Excellence in Essex Schools – Standards and Excellence Team – Secondary ‘’Securing Excellence Together’’


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Excellence in Essex Schools – Standards and Excellence Team – Secondary ‘’Securing Excellence Together’’

Standards and Excellence Service Updates for ASHE - January 2014

  1. Quotes for the Term:

Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

Nelson Mandela

  1. Learning from recent Essex Ofsted Inspections

  • Where possible Inspection teams are being encouraged to award the same grade throughout their reports.

  • Schools need to be monitoring the progress of Pupil Premium pupils in comparison to non-Pupil Premium pupils and be clear about the story the comparison tells.

  • The changes to the inspection framework have been circulated by ASHE. ‘Teacher Talk’ is OK as long as it does not slow the progress of learning of pupils over time – this may be seen through the outcomes achieved.

  • As part of the January releases Ofsted have also produced guidance on writing a SEF and details on how to inspect the new Post-16 study programmes.

  1. Congratulations to Essex Teachers:

Congratulations to all winners and nominees from the first Essex Teaching Awards.

Congratulations to Sally Davies, Headteacher at Thriftwood School and College, on being awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours.

  1. PISA: Essex are looking for schools who are interested in being part of an Essex cohort for completing school level PISA testing this year. If you are interested please talk to your Standards and Excellence Commissioner.

  1. Children missing out on education. ECC is currently being inspected by Ofsted for the arrangements and support it provides to children in care, in need of help and in need of protection. One of the requirements upon the LA is to produce a report detailing all children who do not receive full-time education. Heads and chairs of governors will have received a letter and form setting out the information we require and we would be grateful for your assistance in providing us with this information. If anyone has any queries relating to the data request or this element of the inspection they should contact ralph.holloway@essex.gov.uk.

  1. Excellence Practitioner booking system: http://www.essexep-portal.co.uk

This service allows schools to broker teacher expertise with other schools across Essex, managing availability and bookings online with email notifications at each step of the process.

Teaching School Alliances in Essex have agreed to offer their Specialist Leaders of Education here, and are adding the profiles of their SLEs to the site.

If you have other staff members you feel can demonstrate excellence, regardless of accreditation status, they can also be registered through the website. Dependant on numbers of staff to be registered, we may be able to provide direct support in school for this.

If you have any questions, require further support or would like to arrange a school visit, please contact robin.shakespeare@essex.gov.uk

  1. Essex Schools’ Excellence Networks:

Over the first two terms, colleagues from 69 Essex Secondary Schools, 8 Secondary schools outside Essex and 3 Primary Schools have attended the Excellence Network meetings.

• There is no cost to schools for attendance at the events

• Attendees are welcome to contribute and we encourage colleagues to bring resources and ideas to share.

Dates and venues for this term’s meetings:

  • KS5 subjects - 18th or 20th March TBC - Mayflower

  • Eng, Maths and Science - 6th February - Stanway School

  • Languages - 6th February - Roding Valley

  • Physical (PE, Dance) - 5th March - Passmores

  • Practical (D&T, Food) - 11th March - Plume

  • Creative (Art, Music, Drama) - 19th March - Plume

  • Humanities TBC - Fitzwimarc

Summer Term:

  • Humanities 26th June – Saffron Walden

Please contact robin.shakespeare@essex.gov.uk or paul.stevenson@essex.gov.uk if you would like to host one of the summer term meetings.

  1. Essex Sixth Sense Network: The next Sixth Sense Network (for heads of sixth form) is on 4th March at Writtle College. Please contact: robin.harbord@essex.gov.uk for further information.

  1. Developing an Outstanding Sixth Form Course. Following a very successful and oversubscribed course in January Saffron Walden are intending to run this course again in July (Probably Friday 11th July – TBC), for those who were unable to attend the first time.

