e-Bulletin – Issue 60


Issue 60 – 25 February 2019


Local Update

A reminder that the next headteacher breakfast meeting is on Friday 1 March 08:30-10:00 at the Learning Campus. The briefing is aimed at headteachers or their representatives and is offered at no charge to schools; all we ask is that you book a place by e mailing tradedsupport@learningtrust.net so that we can provide a light continental breakfast from 08:15.


We’ve got a great line up of contributions including one from Waddesdon Church of England School who have been persuaded to come and talk about their work on curriculum and how it links to their values. I hope this provides a forum for us to continue the dialogue around curriculum design and an opportunity to be inspired by others and reflect on what resonates with our own context.


We also thought it would be helpful to provide you with more information about our governor online training programme so that you feel well informed and can play a strategic role in its use. Ellie Cheshire, BLT Innovation Lead, will use the session to explain:-

  • what makes the system different to other online training offers
  • how the system might engage the more resistant learners on your board
  • how AI technology can help your school evidence true impact of training
  • how your board may need to view the purpose of training differently

Ellie will give a live demonstration of the system from the learner viewpoint and demonstrate the admin function that allows boards to track and monitor board skills against the DfE Competency Framework.


08:30 – 08:35 Welcome, Kate Rumboll Director of Education Standards
08:35 – 08:45 Governor Service Update – Gwyneth Langley Consultancy Lead
08:45 – 09:00 School Improvement/ Ofsted update – Kate Rumboll
09:00 – 09:15 ‘Meaningful intentions: keeping our values and students at the heart of curriculum intent, implementation and impact.’ Matthew Abbott headteacher and Sam Jones deputy headteacher of Waddesdon CE School.
09:15- 09:30 Questions/Discussion
09:30 -09:50 BLT governor online programme – Ellie Cheshire Innovation Lead
09:50 – 10:00 Plenary



Message from Debra Mansfield headteacher at Millbrook School, Bucks – collating views on the Ofsted consultation directly after the breakfast briefing

‘At the next Eastern region meeting of the NAHT branch secretaries, in March, we will be collating a response to the Ofsted Framework consultation for the region.  I would like to be able to take the views of Bucks headteachers to that meeting. The next BLT Breakfast Briefing on March 1 brings together a large number of heads.  I’d like to invite heads to stay after the briefing to work in groups to gather their views and opinions which would then form a Bucks NAHT response and feed in to the Eastern Region response.’ Debra, County Secretary Bucks NAHT.

I think this is a great idea and we are very happy to facilitate. We will have a 5-minute comfort break and then Debra will lead the session to collate views. For those of you who want to stay and network instead, we will ensure that there is another room with tea and coffee available. Please note, to allow everyone who wants to participate to do so, we will postpone and reschedule the headteacher board meeting.


Several you have asked about the research evidence underpinning the education inspection framework. The review below draws on a range of sources, including Ofsted research and a review of existing evidence bases. The review is structured to provide the evidence base that underlies each of the four key judgements for the proposed new framework: quality of education, personal development, behaviour and attitudes, and leadership and management. To access click here

Finally, I was lucky enough to be part of the Focus on Governance sessions just before half term. The golden thread running through the briefings was Parental Engagement, particularly the role of the Board. David Hood and Dr Katy Simmons the headteacher and chair of governors at Cressex generously shared their experiences of engaging with parents and the community. The school motto: ‘High achievement for all is our shared responsibility’ resonated, as did their passionate and honest account of the relentless journey they have been on to engage parents and the community to better support students and impact on learning in its broadest sense. I know that many of you went away with a renewed sense of energy, a belief that more is possible and the ambition to reflect and identify actions to undertake as a result.

The slides from all contributors with referenced resources have been posted on GovernorHub. However, I thought it would be good to end with a clip from the school’s presentation showing a student in receipt of a Canoeing Bursary. A wonderful and inspiring reminder of the power of education to create opportunities in a school where the culture and vision is strong and underpins decisions and actions. Enjoy! Link here.


Have a super week.




Kate Rumboll

Director of Education Standards


National update


Attitudes to STEM Subjects by Gender and a Call to Increase the Participation of Girls

The School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has called on teachers, parents and society in general to challenge and dispel misconceptions some girls have about Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.   This follows research published by the Department for Education which shows that girls are substantially less likely to take STEM subjects at A levels that boys.

The research, based on the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, looked at attitudes of young people in KS4 when thinking about STEM subjects and explored which subjects they considered:

  • Most enjoyable
  • The students’ best subject
  • Most likely to lead to a job
  • Most likely to lead to the highest salaries
  • Take up at A level

Details of the statement from the School Standards Minister can be found here and the research can be found here.


Education Endowment Foundation : New Trials

The Education Endowment Foundation has announced five new trials.  This includes a ‘Glasses in Classes’ trial which aims to get glasses to 4 and 5 year olds who need them to improve their maths and reading skills.

The four other new trials are:

  • English Mastery
  • The 5Rs
  • REACH Primary
  • Peer Assisted Learning Strategies

Schools can register their interest on the EEF website. Further details can be found here.


Primary School Science: Findings from Ofsted Curriculum Research

The Department for Education has published a short paper providing insight into findings from phase 3 of Ofsted’s curriculum research. Inspectors found that science and most of the foundation subjects often had weaknesses in the curriculum design that were not present in English and mathematics.

The paper can be found here.

National Deaf Children’s Society Research on Academic Attainment

The National Deaf Children’s Society has called for more government funding to support the education of deaf children following research that deaf children are falling behind their peers from primary school through to GCSE.

More details and the research findings can be found here.


RSPCA Compassionate Class 2019 Competition

The RSPCA has launched a competition to find the most Compassionate Class of 2019.  Based around RSPCA’s programme, which  encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare; the competition challenges pupils aged 7 – 11 to champion animal welfare in a creative and imaginative way, such as producing a film, artwork, poster or presentation.

The winning class will win a day trip to a RSPCA animal centre.


Further details of the compassionate class programme can be found here and the competition here.

The competition deadline is 25 March 2019.

UK Council for Internet Safety: Guidance for those working in Early Years

The UK Council for Internet Safety has published guidance to help those working in Early Years settings consider their practice and take steps to safeguard children online.

Guidance for Managers and Practitioners can be found here.