Category Archives: Uncategorized

£50 million fund for Grammar schools to expand – Friday 11 May 2018

This week I report on the announcement that funding will be available for the expansion of Grammar schools and an increase in Faith and Free schools; publication of a series of questions for governors to use to help their schools to manage their resources and money efficiently and a programme being rolled out in the North East to bring experienced Maths and Physics teachers from other countries to work in the UK.

Funding to allow Grammar school growth
This morning the Education Secretary announced a series of measures to allow Grammar schools, Faith and Free schools to expand:

  • A new wave of free school applications, targeting areas where there is demand for places and a need to help raise school standards;
  • £50 million funding available for 2018/19 through the Selective Schools Expansion Fund, to expand the number of places at existing good or outstanding selective schools, alongside measures to give more disadvantaged pupils the opportunity to attend these schools;
  • Working with local authorities to provide support for faith schools where there is demand for good school places, and
  • fresh agreement with the independent schools’ sector to help improve outcomes for pupils of all backgrounds.

Publication of school resource management: top 10 planning checks for governors
Governors at schools and academies can use information provided by the DfE as a starting point to check if their school is managing resources and finances effectively. Particularly useful for Finance/Resources Sub Committees as the checks can be used early in the annual budget planning cycle and when looking ahead at the 3 to 5 year position.

Programme to recruit Maths and Physics teachers rolls out to the Northern region
Following a successful pilot in the South-East region last year, a new DfE-funded programme is being rolled out to the Northern region to help to address the teacher recruitment crisis, by bringing across experienced Maths and Physics teachers from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to work in the UK.

Schools will be required to pay the teacher’s salary, but the recruitment costs are being covered by the DfE and schools will also be given logistical support by the DfE’s appointed international recruitment provider, Prospero Teaching.

The international teachers will receive pre-arrival support, attend an acclimatisation residential and receive an on-going package of quality-assured professional support led by the Great North Maths Hub. If you would like to hear more about the programme, SCHOOLS NorthEast will be hosting a webinar at 4.00pm on Wednesday 16th May (go to for more information), or alternatively your school can register its interest in the programme by contacting Paul Johnson at




Friday Update – 29 January 2016

This week I highlight guidance on the new primary school accountability system, proposed changes to the schools admissions process and the announcement of additional funding to help Local Authorities with the transition from SEN Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans.

This week the Department for Education (DfE) published guidance on the new primary school accountability system that will be implemented from 2016, including information on how a school’s progress scores will be measured and a new floor standard.

On Monday the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, announced there would be a public consultation on proposed changes to the schools admissions process. The Government intends to change the rules to:

  • prevent objections to a school or local authority’s admissions arrangements from outside the local area;
  • stop vexatious complaints against faith schools from secularist campaign groups;
  • require admissions authorities to consult on their admission arrangements every 4 years rather than the current 7.

As many of you are already aware SEN Statements have been replaced by new Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND). There is a period of transition for the move from SEN Statements to EHCPs and it was announced today that Local Authorities will receive £35.8 million in implementation funding in 2016/17 (an increase of £4 million from last year) to recognise the additional duties placed on them as a result of the transition to EHCPs.

In addition, the Government is also pledging to fund this work for an additional year in 2017/18, to ensure the transition to the new system by April 2018.