Tag Archives: ASCL

Nicky Morgan @Nickymorgan01 Education the Conservative way

One of the main questions she is asked in her focus groups with teachers is about assessment without levels.

As a result she has commissioned an independent committee to help develop good practice with this.

In the next 5 years there won’t be big changes but time spend on establishing and allowing the recent changes to take root and develop.

Want to increase the number of children taking the ebacc

What we haven’t achieved is excellence everywhere:

Some coastal schools are not performing this is not acceptable and deeply unfair. The priority for the next conservative party is to ensure that the best teachers work everywhere and that young people will compete with all globally.

No system can be better than the teachers that teach in it and the leaders that lead it

We want to grow teaching schools and NLE’s

We want to establish the new Headteacher standards focused on exceptional not acceptable

We want to remove bureaucracy for teachers and Headteachers, that is why we developed the workload challenge survey.

We still need to improve the accountability systems such as Ofsted

We want to empower parents and the community more than we currently do, we want to unlock the data from Ofsted

We have given £5 million to CPD recently and will support the claim your college campaign

We will support the national fair funding agreement

Every time I visit a school I am inspired by everyone, we will always be grateful of what you do day to day but also delivering our plan for education.

Question: How will you improve funding?

We want to get on with this as soon as possible, the £390 million pounds investment is a start. We still live in economically challenging times. We need to eliminate our debt as a country, we have a spending review in the summer and I will make the case to make progress on the national fair funding formula.

Question: Would you support an independent curriculum review?

We don’t necessarily want to see more changes to the curriculum, it will take around 9 years for these changes to work through. Not convinced, good to have independent advice but they should be elected etc to this.

Question: There are severe problems with the recruitment of teachers, what steps will you take to solve this recruitment crisis?

I understand these concerns, part of this is about the recovering economy. We need to develop several strategies, start earlier when people are in school and university. We need to make it easier for those on a break to more easily return to work, school direct, incentivising with better pay.

Question: How will you ensure that more women become Headteachers?

Often it is usually women who take time out of work for children etc, how can we support them to return and develop at leadership level. Identifying talented candidates etc.


David Laws @DavidlawsMP – Education the Liberal Democrats way

David gave high praise to John Dunford in his role as Pupil Premium Champion

Liberal democrats are proud of the protection of school budgets, pupil premium, universal free school meals, progress 8 etc.

Still the biggest challenge is breaking link between attainment and disadvantaged background

The attainment gap in English and Maths is narrowing

Two thirds of disadvantaged children are still failing to achieve the benchmarks

5 key priorities for the liberal democrats are:

  1. Money – we will protect the education budget. The 16-19 cuts have hit schools so we will extend 16-19 budgets and protect them. They also promise to deliver the fair funding formula.
  2. Investment in the Early Years – Extend early years to 2 year olds as they have started. They will triple the pupil premium in Early years. Extend QTS to early years.
  3. Teachers – Develop, reward and attract high quality teachers. Reduce workload of teachers. For example supporting the development of a Royal College of Teaching.
  4. Develop a school led system – We believe it is the best way to improve outcomes. We need a middle tier to support and challenge schools. Many LA’s don’t have the skills to do this. We would give Ofsted the power to inspect academy chains. The school led system must work in every area of the country and this is a struggle in the areas that most need it. They propose to develop a national level of leadership to develop system leadership everywhere.
  5. Getting politics out of education – It will always have a role however David said that his experience of government is that too much change effects schools and students. Politically driven change should be underpinned with research not on the whim of a politician.

Sean Harford @harfordsean – National Director of School Policy Ofsted

Sean Talked about the declining number of trainees entering the profession, provide a real challenge to school improvement.

Continual policy shifts are destabilising the education system, Ofsted would support an independent body to advise the DfE.

Headship is a great job but often tough especially with personnel issues, Sean likened it to the role of an Ofsted inspector, this was met with some groans from the audience.

He then Talked about the need for consistency in inspections

Inspections will never be an exact science nor should they but we need to get it right.

A new report states that 8/10 leaders surveyed say that inspections have helped the school improve


How will they achieve this? In two ways

Increase additional inspectors from serving practitioners – 70% from September will be existing practitioners from good and outstanding schools.

Introducing a new common inspection framework from September 2015

3 key factors will ensure a school remains Good:

1. Do they have firm grasp of strengths
2. Do they have a good improvement plan
3. Does the school have the right culture to improve?

Tristram Hunt @TristramHuntMP – Education the Labour way #ASCL2015

The first part of Tristram’s speech was focused on technology and how brilliant it is and how it will basically save education. I think it is a fantastic tool however I think it isn’t necessarily appropriate in every situation and also we need more evidence still on the impact that it can have on education in the classroom and wider. The rest of this post is a live scribe of his talk.

Technological and economic challenges are adding pressure to the education system
For example 35% of existing British jobs could disappear to automation in the next couple of decades
The energy provided by the digital revolution creates exciting opportunities for young people.
Social media has sent a shockwave through education with regarding #Claimyourcollege
Change in education must come from the bottom up, give school leaders the freedom

It shouldn’t be the self-improving school system but the self-innovative improving system
The conundrum of education policy is how do we deliver the basics whilst creating opportunities for innovation and creativity?

The current free schools programme has lacked creativity – not focused on improving standards, innovation & value for money but focused on the ones that could open quickly.
We can’t afford to be wasting money on new schools in places that there are already good places.
The strength of leadership and the quality of teaching are the most important things in the new chapter of educational reform.

Funding will be to increase with inflation with Labour.
Over time the disparity of funding needs to be made equitable, hinting at supporting a fair funding formula.

Question: When will Labour deliver a fair funding agreement?

There is a need to address this and make things more equitable, other services such as mental health, social services has been stripped back which has put more pressure on schools. However no answer on timing.

Question: Would labour accept the offer to set up an independent committee to review curriculum every 5 years?

Primary and GCSE curriculum will stay to help stability, progress 8 will stay, support the moves for Ofsted and will consult on how to improve this.

Labour don’t think the A level reforms are appropriate – labour blaming the government for changing A levels too quickly and should have waited. They would keep the new changes till September 2017 would move back to AS and A level system.

Overall some popular statements of intent however can they deliver?

Trust to Transform #ASCL2015

This is the first of several live (ish) posts from the ASCL National conference, you can view the keynote presentations from the conference here

You can also follow the tweets from the conference at #ASCL2015

The conference theme is developing the blueprint for the self-improving system

“We want a system in which all children and young people achieve. We believe we can have a great education system that delivers quality and equality for all students. This will involve an act of imagination, courage and collective action. Our blueprint sets out a vision for our education system. At its heart is capacity building – leadership capacity, pedagogical capacity and the capacity for creativity and action.”