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Issue 80 / January 2018 / £5


FOCUS Equality outside the classroom


Investigating inequalities within the education sector

Supporting pupils away from school

Apprenticeships How you can make them pay?


Preparing for the future



ANNE LYONS: NAHT president 2017/18

Equality of opportunity elcome to the new edition of Leadership Focus. I’m pleased that this issue focuses on something very close to my heart, namely what schools can do to make the biggest positive impact for all the children in our care. Over the two decades that I’ve been a school leader, I’ve seen numerous government initiatives come and go, and numerous Education Secretaries, too. In that time we’ve heard about ‘social mobility’, ‘narrowing the gap’, ‘life chances’ and other buzzwords. But despite the improving standards in schools and 20 years or more of sustained effort, as a society we’ve failed at narrowing the gap between richer and poorer students. In all that time, there has been a focus on schools either to playing a part, or in some cases entirely solving, the ‘social mobility problem’. Tragically, for the folk at the bottom of the ladder, the policy people at the top have missed two indisputable truths. First, schools can’t improve equality for pupils if they are struggling for money themselves – vital interventions that could improve equality are already disappearing. There was no new core funding for schools in last November’s Budget, so we will continue to campaign for more. Without it, schools just won’t have a chance. Rightly, schools are at the centre of the efforts that we make to narrow the gap. But the second thing to remember is that it would be totally wrong to expect schools to solve the problem on their own. The issues that underpin inequality reach far beyond the school gates and exist throughout the


communities that schools serve. Cuts to local authority budgets have greatly reduced the sources of support for families on low incomes. Some of the areas where it is hardest to be socially mobile have suffered from decades of under-investment and shrinking opportunities for well-paid and highly skilled work. If we’re serious about improving equality in the UK we’ve got to look at all these factors. Schools can’t do it alone. We’re not without hope, though. Those of us at the coalface know what the problems are and have the desire to make a difference. Primary and secondary schools in and around London have been able to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students that buck the national trend. Additional investment and focus on projects like the London Challenge appear to have had an impact. We should be looking for ways to spread this to areas of the country that still need support. During her tenure as Education Secretary, Justine Greening spoke publicly with a depth of understanding of the issues and an open desire to put things right. We can only hope this continues under the watch of Damian

Above: Anne Lyons

Those of us at the coalface know what the problems are and have the desire to make a difference.

Hinds. Many of the government’s strategies for improving equality of opportunity are the right ones, but it can’t be done on the cheap. The government’s reluctance to put their money where their mouth is will only ever undermine the plans they have to make a fairer society. As well as funding, another area of focus must be recruitment. Our Leaky Pipeline report showed that the recruitment crisis continues unabated and that school leaders in areas with low social mobility have always struggled to attract teachers. Only a national strategy for teacher recruitment that recognises teachers as high-status professionals, and guarantees enough teachers for every school, will solve this problem. Fortunately, we seem to have stopped looking for magic bullets in education (although, you never know), but you can’t deny that a highly skilled and well-motivated team of teachers is essential if you’re going to stand a realistic chance of improving equality for pupils. I said at the start that we’ve failed. We’re all haunted by memories of children who we haven’t been able to reach. Although we can’t do it alone, there’s still no one like a teacher to open up a young person’s eyes to the possibilities that life could hold, as long as they’re able to make the leap.



ASSOCIATION AND EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES NAHT and NAHT Edge 1 Heath Square, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1BL Tel: 0300 30 30 333 Editorial Strategy Board: David Gilmore (chair), James Bowen, Tim Bowen, Nick Brook, Colm Davis, Guy Dudley, Kim Johnson, Steven George, Magnus Gorham, Steve Iredale, Helena Macormac, Sophie Mcleod, Valentine Mulholland, Julie Nash, Judith Stott, Paul Whiteman and Rob Williams. @nahtnews

EDITORIAL TEAM Editor: Nic Paton. Publisher: David Gale.


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Leadership Focus is published on behalf of NAHT by Headlines Partnership Publishing Ltd, Headlines MediaHub, Radian Court, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8PJ.

