Issue 86 / February 2020 / £5
THE MAGAZINE FOR NAHT AND NAHT EDGE MEMBERS
OFSTED INSPECTION A change for the better?
A real-terms increase is necessary to secure the future of the profession (p10).
SBL on the leadership scale School business leaders’ pay must reﬂect their leadership responsibilities (p19).
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LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
JUDY SHAW: NAHT president 2019-20
Changing the tone of the conversation ur profession is facing a recruitment and retention crisis. We hear that school leaders are leaving their roles earlier and fewer middle leaders aspire to senior leadership. Sadly, so many are put off from what is surely the most important, rewarding and fulﬁlling role in society. The challenges facing school leaders are real and well documented. They are daunting and can’t be ignored – in fact, one of NAHT’s key roles is to name them and push those in power to recognise them and act on them. Sometimes, though, if challenges become our sole focus, we risk being caught up in a swirl of negativity. As serving school leaders, while we wait for the policymakers to make policies and the strategists to strategise, we are in the most powerful place to inspire the next generation of leaders. Can we do it with positivity and optimism? Can we play our part in changing the tone of the conversation about our profession and shifting the emphasis? I think we must. Maybe we can’t ﬁx the whole imperfect world, but we can change and improve lives and futures little by little, day by day. It’s what we do. In focusing on that, we will put the purpose, the importance and, yes, the joy and rewards of our profession back at the heart of the conversation. What we say and how we say it are so powerful. The people we lead – those who may later pick up our baton – are watching us very carefully. Somebody, somewhere spotted the talent and potential in each of us once, convincing us that we could do it and that it was so
very worthwhile. It is now the time to pass on that focus on what’s great and rewarding about what we do. There are many aspects to leadership. Here, I’m going to narrow it down to two things: recognising the potential in others and using our experience to support and develop that potential. Strong leaders see potential, talent and capacity in the people around them, and set about nurturing it. They offer new experiences and opportunities, but always with a high level of appropriate support. They watch carefully, listen attentively, give their time to celebrate success and, in a kindly and supportive way, build on mistakes. They openly value the achievements of others, always demonstrating why it matters. They acknowledge the challenges and the frustrations, but inspire and motivate by saying: “Look what you did, look what you could
Above: Judy Shaw.
The people we lead – those who may later pick up our baton – are watching us very carefully ... It is time to speak out with pride and optimism about the work we do.
do next and here’s why it matters.” Investing something of ourselves in others keeps the ﬂame of our purpose and inspiration alight. As we help others grow in strength, we are strengthened too. Reﬂect on your journey into school leadership – who encouraged you to step up? Did they do it by dwelling on pitfalls and potholes, or by demonstrating their belief in you and the signiﬁcance of our profession? Back in 1988, I completed my probationary year with little fanfare, but I was feeling bold and told the head that I felt ready to take on some responsibility. I wasn’t seeking promotion to giddy heights - just a clear role I could get my teeth into. He nodded and said he would give it thought. The next day he gave me the role of person in charge of school animals. I left his ofﬁce responsible for a rabbit, two hamsters and a bowl of ﬁsh. I’ll leave you to ponder how valued and motivated that young teacher felt! We are doing the job, and we are its best advocates. Eyes are on us, and it is time to speak out with pride and optimism about the work we do. The future depends on us.
ASSOCIATION AND EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES NAHT and NAHT Edge 1 Heath Square, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1BL www.naht.org.uk www.nahtedge.org.uk Tel: 0300 30 30 333 Editorial strategy board: David Gilmore (chair), James Bowen, Tim Bowen, Nick Brook, Guy Dudley, Judy Shaw, Steven George, Magnus Gorham, Steve Iredale, Anne Lyons, Alice Adams Lemon, Judith Stott, Paul Whiteman and Rob Williams. @nahtnews @nahtedge
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LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
News round-up The latest from across NAHT and NAHT Edge.
10 Leadership pay – the debate Leadership Focus journalist Nic Paton chairs a roundtable debate on leadership pay.
19 SBL on the leadership scale We talk to school business leaders (SBLs) about the issue of fair pay.
23 Ofsted inspection – a change for the better?
We take a look at the new Ofsted inspection framework.
30 News from our branches Hear how we are working together to improve schools for everyone.
34 EBacc – 10 years on National executive member Stuart Beck looks at the fate of the EBacc.
36 The Teachers’ Pension Scheme Specialist adviser Kate Atkinson looks at the situation facing independent schools as a result of pension contribution hikes.
37 NAHT mentoring scheme A chance to focus on you and your career.
38 Essential guides Head of representation and advice Guy Dudley talks about our new resources.
40 Small schools in England Director of policy James Bowen shares the ﬁndings from our recent members survey.
42 Wales policy update An update on the work being done in Wales to protect, support and empower members.
43 Northern Ireland policy update A look back at a busy nine months.
45 A legal view Solicitor Simon Thomas looks at the rights for a woman returning to work part-time after the birth of a child.
46 A member’s view Nilesh Pandya talks about his journey to school leadership and why NAHT is the right union for SBLs.
47 Place2Be Head teacher Enid Lewis shares her thoughts on mental health in schools.
49 Life membership Head teacher William Lewis explains why continued membership of NAHT after retirement is so important.
50 Paul Whiteman A view from our general secretary.
52 Inspiring learning Hear from Ofsted’s Gill Jones on reading in reception and head teacher Jeremy Hannay on building a happy school.
54 Courses and conferences We’re bringing back great continuing professional development for you.
58 The ﬁnal word Susan Young looks at the importance of the performing arts in children’s learning.
T H E L AT E S T F R O M A C R O S S N A H T A N D N A H T E D G E Get in touch and share your thoughts on this issue’s news via commsNAHT@naht.org.uk
Free and easy-to-use job listing service
Recruiting teachers can be a huge ﬁnancial burden for schools. Research highlights that schools are spending up to £75 million annually on teacher recruitment advertising. Head teachers told the government they wanted a free job search and listings service. In response, the government has created Teaching Vacancies – a free-to-use job listing service to help ﬁnd and ﬁll teaching vacancies across the country. School leaders can sign up and join the majority of schools across the country already using this straightforward service, which lists more than 18,000 vacancies. Not only does it save time and money but also it widens the talent pool available – helping you to ﬁnd the best teachers from your local area and across the country. Jenny Rankine, principal of Bottisham Village College, said: “We always want to make sure we’re doing the very best for our students. That means making sure our budgets stretch as far as possible and are used in the most important place – the classroom. Teaching Vacancies has the power to save schools up and down the country millions of pounds, which they can reinvest to improve the education experience for our learners. We’d like to see all schools sign-up and actively use the service.” The service puts schools in control of recruitment – advertise as many times as you want, directly upload and edit advertisements, and track the impact of your ads. To sign-up and start posting vacancies, visit www.gov.uk/teaching-vacancies.
Creating ‘light bulb’ moments AHT is supporting a new campaign to build up a national network of 100,000 volunteers to give children an insight into the world of work. I Am #InspiringTheFuture is aiming to double the number of volunteers signed up with the charity Education and Employers’ network and create 10 million face-to-face interactions between pupils and volunteers to broaden young people’s horizons and widen their aspirations. The programme links teachers directly with volunteers through a free online service. The volunteers are invited into schools to share their life stories in assemblies, talks and workshops. The network already has 55,000 volunteers, from ﬁrst-job apprentices to CEOs and app designers to zoologists. Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, believes young people need “light bulb moments” early in their school careers to help them “think big” about their potential and goals. A bigger network will accelerate the expansion of Primary Futures, the tailored programme for seven to 11-year-olds developed with NAHT in 2014, and so enable millions more
primary-age children to beneﬁt from such moments. The long-term aim is to give every primary pupil the opportunity to hear ﬁrst-hand about jobs and the world of work. “The importance of exposure to the world of work at primary age cannot be overstated. The earlier children’s aspirations are raised and broadened, the better,” said NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman. I Am #InspiringTheFuture wants to sign-up professionals across the country, but it is speciﬁcally targeting regions, towns and communities in England experiencing signiﬁcant economic, social and environmental disadvantage; NHS providers; independent schools’ alumni and parental networks; and rapidly growing industries – including cybersecurity, biotech, renewables, virtual reality and artiﬁcial intelligence. Find out more at www.inspiringthefuture. org/i-am-inspiringthefuture.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
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SELECT COMMITTEE RIGHT TO FOCUS ON SEND FUNDING CRISIS
Coming together to campaign for early years funding Head teachers and NAHT members joined governors and parents in Preston to highlight the plight of Lancashire’s maintained nursery schools and call for more funding. More than 40 campaigners met with the county’s councillors following the Save Our Nurseries funding summit and rally in October.
NAHT Cymru lobbies Senedd over school funding embers gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff in October to lobby the Welsh government over funding for schools. On the day of the lobby, Assembly Members (AMs) were debating an independent report, which was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, that suggests several steps to look at for a fairer school funding system in Wales. Its ﬁrst recommendation is a review of how schools receive funding and the formulae used. Ahead of the event, Cymru members launched an email lobby of AMs, calling for them to back the report’s
NAHT Cymru president Ruth Davies speaking on the steps of the Senedd following the debate.
recommendations. AMs responded to this call and came out to address the crowd of NAHT Cymru members gathered on the steps of the Senedd with banners and pledge cards. During the Senedd debate, many AMs raised NAHT’s concerns; at the end, minister for education Kirsty Williams AM announced an independent review of funding would be launched, which is due to be completed by summer 2020. Although pleased with this announcement, NAHT Cymru continues to lobby the Welsh government over current funding for schools, with fears that the review’s ﬁndings in the summer mean more waiting before action is taken.
Following an 18-month inquiry, the Education Select Committee published its report into special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms in England last autumn. While it said reforms to SEND were the right ones to make, it found a generation of children with SEND is failing to receive the support needed. The report highlighted a number of key concerns, including a lack of accountability in the system, a signiﬁcant funding shortfall and a system weighed down by bureaucracy. NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “Not only are budgets at breaking point but there have also been severe cuts to local authorities’ health and social care provision. Schools and councils have been left struggling to meet the needs of our most vulnerable pupils.”
EXPERTS SHARE EVIDENCE FOR NAHT’S SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT NAHT’s School Improvement Commission is well underway, having met for four evidence sessions since October 2019, with one more to follow at the end of February. So far, it has heard evidence from the Department for Education and expert contributions from the likes of Sir Tim Brighouse and former chief inspector of schools Christine Gilbert. NAHT will publish a report of the ﬁndings and recommendations for change later this year.
A LISTEN FOR LEADERS You can hear Professor Sonia Blandford talk about social mobility and the themes of her new book in the latest episode of NAHT’s School Leadership Podcast series. The series sees James Bowen, director of policy at NAHT, speak to key ﬁgures on a range of issues relevant for school leaders. Other recent topics include resilience, what to expect from the new Ofsted framework, childhood bereavement and shared school leadership. Visit www.naht.org.uk/podcasts to ﬁnd out more. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
IF YOU HAVE A NEWS STORY TO SHARE, PLEASE EMAIL THE EDITOR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HAVE WE GOT YOUR CORRECT DETAILS? Have you recently moved house? Changed your telephone number? Moved to a different school or changed role? As a membership organisation and registered trade union, it’s paramount we contact you about your membership and the news that matters to you. Therefore, we must ensure your personal details are up-to-date. Please call us on 0300 30 30 333 (option two) or email us at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can update your details by visiting www.naht.org.uk/update-details. NAHT Edge members can let us know of any changes by emailing membersupport@ nahtedge.org.uk.
Stress at all-time high – yet solutions are clear, says NAHT More than three-quarters of education professionals are experiencing either behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms due to their work, according to new research. The ﬁndings from Education Support’s Teacher Wellbeing Index 2019 underline key concerns about workload and pressure that have already been expressed by school leaders. Commenting on the report, NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “For many teachers and school leaders, the enormous privilege of helping young people learn and grow can be outweighed by the pressure and workload of the profession they’ve chosen. Ultimately, it is very simple: pay people properly and treat them well.” According to the research, 78% of education professionals are experiencing either behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms due to their work.
Senior leaders reported the highest levels of stress in 2019 – 84%, up from 80% in 2018 and 75% in 2017. And more than half of education professionals (57%) have considered leaving the sector in the past two years, it found.
Cymru Conference 2019: building compassionate communities Members from across Wales gathered in Cardiff for NAHT Cymru’s 2019 conference in October. With the theme ‘building compassionate communities’, conference delegates heard from guest speakers including Vic Goddard of Educating Essex, Alex Beresford, Ian Gilbert, Sinéad McBrearty and James Hilton about what it means to be a school leader and how schools help to shape the communities we live in. Welsh minister for education Kirsty Williams Kirsty Williams.
AM led a question-and-answer session, responding to questions on issues including the new Additional Learning Needs Bill and anti-bullying statutory guidance in Wales. New NAHT Cymru president Ruth Davies gave an inspirational and motivating speech on the conference theme, describing how young people’s “once in a lifetime chance at education lies with us”. For details of the motions debated at NAHT Cymru’s conference, see the Wales policy update on page 42. Ian Gilbert.
EXCLUSION ZONE RULING: SCHOOL GATE ‘NO PLACE TO PROTEST’
An exclusion zone that bans protests over the teaching of equality and diversity from taking place outside a primary school’s gates was made permanent in November. Responding to the ruling, NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “This judgement makes it abundantly clear that the school gate is no place to hold a protest. An end to the protests will help everyone involved restore a peaceful and productive teaching and learning environment as swiftly as possible. “Dedicated public servants faithfully discharging their duty have an absolute right to feel conﬁdent and safe; pupils should never have to walk past noisy and aggressive protests on their way to school. We will continue to support schools where disagreements persist because diversity and equality are a matter of fact and a matter of law, and learning about equality and diversity is not optional.” NAHT supported Birmingham schools affected by the protests.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN £350 As a membership organisation, we’re keen to hear how we’re doing and how we can improve, so we’re asking members to take a few moments to complete our members survey at www.naht.org.uk/membersurvey. If you complete the survey, you’ll be entered into a draw for the chance to win £350. The survey closes on 23 February 2020.
THE HUB The Hub contains a range of articles speciﬁcally for school leaders – from mindfulness exercises and ﬁnancial tips to inspirational member case studies and techniques to stay motivated throughout a busy academic year. See https://thehub.naht.org.uk.
STRONGER TOGETHER: AN SLT WITH NAHT
We’re here to help you align your senior leadership team (SLT) and to give them high-quality advice and support whenever they need it – and if you refer a colleague to NAHT membership, we’ll reward you with a voucher as a thank you. NAHT membership is for head teachers, executive heads, principals, vice principals, deputy heads, assistant heads and school business leaders. There’s no limit to the number of times you can refer colleagues to NAHT. Terms and conditions apply, and new joiners must apply online and provide the referring person’s name and membership number.
For more information, along with full terms and conditions, visit www.naht.org.uk/bookletreferral.
OUR ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 Annual Conference will take place at Cardiff City Hall from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May. For more information in the lead-up to conference and to follow events while it takes place, see www.naht.org.uk/conferences.
The North’s dedicated special educational needs show
24 - 25 April 2020 Manchester Central
Register FREE and book seminar places now! tessenshow.co.uk/manchester Join the conversation @SENshowUK #TesSENNorth
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP PA PAY 10
Leadership pay – the debate
Leadership Focus journalist NIC PATON chairs a roundtable debate on leadership pay. hen I became a head, my wife asked me to double-check I was being paid properly because I was only getting £20 extra in my wages. Her response was ‘we can’t even buy a Chinese on a Friday night with that’.” Clem Coady’s comments may be slightly historic, in that they relate to when he took up his role as head teacher of Stoneraise School in Carlisle in 2011. But they nevertheless illustrate all too starkly why pay (or more accurately the lack of it) – alongside workload, high-stakes accountability and funding – is so much at the heart
of the profession’s continuing senior leadership recruitment and retention crisis. There has been much focus in recent years on the general teacher recruitment and retention crisis across the profession, and rightly so. Along with the other teaching unions, NAHT has been at the forefront of hammering home to government (and anyone else who’ll listen) the parlous state of recruitment and retention within the profession. For example, NAHT’s 2017 The Leaky Pipeline report concluded that school leaders were struggling to recruit in eight out of 10 vacancies; two-thirds
Opposite: Marijke Miles.
