Curriculum transition extended for a further year – Friday 14 February 2020

This week I report on Ofsted’s curriculum transition arrangements being extended for a further year, the outcome of this week’s Cabinet reshuffle on education, a consultation on a new national plan for music education and updated PSHE guidance in line with the statutory changes that come into force in September 2020.

Curriculum transition extended for a further year
Ofsted’s national Director of Education Sean Harford announced in his blog yesterday that schools will get an extra year (until July 2021) to bring their curriculum into line with Ofsted’s new inspection framework.

The new framework, which places greater weight on curriculum content and less on outcomes, came into effect last September. However Ofsted had originally worked in a year-long transition so that judgements were made based on where schools currently were in implementing curriculum changes, rather than expecting them to be “fully ready”.

Mr Harford has now said “The transition arrangements will only apply when it’s clear that a school is well on the way with its curriculum journey – but isn’t quite ‘there’ yet. This is not an amnesty for schools where teaching is weak or pupils’ outcomes (including, but not exclusively, national tests and examination results) aren’t good enough.”

Impact of Cabinet reshuffle on education
Gavin Williamson will continue in the role of Education Secretary following a reshuffle yesterday that saw a number of his colleagues return to the backbenches. Williamson’s re-appointment signals that the direction of travel is unlikely to change. The Education Secretary previously signalled that he would not seek to enact major system change in the near future.

Nick Gibb has also been re-appointed as Schools Minister, a role he has had since May 2015.   This morning it was confirmed that Lord Agnew, the School Academies Minister has left the DfE and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge has been appointed parliamentary under secretary of state.

DfE consultation on new national plan for music education
To help reflect advances in technology in the way music is created, recorded and produced, and to reassess the music education young people benefit from at school the DfE has launched a call for evidence to inform proposals for a refreshed national plan for music education. The consultation will run until 13 March 2020 and the updated plan will be published in the Autumn.

Updated PSHE guidance
On Tuesday the DfE updated its guidance for schools on Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. The guidance document focuses on the statutory changes to the curriculum requirements in respect of; relationships, sex and health education from September 2020.