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Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation: 30,151 (July 2015 – June 2016) ISSN: 1472-6181 Š Copyright 2016 NAHT All rights reserved: no part of this publication may be copied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this publication, neither the publisher nor NAHT can accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or changes since compilation, or for consequential loss arising from such changes or inaccuracies, or for any other loss, direct or consequential, arising in connection with information in this publication. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply recommendation by the publisher.

The views herein are not necessarily those of the publisher, the editor or NAHT.




Recruitment will continue to be a focus. It has to be. Unless the government gets a grip here, we’ll continue to miss our targets year on year. Paul Whiteman

Contents 6

News round-up The latest from across NAHT and NAHT Edge.

10 All things being equal We look at the current inequalities that exist within the education system and society at large.

21 Equality outside the classroom A look at what can be done beyond the classroom or school environment.

26 Making apprenticeships pay


How to use the apprenticeship levy funding.

30 The great outdoors A study reveals too many children are missing out on lifechanging residential experiences.

31 Top five advice resources

44 4

A summary of our most popular advice topics.

38 Celebrating success James Bowen, NAHT Edge director, looks at the successful development of middle leaders.

42 A Canadian education

54 4

Learning from a study trip to Ontario.

44 GDPR and schools We take a look at the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

47 Paul Whiteman A view from our general secretary.

49 Nothern Ireland school budgets Helena Macormac focuses on the financial issues.

53 Motor Neurone Disease Association Families struggling to cope with the financial impact of the disease.

54 PSHE A look at the importance of PSHE in the education sector.

61 Building the future A look at Minecraft: Education Edition.

62 Supporting disadvantaged children We speak to Catherine Roche, chief executive of leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

64 Your professional development New training courses for 2018.

66 Final word How one school is creating aspirations.



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 month’s news via

The early goose catches the worm! lready in its fifth year, the Inspiring Leadership Conference is fast becoming a must-attend event for school leaders across the length and breadth of the country. This year, the conference will be held on 14 and 15 June at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The event will cover topics spanning innovation, leadership, partnership, development and technology. This is the perfect opportunity for senior leaders to meet their peer group, share experiences and exchange views and ideas to take back to the workplace. Delegates will also have unrivalled access to updates on technology, products and services to improve their work environment via the extensive exhibition.



Inspiration for you and your school This exceptional event offers a unique opportunity for you to explore new problem-solving methods, discover new approaches to try out in your school, and meet new supportive colleagues from schools around the country.

The conference boasts a workshop programme focusing on examining new solutions to some of the key strategic challenges you face. The conference also plays host to the finest leaders from the worlds of education, business, the media, sports and beyond. Our keynote speakers will motivate, stimulate and move you with a wealth of stories. Some have succeeded through great adversity, whereas others have challenged the status quo against all the odds or changed lives through the smallest of actions.

Book now for early bird discount The standard conference fee costs £480 + VAT per person: however, the conference is offering a limited number of early bird tickets at £405 + VAT, saving you £75. Early bird discounts will be applied on a first come, first served basis. Discounts are also available for group bookings of five or more delegates. Book your place today by visiting



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 important that we have your most up-to-date personal details, so we can contact you with important information regarding your membership. NAHT and NAHT Life members can update their details online by visiting www., and NAHT Edge members can let us know of any changes by contacting us on membersupport@

Primary Conference 2017 On Friday 24 November, it would be fair to say that morale within the education sector was running low. School funding had not been addressed in the Budget statement that week and the short November days were yet to be filled with December’s festive cheer. However, in Birmingham, we launched Primary Conference 2017 and spirits soared. The event was a roaring success with a highly entertaining speech from actor, author and comedian Dave Keeling on the roles of confidence and application in learning; and a hilarious keynote speech from author Michael Rosen on the importance of creating interpretive spaces for children to engage with literature. And if that wasn’t enough, delegates were also treated to an energetic performance of ‘Boogy Woogy Buggy’. Practical advice was also a main staple of the day with a plethora of interactive workshops. Workshop subjects ranged from tackling teacher workload to developing a whole-school approach to emotional health and well-being. For information on our upcoming events, visit

Free antii abuse poster for your school On the centre pages, you’ll find a specially designed poster that school leaders can put up on their premises, making it clear that abusive behaviour towards school staff will not be tolerated. This poster was designed at the request of school leaders. We hope you find it useful.

