Schoolzone: Educational Excellence Everyhere

Education white paper - the interesting bits


24 Mar 2016

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Words taken directly from this month's white paper, Educational Excellence Everyhere: selections based on bits that are new, or which perhaps add something new to previous announcements.



Reforming inspection will ease the burden on teachers and reduce perverse incentives that might dissuade our best teachers from working in our toughest schools.

Inspectors make an important judgement as to whether [a school is] capable of getting there without external intervention… introduce an ‘improvement period’ during which schools won’t be inspected by Ofsted, to allow the time and stability to put in train sustainable improvement.

Ofsted will consult on removing the separate graded judgments on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment

Headteacher Boards, which will continue to comprise top headteachers elected by their peers and appointed for their track records, will provide an important check and balance for academy leaders to scrutinise and challenge the decisions of RSCs


We are also funding governing boards to recruit more skilled people
The weakest boards will be removed through sharper accountability
Establish a database of everyone involved in governance… schools start providing information from September 2016

By the end of 2020, all remaining maintained schools will be academies or in the process of conversion - complete by the end of 2022

No longer require academy trusts to reserve places for elected parents on governing boards in academies… fully skills-based governance will become the norm across the education system

Develop a competency framework defining the core skills and knowledge needed for governance… with a new, stronger requirement on all governing boards to ensure that individuals are properly inducted, and receive the training or development they need

Make it easier for members of governing boards to access high quality, objective data about their school’s educational and financial performance… Where data suggests that there may be an issue within a school or MAT, we will pilot a proactive approach to alert governing boards

Supporting institutions to improve their financial management and efficiency, including through ensuring leaders have the information they need to allocate their resources effectively

Access to better national procurement frameworks


Reform initial teacher training content (developing a clear framework for ITT core content) and the accreditation requirements we set for new teachers… The new process will put the best headteachers in charge of accrediting new entrants to the profession

Continue to increase the proportion of ITT that is led by our best schools
New, independent College of Teaching and a new peer-reviewed British education journal

We will also work with teachers to set up a bank of research questions which, updated annually, will focus funders of research and academics on generating evidence in areas which directly inform classroom teaching

National Teaching Service - schools in challenging areas will be able to request support from elite teachers and middle leaders for up to three years (1,500 by 2020)

Invite providers with innovative new approaches to leadership development in challenging areas to bid for seed-funding for programmes

Design new voluntary National Professional Qualifications for each level of leadership

Launching the prestigious Future Teaching Scholars programme to attract A level students with a passion for maths or physics into teaching [etc]
New Foundation for Leadership in Education

Invest in targeted initiatives to boost leadership capacity in challenging areas
We will create simple web tools that enable schools to advertise vacancies for free and a new national teacher vacancy website so that aspiring and current teachers can find posts quickly and easily

Reform the NCTL, ensuring that in addition to delivering our leadership remit, we are better able to design and deliver well-targeted incentives, teacher recruitment campaigns and opportunities

Teaching and learning and assessment

There will be a new multiplication tables check in year 6.
Re-sits in year 7 for those pupils who have not achieved the expected standards at the end of key stage 2.

[No mention of baseline assessments in the round-up of assessment reforms - section 6]

Looking carefully at the assessment of pupils with special educational needs.
Our ambition is that 90% of pupils in mainstream secondary schools will enter the EBacc. [No mention of links to Ofsted grading etc]

Committed to increasing the proportion of entries by girls in science and maths subjects by 20% during this Parliament

Later this year, we will publish a strategy for improved careers provision for young people … including further funding for The Careers & Enterprise Company to continue the excellent work it has started

To identify and spread what works for the most able, we will investigate, fund and evaluate approaches to help the brightest students in state schools to fulfil their potential.

3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020; establish a new set of technical and professional education routes… This will include moving to fewer, larger, more specialised institutions where appropriate… continue to invest in recruiting more teachers for the 16-19 sector and in raising the capability of the existing workforce


Support leadership training and development at every level from middle leadership upwards

A new Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development

Examine the feasibility of incentivising teaching schools to publish their research and CPD materials on an ‘open-source’ basis. But other successful, sustainable schools will still be able to continue as Single Academy Trusts if they choose to do so.

Will significantly expand the number of teaching schools and national leaders of education - with a targeted approach focused on areas where they are most needed - to create a comprehensive national network of school-led support for leaders to draw on as they choose. From September 2017 funding for school improvement will be increasingly routed through these system leaders. [But] most school improvement will take place within effective MATs.

We will therefore develop a more sophisticated and balanced approach to designation for teaching schools and NLEs. Instead of relying heavily on Ofsted judgements, as we do now, our approach will be based on more timely and accurate data so that more of the most effective leaders and schools can apply


Parent Portal to provide parents with a one-stop shop, clearly and simply setting out the information they need to know about the school system and how to support their child.

Guidance on handling complaints to help ensure a common approach
Make it simpler to escalate complaints beyond the governing board to the DfE
Seek views on requiring local authorities to coordinate in-year admissions


We expect most schools will form or join MATs - the smallest schools will have to

Establish a MAT Growth Fund to invest in the people and systems needed to enable effective groups of schools to join together, and to support existing MATs to expand

Publish ‘design principles’ to set out what we know about successful MATs and will explain the basis on which RSCs will expect to approve MATs.

The development of more multi-academy trusts should make support and retention easier - providing economies of scale, a greater pool of talent, and facilitating the sharing of best practice.

Invest in the infrastructure to enable local collaboration and support. This is most obviously discharged through the formation of MATs.

They offer a clear, single point of accountability: the MAT has the powers and funding to bolster standards in the schools for which they’re responsible and is completely accountable for the results

MATs and teaching school alliances … will also deliver more and better leadership development training and boost capacity in challenging areas… new Excellence in Leadership Fund - in areas where great leaders are most needed
Publish new performance tables for MATs

Encourage more leadership development training to be delivered by successful schools - including teaching school alliances and MATs

As the scale of the challenge in governing large and growing MATs increases, we may see more of them seeking Charity Commission authorisation to offer payment to attract the very best people into key positions such as the chair of the board.

Regional Schools Commissioners

Ofsted independently assesses schools’ performance… RSCs act on Ofsted’s judgements to guide their decisions

RSCs have no responsibility for the performance of, or powers over, academies that are not coasting or failing

RSCs, working with their headteacher boards, also approve the governance arrangements for new academies

They encourage high performing schools to extend their influence, recruit and grow sponsors and MATs in their region, and work with teaching schools on the supply and priorities of system leaders

From September 2017, RSCs will be able to use an Intervention Fund to meet the cost of converting failing maintained schools to sponsored academy status, re-brokering failing academies, and to commission school improvement support where schools are unable to do so themselves

Fair funding
See separate paper

Favourite quote: “No matter how skilled they are as readers, children cannot fully understand what they are reading unless they know the meaning of the words and references in the text.”




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