I am also intrigued by the massive demographic shift we have seen in leadership; I don’t think the DfE has taken that on board.
said they were waving goodbye to more and more colleagues well before retirement, and budget pressures were preventing a third of teaching roles from being ﬁlled even if candidates could be found. The government has, to an extent, responded to these escalating ‘crisis’ headlines. Two years ago, the Department for Education (DfE) ﬁnally broke down and scrapped its long-standing 1% pay cap. Starting salaries for new teachers are due to rise to £30,000 by 2022 in a bid to make the profession more attractive to graduates.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
But, while welcome enough, none of this is helping to abate the growing crisis further up the pay range, at middle and senior leader levels. Indeed, the government’s love of differentiated rather than across-the-board pay settlements (see the panel on page 15 for more background on this) has, if anything, exacerbated the situation. Take the £30,000 ceiling – this represents a more than 23% uplift for those at the entry point of the main pay range. Yet, the government has also made it clear it has no intention of delivering a similar signiﬁcant uplift for those on the upper pay or leadership pay ranges. Or, take the inﬂation-busting 2018 3.5% settlement. Because it was differentiated, against the recommendation of the School
Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), those on the upper pay range were awarded a much lower 2% rise while school leaders got even less, at 1.5%. NAHT argues that the difference between the minimum salary for the leadership pay range and the maximum salary for the main pay range (excluding London) has been dramatically eroded in recent years, from 18.7% in 2014 to 14.2% in 2018. In cash terms, this equates to a fall in the differential from £6,028 to £4,957 in just four years. All of which brings us back to Clem’s £20 ‘reward’ for being prepared to step up to the highstakes accountability, long hours and ‘heat and burden’ of a head teacher role. Clem was one of ﬁve head and deputy head teachers who, along with NAHT senior policy adviser Ian Hartwright, came together in London in October to discuss how a decade of real-terms pay cuts to leaders’ pay and the declining differentials between teachers’ and leaders’ pay are acting on the leadership ‘leaky pipeline’. As well as being reported on for Leadership Focus, the discussion was intended to act as a means of gathering evidence, anecdotes and a compelling ‘narrative’ to feed into this year’s NAHT submission of evidence to the STRB’s 30th remit report. As Ian, opening the debate, put it: “We need to press much harder, I think, as a union on leadership pay. We have kept together with the other unions, and we have asked for a 5% pay rise each time – and we haven’t got that. Therefore, we need at the very least a restorative pay rise that begins to undo some of the damage and provide protection against current inﬂation. “If you come in [as a graduate] on £30,000 and your progression point is only going to go to £34,000-£35,000 in the classroom, nobody is going to stay because they won’t be able to see their
‘TO MOVE ON TO A LOW LEADERSHIP SCALE YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE TAKING A PAY CUT’
As well as the roundtable discussion, and again as part of the evidence-gathering for its submission to the STRB, NAHT went out to members to see what their experiences were around this area. The reluctance of many middle leaders to want to step into school leader roles along with the barriers created by pay and workload pressures were consistent talking points and worries. “For some, it is the reduction in teaching commitment; I still miss having my own class as a leader even though I still teach it. It is not the same as having a class of my own, but I know it would be impossible to be a senior leader and teach full time,” one deputy head teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, told NAHT for example. “Where deputies are teaching more, they ﬁnd it hard to balance. I have a friend who is a deputy in a one-form entry school. She is responsible for a class, has three afternoons out of class (which she has to plan for because a teaching assistant covers them) and is also the designated safeguarding lead, SENCo and key stage one leader. “Some people don’t want the extra responsibility. We have an excellent middle leader in school who just doesn’t want to go any further. “Pay is an issue for some. If you are on the upper pay scale (UPS) with a teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) or even just UPS, to move on to a low leadership scale you might actually be taking a pay cut. This happened to a SENCo I know who wanted to be an assistant head teacher. “The difference in pay is often not beneﬁcial when you consider the increase of responsibility. As a deputy, I know there is someone else above me for support. But as a head, you are ultimately responsible. As a deputy across two schools, I am paid more than some heads of small schools, so it is not worth a move,” the deputy head teacher added.
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP PAY 12 career progressing. More widely, this is connected to a bigger picture that says ‘if we need to commit to a decades-long career in teaching, you need to provide them with an attractive starting salary, good pay and, just as importantly, career progression and prospects’. “Pay is, of course, not the only key issue, but it has become one key issue alongside workload, funding and accountability. Ourr view is that when, as a head teache er or senior leader, you are being assked to take on such huge responsib bility, pay can prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. ‘Why y should I do that? And why should I put myself at so much risk and tak ke on all of these other things to do that?’.
And we think that is happening within middle leadership now as well. “Therefore, we need a louder voice on this; we need to turn the volume up and be harder-edged, tougher. The government, I think, doesn’t understand how angry people are,” he added. Jon Parsons, deputy head teacher at White Mea adows Primary Academy in Littleham mpton, West Sussex, strongly agre eed the erosion of pay and pay differrentials was a growing concern. “W We have a big leadership team, and we also have a big middle leadersh hip team. This idea of ﬂattening pay y progression while trying to keep good teachers,
Above: Jon Parsons. Above left: Ian Hartwright.
We are looking at leakage at that top end.
good leaders, in the profession really resonates with us. We are looking at leakage at that top end.” Issues such as the affordability of housing or cost of living, especially in more expensive parts of the country, do naturally play into these discussions, highlighted Patrick Foley, head teacher at Southborough Primary School in Bromley, south east London. “Bromley is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, and there is a lot of pressure on that with recruiting teachers. If I ask my senior and middle leadership teams ‘do you want to become a head teacher, or how can I encourage you to become a head teacher or make that next step in your career?’, very, very few of them want to. I think currently there is only one person who is interested,” he said. “It is not all about pay, but I think pay is a bit of it. I think there are lots of things that are interlinked with this,” he added. “St Albans is another extremely expensive area to live in,” agreed Tim Bowen, head teacher, at Maple Primary School in the Hertfordshire city. “I am somebody who is not that far off, in the grand scheme of things, from the end of my career. But I am deeply concerned about the number of middle leaders not going up to senior positions. “Very few people, certainly in Hertfordshire, are applying for headships. So, I am deeply concerned about the future of the profession because, obviously, without strong leadership, schools are not going
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
• Tim Bowen, head teacher, Maple Primary School, St Albans • Clem Coady, head teacher, Stoneraise School, Carlisle, Cumbria • Patrick Foley, head teacher, Southborough Primary School, Bromley • Ian Hartwright, senior policy adviser, NAHT • Marijke Miles, head teacher, Baycroft School, Hampshire • Jon Parsons, deputy head teacher, White Meadows Primary Academy, Littlehampton.
to be so successful,” he said. “In Hampshire, we have similar issues with the supply of leaders, good leaders, and I think special schools are particularly hard hit,” said Marijke Miles, head teacher at Baycroft School, a special school in the county. “We are an ageing profession, although we’re young demographically. I am also intrigued by the massive demographic shift we have seen in leadership; I don’t think the DfE has taken that on board. For example, 11 years ago – when my twins were born – no one had ever seen a pregnant head; it was so unusual. All the heads were males aged 50+ generally. “But rapidly, within a decade, leaders are now really young; there are more family pressures and co-dependency pressures. Heads
and leaders are the sandwich generation whereas before, more classically, they had ‘done’ their families. It was ‘the kids are at university; now I can be a head’, male or female. But that is not the case anymore. I don’t think we understand those other drivers and how they are impacting on the ﬂow and supply of succession.” “A lot of our schools in Cumbria and other rural areas are small schools, and we all teach,” said Clem. “My head teacher colleagues teach four days a week, have half a day planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) and have half a day headship time. And so, when they see their other classroom colleagues getting a 3.5% pay rise and they’re getting 1.5-2%, it is gutwrenching for them. “The other aspect is that to become a head in Cumbria, you need to cut your teeth in a small school. No big school will look at you unless you have had experience in a small school. But the small schools will only recruit deputies from large schools. So there is no actual pay differential. They are going to become a head on equal pay, or very similar, to what they were on as a deputy head.” Clem then made his telling £20 observation, prompting Patrick to add: “And that would be worse now.”
“It is iniquitous that the leadership ranges are determined by pupil numbers because, quite frankly, heads in small schools are doing far more. They have no one to delegate to and a far wider range of responsibilities. It is really anachronistic,” agreed Marijke. Our panellists were then asked to highlight any examples they had experienced in their schools of rising stars, or middle or senior leaders who had called it a day and left the profession early, ahead of their time, whether because of pay or for other reasons. “A colleague and friend of mine quit the profession in August,” said Clem. “She had fewer than 50 pupils in her school – that is the size of quite a few schools in Cumbria, but they can’t close them because there are no other schools near enough to send the kids to instead. She was a full-time head and taught four days a week. She had a part-time staff member who did two days a week. “She went off ill earlier in the academic year, and the person who did the two days a week couldn’t take any more days because she had childcare issues. So the school was being run by a supply teacher, with the supply teacher changing frequently. The school had no designated safeguard lead.
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP PAY 14
It is clear the stress of leading a school, the pressures of running it and the ﬁnances, especially when margins are so tight – it is easy to see colleagues becoming ill and ultimately walking away from the profession. “Heads of small schools are often paid on L4, as they are grade 1 schools. Yet, in schools that are a similar size to mine, deputy and assistant heads can be on the same salary. So, they have all that pressure for that ﬁnancial reward. What kind of system are we in where that is the reality? She left saying ‘why am I doing this? It is not worth the stress and the pressure for what I’m getting’.” “I had a teacher who was a class teacher for four years and had gone to MPS5,” said Patrick. “He wanted to get married and start a family. He was in his late-20s/early-30s and was looking at where he could go in terms of pay progression. Did he want to try and get a TLR, get a management post? We had invested a massive amount in him; he’d spent two years, perhaps three, with us. But no, he decided just to go to Thailand to an international school, tax-free, for two years. “I had another colleague who was actually in management, about the same age, again wanted to start a family. She was my head of early years foundation stage (EYFS) and could have moved from middle management into assistant headship if she’d wanted to; she was very, very good. Again, there was the choice to become an assistant head and a professional teaching career and all of that. But it just wasn’t very attractive. She decided to stop teaching and travel around the world. “OK, both of those were about taking life chances. But if they had been paid more and had an opportunity, say, to buy a house, settle down and do all of that kind of stuff, I’m sure the decision to do those things would have been much better. Buying a house, in Bromley, you’re looking approximately at £240,000 minimum for a two/three-bedroom ﬂat; £30,000 isn’t enough to get a mortgage,” he added.
Above: Tim Bowen.
Opposite: Clem Coady.
If I were a decade into my career now, having been a class teacher and a deputy, I would have to think incredibly carefully about whether I took that next step to headship.
“We’ve had two newly qualiﬁed teachers (NQTs) in the last four years - one left after their NQT year to go to India to work over there. No amount of money would have kept her at the school; you could have paid her £30,000 or £35,000, but it wouldn’t have mattered,” said Jon. “For her, the pressures of doing the job were something she didn’t want to carry on with anymore. She said ‘you know what, if this is what it is going to be like after just my NQT year, I don’t want to do it; there are other options that will make my life more enjoyable than doing this’, which is really sad. Was pay – both take-home pay erosion and the erosion in terms of differentials – acting as a disincentive to people stepping up, our panellists were asked. “I think it is the huge pressure and accountability of head teacher leadership,” said Tim. “If I were a decade into my career now, having been a class teacher and a deputy, I would have to think incredibly carefully about whether I took that next step to headship. “The high-risk accountability, the pressures of the job and with a young family – would you take the risk? While it is by no means just about pay, if there were a signiﬁcant rise in pay when you move into headship, it might persuade you. With the differential being so small for somebody on a deputy or assistant headship and the risks to your career – you’re only one bad Ofsted inspection
away from getting the sack – would I now, after 23 years, have gone on to be a head? Part of me would love to say ‘yes I would’ because I still value the job immensely. But turn the clock back, would I do it, would I have the nerve to without the ﬁnancial incentive as well? That is a huge question mark.” “I’m in that position,” agreed Jon. “I’m doing my national professional qualiﬁcation for headship (NPQH) this year. I get paid at L11 as a deputy head, which I am happy with at the moment. We have a new head of school who is a few points ahead of me on the pay scale. Fundamentally, why would I want to do that job for just a few extra points? “By the time I’ve been taxed on it and had pension contributions come off it, why would I bother? Because now, yes, I make decisions, but I don’t have to make ultimate decisions. If I get it wrong, somebody will come and say ‘yes you got it wrong, but it’s OK. We’ll work to get it right’. If she gets it wrong, she’s got it wrong, and for that differential, is it worth it? “Also, going back to what Clem was saying about small schools, I’m fundamentally stuck where I am because it is pretty much that I have to move into a two or three-form entry school. I can’t go into a oneform entry; I can’t take a £5,000£6,000 pay cut to go and be a head of school, and fundamentally, why would I want to? My family is also an issue; I live 25 miles away from the school, and I want to see my daughter, who is ﬁve years old. For an extra £2,000-£3,000, it is just not worth it,” he added.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
ACT NOW TO RETAIN SCHOOL LEADERS
BACKDROP TO THIS YEAR’S PAY ROUND As most head teachers will undoubtedly be aware, after years of capped 1% pay rises, the government in 2018 ﬁnally awarded a 3.5% rise to teachers on the main and unqualiﬁed teacher pay ranges. However, while broadly welcome in itself (if well below the 5% that NAHT and other teaching unions had been pushing for), there was dismay among many school leaders that, in doing so, then education secretary Damian Hinds ignored the recommendation of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) that a 3.5% above-inﬂation pay rise was needed for all teachers and school leaders rather than one that was differentiated. To add insult to injury, those on the upper pay range were awarded a 2% pay rise while school leaders got a measly 1.5%. NAHT does argue that the STRB is listening (to an extent). And since 2016, the STRB has been cognisant of the recruitment and retention crisis facing the profession, and the role of pay capping and differentials within that. For example, while the STRB’s recommendation last year for a 2.75% uplift again fell well short of the 5% NAHT wanted, we welcomed the STRB’s “robust recognition that the decline in the competitiveness of the teachers’ pay framework is a signiﬁcant contributor to the shortfall in teacher supply”. Equally positive was the STRB’s recognition in its 2019 report that “more will be necessary over the period of the next spending review”. However, once again, the stumbling block in 2019 was the government which, although accepting the STRB’s 2.75% recommendation in full, said it was not prepared to fund it fully. This sets the tone and backdrop for what could yet be a further challenging pay round this year. But it is one, NAHT argues, that will be critical if the profession’s recruitment, retention and progression challenges, particularly at middle and senior leadership levels, are to be addressed.
Patrick then highlighted the lack of opacity around headship and leadership roles and, in turn, what roles are now ‘worth’. For example, a school might now have a head teacher, heads of school, and deputy and assistant heads. “A lot of academies seem to me to have lots and lots of levels of management, and the head of school role is paid at a low level but with a hell of a lot of expectations of that role,” he said. “Speaking to deputies at our Assistant and Deputy Head Teachers’ Conference, the majority don’t want to step up,” agreed Clem. “They don’t want to be in that seat when they could lose their job, when they perhaps have a young family. “Even if they do the NPQH training, there needs to be something beyond that because you don’t learn how to deal with stafﬁng or capability issues on the course; you don’t learn how to manage a budget and make cuts. There needs to be an added-on, joined-up picture if headship or leadership is going to be attractive. Pay is obviously one part of that step-up, so there is a ﬁnancial incentive. The reduction in accountability pressures is the second incentive. The third incentive is high-quality training to ensure you are fully equipped for the role
ahead. If I were in charge, that’s what I would do,” he emphasised. Jon highlighted that his school had been advertising for a new assistant head recently. “We’ve had one applicant, and she had taken voluntary redundancy from her previous school. We got nobody from within the school wanting to look at the job. It is all ‘is that next stage going to be worth the extra money and what I want?’.” “In Hertfordshire, again made worse with the high cost of living, it is almost standard that any deputy head teacher job will be re-advertised, often twice,” agreed Tim. “In the old days, when I was ﬁrst applying for headships, there was longlisting; that is like something from ﬁction now. Many governing bodies are delighted if they can even shortlist. “Back in the day, it used to be that you would step up to become a head for the last eight-to-10 years of your career, in part to boost your pension; it was worth doing under the old ﬁnal salary scheme. You could take the risk because you knew if you did headship for six to eight years, you would end up with a signiﬁcantly better pension. “Now, under the careeraverage scheme, that really is not going to make a massive difference. I can’t see them ever going back to the ﬁnal salary scheme, but again, it is all related to pay because it is being eroded not just in the pay we’re getting now but also in the beneﬁts at the end. This cumulative effect is why we’re in the crisis that we are now,” he added. The role of pensions in this debate – with lower or eroded pay having a potentially signiﬁcant knock-on effect on retirement income over time – was an important issue that we need to consider as part of this conversation, our panel agreed. “I think it will become a driver,” said Marijke. “For me, for example, in ﬁve years’ time, I’ll be head of a very
FEATURE: LEADERSHIP PAY 16 large school, the top of where I’m likely to go in my career earnings. By that time, I won’t need the holidays, which I have lived for as a mum and that have been the pay-off. And my pension will be stagnant. “I’ll be 50, and there will be absolutely no reason for me to stay in teaching. I will have accumulated the best of what I’m going to get, if the pension goes the way we think, and I won’t really have any choice but to leave – at 50 as a really experienced head, taking that out of the system.” For those mid-career, too, making these future projections and calculations can become much less attractive without the lure of a ﬁnal salary pension at the end of it, conceded Patrick. “If they’re going to think ‘I’m 55. Will I have a better life when I’m 60 if I step up from senior leadership to being a head teacher? Will I have a better pension? Will my life chances be better?’. They’re going to think ‘right now if I stay on as a deputy or assistant head, my pension will be a little bit lower, but it’s not going to be a big impact. But, actually, my life now and in the future will be better’. I think there
is deﬁnitely a weighing of that; looking at what head teachers have to do and what they’d be doing. I think that is deﬁnitely a driver. It is not only about salary now but also pensions in the future.” At the other end of the scale, the government could be looking at much more creative solutions to attracting – and keeping – graduates than just throwing higher starting salaries at them, argued Clem. “If you removed new teachers from their tuition fees and student loans contributions, that would give them £200 a month extra. If you waived or wrote that off for the ﬁrst 10 years of their career, they are likely not only to carry on contributing to the teachers’ pension pot but also stay in the profession longer,” he pointed out. “That would obviously cost in terms of the government writing off or waiving this money. But, actually, they would be saving because they wouldn’t be paying out more for teachers’ pensions, and it would make the profession more attractive for graduates. “It would not cost in terms of adding to teachers’ pay, but in real terms, it would incentivise
people to stay in the profession for 10 years. Or perhaps you could say ‘if after eight years you take on a leadership role, we’ll waive it at seven years’ - or whenever. And then there is an added incentive to stay,” he added. “That would be massive; that actually would,” enthused Jon. Alongside this, a better or more structured career framework could be valuable, argued Patrick, one that covers the formative ﬁrst years post-NQT/qualiﬁed teacher status (QTS) through to your progression as a class teacher, into management or whole-school roles, into middle and senior leadership and right the way up to headship. “There is an argument for having a framework throughout your career as a teacher. There is an issue in that the DfE does not have the levers to make that happen with so many schools, certainly secondary, now being academies,” he said. “But there is deﬁnitely an argument for having a new career framework, a three to seven-year framework, a moving-into-leadership framework, then a senior framework and ﬁnally a moving-into-headship framework. There is a real argument for that.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
“One would not necessarily want the DfE training all those people, but it is about giving teaching that ‘career’ status. Medicine has that – medicine has a really good, pedagogical framework of ongoing training throughout your career, whether you’re a new doctor or a consultant. And it needs to be linked with accountability, but where the nature of that accountability is really good; it is less threatening,” Patrick added. With the discussion drawing to a close, Ian asked the panel for any ﬁnal thoughts. “From everything we’ve said, I don’t think increasing pay is going to be a huge contributing factor to helping teachers. But not increasing pay will be a massive detrimental factor,” emphasised Jon. “The pay differential issue is really, really important,” said Patrick. “To keep teachers in the profession, to enable them to become better teachers, to get them into middle and senior leadership, and then to encourage and enable senior leaders to stay in the profession. The acknowledgement that experience is gold for teaching and the teaching profession, and we need to pay for that.” “In Hertfordshire, the system of leadership in schools is facing signiﬁcant difﬁculties because there are so many schools that do not have a permanent head teacher,” agreed Tim. “The number of heads who have recently retired but are now coming back out and working partt-time, or those who have an adviser coming in – it cannot go on n for much longer.
