Wednesday, 20 June 2012

School prospectus is ditched but requirement to publish more online

As part of the Government's commitment to free all schools from unnecessary bureaucracy, it has also been agreed to remove the duty on schools to produce an annual school prospectus or to have a curriculum policy, to avoid duplication of effort, and unnecessary cost.

With the increased freedoms afforded schools, however, there has to be increased transparency and accountability to ensure parents continue to receive the information they need to make the best decisions and choices about their children’s education and for communities to hold schools to account. As such, rather than publishing a School Profile, curriculum policy or annual prospectus, it is the Government's intention to introduce new regulatory requirements for schools to publish key information online. This will include information:

About their admissions and special educational needs policies

Details about the school’s curriculum by year and by subject

Information about the impact of the Pupil Premium (school-wide)

Reading schemes.

For those parents who cannot access the internet or who find hard copies of materials more accessible, the regulations will require schools to provide a hard copy where parents request it - this can be simply met by printing a hard copy of the online information. Subject to the secondary legislation being passed, this new requirement will take effect from the beginning of the 2012/13 academic year i.e. September 2012

Monday, 18 June 2012

School Teachers’ Appraisal Regulations 2012 (England)

The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012 (the Appraisal Regulations) which replace the Education Regulations 2006 come into force on 1st Septemebr 2012.

Schools must have an appraisal policy for teachers and a policy, covering all staff, which deals with lack of capability. This model policy applies only to teachers, including headteachers, but schools might wish to adapt it for use with all staff.

It is good practice for schools to consult staff on their appraisal and capability policies. The DfE model policy has been provided as an optional resource for schools and others to which they can refer as they wish as they review and develop their own policies.

Download DfE Model Policy

The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Ofsted Cut and Paste Inspections

Education standards watchdog Ofsted is facing allegations of conducting "cut and paste" inspections after identical sentences and phrases were used in two reports on failing schools.

Both schools – Belvedere Junior in Bexley, south-east London, and Malmesbury Primary in Tower Hamlets, east London – were visited by David Shepherd, the same lead inspector.

In both cases, the report said: "Some teachers do not plan learning for pupils at their different levels of ability and marking is not leading to improvement."

This is just one of a number of sentences that were repeated verbatim or included with just one or two words that were different, the Times Educational Supplement disclosed.

In another section of the reports, each submission stated "the majority of parents and carers are positive about how well the school develops their children's skills in reading writing and mathematics" while stating the inspectors disagreed with them.

If you receive an unfavourable Ofsted report it might be worth checking on the report wording of your your lead inspector on Ofsted's website to see whether the words used have been lifted from another report.