A new look for 2018

We’ve been doing some work behind the scenes to improve our website. Within the next few weeks, you’ll notice a new design with a fresher look and feel, a simpler navigation journey, and an improved search function. We’ve also repurposed the whole site so it’s easier to view on a mobile device. Once it’s launched, why not email us at and tell us what you think?

Planning to retire at the end of this year? Don’t forget to join NAHT Life NAHT Life offers you the opportunity to continue membership of the largest union for school leaders once you’ve retired. By joining NAHT Life, you’ll continue to receive e important trade union services while enjoying your retirement. Our Life members know that, should any action be taken against them arising from their time in service as a full member, we’ll be there to help, providing legal advice and representation to achieve the best result. We can also advise you on pensions, and our Life members continue to receive our magazines, e-newsletters and emails, and enjoy full access to our website, which includes a specific area for Life Members. To find out more, visit or email




Rallying together at Westminster over school funding undreds of teachers, parents, school leaders and children travelled to Westminster on Tuesday 24 October to join our campaign for increased investment in education. MPs from a range of parties also joined us to demonstrate their support and share first-hand accounts of the school funding crisis in their constituencies.



It was evident from the outset that these are challenging times for schools, with many reporting staff cutbacks and shortages in much-needed resources. We will continue to campaign for investment in education and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign so far.

The leaky pipeline of school recruitment and retention

Last term we released the findings from our annual recruitment survey which made for interesting reading and attracted considerable attention in the media. This year, more than 800 of you told us about the difficulties that you and your colleagues are facing. The results (right) show that for the fourth year running, schools face a crisis in recruiting and retaining sufficient staff. The findings provide powerful evidence about the struggle to recruit school leaders and teachers, which we will use to press government on the issues that schools are facing. Read the full report on the survey’s findings by visiting







BEING EQUAL Mind the Gap.

O Or, as a nation, do we? NIC PATON investigates the current inequalities i that exist within the education system and society at large.


State of the Nation report by the Social Mobility Commission suggested that, worryingly, many of us appear happy to accept, or at the very least shrug our shoulders and live with, a “‘them and us’ society”, one where “an unfair education system, a two-tier labour market, a regionally imbalanced economy and an unaffordable housing market” gouges out societal inequality of opportunity and puts millions at a disadvantage to their peers. The quadrumvirate of factors highlighted above illustrates very clearly how “the disadvantage gap” (as the Education Policy Institute has also branded it) is not just about education and schooling. It is a multi-faceted, complex, multi-generational problem that is driven by, and pulsates in response to, factors, pressures and tensions both inside and well beyond the school gate.

Indeed, the fact that Social Mobility Commission chair Alan Milburn and three of his commissioners (including former Education Secretary Gillian Shephard) resigned en masse in December highlighted the complicated web of pressures at play, political as well as social, when it comes to effecting change in this area. Nevertheless, schooling and education do have a critical role to play in enabling equality of opportunity, choice, aspiration and social mobility. The education sector has, for a long time, acted as an indicator of equality (or inequality) of opportunity between people in deprived areas and those in more affluent parts of the country. Over the years, various initiatives – everything from free school meals to pupil premium funding, from early intervention grants through to free early education

– have been launched by successive governments to try to address inequality of opportunity, with varying degrees of success. The latest by the Department for Education has been the development of 12 “opportunity areas” (see panel on page 16) designed to bring together schools, colleges, workplaces and other local institutions between now and 2020 to boost young people’s chances in areas that face the greatest barriers to social mobility. Although it is early days, both the opportunity areas initiative and the fact the current government, whatever its weaknesses and controversies in other


