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Aspect

Improvement winter 2012/2013

visit our website at www.aspect.org.uk

Learning to take

climate change

seriously

Leslie Manasseh On the record

Whistle while you work Roger Kline wants stronger protection for whistleblowers

Core skills or creativity? Gove’s baccalaureate bid has sharpened an old controversy, says Nick Wright

Tower of Babel David Smith on the unexpected value of a foreign language

Personalisation Helen Sanderson on raising selfesteem and standards

Testing times Linda Darling-Hammond helped President Obama draft his education plan News | AEP acts on pay cuts | Council budget cuts | Childminders clash with Ofsted | LGPS | Voluntary sector funding | EYP Training | Academies

Inspection a powerful force

for good

Aspect Group conference report


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03 Contents:Improvement templates

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Contents

Regulars 4 Group Secretary’s message 5 News round-up AEP acts on pay cuts | Council budget cuts | Childminders clash with Ofsted | LGPS | Voluntary sector funding | EYP training | Academies |

24 Aspect professional development

Aspect Group publications New Terrain – New Models of Education and Children’s Services Delivery

37 Reviews and Briefings 46 Job round-up

Features

12

10 Whistle while you work Roger Kline wants stronger

Improving Children's Services: Lessons from European Social Pedagogy

protection for whistleblowers

12 Core skills or creativity? Gove’s baccalaureate bid has sharpened an old controversy

15 Inspection a powerful force for good Aspect Group conference report + interview with Leslie Manasseh

Learning – The Key to Integrated Services

22 Tower of Babel David Smith on the unexpected value of a foreign language

22

28 Testing times North American teachers have called for a ‘bar’ style exam – modelled on the legal profession’s pre-entry system

30 US teachers bid to raise professional standards

National Standards for Educational Improvement Professionals

Linda Darling-Hammond helped President Obama draft his education plan

32 Personalisation Helen Sanderson on how personalisation tools first developed for use in health and social care function in education

43 Learning to take climate change seriously Climate Week is Britain’s biggest environmental occasion held each year in March

28

01226 383428

Improvement is the quarterly magazine from the Aspect Group of Prospect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission of the Aspect Group. The Aspect Group cannot accept any liability for any insert or classified advertisement included in this publication. While every reasonable care is taken to ensure that all advertisers are reliable and reputable, the Aspect Group can give no assurance that they will fulfil their obligation under all circumstances. The views expressed in Improvement are the contributors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Aspect Group policy. Official policy statements issued on behalf of the Group are indicated as such. All information correct at the time of going to press.

Improvement magazine is published by the Aspect Group of Prospect in partnership with Archant Dialogue Ltd Improvement editor Nick Wright Email: Nick.Wright@prospect.org.uk Advertising Lisa Parkinson, Archant Dialogue. Tel: 01603 772521 Email: lisa.parkinson@archantdialogue.co.uk

www.aspect.org.uk

United Minds, United Purpose: A Charter for Modern Professionalism in Children’s Services

Aspect Group of Prospect Woolley Hall, Woolley, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF4 2JR Tel: 01226 383428 Fax: 01226 383427 email aspect@prospect.org.uk website www.aspect.org.uk

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Leslie Manasseh

What does market failure mean in education? IT IS THANKFULLY rare that a group of professionals has to endure turmoil in both the world that employs them and in the world they serve, but that is the situation for the vast majority of members of the Aspect Group of Prospect. My overriding impression since assuming responsibility for the Group is of unprecedented change and uncertainty – driven largely by an ideological hostility towards local government and an equally ideological attachment to market solutions for the delivery of public services. No one can disagree with the need for high performing schools or that all children deserve an equal chance to succeed in life through their education and care. While I have no doubt that the system whereby local authorities were directly responsible for schools and children's services could have been improved, I have real doubts about the ability of the market to provide excellence for all. This is because it is in the very nature of markets to fail in some areas. In the commercial world, market failure is therefore an everyday occurrence which varies in scale and impact but comes with the territory. Sometimes it is little more than stocks of unsellable (i.e. obsolete) goods taking up space. Sometimes it is the wholesale collapse of a company or industry in the face of falling demand or rising competition with devastating effects on workers. Markets can also fail to provide vital services to communities where there is no profit in doing so. For example, people living in the middle of Dartmoor may have to wait in vain for decent broadband. The profit motive can work very well in the supply of goods and services, but is education a service like any other? Also, what does market failure mean in the context of education? My concerns surrounding this problem have crystallised around some very basic questions. What does customer choice and consumer power – such simple concepts

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when applied to the purchase of shoes – mean for parents seeking the best for their children? Real choice for all must mean that supply exceeds demand, but there is no evidence that it does or ever will. What precisely is the future role of local government in education? What happens when an academy or a free school fails? Who picks up the pieces? The stakes are very high, since we are talking about the future of our children and the nature of the society in which they live. Education Minister David Laws said in a recent speech that “local government has a massive and crucial role to play in delivering education… Critically, they can and must support schools, challenge schools and – where necessary – intervene in schools.” But how can local authorities fulfil this crucial role when, in line with the policy of the current Government, they are progressively losing responsibility for schools? Inevitably, the reform of the education system will leave some important questions unanswered as “experimental” options are being explored. I was concerned recently to hear the response of a senior Ofsted official to a question about the wisdom of recruiting unqualified teachers – “We are focused on outcomes more than processes” was the answer. In other words, we will need to wait and see whether unqualified teachers can do a good job. This seems to me to be an extraordinary gamble and a very unfortunate comment on the perceived value of teaching qualifications. It has never been more important for the union to continue to raise these issues, participate in the debate and lobby decision-makers. Let’s hope we can get some sensible answers. In my other role representing our civil service members, I am also faced with evidence of a government which appears indifferent to the need to recruit, retain and properly reward qualified professionals to deliver public services.

The profit motive can work very well in the supply of goods and services, but is education a service like any other? Also, what does market failure mean in the context of education?

Leslie Manasseh

www.aspect.org.uk


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news round-up Educational psychologists

AEP acts over pay cuts Educational psychologists’ leader Kate Fallon has written to every school in Doncaster warning teachers that the council’s decision to cut salaries is making it impossible to recruit staff. The Association of Educational Psychologists, whose members’ pay is negotiated within the same Soulbury committee framework as most Aspect Group members, has held off on an industrial action ballot while the union has urged local MPs to intervene with the council. The council was unable to fill vacancies after a 2.5 per cent pay cut earlier this year, which brought educational psychologists’ pay below the nationally agreed scale. “As a result of the council’s cuts and its imposition of new and

Cuts

disadvantageous terms and conditions and pay cuts, local educational psychologists are facing an impossible job – while there is absolutely no prospect of the council being able to recruit to meet the demand for its services. “We are deeply concerned that, left unchecked, the council will be unable to meet its obligations, and that vulnerable children and young people will be left at risk and without vital support.” The AEP is in dispute with Bedford council over disciplinary action against a union representative. The union is worried that a planned restructuring will see the educational psychology service unable to meet its statutory obligations.

LGPS

Councils face 1.7 Unions bid to safeguard per cent budget cut pension rights Leaders of seven local authorities have demanded an urgent meeting with local government minister Eric Pickles following funding cuts announced in the local government finance settlement. Council budgets are to be cut by an average 1.7 per cent in 2013/14. The Early Intervention Grant will be rolled into wider local government funding for the first time from 2013 under government plans to simplify the way it allocates council funding grants. The letter warned: “There will be no money for anything but social care and refuse collection later in this decade.” Newcastle, facing an estimated £90million shortfall, has said it will close close its entire play service. Jules Pipe, chair of London Councils, said councils have carried a 30 per cent reduction in funding for services in the four years to 2014. “Council services – caring for the elderly, services for children, housing the homeless and maintaining a healthy and clean local environment – are key services for Londoners,” he said. “The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government should not be complacent – he cannot go on reducing funding for local services without impacting on London’s communities and the quality of services. “London’s councils will continue to argue for additional funding to meet Londoners’ specific needs as a world city – 90,000 new school places and 36,000 new homes needed every year.”

www.aspect.org.uk

Public service unions have briefed MPs on a range of proposed amendments to the the Coalition Government’s Pensions Bill now winding its way through the parliamentary process. Prospect representative Roger Kline who represents the union on the Pensions Review Group said: “Progress has been slow since the

joint unions’ ballot in summer 2012 to reluctantly accept the final pensions offer from the Government for the Local Government Pensions Scheme. “Our approach since has been to prepare well grounded changes to the Bill to ensure that what was agreed by scheme members is enshrined in the Bill.”

EYFS

Childminders clash with Ofsted The National Childminding Association (NCMA) has clashed with Ofsted over a proposal that the Government considers whether it is appropriate for childminders to deliver the entire EYFS. “NCMA wanted to publicly state how disappointed we were to hear both Sir Michael Wilshaw and Sue Gregory use their annual lecture to argue that registered childminders are not up to the job of delivering the EYFS and to raise the idea that

they should be exempt from some of it,” said the NCMA’s joint chief executives Catherine Farrell and Liz Bayram. “Ofsted’s own analysis of inspection reports reveals that 61 per cent of childminders are graded good and 10 per cent outstanding, just three or four percentage points behind childcare on non-domestic premises,” they said. http://www.ncma.org.uk/PDF/ NCMA_ofsted_open_letter.pdf

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news round-up

REPORTS Council vacancies Vacancies exist on the Aspect Group's national council for representatives from Region 7 South West and Region 9 Wales. In addition, the post of Membership/Industrial Relations Officer is vacant. If you are interested in taking up these positions or wish to nominate a colleague, contact Jayne Clark at the group office on 01226 383428 or at Jayne.Clark@prospect.org.uk

BTEC awards Richard Painter from Middlesbrough is the latest to complete a BTEC professional qualification in the Aspect Groups's professional development programme. He received the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Governor Services. See centre pages for more details of the union's CPD programme or go to www.aspect.org.uk

Primary results Commenting on the publication of primary school league tables NAHT leader Russell Hobby said: "This dramatic fall in the number of schools under the floor standard is testament to their hard work and is one of the great unsung success stories of our education system. “Of course, it is notable that both academies and maintained schools are improving; in fact, the majority of schools lifting their results are not academies. What sort of school you are matters less than your leadership and determination – qualities which can be found throughout our state education system. We congratulate primary leaders and teachers for providing so many children with such a good start in life."

Aspect archives Aspect’s archive, containing documents going back to its foundation and development as the National Association of Inspectors of Schools and Educational Organisers in the early part of the last century, are to be preserved at the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University.

Straw in the wind? Former headteacher and Liberal Democrat peer asked the Government how many of Her Majesty's Inspectors undertaking school inspections on behalf of the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills have qualified teacher status, have been teachers, and have been headteachers. The answer came from Ofsted. Since 2005, maintained school inspections have been carried out under Section 5 of the Education Act 2005 and, more recently, the Education Act 2011. All Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) who currently undertake Section 5 school inspections are required to have a teaching qualification and to have been teachers. This includes those qualified to teach in the 14-19 age range. Ofsted undertook an audit of HMI in January 2012. This covered the 195 schools’ HMI, of whom 96 had previously been headteachers.

