Blog

New resit guidelines are not based in reality

The government has announced that sixth forms and colleges will have to provide a minimum of four hours stand-alone teaching per week to students resitting their maths GCSE. Kevin Gilmartin explains why, in the midst of a major shortage of maths teachers, this policy just does not add up.

Posted: 22/02/2024 14:24:19
  • Funding
  • Curriculum
  • Assessment
  • Post-16
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • BTEC
  • Blog

Teacher apprentices: Too much spin and not enough substance

Last weekend's announcement of a new teacher degree apprenticeship pilot scheme for "up to" 150 apprentices is a worthy and well-intentioned idea, but why do governments continue to over-hype and over-state their messages, asks Geoff Barton in his blog. 

Posted: 09/02/2024 08:47:28
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Apprenticeships
  • Blog

The rise of online AP is about more than just capacity

With AP waiting lists increasing, online alternative provision is a welcome solution — but leaders can look to online AP for more advantages than capacity alone, says Alessandro Capozzi, Executive Headteacher of ASCL Premier Partner Academy21, in his guest blog.

Posted: 08/02/2024 14:56:12
  • Premier Partner
  • Blog
  • Alternative provision

Ofsted should champion disadvantaged schools – not penalise them

The Education Select Committee published their report into Ofsted this week, with one of the recommendations that inspectors should take schools' contexts into account. This ought to be a government priority, writes Geoff Barton. 

Posted: 02/02/2024 09:15:42
  • Accountability
  • Inspection
  • Ofsted
  • Blog

Challenges in Recruitment and Retention: School business and support staff

Christine Ellis, COO at Cranmer Education Trust, shares some of the ways her trust addresses the ongoing challenges in recruiting and retaining school business and support staff by focusing on the trust’s culture and people strategy. 

Posted: 15/01/2024 12:28:19
  • Business Leadership
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Blog
  • Support staff

Does the pause to inspections go far enough?

New Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Martyn Oliver has decided to pause inspections in the wake of the inquest into the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. For some, this decision goes too far, for others, not far enough, writes Geoff Barton in his weekly blog. 

Posted: 12/01/2024 10:49:36
  • Inspection
  • Ofsted
  • Blog

Education Leaders: working in partnership with the Virtual School (part 2)

In part 2 of this two-part blog, ASCL Council representative for Virtual Schools, Andy Wright, and Matthew Cooke, Chair of NAVSH, highlight the work and role of virtual schools and their headteachers, and outline how, with strategic leadership, barriers to learning can be overcome. 

Posted: 04/01/2024 08:43:28
  • Blog
  • Virtual School Headteachers

Education Leaders: Working in partnership with the Virtual School (part 1)

In part 1 of this two-part blog, ASCL Council representative for Virtual Schools, Andy Wright, and Chair of NAVSH, Matthew Cooke, highlight the work and role of virtual schools and their headteachers, and outline how, with strategic leadership, barriers to learning can be overcome. 

Posted: 03/01/2024 14:35:08
  • Blog
  • Virtual School Headteachers

Ofsted and the government must demonstrate a duty of care

ASCL recently joined colleagues at the NAHT in calling for an immediate pause to Ofsted inspections. In his latest blog, Geoff Barton explains why Ofsted and the government need to respond positively for the sake not only of school leaders and their staff, but also for inspectors themselves.

Posted: 15/12/2023 10:32:35
  • Inspection
  • Ofsted
  • Blog

How to improve PISA scores: more teachers and happy students

When policymakers consider how to improve attainment, whether that is in PISA tests or other measures, it’s important that they are focusing on the right things, says Geoff Barton in his weekly blog. 

Posted: 08/12/2023 10:04:02
  • Funding
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Blog
  • PISA

Minimum service levels represent the worst type of politics

This week, it became clear the Education Secretary intended to introduce mandatory minimum service levels during future industrial action in schools and colleges. In reality, minimum service levels are designed to weaken the power of trade unions and give the government a free hand to impose less attractive pay and conditions, writes Geoff Barton in his latest blog. 

Posted: 01/12/2023 09:19:56
  • Blog
  • Industrial action

What the Autumn Statement really means for schools and colleges

In this week's blog, Geoff Barton discusses the implications of Wednesday's disappointing Autumn Statement for schools and colleges, and states that 'the fight must go on' for education.
 

Posted: 24/11/2023 09:10:09
  • Funding
  • Government
  • Blog

We don’t agree with Nick Gibb on much – but on this he is right

In this week's blog, Geoff Barton reflects on Nick Gibb's comments on the hostility faced by those in public life as he steps down from his role as schools minister.

Posted: 17/11/2023 08:19:18
  • Leadership
  • Professional Standards
  • Blog

The problem isn’t accountability. It is the ham-fisted way it is done

Ofsted: stop writing schools off as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ and instead properly reflect the breadth of what they are doing, the challenges they face, and where they may need help, says Geoff Barton in his latest blog. 

Posted: 10/11/2023 09:11:16
  • Accountability
  • Inspection
  • Ofsted
  • Blog

Why next week’s resits show our assessment system is broken

Many 16 and 17 year-olds will soon resit their GCSE maths and/or English exams, having not secured a grade 4 or higher at the end of secondary school.  But the scale of this operation raises questions as to why so many students are having to resit these exams and what impact doing so has on them. Tom Middlehurst explores what can be done about this in his latest blog.
 

Posted: 02/11/2023 12:39:45
  • Assessment
  • Post-16
  • Examinations
  • GCSE
  • Ofqual
  • Blog

There will be sunshine after the rain

The many challenges in education can seem relentless, however, as half-term ends, now is the time to take a break. Geoff Barton pays tribute to the work of school and college leaders in his blog, and reminds us all that there will be sunshine after the rain. 

Posted: 20/10/2023 08:54:03
  • Leadership
  • Blog

Who will put out the ‘house fire’ in education?

Teacher shortages are so severe, writes Geoff Barton in his blog, that the challenge is increasingly to get any qualified teacher in front of a class, let alone a teacher who is a subject specialist.

Posted: 29/09/2023 08:00:00

Risks Posed by RAAC: Implications for schools

RAAC in schools and colleges and other public buildings is a critical health and safety issue and one which has dominated the media over the past few weeks. To assist leaders in education, Peter Jackson of ASCL Premier Partner Browne Jacobson shares key insights and information around this issue in his guest blog.   

Posted: 18/09/2023 15:34:21
  • Health and safety
  • Risk assessment
  • Blog
  • RAAC

To pass or not to pass: the dilemma of GCSE grading

Over the past week a lot has been written about the number of pupils failing or passing their GCSEs compared to recent years. The government has rejected the language of ‘fail’, so where has this come from, asks ASCL's Tom Middlehurst, and what does it mean in practice? 

Posted: 29/08/2023 12:11:44
  • Assessment
  • GCSE
  • Ofqual
  • Secondary
  • Blog
  • Forgotten Third
  • VTQs

What happens when your hard-earned qualifications are not acceptable?

Our Member Support Team has recently assisted an ASCL member who has experienced issues when qualifications taken abroad are not recognised in the UK, and some higher level qualifications taken whilst resident in the UK are also not recognised, leading to inequality when accessing training. ASCL’s Dr Anne Murdoch highlights the situation in her blog and asks if others have had similar experiences. 

Posted: 19/07/2023 09:48:15
  • Career Progression
  • Qualifications