Experts

Guidance for virtual school heads was updated recently to expand their statutory duties to include previously looked-after children. Sally Kelly welcomes the changes, but warns of mission creep...
What if the reason a secondary school had a poor progress rate was not due to its own teaching, but because the pupils arrived with overinflated results from...
We know there’s work to do with the disadvantage gap in this country – but where do we stand on the international scale, asks Natalie Perera? The gap...
There are lots of ways MATs can improve their schools, writes James Toop, but there’s one common factor needed to underpin it all School improvement can only occur...
Schools urgently need more funding, but they also need more scope to mould pupils into better-rounded members of society, writes Fiona Carnie It is at last becoming clear...
Too many school leaders rely on having their teachers make predictions about pupils’ grades – but no-one’s any good at it, explains Ben White We recently launched a...
School governance is a vital but oft-forgotten aspect of the school system. Here Mike Parker lays out what he reckons needs to change “Governors are the unsung heroes...
Welcome to recruitment silly season! It is the time of year when everyone wanting to move schools has to do so quickly, because resigning after the end of...
Schools are going to enormous lengths to ensure hard-up children don’t miss out, but funding cuts threaten the subsidies they can provide, warns Josephine Tucker. The Child Poverty...
A recent green paper suggests a new role in schools to manage mental health– the designated senior lead. Dai Durbridge considers how it might all work Mental health...
There are certain kinds of distress that can be managed by a school before a child is referred to a mental health service, explains Peter Fuggle Distress is...
Mental health support has been more accessible since the introduction of single points of access in the past few years. But we still need to do more to...
School leaders appreciate the government’s new mental health strategy, but without sufficient cash, says Sarah Hannafin, it won’t work School leaders are reporting a serious – and growing...
In 2012, the scientist Frans de Waal revealed how monkeys go berserk if paid unequally for a task. A YouTube video, watched 13 million times, shows a researcher...
There might be a huge surplus of volunteers in London, but rural communities never have enough potential governors, explains Judith Hicks Over a quarter of a million volunteers...
Karen Wespieser investigates the extent to which the most successful MATs are improving outcomes for children and closing gaps for the most disadvantaged Good research takes time –...
In an increasingly fragmented system, here’s how one part of the country has taken a joint approach to school improvement, explain Simon Faull and Simon Burgess In England...
Schools are increasingly forced to live beyond the meagre means the government gives them, a situation that can’t last according to the EPI’s Jon Andrews Ten years ago,...
Are schools going to get more money? That’s the question headteachers keep asking – not least at the ASCL conference last week – and it’s the one that’s...
Having analysed two years of maths SATs papers, Candida Crawford shares her top tips for how to organise your revision time efficiently No one wants Year 6 to be...
Five years ago Laura McInerney and Matt Hood developed a model for how the schools system might work more coherently. Few people listened. Some parts were echoed in...
Exclusions are in the national eye at the moment, but the narrative around pupil referral units is all too negative, says Kiran Gill Conversations about exclusions are all...
Even with an inclusive approach and a clear behaviour policy, permanent exclusion is sometimes necessary to protect staff or students, says Jacqueline Valin Pupil exclusions are finally on...
With the parliamentary education committee considering exclusions at present, barrister Russell Holland explains schools’ legal liabilities The education select committee has been reviewing exclusions and recently heard evidence...
Val Gillies spent three years researching in-school alternative provision. We asked her what the best examples looked like To be honest, I’m more than a little hesitant about...
In marathon races, mile 20 is known as “the wall”, the point when the energy in your muscles runs out and continuing on requires overcoming every psychological instinct...
Much has been written about the skills needed on an effective governing board or trust board, but very little attention has focused on the knowledge required when you...
A few things Damian Hinds could do to improve education governance that would cost him nothing, as suggested by Martin Matthews Every time we get a new secretary...
Tough conversations with colleagues and subordinates are an unfortunate but necessary aspect of leadership. Sonia Gill, an expert in such talk, explains how to make the best of...
The endless papertrails modern school life seemingly requires are now actively making things worse for our overworked teachers. Becky Allen explains how to change all that Teaching should...
Two conferences this week and I got the now obligatory conference-chat about robots at both. Andreas Schleicer, the head of the PISA tests and a perma-attendee at conferences,...
Schools are complaining that staffing agencies can levy thousands of pounds whenever a supply teacher is offered a permanent contract, even if the full recruitment process is followed....
The debate around the accountability of multi-academy trusts has intensified in recent months, writes Michael Pain As a handful of high-profile cases of failure hit the headlines, the...
How do you know if your school’s approach to assessing pupils is effective in promoting learning, asks Jamie Scott Every school has its assessment framework, but is it...