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CSPN

Voluntary sector faces funding crisis Children's services voluntary organisations are being battered by a 'business storm' as income drops from private and public coffers and by a 'locality storm' from the funding crisis in the statutory sector, Maggie Jones, chief executive at Children England, told the Children's Services Professionals Network. The children's voluntary sector is under the same immense pressure as local authority children's services, she said. Contracts were increasingly difficult to win and were short term, and systems such as payments by results with deferred income and 'spot' funding are simply not sustainable for many smaller organisations and have corrosive effects on services. Increasing numbers of voluntary organisations are now having to consider rationing or waiting lists for services, something the sector has historically and ethically rejected. The combination of all these pressures has led to the sharpest cuts being made in early intervention despite this being the most effective and cost efficient means of providing services, warned Maggie Jones. “Trust, time, built relationships, caring, safety for children, and early

intervention are invaluable and at the heart of the sector but the economics of the tendering process are potentially destructive to all of them. A narrowly commercial model just doesn’t work for public services for children, while targeting the poor to pay for the crisis is not just ethically wrong but is also poor economics,” she said. The Aspect Group is a founding organisation of the Children's Services Professionals Network New from Children England: Perfect Storms: An analysis of the operating conditions for the children, young people and families voluntary sector. http://tinyurl.com/av8l49x

Child benefit

Cap will cost families £1,000 Two-child families will be over £1,000 worse off by the end of 2015 following the Government’s decision to freeze and then cap child benefit, according to a new report published by the TUC. The study Child Benefit: a bad case of neglect? shows that, just by preventing child benefit from rising

in line with top-rate inflation (RPI – the retail prices index), the Treasury will be leaving all families with two children still in receipt of child benefit £1,079 poorer. http://www.tuc.org.uk/ economy/tuc-21791-f0.cfm

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news round-up EYPs

Don’t force us to retrain, say early years professionals

For the second time, early years professionals from across the education sector have warned the Government against introducing a costly new qualification. A union delegation met the Department for Education late last year to oppose the recommendation of the Government-commissioned Nutbrown report that EYPs should go back to study for a new, early years initial teacher qualification. Leaders of the Aspect Group including members of the union's EYP national committee and of Prospect told DfE officials that EYP status has created robust arrangements for curriculum leadership throughout the sector that have been widely welcomed and are

www.aspect.org.uk

supported by professional research. Rosie Bloomfield, Aspect EYP national committee chair, said it was important to continue to raise the status of the profession – “but not by requiring leadership solely delivered by teachers”. Today there are 10,000 holders of EYP status, together with 2,200 undertaking training, on funding contracts that are agreed for the next three years. “We should focus on what we already have, a well-trained, motivated workforce only too willing and able to deliver excellence for children,” she said. Rosie Bloomfield said EYP status-holders welcomed the opportunity to work with qualified teachers as valued professionals, helping to provide the right care and education for children through to age 18,

but as equals, not subordinates. EYPs work in schools, children’s services and social care, supporting children with a range of learning and development needs to build the foundations for educational and social success. EYPs in the Aspect Group’s EYP Charter call for professional pay for professional leadership, genuine parity between Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a clearly-defined national pay framework, ongoing professional development entitlements and funding, post-accreditation specific support (NewEYP entitlements) and career progression routes throughout early years. http://tinyurl.com/b7u38yn

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News analysis

Academies

'not a panacea' Leslie Manasseh reports on the launch of the Academies Commission Report

A “

cademy status alone is not a panacea for school improvement”. So said Christine Gilbert, chair of the Academies Commission, as she launched their report Unleashing Greatness, getting the best from an academised system. As the subsequent debate very amply demonstrated, this is something of an understatement. While claiming to remain neutral on the question of whether or not academies are intrinsically a good thing, the Commission acknowledges the changing context. Introduced by the Labour government in order specifically and exclusively to deal with failing schools, academies are at the centre of the coalition’s schools policy. Numbers have increased from 203 in May 2010 to 2,456 today. And the trend is ever upwards. Indeed the Commission assumes a world where the majority of schools are academies. Assessing their performance has therefore become a critical element of the debate about the future of our children and young people. The report makes clear that academies will only deliver real improvements for all if they are underpinned by strategies which drive up the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom; which create and enforce fair and equitable admissions policies; and which increase real accountability to parents and communities. While good examples of these strategies can be found, there appears to be too much evidence of academies failing these tests. The debate concentrated on the need for fair admissions policies and collaborative working between schools – both of which are seen as essential conditions to delivering an improved educational system. The Commission had evidence that some academies are manipulating admissions criteria in order to cherry pick pupils and appears to accept that if schools act as their own admissions authorities, this will lead to greater selection and exclusion. Some

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academies are clearly finding ways around the rules, and beyond emphasising the need for transparency, accountability and the active intervention of the DfE, the Commission does not appear to have a convincing answer to the charge that under full academicisation, no one will pick up “the marginalised, the troubled and the difficult children”. The Commission was also less than convincing on the question of collaboration between schools. It sees this as critical in terms of driving up the quality of teaching and learning. But how can collaborative behaviour between schools who are effectively competing with each other be encouraged and embedded? “A collaborative culture does not fall from the sky, it needs to be built,” said Andreas Schleicher, one of the panel experts. But precisely how this will come about and be sustained is far from clear. The Commission believes that the right culture cannot be imposed and must instead be permissive and driven by the right incentives. But it did not give a clear description of what these are, and entirely ducked a question about how the tension between autonomy and cooperation could be resolved in a situation where schools operated on a forprofit basis. Concern was also expressed by the Commission that too many governors are ill-equipped for their role and this undermines local accountability. Unless there are effective links between academies and the communities they serve, there is a risk that one of the three main conditions of their success in improving education will not be met. It also believes that local authorities “should embrace a new and stronger role as guardians and champions of the needs of children.” But this does not sit entirely comfortably alongside the view that “schools should themselves take on the process of improvement”. All in all, it was an interesting launch about an interesting and important report. But there are a lot of major questions which still need to be answered.

The full report is available online http://tinyurl.com/bg3rnmd and the launch debate can be viewed by podcast from the RSA website http://tinyurl.com/bbllemf

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In this issue

Curriculum rules,

not OK? Controversies abound. When Michael Gove floated his baccalaureate balloon, he undoubtedly calculated that debate would be conducted on his chosen ground. As is inevitable, even necessary, the state institutions that are charged with shaping the practical responses of the education system (more properly systems in Britain’s intensely class-stratified society) respond to the messaging from on high. However, the minister met with a challenge from an unexpected direction when Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price and actor Jude Law mounted a vigorous defence of arts education – which, they argue, will be squeezed out of the education system. Two pieces in this edition argue for the broader approach. David Smith, one of Improvement 's expert reviewers and a former MFL teacher himself, abandons his customary reserve for an enthusiastic defence of language learning. As Improvement went to press, Elizabeth Truss answered a planted question from Tory grandee Nicholas Soames to tell parliament that teaching a foreign language at Key Stage 2 will be a statutory requirement in all maintained schools from September 2014. Nick Wright, who trained as a designer, primary art teacher and art historian, lines up with Elizabeth Price in discussing the shape of the curriculum.

inspection framework. We carry a report of these discussions at conference, along with something of the flavour of John Chowcat's final contribution as leader of the union. Representing professionals presents special problems, and great opportunities, for trade unions. In an interview, Leslie Manasseh – the Aspect Group’s new secretary – sets out his cool and rational approach to these questions.

Raising the bar The suggestion, from the high ministerial reaches of policy wonkery, that teachers need not be professionally qualified as such has excited alarm from all concerned with professional standards and with an interest in school improvement. Interesting, therefore, that the main teachers’ organisation in the United States, where much of this deregulatory free market mania originates, is calling for a ‘bar-style’ exam for intending teachers based on the legal profession’s model. Developments in the US education world are perhaps poorly understood in Britain. In this issue, we carry the speech by Professor Linda Darling-Hammond to the Washington DC ‘Save Our Schools’ rally. It is hard to envisage anyone more qualified to speak out than the woman who helped President Obama shape his education policy and now argues strongly against the austerity drive to impoverish education.

Whistleblowing

Real people

As pressures rise on schools and untried management systems proliferate, ‘whistle blowing’ on overt abuses is becoming a live issue. Roger Kline works for the Aspect Group and is co-author of the key text: Professional Accountability in Social Care and Health: Challenging unacceptable practice and its management.

All professional disciplines benefit from a challenge from outside their own dominant discourses. Helen Sanderson – who utilises ‘personalisation’ approaches in her work in the health and social care system – tailored a one-page person profile to help her child’s teacher and has developed the approach with several schools.

Can every school be good? Our annual conference and the debate that took place in these columns in preceding issues provided an exceptionally fertile ground for an informed debate of very high standards, in which trenchant critics of the way things seem to be going met the careful and expert contributions of the high professionals charged with shaping the regulatory and

www.aspect.org.uk

Climate Week Climate Week is a great chance for school children to learn about climate change and have fun, and the union is supporting the week’s activities. Hannah Sims from the campaign gives us the full flavour of the week.

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Whistle while you work Roger Kline wants stronger protection for whistleblowers

G

ary Day-Davies had been a senior teacher at Wentworth High School in Salford for eight years when he raised concerns about financial and health and safety issues at the school. Instead of acting on his concerns, the governors sacked him for a “breach of trust”. He had spent 12 months suspended on full pay before he was sacked and the school then paid out £50,000 in addition to the year’s salary while he was suspended. The school’s headteacher was subsequently suspended by the governors for alleged financial mismanagement. Gary Day-Davies thought he would be protected by the council’s whistleblowing policy, but he was not. The reason given – he lodged his concerns with the local education authority’s governors’ services section, not a whistleblowing hotline. We are going to hear a lot more about whistleblowing in months and years to come in education and elsewhere. Improvement readers will have followed the Jimmy Savile scandal and wondered why no one blew the whistle. They

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may have seen the two shocking Panorama programmes on Winterbourne View’s abusive treatment of its patients. We know about the official inquiry report into the hundreds of deaths at Mid Staffordshire when staff failed to raise concerns effectively. What may be of more surprise is the growing incidence of whistleblowing in schools. Public Concern at Work, the whistleblowing charity, says one in seven of its calls are from school staff and that calls from education sources increased by 42 per cent last year. Many of these calls related to flawed safeguarding procedures, with a small but growing number linked to the misuse or waste of funds. The majority of calls were from local authority schools but a growing number came from academies. Education, like health and social care, has no shortage of formal policies on whistleblowing, but it appears that in too many schools those who raise concerns meet a blank wall or are themselves perceived as “troublemakers”. Public Concern at Work’s report on 100 education cases makes depressing reading: “The most common response

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Whistleblowing to a concern was that nothing was done (28). This was followed by: an investigation was expected or had been carried out that the individual viewed as inadequate (17); or an investigation had been carried out that was viewed as acceptable (7). The wrongdoing had been stopped in one case, but individuals are far less likely to be contacting us for advice in this circumstance.” The report identifies a specific new concern: “Many of the callers from academies commented that they had struggled with how to escalate their concerns, particularly if it was a governance issue. “Additionally, a concern among staff who worked for local authority schools in the process of becoming academies was the issue of oversight and who they should approach if they have a concern. This demonstrates that individuals are struggling with how to escalate their concerns externally, effectively or if at all, if they have been ignored internally when organisations fall outside the LEA structure. The ability to hold organisations to account and the visibility of external oversight is vital in the deterrence and detection of malpractice. As such, this perceived lack of accountability represents an unnecessary risk in the current system and creates a barrier for responsible whistleblowers.” Good governance, openness and transparency in the running of a school, and the ability to hold people to account, are essential parts of improving education. We spend much of our professional lives working with headteachers and governing bodies to that end. The Public Interest Disclosure Act (1998) seeks to protect whistleblowers. Instead, it largely provides compensation after the event because poor case law and a management culture of denial have eroded its impact. All schools should have a whistleblowing policy and Ofsted itself has a whistleblowing hotline.

Do all schools you work with have a whistleblowing policy in place? have someone trustworthy to confidentially report their concerns to? tailor their policy so that it fits the specific circumstances of your school? make sure their staff are aware of the policy? report at each Governors' meeting whether anyone has used the policy and what then happened? http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/ Public Concern at Work http://www.pcaw.org.uk Whistleblowing in primary and secondary education August 2012 Whistleblowing in schools http://www.pcaw.org.uk/files/ PCaWReportEducationFINAL.pdf Ofsted’s whistleblowing hotline: 0300 123 3155 or whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

www.aspect.org.uk

‘The ability to hold organisations to account and the visibility of external oversight is vital in the deterrence and detection of malpractice’

Some whistleblowers succeed. Sir Alan Davies, former head of Copeland Community School in Wembley, and six other people were arrested last year on suspicion of fraud of up to £1m at the secondary school. Hank Roberts, former geography teacher and NUT representative at the school whose successful whistleblowing led to the arrests at Copeland, stresses that “under the whistleblower legislation, if you reveal something, you cannot be disciplined for it, even if you are wrong, so long as it's something serious and you do it in good faith”. As the Public Concern at Work report suggests, current government policy may have increased the numbers of whistleblowing concerns as pressures on schools rise, but we should all be concerned that that current policies appear to be so ineffective. The Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry (3) has lessons for schools as well as hospitals. It is far from clear that all schools (and ministers) will absorb those lessons.

Roger Kline works for the Aspect Group and is co-author of Professional Accountability in Social Care and Health: Challenging unacceptable practice and its management (Sage 2012).

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Elizabeth Price, 46, who won the Turner with a video work illustrated here and inspired by the fatal 1979 Woolworth’s store fire in Manchester, paid tribute to the importance of subsidised public galleries in her own career and to the “egalitarianism” and “ambition” of her comprehensive school education in Luton. She said schools would obviously give less attention to the arts if those subjects were not deemed core. Such ideas demonstrated a “utilitarian or impoverished idea of education”.