“We have been saying this for a number of years, but I honestly think we are almost at that tipping point, at least in Hertfordshire and quite possibly nationally, where we are soon going to have so many schools without a designated leader, and there won’t be people who are prepared to step up or cover it on a temporary basis. While the DfE may be starting to recognise recruitment and retention, is it really? The word ‘crisis’ is overused, but I do think this is an impending crisis, and I am going to see it within my time left in the profession. It truly is close to breaking point,” he added. “What today has really made me think about is the leadership pay scale,” said Marijke. “There are a number of quite demeaning presumptions made around the way it operates, and one of those is ‘smaller schools are easier to run, and bigger schools are harder’. “I have moved to a bigger school, and it is deﬁnitely a tough life, but it is much easier in some ways because it has a life of its own and there are people to actually do that role rather than you being, as a colleague used to call it, the ﬂywheel. As a head of a smaller school, albeit a special, you are literally providing the momentum for every single activity and juggling many roles. So, I think that needs rethinking,” she added. “One of the big things that will remain with me is if teachers are given a pay rise of th his much [raises hand high], but le eaders
Below: Patrick Foley.
It is not all about pay, but I think pay is a bit of it. I think there are lots of things that are interlinked with this.
are given a pay rise of this much [lowers hand down], it doesn’t do very well for members across Cumbria,” said Clem. “We’ve got more than 140 NAHT members that have a teaching commitment. They are getting small pay rises, but the person next door is getting a massive one. That is a huge thing that will stay with me.” For Ian, bringing the debate to a conclusion, the innovative thinking ﬂying around the table had underlined an important point. It had highlighted how the discussion – not only narrowly in terms of NAHT’s evidence to the STRB but also more widely in terms of its ongoing advocacy and lobbying around pay, progression, recruitment and retention – needed to clearly convey the broader message. Pay reveals systemic issues with the profession. It is much more than simply ‘please, sir, I want some more’. “We’re getting conﬁrmation here that says ‘actually what we need is to rethink the whole structure of teaching’. We need to rethink the salary structure; we need to review it entirely. And it comes back to accountability, too,” he said “We have been pressing the STRB and saying ‘you need to take a completely new view of what the pay structure in teaching looks like to reﬂect how the whole of the educ cation world has changed since 2010 0’. It doesn’t really ﬁt anymore. Thatt is the message, I think, that’s coming through here.”
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
SBL on the leadership scale NAHT believes school business leaders (SBLs), who are part of the school leadership team (SLT), should be on a similar salary range as other SLT staff. However, many are paid under the arrangements for local authority staff and not on the ranges used for the school’s SLT. Here, Leadership Focus journalist NIC PATON speaks to SBLs about the issue of fair pay. ilesh Pandya neatly sums up one of the ironies – and the challenges – that school business leaders face when putting their heads above the parapet to ask for more money. “Because we oversee the budget and because we generally tell everyone to watch the pennies, I know many school business leaders really struggle to argue the case for their job descriptions to be evaluated,” says the director of ﬁnance and school business manager at Roding Primary School in Woodford Bridge, Essex. “They feel they will be contradicting themselves and given a hard time about it. I’ve spoken to many colleagues who feel this way, which is ironic given the savings
they probably generate for their schools because of their ability to negotiate and scrutinise,” he adds. Earlier in this edition of Leadership Focus, we highlighted how the government’s proposal to raise newly qualiﬁed teachers’ (NQTs’) starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022 has brought into sharp relief the erosion of pay and pay differentials further up the teaching scale. So too it appears to have been something of a ﬁnal straw for many increasingly disgruntled school business leader members. Rose-Marie Smith, school business manager at Long Furlong Primary School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, sums up the anger: “Much though I value my teacher colleagues, the prospect of being paid the same
WORKLOAD IS TAKING ITS ‘TOLL BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY’
Alongside the SBLs who were happy to speak to Leadership Focus, a number contacted NAHT by email. Here is a selection of some of their, anonymised, comments. “Related to well-being and workload, I have concerns regarding the direction of travel regarding the sheer amount of ﬁnancial reporting required by academies, including the move towards lots of benchmarking.” School ﬁnance director, Hampshire. “I feel the workload coming our way seems to be never-ending. More emphasis is going on fundraising because of the economic climate, which is exhaustive and majorly time-consuming with little reward. Where we are reducing support staff numbers, the time, effort and stress of restructures and redundancies are taking their toll both mentally and physically. “I am lucky in that I am ﬁnancially rewarded in my school and seen at deputy head teacher level, which is at least recognition for the workload and stress. I just feel for those SBLs working under the same stress and pressure who are not being ﬁnancially rewarded for it.” School business leader, Middlesex.
FEATURE: SBLs’ PAY 20
salary as an NQT leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. I feel our salaries should be at least on a par with SLT if not, on the lower leadership level.” We’ll return to Nilesh and RoseMarie later on. But, even if RoseMarie hadn’t already articulated it so clearly, it’s not hard to spot the ﬂaw in the government’s NQT plan, even though in itself, it arguably can be seen as a positive ministerial response to the profession’s teacher recruitment and retention crisis. According to ﬁnance consultant Hilary Goldsmith’s September survey of SBLs and school ﬁnance professionals’ pay, the average salary for SBLs is now just shy of £39,000, or approximately equivalent to an upper pay scale (UPS) 2 teacher with no teaching and learning responsibility (see the panel opposite for more on Goldsmith’s ﬁndings). So, if NQTs are coming in on £30,000 and everyone else is not equally adjusted upwards, you immediately risk pay levels and pay progression being, as Nilesh puts it, “concertinaed” – whether we’re talking experienced teaching staff or senior support staff such as SBLs. For SBLs, in particular, all this is coming on top of the massive
expansion in recent years to their role and responsibilities. This has, in part, been driven by academisation and the resulting heightened levels of ﬁnancial accountability, reporting and governance required for individual trusts and MATs, and in part, by the national funding crisis in education putting the book-balancing role of the SBL under intense scrutiny, workload and pressure. “It’s certainly a growing problem,” agrees NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman. “Our SBL members are telling us their pay is well behind that of their leadership colleagues in education. We’ve got to solve this one quickly; otherwise, these essential people will take their skills elsewhere, and who would blame them? “Financial acumen has become a must-have skill within a school’s senior leadership team. There’s more compliance, more complexity and more dire consequences if things go wrong. Schools are being encouraged to be more efﬁcient with their budgets and more creative with sources of income. The case for SBLs to be part of the leadership team, and paid accordingly, is unarguable.”
‘YOU HAVE TO FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL TO GET ANY PROGRESSION, REGARDLESS OF THE LEVEL OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES’ is director of ﬁnance and school business manager at Roding Primary School in Woodford Bridge, Essex. NILESH PANDYA
“I fully appreciate that, in the grand scheme of things, we are probably one of the better-paid members of staff. I am on £44,500, so I recognise and appreciate that I am well paid compared with some. “The problem we have is the level of responsibility we hold is equivalent to a
leadership position, but we’re not generally paid at a leadership level. Because we are categorised as support staff, our pay is decided in line with support staff pay scales, which are signiﬁcantly less generous than those on leadership and there is limited scope for movement. “To all intents and purposes, I am the director of operations in my school, even though that is not my actual title. I am not just director of ﬁnance; I am also, in effect, the director of HR, and pensions, and health and safety, and premises and so on. In the corporate sector, that would be pretty senior. But my salary is not anywhere equivalent to what that
level of post would command. “You have to ﬁght tooth and nail to get any progression, regardless of the level of your responsibilities. I was lucky enough to get a one-grade increase, but the battle we had to go through to secure that was disproportionate. I don’t begrudge teachers their pay at all because they work very, very hard. It is just the disparity there. “My head teacher is completely on board. She’s told me ‘you’re no different to a deputy head teacher, but I can’t pay you as a deputy head teacher because my hands are tied’. All things being equal, if we were able to be on the teachers’ leadership scale,
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
‘APPROXIMATELY EQUIVALENT TO A UPS 2 TEACHER’
Hear why Nilesh Pandya became a member of NAHT on page 46.
albeit not as teachers, that would make a real difference. “We are probably the most senior ‘support staff’ in the school, but we are still recognised as that, as support staff. And that not only creates a barrier to progression but also prevents schools from attracting the best people for the role and the responsibility it carries. You need that level of expertise to be able to do the job competently. “So, yes, I think NAHT needs to push for school business leaders to be seen as a full member of the leadership team within schools in every sense of the word, and that includes salary.”
NAHT believes there should be a national framework that deﬁnes the roles and sets out the pay and conditions of all those employed in a national, publicly funded education system, including SBLs. This should position the SBL on the leadership scale, with comparable remuneration to other school leadership roles, such as deputy and assistant heads. But this presents SBLs and their schools with another problem. “In some cases, there is no system for any review,” highlights Rachel Younger, business manager at St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Blackpool and chair of NAHT’s school business leaders’ sector council. “You were told, 10 years ago, ‘this is the grade you are on’, and there is no system for that being reviewed. I don’t have words for that, to be honest. Even though the job may have changed beyond recognition, there is no system for it to be reviewed; it is just completely wrong. “I’ve also heard of cases where the head teacher does not recognise the
Finance consultant Hilary Goldsmith’s survey last autumn of school business leaders illustrates just how difﬁcult, and corrosive, an issue SBLs’ pay is already becoming, even before you take into account the possible effect of a £30,000 NQT starting salary. The average salary for SBLs was £38,938 (FTE £41,927), approximately equivalent to a UPS 2 teacher with no teaching and learning responsibility, her survey of 324 SBLs and chief ﬁnancial or operating ofﬁcers concluded. This chimes with NAHT’s survey of members, conducted in 2018, which found the average salary for an SBL is £40,000 a year. Although this was up 9% from our 2016 survey, it is still substantially below that of the rest of the leadership team – the average leadership salary in England is £58,881 (School Workforce Statistics, 2018). At the same time, their role and responsibilities have been expanding markedly, the survey found. SBLs are having to cope with funding cuts, deal with issues such as the General Data Protection Regulation, handle increased ﬁnancial reporting requirements and manage rising supply chain and materials costs. More than six out of 10 SBLs (62%) reported feeling underpaid and undervalued. Of these, 52% felt they were being paid up to £10,000 less than they should be, and the remaining 10% believed their underpayment was even higher. Drilling down, 69% of primary SBLs felt they were “signiﬁcantly” underpaid along with 46% of secondary SBLs. Despite this, a total of 14% were not considered part of their senior leadership team, even though they had responsibility for ﬁnancial and operational business matters, and 16% were considered “occasional” or ad hoc members. A total of 37% did not even attend governing body or trust board meetings, the survey found. A total of 14% conceded their job description needed “a total rewrite”, and 4% admitted they were operating without a formal job description at all. Four out of 10 (42%) were on term-time only contracts and did not get paid school holidays. Again, this ﬁts with NAHT’s research, which found only 46% of SBLs had a pay review in the last three years. However, when they did have the review, the vast majority (85%) reported those reviews had resulted in an increase in pay.
FEATURE: SBLs’ PAY
‘WE ARE MANAGING BUDGETS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS. IT IS TIME THAT WAS REFLECTED IN SALARIES’ is school business manager at Long Furlong Primary School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. ROSE-MARIE SMITH
“The ﬁrst thing to be clear on is that I don’t begrudge teachers their pay. They are on the front line; they do an amazing job. But I think it is fair to say that many school business leaders are also now on the front line. “My school is a medium-sized, one-form entry, primary school. So not only do I do the ﬁnances, premises, health and safety, and all of those things but I am also on the front line of dealing with parents and all colleagues in the school. So, there is a huge remit there. We are handling, managing and running budgets of millions of pounds, and that is quite a responsibility. And I do think it is time that was recognised and reﬂected in salaries. “My full-time equivalent salary is just a fraction over £30,000 a year, which obviously I am grateful for, but it is nearly £10,000 less than what is considered the SBL average. Despite the increasing responsibilities and workload during the time I’ve been in the role, there’s absolutely no scope for pay negotiation at a local level. “A lot of us will have built up the experience and put in the time to gain extra qualiﬁcations. It is just disappointing to think that it is not on a par with a teacher who has been teaching for a good number of years on perhaps an upper pay level or a leadership salary. It just seems unequal. “Frankly, I feel we need to agitate more and make our feelings known. Individual members can get in touch with other members in their area to develop more of a collective voice. We need to take responsibility and make our voice heard, not just rely on other people or organisations to do it for us.”
level of skill and knowledge required to do the job an SBL is doing and will block any concept of the SBL getting a pay rise. In other cases, the head teacher has been really behind them, really supportive of them getting a pay rise. Yet they’ve gone to a governors’ panel to get their pay reviewed and, even with the head teacher sitting next to them and fully supportive, the governors have turned them down. “So, I think there is work to be done at all levels. Some people say we need a national pay scale for SBLs. But how easy that is to achieve, I don’t know,” she adds. Paul concedes that, at the moment, there is simply not “the necessary machinery or systems in place” to effect radical change overnight. “Our efforts on behalf of SBLs are focused on creating a national framework. We have made an extensive case in our latest submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB). Alongside this work, we continue to promote the work of SBLs in schools and ensure other school leadership roles, as well as governors, have a clear understanding of the role. “It is a systemic change that we are arguing for. There are signiﬁcant leadership roles that don’t really form part of the school teachers’ pay and conditions document (STPCD) and aren’t, therefore, under the same format and architecture. For example, there is also no single document or framework that is a reference point for how salaries for chief executive roles in academy trusts should be set. By the same token, SBLs, although part of the school leadership team, fall outside the architecture of the provision of the STPCD. “So, we are arguing there should be a national framework for all school leaders. Whether that is called the STPCD, or whether the STPCD remains the central document but sets the standard for frameworks for other leadership groups is still a work in progress. But what we want to see is a common approach to leadership pay in schools rather than the current fragmented one where you get these huge differentials,” Paul says. “In the meantime, at a local level, we support individual members
POSITION ON AND WHAT WE’RE DOING TO HELP MEMBERS
NAHT believes there should be a national framework that deﬁnes the roles and sets out the pay and conditions of all those employed in a national, publicly funded education system, including SBLs. This should position the SBL role on the leadership scale, with comparable remuneration to other school leadership roles, such as deputy and assistant heads. NAHT continues to make attempts, through the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), to get the creation of such a national framework, and we made an extensive case in our latest submission, which is available on our website (www.naht.org.uk). Alongside this work, we continue to promote the work of SBLs in schools and ensure other school leadership roles, as well as governors, have a clear understanding of the role. At a local level, we support individual members with their cases for pay reviews. We have also developed advice for members around school business leaders’ pay and grading (again, available on our website: www.naht.org.uk). with their cases for pay reviews. We have also developed advice for members around school business leaders’ pay and grading.” With schools’ budgets at breaking point, the role of the school business leader has never been more important. If everyone in the education system is going to be paid fairly for the work they do, the overall levels of funding have to rise.
