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The Education Excellence Everywhere White Paper: Everything you need to know



Nicky Morgan today revealed her white paper for education to drive “Education Excellence Everywhere”. Here is everything you need to know:

 

Recruitment

Looks like we have some sort of recognition about the teacher recruitment problems. The paper says recruiting is becoming more difficult and the government “recognise the challenge is increasing”

1. The National College for Teaching and Leadership will be reformed to reduce costs for schools

2. Simple web tools will be created so schools can advertise vacancies for free on a new national teacher vacancy website

3. Allocation of Initial teaching training (ITT) will be reformed and will be based on need, demand and quality

4. ITT content will also be strengthened to include more subject knowledge and less “unevidenced” material

5. Qualified teaching status will be replaced with a “stronger, more challenging” accreditation. Looks like an expansion of the current portfolio route

6. A commitment to developing the new National Teaching Service

7. A new Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development to help schools improve the quality of continued professional development (CPD) will be established. The feasibility of paying teachers to publish their research and CPD on an “open-source” basis will also be looked into

8. Increase teachers’ access to high-quality evidence and support a new, peer-reviewed British education journal.

 

Great leaders

1. Headteachers, multi-academy trust (MAT) chief executives and other experts will help design new voluntary National Professional Qualifications for each level of leadership. This will “better prepare” leaders in the system. These won’t be mandatory

2. An Excellence in Leadership fund will be set up to help develop more leaders

3. A new national database will be set up to track those involved in governance. The government then “intends to legislate” so they can bar unsuitable individuals from being governors

4. The role of local authorities in education will be defined. They will now ensure every child has a school place, needs of pupils are met and champion parents. They will also step back from maintaining schools and school improvement

 

A school-led system

These are the conditions that will be created for “excellent heads and teachers to thrive”.

1. The paper confirms what we all knew for the past few days – all schools must become academies by 2022

2. The smallest schools will have to form or join a MAT. But schools that are “successful and sustainable” can become single academy trusts if they want

3. An online Parent Portal will be set up as a “one-stop shop” for informing parents about the school system. This will include a route for parents to complain about their school to the Department for Education and beyond that to a public service ombudsman

4. Looks like local authorities will handed back control of co-ordinating all in-year admissions and appeals

 

Preventing underperformance

The government will focus on ensuring there is extra support and challenge in areas where schools are failing.

1. There will be 300 more teaching schools and 800 more national leaders of education “where they are most needed”. It will also be incentivised so they reach the most vulnerable schools.

2. “New and better” means for brokering school improvement

3. “We will ensure there are enough strong academy sponsors to transform schools”. Although, it doesn’t say how this will happen

4. Where schools are performing well they will chose their own support. But for underperforming schools that don’t have a plan, the regional schools commissioners will do this on their behalf

 

High expectations

The government says every child deserves to leave education with the knowledge and skills and open access to the best opportunities in life.

1. A “world-leading” curricula will be established for academies to build on

2. The National Citizen Service will be expanded so every pupil has the opportunity to take part

3. Publish a strategy for improved careers provision

4. Reform the alternative provision (AP) system so mainstream schools remain accountable for the education of pupils in AP, and schools will be responsible for the quality of commissioning.

 

Accountability

1. Ofsted will consult on removing the separated graded judgments on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment to help clarify the focus of inspection is on outcomes

2. New performance tables for MATs will be published

3. Parents will have the “right” information in an “easy-to-navigate” format

4. Schools judged as requiring improvement by Ofsted where a headteachers “steps forward” to lead improvement will not face re-inspection for 30 months – called “breathing space”

5. This will also apply when a poor performing maintained school becomes an academy, a new school opens or a new sponsor is needed to drive further improvement

 

Resources in the right hands

1. Pledge to continue the pupil premium

2. The government will take a “differentiated and proportionate” approach to financial oversight by making sure schools have access to necessary training, tools and guidance

 



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16 Comments

  1. In today’s Guardian Peter Newsam makes the telling point that this represents the nationalisation of our education system – what a bizarre thing to happen under a Conservative government!