Core skills or

creativity? Gove’s baccalaureate bid has sharpened an old controversy, argues Nick Wright

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www.aspect.org.uk


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Two cultures

T

he artist and the actor had hard words for government education policies. Stepping up to receive the 2012 Turner Prize, video artist Elizabeth Price coolly attacked Coalition plans to replace the existing GCSE setup with a core Baccalaureate system more tightly centred on English, maths and science. Speaking at the Tate Britain, she said: “The idea of young people not making art is an incredibly depressing idea. It seems to vouch for a utilitarian and impoverished idea of education.” Elizabeth Price

Coalition government plans would “diminish the possibility for so-called ordinary people to have careers in art. “It’s not that individual talent or ambition will not be unfulfilled – which is bad enough – but that we’ll end up with a national artistic voice that only speaks about a very narrow experience, which is an incredibly depressing prospect,” said Price. Jude Law – who presented the prize – echoed Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis in a sharply worded criticism of the Coalition's proposals which, they said, would squeeze the arts out of education. Accusing the Coalition of “cultural vandalism”, Law said the Turner Prize represented the “cutting edge” of the UK’s creativity. “There’s a real risk that fewer and fewer schools will provide learning opportunities in the arts thanks to an act of government cultural vandalism.” The consequences of downgrading art, design, drama, dance and music in the school timetable would be serious. “We’re blunting our leading edge in the arts and jeopardising the future of the UK’s creative industries. Art education should be accessible to all.” Penelope Curtis said art students, who had staged a protest at the Turner prize-giving two years earlier, had been proved right in that the tuition fees hike had proved a deterrent and the numbers at Britain’s art colleges had dropped. In proposing his latest schemes, education secretary Michael Gove may be taking a perverse pleasure in his deployment of the Maoist doctrine of the offensive – that the only real defence is active defence – but this was an

www.aspect.org.uk

ambush that he and his ministers may not have expected. The baccalaureate proposal deserves a thorough debate and needs to be examined on its merits, but there is no denying that it fits into a government and media discourse around educational priorities that centres on the perceived performance of radically different regimes. To some extent, this is a battle of competing statistics. Gove’s understrapper, the radical right-wing children’s minister Elizabeth Truss, favours a Far Eastern model and points to the latest International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) science assessment which showed a reversion to scores shown in the initial 1995 study. The IEA TIMSS (Trends in International Maths and Science Study) looks at the performance of over half a million children aged 9-10 and 13-14. In science, English 10 year-olds are now rated 15th out of 50 nations, falling from seventh out of 36, with the older pupils going from fifth to ninth in a group which reduced from 45 to 42. Truss may be attaching more weight to this study than it can bear, but her stance reflects the powerful imperative to buttress policy choices with evidence. Earlier this year, she set out her prospectus with some clarity: “A new, more rigorous curriculum is on the cards, with December’s expert panel highlighting top performing countries’ better grounding in key mathematical concepts. The recently released draft primary maths curriculum provides a taste of what to expect. By the age of nine, all children should know their times tables up to 12x12 – currently it’s up to 10x10 by 11. And before they leave primary school, pupils should be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions and do long division. This will bring Britain in line with high performing countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.”

Elizabeth Truss

With maths, the picture revealed by TIMSS is more nuanced, with English 10 and 14 year-olds maintaining their absolute scores but slipping in their league placing among 50 nations. A measure of the difficulty in drawing very farreaching conclusions is the shifting framework in which

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Two cultures

The fact is there is no single yardstick to measure how ‘good’ our schools are

such statistical exercises are conducted. English 10 yearolds are in ninth place out of 50 nations in the current study, but they were seventh out of 36 in 2007. There are a lot of variables at play in such international comparisons, but the central thrust of government policy is unequivocal in its drive to replicate the Far Eastern model. At the heart of what we might term the minister’s ‘Asian mode of education’ lies a powerful focus on fact-based learning regimes, highly structured timetables and rigorous examination schedules. In its own terms, the Singaporean system is highly effective across the ability range. The 2011 TIMSS showed that the number of Secondary 2 students who achieved the ‘Advanced’ benchmark had risen to 40 per cent – an eight per cent increase from 2007. PIRLS – the parallel Progress in International Reading Literacy Study – which assesses literacy of 10 year-olds, found that the percentage of weaker students had fallen to 13 per cent from 24 per cent in 2001. Similarly, China has a strict regime with local testing every 10 weeks and national tests every six months. Test results are evaluated at school level and used to rank teacher performance, which is related to pay and promotion. Teaching is a high status profession with a strong emphasis on continuing professional development. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluation puts China in the high performing category, with especially good results in Shanghai. This is all evidence of a kind but, as in all statistical exercises, context is all. Truss is prone to stretch the argument beyond what the facts might bear to buttress policy choices that have a very weak relation to her starting point. There is always a tension between the imperative to concentrate decision-making at ministerial level and to use examination regimes to deliver targets with the less clearly articulated necessity to devolve power to schools. Truss, echoing her boss, simply asserts that the academy programme is consistent with the reliance on a new examination policy to improve test results. The evidential chain is weak. Elizabeth Truss again: “The lack of progress in maths and the decline in science, linked to the removal of compulsory

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tests for all 11-year-olds, is a real concern. That is why we are driving forward the academy programme and giving schools the freedom to make their own choices. “That is why we are bringing in new rigorous exams that will be on a par with the best in the world and reforming the curriculum to focus on core arithmetic, algebra and geometry like high-performing jurisdictions. “This is what they do in the world’s most successful education states – and we are following suit.” Of course, the Tory infatuation with the Far East may ‘blow back’ upon them. Already the top performing science and maths-based education regimes, especially China and Singapore, are broadening their horizons to take account of the more complex demands that modern and developing economies make of both their workforces and of their education systems. In 2010, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao drew attention to the perverse effects of China’s testing regime, arguing that the Chinese school system needed to be more successful in developing innovative thinkers with strong analytical skills. “We must encourage students to think independently, freely express themselves, get them to believe in themselves, protect and stimulate their imagination and creativity,” he said. Singapore’s education minister might have been eavesdropping on the Aspect Group’s own debates. This September, Heng Swee Keat asserted that every school had to be a good school and went on to announce the abolition of school banding by absolute academic results. There is, he said, “no single yardstick to measure how ‘good’ our schools are.” He wants to move towards an education system that cultivates creativity; towards what he calls an “holistic education”. Schooling is “less about content knowledge” but “more about how to process information,” he says, and describes this challenge to innovate as being able to “discern truths from untruths, connect seemingly disparate dots and create knowledge even as the context changes”.

Website http://conservativehome.blogs. com/platform/2012/06/elizabethtruss-mp.html#more http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls20 11/international-results-pirls.html www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches /2012/09/12/keynote-address-bymr-heng-swee-keat-at-wps2012.php www.culturallearningalliance.org. uk/news.aspx?id=93

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Conference

Inspection a powerful force for good

The 2012 Aspect Group conference took the question ‘Can every school be good?’ as its theme. Nick Wright reports

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t one level, this debate centred on that area of professional practice where belief – in this case, the fast-evolving superstructure of ideas flowing from the Secretary of State for Education – encounters experience – the conclusions that school improvement professionals draw from their daily work. Where these two propositions meet, knowledge and insight is produced (not necessarily yet in the mind of Mr Gove or his policy wonks, but certainly in the practical world of our schools). The context for Aspect Group members is a difficult environment where the middle tier of local authoritybased specialists, advisers and inspectors is eroding under the impact of funding cuts and fragmentation and where far-reaching changes in structure, policy and direction impose great burdens. A highly disciplined discussion focussed on the nature of the inspection regime within this overall political and policy framework. Professional issues held as the centre of a reasoned, if at times, passionate, debate. The conference was anticipated by the discussion in preceding issues of Improvement, where Sir Michael Wilshaw had outlined Ofsted’s framework for school inspection and set out the criteria required for schools to be good. This stimulated a series of sharply polemical contributions – reprised at the conference – from Professor Mick Waters and former Scottish HMI Chris McIlroy.

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In a wide-ranging contribution, Mick Waters – who combined his own trenchant keynote speech with an energetic role as conference ‘animateur’ – argued that inspection was a powerful force for good but was critical of the increased personalisation of the process and the emerging model where inspection risks moving from a valid and impartial system to one based on the levels of assertiveness of the lead inspector and the head. Comparing today’s inspection criteria with those in use a decade ago, we might find more schools today would be categorised as ‘good’. “The problem,” he said, “is that the standard has been raised six times since.” Chris McIlroy mounted a frank challenge to the Ofsted model. He argued that educating young people in the 21st century entails a focus on reasoning, interpersonal skills, knowledge and experience of working in teams, and that improving teacher quality depended critically on effective CPD. Drawing on his experience of the Scottish inspection system, he argued that the Ofsted approach was too focussed on grading and frequency of inspection rather than being orientated towards improvement; that schools tended to see the main purpose as accountability to

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external authority rather than improvement. Three precarious assumptions characterised the Ofsted approach, he said. Firstly, improvement was best achieved by concentrating on the bottom quartile – graded in the English system as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘inadequate’ – and that this approach fails to improve standards generally. Secondly, that the imperative for such schools to improve – a ‘requirement’ embodied in the inspection report – was insufficient and that more sustained support was needed beyond inspection itself.

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educating young people in the 21st century entails a focus on reasoning, interpersonal skills, knowledge and experience of working in teams

John Chowcat: “Central funding and the ‘middle tier’ vital” The main challenge to our education system and its progress remains an external and not an internal problem, John Chowcat told participants at the Aspect Group annual conference. “As long as we suffer the major handicap of entrenched social and economic inequalities, educational standards and concrete outcomes for children and young people can only be improved by substantial public investment of resources and reliable external monitoring, support and challenge where required,” he said. In his retiring speech after more than a decade as general secretary of Aspect, John Chowcat said: “Government financial investment is the lifeblood of the education service, as with any public service”. Under the last government, public spending in education rose sharply from £35 billion in 2000 to £64 billion in 2009. “Today, the investment level is falling and morale in the sector is slipping,” he said. “Not because the economy cannot afford to sustain it – the UK had the second lowest debt in the G7 group of the world’s most advanced nations in 2010 – but because the Westminster Coalition Government includes ministers who, at root, do not view it as the state’s role to fund and support public services and semi-publicly favour passing this responsibility to an untested and essentially unregulated market involving for-profit organisations.” Surveying the past decade, John Chowcat said that some effective forms of school accountability for practical improvement, combined with ongoing formal inspection and steps towards co-ordination with other children’s services, had helped tackle underperformance and raise standards. He pointed to the success of the London Challenge – underlining the importance of the ‘middle tier’ of the education service. Emphasising the need for proper central funding and effective ‘middle tier’ machinery, he said that, although more should have done to build systematic teachers’ CPD and a more skills-based curriculum, we can genuinely point to a success story.

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Thirdly, he said (drawing on the Scottish experience) that the assumption that progress in this key group of schools would be rapid was mistaken. Setting unrealistic goals could be unproductive and a longer term approach to improvement was likely to be more productive. Ofsted Director of Education Sue Gregory gave a clear exposition of the national inspection framework, arguing that all schools can meet the criteria and schools in more deprived communities have every chance of being judged good or outstanding. The mechanism – which gives particular weight to pupils’ learning and progress and takes the progress made by pupils in the preceding three years into account – entails inspectors looking at the percentage of pupils making and exceeding expected progress in English and mathematics in comparison to their starting points. She argued that schools whose pupils arrive with low levels of prior attainment may well be judged good provided their pupils make, and exceed, the progress expected. Shadow Children’s Minister Lisa Nandy told conference participants that Labour was conducting – under Shadow Education Minister Stephen Twigg – a wide-ranging policy review. Her approach was defined by a clear understanding that, while government, local authorities and school leaders had to maintain “relentless pressure on what happens in the classroom”, national policy had to be informed by an understanding of what was happening outside the class room, in the wider school environment, in the family and in society. Children who arrived at school hungry and with distressing and unaddressed issues at home would inevitably perform badly and the wider inspection framework needed to take account of these factors. She was proud of Labour’s record, supportive of Sure Start and wanted more support for youth services. She remained skeptical about the academies programme and strongly supported a powerful local authority role. She was not keen on the idea of an English baccalaureate and argued that the government’s approach risked breaking up

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Conference well-established structures and fracturing “families of schools”. She worried that the pathway to where Michael Gove was going would lead to profit-making in the school system and the ethos of business rather than education.

Conclusions Chris McIlroy and Mick Waters’ initial contributions centred on the critical impact of inspection and the quality of leadership at school level. A standing feature of the Aspect Group annual conference is the strong focus on specialist areas of professional practice with a full programme of group discussions led by practitioners with compelling stories to tell and personal authority in their fields. This is buttressed by the presence of the union’s team of CPD leaders – the people who deliver the Aspect Group’s programme of learning. This year, workshops focussed on SEN, safeguarding and professional development in Scotland. A further three innovative workshops looked at outstanding practice in early years, primary and secondary education. Mick Waters chaired a lively session which saw a series of seven-minute vignettes where “witnesses to the good” looked at academies, public health issues for children and young people, primary schools, teaching schools and safeguarding. A second focus was on the problems associated with the use of performance data and the importance for teachers, school leaders and inspectors to fully understand the function of data and how it is customised. It was established that Ofsted can be a force for good! It is important to identify who are the biggest and most effective movers of improvement in schools, how an assertive head can influence the outcome of an inspection and how the inspection process can be skewed in order to produce a political effect. In discussion, consensus emerged around a clear need for greater accountability in the inspection process and an independent body to investigate complaints with schools having more of a voice in the process. There is a need to keep procedures simple and for all participants to have an in-depth understanding of the data – with local data, including children’s views, privileged. The inspection process should include a strong focus on leadership with an understanding that the relationship

Conference objective David Sanders, the union’s head of professional learning, summed up the conference thus: “Our objective in the Aspect Group’s annual conference is to put the key questions animating our professional world at the centre of debate and informed discussion. By bringing together education and social care professionals – both those at the front end of service delivery and those with overarching policy and executive functions – with policy makers and politicians, we have a real impact.”