areas, does seem to be proactively engaged with the problem of inequality of opportunity, is positive, emphasises NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman. “The first thing, for me, is that, finally, we are having a serious conversation about social mobility and equality of opportunity; all the political parties – of whatever complexion – are having that debate,” he points out. The previous Secretary of State, Justine Greening, determined that this would be a core focus for her, and we believe it’s crucial that her successor continues this important work. So, what are the opportunity areas all about and how are they working? Each of the 12 areas is adopting a place-based approach involving the whole education community,

from early years through to employment. Each is working on a detailed delivery plan, and because, of course, each area faces different issues and challenges, each has different priorities and areas of focus for its activities. For example, and to showcase one in particular, North Yorkshire coast has a fourfold focus: ensuring high-quality provision in early years, maths and literacy, and ensuring there are good secondary school places for every young person in the region. In more detail, the area’s specific activities will include: • Working with trained practitioners to offer nurseries and early years provision in schools and a developmental assessment, leading to both setting-wide and individual staff development plans.

One way schools can improve social mobility and equality of opportunity is simply, of course, through great teaching and education. The Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) was launched by the DfE last February, and is a three-year programme designed to support high-quality CPD for teachers and leaders. It also has a very specific aim to improve outcomes for children and young people, thereby making a significant contribution towards tackling social mobility. NAHT has linked with the TLIF through its Aspire schools’ improvement

programme. The one-year Teacher Development and Leadership Development programme is based upon Aspire, and brings schools together in networks of four, with the first networks beginning work last November. Senior leaders collaborate each term, off site in a network day to be introduced to strategies and resources and to plan strategically. On another termly network day, nominated leaders for teaching and learning and assessment for learning, do much the same. Each term these are followed up with development days in schools when an achievement adviser, who works with

leaders and other staff, supports the follow-through of development. Any school with an Ofsted judgement of 3 or 4, and located in one of the 12 opportunity areas is eligible. Alternatively, schools in Category 5 and 6 local authority districts may also be eligible. Because the cost of the training is covered by the fund, there is no cost to eligible schools; it’s just a commitment for them to release staff to complete the programme. • For more information or to register your interest, go to


• Establishing a maths centre, located within a school on the North Yorkshire coast and easily accessible to teachers and leaders in the area. • Launching a literacy campaign to work with parents and carers, schools, business and the community to nurture a love of reading. • Supporting up to five primary schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils with intensive training package to implement a strong systematic synthetic phonics approach. Developing and implementing • Dev a co comprehensive CPD offer for tea teachers and leaders in the areas – inc including the fully-funded National Professional Qualifications. Pr •P Partnering with the Careers and Enterprise Company to ensure E tthat every young person has at least four encounters with the world of work. “The opportunity areas initiative is a fantastic opportunity for the North Yorkshire coast and surrounding area,” enthuses Richard Benstead, opportunity area programme director at North Yorkshire County Council. “It is about creating the conditions for long-term and sustainable change. Classrooms and schools are, of course, a fundamental partner in this, but they are part of a broader jigsaw puzzle. It is also about how to get parents

and employer employers to t engage as much as possible, putting the community at the centre, in a way that is meaningful and complementary to what is going on in the classroom. “Alongside this, we are gathering data and evidence, working with the Education Endowment Foundation and the new Research School to understand the evidence of what works. And, beyond that, it is about recognising that, if you’re talking about social mobility or equality of opportunity, you need to be talking about multi-generational issues. “To that end, the opportunity elf areas programme is not by itself d going to answer everything, and certainly not by 2020. But if it can an shine a light on particular areas and specific issues around social mobility then that is an exciting opportunity. You can always do good things with additional investment, but it feels like a moment where doing good things isn’t good enough. This has to

Below: In Blackpool there are three priorities: raising attainment and progress; supporting vulnerable children and families to improve attendance, outcomes, and to reduce exclusions; and improving advice and support for young people.