• The full survey can be found at: www.sbl365.co.uk/salarysurvey.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Ofsted inspection – a change for the better? Leadership Focus journalist NIC PATON takes a look at the new Ofsted inspection framework. t the end of the day, we aim to ... put the interests of children and young people ﬁrst, by making sure inspection values and rewards those who educate effectively and act with integrity. We hope you will agree that this framework can be a real and positive step in that direction.” So said chief inspector of education Amanda Spielman in her foreword to the Education Inspection Framework 2019, last spring’s consultation document on Ofsted’s proposed new inspection framework that, since the beginning of the current school year, has become a reality on the ground for schools up and down England. Five months in, is the new framework and inspection process, therefore, a “real and positive step”, as Amanda has suggested? Has it changed things for the better? Has it led to a less confrontational, less high-stakes, more consensual and
constructive approach to inspection and accountability? It may only be a snapshot, but the initial verdict of NAHT members is very much that the new framework ‘requires improvement’. In fact, if anything, fears are growing that the new framework has the potential to have an even more corrosive effect on teachers and school leaders’ morale and retention than the unlamented regime it has replaced. Take these comments (see overleaf for the full story) from an NAHT member in Essex: “By the end of the ﬁrst day, they were talking about us being in ‘requires improvement’. It was terrible. I actually wrote a letter of resignation the following morning and sent it to one of my governors.” Or (again as we shall come to shortly) these from an executive head in the north of England: “It was quite a damaging process; it was deﬁnitely worse, undoubtedly worse, than the previous inspections.”
Or, as another NAHT member puts it: “I’ve had head teachers saying to me that it was brazen and gruelling and very demoralising.” “What we’re ﬁnding from members is that the stakes are just as high as they always were; the fear is just as signiﬁcant as it always has been,” agrees Ian Hartwright, NAHT senior policy adviser. NAHT has published advice for members on what to expect under the new inspection framework and how to prepare (see page 28). But there is concern about the anecdotal feedback coming back from members on the ground. The sense is of an inspection framework and regime that remains overly rigid and inﬂexible, which can put teaching staff (especially at primary level) under unreasonable pressure and expectation, and which has lost none of its high-stakes confrontational approach.
FEATURE: OFSTED INSPECTION 24
‘I WROTE A LETTER OF RESIGNATION THE FOLLOWING MORNING’ GARY SMITH IS EXECUTIVE HEAD OF MARKET FIELD SCHOOL IN COLCHESTER, ESSEX, A SPECIAL SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AGED BETWEEN FIVE AND 16. “I have been at Market Field School for more than 30 years, 25 of them as head teacher. We had been an ‘outstanding’ school since 2007 – until our latest inspection in October. “For me, the old inspections weren’t antagonistic and confrontational. They were actually supportive and enjoyable – a celebration of what we were doing. The three previous inspections were led by people who had been special school head teachers. But this time, there was only one who was a practising special school head teacher, although she was absolutely brilliant. “I knew the framework had changed, and it was going to start with a twohour phone call. I already had concerns about that because the lead inspector was quizzing me about the curriculum. Our children with autism have severe and complex needs, and so while we might follow a curriculum, it might not
be readily identiﬁed as the national curriculum. In the past, that’s never been questioned because it has been about the needs of the children, not the needs of the curriculum. My view is the child doesn’t ﬁt the school, the school ﬁts the child. “She [the lead inspector] was quizzing my head of autism about why we’re not doing English, maths and science following the national curriculum for children with the most severe needs. He ﬁelded that OK, I felt, but hindsight being what it is, I should have realised something was amiss. “It was the process for the next day that started to give me real concerns. I did not have any scheduled ‘keeping in touch’ sessions with the lead inspector. And when I did try, it was quite challenging. I felt if I challenged them, they then set me a challenge back rather than listening to what I was saying. “I let my head of school go round with the lead inspector; that was ﬁne. But what bothered me was that they and my middle leaders bore the brunt of some quite intensive discussions. I had members of staff in tears afterwards, and that’s wrong. I had some very talented and dedicated teachers in tears.
“I got the feeling the lead inspector was philosophically juxtaposed to me. My adage has always been if children can’t learn the way we teach, then we teach the way they learn. We’re a special school, and if one standardised practice hasn’t worked, you look at what will. “But by the end of the ﬁrst day, they were talking about us being in ‘requires improvement’. It was terrible. I actually wrote a letter of resignation the following morning and sent it to one of my governors. Parents got wind of it and were up in arms; they were banging on the door saying they wanted to talk to the inspection team. “And the children themselves knocked the inspectors dead with how they talked about the school. They spoke really passionately and had a real sense of pride about the school. So, the actual report in the end, now that it is published, wasn’t so bad. We were rated ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ elements, especially the personal development of pupils. “But overall, the whole process for me felt worse, a step back. I felt, during the three previous inspections, there had been professional dialogue. But for this one, there wasn’t.”
The children themselves knocked the inspectors dead with how they talked about the school. They spoke really passionately and had a real sense of pride about the school.
“Ofsted is now very focused on what the curriculum planning and delivery look like. Why particular knowledge has been selected, how it is sequenced and embedded, and how it links to the next stages of development” says Ian. “Our problem with this is not that we don’t think the curriculum is important – we do. Our 2018 Improving School Accountability report was clear about the importance of a broad, rich curriculum and the need to dial down reliance on data. But we feel the new quality of education judgement simply encourages schools to play a new game; it is driving new workload and unintended consequences. “We are ﬁnding, in particular, that schools are struggling with the new emphasis on the curriculum. The head will often say they can feel like a spare part once the 90-minute pre-inspection phone call is complete. The inspectors conduct their ‘deep dives’ into the curriculum and, particularly in a primary school, that will involve them talking to classroom teachers who might have oversight of the subject area.
LE LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
“In some cases, we’re hearing that members and staff have found this very, very difﬁcult. They’ve been asked very searching questions, often very early in the school year, without a recognition that they’re not curriculum specialists. In primary schools, subject areas are typically coordinated by individual class teachers, rather than being led by qualiﬁed curriculum specialists, as is usual in secondary schools. Members are telling us a key problem is that the inspection methodology attempts to apply a secondary lens through which to evaluate and judge primary provision. “We were clear there is also too much in the framework for inspectors to get through in the time available. It is obvious inspectors are really struggling to complete the tasks they are being asked to do in the time available,” Ian adds. “Typically, comments are ‘the inspectors were really rushed’, ‘they did not have time to talk to me’, ‘I wanted to give them other evidence, but they did not have time to see that’ and ‘they were there until 10pm when they were supposed to be
gone by 6pm’. I’ve spoken to heads who have told me the inspector was having a conversation with a member of staff and then said ‘I’m sorry you’ve only got 20 more seconds to tell me what you need to tell me’. They then cut them off after that. “The inspectors are also clear now that they will refuse to look at any internal data the school has. And we think that is a real problem. I’ve even heard on several occasions that inspectors are refusing to consider the statutory data as well. And we’re picking up quite a lot of feedback from members that Ofsted’s recommendations have been based on a single lesson observation. “The worry about all of this is that it is very subjective, or even impressionistic, and based on very small numbers. These ‘deep dives’ are not representative of the school as a whole. And individual teachers, especially in very small schools, are being put under a lot of pressure. In one small school, at the end of the inspection, the head teacher said her three sole teachers all wanted to leave – they
were young staff, two-three years’ experience, all really good teachers and all of the outcomes were good. But, the staff felt it was a very bruising experience. There is a real risk this inspection framework will undermine the Department for Education’s recruitment and retention strategy,” says Ian. NAHT member Simon [not his real name], an executive head of a MAT in the north of England, experienced the new inspection process in September. Both he and the head teacher of the school being inspected, one of a number within the MAT, came away feeling mauled. “I have been an Ofsted inspector previously. So I have seen things from both sides of the aisle, and I am well aware of what goes into it,” he tells Leadership Focus. “Historically, it had been a very successful school. Having worked closely with the head teacher, our self-evaluation was that the school was securely ‘good’, and in many areas, it was highly effective. Around behaviour, attendance and outcomes, we judged the school to be highly effective, moving into ‘outstanding’. “We got the call right at the beginning of the term – on day ﬁve of the new school year, which was the ﬁrst possible day they could inspect. The nursery children were only on day two, so they had been in the day previously, but with their parents. For the nursery children, it was their ﬁrst day of school on their own. “We had two inspectors plus one quality-assuring the inspection. There had been three phone calls with the head teacher through the course of the day before, mostly just going through timetabling issues and talking through everything. So that was all ﬁne, and it seemed to be going well. “On the ﬁrst morning of the inspection, however, they did a ‘deep dive’ into phonics and reading. The head had explained the children were being baselined to see whether they were still at the place they had been assessed as being at the end of the summer term. She explained the new phonics groups were going to start the following week once everybody was sure of the level the children were working at.
FEATURE: OFSTED INSPECTION 26
“But very quickly they started coming back and saying there was insufﬁcient challenge and the children were doing things they could already do. We obviously said ‘that’s what we told you. We’re just checking out this week before we set them up in their new groups’. But they didn’t think that was good enough; they said there should be challenge from day one. “In the afternoon, they did a ‘deep dive’ into geography. The children had done some work about the UK in year one. And they were going on to a topic about the wider world in year two. One of the inspectors went into the year two class, and the children were using Google Earth and looking at continents and capital cities. But it was their ﬁrst lesson on this new topic. “The inspector asked the year two children to tell them about cities and counties in England, and some of the children got confused. They asked one of them about the capital of England, and I think he said Paris. When they came back, they said the children’s knowledge of geography from year one wasn’t secure and the teacher had not done enough to check that out before she started to move on to the next level. “So we went ‘hang on a minute; this morning you told us recapping on prior knowledge was bad, and now this afternoon you’re telling us that, before starting this new topic, they should have recapped on prior knowledge?’. They didn’t have a lot to say about that, but their judgement was they didn’t feel the pace of learning was quick enough because of what they’d found in geography. “By the end of the day, they were pretty down on the school. And when the report came out, the ﬁrst line said ‘continues to be a good school, but inspectors have some concern that standards may be declining’. For me, that is a real concern because there is nothing to indicate in any of the
THE REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE The new Ofsted inspection framework naturally only applies to schools in England. But there is also change afoot in terms of inspection and accountability in Wales and Northern Ireland. In Wales, Estyn is going through a review process following Graham Donaldson’s A Learning Inspectorate Review, which was published in 2018. A Welsh government consultation on inspection arrangements from September 2021 closed in December. This included a range of proposals around overall summative gradings, the areas Estyn should inspect, inspecting A level/vocational learning in sixth forms, the notice period for an inspection and follow-up activity in maintained schools. As NAHT senior policy adviser Rob Williams explains: “As part of all the accountability changes taking place in Wales, Estyn will – or should – have a very, very different role. What it should be doing is almost quality-assuring a school’s self-evaluation processes and saying how well schools are able to harness their school improvement, and just quality-assuring that rather than coming in and simply making summative judgements every inspection cycle.
standards that this school is declining in any shape or form. “I know what a ‘requires improvement’ (RI) school looks like; we have RI schools within our trust. There is no way on earth that school was ‘inadequate’ or RI on any measure. It was quite a damaging process; it was deﬁnitely worse, undoubtedly worse, than the previous inspections. For the head, it was her ﬁrst inspection as a head, and for the staff, it was quite a damaging process too,” says Simon. “I’ve had head teachers saying to me that it was brazen and gruelling and very demoralising,” agrees Evelyn Davies, head teacher at Coldfall Primary School in Muswell Hill, north London.
In the sense that the framework seems to have shifted its focus to the breadth and balance of teaching a wide range of subjects really well.
“In terms of the policy line of travel, we’re quite happy about it, but in terms of the detail that is sitting below, there are still some concerns. We feel strongly that Estyn should be part of facilitating schools to be able to shape and steer their school improvement. At the moment, there’s some push-back from Estyn because it is saying the primary legislation doesn’t allow it to do that. “NAHT, therefore, maybe needs to start pushing back to assembly members and others to say ‘look, if it’s not ﬁt for purpose, do we need to review the primary legislation?’. It is all about recognising Estyn’s role in the wider accountability changes that are coming forward in Wales, providing the inspectorate with a clear remit and ensuring its role is appropriate going forward,” he says. Within Northern Ireland, while there has technically been no change to the way the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) carries out its statutory inspection duties, in reality, the ongoing industrial action by teachers since 2011 and, as of October, by NAHT members too has markedly changed the inspection landscape. As NAHT Northern Ireland former interim director Alice Adams Lemon explains: “The struggle has been how does the ETI inspect schools when there has been a lack of cooperation from the
Evelyn’s school has been ‘outstanding’ for its previous three inspections, the last of which was in 2014, so she has not yet personally experienced an inspection under the new framework. But such has been the concern building up locally in her area that a number of head teachers have put together a discussion document they hope to submit to Ofsted. “In the sense that the framework seems to have shifted its focus to the breadth and balance of teaching a wide range of subjects really well, that’s a good thing in my view. We had too much emphasis on the basics and on, obviously, the testing, the data and the whole thing about progress. At the end of the day, it is the outcomes and the attainment that really count,” she says. “However, heads here have expressed concern around the rapidness of the change and some of the horror stories they have heard. One, to be fair, said she had a positive experience and the inspector had been very positive and helpful. Two others, however, were very negative and said they had a very harsh and difﬁcult time.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
teaching unions, who are on legitimate action short of strike? So, while the framework hasn’t changed, in reality, the position of the unions has forced things to be changed in practice. And now NAHT (NI) is on action short of strike, too, and part of our action also speciﬁcally relates to ETI. “What we’re looking for is an independent complaints process for ETI. But we do not know what is going to come out of this; it is all work in progress. So, it is very much ‘watch this space’. “As part of our action short of strike, we are now no longer engaging with the ETI except on safeguarding issues. We had an arrangement with ETI before as to how we would navigate our way through inspections in the context of the wider trade dispute with the teachers. Now when inspectors come in, all our members will engage with is the safeguarding element of any inspection. “Even if there is no change, the inspection framework is now so dishevelled by all of the different actions going on, and even if things eventually go back to the way they are supposed to be, that in itself would be a massive change. People have been on strike here for eight years. There are teachers coming into the profession who have never been through a ‘normal’ inspection,” Alice points out.
“I’ve heard of one head who had a subject ‘deep dive’ inspection and was left very, very demoralised. She leads an Ofsted-graded ‘outstanding’ school and was essentially told if she had a full inspection, it would not remain ‘outstanding’ anymore. She felt the questions and expectations were unreasonable. “I’ve been a head for a long time and seen a lot of different frameworks. To me, this is a little bit reminiscent of when the 1989 national curriculum was introduced. We had these 12 folders, I remember them when I was a teacher, one for each subject on my shelf in my classroom. But we were all totally overwhelmed because of the subject knowledge required on every single subject. Within ﬁve years, the Dearing Review threw it out as being too unwieldy. “You’ve got primary teachers feeling that suddenly they have to be absolute specialists – like secondary teachers, but in 11 subjects – and that is just never going to be possible. I don’t disagree that you want really good teaching of foundation subjects. But it is about balance, about what is manageable within the school
timetable, and a balanced curriculum and in terms of what is manageable for teachers. Why have we got stuck with this system where everyone lives in fear and terror of it? It just shouldn’t be like that,” says Evelyn. “We think the inspectorate needs a different role. Ofsted should focus on those schools facing challenging circumstances,” emphasises Ian. “And it should have sufﬁcient resource to inspect those schools and develop a deeper diagnostic that helps the school to understand where improvement is most needed so that support can be precisely targeted to the maximum effect. For schools that are already ‘good’, inspection should be lighter touch, and we think there should be a new way of deﬁning excellence across the system. “The feedback we are getting from members is that these new inspections are rushed; there is also a greater degree of subjectivity, a reluctance to look at the evidence and very heavy pressure on classroom teachers and subject leaders, which is creating signiﬁcant additional workload, especially in primary schools,” Ian adds.
FEATURE: OFSTED INSPECTION
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NEW INSPECTION FRAMEWORK NAHT has issued guidance for members about what to expect from the new framework when inspectors call. This is an abridged summary. FREQUENCY OF INSPECTION ‘Outstanding’ schools, except for special and nursery schools, continue to be exempt from Section 5 inspection, subject to Ofsted’s risk assessment. ‘Good’ and non-exempt ‘outstanding’ schools will normally be inspected about every four years, either via a full two-day Section 5 inspection or a two-day Section 8 inspection, which will check whether the school remains ‘good’. ‘Requires improvement’ (RI) schools will normally be inspected under Section 5 within 30 months. Schools that have received more than one consecutive RI judgement may receive a monitoring inspection.
