Friday Update – 25 September 2015

This week I highlight the publication of new postcards from Ofqual on GCSE, AS and A Level reforms, a new on-line resource of science and maths questions for primary school governors, the launch of the DfE’s Literacy drive and the publication of updated Statutory Guidance on Behaviour and Discipline in schools and Home-School Agreements.

OFQUAL RELEASES USEFUL ‘POSTCARDS’ TO HELP UNDERSTAND EXAMINATION REFORMS
Last week the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) launched a series of eight ‘postcards’ detailing the reforms being made to GCSEs, AS and A levels. Providing information on the new grading structures and how grades are set, the postcards have been sent to all secondary schools in England. Whilst primarily for the use of students, teachers and parents they will also be useful to governors who also need to be aware of these changes.

WELLCOME TRUST PRIMARY SCHOOL QUESTIONS FOR GOVERNORS LAUNCHED
The Wellcome Trust has recently launched a free online resource for primary school governors, on the back of the success of a similar resource aimed at secondary schools. Questions for Governors has a set of questions focused on science and maths, evidence for why they are important, national benchmarks to compare against and ideas for improvement. It can be used by governors for discussions with senior leaders and identify areas to celebrate or challenge.

LAUNCH OF LITERACY DRIVE
This week the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and children’s author and comedian David Walliams urged leading publishers, schools and early years providers to join forces in a bid to make English pupils the most literate in Europe in five years.  The Department for Education has created new resources in conjunction with 4Children to equip parents and early years providers with high-quality activities and resources to help children master the essentials of language.

In August 2015 Nicky Morgan announced the first steps in the Government’s Literacy campaign, including funding The Reading Agency to extend their Chatterbooks scheme and set up new book clubs in 200 more primary schools across the country and to work with schools and get more Year 3 pupils enrolled at their local library.

UPDATED STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINE AND HOME-SCHOOL AGREEMENTS
This week the Department for Education confirmed it had reviewed and republished its Statutory Guidance on Behaviour and Discipline in schools and Home-School Agreements.