be about the long-term impact on some of the fundamental challenges that mean that too many young people do not achieve their dreams in life,” he adds. Or take Blackpool. Here the priorities are threefold: to raise attainment and progress in Blackpool’s schools; to provide support for vulnerable children and fa amilies to improve attendance and utcomes, and to reduce exclusions ou om school; and to improve fro advice and support for young people when moving between schools/colleges and into work. Specific activities include, among others, the DfE working with careers groups and networks to improve the quality and breadth of careers activity and employer encounters for young people aged 11–18; promoting and extending the work of Primary Futures in the town; creating a Blackpool secondary heads group to (as it suggests) bring g heads together to



share knowledge and success; and working with the National Citizen Service to help young people in the town develop skills for work. “The way the town has come together, and all the education sectors have come together, in trying to develop a base for Blackpool children is, I think, a most impressive start. In the past it always used to be very initiative-led, with things happening left, right and centre, but not always in a coordinated way. Now we are stripping things back and looking at things that are going to make the biggest impact in the town,” explains Andy Mellor, head of St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, NAHT vice president and a member of the opportunity area board. “Since the opportunity area board was announced we have had some really good outcomes for school inspections. Obviously, this cannot all be attributed to the opportunity area, but there are signs that things are moving in the right direction,” he adds.


However, there is an elephant in the room. While specific initiatives or insights around equality of opportunity can certainly be valuable, if all you’re doing is imposing extra burdens on already cash-strapped schools then there is a serious question-mark around what, if anything, you’re likely to be able to change in the long term, as Paul Whiteman warns. “You cannot really impact social mobility or equality of opportunity re going to on the cheap. If you are

“IT IS CHALLENGING TO WORK OUT WHO NEEDS WHAT AND, IN THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CLIMATE, INCREASINGLY CHALLENGING TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER THAT” Clare Jones is the head teacher at Bignold Primary School in Norwich, one of the government’s 12 opportunity areas. The school has approximately 500 children aged 2–11. The Norwich opportunity area has a focus on improving early speech, language, listening and communication; raising attainment through targeted, evidence-based CPD for teachers and stronger system leadership support; supporting children at risk of exclusion from school, and giving young people the information and support they need to move successfully between school, college, university and into work. “We are located in the centre of Norwich and have a very mixed catchment. Our pupil premium is 33 per cent, and our English as an additional language is 27 per cent, compared to Norfolk average of 10.6 per cent. “As a city, Norwich has areas with really high incomes, but others where there are high levels of poverty. It is

challenging to work out who needs what and, in the current financial climate, increasingly challenging to be able to deliver that. To that end, being in one of the opportunity areas could have a positive effect, as long as it is sustained and there is proper money put behind it. “One of the big issues within Norfolk is around exclusion. I have never excluded a child in 12 years of headship. There is now a greater challenge to be inclusive without as much external support as there once was. It is not that we have a high number of such pupils; it is that those who are challenging have a high impact on the class. Schools need support to avoid having to resort to exclusion. “We try to have as many specialist TAs as possible, for example, around additional language support or speech and language support. For me, this is a big area in terms of equality of opportunity because future success comes from communication, from effective speech and language. That is one reason why we recently set up our own pre-school, precisely so we can work on speech, language and communication at a younger age.

“We have reduced our maths groups in Years 5 and 6 to 20 instead of 30. We are also specifically targeting a group of 20 Year 5s with low self-esteem and poor learning behaviours, with one of our assistant heads taking charge of this group. We have links with Primary Futures, we hope to set up a Year 5 ‘Brilliant Club’ next year and we’re involved with the Prince William Award. “We use our pupil premium money as effectively as we can. It also helps that, as a city centre school, we are able to generate revenue by using our playground as a car park during holidays and at weekends. That alone brings in around £60,000 a year. “It is about getting involved and working with your community but also engaging with other head teachers in your area. If, as a head teacher, you get an email about being part of an opportunity area, don’t ignore it. Don’t sit back and wait for things to come to you. You need to be proactive.”


