Educational excellence everywhere- summary

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From Schools Week here

Alternative view here (disappointed idealist)

Recognition of recruitment problems. Allocation of Initial teaching training (ITT) to be reformed and based on need, demand and quality. ITT content will be strengthened to include more subject knowledge and less un-evidenced material. QTS will be replaced with a “stronger, more challenging” accreditation- probably by portfolio. The National College for Teaching and Leadership will be reformed to reduce costs for schools. Simple and free ways to advertise vacancies coming on a new national teacher vacancy website. Commitment to developing the new National Teaching Service. Establishing a new Standard for PD to improve it’s quality and possibly paying teachers to publish their research and CPD as “open-source”. Backing calls for a peer-reviewed British education journal and try to increase teachers’ access to high-quality evidence/ research.

To better prepare leaders in the system, Headteachers, MAT chief executives and other experts will help design new voluntary National Professional Qualifications for each level of leadership (non compulsory to take these) and an Excellence in Leadership fund will be set up to help develop more leaders. A new national database will be set up to track those involved in governance. The government then “intends to legislate” so they can bar unsuitable individuals from being governors.The role of local authorities in education will be defined. They will now ensure every child has a school place, needs of pupils are met and champion parents. They will also step back from maintaining schools and school improvement.

Excellent heads and teachers will thrive (hooray!), with all schools to become academies by 2022- the smallest schools will have to form or join a MAT, but schools that are “successful and sustainable” can become single academy trusts if they want. An online Parent Portal will be set up as a “one-stop shop” for informing parents about the school system. This will include a route for parents to complain about their school to the Department for Education and beyond that to a public service ombudsman. LEAs will be handed back control of co-ordinating all in-year admissions and appeals.

Underperformance will be prevented with 300 more teaching schools and 800 more national leaders of education “where they are most needed”. It will also be incentivised so they reach the most vulnerable schools. “New and better” means for brokering school improvement will be developed along with ensuring that there are enough strong academy sponsors to transform schools- where schools are performing well, they will chose their own support. But for underperforming schools, that don’t have a plan, the regional schools commissioners will do this on their behalf

 High expectations will be met with a “world-leading” curricula established for academies to build on. The National Citizen Service will be expanded so every pupil has the opportunity to take part and there will be a published strategy for improved careers provision. Alternative Provision (AP) system will be reformed so that mainstream schools remain accountable for the education of pupils in AP, and schools will be responsible for the quality of commissioning.

 Accountability will include Ofsted consulting on removing the separated graded judgments on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment to help clarify that the focus of inspection is on outcomes. New performance tables for MATs will be published and parents will have the “right” information in an “easy-to-navigate” format. Schools judged as requiring improvement by Ofsted where a headteachers “steps forward” to lead improvement will not face re-inspection for 30 months – called “breathing space”. This will also apply when a poor performing maintained school becomes an academy, a new school opens or a new sponsor is needed to drive further improvement

 There is a pledge to continue the pupil premium and the government will take a “differentiated and proportionate” approach to financial oversight by making sure schools have access to necessary training, tools and guidance.

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