PRE-INSPECTION Head teachers will be notiﬁed of an inspection between 10.30am and 2pm on the day before the inspection. Ofsted can, however, inspect without notice where there are very serious concerns, in which case, notiﬁcation takes place about 15 minutes before inspectors arrive on site. Normally the inspection will last two days, regardless of whether it is a full Section 5 or Section 8 inspection. Ofsted dropped its proposal for onsite preparation. Instead, it has introduced a 90-minute phone call between the lead inspector and head teacher, which will happen in the afternoon before the onsite inspection begins the following day. This may be split into two separate calls: one on the school’s context, progress, strengths and weaknesses; the other on the planning and practical arrangements for the inspection. This conversation will set the tone and inspection trails for the following two days. The head or deputy (in the head’s absence) will be expected to set out the following: • The school’s context and progress made since the previous inspection, including progress against areas that were identiﬁed for improvement in the most recent inspection report • An assessment of the school’s current strengths and weaknesses; this will be related, in particular, to the curriculum, standards, behaviour and personal development • Speciﬁc areas that the inspection should focus on (including subjects, year groups and aspects of provision). THE INSPECTION PROCESS On the ﬁrst day of the inspection, you must supply speciﬁc documents to the inspectors by 8am. These can be found in paragraph 53 of the inspection handbook. If you have any problems or issues with an inspector, the team or their work, we advise you to raise these during the inspection. While some matters may be resolved by speaking to the lead inspector, you can also call our advice helpline (call 0300 30 30 333 and select option one) for further advice. For a full (Section 5) inspection, inspectors will make four new graded judgements. These are as follows: 1 Quality of education 2 Behaviour and attitudes 3 Personal development 4 Leadership and management.
Ofsted will continue to grade schools overall as ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. QUALITY OF EDUCATION JUDGEMENT The centrepiece of Ofsted’s new framework is the new quality of education judgement. This broadly encompasses the ground covered previously by the judgements made on outcomes for pupils; and teaching, learning and assessment. The evaluation of the school’s curriculum will be critical to this judgement, having been moved and expanded in scope from its previous location within the leadership and management judgement. Inspectors have been trained to inspect through the “prism” of the curriculum. Ofsted has created a new nomenclature to describe this: curriculum “intent, implementation and impact”. Leaders may, therefore, want to ensure they are well prepared to talk with authority about their school’s curriculum in a manner that will allow inspectors to grasp the key points. Inevitably, schools will want to consider their curriculum in light of the new framework requirements. NAHT’s pressure has resulted in the inspectorate recognising many schools won’t be in a position to do this from September 2019. The handbook is clear that the inspection of “curriculum intent” will be phased over the next academic year. As part of the inspection process, ‘deep dives’ will take place to interrogate aspects of provision. Again, there is more detail on these in the handbook. Bear in mind that inspectors will only consider statutory data, not in-school data. Ofsted’s inspection data summary report (IDSR) will, therefore, be an important source for inspectors’ initial evidence gathering and is likely to inﬂuence initial inspection evidence trails. Inspectors are likely to be more interested in what in-school data is used for and the burdens on staff associated with collecting it, rather than pupils’ ﬂightpaths or trajectories. The weight that will be attached to progress and attainment data by inspectors is unclear, but it is likely to vary depending on the circumstances of the inspection.
Our full guidance can be found here: www.naht.org. uk/advice-and-support/structures-inspection-andaccountability/ofsted-inspections-from-september-2019/. The School Inspection Handbook can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ﬁle/843108/ School_inspection_handbook_-_section_5.pdf.
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News from our branches
Hear how we’re working together to improve schools for everyone. ur branches are the lifeblood of our movement. We have more than 170 branches across England, Wales and Northern Ireland that support our thriving professional community of school leaders. They are your ﬁrst point of contact to ﬁnd out more about our campaigns and initiatives in the local area. They provide you with expert advice and guidance on employment matters and opportunities to network and learn from like-minded colleagues. They ensure the voices of school leaders, their concerns and interests are heard and raised locally with the local authority or MAT employers. And they feed issues back to us at a regional or national level. Here, we provide you with an update on some of their grassroots activities.
Relationships and sex education in Tower Hamlets
We remain committed to providing you with the tools you need to meet the challenges of the education system. We have access to a range of key experts in every area of education policy. If you’d like to organise a similar meeting in your branch area, email email@example.com.
You may recall press coverage last year on the demonstrations at the school gates by parents over reforms to relationships and sex education (for example, Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham and Birchﬁelds Primary School in Manchester). In October, school leaders from Tower Hamlets came together at a branch-organised seminar to hear from government ofﬁcials on how best to incorporate relationships and sex education into the curriculum ahead of it becoming mandatory from this September. The line-up of experts included Mike Sheridan, Ofsted’s London regional
Below: Members from across Essex came together for the ﬁrst NAHT conference in the county for several years.
We know our collective voice brings about real change, so we encourage members to work together and support each other at a local level. If you’d like to ﬁnd out how you can become involved in your branch, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
director and two representatives (Alice Chicken and Jade Gilks) from the Department for Education’s due diligence and counter-extremism team. And members also had the chance to quiz their local authority managers on what they are doing to support the process.
NAHT Essex relaunch
We were delighted to reactivate our Essex branch last autumn and marked the occasion with a conference organised by the newly elected branch ofﬁcials. More than 60 members from across the large county came together to take part in a specially designed professional development session on accountability and workload. They also got to hear from NAHT deputy general secretary Nick Brook on the matters of the moment and campaigner Kay Tart on the funding campaign. Feedback from the event was extremely positive, with four members inspired to take on a more active role in their union as a result. The success of the event has led to the Essex branch agreeing to organise an annual conference.
Work to regenerate branches in Wales
We’re working hard with members in Wales to reinvigorate some of our branches there so that we can support you better. Both the Merthyr Tydﬁl and Caerphilly branches have elected new ofﬁcials following a period of inactivity in the areas. In Merthyr Tydﬁl, branch ofﬁcials have been working closely with NAHT staff to resolve some longstanding concerns school leaders have with the local authority. While in Caerphilly, successful interventions brought by NAHT in
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
OFFICIALS’ TRAINING The 2020 branch ofﬁcials’ training programme is open for registration, with several courses already fully booked. The programme is designed to provide representatives with the skills, knowledge and conﬁdence to undertake their role as trade union ofﬁcials. All courses are free and open to any elected ofﬁcial or member who is interested in getting more active in NAHT. This is the third year of the programme, which has seen more than 150 ofﬁcials receive accredited training during this time. Rob Kelsall, national secretary for campaigns and organising, said: “NAHT could not operate without the massive efforts of our elected ofﬁcials, and that’s why we are so committed to providing them with the tools they need to represent members in their branch, region and on the national stage.” See what training is on offer here: www.naht.org.uk/ofﬁcials.
a number of cases and issues in the county have led to a much more active and engaged professional community of local heads. Both branches continue to beneﬁt from the dedicated support of our organising team. Get in touch with our organising team (email email@example.com) if your branch needs support or you wish to get more involved with your union.
Above: Carol Walsh (NAHT Isle of Man branch secretary) addresses teachers and school leaders outlining NAHT’s dispute.
Intense negotiations over pay on the Isle of Man
In March last year, a pay dispute was raised over the 2018/19 School Teachers’ Review Body’s (STRB’s) decision and the interpretation and application of it to school leaders’ pay on the Isle of Man. In short, as a Crown Dependency, they were able to implement the full STRBrecommended 3.5% award across all teaching and leadership posts. Still, they chose to follow the decision of the then education secretary and implement 3.5% for teachers, 2% for UPS and 1.5% for leadership posts. During the summer term, we balloted our Isle of Man members over industrial action. Overwhelmingly, 95% voted to take action short of strike action, and 85% voted for strike action, with a 71.9% turnout. The
Below: Joint trade union meeting at the Mount Murray Hotel – standing room only.
outcome of the ballot gave a clear mandate, and so industrial action short of strike began on 3 September 2019 and intense negotiations ensued. On 30 September 2019, we reached a 10-point heads of agreement on a potential resolution. On 26 November 2019, a joint trade union meeting was held at the Mount Murray Hotel to consult further over the dispute. Around 700 teachers and school leaders from across the island attended, and the event was so signiﬁcant that it made headlines in the local press. At the time of writing, an unprecedented ballot for further industrial action has been triggered, which will see NAHT, ASCL and NASUWT coordinate action in February 2020 should no settlement be reached. NAHT in-service
membership on the Isle of Man has grown by a staggering 44% since the dispute ﬁrst arose in January 2019.
In the run-up to the general election, we organised several hustings up and down the country to give school leaders, governors and parents the opportunity to ask their local candidates what they will do to support and promote education if elected. In all, we organised 12 events over two weeks in nearly all the English regions. While Brexit may have dominated the news over the past three years, we were keen to ensure all candidates understood that a Brexitonly election would represent a lost opportunity. Hustings in areas such as Cheltenham, Islington North, and Crewe and Nantwich saw packed rooms as all the candidates were asked to explain their policies on issues ranging from the funding crisis to private education, Ofsted to relationships and sex education. The hustings demonstrate our commitment to work with parties on all sides of the political spectrum to ensure education remains a top priority for politicians of all shades.
EBacc – 10 years on Should it stay, or should it go? NAHT national executive member STUART BECK looks at the fate of the EBacc and speaks to two school leaders about its impact in their schools. The EBacc is 10 years old this year. Many secondary school leaders and other stakeholders do not consider this to be cause for celebration. Indeed, the constraints of the EBacc and the impact it has had on the curriculum offer have been the subject of much debate at NAHT’s secondary council’s meetings and NAHT’s sovereign decision-making forum, its annual conference. So, should it stay, or should it go?
STUART MCLAUGHLIN IS THE PRINCIPAL OF BOW WER PARK ACADEMY IN ROMFOR RD. “My vision fo or educa ation has always been based on the e premisse that I want to transform the life ch hances of every student and ensure they are fully life ready by the time they lea ave seco ondary school. “To this en nd, learners need to be equipped with the qualiﬁcations, skills and attributes ne ecessary y to be competitive throughout their adu ult lives. Clearly, the curriculum has a vita al part to play in this. “Through hout my y years of headship, until very y recentlly, I have always had the view w that the curriculum, especially in terms of the qualiﬁcations offered, should reﬂect the needs of the local co ommunity. “As someone e who has always been the hea ad teach her of schools serving deprive ed areas, I have thought that an academic curriculum would not suit my y comm munity of learners, and th his has been reﬂected in the options on offfer. “When read ding Michael Young’s book k Knowle edge and the Future Scho ool, I realised a rigorous acad demic cu urriculum was intrinsic to de elivering g my vision of students who were truly life ready and able to succ ceed in a very competitive world; I wass doing students a disservice by offering them a less academic currriculum compared with students from m more afﬂuent areas.
“I now realise that by offering them a curriculum that lacked academic rigour, I was further disadvantaging them. For example, they would be at a disadvantage when competing for academic A level courses, applying to the best colleges and sixth forms, or attending Russell Group universities. “I wanted to place my students on an equal footing with all their peers and, hopefully, create greater social equity. Consequently, we have changed our curriculum offer to be more academic and rigorous: • “A three-year key stage three, including a full range of arts subjects to ensure breadth and balance • “A strong focus on developing core knowledge and building schemata throughout both key stages • “All students study either history or geography, or both in key stage four • “The majority of students are expected to study a language at GCSE • “A focus on quality-ﬁrst teaching of a challenging curriculum with high expectations of students’ attitude to learning. “In summary, by offering a more academic curriculum, our students will gain the qualiﬁcations that open the doors of opportunity for their future life. “If students want to pursue a vocational career, they can still do so post 16 – the curriculum we now offer would not prevent that. However, they can also follow a more academic route too, whereas before that may not have been available to them.”
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
PATRICK JONES IS THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL OF SEVERNDALE SPECIALIST ACADEMY IN SHREWSBURY. “There remains much discussion regarding the stipulation of the EBacc as being the government’s preferred curriculum model to achieve academic success. This blanket approach has been met with much criticism by those working in many schools where inclusion is the priority. “For pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and those experiencing other difﬁculties and disadvantages, a successful curriculum is one that is adapted and individualised to motivate, inspire and provide a pathway to happiness in adult life in the future. “At Severndale Specialist Academy, a special school catering for the needs of more than 400 children and young people (from ages two to 19) across the full spectrum of ability, there is an offer of four distinct curricula that ﬂexes and develops to meet the needs of all pupils as they grow into adulthood. “In 1999, Ben arrived at Severndale. He was three years old, and he wouldn’t eat his dinner. He has a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) with associated learning difﬁculties (moderate learning difﬁculties, MLD). “One of Ben’s ﬁrst challenges on this journey was to manage his experience around sensory processing. Through its smell, taste and texture, food proved to be overwhelming for Ben. And, as a coping mechanism, Ben developed rigidity when dealing with food. ASD alters the way in which the brain operates, and for Ben, this makes social interaction a challenging situation. “Over the past 15 years, Ben has worked in an environment with staff and resources that have been informed by his aspirations, his barriers to learning and an understanding of how he can best negotiate these barriers. Along the way, Ben has overcome a series of milestones, and in doing so, he has developed his independent skills. “Fast forward 15 years, the boy who would only eat biscuits and found socialising challenging is now described by his teacher as ‘a polite young man who
Clearly, ‘one size does not ﬁt all’ as far as a key stage four curriculum is concerned. As an association, NAHT believes that the EBacc, as it stands, should go because the subjects it comprises are too narrow and are not the only subjects that are rigorous, demanding and good
Society is moving in the right direction, and the structures are supportive to making a real difference to the life chances and potential outcomes into adulthood, but there is still more that needs to be done. loves food and likes to tell staff about the new things he has tried’. “Fast forward another two years, and Ben is near to completing a supported internship at Ludlow Farm Shop and has secured a deserved pathway to paid employment through an inclusive apprenticeship. nternships were introduced “Supported internships y last academic year. to our academy They intend to provide a young person with a pathway to employment through taged approach to an a progressive staged extended work experience, balanced with ovision. educational provision. ear of a young person’s “In the ﬁnal year eer, we work in partnership educational career, es and employers to design with job coaches rtive programme to meet the right supportive e individual. the needs of the oving in the right direction, “Society is moving res are supportive to and the structures ifference to the life making a real difference otential outcomes chances and potential into adulthood, but there is eeds to still more that needs be done. e, we “At Severndale, al focus on internal and external inclusion o opportunities to add life to the curriculum and promote a future society that is more inclusive for everyone.”
preparation for later life. What is vital is that school leaders are empowered to determine the curriculum that is appropriate for their schools and students — a principle that’s championed by the new Ofsted inspection framework.
FIND OUT MORE…
Read an in-depth version of this article online at www.naht.org.uk.
However, the same inspectors will judge a school on the percentage of its students that are studying the complete range of subjects that make up the EBacc, a rigid and unwavering system that narrows choice and personalisation and leaves little time for subjects outside of its core.
The Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the independent sector – all change? NAHT specialist adviser Kate Atkinson looks at the situation facing independent schools as a result of pension contribution hikes. he cost of participating in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) increased from 16.48% to 23.68% in September 2019 – that’s an increase of more than 40%. This increase occurred as the government decided to value the costs of running the TPS and providing pension beneﬁts to members in a different (and more expensive) way – there haven’t been any improvements made to the pensions provided by the TPS. The government has provided additional funding to state schools to cover this, but independent schools who participate in the TPS will need to consider how they will address it. Not all independent schools participate in the TPS. Unlike the state sector, there’s no legislative requirement to offer this; however, around 1,250 independent schools do participate. Where an independent school participates, it must let all eligible employees join the TPS if they want to do so (under the current rules, schools can’t keep the TPS open for some employees and not others). As things stand, a school must decide whether it’s ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ of the TPS.
The government has consulted on amending this ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ approach. If it agrees to change this, some schools may consider using this approach to allow current staff to remain in the TPS, but to place new staff into a different pension arrangement. At the time of writing, the results of the consultation are not out. Given the importance of the TPS for staff, many schools will try to cover the increased cost. They will be aware that the TPS helps to retain and attract staff, especially those coming across from the state sector, so making this sort of change could prevent a school from recruiting and retaining the best-quality teachers, which is core to the business and success of the school. Some schools have withdrawn from the TPS following the increase in costs, and others are currently considering this. A school can withdraw if it consults with employees and gives notice to the secretary
Right: Kate Atkinson.
As things stand, a school must decide whether it’s ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ of the TPS.
of state for education. This is a cause of concern for staff who are members of the TPS because it is a fundamental part of the overall remuneration package. If your school begins exploring the options to stop participation in the TPS, it is required to consult – this should be meaningful, so the employer should listen to staff members’ feedback and genuinely consider alternative solutions throughout and at the end of the consultation period. You should not rush this process, and importantly, the employer must not rule out or predetermine the outcome. The consultation should set out the proposal clearly and include an agreed process and timetable, including full details of the proposed alternative provision, to allow people to make a clear and informed comparison. During this process, staff can express their views and remind the school of the importance of the TPS for retention and recruitment. Ideally, the strength of opinion may cause the school to reconsider removing access to the TPS. If not, then there should be a negotiation on the alternative provision being offered to ensure the replacement package reﬂects a cost-capping rather than cost-cutting exercise.