Even if likely to have been followed by an exasperated cry of “but this is what we’ve been saying for years!”, the tone of Spielman’s comments will undoubtedly have been welcomed by many head teachers. As Sarah Hannafin, NAHT senior policy adviser, highlights: “Accountability measures and performance data – the high stakes nature of them and the sanctions attached – are creating an environment where the choices many young people have are being narrowed down. “If you have more flexibility then schools have the opportunity to give young people the curriculum that is right for them and enable them to be successful. Policies like forcing most pupils to follow an EBacc route are, we feel, unnecessarily restrictive. “It is about the importance of school leaders having the freedom to provide a broad balance that is right for all of their students,” she adds.

do these things, you have to fund them properly,” he emphasises. Andy Mellor agrees. “For example, we have just had to cut 20 per cent from our speech and language therapy budget, which is a major issue for somewhere like Blackpool; it can be a barrier to children making progress. It does sometimes feel as if you are trying ng to promote the best of Blackpool at the top end while haemorrhaging money out of the bottom. “Ultimately, it comes back to money. If we are to have major success with the opportunity areas then you cannot give with one hand and take away with the other,” he adds. The impact of the narrowing of the curriculum on equality of opportunity is another factor that needs to be taken into account. Back in October, head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, warned that schools overly restricting options or watering down curricula to focus on exam results risked disadvantaging already disadvantaged children. “It is a risk to social mobility if pupils miss out on opportunities to study subjects and gain knowledge that could be valuable in subsequent stages of education or in later life,” she said.

Above: Schools have the opportunity to give young people the curriculum that is rightt for them and enab ble them to be succ cessful.

It is also vital not to overlook the huge impact of early years, argues Paul Whiteman. “Schools are often playing catch-up before a child even comes to school for the first time. As a child, if you miss out on early years, you never really catch up. “So, we need to be talking about the importance and impact that we, as school leaders, can have in early years, but without replacing what we do in later years. It needs to be in addition to, not a replacement for,” he adds. Addressing equality of opportunity as early as possible is vital, agrees David Egan, emeritus professor at Cardiff School of Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University. “You have to start as early as possible, even pre-school. So, it is often about primary schools making sure they are linking effectively with the pre-school provision. It is about intervening early, not giving up and keeping that intervention going through the primary and secondary development of the child.” Prof. Egan, who was a member of the British Education Research Asssociation’s Research Commission on n Poverty and Policy Advocacy, arrgues that, while the devolved nations clearly face their own distinct pressures and challenges, the overarching challenge of fostering and nurturing equality of opportunity is much the same wherever you are in the country.




“THE NARROWING OF THE CURRICULUM CAN MAKE IT MUCH HARDER FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS” Ian Wilson is head teacher at Bishops Blue Coat Church of England High School in Chester, which has approximately 1,060 pupils aged 11–18. “For me, equality of opportunity has to be about levelling up. Every school will have its own vision, yet the services that can offer support to families are fewer and farther between. For many hoo ol is a constant in their lives. pupiils, sch “The narro owing of the curriculum can make it much h harder for disadvantaged e destination can seem to be students; the less clear and d nationally access to goodquality caree ers advice is more limited.

THE OPPORTUNITIES AREA INITIATIVE The government’s 12 opportunity areas are: • West Somerset


• Norwich • Blackpool “Wales has many of the same issues surrounding deprivation and equality of opportunity as parts of England and Northern Ireland and, indeed, Scotland,” he concedes. “At the end of the day, the objective, particularly with teenagers, needs to be to keep that aspiration high, to keep them engaged with education and to enable them to see the value they will gain from that. “Many schools have achieved remarkable things over the years, but are now seeing funding streams disappear or people being more protective of what funding they do have because of cuts. If we want schools, especially those working in our most challenging areas, to be working effectively to tackle equality of opportunity then we have to find new ways to fund these interventions that do not affect the core funding of schools,” he says. “The 12 opportunity areas are a great start and will, I think, have an impact,” emphasises Paul Whiteman. “But, of course, you have to cover the whole country, not just 12 areas. If you just concentrate on those

areas, the danger is th hey may y end up with an embarrasssment of riches, which becomes unsustainable and the system canno ot deliver. “As a head teacher, all you can do is keep on doing what you’re doing, but never miss an opportunity to give a message to policymakers and those who make decisions concerning school funding. One vehicle that has been really successful in the last few months has been harnessing that conversation with parents on what they can and cannot do; this gets parents talking to MPs and policymakers. “As school leaders, we need to be demonstrating the breadth of opportunities there are out there, creating a virtuous circle where there is an understanding of why these subjects our children are learning about are so important in later life. “And, finally, let’s not forget that, as the current generation ages, we are all going to become reliant on the next generation coming through to be equipped to make good decisions about this country’s future and their own futures and successes,” Paul adds.

