academies should not complete this survey.

Trust Capacity Fund (September 2019)

CST has sought clarification on the elements of the trust capacity fund which will award up to £17 million to support trust growth and development across England.

  • Information for applicants is available here.
  • The eligibility checker can be found here.
  • The application form is available here.
  • Frequently asked questions can be found here.

Applications are now open and close in December 2019. Awards will be made in conjunction with growth approved by regional schools commissioners (RSCs). DfE will also consider applications that were approved for growth by RSCs following Head Teacher Board discussions in July 2019.

It is important to note that the closing date to submit your growth paperwork and TCaF application form will vary according to the date of the Head Teacher Board you are submitting your growth proposal to. Please contact the relevant regional delivery team to confirm the deadline for submission.

To apply for TCaF, you must take into your trust at least one additional school (see eligibility criteria on page 6 of the guidance) but the additional school or schools do not need to transfer into the trust by end March 2020 if that timescale is not achievable.

However, the projects that will be funded by TCaF do not relate to the improvement of a school. Projects must benefit the Trust as a whole and contribute to Trust infrastructure and capacity.

DfE will consider deliverability and sustainability as part of their assessment of applications – geographical need, contextual need, resource management and value for money will also be assessed (see pages 11 – 13 of the guidance).

Deliverability: projects must provide a realistic delivery plan supported by appropriate evidence, including good consideration and mitigation of risk; and assurance that all funded activities will be completed by 31 March 2020 (there is no scope to extend beyond March 2020).

Sustainability: projects must provide evidence that the trust can afford to pay for any new capabilities beyond March 2020 e.g. staffing costs and evidence that the trust will be financially sustainable without additional revenue support through the TCaF.

Examples of activity that might be funded are:

  • Time-limited specialist secondments into your trust to built your capacity in a particular specialist area
  • Procurement of software or services to centralise functions such as HR or data management (capital expenditure is not allowed)
  • CPD costs to develop existing staff to undertake enhanced roles, for example developing the skills to operate as a company secretary
  • Legal costs associated with a merger
  • Strengthening your back office to create operational capacity to bring in another school or schools

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) (2 September 2019)

Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

Consultation: Financial Transparency of local authority maintained schools and academy trusts (launched 17 July 2019; closes 30 September 2019)

The consultation aims to improve transparency of the financial health of LA maintained schools and to introduce new financial transparency measures.

Setting executive salaries – guidance for academy trusts (July 2019)

The DfE has published non-statutory guidance for academy trusts on setting executive salaries. This guidance aims to support trusts in making decisions about pay and further enable boards to be confident about, and accountable for, these decisions.

The guidance signposts CST’s principles for setting executive pay.

Trust improvement framework (June 2019)

The DfE has produced an improvement framework for school trusts. The framework is a diagnostic tool developed in partnership with trust leaders in the South-West RSC region. It is designed to help trusts identify their most significant areas of strAcadength and challenge. It does not form part of the Department’s accountability framework.

The tool is a live document undergoing regular revision with the sector. CST has been part of the conversation about the development of this tool. The department will publish future versions of this tool as they are developed.

Memorandum of understanding between the DfE and the Insolvency Service (May 2019)

This memorandum of understanding (MoU) sets out how The Insolvency Service and the Department for Education (DfE), including its executive agency the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), propose to work together in co-ordinating their regulatory operations, sharing information and formulating the regulatory policy framework within which they work.
The MoU promotes:
• effective working and communication between The Insolvency Service and DfE
• clarity about their respective roles and responsibilities, working procedures, legal powers and constraints
It is intended to cover DfE’s regulatory interest in academy and multi-academy trusts.

Teaching Schools Hubs (May 2019)

The new Teaching School Hubs will have considerable freedom in shaping delivery of their school improvement offer, but DfE is expecting each Teaching School Hub to provide support to around 200 – 300 local schools in three core areas: school-to-school-support; continuing professional development (CPD) including workforce development at all career stages – and teacher recruitment and retention. A prospectus and application form can be downloaded from Contracts Finder

GCSE new grading fact sheet for parents (May 2019)

The DfE has published a very useful fact sheet for parents, explaining the main changes to GCSE.

The Timpson Report (May 2019)

Edward Timpson has published his Review of School Exclusions. At the same time, the government published its response.

DfE ‘increasingly’ quizzing academy trusts about merger plans (May 2019)

Regional schools commissioners are also challenging MATs that have all-male boards or an individual school that is over-represented

Letters from Lord Theodore Agnew to academy trust auditors (April 2019)

Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, writes to auditors about academy trust financial management and governance.

Teachers’ pay grant methodology (25 April 2019)

A guide to help school leaders understand and plan for the teachers’ pay grant.
This methodology will help you to understand the teachers’ pay grant, covering the 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 financial years.

Detailed allocations for financial year 2018 to 2019 were published in October 2018, with payments made shortly after.

