Monthly Archives: November 2015

fis-edsolutions ltd – all schools to become academies?

Under government plans, due to be published in the spring, every English state school could be released from local council control and turned into an academy by 2020. The bill, set to be published in the New Year, initially as a green paper, will seek to enact David Cameron’s ambition to make “local authorities running schools a thing of the past”. Ministers claim the plans will see government savings of £600m a year by cutting out council bureaucracy. The Sunday Times believes that the controversial move towards complete academisation will be strongly opposed by local councils, unions and the Labour party.

Fis-edsolutions ltd Blogs- The Chancellor has published the results of the spending review, including details of the Department for Education’s budget over the course of this Parliament.

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement delivers on the government’s priority to provide security to working people at every stage of their lives. It sets out a 4 year plan to fix the public finances, return the country to surplus and run a healthy economy that starts to pay down the debt. By ensuring Britain’s long term economic security, the government is able to spend £4 trillion on its priorities over the next 4 years.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/department-for-educations-settlement-at-the-spending-review-2015?utm_source=EFA%20e-bulletin&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=e-bulletin&mxmroi=2305-3915-35886-0

fis-edsolutions ltd reports on article that Spending Review: Osborne to phase out council-run schools

Spending Review: Osborne to phase out council-run schools

 

Local authority-run schools will be a ‘thing of the past’, the chancellor announced in his spending review today.

George Osborne said moving control of schools away from local councils would save £600m on the Education Services Grant. He also announced the Government would phase out the ‘unfair’ school funding system, replacing it with a new national Funding Formula from 2017.

He said: ‘We will phase out the arbitrary and unfair school funding system that has systematically underfunded schools in whole swathes of the country.

‘Under the current arrangements, a child from a disadvantaged background in one school can receive half as much funding as a child in identical circumstances in another school.

‘In its place, we will introduce a new national funding formula. I commend the many MPs from all parties who have campaigned for many years to see this day come.’

Mr Osborne also pledged to deliver another 500 new free school and university technical colleges. Sixth form colleges will also be allowed to convert into academies so they no longer have to pay VAT.

 

Annal Nayyar blogs on report that Missed targets ‘signal teacher recruitment crisis’

Targets for the number of new trainee teachers in England have been missed for the third year running, prompting concerns of an intensified recruitment crisis in schools.

This year, 28,148 graduates began initial teacher training courses, representing 94% of the target figure.

At secondary level, where population increases are set to hit schools next year, just 82% of the target was met.

Ministers said they had redoubled their efforts to attract top graduates.

But head teachers and academics say there is no doubt the existing recruitment crisis is going to intensify in the next academic year.

Fis-edsolutions blogs on report Education to suffer as part of Spending Review

On education, the Resolution Foundation analysis says: “It makes it on (to the list) because its protection only applies to the five to 16 schools spending, leaving sixth forms, the care system, teacher training, under 5s and even some elements of 5-16 schooling like the pupil premium and free school meals. Indeed, in the unlikely world in which all the ‘big losers’ were to undergo the same proportionate cuts, education would actually record the biggest cash cut of all at around £4bn.”

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs as BBC reports One in six new teachers in England ‘qualified overseas’

Almost one in six teachers starting in England’s schools last year qualified overseas, according to official figures obtained by the Times Educational Supplement. In the year to March, 6,179 teachers who qualified elsewhere had their qualifications recognised in England, according to Department for Education data, amounting to 16% of 38,746 teachers who gained qualified status that year. “Schools will recruit anybody who meets the standards and has the relevant qualifications,” explained Brian Lightman, general secretary of the ASCL. A DfE spokesman said: “Outstanding teachers are in demand across the globe and where schools wish to recruit from overseas we want to ensure they are able to do so from those countries whose education standards are as high as our own.”

 

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs Call for council-run schools to sponsor academies

High-performing, council-run schools in England should be allowed to sponsor struggling schools without becoming academies first, say town hall bosses.

The Local Government Association feels that with lots of council-run schools flourishing, they should be allowed to take over failing academies.

By contrast, too many academy chains are performing poorly, argues the LGA.

