e-Bulletin – Issue 51

Issue 51 – 26 November 2018

 Local Update

 School Inspection Update

The latest ‘School Inspection Update’ was published last week. Although written explicitly to support Ofsted inspectors, it is a useful document for senior leaders and boards to use to understand emerging priorities and to check that the school meets the expectations for good or better practice.

In this edition, Ofsted focus on segregation. Unlawful segregation has made headlines in recent months, resulting in lots of uncertainty and questions from the sector on the approach that Ofsted will take during inspection. From September 2018, the key messages are:

  • any school segregating pupils unlawfully will have this addressed in the inspection report;
  • a school cannot be outstanding or good in their leadership and management where there is unlawful segregation of pupils.

The update also includes the latest information on: the launch of electronic evidence gathering (EEG) for school inspections; and a link to a letter from Ofqual to headteachers and examinations staff about the summer 2019 exam series, including how Ofqual might support schools better.

There is confirmation that the inspection framework for 2019 (EIF2019) will be released for consultation in January 2019, Ofsted will be consulting on, both, the framework and individual handbooks for schools, early years and further education and skills. Sean Harford the National Director of Education again emphasises the sharpening of Ofsted’s focus on the curriculum. To read the document in full click here.

Autumn Primary Science Conference on Friday 30 November at the Learning Campus – 09:30 – 15:30

It’s great to see so many colleagues already booked onto the conference. It is aimed at science subject leaders, senior leaders or their representatives. The line-up is strong and we hope that it will be a stimulating, useful and thought provoking day. We’re delighted that Ruth Shallcross, Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) will be delivering the keynote, looking at the opportunities offered to teachers by the PSTT. In addition, the agenda will cover: Science Capital, reflecting on being a Science Subject leader, a mini TeachMeet in association with South Central Science Learning Partnership (SLP) and opportunities to network.

There are still a small number of delegate places available so please do encourage colleagues to attend. You can book via BLT Online or by emailing tradedsupport@learningtrust.net or contact Shelley Hancock if you would like further information.

Finally, last week I came across this clip – if you can take some time out to watch I would encourage you to do so. It’s an inspirational interview on leadership with Marie Claire the Executive Head of Mount Street Academy and the lead of Kyra Teaching School Alliance a partnership of over fifty schools. It’s a refreshingly honest piece that really made me stop and reflect about what leaders do to make a difference. She believes in invitational leadership and has a passionate belief in the importance of every child succeeding in every classroom across a whole geographical area. I think there are plenty of ideas to steal.

Have a super week.


Kate Rumboll Director of Education Standards


National Update

Children’s Technology Habits: Norton European Survey

A survey of 7,000 parents in Europe by Norton has revealed concern about children’s technology habits.  43% of parents are concerned that the use of technology is adversely impacting their children’s sleep. 38% expressed fears about the impact of mobile phone and tablet use on social skills and 32% thought there was a potential negative impact on mental health.

The survey, which included parents of children aged between 5 and 16 years old, found that British children were spending on average 3 hours a day on their mobile phones.

More detail on the survey can be found here.

National Literacy Trust Diary Writing Competition

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author, Jeff Kinney, has launched a nationwide diary competition to coincide with the publication of his latest book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown.

The competition challenges children aged 7-12 to write a 500 word diary entry about the most exciting snow day they have had, or could imagine.

More details on the competition can be found here.

Resources to support the competition are available on the National Literacy Trust website.  Entries must be submitted by 31 January 2019.

 English Hub School Support

The Department for Education has published information on English hub schools and the support they will offer in 2019.

The 32 hubs will offer events to highlight best practice in phonics and early language teaching, will provide funding to buy resources and conduct an audit of the quality of reading and early language teaching. Support from the hubs is open to all schools with pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

24 phonics workshops will also run across England before March 2019.

More information can be found here

Report from the Children’s Commissioner:  Who Knows About Me?

The Children’s Commissioner has published a report entitled ‘Who Knows About Me?’ in which she expresses concerns about data that is collected about children.

She is calling for children to be taught in school about how their data is collected and for what purposes.   She is also calling on internet giants and toy makers to be more transparent about the data they are collecting on children.  She believes that today’s children are the first to be ‘datafied’ and little thought has been given to the consequences of this.

A link to the report can be found here

Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS): Elective Home Education Survey 2018

A survey of 106 councils by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has revealed a 27% increase in the number of home educated pupils vs a year ago.  The survey has also revealed that almost a third of home educated pupils are known to social services and most have previously been in school.

The Department for Education is considering feedback on a consultation that proposed a register for home-educated pupils.   Academy Trusts, in some areas of the country, have been signed up to help track home-educated pupils.

The ADCS survey report can be found here

National Literacy Trust: Annual Literacy Survey 2019

The National Literacy Trust have announced their Annual Literacy Survey which will take place in January and February 2019.  The survey of pupils aged 9 to 18 will cover reading and writing and will include a few new questions on news literacy and libraries this year.

Participating schools will need to provide pupils with access to a 25-minute online survey. Schools will receive their own individual reports that can be compared with the national survey.

A new junior version of the survey, for pupils aged 5 to 8, will also be available.

Schools can register for the survey here.

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) : Early Career CPD Research

The NFER have published a research report funded by the DfE which looks at effective CPD and early career training for NQTs and ECTs.

Key findings of the report, which analysed data from the School Workforce Census and in-depth interviews with 100 NQTs and ECTs, include:

  • that a supportive school culture is critical to the success of early career teacher development.
  • that informal conversations often meet CPD needs better than formal CPD.
  • that effective professional development requires a clear appreciation of the objective of any development activity, benefits from collaborative learning opportunities, such as coaching and mentoring, and needs appropriate conditions, such as the right climate and culture, professional responsibility, and sufficient time and resources.

The report can be found here