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2013 will be a year of challenges Big challenges face education and children’s services professionals, said Aspect Group President Esther PickupKeller (above). Paying tribute to the role of Aspect’s General Secretary John Chowcat, she said that a decade of progress had resulted in a big increase in the union’s membership and a strengthening of its contribution to professional debate and policy, but that much that had been gained was under threat. “Optimism driven by reason is the cornerstone of a professional approach,” said incoming President Tommy Doherty (above) – the first president to come from Scotland – and this should shape our attitude to the challenges of the coming year.

between heads and middle leaders is critical. NPQH should be an entitlement CPD opportunity for all DHTs/AHTs. The inspection process needs to be more shared with schools rather than being done to schools, with a clear recognition that collaboration and partnership is increasingly difficult in a competitive market. Susan Gregory returned the conference to its primary focus of ‘can all schools be good?’ with a broad survey of the present situation, an outline of the emphasis Ofsted is placing on outcomes and the relevance to the evaluation process of the starting point for both schools and children. Key issues flagged up included the local authority role in relation to the new directors of regions, the role of Ofsted as a catalyst for improvement and the status and professional competencies of inspectors – how well qualified are inspectors in making judgements about the quality of teaching and what CPD do they get? Discussion produced a conclusion that performance management should be linked to the regional director with brokerage by schools of their support and inspected by the regional director. There is a need to use parents’ views more effectively, particularly between inspections, and teachers should receive better feedback from lesson observations.

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Interview

Take

nothing for granted Leslie Manasseh now speaks for education and children’s services professionals

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he Aspect Group’s new secretary, Leslie Manasseh, sees a key role for the union in representing our individual and collective interests as the working environment of professionals in education and children’s services undergoes radical changes. With other responsibilities – for Prospect’s civil service membership and much of the union’s internal management – as well as the Aspect Group, he sees a busy and productive period opening up. Impressed by the range and depth of the discussion at the Aspect Group’s annual conference in November 2012, he argues that a key job is to act as advocate for the professional values that members bring to education and children’s services. The traditional union workplace tasks – representing individuals and negotiating on behalf of collectives – is matched in present circumstances by vital work in lobbying decision makers over public policy questions, especially in the face of the drive to marketise services. He thinks that the previous government was better disposed towards consultation with unions and favoured more institutional structures to promote a collaborative approach. However, he recognises that the world in which we operate has changed. Nevertheless, he sees this advocacy role as vital. The union needs more effective strategies to deploy the wide range of experience and expertise that the Aspect Group’s members embody in order to provide an informed critique and influence public policy, he says. Professional boundaries between different disciplines in the sector are being transformed by structural change. Asked how best to respond to the challenges posed by rising workloads, bullying and uncertainty over employment security, he is emphatic that traditional union responses, stronger local organisation and support to empower local union representatives are key. “This is sometimes difficult to sustain as an individual,” he says, “but we need to develop our collective capacity to

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expose and challenge unreasonable treatment and demands by employers.” He is clear how the Aspect Group fits in to the Prospect family, citing the broader union’s membership in a very diverse range of professional sectors across both public services and the private sector. What unites us at the human level is our status as professionals and the values placed on professional autonomy, respect for an independence of judgement, expertise and integrity. He asks the question which ties this bundle together: What does good work for professionals look like in the 21st century? It is a good organisational fit, he explains, and the Aspect Group has a great deal of operational autonomy within Prospect’s highly devolved organisational culture. “Coupled with a respect for the professional judgement of the Group’s members and officers, the support that a big organisation is able to confer is a valuable resource in troubled times.” Challenged regarding what the overall trade union strategy to restore pay levels and enhance terms of employment should be, given the clear strategy of the Coalition government to restrain pay and cut public services, he is careful but confident. “I have always believed in the power of evidence and rational argument to make and defend the case for decent pay and conditions for professionals who deliver public services and the essential conditions for ensuring high quality services. “But we should not ignore the potential for a traditional trade union response.”

Leslie Manasseh Leslie Manasseh has been a trade union official for 30 years with a career as a civil servant, a union activist and then full-time officer in the civil service executive grades union and the union for telecoms executives. Now a deputy general secretary of the merged Prospect union of professionals, he says the early 1980s were the most influential decade for the future of the trade union movement and his commitment to it. “The 1980s saw a sustained attack on organised labour combined with structural change, massive restructuring of the economy, privatisation, unemployment, inflation and a reduction in the active role of the state. “This led to a real crisis in the trade union movement and convinced me that we cannot take anything for granted.”

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Accept difference. Not indifference. www.autism.org.uk/professionals


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Political fund

It doesn’t matter what colour your politics... Vote ‘YES’ in the political fund ballot – March 4-27 2013

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hat has to happen every 10 years for Prospect to remain an effective campaigning union? Members must vote ‘yes’ in a ballot to retain the Prospect political fund. The Aspect Group has made great use of its political fund in lobbying and campaigning, and Prospect and its constituent parts have had political funds since the 1980s. Political funds were set up because of changes to trade union law, introduced by the Thatcher government, which meant that ordinary campaign activity was at risk of being declared ‘political’ (and hence unlawful) unless the union had a political fund. The law has not changed, so the threat remains as great today as it was then. The union’s national executive committee therefore strongly recommends a ‘yes’ vote to keep the fund. “With all the ballots that are held these days, it would be easy to think that you could give this one a miss,” said Alan Grey, president of Prospect. That would be a big mistake. “Our union’s ability to campaign would be hamstrung if we could not engage with MPs, criticise government policy or produce campaign material. “We have always done these things – more than ever, it’s vital we continue to do them today.” No change to the union’s current campaign and lobbying activity is intended by the ballot, which was unanimously approved at the 2012 National Conference in Bournemouth. It will run from March 4-27 this year. In the months ahead, the union will continue to challenge the switch from RPI to CPI for uprating of pensions and benefits, the cuts in infrastructure spending and investment by government, the cancellation of defence contracts, the rundown of health and safety at work and other threats to the livelihood of members. All these campaigns would be at risk of legal challenge if the union did not have a political fund so, unless you think that they don’t matter, please vote yes.

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Why do we need a ‘political’ fund? The worst thing about a political fund is its name. If it was called a ‘campaign fund’, nobody would even question its purpose and a campaign fund is what it really is. The current Prospect political fund is used to finance the production of material like leaflets, posters, flags, banners, printed submissions to government and parliamentary committees, rent of rooms and meeting halls and much more. Unfortunately, however, the 1984 Trade Union Act requires that any union engaging in activity that could be described as ‘political’ has a political fund which must be supported every 10 years in a ballot of members. How it works The ballot will be open to all Prospect members, working and retired. It will be carried out by Electoral Reform Services If approved, the fund will be re-established from June 1 2013 The political fund is set up and managed on a separate basis from Prospect’s general funds, governed by strict rules supervised by the Certification Officer Any member may opt not to contribute to the fund and no member will be disadvantaged by opting out. Different regulations apply by law in Northern Ireland, where members need to opt in if they wish to contribute The contribution rate to the fund will be 5p a month for all Prospect members who contribute, deducted at source from subscriptions Q&As on the ballot for a political fund can be viewed at www.prospect.org.uk/politicalfund13

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The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

Tower of

Babel David Smith on the unexpected value of a foreign language

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he British government signaled the priority it gives to modern foreign languages (MFL) in secondary education by including them within the English Baccalaureate. Their place in primary schools remains in question. A major national consultation undertaken by the Nuffield Foundation from 1998 to 2000 found that “parents, employers and the wider public alike believe that language learning should start early”. This led to very significant developments in England in training teachers and supporting schools to introduce MFL teaching from age seven. However, a foreign language was never made a statutory subject in primary schools. The government’s Advisory Panel on the National Curriculum was unsure about whether the subject should be a requirement from age seven or age nine, and specifically requested further evidence on this. It is this gap which the current CfBT study seeks to fill. It offers a comparative perspective on the debate, examining the research evidence and showing how other countries are tackling the typical issues and challenges. It is an important report for primary teachers, the community of MFL teachers and the nation’s decision makers. The last decade or so has seen an expansion in early language learning across the world, driven largely by the global demand for English. In English-speaking countries,

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policymakers face not only the challenge of deciding how much resource should be put into learning other languages but which languages should be learned. The first part of the CfBT study presents a literature review and further research evidence on the benefits of starting to learn a foreign language early, as well as current policy developments and approaches in other nations. Part two focuses on the challenges that are common to all education systems and that need to be addressed if primary language teaching is to be a success. These are: A suitable curriculum with adequate time allocation, so that real progress in learning can be expected A sufficient number of well-trained teachers, with good competence in the language to be taught and an understanding of how it works Careful management of transition between phases, so that continuity in learning can be assured and progress maintained Age-appropriate pedagogy i.e. teaching methods suitable for young children and not watered-down secondary school approaches In each of the above areas, the report includes case studies drawn from Hong Kong, Spain, Australia and China. There is an encouraging review of ‘Dinocrocs’ as practised in north-

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Review east England, based on a model developed in Italy. The report challenges the assumption that English speakers do not need to learn other languages, based on economic and on educational grounds. Employers cite the handicap of sales staff unable to operate in the customer’s own language. Studies of children who have learnt a foreign language in US elementary schools show clear evidence of superior performance in test scores in both English and maths compared with control groups with similar characteristics. Evidence from around the world shows that Englishspeaking systems are less inclined to make MFL compulsory: in the UK, only Scotland has any compulsory MFL learning in primary schools. Anglophone countries dedicate less time and generally provide fewer resources and less encouragement for language learning than other high-performing education systems. Given the educational, intellectual, cultural and literacy benefits of learning another language and of starting language learning early, this risks a continuing impoverishment of our children’s education. The CfBT study powerfully brings international evidence to today’s debate. In respect of MFL learning, the difficulties of applying lessons from abroad are perhaps even greater than for other subjects – the vast majority of early language learning programmes worldwide involve English. Another consideration is that language – whether first, second or foreign – and literacy are fundamental to learning across the curriculum: “Language is not only an object of study but a medium for learning other things, and language learning for young children quickly becomes intimately connected with learning in other areas of the curriculum. Education systems have taken advantage of this by developing models of teaching which combine language and content in different ways appropriate to their own contexts.” Furthermore, language learning internationally takes place in a wide variety of sociolinguistic settings, many of which are very different from the situation in which many Englishspeaking children start MFL learning. This is a very important point to understand. Other socio-linguistic settings include extensive formal and less formal exposure to English language outside of school e.g. in film, sport, pop songs, television and imported vocabulary. Some languages in well-developed European nations are barely spoken outside their country of origin. This increases the motivation of children and of their parents to learn another world language, often English. The report’s overall conclusions include: a summary of benefits of early MFL learning; the significant cost implications of a properly prepared and resourced programme of MFL learning nationally; the disadvantage for monolingual English speakers in a multilingual world where languages other than English provide a competitive advantage; the centrality of well-trained teachers and the need for them to spend time in the country whose language they teach.

www.aspect.org.uk

The report challenges the assumption that English speakers do not need to learn other languages

The highlighted conclusion is that “early language learning can only be effective when there is sufficient time, high-quality teaching and continuity through to higher levels of learning”. We’ve heard many of the arguments before – at least since the 1970s, when after the first national project to establish MFL in primary schools in the UK, Claire Burstall’s 1974 report Primary French in the Balance highlighted pretty much the same conclusions as this report and, above all, the shortage of competent French (in this case) speakers, lack of consistency in approach and failure to ensure continuity of learning. However, nationally, we’re still going round in circles. Perhaps the obstacle is that policy and resourcing decisions are taken by elected representatives working to short time scales, and to diverse priorities, and perhaps most of whom have no experience of the sheer enjoyment and life enrichment that good competence in one or more foreign languages provides. When my brakes failed completely in a village in central Italy, I found a resident mechanic as competent with most cars as he was with farm machinery. He assured me that no one in the village spoke English. Fortunately, I speak Italian. He eventually put in the freighted parts and we talked about how much he was going to reduce the bill over numerous glasses of Chianti in his kitchen. I also got an invitation to hear him play the accordion at the village ball and a case of wine to take home. Long live language learning!

David Smith is a former MFL teacher and adviser. Lessons from abroad: International review of primary languages Teresa Tinsley and Therese Comfort CfBT Education Trust, 2012 89pp www.cfbt.com

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Transition tools for going independent Going independent orientation courses organised by the Aspect Group are proving especially popular, reports Cheryl Crossley In response to renewed demand, a new tranche of courses continuing into 2013 is now available for booking

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s local authorities move towards a wide variety of traded or shared services, mutualisation and outsourcing, full-time secure roles in local authorities are being replaced with a multiplicity of contracted and freelance services. In response to the renewed demand, a new tranche of courses is now underway and is available for booking. The core of professionals who provide these vital services remain committed to their vocation, secure in their professional skills, deeply knowledgeable about their local conditions, widely respected by their colleagues in schools and services but they are in need of the transition tools to make their independent working less fraught.

