Monthly Archives: January 2015

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs- The Academies Programme has introduced healthy competition that may have helped drive improvement in English schools since 2010

The Academies Programme has introduced healthy competition that may have helped drive improvement in English schools since 2010 say MPs, but the Department for Education must become more open about how it runs the programme and give Ofsted full powers to inspect academy chains.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/news/academies-and-free-schools-report/

Fis-edsolutions Reports- Academy model may be driving improvement in English schools

The Education Committee says that competition from the academy model may be driving improvement in English schools, as it publishes its Academies and free schools report.

The Academies Programme has introduced healthy competition that may have helped drive improvement in English schools since 2010, say MPs, but the Department for Education must become more open about how it runs the programme and give Ofsted full powers to inspect academy chains.

Chair’s comments

Launching a report of a recent inquiry into Academies & Free Schools, Graham Stuart, Chair of Education Committee said today:

State of schools has improved

“It’s still too early to know how much the academies programme has helped raise standards. What we can say is that, however measured, the overall state of schools has improved during the course of the programme.

Current evidence does not prove that academies raise standards overall or for disadvantaged children. It is clear though that academisation has led to greater competition, challenging many maintained schools to improve and incentivising local authorities to develop speedier and more effective interventions in underperforming schools.

More evidence is urgently needed on the impact of academy status on primary schools and particular efforts made to encourage them to work in collaboration.

 

Fis-Edsolutions ltd blogs interesting article – abolish every English council and replace them with ‘mini-parliaments’

‘mini-parliaments’

Two senior Liberal Democrats have proposed radical devolution plans that would abolish every council in England and introduce a series of ‘mini-parliaments’.

Sir Nick Harvey and Lord Tyler have suggested replacing every local authority in England with roughly 150 ‘local governments’ and up to 20 ‘regional governments’ in a bid to bring about ‘a renaissance of local accountability’.

Plans outlined in a publication from liberal think tank Centre Forum also include a ‘devolution on demand’ approach, which would allow local leaders to demand legislative power from Westminster to any area with a population of a million or more.

Such a system could see significant further powers handed to areas including London and Cornwall.

Fis-edsolutions ltd informs on report – -Ofsted to inspect academy chains

Ofsted has been given the green light to take a closer look at the work of groups running chains of academies. But it will not be allowed to make judgments about whether a trust is effective or not. Nicky Morgan said the inspectorate should be able to publish information about the performance of academy chains. There will be no formal extension of Ofsted’s inspection powers.

Fis-edsolutions ltd report There is new departmental advice for governing bodies

This covers Maintained schools & academies and free schools

The ‘Statutory policies for schools’ page outlines the policies and other documents school governing bodies are legally required to hold.

For Academies the main areas of change are sections 1.7, 2.2 and 7.6.3. Section 2.2 now includes new content on the governance structure of academies which clearly defines the various structures and roles within academy entities. Section 1.7 and 7.6.3 includes an updated explanation of the expectations regarding the governing body holding a register of interests and management of conflicts of interest.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/governors-handbook–3

Fis-EdSolutions commissioned to project manage application for a primary PRU which will form part of a Multi Academy Trust.

Fis-EdSolutions commissioned to project manage application for a primary PRU which will form part of a Multi Academy Trust.

fis-edsolutions ltd blogs on RPA

The RPA membership rules set out the full scope of the risk protection arrangement. Members of the RPA are expected to have full knowledge of the rules and are deemed to be bound by them.

In developing the detail of the RPA membership rules, DfE has consulted widely with single and multi-academy trusts as well as other stakeholders.

The rules now address the following issues:

Leases

Many academy trusts lease premises through agreements that require them to obtain insurance for the premises. As the RPA is not insurance, DfE reassures landlords that the RPA will provide equivalent or improved cover than existing commercial insurance arrangements.

Complaints process

DfE has developed an arbitration process as part of the complaints escalation process.

Subsidiary companies

DfE provides some cover for subsidiary companies set up by academy trusts that have opted into the RPA. Members are advised to read the scope of this cover to make sure it meets their needs.

Trustees of charities

DfE is working with the Catholic Education Service and the Church of England to address issues where trustees of charities are property owners and where they allow the use of their property for academies. This work is currently ongoing.

The latest membership rules also address the following:

  1. Clarification that RPA will only operate if there is not a valid insurance policy in place
  2. Undertaking medical procedures added to the definition of Business
  3. Definition of ‘Insured’ added
  4. Clarification that the lower Member Retentions will only apply if a school provides primary education only
  5. Clarification that the legal expenses extension to the Third Party Liability section will not cover deliberate acts
  6. Medical Procedures and Hirers Liability added as specific extensions to the Third Party Liability section
  7. Definition of ‘Journey’ added to the UK Travel section
  8. Reduction in timescales applicable to the third-party administrator’s (TPA) response to complaints

 

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs -The Education Funding Agency (EFA) business cycle sets out important, useful information for the 12 months from January to December 2015

The cycle can be viewed and printed as a wall planner, with versions for academies and free schools, local authorities, schools, commercial and charitable providers, further education colleges and sixth-form colleges.

Although most timings are fixed, some (where indicated) may by subject to change, for example as announcements are made throughout the year.

The EFA communicate any updates to the milestones in the cycle in the weekly EFA e-bulletin. Revised versions of the wall planners and timeline will be published at the beginning of each term.

Fis-edsolutions reports on interesting article chools could soon face a tipping point where there is no more space or money to offer extra places to pupils that need them, the Local Government Association has warned.

Schools could soon face a tipping point where there is no more space or money to offer extra places to pupils that need them, the Local Government Association has warned.

It is  estimated that the parents of some 370,000 three- and four-year-olds will have applied for a primary school place when the deadline passes later this week. And over the next decade, there could be 900,000 extra pupils in English school, whose places will cost £12bn.

The LGA called on the government to fund the cost of all new school places, now and in the future, and make it easier for councils to open new schools.

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: ‘Councils face a challenge to create places on time and in the right areas, in a climate where they are also short of money to do so.

Fis-edsolutions ltd updates on – new School Admissions Code

A new School Admissions Code came into force on 19 December 2014. The new code introduces a number of freedoms and new requirements. It now allows admission authorities to give priority for children eligible for the various categories of pupil premium if the change is consulted on. Non-statutory advice on implementing this is available.

The code also extends the priority for admission to all previously looked after children and clarifies requirements on the admission of children outside their normal age group. Admission authorities must ensure these changes are reflected in the arrangements they determine by 15 April 2015.

Admission authorities must also follow the revised timetable for complying with a determination of a schools adjudicator, for determinations issued after 19 December 2014