    The vast majority of schools have chosen NOT to become academies. They’ve had 6 years to consider the pros and cons. They are not stupid. But, as with Jeremy Hunt and the junior doctors, if you disagree with government policy, it is simply imposed on you, against your will. Is that not the nanny state that Tories profess to loathe?

    This ghastly White Paper follows hard on the heels of the autocratic Education and Adoption Act whose main aim is to silence any possible dissent or opposition to government policy. What would the red tops say if a Labour government were to act like this? The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  2. And yet again they conflate home education with safeguarding.

    Every case where HE has been a feature the child was already known, HE in itself is NOT a safeguarding issue, stop making it in to one.

  3. The Mook

    Here is an illustrative example from the document:

    By 2020, one possible journey to leadership could look like this (illustrative example): Chek-Yan is accepted on a School Direct place in a Teaching School, which is also part of a MAT. She follows a structured programme, with support and monitoring from experienced teachers.
    Once accredited, Chek-Yan quickly progresses. The MAT moves her to a more challenging school after two years to broaden her experience. She continues to receive focused development and support and is part of a peer group across the MAT, which also pays for her to take a nationally recognised middle leader qualification. She reaches head of department five years after accreditation.
    Chek-Yan successfully applies to the High Potential Middle Leaders programme and receives intensive training and coaching. Chek-Yan is designated as a Specialist Leader of Education and spends part of her time supporting another school, working alongside a National Leader of Education (NLE). The MAT puts her in charge of leading history improvement across the MAT, under the guidance of an executive head.
    Eight years after accreditation, Chek-Yan is successful in a cross-MAT selection board for assistant heads. She becomes increasingly involved in work at regional level and after two years she takes a nationally recognised headship qualification.
    Eleven years after Chek-Yan received her accreditation, the MAT expands to sponsor a failing school brokered by the RSC. An executive head oversees the transition and improvement of the school, and suggests that Chek-Yan applies for the headteacher position. Her application is successful, and she gets extensive support from the MAT.
    She is keen to become an NLE and then progress to an executive head position within five years. She is already thinking about applying for an executive headship qualification, and wants to progress to CEO.


    Interesting points: the MAT ‘moves’ to a more challenging school, she is HoD after 5 yerars and then a Head after 11 – that’s acceleration for you.
    Notice that pupils are not mentioned once in this example. But she wants to progress to be CEO.

    • Ben Gibbs

      They didn’t finish the story though, did they.

      Two years after Chek-Yan takes up her headship, the MAT sponsor (let’s call it BcTF) has a change of leadership, the new CEO implementing a significant change programme to make savings and align better with perceived government strategy. This results in a change of personnel and leadership at the MAT too, who for more than a year, are distracted by internal change from their school support work.

      By coincidence, the students entering Y10 over two years at Chek-Yan’s school have a higher than usual proportion of students with alternative and special needs, and others with low prior attainment. Results plummet as she is unable to get the support she needs from the MAT. Her budget suffers too, as she is forced to buy in 3rd party services on top of the MAT fee, to support the ambitious ‘good to great’ T&L strategies she’d commenced when all was well.

      Ofsted start to take an interest in the MAT, whose other schools are suffering too, and carry out a focused-inspection. By the time they get to Chek-Yan’s school, they’ve made their mind up, and arrive just looking for evidence to corroborate the wider conclusions. On that basis, the Ofsted team judge Chek-Yan’s school inadequate, and place it in ‘special measures’.

      The MAT – reeling from the changes and the outcomes of the wider focused-inspection – decide they have no choice but to sack Chek-Yan and her team, and make hasty replacements with inexperienced people. Of course, not having been very engaged with the school over the last few years, they have no way of knowing what is and what isn’t accurate in Ofsted’s report, and so direct the new Head to respond to it line by line. Members of the disbanded local governing body warn the RSC that this will make things worse, but the MAT reassure him that they are investing all they have into the required improvements. But of course, they don’t have that capacity, as all their other schools are in trouble too.

