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Tag Archives: schools

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Deregulation Bill

* A Deregulation Bill is making progress through both Houses of Parliament proposing a wide range of measures to reduce burdens on businesses, voluntary organisations and public bodies.
* The scope of the legislation takes in health and safety, apprenticeships and employment law, company and insolvency law, rights of way, housing, transport, communications, the environment, education and training, alcohol and entertainment licensing, criminal justice and economic growth.
* This briefing focuses on the measures which directly impact on the functions of local government. This includes, for example: speeding up the process for determining rights of way; reducing the qualifying period for the ‘right to buy’; removing the criminal offence for not complying with household waste collection requirements; relaxing various local licensing requirements; allowing all schools to set their own term times; and repeals of requirements to prepare strategies and involve people in local decision making.
* This briefing will be of particular interest to corporate policy, strategy and legal officers in all local authorities.

Reform of the National Curriculum in England: DfE consultation

This briefing is based on the DfE consultation Reform of the National Curriculum in England. This is accompanied by The National Curriculum in England: Framework document for consultation which sets out the statutory elements of the National Curriculum and the proposed programmes of study for all National Curriculum subjects at Key Stages 1-3, as well as the draft programmes of study for Citizenship, Computing and PE at Key Stage 4. Draft programmes of study for KS4 English, maths and science have also been published. The new National Curriculum will be published early in the autumn term to give schools a year to prepare for first teaching from September 2014. Consultation closes on 16 April 2013.

The current consultation was launched in a statement made by the Secretary of State to the House of Commons on 7 February that also included an update on GCSE changes and launched a further public consultation on secondary school accountability. See Related briefings.

This briefing will be of interest to teachers, school leaders, governors and local authorities

How can we encourage good schools to expand? DfE research

This briefing draws attention to the publication of a report available from the DfE research website: How can we encourage good schools to expand? The research project was commissioned to explore how well the ‘market’ in education is working. More specifically, it approaches this question by trying to establish whether or not high performing schools are responding appropriately to market incentives by expanding to cater for more pupils. The authors’ broad conclusion is that the incentive for a school to expand is weak at best; and at worst there are disincentives to do so.

Governance of Maintained Schools: Recent Regulations and Guidance

Contains briefing about DfE advice and guidance related to new regulations on the composition of maintained school governing bodies, namely:
• Guidance on the School Governance Constitution Regulations 2012
• Advice on the School Governance Federations Regulations 2012
• Advice about the establishment and governance of new maintained schools relating to The School Governance (New Schools) England Regulations 2007.

Report of her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2011-12

This briefing is on the first Annual Report from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, which was published on 27 November. The main commentary is also accompanied by three reports giving more detail on the early years, schools and learning and skills sectors. Each of the three reports includes a key statistics appendix that gives further detail of the inspection data referred to in the reports and summarised in this briefing.

Competition Meets Collaboration: Policy Exchange Report

The think tank Policy Exchange has recently published a report, Competition Meets Collaboration: helping school chains address England’s long tail of educational failure, written by James O’Shaughnessy (previously Director of Policy to Prime Minister David Cameron). It suggests that the academy programme has been effective in raising standards, but ‘a policy designed for a few hundred schools will not be able to cope with the demands of turning around several thousand’. It also suggests that the new Ofsted inspection framework ‘could lead to a fivefold increase in the number of schools being told they need to improve’, and argues that the DfE needs to harness the power of academy chains and other good quality providers to improve standards and that, in order to do so, it needs to make three major changes to its policy framework: implement an ‘industrial policy’ for the school market; introduce a universal, rules-based ‘failure regime’ with clear consequences for underperformance; and harness the power of the private sector to tackle intractable failure.

Take part in our annual winter comms survey


It’s November and the weather is miserable. Icy roads, closed schools and uncollected bins tend to dominate local government over the coming months. Residents will rush to council websites seeking to report problems and find information. Increasingly, there is an …

Are we sleepwalking into a centralised education system?


Research carried out by the LGiU in 2011 found that most secondary are expected to be academies or free schools by 2015. Ultimately, this could mean that up to 24,000 schools and governing bodies are accountable solely to the Secretary …

The Missing Middle: The Case for School Commissioners – RSA Report

The RSA has published a report setting out the case for ‘school commissioners’ acting as an educational middle tier at regional/sub-regional level, working alongside a new independent regulatory body, with a radically slimmed-down DfE. This is the latest contribution to a series of papers, from a range of bodies, on the middle tier – an important debate with major implications for the future role of local authorities.

The Effectiveness of the Academy Schools Programme

Academy Schools under the last Labour government were largely failing schools that had become ‘Sponsored’ Academies. Since the advent of the Coalition government Academy ‘converter’ schools are largely schools that are performing well. This Briefing considers the wider debate about the effectiveness of increased school autonomy and the ‘Sponsored’ academy programme. It then reviews the latest two DfE reports on the current academy programme, the Academies Annual Report 2010/11, and ‘Sponsored’ academy school attainment, Attainment at Key Stage 4 by pupils in Academies 2011.