March Update. 1. Assessment only route to QTS in England

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1 March Update The following are summaries of some of the more important issues concerning leaders that have emerged during the past month. Where appropriate, more detailed information is available on relevant websites. Reminder if you wish to reply to any of the items, please in the first instance use my address If you do reply directly to etelligent, please ensure that you leave an address. Many thanks 1. Assessment only route to QTS in England The DCSF has brought amended regulations into force governing QTS (Jan 1 st 2010) which will allow an Assessment Only route to this qualification for those with substantial relevant experience who conform to the initial selection and assessment requirements. These include grade C GCSE in English and Mathematics as well as the same in a science subject for those in settings which include pupils within the age range All candidates must equally hold a first degree of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Prior to acceptance for assessment, all candidates must also have taken part in an interview designed to assess their suitability to teach (including effective written and oral communication in Standard English and health checks) and have appropriate background and vetting

2 checks. Once this has been completed, candidates will be entered on the TDA s data management system. The structure and process of assessment then provided by any organisation must be designed to enable candidates to demonstrate that they have met all of the QTS standards across two or more consecutive age ranges and must include the assessment of practical teaching in a school in England. Moreover each candidate is required to have taught in at least two schools prior to their assessment against the standards. Over the next few months, the TDA will develop detailed guidance and support mechanisms for implementation of the AO route. 2. Foundation Learning The DCSF has announced 20m investment in new Foundation Learning at KS4. This builds on previous funding for the Key Stage 4 Engagement Programme. After successful pilots in 22 areas, every LA will deliver Foundation Learning from September The types of additional help will include:- Specialist teaching, often of a vocational focus Personal tuition in school Small-size classes Extra support for maths, English and ICT Learning mentors Improved personal and social development opportunities Off-site work-based provision Some pupils will do GCSEs or a Foundation Diploma alongside their personalised Foundation Learning Programme, as well as elements of the National Curriculum. In the longer term it is expected that schools will fund from their Dedicated Schools Grant. Local Authorities will work with schools and their Partners to decide how best to use the money in Accredited Schools Kite mark The DCSF has announced new powers for parents and LAs to use school chains. In practice this means that a first wave of outstanding school leaders to gain the new Accredited Schools kite mark has been announced, enabling them to run chains of secondary schools through federations, trusts and Academies. In addition, parents will be given a say in bringing in Accredited schools:- Where a significant group say they are dissatisfied with their local school leadership, a ballot will be held If the new LA surveys of parental satisfaction show dissatisfaction with the choice of schools in a particular area

3 This concept of school chains will also be extended to Primary Schools with the first round of applications running until 23 March and further rounds to follow. Accredited Provider status will allow a chain to run two schools and Accredited Groups three or more schools. Any feed back from those involved in such arrangements in any capacity would be welcomed. 4. Regional Advisers for Federation In a similar vein to the last item, nine national associates from the National College will be stationed throughout the regions in England as advisers to school leaders who wish to federate. Rural primaries in particular will be encouraged to work more closely as part of the scheme. The advisers will help schools share resources and ideas and at first will work with LAs and dioceses. The scheme is expected to get off the ground in April and the College is holding a conference in Nottingham at their Learning Centre on Friday 19 March. Details can be found on the National College website. 5. QCDA and New Primary Curriculum QCDA has announced that there will be no central training strategy for heads to follow for the new primary curriculum due to be introduced in September It will be up to Heads to assess their own needs in order to follow the structure that has been set down. QCDA will instead work with advisers in LAs to make sure they have access to the right materials and support which can then in turn be accessed by Heads and teachers. Networking events at a local level are some of the ideas being suggested. Time will tell what emerges in the coming months. If you have experience of any local initiative, please do get in touch in the usual way. 6. A* Warning Ofqual has again warned schools of the seeming anomaly which could occur this summer in terms of the awarding of the A* grade at A level. In certain circumstances it could be the case that a candidate may achieve an overall score greater than another but end up with only an A whereas the other candidate could achieve an A*. This is because the weighting between AS and A2 is such that a student must get 90% or more in the A2 exam to be awarded the A* grade. Someone therefore may do exceptionally well at AS but unless their A2 mark reaches the above indicator then they will be left with an A grade, even though their total mark may be greater than someone who has achieved over the 90% benchmark at A2. This will certainly be a challenge in terms of communication to both students and parents alike this summer.

4 7. GTCE and Cases of Incompetence The GTCE has announced an action plan to ensure consistency in the process of referring cases of teacher incompetence. Over the coming months, it will: Review the advice and guidance it offers to schools and LAs to ensure greater clarity about the referral process Provide case studies to strengthen employer s understanding of when a referral for alleged incompetence should be triggered Provide fuller information to referring employers about the progress of cases Ensure that all parties have a more detailed understanding of how the hearings process works and the range of sanctions and remedial measures to be applied. In the mean time, it is as well to remember that there is a legal duty to refer to the GTCE any teacher who has been dismissed or resigned on grounds of incompetence. 8. Maths Specialist Teacher Qualification (MAST) If your school missed out on the first round of applications for the MAST qualification, a second chance awaits. Funding for 1500 further teachers to become primary Maths specialists has been announced this month (March). Details of the scheme can be found on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics website at 9. School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB) Although considerable progress has been made, there is still a long way to go before the SSSNB will be up and running. The latest news is that implementation will not be before 2011 originally this was to be in at the earliest and therefore schools just need to keep a watching brief at this present time. 10. Workforce Reform in Schools Ofsted evaluation Ofsted has just produced a brief report on the effects of workforce reform over the past six years. The results as may be expected are varied but the recommendations may be of use, especially if this is an area of review of you or you are due an inspection. Recommendations The Training and Development Agency for Schools should:

5 n help the wider workforce and its managers gain a secure knowledge and understanding of the national occupational standards and the career development framework by providing accessible information and guidance. The Department for Children, Schools and Families should: n provide guidance on appropriate levels of pay and conditions for the increasingly diverse roles that have been introduced as a result of workforce reform. Schools should: n ensure that teachers and members of the wider workforce plan collaboratively, agree intended outcomes for pupils, adopt a consistent approach to managing behaviour and agree procedures to assess and record pupils progress n be clear about each member of staff s responsibilities for improving teaching and learning and ensure effective monitoring of the specific contributions made by members of the wider workforce n introduce a comprehensive system for setting performance objectives for all members of the wider workforce; identify training and development needs; review progress against targets; and encourage them to take the initiative in developing their roles and responsibilities n extend their knowledge and understanding of the role of the Training and Development Agency for Schools and make full use of the national occupational standards and the career development framework to develop the wider workforce.

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