• North Yorkshire coast • Derby

Each opportunity area is working to create local partnerships with early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and local authorities.

• Oldham • Bradford • Doncaster • Fenland and East Cambridgeshire • Hastings • Ipswich • Stoke-on-Trent The first six areas were announced in October 2016, with the remainder following in January last year. Each area has different areas of focus or priority. Each opportunity area is working to create local partnerships with early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and local authorities. More specific information on the opportunity areas, including individual delivery plans and the methodology for selection, can be found at government/publications/ social-mobility-andopportunity-areas


“Schools have many different pressures to deal with. Our catchment is mixed, with 20 per cent of our pupils are pupil premium. Around 10 per cent choose to make the journey from Wales where the curriculum is increasingly different. Those families who come to us are making a positive choice in opting for the English curriculum, plus the fact that we offer a sixth form. But it can nevertheless make it challenging for disadvantaged pupils. “One of the key areas where we can level up learning is by encouraging attendance. Attendance is, of course, bread and butter for everyone across the secondary sector. It has not been easy since the Isle of Wight school holidays’ court case because our local authority ceased prosecuting for a time.

“When seeking to improve outcomes for all groups, we have found that giving education a tangible meaning can help. For example, we are one of only 10 secondary schools in the country with STEM Assured status. We used to be a science and maths specialist school, and we have continued to build on the talents of our staff and make the case for achievement within the

community. We do a lot of work around raising aspirations in this area, including having engineering on the key stage four curriculum, which is something where the link to employment is clear and the subject provides a practical option alongside EBacc subjects. “Addressing disadvantage requires all stakeholders to aim high. We try to reach out about things such as revision sessions and curriculum information. We highlight the importance of homework through the ‘Show My Homework’ app and seek to make lessons available electronically to keep things accessible. Practically supporting access to parents’ evenings, exams, revision sessions and topping up pupils’ food accounts can all help to overcome disadvantage.”

THE SOCIAL MOBILITY COMMISSION’S STATE OF THE NATION REPORT The Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation report in November 2016 concluded that Britain “has a deep social mobility problem which is getting worse for an entire generation of young people”. It called for employers and educators to join with the government in pushing forward an ambitious 10-year programme of social reform. Recently departed Commission chair Alan Milburn said: “The rungs on the social mobility ladder are growing further apart. It is becoming harder for this generation of struggling families to move up. “The social divisions we face in Britain today impact many more people and places than the very poorest in society or the few thousand youngsters who miss out on a top university. Whole sections of society and whole areas of Britain feel left behind. “The growing sense that we have become an ‘us and them’ society – where a few unfairly entrench power and wealth to themselves – is deeply corrosive of our cohesion as a nation,” he added. Then NAHT secretary general Russell Hobby argued the report showed the need for greater investment in early years education and a rejection of selective education. “Education is the most important factor in boosting social mobility. We must ensure

all pupils have access to the best education possible, which means rejecting measures that restrict this to only a few,” he said. Looking at schooling and education, the report recommended that, in Early years, the government should: • Introduce a new parental support package at key points in a child’s life to support children falling behind • Set a clear objective that, by 2025, every child should be school-ready at the age of five and that the child development gap should be closed with a strategy to increase high-quality childcare for low-income families • Double funding for the early years pupil premium to ensure better childcare for those that need it most. For schools, it recommended the government should: • Have as its core objective the ambition, within the next decade, of narrowing the attainment gap at GCSE between poorer children and their better-off classmates by two-thirds • Rethink its plans for more grammar schools and more academies • Mandate the 10 lowest performing local authorities to take part in improvement programmes so that by 2020 none of their schools is rated ‘Inadequate’ and