Got a question about your pension? Call our advice team on 0300 30 30 333 (select option one).
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
NAHT mentoring scheme
A chance to focus on you and your career.
How you will beneﬁt from being a mentor
n October 2019, we launched a brand-new mentoring scheme, and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. School leaders have huge scope to make a powerful, lifelong impact on the lives of children, their colleagues and their careers. Our mentoring scheme might be just what you need to achieve this. As a mentor, you can be part of a new leader’s journey by guiding them, sharing your wealth of knowledge and, in turn, creating the best environment for the profession to ﬂourish. As a mentee, this is a great way to build on areas that you’re less familiar with or gain exposure to areas entirely new for you. For both roles, it will allow you to learn from someone else’s experience, gain a fresh perspective and take your career to the next level. And, let’s not forget, this is a wonderful opportunity to build lasting networks that inspire change for the better.
How you will beneﬁt from having a mentor
• Receive independent advice about your expectations and professional development • Develop the capabilities and skills you need to succeed • Identify your strengths, weaknesses and the best way to use these throughout your career
• Develop knowledge of disciplinerelated and non-technical skills, which could contribute towards your continuing professional development plan • Access support, guidance and networking opportunities • Overcome challenges with the support of a mentor who has been through the same experiences.
• Develop your coaching and mentoring skills, which can contribute towards your continuing professional development plan • Reﬂect on lessons learnt by sharing your experiences as an employer or employee • Improve your communication and leadership skills and industry knowledge • Gain a new perspective of your professional and personal experiences • Be more satisﬁed from helping others and passing on your wealth of knowledge • Make new connections. TOP TIP:
Be open and honest. It will give you both the opportunity to reﬂect and learn from mistakes. And it will help to build trust between you.
Be speciﬁc about what and how you’d like your mentor to help. If you’re clear about what you’d like to achieve from the relationship, a potential mentor can establish if they’re able to help. “We all need someone to champion and guide us through life, and this is how I work as a school leader. I’m a great believer in developing people because successful leadership isn’t just about authority; it’s also about inﬂuence. So, I’m always looking for ways to support and positively inﬂuence those I can. I hope to share my experience and guide leaders by focusing on areas they need support with most.” – Asma Maqsood-Shah, head teacher. “It’s not easy to ﬁnd a mentor when everyone’s busy. And that’s why NAHT’s mentoring scheme is a breath of fresh air, especially because it is so easy to navigate and allows mentees to be in control – I was communicating with my mentor within a week! My hope was to speak to a like-minded person who would share their knowledge and wisdom, and that’s exactly what happened.” – Lauren Watson, head teacher.
Our scheme contains tools and guides to help you. You’ll be able to organise your time to get the most out of your working relationship.
Sign up and sign in
We’re recruiting both mentors and mentees. If you want to start on this transformative journey, register here: mentoring.naht.org.uk. Once you sign in, you’ll need to create a proﬁle that includes your skills, expertise and, if you’re a mentee, the matters you’d like to be mentored on.
Our essential guide series Head of representation and advice, GUY DUDLEY, talks about our new resources and, as a school leader, how they’ll give you everything you need to know about an important topic. chool leaders call us every day for information, advice and guidance that helps them to do their job, run their school and, at the same time, protects them, their employment and their well-being. Some of the calls our dedicated advice team receives will be speciﬁc to individual school settings while others will be broad and will resonate across all types of school leader. Some of the issues we deal with are so profound and fundamentally important to the profession that they deserve a special mention. So, we develop them into annual conference motions. Those motions raised and passed by delegates at conference become our policy, which we use to lobby decision-makers in Westminster, Cardiff and Belfast for change. We develop most, if not all, issues into practical advice and guidance pieces. You may be familiar with the advice pieces that we publish in our weekly newsletter – recent examples include the following:
‘keeping children safe in education: changes for September 2019’, ‘Ofsted inspections from September 2019’, ‘pay and appraisal in 2019-20’, ‘relationships and sex education – secondary’ and ‘what governing bodies and school leaders should expect from each other’, to mention but a few. We know our advice articles are popular with members and provide them with no-nonsense guides to handling the often-tricky leadership and management duties of running a school, irrespective of its size and complexity. Over the last year or so, however, several issues have stood out. For these areas, we will write a broader advice piece to spotlight the topic and provide some additional and contextual information, such as our conference resolution, policy position, advice, what we’re doing for you and details of relevant professional development events. We’re calling these broader advice pieces ‘essential guides’, and we’ll aim to produce two of these each school term.
A peek at the essential guides we’re do oin ng this year: AUTUMN TERM 2019 • Public sector equality duty and
British values Schools play y a critical ro ole in identifying and combatting discrimination throug gh the application of the public sector equality duty and d in the teaching and promotion of British values. We look k att these viitall aspects of equality policy to ensure you’re re eady to address the key issues.
• Home and ﬂexi-s schooling
It needn’tt be a straight choice between home educa ation or sending a child to school. Flexi-schooling – where a child attends school for part of the week and
learns at home for the rest of it – is an ideal compromiise for some famiilies. We explore this increasingly popular trend. SPRING TERM 2020 • Social media and mob bile ph hone use
in schools We know social media and mobile phone use can be a force for good – sad dly y,
this isn’t always the case. We’ll provide guidance on how you can harness the use off botth. • Safety and well-being of staff
One of the most fundamental duties of a school lead der is to ensure th he health and safety of pupils, staff and anyone else on the school’ss premises. We’lll examine what strateg gies and ste eps you can take to
safeguard the well-being of staff and what support you can provide and access. SUMMER TERM 2020 • Pensions We’ll report on the progress we’re mak king agaiinst our 2019 conference resolution and brief you on wh hatt we’’re doing to protect your current and future pension arran ngements. • Learning plans and campaigning
We’lll advise on how to provide guidance, materials and informatio on to assist with your learning plans; help young people express their views without compromising
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Get in touch with our specialist advice team by calling 0300 30 30 333 (option one) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
theiir saffety and give time for activity to pressurise policy-m mak kers to tak ke young people’ss concerns seriously.
A pic cture of small schools in En nglan nd James Bowen, NAHT director of policy, shares the ﬁndings from our recent members survey, which reveals there’s an uncertain future for small primary schools in England.
mall primary schools are special places, often sitting at the heart of small, rural communities. In many areas, they have become the focal points of these communities as other local services and amenities have dwindled and gradually disappeared. We know that leading a small school can be a hugely rewarding and somewhat unique experience, but there are undoubtedly a number of challenges too. Many of these aren’t new. Fluctuations in pupil numbers and the distribution of multiple responsibilities across a small staff have always been a part of leading a small school. While that doesn’t make such challenges any easier, most leaders accept this comes as part of the territory. However, in recent times, the challenges have grown and suddenly become more pressing. To ﬁnd out about the nature and scale of these challenges, we surveyed our members working in small schools. While there is no nationally agreed deﬁnition of
what constitutes a small primary school, for this study, we focused on those with fewer than 150 pupils on roll. The ﬁndings were stark. Fortytwo per cent of respondents told us things had got so bad ﬁnancially that they were genuinely worried about the survival of their school. Around a third said they were expecting a budget deﬁcit this year, and more than half were predicting a deﬁcit budget next year. Members also told us what they had already done to try to make ends meet. A large proportion had reduced the number of teaching assistants in the school or cut their hours. Reducing investment in resources and continuing professional development for staff were other measures members had been forced to take. Interestingly, only 41% of those who responded said they received sparsity funding through the national funding formula. This is the part of the formula speciﬁcally designed
to support and protect small, isolated schools. Even in cases where schools did receive sparsity funding, it was clear this was simply not enough to provide long-term ﬁnancial sustainability. The government’s current solution for small schools appears not to be working. While virtually all schools have suffered as a result of government’s funding cuts, it would seem that small schools have found an already precarious position made even worse. We are now thinking carefully about potential solutions to these challenges and would be interested in hearing from members running small schools (email your thoughts to email@example.com). Changes to sparsity funding could be a part of this. Still, it is impossible to escape the fundamental point that if the funding pie isn’t big enough to start with, it doesn’t matter how you try to carve it up because there simply won’t be enough, and small schools will continue to suffer.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
% WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR SMALL SCHOOLS? More than four in 10 respondents (42%) are concerned about the possibility of closure of their school. A lack of funding was cited as the primary cause for this (84%), followed by low or ﬂuctuating pupil numbers (73%).
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A TEACHER IN A SMALL SCHOOL? Typically, small schools employ fewer than four full-time equivalent teachers (65%). Most teachers in small schools lead three or more subjects (69%).
WHAT ARE SMALL SCHOOLS DOING TO BALANCE THEIR BUDGETS? School leaders are doing the following: • Reducing investment in equipment (70%) • Cutting down the number or the hours of teaching assistants (67%) • Decreasing investment in continuing professional development (63%) • Cutting back on the building maintenance budget (60%).
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A SCHOOL LEADER IN A SMALL SCHOOL? School leadership teams tend to be quite small. Less than half of all respondents had a deputy or assistant head teacher in their school (46%).
HOW MUCH FUNDING DO SMALL SCHOOLS RECEIVE? Less than half of respondents receive additional (sparsity) funding through the national funding formula (41%).
Of those that do receive additional funding, the majority said this is not enough to provide reasonable budget stability (84%).
An update on the work being done in Wales to protect, support and empower members. Setting our agenda: NAHT Cymru Conference motions 2019-20
At our Cymru Conference in October, members discussed and debated the conference motions that will shape our policy agenda for the next year. Last year, the Welsh government launched a public consultation on ‘Ensuring access to the full curriculum for all learners’, which included relationships and sexuality education (RSE) and parents’ rights. Conference noted that the proposed changes in the curriculum would see RSE and religious education compulsory for all children aged three to 16. NAHT Cymru has robustly campaigned for relationships education in schools to be inclusive of all protected characteristics and to treat equally the different types of relationships in our society. Conference, therefore, backed a motion to lobby the Welsh government to provide more clarity and support to schools to deliver inclusive relationships education. The results of the consultation will be published this year, with the issues debated by the Welsh government released in the spring term. Our #FundSchoolsNow campaign remains at the forefront of our agenda. Members backed a motion to continue our campaign activity around this issue to enable the following: school leaders to speak freely in public about the challenges without consequences from employers, a robust and far-reaching national review of school funding (which has been agreed since conference), and continued lobbying of the Welsh government to increase education investment as soon as possible. NAHT Cymru’s Denbighshire branch put forward a motion to establish regional
executive committees in each of the four regions of Wales to support the work of NAHT Cymru’s national executive committee. The ﬁrst step in that process is to establish a north Wales regional executive, the core business of which would be to consult and negotiate with the GwE school improvement consortium to further the aims of members in the region. A long-standing concern of our members has been around the safeguarding of children and the persistent issues around informationsharing between agencies, which leaves schools and pupils vulnerable. A conference motion agreed to lobby the Welsh government to ensure protocols are implemented on a Wales-wide basis, so schools are always informed whenever a pupil has been subject to social services or police intervention. As a result of signiﬁcant concerns raised by the union over the mental health and well-being of its members during investigations, it was also agreed to call on all employers to actively monitor the mental health and well-being of employees regularly throughout any
Our #FundSchoolsNow campaign remains at the forefront of our agenda.
investigations and to provide training opportunities to all relevant parties to ensure any future return to work is not hindered. That training should also include chairs of governors to ensure they can appropriately manage investigations and support school leaders. It was also decided that NAHT Cymru would launch a new campaign to establish an independent inspection review panel in Wales because it is not right that Estyn polices its complaints.
NAHT Cymru sits on the teachers’ pay and conditions partnership forum, and alongside the other member unions, it is challenging issues surrounding affordability. There has been much debate between Welsh government ofﬁcials and the unions on whether affordability should be a factor in determining teachers’ pay. We believe it should not be and the remit of the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) is to ascertain the right pay and conditions comparative to the role. It is unacceptable to have to consider the Welsh government’s ﬁnances. The unions have pushed back on this issue. Wales TUC response to the Welsh government’s consultation – NAHT Cymru submission: • A More Equal Wales: Strengthening Social Partnership (December 2019).
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Northern Ireland POLICY UPDATE
ALICE ADAMS LEMON, former interim director of NAHT (NI), looks back on a busy nine months in Northern Ireland. The hard work of NAHT (NI)
I had the pleasure of working at NAHT (NI) as interim director for nine months, from March to November 2019. As I leave, I’d like to take this opportunity to let the wider membership know of the hard work both our elected ofﬁcials and NAHT (NI) staff put in to business-as-usual from the ofﬁce: providing support, advice and representation to our members; lobbying those in power; trying to navigate the complexities of the consequences of poor support from employers in schools, which directly affect our members; dealing with serious underfunding issues and working with partners in other unions and across the spectrum of the Northern Ireland education service. It’s a testament to the work of the ofﬁce, working in partnership with NAHT (NI) executive, that in the past nine months our membership levels have begun to increase. We welcomed 38 new members to NAHT (NI) in September and October alone. We’ve improved our membership communications signiﬁcantly – web trafﬁc to our pages has increased by 523% since October 2018 and by 281% between September 2019 and October 2019 when action began. The majority of NAHT (NI) members now engage with our emails, and our activity on social media has led to a 10% increase in the number of followers since the summer, with almost half of these joining in October alone. This underlines
our strategic aims as a national union to focus on growth, community and voice. The past nine months have been one of the most challenging times we, as a union, have faced in Northern Ireland because of the move to industrial action in furtherance of our members’ dispute. Members taking action in Northern Ireland continue to need your support, encouragement and solidarity as work to end the dispute continues. I have been lucky to work alongside the NAHT (NI) team and committee this year, and I’d like to commend all involved for their tireless efforts and commitment to bettering the working lives of our members in Northern Ireland.
In September, our NAHT (NI) committee met, with general secretary Paul Whiteman in attendance. It concluded that we should ballot members on their dispute with regards to moving towards industrial action. We balloted more than 600 NAHT members employed at establishments in Northern Ireland as principals, viceprincipals or assistant principals, and overwhelmingly the majority of respondents voted yes to taking industrial action. Fifty-nine per cent of eligible members responded, 94.8% of whom said they were prepared to take action short of strike, and 57.8% were prepared to take strike action. Action short of strike began on 21 October 2019. So, we urged balloted
School leaders at an industrial action engagement event, September 2019, Limavady.
members to follow 12 actions, all of which were designed to not only affect the employers but also to give some alleviation of workload to NAHT members while minimising any disruption to pupils and maintaining positive relationships with governing bodies. The action has had positive results in terms of negotiating with employers, and at the time of writing, we’re making some reasonable progress.
Time for action
We’re regularly directing our balloted members to the NAHT (NI) section of NAHT’s website (www.naht.org.uk/ northern-ireland/). Here, you will ﬁnd a list of the current actions we are encouraging members to undertake, including any updates and additional advice and guidance they may need. We ask all readers to tweet your support and solidarity using #Time4action.
Left: NAHT (NI) team. Right: Time for action ﬂyer.
Come to... Inspiring Leadership Conference 2020 4 – 5 June at the ICC, Birmingham Get ready for another thought-provoking, empowering and above all, inspiring two days, as Inspiring Leadership – the conference for leaders in education – is back. Our line-up of compelling keynote speakers, masterclass maestros and workshop experts will continue to be announced over the upcoming weeks. Take a look at Inspiring Leadership so far… Hosted by
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton Aft er b ec oming h om ele ss at ﬁ fte e n and le avin g school at six teen, she s old The Biig Issue to escape poverty. She credits the magazzine with saving her life. At eighteen, she joined the ﬁre service in Wales and is n ow o n e o f t h e m o st s e nio r fe male ﬁreﬁghters in the UK. Her research into incident command in the emergency services has not only won awards but has also inﬂu enced p oli cy at a g l obal level. Don’t miss out on hearing Sabrina’s inspiring story at this year’ss confere e n ce .
Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE As wel l as hea din g t he su c ce ss fu l b id and org ga nisa t ion of the London 2012 Olymp ic s, as Vice President of t he IA AF in 201 1 he als o help ed secure the 2017 World Athletics Cham pionsh ips for L ondo n. Lord Coe offers insights into the lessons learned from overseeing an enormous infrastructure and logistical exercise in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Don’t miss out on hearing from Lord Sebastian Coe underline the age-o old proposition that no amount of theorising replaces “tthe genius of hard work.”
Dave Coplin With over 25 years in t he t ec h n ol og y industry (and viia his former “d dayy job” as “C hief E nvis io ning Ofﬁcer” at Micrrosoft)) Dave is at the forefront of conversations on how individuals and organisations could beneﬁt from the transformational potential of technology, rather than simp ply usiing it to do the same things… butt onlyy slightly better. Come to Inspiring Leadership p to listen to Dave Coplin address th e i n te rs ec t io n o f mo de r n s o ci e ty and technology.
Gina Miller Pos t the ﬁnanc ial cr isi s, Gin a a nd h er hus band founded SCM Direct as a m o de rn d i sr up ti ve dig ita l weal th m anager centred on 100% transparency, low cost and p ut ting clien t s ﬁr st . In 2012, she co-llaunched the True and Fair Campa ig n, callin g for a n end to rip offs and dubious practices in the in vestm ent and p ensi on industry. Gina successfully challenged the U K Gove r nmen t in 2016 ove r its authority to implement Brexit, winning in bot h th e High C our t and Supreme Court in what is hailed as th e mo st i mp or ta n t B r it is h cons tit ut iona l cas e since t he 1 700s. Come to Inspiri ng Leader ship a nd listen to Gina’s phenomenal story so far.