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The work ethic is deeply embedded in the outlook of school improvement professionals. Surveys show one in five work more than 50 a week hours and almost half reported working more than six hours per week in the evening and/or at weekends. But independent working means the contracted professional must carry some of the responsibilities that previously fell on their employer as well as discharging traditional duties. The Aspect Group's courses have evolved to take the newly independent professional through all the practical and financial steps when planning a successful transformation into the self-employed consultancy field. The 'Thinking Of Going Independent' course and associated support has trained over 1,000 members in the last year. You need to consider both the professional context for independent consultancy and how to gain new skills and approaches to effective consultancy work. Marketing your unique contribution entails acquiring expertise in the practicalities of setting up a business e.g. record keeping and financing an office. You will need to get on top of quality assurance, accounts, tax, insurance, professional indemnity, contracting and invoicing.

Support is offered in three ways The first is the popular national course – covering the topics above (and more). This takes place on: May 17 2013 Midlands September 20 2013 London June 28 2013 Cancelled Costs: £245 + VAT for members & £295 + VAT for non-members Secondly, we can tailor a bespoke course for groups of colleagues in a local authority, or coming to the end of limited contracts. Thirdly, in association with xué, we can construct a personally tailored programme for individuals, together with careers counselling and/or skills analysis. These programmes are overseen by John Pearce, one of the Aspect Group’s longest serving and successful independent associates.

For further details of the courses, options and costs, please contact cheryl.crossley@prospect.org.uk 01226 383428 fax 01226 383427

www.aspect.org.uk


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Building on your professional role The Aspect Group BTEC study programme provides an opportunity for reflection, review and assessment of your professional role. The portfolio is a great opportunity to focus on your achievements in your job, asking others for informal and formal feedback, and gathering the evidence to show that your professional contribution makes a difference.

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reating a persuasive and well-evidenced portfolio that demonstrates your effectiveness and impact is of great use during performance management reviews, SPA 3 assessment, job reviews, reorganisations and recruitment interviews. More than one hundred candidates have now successfully completed one of the four courses. The following qualifications are available: BTEC Professional Award/Certificate in Education and Children’s Service Development Level 6 BTEC Advanced Professional Award/Certificate in Education and Children’s Service Development Level 7 BTEC Advanced Award in Governor Services in Education and Children’s Service Development Level 3 BTEC Advanced Certificate in Governor Services in Education and Children’s Service Development Level 6.

www.aspect.org.uk

The programme provides a chance for teams to work together on what matters most to them, and confirm the impact they are having. Local authority children's services teams have found that building portfolios together enables them to create a persuasive and comprehensive account of their work, their skills and the impact of their interventions. For some, this can also mean that a whole team portfolio is produced that is useful during reviews, audits and inspections. Employers, partners and client organisations are coming to realise the potential of the BTEC accreditation process as a useful quality assurance mechanism that enables individuals, teams and organisations to demonstrate the range and level of their professional skills and to identify and work with other professionals with similar profiles and qualifications. The BTEC programme now offers progression pathways from the Level 6 in Children's and Governor Services to the Level 7 Advanced Professional Certificate (equivalent to working at Masters degree level). The first group of candidates for the new Advanced Professional Certificate in Improvement in Children's Services, which is particularly designed for those who work in the multi-agency context, started last May, and attracted interest from team leaders and other senior local authority professionals. The Aspect Group BTEC programme provides a powerful process that can make a significant contribution to demonstrating your competence, effectiveness, achievements and impact.

The cost of these BTEC courses are: BTEC Professional Award in Education & Children's Service Development Level 6 £695 + VAT (3 units) BTEC Professional Certificate in Education & Children's Service Development Level 6 £695 + VAT (4 units) BTEC Advanced Professional Certificate in Education & Children's Service Development Level 7 £745 + VAT (4 units) BTEC Advanced Award in Governor Services in Education & Children's Service Development Level 3 £495 + VAT (2 units) BTEC Advanced Certificate in Governor Services in Education & Children's Service Development Level 6 £695 + VAT (2 units) Discounts are available for groups and for upgrading to higher levels. There will be a workshop for those interested in undertaking any of the above BTEC courses on February 27 2013 in Birmingham.

If you would like more information on this, on any other Aspect Group BTEC programme, would like an application form or if you are interested in forming a local authority group to undertake any of the programmes, please contact Cheryl Crossley at 01226 392129 or email cheryl.crossley@prospect.org.uk

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Coaching and mentoring

ILM Qualifications in Coaching and Mentoring at Level 5 and Level 7

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ollowing on from the previous successful further opportunities for members to enrol on the Institute of Leadership (ILM) accredited Coaching and Mentoring Programmes at Level 5 (degree level) or Level 7 (postgraduate level) run in collaboration with xué, both programmes are appropriate for those who wish to use coaching or mentoring in the workplace or want to establish a coaching practice. They attract credits within the National Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF).

The next programmes are: ILM Level 5 (degree equivalent) Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring in Management (13 credits), which can be extended to the Diploma for Professional Management Coaching and Mentors (additional coaching hours required – 37 credits) Dates to be confirmed ILM Level 7 (postgraduate level) Certificate in Executive Coaching and Leadership Management (15 credits), which can be extended to the Diploma for Professional Executive Coaches and Leadership Mentors (additional coaching hours required – 40 credits) Start date – June 2013

Element 3 – face-to-face full day modules supporting skill development and practice spread across the programme Level 5 programme – five days (spread over nine months) Level 7 programme – six days (spread over 12 months) Element 4 – live coaching and/or mentoring practice supported by a coaching diary Element 5 – coaching/mentoring supervision by a trained supervisor Element 6 – personalised learning supported through access to online materials Element 7 – completion of a personal learning log Element 8 – completion of three written assignments. This element is supported by tutorials Element 9 – personal interest study for those taking the Level 7 programme

Further information on this or the Level 5 programme can be obtained from cheryl.crossley@prospect.org.uk

Programmes include the following elements: Element 1 – Programme introduction and pre-programme preparation Element 2 – completion of and feedback on a diagnostic/assessment tool chosen to support each participant to gain personal insights and growth

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www.aspect.org.uk


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Testing times Linda Darling-Hammond helped President Obama draft his education plan and was a member of his transition team. Her opposition to standardised test-based school reform policies pursued by President Obama in office made her a keynote speaker at the Washington DC ‘Save Our Schools’ rally “

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e are here because we are committed to a strong public education system that works for all our children. We are here because we want to prepare children for the 21st-century world they are entering, not for an endless series of multiple-choice tests that increasingly deflect us from our mission to teach them well. We are here to protest the policies that produce the increasingly segregated and underfunded schools so many of our children attend, and we are here to represent the parents, educators and community members who fight for educational opportunity for them against the odds every day. “We are here to say it is not acceptable for the wealthiest country in the world to be cutting millions of dollars from schools serving our neediest students; to be cutting teachers by the tens of thousands, to be eliminating art, music, PE, counsellors, nurses, librarians, and libraries

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(where they weren’t already gone, as in California); to be increasing class sizes to 40 or 50 in Los Angeles and Detroit. “It is not acceptable to have schools in our cities and poor rural districts staffed by a revolving door of beginning and often untrained teachers, many of whom see this as charity work they do on the way to a real job. It is not acceptable that the major emphasis of educational reform is on bubbling in Scantron test booklets, the results of which will be used to rank and sort schools and teachers, so that those at the bottom can be fired or closed – not so that we will invest the resources needed actually to provide good education in these schools. “We are here to challenge the aggressive neglect of our children. With one out of four living in poverty (far more than any other industrialised country and nearly double what it was 30 years ago); a more tattered safety net; more who are homeless, without health care, and without food

www.aspect.org.uk


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United States security and a more segregated and inequitable system of public education in which the top schools spend 10 times more than the lowest spending, we nonetheless have a defence budget larger than that of the next 20 countries combined and greater disparities in wealth than any other leading country. “We have produced a larger and more costly prison system than any country in the world – we have five per cent of the world’s population and 25 per cent of its inmates – populated primarily by high school dropouts on whom we would not spend $10,000 a year when they were in school, but we will spend more than $40,000 a year when they are in prison – a prison system that is now directly devouring the money we should be spending on education. “But our leaders do not talk about these things. They say there is no money for schools – and of poor children, they say, “Let them eat tests.” “And while many politicians talk of international test score comparisons, they rarely talk about what high-performing countries like Finland, Singapore, and Canada actually do: they ensure that all children have housing, health care and food security. They fund their schools equitably. They invest in the highest-quality preparation, mentoring and professional development for teachers and school leaders, completely at government expense. They organise their curriculum around problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They rarely test students (in Finland, not at all) and almost never with multiple-choice tests. “Many of the top-performing nations rely increasingly on assessments that include research projects, scientific investigation and other intellectually challenging work developed and scored by teachers – just as progressive educators here have been urging for years. “None of these countries uses test scores to rank and sort teachers. Indeed, the Singaporean Minister of Education made a point of noting at the recent international summit on teaching that they believe such a practice would be counterproductive. None of them rank and punish schools – indeed, several countries forbid this practice. They invest in their people and build schools’ capacity to educate all their students. “Meanwhile, our leaders advocate for teachers with little training who will come and go quickly, without costing much money, without vesting in the pension system and without raising questions about an increasingly prescriptive system of testing and teaching that lines the pockets of private entrepreneurs (who provide teacher-proofed materials deemed necessary because there are so many underprepared novices who leave before they learn to teach). “Our leaders seek to solve the problem of the poor by blaming the teachers and schools that seek to serve them, calling the deepening levels of poverty an ‘excuse,’ rewarding schools that keep out and push out the highest need students and threatening those who work with new immigrant students still learning English and the growing number of those who are homeless, without health care

www.aspect.org.uk

We are here to challenge the aggressive neglect of our children

and without food. Are there lower scores in under-resourced schools with high-need students? Fire the teachers and the principals. Close the schools. Don’t look for support for their families and communities, equitable funding for their schools or investments in professional learning. Don’t worry about the fact that the next schools are (as researchers have documented) likely to do no better. If the banks are failing, we should fire the tellers and, whatever you do, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. “But public education has a secret weapon: the members of communities and the profession like yourselves who are committed first and foremost to our children and who have the courage to speak out against injustice. “This takes considerable courage – of the kind that has caused each of you to be here today. Remember, as Robert F. Kennedy said, “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” “Thank you for each ripple of hope you create – for each and every time you do what is right for children. Thank you for your courage and your commitment. It is that courage and commitment that will, ultimately, bring our country to its senses and save our schools. Keep your hand on the plough. Hold on!”

Professor Linda Darling-Hammond directs the Stanford University Centre for Opportunity Policy in Education and was founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. A former president of the American Educational Research Association, she focuses her research, teaching and policy work on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future Linda Darling-Hammond Multicultural Education Series Pub Date: January 2010, 408 pages Paperback: £19.50. ISBN: 978-0807749623

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US testing

US teachers bid to raise professional standards North American teachers have called for a ‘bar’ style exam modelled on the legal profession’s pre-entry system

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he American Federation of Teachers is campaigning to promote school improvement and comprehensive teacher development and evaluation systems. Worried about the impact of the notorious US testing fixation and keen to ensure that educators have the resources, tools, time and trust they need to be successful, the union wants to raise the professional competence of newly qualified teachers. The union’s report – Raising the Bar: Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession – says that many teachers feel unprepared before they teach their first classes and get little preparation for dealing with the real world of the classroom, even if they have mastered their subject area. AFT President Randi Weingarten said that lack of preparation is a major problem for many new teachers: “It’s time to do away with a common rite of passage into the teaching profession whereby newly minted teachers are tossed the keys to their classrooms, expected to figure things out and left to see if they and their students sink or swim. This is unfair to both students and their teachers, who care so much but who want and need to feel competent and confident to teach from their first day on the job.” The US trade union centre AFL-CIO said: “In a time of widespread calls for education ‘reform’ that are little more than thinly veiled attempts at privatising schools, the AFT has a new proposal that would actually help solve some of the problems American education faces.” The report proposes that all stakeholders (teacher education institutions, primary and secondary schools, teacher accrediting agencies, state education boards, the federal government, education associations and unions) should collaborate to ensure that teacher preparation standards, programmes and assessments are aligned around a well-grounded vision of effective teaching. Teaching, like the medical, legal and other professions, must have a universal, rigorous entry assessment that is multidimensional. Its components should include subject and pedagogical knowledge and demonstration of teaching

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performance – in other words, the ingredients to be a caring, competent and confident new teacher. This assessment would be required of all future teachers, whether they enter the profession through the traditional route or an alternative one. Primary responsibility for setting and enforcing the standards of the profession and for ensuring quality and coherence of teacher preparation programmes must reside with K-12 teachers and teacher educators. The union’s vice president, Francine Lawrence, said that top-ranked countries put substantial resources and time into preparing teachers while the United States has taken a haphazard, inconsistent approach including a patchwork of state-driven entry exams. “The time is long overdue for the United States to commit to a consistent approach that will lift the teaching profession by making the training and preparation of our educators more effective, efficient and rigorous.” The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which established the standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, has agreed to convene the group of stakeholders to begin designing the standards and entry assessment. “The time is right for moving teaching into the ranks of the premier professions, such as law and medicine. The AFT has laid out a wise and bold vision for transforming the profession and we are pleased to help ensure a coherent career trajectory that builds on professional knowledge and skills from pre-service through board certification and teacher leadership roles,” said NBPTS President Ronald Thorpe.

