John Dickens

  • RSCs will give trusts ‘a steer’ on takeovers to avoid fruitless bids

    The national schools commissioner has revealed academy trust bosses can get “a steer” on whether their plans to take over schools would get the go-ahead before official meetings. Important decisions on academies – such as choosing which trusts to take over a school – are made by regional schools commissioners during headteacher board meetings. During

    11.53 Feb. 16th, 2020 | News

  • Three-quarters of grammars turned down for £14.3m expansion cash

    Six grammar schools across four local authority areas will split £14.3 million to expand and create an extra 1,100 school places, the Department for Education has announced. The successful schools make up less than a quarter of the 25 schools who bid for the second tranche of the selective schools expansion fund (SSEF). A key

    11.38 Feb. 14th, 2020 | News

  • Exclusive: Lord Agnew 'to leave' the DfE

    Academies minister Lord Agnew is to leave the Department for Education, Schools Week understands. The Tory peer has been promoted to the role of minister of state at both the Cabinet Office and Treasury. His time at the DfE has proved divisive in the sector, as he has led the way on making sure schools

    21.40 Feb. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Williamson to scrap 5,000 qualifications, but BTECs review delayed

    A consultation on plans to remove funding for more than 5,000 legacy qualifications at level three and below has been launched by the Department for Education. Those at risk are courses that are currently not being studied by any pupils or have cohorts of fewer than 100, and are coming to the end of their

    0.01 Feb. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Revealed: £120k 'cost-cutter' savings at case study school were already being implemented

    Cost-cutting measures that saved £120,000 at an academy singled out as a success story of Lord Agnew’s controversial resource management adviser scheme were actually already being implemented, Schools Week can reveal. Academies minister Lord Agnew highlighted recently how Chapeltown Academy, in Sheffield, had reviewed its senior leadership structure, saving £120,000 per year, a change it

    15.05 Feb. 12th, 2020 | News

  • Agnew launches 'rapid feedback' school spending comparison service

    The government is launching a “rapid feedback” service to compare similar schools based on how frugal they are. And academies minister Lord Agnew has warned academy leaders for those not in the top 25 per cent for efficiency to “provide robust challenge” on why. However, the government has reiterated the new tool, to launch later

    10.43 Feb. 12th, 2020 | News

  • DfE consults on new music education blueprint

    The government is to fine tune its national plan for music this autumn to ‘level up’ the opportunities offered to pupils “regardless of their background”, minister Nick Gibb said today. Music industry and education experts are being invited to suggest ways to improve the blueprint for music education to ensure that all children benefit. The

    9.30 Feb. 9th, 2020 | News

  • Rising costs eat up £7bn funding boost - leaving ‘just £14k extra per school’

    Government promises and rising costs will eat up much of the £7.1 billion additional funding pledged by ministers – leaving just £14,000 extra per school, a union claims. The Association of School and College Leaders said its own calculations show just £300 million will be left over for schools to reverse years of cuts. The

    11.18 Feb. 7th, 2020 | News

  • Whistleblower scared off after legal threat in Post-it note cheating probe

    A whistleblower in a SATs cheating probe was scared off from giving evidence after a “threatening” legal letter from the accused trust. NET Academies Trust (NETAT) was given the go-ahead to take over ‘inadequate’-rated Waltham Holy Cross primary school, in Essex, in October. The conversion was delayed following the launch of an investigation into allegations

    5.01 Feb. 7th, 2020 | News

  • Agnew to fire off another round of Baker clause warning letters

    Another round of letters warning schools of their legal duty to promote apprenticeships will be fired off to headteachers across the country tomorrow. Education secretary Gavin Williamson told sister newspaper FE Week the letters will be issued by academies minister Lord Agnew, who also has the FE market in his brief (full letter below). Williamson

    20.09 Feb. 6th, 2020 | News

  • Lord's trust warned over £1.1m deficit

    An academy trust founded by a Conservative party peer has been warned over its finances after running up a £1.1 million deficit. The Lubavitch Multi-Academy Trust (LMAT) was issued with a notice to improve on Wednesday last week over “weak financial management and governance”. The trust, which runs three Jewish schools in Hackney, London, and

    5.00 Feb. 2nd, 2020 | News