In my final update this academic year, I report on the delay of the full national funding formula roll-out until 2021, the latest information on what areas Ofsted is focusing on during inspections and a consultation on new regulations and statutory guidance on the teaching of relationships, sex education and health education from 2020.
Full national funding formula roll-out delayed until 2021
Yesterday Schools Week and the TES reported that the Government’s new national funding formula would not be rolled out fully until 2021, after ministers delayed its implementation by a year to “support a smooth transition”.
The news was buried in analysis of local authorities’ schools block funding formulae and the document said that 73 local authorities had changed the way they set school budgets to bring their own local formula closer to the national formula, while 41 were “mirroring the NFF factor values almost exactly”.
It added: “…In light of this significant progress in the first year of the NFF, and to continue to support a smooth transition, local authorities will continue to determine local formulae in 2020-21.”
Ofsted’s July Inspection Update
Ofsted’s ‘School inspection update’ documents are published on a termly basis, primarily for the use of inspectors, offering a useful insight into what areas Ofsted is focusing on, how inspectors are told to look at these areas, and the implications for schools. The July 2018 update looks at a number of issues, including:
- Safeguarding concerns about children absent from school – ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2018 has been updated to strengthen schools’ procedures for safeguarding pupils that are absent from school – where reasonably possible, schools should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil. As part of assessing a school’s safeguarding arrangements, inspections will continue to strongly focus on pupils who are missing from school.
- How inspectors will be looking at the EBacc from September 2018 – by 2022, the Government wants 75% of Year 10 pupils to be starting to study EBacc GCSE courses. From September 2018, during their discussion with school leaders about the curriculum, inspectors will ask whether they are aware of the Government’s ambition and what they are doing to reflect this ambition in the curriculum. Inspectors will not, however, expect schools to have developed and present separate plans about the EBacc or provide additional information outside their normal curriculum planning.
- Informing governors about an inspection – after hearing that some schools had not been informing governors of inspections, inspectors have been asked to make clear to the Headteacher at the start of the inspection that all governors and trustees must be informed and that arrangements should be made for inspectors to meet the Chair of Governors and as many governors/trustees as possible during the inspection, and that as many governors/trustees as possible should also be invited to attend the final feedback meeting.
Proposed draft regulations and guidance on relationships and health education in schools
The DfE is proposing that from 2020 schools are required to teach relationships education at primary school, relationships and sex education at secondary school and health education at all state-funded schools.
The draft regulations and associated statutory guidance build on the findings from the call for evidence and DfE’s engagement with a wide range of expert organisations and interested parties. The consultation closes on 7 November 2018 and the responses to the consultation will help inform any further refining of the draft regulations and statutory guidance before the regulations are put before Parliament and the guidance finally published.