Ready to be inspired? Secure your place today. Visit inspiringleadership.org for more information
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Returning to work part-time There is no automatic right for a woman to return to work part-time after the birth of her child. However, employers could face legal action if they refuse a request to do so. NAHT solicitor SIMON THOMAS takes a look. Indirect sex discrimination
An employer who rejects a request for ﬂexible working from a woman returning from maternity leave may be open to a claim of (probably indirect) sex discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 in England and Wales, or under the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 in Northern Ireland. The three elements to indirect sex discrimination are as follows:
1 2 3
The employer applies a ‘provision criteria or practice’ (PCP) to both women and men The PCP puts women at a ‘particular disadvantage’ compared with men (‘disparate impact’) The PCP can’t be objectively justiﬁed.
The PCP could be the requirement to work full-time. It tends to be elements two and three where the disputes are focused. The ‘particular disadvantage’ test was supposed to remove the previous necessity for claimants to produce statistical evidence to show disparate impact. However, claims can still fail if disparate impact isn’t established. So, a claimant will still go into the tribunal armed with statistics where she can. A case involving London underground train operators
illustrates how statistics can be used. The claimant, a single mother, objected to new shift arrangements (the PCP) because of her childcare responsibilities. There were 2,023 male train operators, all of whom could comply with the new arrangements. There were 21 female train operators of whom only the claimant objected to the new arrangements. So, no men and 4.8% of women couldn’t comply. The tribunal ruled this was a disparate impact. It might be thought surprising that a 4.8% difference would be signiﬁcant enough, but the tribunal also took into account that the numerical differences (21 vs 2,023) suggested the job of train operator was unattractive or unavailable to women, and it was ‘well known’ that women tend to have more childcare responsibilities than men. Although tribunals are now less reliant on statistics, you can’t assume a particular disadvantage is taken as read. In a 2010 case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said: “It is now well recognised that signiﬁcantly more women than men are primarily responsible for the care of their children, and accordingly, the ability of women to work particular hours is substantially restricted in
The ability of women to work particular hours is substantially restricted in contrast to that of men.
contrast to that of men.” But, in a case the following year, it was asserted by the claimant that women would inevitably be disproportionately affected by a refusal to grant ﬂexible working. The EAT said: “The position of some women is, though, that while they can access childcare arrangements ... they don’t want to do so; for them, part-time working is a matter of choice rather than necessity … The claimant will, in short, have to address the issue of whether or not a refusal of the request for ﬂexible working puts women at a ‘particular disadvantage’.” This quote is a little misleading because particular disadvantage is not simply a matter of ‘cannot’ rather than ‘choose not’. If the particular disadvantage is established, it’s for the employer to prove the PCP was justiﬁed. Employees can also request ﬂexible working. For further details, read ACAS’s guide on ‘the right to request ﬂexible working’. Despite the complexities of indirect sex discrimination law (and the lack of teeth in the ﬂexible working legislation), you shouldn’t be deterred from making requests to work part-time because of the following: • Most employers are open to requests for part-time working/ job-share arrangements • Many employers will take heed of their HR team’s advice and want to avoid the risk of grievances and tribunal proceedings • The PCP must be objectively justiﬁed. Employment tribunal proceedings are subject to strict and short (usually three-month) time limits, so don’t delay seeking advice.
A MEMBER’S VIEW
NAHT, the natural home for school business leaders
We talk to Nilesh Pandya about his journey to school leadership, why he became a member and how NAHT is the right union for school business leaders. orn to a teacher mum and a hardworking dad who had both emigrated from India in the 1970s, Nilesh was, like many others of the 1980s east end generation, surrounded by the colours and smells of the subcontinent that somehow merged seamlessly with the sights and sounds of the rapidly emerging Canary Wharf and the birth of MTV. Fondly remembering a happy childhood of playing on the street and a loving home, it isn’t lost on Nilesh that it was also a time of blatant racism, which his family mainly managed to avoid. Despite the challenges, his parents raised two children who both excelled academically: he’s a King’s College alumni, and his sister’s a chemist. In fact, he was a contestant on the TV game show Countdown, but he lost to an A level student. What made this pub quiz aﬁcionado turn to school leadership? After graduating with a biological science degree, Nilesh became an auditor and a qualiﬁed chartered accountant. This would be enough for most, but not for Nilesh. He wanted to make a positive impact and applied his trade in the voluntary sector, but the corporate environment, coupled with bureaucratic hurdles for even the smallest change, soon took its toll. So, in 2012, he began his journey into education to inﬂuence positive decisions that impact families for years to come. Throughout his career as a school business leader, Nilesh has seen the impact of the funding cuts, changes to the school structures and education being
used as a political football, but his will and dedication remain unshakeable. He’s currently working diligently to make sure his school is doing everything it can to bring education into the 21st century by helping to modernise systems and processes that support staff and families alike. So, why did he choose NAHT? “As a school business leader, it’s important that I’m engaged with and surrounded by like-minded colleagues, not least because of the current political climate,” explains Nilesh. “So, after careful consideration and recommendations from other school leaders, I happily joined in 2017. “Since then, it’s given me the chance to network with fellow school business leaders and access professional development that I might not have been exposed to had I not joined. “Plus, it allows me to be part of a professional community that uses its powerful collective voice to inﬂuence positive change. NAHT’s hard work around the school funding crisis is very important to me. I believe that together we were able to have an impact on recent government announcements.”
Above: Nilesh Pandya.
You’d be surprised by what it can offer you because it’s not all about head teachers.
What’s his message to anyone who’s not yet a member? “I’d say to anyone looking to ﬁnd a union that’s closely aligned to the work and goals of a school business leader, NAHT is for you,” says Nilesh. “My goal is for everyone to see NAHT as the natural home of school business leaders. You’d be surprised by what it can offer you because it’s not all about head teachers.” Share this article with your school business leaders and encourage them to join NAHT today at www.naht.org.uk/join.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
‘Place2Be is woven into the fabric of our school’ ENID LEWIS is head teacher at Park Lane Primary School in north west London and was recently nominated for Place2Be’s well-being in school awards. Here, she shares her thoughts on mental health in schools and her experience of working with Place2Be.
47 have always felt that mental health is not talked about enough in schools because there is often a stigma around the topic. Since becoming a head teacher, I have tried to challenge this because children and young people’s social and emotional well-being can have such a signiﬁcant impact on their learning. I’ve been head teacher at Park Lane Primary School in Wembley since 2012. We offer ‘wraparound care’ for our pupils, meaning the school day begins at 7.30am and ends at 6pm. Parents and children are encouraged to come in, eat a healthy breakfast and talk to teachers before and after school hours. In 2015, we brought Place2Be into the school to help us provide additional support for families. It was difﬁcult to convince some parents at ﬁrst, which was understandable. Our teachers and other staff also had concerns about bringing Place2Be into the school and the impact that taking pupils out of lessons could have on their learning. Almost ﬁve years on, and the parents, staff and children are
Above: Enid Lewis.
huge advocates for the service. We often have parents approaching us to ask if their children can see Place2Be because they’ve seen ﬁrst-hand the beneﬁts of having a space to talk. Our staff have found that allowing children the time to learn about managing their feelings and emotions makes for a much healthier learning environment and creates better attitudes towards learning itself. Through Place2Be, I am also able to provide a safe space for teachers to talk about their concerns or any issues they may have spotted in the classroom. Teachers love the Place2Think service, and now we also provide attachment and trauma training alongside this, so staff are as prepared as they can be to support the pupils. What trauma training has shown is that if a teacher can understand what is causing children to be disruptive, it
Visit www.place2be.org.uk/train to ﬁnd out more about Place2Be’s expert training for schools, including the Mental Health Champions programmes. Visit www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk to access high-quality mental health resources, information and advice for primary schools.
is not just that child and their family who beneﬁt; all the children in the school beneﬁt. Place2Be is woven into the fabric of our school. We have 18 pupils who have regular one-to-one counselling with Place2Be, and many more make use of the self-referral service, Place2Talk. Place2Talk allows any pupil to have a 15-minute chat during break time or lunchtime to talk about anything that could be worrying them. Having Place2Be in the school has given our pupils a level of selfawareness that means they can recognise when they are struggling, feeling worried or anxious, and need support. This is a priceless skill, and it will hopefully allow our pupils to look after themselves in the long term and take this self-awareness with them into adult life. As head teachers, we have a lot of responsibility – for pupils, staff, budgets, Ofsted, exam results, etc. – and it can be difﬁcult to know what to prioritise or what’s best to do for the school’s community. I am so lucky to have been able to make well-being and mental health a priority at Park Lane, and each day, I see the beneﬁts of this.
We are delighted to bring you NAHT Wellness and Protect - a staff absence insurance product with a whole school well-being service that’s exclusive to members. Exclusive cover includes the following: ~ Payments for members’ travel expenses and supply costs when attending NAHT events* ~ Increased claim payments for staff covering members’ absence ~ Paid well-being day for all school staff* ~ Whole school mental health provision and support ~ Staff counselling and physiotherapy ~ Private medical therapies and surgeries ~ Nurse and GP support. *Full terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact our team.
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Please note that NAHT’s partner offers are not provided by NAHT but by NAHT’s partners. Accordingly, NAHT or NAHT Edge members wishing to purchase selected products and services must do so directly from the relevant partner. In connection with the promotion of these selected products and services, NAHT grants its partners the right to use the name NAHT partner or the NAHT Assured logo. As part of its investigations, and taking account of ongoing members’ feedback, NAHT is conﬁdent the products and services offered by its partners, in connection with the NAHT name and NAHT Assured logo, are worthy of serious consideration by school leaders interested in selecting such products and services. Notwithstanding this, each NAHT or NAHT Edge member acknowledges that in selecting such products and services, they have not relied on any endorsement or association with NAHT in respect of the relevant product or service and shall have no remedies against NAHT and its employees in respect of such endorsement or association. All Insurance Services are managed and administrated by Sovereign Risk Management: 309701.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Life after leadership
NAHT life gives retired members the opportunity to continue membership of the biggest union for school leaders. Here, head teacher WILLIAM LEWIS, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, explains why it’s so important for him.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Retirement is a seismic shift for those who’ve been in the same career for decades. What advice would you give to retiring leaders?
I left school aged 17 with no qualiﬁcations whatsoever. In fact, I couldn’t even read until the age of 12. My parents were incredibly supportive, so I went to a fantastic further education college in Braintree, Essex, and a local maths teacher, John Hinton, ensured I gained a strong foundation. This allowed me to go to university, where I met my wife and graduated with a PGCE. John didn’t just become an excellent role model but also a good friend. I started teaching in the east end of London. Then 30 years ago, we moved to Nottinghamshire, where I became a deputy head teacher, and eventually head teacher, in two schools.
Preparation is key. We’ve done some planning that focuses on the things we want to do. And a really good book to read is Not Fade Away: How to Thrive in Retirement. School life happens at a pace, and to go from that to nothing can be disastrous, from what I have been told. So, plan for the future and keep yourself protected.
Is there anything else NAHT could do to help retiring leaders transition to life membership?
What was the deciding factor in choosing NAHT?
On becoming a senior leader, a mentor suggested that I transfer to NAHT. I looked into the union and found exactly what I needed. This, coupled with the brilliant support of my mentor, former NAHT president Mick Brookes, meant it was an easy decision.
You’re adamant about transferring to life membership – why? I’ve called on NAHT several times, and the response has always been ﬁrst class. Plus I’ve loved being a head teacher, so having life membership will ensure I keep up to speed with developments in education. Former and current senior leaders are unanimous in their view that transferring to life membership is paramount to ensure peace of mind post-
retirement. Everyone wants security, and everyone knows NAHT supports its serving members effectively. But we mustn’t forget that tackling issues such as pensions, and even complaints or allegations postretirement, can be a very lonely place if you’re not protected.
What are you looking forward to most post-retirement?
Being able to dictate the pace at which I can do things. Well, sort of, because my wife will certainly have very clear ideas about that. I’m going to pursue my interests in travelling, spending more time with the family and dancing with my wife, which I have been doing for the past three years – Strictly, here we come!
Q & A
A lot of information is available through the association. The most important thing about preparing for retirement is simply to be ready and give it the time and consideration it needs.
What advice would you give to retiring leaders about life membership?
It’s a no brainer. Retirement throws up a lot of issues, like moving from a fast paced, regimented environment to a more relaxed, slow-paced life, and feeling isolated from a career you’ve dedicated decades to. But the constant is life membership; it’s a safety net.
Retired members of NAHT receive trade union services and have the opportunity to continue to play an active volunteer role within our regions and branches. To ﬁnd out more and become a life member, see www.naht.org.uk/join-life.
PAUL WHITEMAN: NAHT general secretary
Why a career in teaching should speak for itself here is now widespread agreement that there is a crisis affecting the supply of teachers and leaders in English schools. This is a pity because there is also widespread agreement that, on a good day, teaching is one of the most rewarding careers going. It is not overstating this to call it a crisis. Unless we have enough teachers and leaders for every class and every school, any aspirations we have about raising standards or opening up opportunities for young people will fail. The teacher supply pipeline is fractured at all career stages: teaching attracts too few quality entrants; too many teachers leave in the ﬁrst few years of service; too few teachers become middle leaders; too few seek leadership positions as deputies and assistants, and even fewer wish to step up to headship or beyond. Shortly, NAHT will be publishing the data from a survey of our 30,000 school leader members on pay and well-being. The results are stark. A quarter of those asked said they would be unlikely to recommend a career in teaching. These are people who have given all their working lives to the profession, people who have seen it all, coped with huge change and delivered ever-improving standards. We work in one of the most intensely regulated school systems in the world. School leaders have to jump through so many hoops they must think they are taking part in Crufts. It is very worrying when so many of them are effectively saying if they had their time again, they’d pick another career. Why do we make it so hard
to be a school leader? Why do we put so many barriers up to success? We could fund schools properly. We could rebalance holding schools to account with helping them to improve. We could offer decent rates of pay and realistic opportunities for professional development. We could allow schools the freedom to implement a curriculum that ﬁts the needs of their pupils without fear of retribution. We could make sure the support services that schools and families rely on are adequately funded. If we did these things, we’d have fewer barriers to success and fewer reasons to second-guess choosing a life in education. Too much of the Department for Education’s work to tackle this crisis is centred on recruitment, ignoring retention. It devises incentives to attract new entrants into teaching, with little regard for their efﬁcacy or value for money, and too little focus on creating the conditions and career pathways that will retain existing teachers and leaders.
Above: Paul Whiteman.
Teachers and leaders should be formally recognised as key workers. Incentives should not be differentiated.
Teachers and leaders should be formally recognised as key workers. Incentives should not be differentiated. Instead, depending on local conditions, we should be looking at free rail or bus travel, or help to defray high housing costs. The government’s recent announcement of its intention to raise starting salaries for newly qualiﬁed teachers to £30,000 per annum, while welcome, ignores the real-terms losses to serving teachers and leaders that have accrued over the last decade of public sector pay caps. Higher starting salaries without equal raises for more experienced education professionals will further erode the pay differential for leadership responsibility, undermining both the pipeline to leadership and the retention of existing leaders. Leadership pay is part of the pay continuum in teaching; it, therefore, makes no sense whatsoever to consider teachers’ pay in isolation from leaders’ pay. Teaching is not just a graduatelevel job. It is a professional career choice that requires a clear strategy for pay. A career in teaching needs to be compared to other professional careers, such as medicine, law, accountancy and architecture. In short, a career in teaching needs to begin to speak for itself again.
