Friday Update – 12 December 2014

In a busy week for the Education sector we highlight the publication of Ofsted’s Annual Report for 2014, the 2014 Primary school league tables, revised statutory Guidance on Exclusions that comes into force from January 2015, the creation of a new careers body for 12-18 year olds and consultation on a new independent college of teaching.

OFSTED ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2014
Yesterday saw the launch of Ofsted’s Annual Report for 2014 and the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw highlighted the stalling of improvement in secondary schools as the main finding of the report. Whilst the proportion of primary schools rated good or outstanding continued to grow over the last year (up to 82%), the proportion of good or outstanding secondary schools stagnated nationally at 71%.

The stand out concern for the North East continues to be the achievement of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The report shows that gaps emerge in the Early Years and continue through to Key Stage 1. By the end of Key Stage 2, the success of North East primary schools mean that pupils eligible for free school meals exceed the national average for this group, but there is still a wide gap between outcomes for these pupils and non Free School Meal pupils. At Key Stage 4 there is a 30% gap between the proportion of Free School Meal eligible students gaining 5 GCSEs (A-C including English and Maths) and their more advantaged peers.

PRIMARY SCHOOL PERFORMANCE TABLES 2014
The performance tables show the achievements of pupils in each state funded primary school in England last academic year.

REVISED STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON EXCLUSIONS FROM JANUARY 2015
The revised guidance contains a small number of updates and clarifies:

  • the power to exclude
  • independent review panel processes
  • Governing body reconsideration

It governs the exclusion of pupils from local authority maintained schools, academies and free schools and pupil referral units and will apply to exclusions from 5 January 2015.

NEW CAREERS BODY
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced the creation of a new careers and enterprise company for schools aiming to ‘transform the provision of careers education and advice for young people and inspire them about the opportunities offered by the world of work’.

The new company will be employer led and independent of Government and will focus on young people aged 12 to 18 to help them ‘access the best advice and inspiration about the world of work by encouraging greater collaboration between schools, colleges and employers’. To be launched in Spring 2015, the Government is investing £20 million of start up funding, £5 million of this which will constitute an investment fund to support innovation and stimulate good practice across the country.

PROPOSED INDEPENDENT COLLEGE OF TEACHING AND IMPROVED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Plans to support the set up of a new, independent, professional body to represent and champion high standards in the teaching profession were announced on Tuesday 9 December by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Schools Minister David Laws.

The package of measures published for consultation aims to put the teaching profession in England on a par with the best in the world by:

  • supporting the creation of a new, independent, professional body for teaching – a college of teaching -that will give the profession greater responsibility over things like professional standards and development, placing teaching on an equal footing with high-status professions like law and medicine;
  • establishing a new fund to support more high quality, evidence-based professional development programmes – designed and delivered by a network of more than 600 leading teaching schools, working in partnership with others to spread the findings of their work across the teaching profession.