Consultation on the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum – Friday 22 December 2017

In the final week of this term I report on the DfE’s call for evidence on the relationships and sex education curriculum, changes to the EBacc in 2018 along with research on the effects of its introduction on schools, pupils and parents and new guidance on the recruitment of a Headteacher.

Consultation on the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum
The Government is asking parents, teachers and young people to help shape a new relationships and sex education curriculum that will help them stay safe and face the challenges of the modern world.  The current statutory guidance for teaching Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) was introduced in 2000 and fails to address risks to children which have grown in prevalence in recent years, including online pornography, sexting and staying safe online.

The survey was launched on the DfE’s website on Tuesday and the deadline to submit views is 12 February 2018.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc) update
The EBacc is a school performance measure that shows how many pupils study the core academic subjects at Key Stage 4 in state-funded and independent schools. The EBacc is made up of:

  • English
  • maths
  • the sciences, including computer science
  • history or geography
  • a language

For 2017, the attainment measure shows how many pupils achieved both a grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSE and a grade C or above in science, a language, and geography or history.

In 2018 the attainment measure will change to a school’s EBacc average point score. To calculate a school’s EBacc average point score the DfE will add together the EBacc average point score for all pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 and divide by the number of pupils in the group. To calculate a pupil’s average point score the DfE will take an average of the points scored in the 5 EBacc subject areas.

Yesterday updated research was published on the effects of introducing the EBacc on schools, pupils, parents and carers.

Recruiting a new Headteacher
Last week new guidance on the recruitment of a headteacher was published by the DfE and NGA recognising that appointing a high quality leader is something under the direct control of governing bodies that positively affects school improvement.

With the recruitment of a school leader being arguably one of the most important tasks a body will undertake, the guidance aims to steer those governing through the legal context and principles of recruitment. The guidance outlines the different stages of the process including:

  • planning and setting up a selection panel
  • preparing the application pack
  • advertising and promotion
  • the interview itself and the actions to be taken once an appointment is made

New to the guidance is information relating to an employer’s responsibilities under the 2010 Equality Act and guidance around flexible working options.