Equip pupils with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools that helps to:
• Build young people’s conﬁdence, character and resilience through creativity • Support the health and wellbeing of pupils through arts and culture • Meet Ofsted’s requirements for Quality of Education by using Artsmark’s ﬂexible framework to maintain broad and ambitious curriculum Photo © Mark Savage / Our Lady’s Catholic High School
EARLY YEARS AND PRIMARY CONFERENCES
With themes of ‘getting the balance right’ and ‘reclaiming the research’, at the British Library in November explored a range of relevant topics Ofsted’s deputy director of early education GILL JONES had been due to address delegates at the Early Years Conference, but she was unable to attend because of pre-election restrictions. Here, she talks about why reading really matters in reception. 52
he stories and rhymes that we read and hear as young children last a lifetime. That point was vividly made to me when I was baking a Christmas cake with my 97-year-old aunt. As I grated the nutmeg, my aunt started to sing “I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear but a silver nutmeg and a golden pear” – a nursery rhyme she remembered from sitting on her mother’s lap many decades ago. In more recent years, our understanding of the way that young children learn to read and expand their vocabulary has changed profoundly. When Ofsted took a thorough look at the reception year in 2017, our inspectors found that reading was at the heart of the curriculum in the most successful classes. And I mean reading in the widest possible sense of the word. That is, listening to and joining in with stories, poems and rhymes – as well as teaching children how to read. In the best schools, story time was an essential part of the daily routine; it wasn’t a windingdown exercise at the end of the day. In short, the best head teachers helped their reception teachers to develop children’s spoken language, vocabulary and phonics knowledge. Fast forward to September 2019. We have fundamentally changed our
• Reading is prioritised • Children love reading • Their phonics programme ensures progress • Books match sounds • Phonics is taught from the start of reception • Teachers focus on the lowest 20% • They have a team of reading experts.
approach to the education inspection framework. I’m sure you’ve already seen our huge emphasis on reading. We all know that children who get off to a good start in reading ﬁnd it easier to learn in other subjects: maths, history, geography, religious education and much more. That’s why our new deep dive into reading is now mandatory in all primary schools before inspectors carry out their deep dives into other subjects. What does this mean for primary school leaders and reception teachers? Inspectors will look at seven aspects of reading. (These are set out in paragraphs 296-298 of the school inspection handbook.) Their ﬁndings from the reading deep dive will contribute to the quality of education judgement. Inspectors ask leaders about how they prioritise the teaching of reading, particularly for the lowest 20% of children in each class. They check how well staff are trained to teach beginner readers – whatever their age – in these vital early stages. They listen to these children read, and they question teachers about how reading books are organised and which are selected for children to read at home and school. To ensure we are consistent, inspectors use an aide-memoire to ﬁnd out if leaders ensure the following:
So, what does literacy teaching look like in an ‘outstanding’ primary school? To cite one example, in October, our inspectors visited a school in the south east where many children began the early years with poor speaking and listening skills. Our inspectors saw children listening to and joining in with a rich range of literature. They saw a well-structured phonics programme implemented thoroughly and successfully. They saw a dedicated team of teachers who worked relentlessly to ensure every child learned to read ﬂuently. And, most importantly, they saw children who loved reading. These children are the lucky ones. However, our children’s future shouldn’t rely on luck. It should be our norm.
Takeaway messages from the workshop leaders RUTH SWAILES: “All too often, we feel the pressure to do things earlier, yet we may be missing out vital stages of children’s development, which may do more harm than good. It is important to remember to start with where the child is, not where they need to be.”
DAWN ROBERTSON: “The workshop focused on the crucial role played by detailed assessment when creating an effective adult-directed and childinitiated literacy curriculum.”
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
LEARNING delegates at NAHT’s Early Years Conference and Primary Conference and talking points for schools leaders working in these sectors. Creating the happiest school in the country was the theme of head teacher and keynote speaker JEREMY HANNAY’S address to NAHT’s Primary Conference. Here, he shares his thoughts and experiences on building a happy school. ike building a culture of trust, there isn’t something I do. It is the culmination of a number of factors, all of which seem quite simple on the surface (even a very common-sense approach), but they are complicated. It is impossible in a short article to articulate all of the underpinnings of a happy school – but two of the most important are our underlying beliefs about staff and our ability to pause. As leaders, we must see ourselves as an agent of change with the collegial and optimistic view of humanity that suggests the following: People want to do well/be great If someone is below a standard, it is our responsibility to help them If they cannot, it is because we have not ... If they are lazy or appear unmotivated, how can we create the conditions under which they ﬂourish? People are smart in different ways – and if we place them in the right circumstances, we can harness that energy and all rise together
A B C D E
If we have to sack a bunch of staff (and we haven’t defaulted to the views above), it likely is us who is deﬁcient.
It is OK to be deﬁcient. Flawed. A work in progress – both as leaders and as teachers. I am ﬂawed. Broken. Improving. This is the human condition. But that road goes both ways – we permit ourselves to be ﬂawed so that we can grant the same grace to others. This is not to say that staff have no role in their development, improvement or growth. There are, of course, times when the person is not right, or they are in the wrong job – and they need to be supported to leave. However, that should also be done in the most humane and considerate way – both in how we act and how our actions make them feel. That is values-driven leadership at its core: how do our values align with our actions when things are difﬁcult? This links nicely with the idea of PAUSE. It’s not an acronym. It is the art of inaction. Of waiting. Of taking a minute to breathe, think, reﬂect, align. It is one of the greatest
attributes we can have as leaders (and humans) of busy, complex, people-driven organisations. We live in a fast-food, quick-ﬁx, instantloan, Amazon Prime, ‘now’ world. Everything around is designed to be fast. Even the best TV programmes seem to introduce a serious problem and have it all wrapped up 45 minutes later, done and dusted. As leaders, we’re deep in that world. Ofsted expects a complicated change in a few terms. Results need to improve across the board in a year. Don’t focus on results; focus on the curriculum – and be ready in three months. Inspections claim to understand the quality and complexity of a school in 10 hours. We, in turn, place the same series of values on our teams. We need to stop. Slow down. Pause. Leadership is a tough gig on the best days. I allow myself to make mistakes – I give myself permission to turn mistakes into opportunities for growth. There is a lightness to that – a freedom. They – our staff – need it, too.
Find out about NAHT’s conferences at www.naht.org. uk/conferences.
Takeaway messages from the workshop leaders SU TURNER: “Schools are good at being appreciative with pupils, and this doesn’t have to stop in the boardroom.”
PHILIPPA OLLERHEAD: “The one thing I wanted delegates to walk away with is a key understanding of how to create a robust safeguarding leadership structure that engages all staff, governors and visitors.”
COURSES AND CONFERENCES
Bringing back great CPD We promise to listen to your growing calls to rerun our sought-after courses this year. ast academic year, many of you shared your thoughts on how we can improve our continuing professional development (CPD) programme by making it more accessible, practical and convenient for you and your school.
• You told us you wanted to see more courses on the curriculum and staff well-being • You asked that we make our courses more accessible. We listened and revamped our extensive range of specially designed training courses on the need-to-know subjects. And we made sure our carefully selected industry experts delivered them
Mem be 20% rs save cours on all confe es and rence s.
in ways (eg one-day events, e-learning or tailored training) that match school leaders’ busy lives. The response to our revitalised offer has been incredible – a huge thank you to more than 1,000 of you who have attended an NAHT event following the relaunch. We promise to listen to your calls to run many of the courses – which are spotlighted in this article again this year.
Book early to take advantage of our special early-bird discounts.
Hand-picked training courses Resilience masterclass
“This is an opportunity for you to explore strategies and techniques to build and sustain your resilience,” says NAHT event manager Laura Robinson.
OVERVIEW We know school leaders love the job that they do. But, in a climate of intense accountability and responsibility, they sometimes need support to manage the demands and develop strategies to enable them to have an improved
sense of well-being and resilience. This new masterclass is run by Education Support, a UK charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the entire education workforce and that’s been in existence for more than 140 years. SIX THINGS YOU’LL LEARN The factors that affect personal resilience
The attributes and characteristics of resilience
3 4 5 6
How to use your time and energy in your role How to develop strategies that give you an improved sense of well-being and resilience to cope with the pressures experienced at work The importance of effective relationships at work and the challenge of the binary life in a school context How you can help other staff members to utilise these approaches to develop their resilience.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Curriculum design: planning, implementation and evaluation with Chris Quigley OVERVIEW Are you in the process of evaluating and redesigning your curriculum? If so, renowned speaker Chris Quigley can guide you through the three stages of curriculum design: intent, implementation and impact. How does the course explore curriculum design? “The way we do that is by looking at the difference between breadth and progression in the curriculum model,” says Chris. “And we use some of the cognitive science around how we learn to start shaping our thinking around curriculum design.” THREE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND You’ll gain a better understanding of the research underpinning the 2019 Ofsted framework
You’ll explore the links between curriculum design and long-term memory You’ll advance your knowledge of curriculum breadth.
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Successfully preparing for relationships education and health education in primary schools
ABOUT CHRIS QUIGLEY Chris is a specialist in primary education. He’s been a teacher, head teacher, lead inspector and trainer of school inspectors. He’s best known for his inspiring talks and his clear, easy-to-use support materials. WHAT SCHOOL LEADERS SAY ABOUT THIS COURSE • “It was really useful. It’s helping us to cement everything we’re doing in school and that we’re going in the right direction, so that ﬁlls me with hope and makes me eager to get back to school.” • “I appreciate the way he [Chris] isn’t afraid to challenge some of the wisdom we have been given as teachers. I think there is quite a bit to take away.” • “It’s made my deputy and I think about our intention and whether we have a ﬂow through the curriculum, which we are working on at the moment. Chris has really made us think about it a lot.” • “We’ve been doing a lot of work on curriculum as a whole, and it’s been really interesting to reinforce some of the things we’ve been talking about from a slightly different perspective.”
Above: Chris Quigley.
OVERVIEW From September 2020, relationships education and health education will be compulsory in primary schools. We’ve partnered with the PSHE Association to deliver this course to prepare school leaders and PSHE leads for the statutory changes coming into effect this autumn. On this one-day course, you will explore these changes in detail, their place in the primary PSHE curriculum and what constitutes effective teaching and learning. You can expect a wealth of practical tips and plans to share with your school stakeholders and advice on avoiding pitfalls. Plus, you’ll get a year’s organisational membership of the PSHE Association worth £120, which gives you access to the latest guidance, quality teaching resources and ongoing support.
COURSES AND CONFERENCES
PSHE Association chief executive Jonathan Baggaley explains why we’re working together to support schools: “Though many schools are already teaching PSHE brilliantly, it’s not without challenges for schools. Schools will have questions about how best to develop their policies, design their curriculum and choose resources. Questions about engaging with parents and how to make this part of a wholeschool approach. That’s why we’re delighted to be working with NAHT on this training to prepare school leaders and PSHE leads to get ready for these statutory changes.”
NAHT senior policy adviser Sarah Hannaﬁn.
Watch a short video of Jonathan (pictured left) sharing his views on the statutory changes and what you’ll learn on this course at https://youtu.be/HT1HQ43sPY.
NAHT senior policy adviser Sarah Hannafin says: “NAHT has long advocated
Have you seen our new e-learning courses? e know getting the time out of school can be tricky, and that’s why we have partnered with Gooseberry Planet to give you two new e-learning courses on safeguarding and prevent.
E-LEARNING FEATURES THAT PROVIDE ENHANCED LEARNING • Your staff members can take the course at their own pace, so there’s no need to complete the training in one session • You can track their results and see how they’re doing • It uses scenario-based learning to support active learning and help you understand how it applies to real-life situations
• You’ll receive an e-certiﬁcate on completion of the safeguarding course. E-LEARNING COURSE COSTS Primary school rates: • Member £340 for 12 months • Non-member £440 for 12 months. Secondary school rates: • Member £680 for 12 months • Non-member £800 for 12 months. This module purchase includes access for all staff registered at your school. Purchase both e-learning courses at the same time and receive a 10% discount.
statutory PSHE and ageappropriate relationships education for all pupils in all schools. “Making relationships and health education compulsory is absolutely the right thing to do. Schools have a vital role to play to ensure all children and young people can learn about themselves, their mental health, their relationships and how to keep themselves safe, in an age-appropriate way. “Otherwise, as is the case now, too many children get bad and even harmful information from the internet or their peers. “School leaders welcome the government’s backing on this issue. It really is too important a subject to get wrong”.
Course costs STANDARD RATES:
• Member £199 • Non-member £280 • Member booking a nonmember £225.
• Member £160 • Non-member £225 • Member booking a nonmember £190.
LEADERSHIP FOCUS | FEBRUARY 2020
Tailored training – four reasons why it’s for you
Convenience – we can deliver the course at your venue; we will discuss your speciﬁc requirements and work with you to create a programme that suits your needs whatever your phase/sector or group size
Customise – we can either tailor our existing courses, or create entirely new programmes around your ideas
Cost – we offer a valuefor-money service, working with you to make the most of your budget. You could also consider working as a cluster, joining together to share costs
Credibility – we offer hand-picked, high-quality and credible facilitators who will work with you to ensure you get the best from your event.
Contact our professional development team by calling 01444 472 405 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your school’s individual training needs.
Leading on SEND Conference WHEN AND WHERE: 20 MARCH 2020 IN MANCHESTER. As leaders, we frequently ﬁnd ourselves mediating between conﬂicting views, values and interests. At times, we have to work counter-intuitively to apply very sophisticated practice and principles as advocates for the well-being and inclusion of some of our most vulnerable children. This is too often in the face of seductive rhetoric, using terms such as ‘no excuses’ and ‘zero tolerance’. And that’s why this year’s thought-provoking conference underlines the need to look behind the behaviour at what might be its cause, beneath the behaviour to see what it might be telling us and beyond its superﬁcial manifestation to arrive at a resolution. REASONS TO COME • You’ll have the time to reﬂect, share your experiences and network in a conducive environment • You’ll identify and explore excellent practice that promotes effective outcomes for young people with SEND • You’ll come away with renewed energy, understanding and resolve to be the best leader for our learners.
“Added to this is a mouthwatering choice of seminars and workshops, giving you the latest information and practical ideas for returning to the classroom or elsewhere, refreshed, reinvigorated and raring to go!”
STANDARD RATES: • Member £200 • Non-member £250. EARLY-BIRD RATES: • Member £170 • Non-member £220.
• New and Aspiring Heads’ Conference (22 May 2020 in London) • School Business Leaders’ Conference (7 July 2020 in Manchester) • Early Years Conference and Primary Conference (back-to-back in November 2020. Location TBC).
STAY UP TO DATE
For up-to-the-minute information on our courses and conferences, keep an eye on our website (www.naht.org.uk). And, of course, it’s always great to hear from you, so if you’re on Twitter, why not get in touch? We’re @NAHTnews.
NAHT former president Rona Tutt.
NAHT former president Rona Tutt shares her views on why this conference is not to be missed: “Where else would you ﬁnd a programme where the keynote speakers include Dr Adam Boddison, nasen’s chief executive, who has established himself as a key player in the SEND ﬁrmament; Fintan O’ Regan, who knows much more than most about the importance of looking behind, beneath and beyond a child’s behaviour to discover its cause; and Joe Cook who, as well as being a teacher, lyricist and drummer, has found fame as a performance poet, in spite of, or possibly because of, his Irlen Syndrome.
For more information on all our courses and conferences, visit www.naht.org.uk/cpd.
THE FINAL WORD
SUSAN YOUNG: education columnist
Schools that reach for the stars t was Matthew Crawford’s ﬁrst headship that taught him the importance of the performing arts in children’s learning. “My then deputy Kathryn Mason drove it: the children-led assemblies and other performances. You could see the conﬁdence and self-esteem it gave them and the knock-on effect on their learning. The results were beneﬁting from that work, and we were in the top 10% of schools for attainment and progress.” As the trust leader of Derbyshire’s new and rapidlygrowing Embark Federation, Matthew has extended his belief in the value of performance to seven primaries (with another ﬁve in the pipeline) and more than 2,000 children. This has allowed him to scale-up their ambitions to create some extraordinary opportunities for their pupils, many from tough areas. “If a child is struggling in maths, rather than give them double maths in the afternoon, I learned to give them something they were good at and really enjoyed. They then applied themselves better the next day in English and maths. A lot of this was around conﬁdence, self-esteem and the real-life skills the arts give to children. Seeing it in action encouraged me to do even more across all our schools when we became a MAT. We want the very best for all of our children, and we want them to be able to access a wide variety of opportunities.” The vision: schools that stand out at the heart of their communities. So, with the economy of scale possible for a trust, Embark hired arts-trained Rosie Mclaughlin to
organise inspirational events and their funding. What’s happened since has been extraordinary. In April, Embark brought two west end performers, Victoria Farley and Sophie Isaacs, to work with 70 children in workshops where they recorded the federation’s song. “Their modelling skills were incredible. The behaviour of our children and the work they managed to get out of them in just one day was out of this world. That was the start of it, encouraging us to do more,” says Matthew. Participants – a mix of those passionate about the arts and others who would never get such opportunities – were chosen by each school. In November, another 42 children went to London’s west end for workshops at Pineapple Dance Studios, lunch, the Lion King matinee and to meet the cast. None had visited London before. “It was a trip of a lifetime. It is aspirational and inspirational for them to meet these top performers. And it helps to
Above: Susan Young.
You could see the conﬁdence and self-esteem it gave them and the knock-on effect on their learning.
develop their people skills like self-esteem and the ability to hold a conversation. All these things are important as you hopefully go on to ‘stand out’ in the job market. One said it was the best day of their life,” says Matthew. There are also musicians from Hot House Jazz who are working with around 140 instrumentplaying pupils. Now in and out of the schools, the trust’s class set of instruments are being used by all. And sporting plans are in place for 2020 that involve Olympians, including a swimming gala they hope local stars Adam Peaty and Becky Adlington will attend. Matthew – who took up his ﬁrst executive headship just two years before the MAT launched in January 2019 – is proud of all his schools and says his role is to model the leadership he’s looking for. He is proud each school has “autonomy in the right places” and cites an inspirational piece of advice from former national schools commissioner Sir David Carter: “What’s the MAT dividend, what is it doing for the children? If you are the parent, what’s the beneﬁt of your child’s school being in the trust? That’s always resonated with me.” He adds: “Individual schools haven’t got the time or ﬁnances to put on these kinds of events. It’s just adding that little extra 1% to the schools. They’re already fabulous places to be. This is just adding a little extra bit of inspiration.”
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