AFT Center for School Improvement http://www.aft.org/issues/sch oolreform/csi/institute.cfm www.aspect.org.uk


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Personalising

education: raising self-esteem and standards

Year 5 pupils at Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport showing off their one-page profiles

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Helen Sanderson argues that person-centred practices offer a set of simple, practical tools that schools can use to understand the unique needs and aspirations of every single child www.aspect.org.uk


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Personalisation

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e need to get to a place where all pupils, of whatever background or ability, are treated as individuals and supported to aspire and succeed. My initial focus, as a Department of Health adviser, was to introduce person-centred practices into health and adult social care and to introduce tools to help young disabled people in school during their transition to adulthood. It then became clear that there was enormous potential for person-centred practices in mainstream education. My personal experience of starting to look at personalisation in education came eight years ago when my daughter Laura, then in Year 2, was struggling to find her feet at school. She was a bright but shy child and her teacher said she was finding it hard get to know Laura. I saw how the personalised approaches I was developing professionally could help Laura’s teacher get to know her, but that no teacher would want to wade through the very detailed person-centred plans being used in health and social care. So I created a one-page version for Laura and called it, simply, a one-page profile. I think a one-page profile is the entry point to a school’s journey into personalisation and it really is as straightforward as it sounds. On one page of paper (or on a postcard, as one of our partner schools prefers to do it), we describe each child by using three questions. What do people like and admire about me? What is important to me? And what support do I need to be my best? Answers to the first question, which we call the ‘appreciation’, are gathered by the pupil asking friends and family for ideas. The latter questions are answered by the pupil and their parents or carers. On Laura’s first profile, she wrote about what mattered to her as a seven-year-old: how she loved her teddy, Sunny, and her stick insects. But, as Laura’s parents, we also wrote what we knew about the best ways to support her. We knew she needed lots of reassurance and that she could perceive a small negative comment as a big telling off. Laura’s teacher was delighted. The profile helped her understand Laura as a person not just a pupil. Today, two of our partner primary schools have introduced one-page profiles for all their pupils. The profiles are considered ‘live’ documents because they are frequently updated and are used throughout the school year. They offer insight to teachers meeting new pupils for the first time and they add value to parent-teacher meetings because the child now has a real voice in the discussion. A child’s one-page profile begins its development at the very first meeting between the child, parents and reception teacher and Year 6 children take their profiles with them to their secondary school. At Norris Bank Primary in Stockport, staff have successfully embedded the profiles into the curriculum. The making of one-page profiles slots neatly into different aspects of the PHSE (Personal Health and Social Education) curriculum and, during the spring term when the children work on the SEAL

www.aspect.org.uk

I think a one-page profile is the entry point to a school’s journey into personalisation and it really is as straightforward as it sounds

unit “Good to be me“, the one-page profiles are revisited and updated. The Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) aspects of learning are also covered by the profiles, with children being encouraged to develop their own sense of self-worth. When Norris Bank Primary achieved an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ grade in 2010, inspectors noted its one-page profile work and how well staff knew their pupils. The management at Oxley Park Academy in Milton Keynes recognised that, in a truly inclusive environment, every single child – those in mainstream education and those with statements – had individual needs. This thinking was encapsulated in the idea of a personalisation plan, which has been created for every pupil at the school. Every pupil has a one-page profile and those needing deeper levels of help also have support plans and target sheets. One-page profiles succeed in schools, not only because the teachers get to know their pupils really well, but because they encourage gentle goal-setting by the pupil and an accompanying focus on self-reflection and self-motivation. Vice President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (and supporter of one-page profiles) Andrew Webb said: “If a child sets their own goals and achieves them, she’s not competing with the child at the next desk but she’s still seeing concrete achievements. The cycle of promoting self-esteem and encouraging learning is then very straightforward.” Studies have proved this. In Visible Learning, John Hattie’s seminal book exploring the influences on learning, he found that the ‘biggest effects on student learning occur when students become their own teachers’: in other words, the key is self-monitoring and self-evaluation. One parent of a Norris Bank pupil recognised quickly that his daughter’s one-page profile could be used to encourage light goal-setting. Richard told me that his daughter Jessica, nine, had always struggled with maths but it wasn’t until they sat down together to complete her one-page profile that they realised they needed to tackle this problem. By asking Jessica to think about her strengths, interests and areas needing focus, the one-page profile opened up a different type of conversation with her dad. “I wasn’t asking her about her day or what she got in a test. I was

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Personalisation One-page profiles can be used throughout the year in a primary school

asking how school was going and how she was feeling about things,” said Richard. In this relaxed atmosphere, Jessica felt able to admit that she thought she was awful at maths. “We wrote on the ‘support’ section of the profile that Jessica needed some extra help with maths and then we started to think about some practical steps we could take at home to rectify this problem, like helping her with her times tables,” said Richard. The triangle of the parents, pupil and teacher working together to help encourage Jessica with her maths worked well and her confidence improved. Tabitha Smith, deputy head at Norris Bank Primary, reports that pupils are always fascinated by this ‘support’ section of their profiles and how things change over time. She says that they often can’t believe they used to struggle with a particular thing and it makes them feel grown-up when they realise they have tackled (and conquered) it. By nurturing children’s emotional intelligence and encouraging them to be aware of the support they need and the areas they need to focus on, a person-centred approach can be part of a drive to raise standards in primary schools. But person-centred approaches can help in a secondary school setting too, and we’ve been working on a pilot project with Manchester Grammar School to introduce person-centred practices to its middle school classes. Staff here had recognised that self-reflection, motivation and aspiration were often aspects of school life that were ‘hidden’ but that had everything to do with success. Boys in the school’s Years 9 and 10 will be completing their own one-page profiles, but the process has been enhanced so that pupils will also be keeping an ongoing record of experiences and achievements. These will 34|Improvement • winter 2012/2013

eventually help pupils create their UCAS personal statements and, ultimately, their first CVs. The story of one-page profiles in schools has come a long way – my daughter Laura, whose story started this work, is now a teenager – but I think we have a great deal further to go. I truly believe that, by putting the child at the very heart of the process, one-page profiles offer a straightforward, common-sense method of personalisation. Andrew Webb underlined this when he said: “If we can’t focus on each individual child as an individual, we’ll never meet their needs and their capacity to reach their potential will be compromised. One-page profiles are an ideal way of underpinning a new approach to inclusion in every lesson and in every school.”

Helen Sanderson writes and blogs on person-centred practice and leads HSA, an international development team (www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk). She is vice-chair of the International Learning Community for Person-Centred Practices.

Website http://www.personalisingeducat ion.org.

Website http://visiblelearningplus.com

www.aspect.org.uk


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Does this concern you? The National Handwriting Association works to promote good practice in handwriting teaching for all children. We assist teachers and others involved in handwriting learning by publishing practical books and pamphlets and organising INSETS as day courses and also in individual schools. More information on our website

www.nha-handwriting.org.uk

Symphony Financial Advisers is a long established and well respected provider of informed and impartial financial advice to private clients, associations, unions, corporate and public bodies as well as charities. We specialise in educating our clients on financial issues that affect them and then we provide specific ongoing advice to help achieve their life’s ambitions. We aim to take the complexity out of financial matters through our face to face meetings and in group seminars. Our friendly informative service will help you to understand key issues such as preparing for retirement, redundancy and safeguarding your family’s future wellbeing. Call Darren Guy or Ian Walmsley (Directors) at: • Tel: 01484 722294 • Email: info@symphony.uk.net • www.symphony.uk.net Ask us for a free initial consultation Symphony Financial Advisers Ltd, 126 – 128 Bradford Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 4AU


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ECEG

JoinAspectGroup’s ECEG What the Early Childhood Education Group will do for you Provide a response to early years issues on behalf of the Aspect Group, act as an advocate for young children, defend children's rights and entitlements, influence the decision takers and policymakers, keep members informed of new developments, and take account of new research in the field.

What can you expect from becoming a member of the group?

For each registered member of the Early Childhood Education Group, the group receives a small subsidy from the Aspect Group which allows the committee to run and to publish information through the newsletter to distribute to members. Becoming a member of the Early Childhood Education Group will not cost you additional money.

Join Aspect's Early Childhood Education Group Name Title of your current post Local authority (where applicable) Workplace address Postcode Tel Fax Email Home address

The Early Childhood Education Group is run through a committee that is committed to ensuring that young children receive their entitlement to high-quality early learning through communicating and disseminating information to members.

How to join Before applying for membership of the Early Childhood Education Group, you should already be a member of the Aspect Group. When you applied for union membership, you may have ticked the specialism box to say that your main interest is in the early years. If you did, then you are eligible for membership of the Early Childhood Education Group.

Postcode Tel Fax Email Date of application Main areas of responsibility, enthusiasm and interest

When completed, please return to the Aspect Group membership department, Woolley Hall, Woolley, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF4 2JR. Go to www.aspect.org/uk

invitations to attend seminars and conferences run by ECEG regular articles and information on early childhood issues in Improvement magazine information and representation on other national groups and projects feedback to the Aspect Group’s executive council information through a network across different services and groups across the country.

Specialist help and advice Aspect Group regional and specialist officers Glenn Johnson London/Southern England & East Midlands Glenn.Johnson@prospect.org.uk

Claire Dent London & Southern England Claire.Dent@prospect.org.uk

Nick Wright Communications/Improvement Nick.Wright@prospect.org.uk

Don Martin Wales Don.Martin@prospect.org.uk

Jim Crowley South West & West Midlands Jim.Crowley@prospect.org.uk

David Sanders Head of professional learning David.Sanders@prospect.org.uk

Bob Pemberton North of England Bob.Pemberton@prospect.org.uk

Davey Hall NE England, Scotland, Northern Ireland Davey.Hall@prospect.org.uk

Roger Kline Social care Roger.Kline@prospect.org.uk

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www.aspect.org.uk


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Briefings (1) The Teaching and Learning Toolkit July 2012 Professor Steve Higgins, Dimitra Kokotsaki and Professor Robert Coe Sutton Trust-EEF July 2012 – 27pp This Teaching and Learning Toolkit has been produced by researchers from the CEM Centre at Durham University and was published by the Sutton Trust. The Toolkit represents an independent resource offering guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. It is intended to be an accessible summary of educational research covering 21 topics, each presented in terms of their potential impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them, their cost and their applicability. The plan is to develop the Toolkit as the evidence base in education grows. Suggestions for topics for inclusion in future editions are welcome – please contact the EEF at info@eefoundation.org.uk Content The current 21 topics covered are: Ability grouping After school programmes Arts participation Block scheduling and timetabling Early Years intervention Feedback Homework Individualised instruction ICT Learning styles Meta-cognitive and self-regulation strategies One-to-one tuition Parental involvement Peer tutoring Performance pay Phonics Reducing class sizes School uniforms Sports participation Summer schools Teaching assistants The summarised analyses of each of the above topics are set out under the following headings: What is it? How effective is it?

www.aspect.org.uk

How secure is the evidence? What do I need to know What are the costs? How applicable is it? Further information Issues The Technical Appendices to accompany the Toolkit were published in August 2012 and these, as well as the summary report, are downloadable via the Research section of the Sutton Trust website. The fundamental aim is to help schools make more informed choices about how to allocate the Pupil Premium by improving learning and attainment. As with any toolkit, it is most useful when used by professionals and as such requires professional judgement in its application in specific contexts. The information provided is highly readable and very practical, making the Toolkit of considerable potential value to teachers and schools.

(2) Reading Recovery™ Annual Report for the UK and the Republic of Ireland: 2011-12 European Centre for Reading Recovery, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL 020 7612 6585 September 2012 – 36pp readrec@ioe.ac.uk http://readingrecovery.ioe.ac.uk/ This is an Institute of Education report examining Reading Recovery pupil outcomes for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The report analyses Reading Recovery outcomes over the 2011-12 school year. Additionally, attention is given to implementation factors that may be supporting or hindering the success of the intervention within the site. The information was collected as a part of the European Centre for Reading Recovery annual monitoring procedure. Content Following a list of key findings from the Reading Recovery national monitoring report, 2011-12, the introduction describes the basis and operation of the scheme. The remainder of the report covers the seven questions used in the 2011-2012 evaluation. How many children were involved in Reading Recovery and which children were they? – provides both a statistical analysis of participants year-on-year and the characteristics of all children participating in Reading Recovery at entry to the programme and completing the programme.

