Friday Update – 23 January 2015

This week we highlight the updated 20 Key Questions for Governing bodies which can be used when reviewing governance practice, the latest version of the Department for Education’s Myths and Facts document about school activities, new professional standards for Headteachers and the outcomes from an independent review into initial teacher training.

UPDATED 20 KEY QUESTIONS FOR GOVERNING BODIES
The second edition of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Governance and Leadership’s Twenty key questions for the Governing board to ask itself has just been published.

Three years ago the first edition of the document was developed by the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Key for School Governors to encourage more Governing bodies to challenge themselves. Since then they have been used extensively by many Governing bodies when reviewing their governance practice and they have been reviewed and updated in the light of that experience.

The questions have also been incorporated into the new Framework for School Governance as highlighted in last week’s Update.

UPDATED DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION MYTHS AND FACTS
This updated document addresses some common misconceptions about the activities schools are required to undertake. It seeks to tackle both recurring myths and new myths on changes happening during the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

NEW PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR HEADTEACHERS
This week Education Secretary Nicky Morgan unveiled new professional standards for Headteachers  in England. A review of the existing 2004 standards was conducted last year with the aim of defining leadership standards that are applicable to all Headteacher roles in the current educational landscape.

The new ‘standards of excellence’ set out the skills, knowledge and behaviour Headteachers should aspire to, including:

  • raising the bar for all pupils, overcoming disadvantage and instilling a strong sense of accountability in staff for the impact of their work on pupils’ success;
  • boosting teacher quality through high-level training and sustained professional development;
  • identifying talent and coaching current and aspiring leaders of the future.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING PUBLISHED
An independent review of the quality and effectiveness of initial teacher training (ITT) courses, chaired by Sir Andrew Carter, was launched by the DfE on 1 May 2014. Sir Andrew’s report, published this week, highlights that the system in England is performing well but that more needs to be done to ensure all trainees receive some core grounding in the basics of classroom management and subject knowledge.

In response the government has confirmed that it will:

  • commission an independent working group made of expert representatives from the sector to develop a core ITT framework;
  • • commission the Teaching Schools Council to develop a set of national standards for mentors;
  • develop the Get Into Teaching website and provide information about  ITT on GOV.UK so that applicants of ITT and schools can find clearer information about provision.