Every Child Empowered: Education for a changing world

During our Spring Conference, we have announced a package of detailed education reforms, including changes to Ofsted and the league tables, proposals to address the question of the “middle tier” between government and schools, and changes to the curriculum as well as spending pledges .

The Executive Summary can be found below:

 

Introduction

  • Purpose of education to inspire confident, resilient, young people ready to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world and with the knowledge and skills to do so.
  • Education must be embedded in the whole community.
  • Children need to be equipped for the advent of Artificial Intelligence by both having strong technical element in curriculum and developing empathy and creativity.

Funding

  • At least protect per-pupil spending in real terms, including in Further Education.
  • Protect the pupil premium in real terms.

Educational Inequality

  • Early years pupil premium increased to £1000.
  • Out-of-school activities fund to help ensure every child has the opportunity for enriching activities.

Good teachers

  • Support Chartered College of Teaching.
  • All teachers in state schools to be Qualified Teachers (or be working towards Qualified Teacher Status).
  • 50 hours Continuous Professional Development entitlement.

Structures

  • Recognise the importance of democratically elected local councils in the planning and oversight of education, especially in respect of admissions, place planning and school performance as well as for SEND.
  • Abolish Regional Schools Commissioners.
  • Level playing field between Local Authority Schools and MultiAcademy Trusts. We would end the assumption that if a new school is needed it cannot be a Community School.

Curriculum

  • Require all state schools including academy and free schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Curriculum to include a ‘curriculum for life’ (eg, SRE, Citizenship, First Aid, Financial Literacy) and ensure every child has access to high quality, independent careers advice.
  • Detail of curriculum to be worked out by independent Education Standards Authority without political interference.

Improvement and Inspection

  • School improvement should be led by groups of schools supporting each other, including groups of LA schools.
  • Uphold rigorous standards of external inspection, which should focus on judging whether school leaders are capable of leading improvement and an assessment of the whole school, looking at pupil well-being as well as results. To achieve this we will replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should be every three years. Independent schools should also be subject to the same inspection regime.

Standards

  • Reduce unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and end ‘teaching to the test’, by scrapping existing mandatory SATs tests at both KS1 and KS2, and replace the them with a formal, moderated teacher assessment at the end of each phase and some lighter touch testing.
  • Replace the EBacc measure with Progress 8.
  • Replace existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) of schools with a broader set of indicators including more qualities data about pupil wellbeing.
  • Collect and publish destinations data for all secondary schools.

Further Education

  • Localise a share of the apprenticeship levy.
  • Give Local Authorities or Combined Authorities a clearer role coordinating FE provision.
  • Ensure all schools overseen by MATs and LAs provide armslength careers advice to all pupils.

Home schooling

  • Require that children who are being educated outside a registered school be visited biannually by a representative of the Local Authority.

Out-of-school activity

  • Re-direct the role of the National Citizen Service towards providing high quality out of school education for those from 11– 18.

Health

  • A specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental wellbeing.
  • Mental health care pathway beginning in schools that links with local mental health services.

SEND

  • Identify trauma and neglect in the early years, and proactively provide early and evidence-based interventions to stop the trauma becoming entrenched.
  • Introduce measures to reduce the number of children with special educational needs who are excluded from school – these children are six times more likely to be excluded than children with no SEND.
  • Emphasis on SEND provision in inspections.

Early Years

  • Early years pupil premium increased to £1000.
  • All early years settings to have a training programme for staff, with the majority of staff who are working with children to either have a relevant qualification or be working towards one.
  • Each setting should be Graduate-led.

Parents

  • Parents Councils for all state schools.
  • Return flexibility over term-time absences to head teachers.

You can read the full Policy Paper here.
Conference believes and calls on the subject can be found here.

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