Allocations for financial year 2019 to 2020 will be published in April 2019. There will be 2 payments, one in spring 2019, which will cover April to August 2020 and one in autumn 2019, which will cover September 2019 to March 2020.

Academies will be paid using the 2019 to 2020 rates for the period April 2020 to August 2020 which will provide funding for the end of their financial year.

Changes to assessment in primary schools (11 April 2019)

All state-funded primary schools with a reception cohort (year group) will need to carry out the reception baseline assessment (RBA). The RBA is scheduled for introduction in September 2020. The Standards and Testing Agency has recently published new guidance here.

FAQs on Relationship and Sex Education (5 April 2019)

The DfE has provided some FAQs on RSE to explain some of the common misconceptions around the subjects. You may find these useful to circulate to parents and carers within schools in your trust.

DfE’s ‘Ed Tech’ strategy

The DfE published its strategy for Realising the potential of technology in education

EU exit guide – data protection for education providers (27  March 2019)

The DfE has published information for education providers on how to remain compliant with data protection laws when the UK leaves the EU. The contents include:

  • No deal data protection planning for the education sector
  • Steps to take
  • Definitions

Governance handbook and competency framework (March 2019)

Guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective.

Revised workload reduction toolkit (March 2019)

The DfE has published updates to the workload reduction toolkit in response to the recommendations of the Making Data Work report.

There is a suite of materials, including a workshop, for trustees to support you in taking action to reduce workload.

Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below – consultation (March 2019)

The Government has opened a consultation on the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below.
The consultation is open for 12 weeks and will close on 10 June 2019. CST will be preparing a response.

Governance Handbook (March 2019)

School resource management (March 2019)

The DfE has consolidated all guidance, tools and information in relation to financial planning and resource management in one place. This includes tools to review and benchmark your finances, workforce planning and a very helpful guidance for governors and trustees setting out top ten planning checks.

Secondary accountability measures (including Progress 8 and Attainment 8) (March 2019)

New guidance explains how secondary accountability measures have been calculated in 2017. It also gives more information about recently announced reforms that will apply to accountability measures in 2018 and 2019.

Opening a free school or maths school

The Secretary of State has announced around 3,500 extra school places to be created for pupils facing the biggest challenges in their education. The DfE is now looking to open new mainstream free schools in areas that have both the lowest standards and greatest need for additional school places. The DfE is also inviting applications from trusts to open 39 special and alternative provision schools across the country and to open more specialist maths schools for the most mathematically able 16- to 19-year-olds.
The deadline for submitting an application is midday on the 30 September 2019.

Teaching School Pilot (February 2019)

The DfE has opened early engagement on a Teaching School Pilot. The DfE is considering piloting a new approach to grant-aid high-performing schools in a limited number of areas to provide improvement services to a wider range of local schools. Closing date for interest is 15 March 2019.

New guidance on Relationships, Sex and Health Education (February 2019)

The DfE has published new guidance in preparation for compulsory relationships, sex and health education from September 2020.

New regulations have been laid before parliament which state that “pupils receiving primary education must be taught relationships education, pupils receiving secondary education must be taught RSE and that all primary and secondary pupils must be taught health education”.

Schools and trusts must have a written policy on how they plan to teach relationships and sex education, and consult parents when developing and reviewing that policy. They must also make copies of the policy available to all who request them, and put them on their websites.

Curriculum Fund Programme Pilots

The Department for Education has published a list of lead schools for the Curriculum Fund Programme Pilots. Each of the eleven lead schools will pilot their programmes in six or more participant schools.

School Capital Funding Allocations (January 2019)

Details of school capital funding allocations are now available.

Consultation on identifying schools for support (January 2019)

This consultation seeks views on proposals for a clearer, simpler approach to identifying schools that may benefit from an offer of support to help improve a school’s educational performance.

The DfE’s proposal is that all schools judged as ‘Requires improvement’ by Ofsted will be eligible for support, and that schools with two consecutive ‘Requires improvement’ judgements will be eligible for more intensive support.

The DfE is also proposing to remove floor and coasting data standards.

The consultation closes on 25th March. CST will be making a full response to the consultation.

Key Stage 4 and multi-academy trust performance, 2018 (January 2019)

The Government has published revised statistics on the achievements of pupils at the end of key stage 4. For the first time, this publication also includes achievements of young people in multi-academy trusts.

Teacher recruitment and retention strategy (28 January 2019)

The Department for Education’s strategy for recruiting and retaining school teachers in state-funded schools.

Supporting early career teachers (28 January 2019)

The Early Career Framework (ECF) underpins an entitlement to a fully-funded, 2 year package of structured training and support for early career teachers.

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

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 websitewhich includes details of £10 million funding to support the take-up of NPQs in Opportunity Areas and Category 5 and 6 areas.


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

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