Friday Update – 20 March 2015

This week I highlight additional Government funding to recruit highly skilled governors, report on the Government’s commitment to PHSE provision in schools and the publication of the Government’s response to it its consultation on proposals to establish a College of Teaching and a professional development programme for teachers.

£1 MILLION TO HELP SCHOOLS RECRUIT HIGH CALIBRE GOVERNORS
Schools Minister Lord Nash announced on 18 March that more than £1 million would be provided to help schools across England recruit highly skilled governors. The funding provided by the Department for Education (DfE) will support a new partnership between SGOSS – Governors for Schools and the Education and Employers Taskforce to recruit and place more high calibre governors in schools.

An online tool will be developed to help more schools search for suitable volunteers and more bespoke support will be available to the schools that find it the hardest to recruit the experienced governors they need.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR PSHE PROVISION
In a speech to the Bright Blue foundation on 10 March, the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP, reiterated the government’s commitment to more robust and comprehensive Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) provisions in schools. In particular, she outlined her concern for young peoples’ responses and reactions to offensive digital content which had put pressure on the government to act.

Her speech was in response to recent criticism that the government is taking PSHE too far and proposing to teach young people about sex and consent at too young an age. Defending the government position, Nicky Morgan outlined that ‘a good PSHE education should cover all of the skills and knowledge young people need to manage their lives, stay safe, make the right decisions, and thrive as individuals and members of modern society’.

CONSULTATION OUTCOME ON PROPOSALS TO ESTABLISH A COLLEGE OF TEACHING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR TEACHERS
From December 2014 to February 2015 the Government sought views on proposals to establish a new, independent professional body for teaching (a College of Teaching); and raising the quality of teachers’ professional development by using teaching schools to design and deliver programmes that were evidence based and had an impact on improving teaching practice. The evidence base would be accessible in formats that teachers could apply to their own practice through a new online professional development portal.

The outcome document published today provides a summary of the responses received to the consultation, and of the discussions that took place in various groups of teachers, Headteachers and their representatives. It also outlines the steps that Government proposes to take in response to what it heard during the consultation.