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What were the programme outcomes for Reading Recovery children? – explains the length of programmes and identifies the main outcomes experienced in descriptive terms. What were the literacy levels of children in the Reading Recovery programme? – details the bases for selecting the participating children. What progress did children make after Reading Recovery? – quantifies the outcomes while also pointing to temporary dips found immediately at the programme end as children adjust to the withdrawal of daily intensive support. Where were Reading Recovery children placed in a register of Special Educational Need at the beginning of their programme and following their programme? – shows how a child’s placement on a continuum of Special Educational Need was recorded at the beginning of and after the child’s Reading Recovery programme. What were the results of National Assessments for Reading Recovery children in the UK? – displays detailed outcomes from the programme for children at Key Stages 1 and 2. What was the efficiency of the Reading Recovery implementation? – outlines the nature of the training course for Reading Recovery teachers and general features of their deployment. Appendix A gives three pieces of exemplar material at different levels. Issues The IOE report contains a mass of information reflecting the high level of success of Reading Recovery programmes. Its fundamental premise is to demonstrate how pupils with very low literacy at Year 1 can and do reach age-expected levels by age 11.

(3) Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators OECD Publishing www.oecd.org/edu/eag2012.htm September 2012 – 565pp The 2012 edition of Education at a Glance enables comparisons and relativities to be drawn between educational performance across different countries. It meets a range of varying needs of users, including governments searching for policy lessons and academics seeking data for further analysis as well as the general public looking to see how schools are progressing compared to those in other countries. Areas examined The quality of learning cover outcomes together with the contributory policy levers and contextual factors, and the broader private and social returns that can be derived from educational investment. Education at a Glance provides an authoritative tome creating a description of education around the world, so giving a detailed

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overview of 34 OECD member countries and several non-member G20 nations. Content The detailed information is set out in four chapters, each analysing several indicators. These relate to: The output of educational institutions and the impact of learning – with indicators encompassing educational attainment and graduation, gender and equity, and the economic, labour market and social outcomes of education Financial and human resources invested in education – covering indicators of national and per-student spending on education, higher education costs and support, and how resources are spent Access to education, participation and progression – dealing with indicators on access to education, early childhood education, international students, transitions from school to work and adult learning The learning environment and organisation of schools – showing indicators on teachers, teacher salaries, teaching time, class size, school decision-making and examinations Annex 1 describes Characteristics of educational systems, Annex 2 collates the associated reference statistics and Annex 3 displays Sources, methods and technical notes used in compiling the report. Compared with earlier annual reports, new features of the 2012 edition focus on: The effect of global recession on education expenditure Early childhood education systems Intergenerational mobility in higher education Education’s impact on macroeconomic outcomes Influences on national variances in education spending Students’ career expectations Composition of teaching forces The impact of examinations on access to secondary and higher education There are a considerable number of charts, tables and statistics used throughout the report to illustrate the analytical detail. Issues The future aim is to try to strengthen links between policy needs and sound, internationally comparable data. The OECD intends to continue to develop indicators and key data further and to advance areas where a greater investment is needed in the conceptual work underpinning the indicators. It is not possible to give an adequate summary of such a detailed report in a short briefing or to pinpoint key findings. However, one particularly noteworthy conclusion identified by the TES is that the UK has one of the most socially segregated school systems in the developed world. Eighty per cent of immigrant children in the UK attend schools with high concentrations of immigrants and these are predominantly schools regarded as experiencing social disadvantage.

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Briefings (4) Evaluation of the City Challenge Programme Merryn Hutchings, Charley Greenwood, Sumi Hollingworth, Ayo Mansaray and Anthea Rose, with Sarah Minty and Katie Glas The Department for Education – DFE-RR215 www.education.gov.uk/ publications/standard/ publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-RR215 June 2012 This detailed and substantial (178 pages) research report from the Department for Education was commissioned before the current Government took office. It sets out the findings of an evaluation of the City Challenge programme in London, Greater Manchester and the Black Country, and provides a retrospective review of the London Challenge 2003-8. A major strand of City Challenge activity (leadership strategies) has been evaluated separately by NFER. City Challenge was launched in April 2008 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), building on the success of the London Challenge 2003-8. It was designed to improve educational outcomes for young people and ‘to crack the associated cycle of disadvantage and underachievement in the Black Country, Greater Manchester and London’. City Challenge was underpinned by a belief that the educational problems facing urban areas should be addressed at area level and that local authorities and schools needed to work together to do this. It aimed to improve educational provision and school performance across broad geographical areas, not simply in a specific group of participating schools. City Challenge focused on all aspects of the education system: working strategically at area level and with local authorities, community organisations, parents and pupils, and developing a range of specific school interventions which were closely focused on the intended outcomes of City Challenge. There was no single view of what schools needed to do to improve – all of the interventions involved local solutions. Key stakeholders (including headteachers and local authorities) were centrally involved in the decisions. The various activities and interventions were bound together by the belief that school-to-school collaboration had a central part to play in school improvement, that school leadership was important and that good research evidence was vital. The interventions Reducing the number of under-performing schools. The report summarises the kinds of support that were found to work and concludes that they worked because ‘headteachers and teachers came to feel more valued, more confident and more effective’

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Raising standards in coasting and satisfactory schools. This was effective when headteachers and teachers worked collaboratively with others in a similar situation Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. This involved extra funding and a great deal of local autonomy Families of schools. This had mixed success Working with local authorities. At best extremely effective, but the impact was negative where communication was poor The lessons Be clear what you are about, give enough time (three years minimum), allow local discretion but work together in areas sharing good practice and observing excellence. ‘Perhaps the most effective aspect of City Challenge was that it recognised that people, and schools, tend to thrive when they feel trusted, supported and encouraged. The ethos of the programme, in which successes were celebrated and it was recognised that if teachers are to inspire pupils they themselves need to be motivated and inspired, was a key factor in its success.’ The appendix Detailed references and an account of the research context together with the statistical data are contained in the appendix. Issues A detailed and comprehensive project report which concludes that appropriately managing the people involved in schools produces the best results.

(5) The Pupil Premium: How schools are using the Pupil Premium funding to raise achievement for disadvantaged pupils Ofsted – Reference No. 120197 www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/pupilpremium September 20 2012

HMI surveyed 262 school leaders between April 23 and May 31 2012 to identify how schools were using Pupil Premium funds to raise achievement and improve outcomes for targeted pupils The Pupil Premium, introduced in 2011-2012 and now worth £600 per pupil in care or eligible for free school meals, raises the income of a secondary school in average circumstances by about £77,000 and of a corresponding primary school by about £23,000. In 2012-2013, schools received a total £1.25bn.

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What difference has it made? Only one in 10 school leaders said that the Pupil Premium had significantly changed the way that they supported pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. More frequently, schools reported that they were using the funding to maintain or enhance existing provision. Schools did not routinely disaggregate the Pupil Premium funding from their main budget, especially when receiving smaller amounts. In some schools, it was clear that the spending was not all focused on the needs of the specific groups for whom it was intended. Governors and management committees were not closely involved in the management of the Pupil Premium money. Over two fifths of the schools had used the Pupil Premium at least in part to fund new or existing teaching assistants and over one quarter to fund new or existing teachers. To a lesser degree, schools had used the funding to pay for new or existing parent support workers, behaviour support workers or counsellors. Around a third of school leaders said that they had used the funding for additional curriculum opportunities for pupils both within and outside normal school hours. A third of all schools said that they had used the funding to subsidise or pay for educational trips or residential visits. Around one in six said that they had used the funding to subsidise or pay for uniform and equipment. The survey revealed a lack of transparency in the way that some special schools and pupil referral units received their allocation of Pupil Premium money from their local authority. Just over two fifths of the mainstream secondary school leaders who responded to the telephone survey said that they were involved in the Pupil Premium summer school programme. Very few mainstream primary schools said that they were involved in the Pupil Premium summer school programme. Notwithstanding the provisions of the School Admissions Code (effective from February 2012), very few schools said the Pupil Premium was having any impact on their approach to admissions or exclusions.

(6) Improving schools: a guide to recent Ofsted reports to support school improvement Ofsted – Reference No. 120054 www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources September 2012 – 22pp From September 2012, Ofsted’s new inspection framework makes it clear that the only acceptable form of provision is ‘good’ or better. Ofsted expects schools to improve quickly to a good standard and is claiming to be more proactive in supporting schools to secure necessary improvements. Her Majesty’s Inspectors are being assigned to schools that require improvement to help them to progress to a good standard within a four-year period. This booklet is designed to help schools that are not yet good to learn from what works well elsewhere. It highlights the good practice identified in five previous reports on ‘getting to good’, English, mathematics, science and special needs, and lists further resources relevant to the issues. Improving schools is published alongside Getting to Good, a 24-page report (Ref 120167) which identifies the steps taken by headteachers in 12 schools that have improved to good or better. Getting to Good is in the traditional style of short Ofsted reports, focusing in five brief sections on what headteachers must do to guide their staff towards improvement. This falls into three main areas: Getting started: raising expectations Communicating the vision Strengthening the environment for improvement Courage not compromise

The report’s recommendations reflect its findings. The inspectors urge schools to become better at targeting this funding stream and evaluating its impact while encouraging more families to take up their free school meal entitlement. In the last resort, the government should look at other ways of distributing this resource.

Sustaining improvement: good and beyond A learning community Greater pupils and parental engagement Corporate responsibility Nurturing leadership at all levels

Issues The report provides appropriate detail and informative examples, but the conclusion that the current effectiveness of the Pupil Premium initiative is open to question may give cause for concern.

The report describes its context and methodology, lists six sources of further information and also lists providers visited (with hyperlinks to good practice examples).

For alternative formats, please contact: Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD 0300 123 1231 enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk www.ofsted.gov.uk

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Conclusion These brief reports are important reading for heads and governors in schools that urgently need to get better. School advisers will want to use them to run the ruler over the schools for which they have responsibility. It is to be hoped that, where they exist in sufficient numbers, they will be able to work alongside HMI assigned to schools that require improvement.

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Briefings (7) Perfect Storms: An analysis of the operating conditions for the children, young people and families voluntary sector N Davies and K Evans, Children England, Unit 25, 1st Floor, Angel Gate, City Road, London EC1V 2PT www.childrenengland.org.uk September 2012 – 38pp For the first time, this report models and provides case studies showing the cumulative impact of the financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures on children’s charities and their statutory partners. It describes two worrying and interrelated ‘perfect storms’ affecting the voluntary and public sectors, and those they support... Business storm The first storm threatens the sustainability of charities’ business models. While individual giving has remained static, the financial crisis reduced returns from investments, social enterprise income has fallen and the deep public sector funding cuts have increased competition for the grants made by trusts, foundations and the National Lottery. At the same time, the cost of fundraising has risen, inflation has remained high, utility bills have soared and, most importantly, demand for services (both in the number of people seeking support and the severity of their problems) has increased dramatically. As a result, staff and volunteer numbers have fallen, reducing service capacity, while those remaining in post are increasingly overworked and stressed. Locality storm The second storm shows how these pressures on charitable services interact with the children’s social services provided by local authorities. With both sectors experiencing higher costs, reduced funding and increased demand concurrently, local support arrangements are starting to break down, threatening the wellbeing of some of the country’s most vulnerable children, young people and families. With many services rationing the support that they provide (principally through waiting lists and raised access thresholds) and others closing altogether, people in need are being pushed towards inappropriate support. Similarly, both charity and public sector services have been forced to focus on crisis support at the expense of early intervention, potentially storing up further trouble for the future. Suggested next steps Throughout interviews with voluntary, community sector and statutory bodies during the fieldwork for this report, there was a high degree of realism and honesty in acknowledging the intractability of some of the challenges faced. These are currently:

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Inevitable. This is in the sense of charities sharing in society’s wider economic problems and suffering from factors beyond the control of local and even national policy makers (e.g. asset value losses). Unintentional. It is in the nature of these storms that impacts from any single point of decision-making in the system will then combine with forces beyond the immediate ‘line of sight’, direct responsibility or awareness of the person making that decision to create unintended and potentially exponential consequences for frontline organisations, sometimes several stages along the ‘food chain’. Deeprooted and predating the economic downturn. Although the financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures have certainly exacerbated the situation, systemic issues (such as those related to public sector commissioning) were evident well before the crash. With so many contributory factors, there is no neat list of solutions that can be quickly implemented to resolve these issues. Such systemic problems also require systemic solutions. Children England is therefore calling on experts from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to share their thoughts on the following themes arising from the report: Children and families’ changing needs and vulnerabilities The role of charities Public finance and the transfer of risk The reconfiguration and localisation of public services The voluntary sector workforce This important report is balanced, brief and timely. It concludes with an appendix describing potential policy recommendations’ in these areas: Income Expenditure Timing; central government should finalise the local finance settlement earlier in the year Early intervention Children England hopes to stimulate an informed conversation about how best to overcome some of the difficult issues raised in the report.

(8) Respecting Difference. Race, faith and culture for teacher educators Heidi Safia Mirza and Veena Meetoo Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL Paperback: ISBN 9780854738878 £19.99, IOE Press ebook pdf: ISBN 9780854739738 2012 – 79 pp The audience for this short book is specifically those who train teachers. Respecting Difference demonstrates how teacher educators in the UK and worldwide can attract, recruit and support black and minority ethnic students to become much needed and valued future

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Briefings teachers and educational leaders. This is an important area for development. The book presents insights into the institutional and individual dilemmas and experiences of both tutors and students involved in Postgraduate Certificate in Education courses as they deal with issues of race, faith and culture. While the book collects and shares good practice, case studies throughout the book highlight specific ways tutors and students have explored and learned from difficult situations to develop positive outcomes. Student experiences are fundamental in framing the outcomes, particularly in respect of racist incidents and the dynamics of institutional racism. The book demonstrates how to create spaces and networks where people can express themselves and seek support so that problems are recognised and resolved.