      More locally, the cultural and operational changes required to ‘turn the school around’ break the morale of the staff, cause chaos amongst the students, and alienate the whole community. Within a year, BcTF are forced to transfer the school to a MAT that knows what it is doing, causing yet more disruption to the staff, students and parents.

      But what of poor Chek-Yan? Soon after she was unceremoniously dumped by ‘mutual agreement’, she returned to her native China to the maths classrooms she loved and led so successfully, before falling for Nick Gibb’s rhetoric that the streets of England were paved with gold for Chinese maths teachers.

  4. My daughter’s school The Belvedere Academy Liverpool became an academy approximately 6 years ago and it has worked. In an underprivileged area the school has consistently received ‘outstanding’ status with Ofsted. The school has excellent gcse and a level results with many girls securing places at top universities which has lead to in excess of 700 applicants for year 7 places. The teachers are dedicated and supportive. The school has many enrichment activities, mfl and science accolades. The school has also won numerous sports awards and has been awarded top school Choir. Academisation can be successful with the right management team, teaching and support staff.

    • Basil Bruce

      Well done to all the children, staff and leaders at Belvedere Academy. My question is, did this all happen because it is an Academy or did it happen because it had children, staff and leaders who were dedicated enough to make that change?

      • The Belvedere Academy wasn’t ‘saved’ by the fact it became an academy though. It’s always had a good reputation, and before becoming an academy I’m fairly sure was a fee paying private school, with places offered on the open access scheme to those who were academically bright, but couldn’t afford to pay to go there.

        • Janet Downs

          The Belvedere Academy was a fee-paying school, The Belvedere School, which had an open access scheme offering places based on ‘merit’. The selected girls had fees subsidised. It became an academy in 2007.
          Despite supposedly being comprehensive, it’s intake is heavily skewed to the top end. The 2015 GCSE cohort had 65% previously-high attaining pupils and just 2% previously low attaining ones.

  5. Janet Downs

    Would the ‘world leading’ curriculum be the UK Core Knowledge Curriculum by any chance? The one used in Lord Nash’s Future Academies in Pimlico? The one published by Civitas? The one where the first volume, ‘What Your Year One Child Should Know’ was edited by Annaliese Briggs, the short-lived head of Pimlico Primary Free School?
    If so, they’d better check the volumes first. In Book Six it says Bolivia is the largest country in South America (it isn’t) and its inhabitants speak Portuguese (they don’t).

  6. Re teacher training – you omitted the part about teaching methods not backed by evidence being prohibited in training. On the surface that might seem a good thing – no advocacy of brain gym, for example (not that I think any trainer ever recommended this fad). But much education theory is not backed by evidence but is theory. What evidence is there, for example, that Montessori methods are better or worse than direct instruction? But Montessori is a theory of education just as Steiner, Hahn, Arnold, Thring, Rousseau, Dewey, Hirsch etc are all theories.
    But many of these strike terror into the hearts of politicians, particularly Nick Gibb. If they are expunged from initial teacher training, then students are deprived of valuable theories. They may reject them (I thought A S Neill went rather too far, for example) but my rejection was based on my judgement not on what other people judged on my behalf.

  7. Pupils leaving school with a world class education is all well and good, but the question that Nicky Morgan repeatedly fails to address is “How are schools supposed to raise standards when Ofqual and the Government restrict the percentage of children who can pass GCSE exams each year?” Ofqual and ministers are on record as saying that the percentage of children achieving a grade 4 will remain the same as those currently achieving a grade C. If the Government caps aspiration in this manner and then compounds the problem by raising the benchmark pass GCSE grade from a 4 to a 5 (a high C) then the majority children are doomed to fail each year no matter how hard schools work to raise standards and even worse, how hard young people work to gain the qualifications they need. Yet again this Government is guilty of robbing the young of a future.

    • Your point is a great one, essentially all students must achieve above average…. How can this mathematically happen?! I work in a challenging deprived area and we fight hard to achieve the best for our students. Sometimes they don’t achieve national average but not because they don’t work hard…