• Coronavirus: Final schools reopening decision 'to be made on May 28'

    Ministers will make the final decision on whether to press ahead with its schools reopening plan on May 28, a union leader has revealed. Geoff Barton (pictured above left), the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the government will “review the latest science” next Thursday, and that the return of

    10.09 May. 18th, 2020 | News

  • Schools face logistical problems just to ensure pupils travel safely

    Schools are facing logistical problems just to ensure pupils get to the school gates safely without coming into close contact with others. That includes making sure pupils avoid walking in “clusters” to school, along with road safety – particularly around the school gates – should car journeys increase. Meanwhile there are fears that reports of

    15.00 May. 15th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Heads can refuse to reopen schools if they don’t think it's safe, say leadership unions

    Headteachers can refuse to reopen their schools to more pupils if they don’t believe they can do so safely, leadership unions have warned. The National Association of Head Teachers and the Association of School and College Leaders, which between them represent tens of thousands of senior and middle leaders, said the final decision on whether

    13.03 May. 11th, 2020 | News

  • EPI: Suspend Ofsted inspections until 2021 and launch retired teacher volunteer scheme

    Suspending Ofsted inspections until next year and asking retired teachers to volunteer would help disadvantaged pupils “catch up” when schools reopen, a think tank has suggested. Education Policy Institute researchers warn poorer children could fall “seriously” and further behind as a result of school closures and disruption to the economy, wiping out over a “decade’s

    0.01 May. 6th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Government must say why it wants to reopen schools, say heads

    The government must explain why it wants to reopen schools in order to build “confidence and agreement” in its plans, headteachers have said. Leadership union ASCL has published a summary of its members’ responses to questions posed by the Department for Education about the reopening of schools. The document reveals the government is considering plans

    16.20 May. 4th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Reopen schools before summer if possible, say leadership unions

    Unions representing school leaders across England are lobbying the government to reopen schools for a “limited period” before the summer holidays if scientific advice says it is safe to do so. Once the scientific advice is that schools can return safely, they should do so, even if it’s for a very limited period before the

    5.00 Apr. 10th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: How schools have dealt with day one of mass closures

    Schools saw a “manageable” number of pupils arrive at their doors today as they begin to adjust to a new way of working, as parents “heeded calls” to keep their children at home unless they had no other option. But things did not go as smoothly elsewhere – with leaders reporting the requirement to submit

    17.59 Mar. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Leadership unions say school closures 'likely' after DfE crunch talks

    The general secretaries of England’s two school leadership unions have said it is “likely that a number of schools will have to close”, following a meeting with ministers. Geoff Barton, the leader of ASCL and Paul Whiteman, who heads up the NAHT, said they had had a “very productive meeting” with education secretary Gavin Williamson

    18.25 Mar. 16th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Heads summoned to DfE meeting to discuss potential school closures

    Leadership unions and academy representatives have been summoned to the Department for Education to discuss schools’ response to coronavirus. Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the ASCL union, said today that his organisation, along with the National Association of Headteachers and Confederation of School Trusts, have been asked to attend a meeting on Monday about

    10.14 Mar. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Do what's best for pupils, even if government doesn't like it, Barton tells heads

    Schools leaders should defy the government and snub GCSE English to help the “forgotten third” of pupils destined to fail, the leader of the ASCL union has said. Geoff Barton, once a maverick headteacher who railed against Ofsted and said he would have to be dragged “kicking and screaming” into running an academy, has been

    22.50 Mar. 12th, 2020 | News

  • Barred: Teachers in challenging schools shut out of DfE schemes over EBacc rates

    Teachers in the most challenging schools are being barred from shaping policy or sharing their expertise as government limits access to its schemes based on EBacc entry rates. Analysis by Schools Week has found at least five Department for Education initiatives where a quota of pupils entered into the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) was part of

    5.00 Mar. 6th, 2020 | News