The government said high-performing schools could share their expertise after becoming academies.

Bill Watkin, director of the SSAT schools, students and teachers network, identified problems with the LGA plan.

“A school wanting to sponsor an academy would have to set up a trust first – a company limited by guarantee – and that trust would be the sponsor. An academy wanting to do so would already have set up a trust in order to become an academy.”

School performance

Currently 80% of council-run schools have been rated good or outstanding by schools watchdog Ofsted

Official performance figures for both the 20 largest academy chains and 100 councils with five or more secondary schools, suggest councils are better at adding value to pupil performance, the LGA points out.

The value-added measure uses pupils’ performance in the last year of primary school to predict their expected performance at GCSE and compares this with their actual results.

If pupils do better than expected at GCSE, their school is said to have added value.

In 2014, only three of the 20 largest academy chains exceeded expectations when it came to pupils’ GCSE results, compared with 44 out of the 100 councils, according to the figures.

This calls into question “the capacity of high-quality sponsors to take on additional schools,” says the LGA.

The body is backing an amendment to the Education and Adoption Bill which would allow council-run schools and local authorities to sponsor academies.

Another amendment would require potential sponsors’ success in adding value to be taken into account.

‘Partners not barriers’

“Councils are education improvement partners and not a barrier to change,” said Roy Perry, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board, speaking ahead of the bill’s House of Lords committee stage next week.

“When putting in place support for a school to improve outcomes for children, the focus should be on the quality and capability of a sponsor, whether that is a sponsor academy, a high-performing maintained school, or a local authority.

“For parents, who are far more concerned with the quality of their child’s education in the classroom than the legal status of the school, it is the council that they still frequently and naturally turn to for advice and support. However, councils’ current powers to intervene are strictly limited.”

 

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs National Funding Formula to tackle the lack of fairness in the current system

MPs met on Thursday 5th November to debate the school funding system, demonstrating the unanimous support of those in attendance for a National Funding Formula to tackle the lack of fairness in the current system.

There were numerous examples given of the gross disparity between how schools are funded. MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, quoted ASCL figures that per pupil funding in the best funded local authorities is an average of £6297, whereas for those in the worst it is £4208. There was general agreement that some local authorities will be funded more poorly than others, but that currently there is no rationale for this. School funding allocations from central government to local authorities are based on historic factors, no longer relevant or understood. There was also a determination that the wide gap that is presented by the current system should be narrowed.

Some of the debate focused on the financial difficulties faced by more rural schools, which it was argued have higher operational costs due to the sparsity of their pupils. However Graham Stuart MP who secured the debate made the point that “fair school funding ….is not about rural and urban; it is an entirely arbitrary, random and grossly unfair settlement. If we look at the F40 group’s proposals, Barnsley would be the biggest gainer, Sunderland and Leeds would be gainers, and other areas might do less well.”

Schools minister, Sam Gyimah, committed to consult widely on the formula and support schools with the transition to the new formula that emerged. However, he would not commit to the completion of the transition period before the end of this parliament.

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs Nicky Morgan announces further education reforms

The Department for Education (DfE) said that although the government has raised standards nationally in the last 5 years, there still remain 20 local authorities where the majority of pupils are unable to secure 5 good GCSEs, the worst being Knowsley in the North West, where almost 2 in 3 young people do not achieve 5 A*-C including English and Maths at GCSE. To tackle this, Nicky Morgan has pledged that by 2020, 1,500 outstanding teachers will be deployed across the country to the schools that need them the most, such as small coastal towns.

In her speech on Tuesday, the Education Secretary also announced a plan for new and more rigorous standard assessment tests (SATs) at the end of primary school, as well as introducing new tests for 7 year olds. She went on to highlight a 90% government target for student to be studying ‘vital’ Ebacc subjects (see below). These announcements have been met with mixed opinions. Brett Wigdortz, CEO and Founder of Teach First, said they ‘warmly welcome’ the NTS, which will give more students a fair start in life. However, Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that the government’s inability to understand that they were turning schools into exam factories was ‘quite staggering’ and that children in England were already the ‘most excessively tested’ in Europe.