Government policy


Baseline Assessment: Where it will end?

Despite past failures, the DfE is still convinced that the best measure for pupil progress must begin in Reception. But with a long implementation timeframe, fierce opposition and unions threatening to boycott, the story is not finished...


GDPR: How to support your data protection officer

The General Data Protection Regulation is now in effect and all schools must have a data protection officer in position. Beth Walton looks at how schools must now support their DPO to carry out their duties effectively


Children missing education: It’s time to track the vulnerable

Schools are expected to follow up every absence, and yet there are thousands of children who have nobody checking up on them at all. The issue of children missing education is difficult to tackle, so what can be done to protect the vulnerable? Suzanne O’Connell reports


The battle to take back control of the curriculum

With the momentum growing behind evidence and research-based teaching practice, arguments to give back control of the curriculum to the profession are becoming louder – led, perhaps surprisingly, by Ofsted’s chief inspector...


GDPR: The countdown continues

The new General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect in just under three months’ time. Al Kingsley advises schools on their preparation


Are you ready for GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – comes into effect on May 25. Steve Baines discusses how schools can prepare


SEN: It’s goodbye to P scales

They were never flawless, but P scales have become the accepted currency of SEN attainment. Now they are set to go, Suzanne O’Connell looks at what’s replacing them and what schools think about it


Relationships education: What should we expect?

The campaign has been long and difficult, but at last those determined to see the introduction of statutory relationships and sex education have been rewarded. What can primary headteachers expect now as the discussions and consultations set in? Suzanne O’Connell reports


Assessment consultation – is it too little, too late?

The year 2016 perhaps marked the worst year in primary national assessment history. Now the DfE has launched its promised consultation to find out what the way forward for primary assessment might be. But is it asking the right questions and has too much been decided already?


Lessons learned from creating a Teaching School Alliance: Part 2

In March, we asked a headteacher, writing anonymously, to describe the process their school has been through in becoming a Teaching School and in leading a Teaching School Alliance. Our writer continues their account now, focusing on the ‘lessons learned’ so far...



What can we learn from our TIMSS results?

International comparison studies make regular headlines, but their findings must be interpreted with caution. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at two recent reports analysing science and maths performance in England and Northern Ireland


Financial turmoil forecast for schools

The DfE has set out more detail of its plans for a fairer funding system. But with no new money, there will be winners and losers. Meanwhile, schools are facing increasing costs and real-terms reductions in per-pupil funding


The mental health crisis

Headteachers are reporting a rise in mental health needs among children. Yet, the resources to help support them seem to be lacking. Is the government right to put the emphasis back on to schools? Suzanne O’Connell reports


SEND reforms: Still no real culture change

It is now more than two years since schools were required to implement the new SEND Code of Practice. Now the Scott Report and local authority inspections have thrown more light on current practice. Are the changes really delivering for our SEND children?


What are the next steps for primary assessment?

Could it be the calm after the storm? 2016 was not an easy year for assessment co-ordinators and their schools. Now Justine Greening offers reassurance that 2017 will be better. But will it? Suzanne O’Connell reports


Pupil Premium: A gap that’s proving hard to shift

The government has made it clear that narrowing the gap between those who are disadvantaged and their peers is a priority. Five years after the introduction of the Pupil Premium, are we any closer? Suzanne O’Connell takes a look


The Standard for Teachers’ CPD

A new DfE Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development has been published. Chair of the independent group of experts who put the document together, David Weston, looks at what it means for schools and teachers’ CPD


Academisation: To change, or not to change?

Recent research into primary academisation, led by the NFER, has looked at whether academy conversion has a notable impact on pupil outcomes. Jack Worth looks at the findings


Primary schools resist efforts for total academisation

More than 2,000 primary schools have chosen to become academies. Others have been forced into it due to Ofsted judgements. Among the almost 14,000 that remain, the prospect of having no choice in the matter is causing concern...


SMSC and British Values

Social, moral, spiritual and cultural education and development is an crucial duty for schools, especially in light of requirements to teach ‘British Values’. Headteacher Helen Frostick looks at key definitions to help you evaluate your school’s provision and offers some ideas for SMSC activities




The White Paper: ‘There’s no reverse gear’

You won’t have missed the publication of the latest education White Paper, Education Excellence Everywhere. It sets the seal on what’s been rolled out over the past six years and what’s in store for the coming five. Suzanne O’Connell outlines 10 of its strongest themes

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