Back in the 2000s, “thinking hats” were a mega-cool concept in schools. Available in six different colours, each one signified a way of thinking about a problem. For...
It’s undoubtedly true that schools in disadvantaged areas of the country need additional help, but we need to be better informed as to why, explains Mike Treadaway Educating...
Amid the retention crisis and ever-increasing levels of teacher stress, it has never been more important to look after staff wellbeing. Sonia Mainstone-Cotton has some suggestions Staff wellbeing...
Times-tables are important but the government’s latest test is a complete waste of time for schools, argues Nick Brook. Children should learn their times-tables. They are a useful...
The government is keen to reassure heads that its new times-tables test won’t become just another stick to beat schools with, but heads aren’t convinced, explains Freddie Whittaker....
The general data protection regulations (GDPR) aren’t just for schools; they apply to every European organisation that handles personal data. The aim of the new law is to...
Teacher training has always been too important to dabble with, as the implications of not getting the very best teachers in front of children in schools will affect...
Multi-academy trusts used to be an afterthought for software developers, but no longer, explains Joshua Perry School software has been around for a long time. The market has...
MAT CEO pay is in the public eye again and, given how high it is, it’s right that trustees should think hard about how they work it out,...
The numbers quitting teaching are becoming a full-blown crisis. David Weston presents five solutions that might stem the tide As a basis for a strategy to attract and...
In the summer of 2013, the health secretary was stopped in his tracks. Jeremy Hunt’s decision to close the emergency department at Lewisham Hospital was ruled unlawful. It...
EAL pupils are not a remotely homogeneous group, and we’re foolish to treat them as such, writes Jo Hutchinson One of the top stories from the recent 2017 GCSE...
If 16-to-18 participation is “compulsory” then it should be funded at the same level as other compulsory phases, argues John Widdowson Ten years ago, Alan Johnson MP, then...
If there is a single part of the academy system that needs our urgent attention, it is trusteeship, argues Leora Cruddas There is still much that is misunderstood...
Tom Richmond is wrong on one thing, argues Thomas Byrne. There already are numerous free school successes – and more than a few that have gone wrong It’s...
After news broke that only two of the 10 largest multi-academy trusts are actually implementing the so-called Baker Clause, which requires schools to allow technical education providers access...
Before I became a teacher I briefly worked for KPMG, one of the world’s largest auditors. It was shortly after the fall of Enron, itself one of the...
There’s not enough evidence yet to see whether free schools have worked, says Tom Richmond, but what we do now know is quite how expensive the project has...
The UK’s dogmatic approach to teaching reading does a disservice to the different ways and speeds at which young children learn, writes Jan Dubiel Ofsted’s recent Bold Beginnings...
It is beyond tedious to watch two ministers argue in public over the meaning of the word ‘skills’ when they could be fixing education, writes Laura McInerney One...
The school progress measures were a step in the right direction, but in their current form they can only partially correct for intake ability, writes Tom Perry As...
Justine Greening was making progress on using EdTech to alleviate workload – here’s what she’d achieved so far, and what’s still left to do, says Atif Mahmood The...
Some parents and school leaders believe free lunches are having positive effects on the lives of infants and their families, but the costs to schools may become unsustainable...
Mary Woolley interviewed 13 veterans of history teaching, in an effort to discover how teaching has changed over the last 30 years. This is what she learned. The...
Every time an English school is forced to take a day off for bad weather, the usual suspects ooze out of the woodwork and make a fuss about...
With talk in the air that the new education secretary will deregulate faith schools, Charlotte Avery makes her plea for the place of comparative religion It was suggested...
Schools will soon all be obliged to publish the differences in what they pay men and women. Sameena Choudry explains why that gap must now be filled. Last...
The battle for the soul of reception continues, especially on social media, writes Colin Richards It is clear that Ofsted has mismanaged both the writing and the reception...
Is the grammar school policy about to get a second wind? Contributing editor Laura McInerney considers the possibility and how Labour should respond. Ugh. It appears the grammar...
Overwork is what stresses teachers out the most – and the DfE needs to take urgent, concrete steps, writes Kevin Courtney Teachers tell us time and again that...
Teacher workload is an ever-present crisis, but Steve Mastin argues that it stems from bad senior leadership, not the government I love teaching. I get to discuss history...
The new education secretary shares some of his predecessor’s conciliatory instincts, but Tory red meat may be back on the menu, writes Jon Andrews Despite the great hype...
We’re making small steps on many fronts, explains Anita Kerwin-Nye, and may even have reached the end of the beginning in the struggle for inclusion It’s 30 years...