  1. One of the 2014 Alps National Conferences is being held at Stansted - Thursday 27th March 2014 The theme is 'Raising aspiration & achievement - The student centred approach'. The choice of workshops includes topics like: Effective leadership using Alps; Improving underachieving departments using Alps; Practical use of Alps in a school sixth form - case study; Using Alps to prepare for Ofsted;

Effective monitoring using Alps. Details and booking.

  1. Post-16 funding in 2014 to 2015 The EFA have written to all EFA funded post-16 providers with information about funding for students aged 16 to 19 and high needs students aged 16 to 25 in 2014 to 2015. Education Funding Agency Grant Letter. The EFA report that the national funding formula remains pretty much as is apart from a contentious cut to the rate for 18 yr olds from Sept 2014 i.e. those on a three year programme or start late will have a lower funding rate than 16 and 17 year olds. 

Retakes: From September 2014 students will not be funded for retaking any individual learning aims. This new rule on re-takes is the same, regardless of whether the student stays at the same institution or transfers to a different one. It is therefore vital that students are guided onto the right course from the beginning of their Post-16 studies.

These new funding changes will hit funding for the year 2016/17.

  1. UCAS has reported that rising numbers of students without the highest A-levels have been awarded places at top universities. Figures show a 70 per cent rise in the number of students with three B grades or lower being admitted to higher-ranking institutions in just two years.

  1. Children exhibiting sexualised behaviour. Ralph Holloway (ralph.holloway@essex.gov.uk) is looking for schools to volunteer to complete a short questionnaire regarding children exhibiting sexualised behaviour which negatively impacts in school. The form has been circulated via the BAPS. We are looking for case studies which show how well schools and the LA’s services manage such situations in order to assess whether an additional resource is required.

  1. Employability for Life - moderation date for completion by schools is the 28th March with lists of students and level achieved being forwarded to the link IAG Participation Consultant. ECC will request a sample of portfolios for the standardisation meeting which will be held 25th April.

  1. RoQA is now available as an e-portfolio, please contact kath.wright@essex.gov.uk if re-accrediting and would like to attend training and to be included on the portal. You can also discuss this with your link IAG Participation Consultant.

  1. National Apprenticeship Week is 3 - 7th March to support schools there are new resources on the NAS website http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/awards/apprenticeship-week-2014/supporting-resources.aspx

  2. Your School Local Offer. The Your School Local Offer conferences will help:

  • Meet the requirements of the School Local Offer, in partnership with parents with reference to the new Code of Practice and SEN Legislation.

  • Support the school in the area of SEN School Improvement.

  • Additional support to the school accountability and Ofsted frameworks for children and young people with SEN.

There is a morning (9.30am – 12.30pm) and afternoon (1pm – 4pm) session available on each date:

  • Friday 7th February 2014 at Best Western Hotel, Marks Tey

  • Monday 10th February 2014 at Holiday Inn, Basildon

  • Tuesday 11th February 2014 at Latton Bush Centre, Harlow

  • Thursday 13th February 2014 at Best Western Ivy Hill Hotel, Margaretting

To secure your place please complete the booking form and return toJoanne.cannings@essex.gov.uk

For further information about the conference contact: Karen.woolhouse@essex.gov.uk

  1. What’s New on Essex Schools Infolink

Essex Legal Services Area providing information and services available to support schools.

Resources referred to in the SENCO Bulletin can be found in the Useful Resources for SENCOs area including information, documents and useful websites.

New Location: EMTAS Service

Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service area has moved to Special Educational Needs and Additional Educational Needs.

New Location: Guidance on reporting Temporary School Closures - Guidance can now be found under Responding to Critical Incidents.

  1. Guidance for Parents Considering Employing a Private Tutor or Coach

Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) have provided a poster to display in school and guidance for parents intending to employ a private tutor or coach to support their child’s learning. Further information can be downloaded from the ESCB website.