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The book includes: A snapshot of policy and practice on the PGCE Clear and up-to-date descriptions of race-relations policies, procedures and legislative guidance Clarification of the responsibilities of tutors in relation to professional practice in issues of diversity Case studies based on real examples, such as how to support Muslim women students, and how to deal with the sensitive topic of racism in the classroom The book is well presented and is attractive in layout and design. It has a useful short section on resources, followed by five pages of references. It is framed in six chapters, dealing with organisational and cultural issues: A study in race, faith and culture Getting in the door: fair admissions and recruitment practice Staying the course: racism, retention and progression Promoting dialogue: developing curriculum and resources Looking in the mirror: using the law and learning about ourselves Conclusion: challenging perceptions and changing culture Respecting Difference sets out to provide a straightforward and pragmatic approach to dealing with issues that are all too often fraught with feeling. It is likely to be important reading for all providers of initial teacher education who need to consider their practice (at organisation and individual level) and policy in regard to recruitment and retention. It should also be relevant for all those working with students in higher education more generally and quite possibly for those working in or with schools on diversity issues.

Ministers are privatising and outsourcing more and more of our public services, yet some of the companies taking over have a dismal performance record while others have avoided tax, given suspiciously large political donations or even helped to write the policies from which they will profit. Check out which is the fishiest firm at http://falseeconomy.org.uk /outsourcing The TUC-linked False Economy website is for everyone concerned about the impact of the government’s spending cuts on their community, their family or their job.

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Climate Week March 4-10, 2013

Learning to take

climate change

ser ously Climate Week is Britain's biggest environmental occasion held each year in March, reports Hannah Sims

C

limate Week is a great chance for school children to learn about climate change and have fun. It culminates in three thousand events attended by half a million people, showcasing the positive solutions to climate change. The education sector can get involved – firstly, by taking part in the Climate Week Challenge. This is the Britain's biggest environmental competition, with teams of pupils and young people across the country working to come up with solutions to climate

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change –over 130,000 pupils and adults took part in 2012. Then there is the Climate Week Swap. All schools, communities or workplaces need to do is invite people to come along and swap their clothes, books, toys and DVDs. And there is the chance to run your own event during Climate Week. This could be a talk, workshop, film screening, energy saving project or walk-to-school scheme – whatever works for your organisation and community! Register your involvement at www.climateweek.com

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Climate Week Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout March 4-10, 2013, which are planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future. Climate Week is backed by all sectors of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the National Primary Headteachers’ Association to the Met Office, trade unions including Prospect to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to PTA-UK. Over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK during Climate Week 2012.

Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future

Why should those in education take part? Climate Week offers schools, organisations and community groups an occasion to profile all the work that they are doing to tackle climate change. There are so many positive solutions already taking place across Britain and, by providing a platform for these solutions and activities, Climate Week hopes that millions more people will be inspired to take action. Climate Week enables teachers to put a particular focus on the issue for one week of the year and provides practical, educational and creative ways to engage students and pupils. The Climate Week Challenge draws on the environmental knowledge that pupils will have learnt in their lessons and challenges them to apply that knowledge in order to come up with real, workable solutions. It uses their presentation skills, teamwork, creative talents and communication abilities, and also gives them a chance to be nationally recognised for their skills and ideas. The actions and positive steps that take place at school or community group as a result of Climate Week can be a real turning point and can encourage a wider shift in attitudes. St Christopher’s School in Accrington began with a ‘Pledge 4 Veg’ campaign that was led by the students and has developed into a whole school action plan encouraging the school – and its surrounding community – to live and work more sustainably.

The Climate Week Challenge Registrations are now open for the Climate Week Challenge, Britain's biggest-ever environmental competition, and over 600 schools and organisations have already registered to take part. The Challenge is open to all ages, can be done on any day during Climate Week and taking part is completely free. In 2012, over 130,000 people participated in a challenge to come up with an idea to green a local space and make it more environmentally friendly. The entries were judged by a celebrity panel and the winners went on to take part in workshops organised by industry and business leaders. Winning designs included the Water Pebble – a device for

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the shower that flashes green when you first start washing, amber for when it’s time to rinse off and red for when it’s time to get out of the shower. The girls really enjoyed their workshop learning about climate change, developing their design and creating a school action plan. AS level students from Prince Henry’s Grammar in Otley were winners in the 16+ category. Their design was for a new style of ‘eco-fridge’ using the latest thermo-acoustic

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Climate Week March 4-10, 2013 technology, which would be installed in their local supermarket. The students visited a fridge manufacturing plant in Birmingham who supply directly to companies including Tesco and were given a tour around the factory before pitching their idea to industry leaders. Bryony Barlow, one of the team members, said: “We presented to professionals and pitched our idea – not many people can say they've done that! I’m definitely going to look into engineering.” Paul Alway, who is responsible for Technical Standards Refrigeration for Tesco, said of their design: “A fantastic piece of work that accurately identified and addressed all the main energy usage issues associated with refrigerated cabinets in supermarkets. I particularly liked the proposed use of new and exciting technologies like thermo-acoustic refrigeration to do away with harmful fridge gases. It’s good to see the long-term future of retail refrigeration is in safe hands!” One of the featured judges for the Climate Week Challenge in 2013 will be Robert Swan OBE, environmentalist, adventurer and one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and environmental leaders. By age 33, Robert Swan became the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. He has dedicated his life to the preservation of the Antarctic wilderness and promoting recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change through positive leadership. He will, in fact, be running the Climate Week Challenge in the Antarctic during Climate Week and is excited about judging the UK entries. Register for the Challenge by visiting our website at www.climateweek.com/challenge

The Climate Week Swap There will be a new feature to the campaign in 2013 – the Climate Week Swap. Swapping clothes, books, toys and DVDs saves previous resources, reduces waste and carbon emissions and is completely free to run. Hosting a Swap can be done by anyone in any setting – whether at school, at home or in the community – and those who register can win a signed celebrity item! Celebrities involved include Hugh Laurie, Frank Lampard, Zoe Wanamaker and Hayley Westenra. Parents can host a uniform or sports kit swap, children can take part in a toy swap and school

To find out more about Climate Week, or to register your event, go to www.climateweek.com, email info@climateweek.com or telephone on 020 3397 2601.

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libraries could run book swaps. The simplest way to run a Climate Week Swap is just to invite friends, work colleagues or neighbours for an hour of swapping. Everyone comes with as much or as little to swap as they want. A more organised system is to give everyone tickets when they arrive – if someone brings eight things for the swap pile, they receive eight tickets. They can then exchange their tickets for eight things they choose to take home. This might work well if you run a big event which is open to the public. Or you can run a Climate Week Swap that lasts all week – this might be good for workplaces. Just have everyone leave their items in an ‘honesty corner’ and people can bring things and take things when it suits them. Don’t forget to register your Swap to be in with a chance to win a celebrity item!

The Climate Week Awards The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel contains figures such as Tony Juniper (advisor to the Prince of Wales’ Sustainability Unit), Mary Robinson (the former President of Ireland) and the Bishop of London. We have a category dedicated to Best Educational Initiative, won last year by Turner’s Hill C of E School. We also have categories for Best Community Initiative, Best Campaign and Best Local Initiative – send your nomination to awards@climateweek.com The award winners will be announced at our awards ceremony on March 4, 2013 and the deadline for entries is January 25, 2013. If you think your school, your organisation or someone you know could win an award, nominate them now. Please visit www.climateweek.com/awards for more information.

Run your own event! The event ideas listed above are suggestions, but schools that are already doing fantastic work can run an event that profiles these initiatives during Climate Week. You could put on a workshop, hold a debate, organise a cycle-to-school scheme or host a film screening – whatever suits you and your school. Nurseries, schools, colleges, children’s centres, teachers and teaching associations can get involved now by starting to plan an event for Climate Week – whether that is one of the events described above or your own event. Please register your event with us, as this provides a unique opportunity to profile your own initiatives and innovations to staff, students, the community, members and the media. You can also spread the word in advance so that others find out about Climate Week in time to plan their own activities. You can help right now by asking the schools and teachers you know to plan an event or activity for Climate Week. You can also enter the Awards and register to take part in the Climate Week Challenge.

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School improvement: job round-up Chief/Principal Oct 5 2012 – Dorset Director for Children’s Services £109,430-£123,793 1 Nov 2 2012 – Barnet Assistant Director, Education £94,599 1 Nov 23 2012 – Surrey New Educational Leader for North West Surrey £75,333-£89,419 1 Jan 4 2013 – Bridgend Head of Service – Learning £73,080-£78,049 1 Nov 30 2012 – North Wales Consortium Chief Officer – Effectiveness and Improvement Service £83,397-£93,372 1

Senior Oct 5 2012 – Vale Of Glamorgan Lead Officer for School Improvement 22-25 £55,658-£58,741 2

Oct 19 2012 – Haringey Assistant Director of School Improvement £71,876-£84,050 2 Nov 2 2012 – Barnet Head of Education Partnership + Commercial Service £64,389 2 Nov 23 2012 – Dorset County Council SEN Team Manager £41,616-£46,461 2 Nov 23 2012 – North Lincolnshire Senior School Improvement Officer – Primary 19-22 £52,969-£58,741 2 Nov 30 2012 – Hampshire District Manager £52,969-£55,658 2

Adviser/Inspector Oct 5 2012 – Hounslow Primary Adviser – School Improvement and Eng/Maths 1316 £46,152-£49,620 3 Oct 12 2012 – CLEAPSS (Brunei Science Park) Physics Adviser 1316 £46,152-£49,620 3

Oct 26 2012 – Reading School Partnership Adviser 24-27 £57,705-£60,781 3 Nov 2 2012 – Education Funding Agency P/T ICT Technical Adviser £55,431-£65,187 3 Nov 2 2012 – Education Funding Agency ICT Technical Adviser £55,431-£65,187 3 Nov 2 2012 – Education Funding Agency ICT Adviser £55,431-£65,187 3 Nov 2 2012 – Estyn Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education and Training £54,500-£66,800 3 Nov 9 2012 – Bracknell Forest School Adviser (Primary) 13-16 £46,892-£50,360 3 Nov 9 2012 – Cambridgeshire Children’s Centre Improvement Adviser £31,433-£42,583 3 School Improvement Adv (Primary) Lead Innovation 24-27 £57,705-£60,781 3

Nov 9 2012 – Hounslow School Improvement Advisers (Primary) 24-27 £57,705-£60,781 3 Nov 9 2012 – Hounslow School Improvement Adviser (Primary) Lead CPD 24-27 £57,705-£60,781 3 Dec 7 2012 – Barnet Learning Network Inspector £66,016-£69,228 3

Other Nov 9 2012 – Devon Strategic Policy and Development Manager £42,840-£45,470 6 Nov 9 2012 – Devon SEN Mediation and Tribunal Officer £38,042-£42,502 6 Nov 9 2012 – Devon SEN Team Manager £38,042-£42,502 6 Nov 9 2012 – Devon Inclusion Officer £29,236-£32,800 6

Nov 9 2012 – Lancashire Integrated Assessment Managers £42,506-£46,109 6 Nov 9 2012 – Medway Governor and Governance Manager 17-20 £50,739-£53,554 6 Nov 9 2012 – Moray Continuous Improvement Officer £49,425-£55,149 6 Nov 16 2012 – Llywodraeth Cymru (Welsh Government) Head of Schools Standards and Delivery £75,000 6 Nov 16 2012 – Somerset Lead Prof Educ/Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster 1-4 £32,033-£32,353 6 Nov 16 2012 – Surrey Commissioning and Development Manager SEND £46,223-£54,248 6 Nov 23 2012 – Ormiston Academies Trust Deputy Director of Education £65,000 6

Nov 23 2012 – Somerset Assn Secondary Heads Executive Officer 16-19 £49,620-£52,969 6 Dec 7 2012 – Wokingham Service Manager – Special Educational Needs £53,554-£56,738 6

Consultants Nov 16 2012 – Norfolk Advisory Teacher of the Deaf 3 Nov 16 2012 – Surrey Associate Primary School Improvement Advisers £56,000 3 Nov 16 2012 – Surrey Primary School Improvement Advisers £56,000 3 Nov 16 2012 – Enfield Learning Consultant – Mathematics Intervention 15-18 £50,417-£53,751 4 Nov 16 2012 – Enfield Learning Consultant – Science Intervention 15-18 £50,417-£53,751 4

Need expert legal advice? Call the Aspect Group’s 24-hour legal helpline on 0161 830 4511 Please have your membership number to hand, as you will need it for identification purposes Russell, Jones & Walker, part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers

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Winter Improvement 2013  

Quarterly magazine of the Aspect Group of Prospect education and children's services professionals