This week I report on Ofsted’s decision to look at exclusions rates in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the multiplication tables check trials that will start in March, school views being sought by MPs on the impact of social media and screens on children and updated statutory guidance on the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Ofsted to look at possible exclusions malpractice in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber
Cathy Kirby, the Regional Director of Ofsted has written to secondary Headteachers in eight local authorities in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber region of Ofsted to raise concerns over the rates of fixed-period exclusions. Ms Kirby said it was “difficult to understand” why exclusion rates should be significantly higher in some areas than others. She said inspection teams would be “asking inspectors to look very carefully at the use of exclusion in areas with high rates compared with national and regional figures”.
In 2015/16 in the North East, Middlesbrough had 12.75% of its pupils suspended at least once compared to 4.26% nationally and here in North Tyneside it was 3.2%.
Multiplication tables check trials to begin
The DfE has announced that trials of the new multiplication tables check will begin in a small number of schools from next month. Participation in the trials is voluntary and the DfE will inform the schools involved of all necessary arrangements directly. The check consists of a five minute on-screen test which pupils will take in Year 4. The DfE’s intention is that the check will be compulsory for all schools from the 2019/20 academic year.
MPs seek views on the impact of social media and screens on children
The Commons Science and Technology Committee has announced an inquiry into the impact of social media and screen-use on children and young people’s health. The committee says it wants to hear the views of young people themselves, as well as of teachers and youth workers. To submit your views, written statements need to be sent to the Committee’s inquiry page by 6 April.
Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS)
This week the DfE re-published its Early Years Foundation Stage statutory guidance with an updated title and summary.