  1. This is Abuse – Home Office Campaign

The Home Office has been running two national campaigns with the aim of preventing 13 to 18 year olds from becoming victims and perpetrators of abusive relationships.  The campaign is supported by the This is Abuse website where teenagers can get further help and advice on these issues.

Please see the attached brief for further information about the campaign including how schools can support raising awareness to teenagers.  

  1. Vocational Qualifications reported in the 2016 performance tables

The Department for Education has published the long promised first lists of approved Tech Level and Applied Gen Quals for 16-19 performance tables.

Tech Levels will count towards the new The Tech Bacc performance measure.

The DfE has also published a new list of Key Stage 4 non-GCSE/iGCSE qualifications for inclusion in the 2016 performance tables. Qualifications on these lists will count in the 2016 performance tables and will be taught from September 2014. Key Stage 4 performance tables.
  1. Ofqual has released figures for appeals against individual grades. This year one in six GCSE appeals resulted in a new grade and one in five A-levels.

  1. Computing in the National Curriculum

The DfE is funding the British Computer Society (BCS), through Computing At School (CAS), with more than £2 million between now and 2015 to develop a network of teaching excellence in computer science. Every schoolteacher in England is also to be offered free online computing courses in coding, amid warnings that schools are poorly prepared for its introduction to the curriculum next year. Codecademy, based in New York, confirmed the agreement with CAS.

  1. Sir Michael Wilshaw has issued his Annual Report as HMCI. The key findings for schools are:

  • Overall, schools and colleges across the country were performing better than they were a year ago. In Essex we currently have over 71% of secondary schools judged good or outstanding (Compared to 79% nationally).

  • Formal tests should also be brought back at the end of KS3

  • There were more English and mathematics lessons judged less than good than in many other parts of the curriculum

  • Much of the weakest teaching in schools was concentrated in the lower attaining sets and in the younger age groups in secondary schools

  • The significant growth in the number of academies over the last few years has helped to raise standards in many of England’s weakest schools

  • Too few of the new converter academies are using their status to raise standards further
  • Poor White children, by far the largest proportion of children eligible for free school meals, are being left behind. Since 2007, the attainment of this group has improved more slowly than all other ethnic groups.

  • For young people under 19, there were seven applicants for every apprenticeship vacancy in 2012/13. People over the age of 25 were much more likely to be given an apprenticeship place.

  1. Pupil Premium

The DfE has confirmed the pupil premium allocations:

  • 2013-14 Secondary FSM ‘Ever 6’ and looked after children will continue to attract a premium of £900 and service children attract a premium of £300.

  • 2014-15 they will allocate £935 for secondary FSM ‘Ever 6’ pupils. The pupil premium plus for looked after children will have more than doubled to £1900 per pupil. The DfE is also extending eligibility to include those who have been looked after for one day or more, as compared with the 6 months in care currently required. The service child premium will remain at £300 per pupil.

Essex Contact information:

Standards and Excellence Commissioners - Secondary:

Rosemary Prince (Lead), rosemary.prince@essex.gov.uk

Standards and Excellence Commissioners - SEN:

Elizabeth Cornish (Lead) Elizabeth.Cornish@essex.gov.uk

Employability and Skills Unit:

Paula Hornett Senior Strategic Commissioning Manager paula.hornett@essex.gov.uk

Kath Wright IAG Commissioner, kath.wright@essex.gov.uk

Monica Bird, RPA Commissioner, monica.bird@essex.gov.uk

BAP facilitator and Information about Bullying policies etc:

Julie Keating, Principal Officer (Anti Bullying and BAPs) julie.keating@essex.gov.uk

Standards and Excellence Lead Commissioner for Children in Care and Safeguarding:

Cathryn Adams, cathryn.adams@essex.gov.uk

Essex Education Service:

http://www.essexep-portal.co.uk, schools-ld@essex.gov.uk.

robin.shakespeare@essex.gov.uk (core subjects) or paul.stevenson@essex.gov.uk (foundation subjects).


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