Free webinar on balancing support with challenge during the pandemic – Friday 16 October 2020

This week I highlight a free governors webinar on balancing support with challenge during the pandemic, the latest education news and the publication of new Headteacher’s standards and reformed national professional qualifications from September 2021.

Free governors webinar on balancing support with challenge during Covid-19
Governors for Schools is offering a free webinar on Thursday 5 November 2020 from 8 to 9 a.m. which will focus on how governors can balance the need to hold schools to account while providing support to school leaders and being aware of the impact on workload that the pandemic is having.

It will explore ways of showing sensitive and meaningful support along with practical and pragmatic strategies for continuing the work of governance under the challenging circumstances we all find ourselves in. Use this link to register for the webinar.

Education news round up
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister confirmed that schools in areas with a “very high” or tier 3 coronavirus alert would not be subject to blanket closures. Currently the North East is in tier 2 and Liverpool and Lancashire are in tier 3.  Schools are also subject to their own four “tiers” of action that can be taken in areas under local lockdowns and these are not in line with the three tiers announced by Mr Johnson.

Next summer’s A levels and GCSEs in England will go ahead but with reduced content for some subjects and a start date pushed back by three weeks.  In an attempt to make up for lost teaching time, most exams will now start from 7 June, rather than mid-May.  Results days for A levels and GCSEs will be in the same week – 24 August for A levels and 27 August for GCSEs.  The DfE says it expects vocational qualifications to also align with this changed timetable.

Marcus Rashford’s petition to end child food poverty and provide free meals during all school holidays has passed 200,000 names – just a day after it was launched. The Manchester United and England striker is also campaigning for the free meals to be expanded to all households on Universal Credit.

New Headteacher’s standards and reformed national professional qualifications
Headteachers are leading professionals and role models for the communities they serve. Parents and the wider public hold high expectations of headteachers and the headteachers’ standards set out how headteachers meet these high expectations. The new standards replace the national standards of excellence for headteachers 2015. They are non-statutory and intended as guidance to be interpreted in the context of each individual headteacher and school.

From September 2021, a reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) will be available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their knowledge and skills in school leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice. These reforms include:

  • reforming the 3 existing NPQs in senior leadership, headship and executive leadership;
  • replacing the current NPQ in middle leadership with 3 new NPQs for teachers and leaders who want to develop their expertise in specialist areas of teaching practice.