There has been plenty to consider for school governors in 2017. Naureen Khalid walks us through the year’s highlights (and the lowlights!) Another year has flown by and...
There are natural swings between year groups as talent and circumstance ebb and flow, suggests Loic Menzies, but under the current system, this skews perspectives on school success....
Following a relative period of stability, Stephen Morales is anticipating much-needed change in 2018 From a policy perspective, 2017 could be characterised more by what hasn’t been achieved...
We all know that special educational needs provision is nowhere near where we need it to be, but that’s not to say there haven’t been moments to celebrate,...
Two headteachers take their cue from Dylan Thomas in describing the Christmas gifts they would like to see for schools In his poem ‘A child’s Christmas in Wales’,...
It’s been a less eventful year for education than 2016, but according to Natalie Perera it’s the same old story: we need more money to back the policies...
Having scoured the international academic journals for the best research applicable to schools in England, Stuart Kime shares his top five treasures Making decisions means engaging with information,...
The best books 2017 had to offer, chosen by Schools Week features editor, Cath Murray.   For visionaries and dreamers   1. When the adults change, everything changes:...
There should be a revised three-year teacher training route, and schools should be given extra funding to provide it, argues Emma Hollis Today’s announcement about the QTS consultation...
While today’s QTS consultation is welcome, we must not forget that teachers need professional development and mentoring throughout their career, notes Alison Peacock The Department for Education’s consultation...
The education secretary’s vision for social mobility is a strong one, says Mark Lehain – now it’s up to the schools community to get on board Greening’s plan...
Now the end of 2017 is near, I too face a final curtain. Dear readers, this is my last edition as editor of Schools Week. It’s not a...
Today, the government published its ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’ report, which echoes many of the points made by the National Association of Head Teachers in recent years, particularly...
Justine Greening has finally published her social mobility action plan, entitled ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’. Much of it includes policies we already knew and some philosophical underpinnings about...
At 10am today Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector, launched Ofsted’s Annual Report. As ever, there were pre-arranged soundbites and heavily emphasised points on the radio and television. But...
The expanded GCSEs may seem tough, but once pupils have been through the new primary curriculum, they will be much more accessible, writes Tim Oates We have new,...
The government needs to stop and think before rushing into an expansion of the alternative provision census, argues Jen Persson From the disastrous effects of the Universal Credit...
Classrooms will inevitably feature children of very different ability levels, but keeping them apart helps none of them, argues Mary Myatt There are a number of problems with...
The schools minister is looking at the results of a major international reading test wrong, and his dogmatic insistence on teaching children to read with phonics is a...
In this internet age, former headteacher Mark Lehain shares his advice on how to maintain good communication with parents and avoid incidents that might shame your school Interaction...
Schools have trained teachers to combat bullying based on race, gender and creed. We must do the same with disfigurement, says Alexis Camble Most teachers have at some...
The government response to the education committee’s grammar schools report is out – editor Laura McInerney gives it the speed-read treatment.  Over the 2016/17 academic year, the schools...
Schools should be safe spaces – allowing outside authority figures to probe young girls’ choice of religious expression is precisely the wrong approach to take, argues Zubeda Limbada...
Relational bullying can be difficult to spot but it’s actually the most pernicious kind, explains Kayleigh Chester When we talk about bullying we often think about physical and...
The narrow A-level curriculum is leaving more and more new undergraduates unable to cope with the rigours of university, says Mary Curnock Cook Earlier this autumn, over 330,000...
Will Millard recently visited Japan, where schools assess pupils’ curiosity and confidence. Can it help the UK, he asks I recently had the pleasure of visiting schools in...
A recent study on the effects of peer observation found it made no difference, but there may be a reason for that, argues one of the researchers In...
Former headteacher and author Tom Sherrington meets former principal and author Eric Sheninger at the World Innovation Summit for Education 2017, in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the power...
The government’s policy to pay schools to get more pupils studying maths is misguided, argues Luke Sibieta – why not raise sixth-form funding instead? In Wednesday’s Budget, the...
With no new funding for schools or young people, the chancellor’s 2017 autumn budget clearly doesn’t have the future in mind, says Paul Whiteman In the three months...
Recent estimates on the health of public finances have been better than expected indeed July this year witnessed the first government surplus since 2002. Nevertheless, over the medium...
In preparation for #Iwillweek, Professor Tristram Hooley discusses the evidence on young people’s volunteering Young people are motivated by doing something to help others, to improve their community...
To keep talented teachers from quitting, you have to pay them according to how well they do, says Lee Miller In almost all walks of life, employees are...
With a more solid understanding of research, we will be better prepared to challenge poorly-evidenced policy proposals, says Alison Peacock Last week, I was invited to join a...

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