all are progressing to ‘Good’ • Reform the training and distribution of teachers and create new incentives, including better starting pay, to get more of the highest quality teachers into schools • Require independent schools and universities to provide highquality careers advice, support with university applications and share their business networks with state schools



inequalities remain persistent and hard to tackle. In particular, they highlight under achievement by working-class Protestant children and wider male under achievement in education. Targeted initiatives to assist children from disadvantaged groups can break down social barriers and make a significant difference. Groundbreaking initiatives such as the Strule Shared Campus in Omagh (which will bring six schools with different demographic profiles together on one campus) can, in theory, enable a creative approach to collaboration and sharing to increase social mobility. The expertise of school leaders is essential in ensuring the success of such work. Where targeted pots of funding are administered by centralised bodies with limited consultation with front-line practitioners, the full potential of such work will be limited. Our school system is facing a budget crisis deemed to be the worst in 40 years. Schools are often left with no option


• Repurpose the National Citizen Service so all children between the ages of 14 and 18 can have quality work experience or extra-curricular activity. For post 16-education and training, it recommended the government should do the following: • Develop a single UCAS-style portal over the next four years so that youngsters can make better choices about their post-school futures • Make schools more accountable for the destinations of their pupils and the courses they take post 16 • Ensure schools’ sixth form provision is extended and schools are given a role in supporting FE colleges to deliver the Skills Plan, with the aim for the number of 16 to 18-year-old NEETs to be zero by 2022 • Ensure low-quality apprenticeships are scrapped • Publish a new social mobility league table to encourage universities to widen access • Over the next 10 years, extend higher education to

those parts of Britain that have no or low provision. Helena Macormac, policy director for NAHT Northern Ireland, said: “Tackling social inequality has been a significant part of the Northern Ireland peace process. As a society emerging from conflict, there are, specific nuanced issues around social deprivation, social mobility and how the education system can help to shape a peaceful and prosperous future. Despite challenges, schools in Northern Ireland continue to achieve exceptional results. Notably, the most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) found that Northern Ireland’s primary school pupils were the best at maths in Europe. While the Department of Education Northern Ireland has stated that gaps in attainment are narrowing between the highest and lowest achieving pupils and that overall levels of educational attainment are increasing, the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland has cited that many

From the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber...

...only one school leaver on Free School Meals went to Oxbridge. Based on the 2010 cohort. Social Mobility Commission Annual Report 2016, page 109

From the early years through to universities and the workplace, there is an entrenched and unbroken correlation between social class and success.

Social Mobility Commission Annual Report 2016, page 1



In its report The social mobility solution: school leaders or school structures? published in August last year, the Education Policy Institute examined the progress made in closing the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, including how this gap varied across the country and had changed since 2007. Its conclusions highlighted how what it termed the “disadvantage gap” emerges over the course of childhood, but widens most quickly before the age of five and between the ages of 11 and 16. Conversely, the gap tended to widen most slowly in the latter years of primary school. The report made a wide range of recommendations, but broadly concluded that: • Children from disadvantaged families already lag behind their

more advantaged peers by roughly 11 months when they start school • By age 11, poor children lag nearly 10 months behind their peers in terms of educational progress • While there has been an increase in attainment among free school meals (FSM) and non-FSM children at GCSE level, the attainment gap remains stubbornly large at 28 percentage points. There has been no real narrowing of the gap over the last two decades • Overall attainment at A level has not improved over time, and FSM attainment has increased only marginally. The attainment gap – at 22 percentage points – is only a minimal improvement on 11 years earlier. When it came to whether there was evidence that some school structures were

more effective than others in closing this disadvantage gap, the report argued that: • Differences in achievement are seen between pupils within the same schools, so focusing on differences between schools (such as school type) can be a distraction • The proportion of chains in which disadvantaged pupils perform above the mainstream average has fallen between 2013 and 2016 • Academy chains do better with low attainers than with high attainers, on average. • Low-income pupils in schools located in urban areas make more progress relative to their peers in rural areas • Schools with the most disadvantaged pupils have seen the disadvantage gap decrease over the longer term, whereas schools with the fewest disadvantaged pupils have seen it widen.


but to use funding designated to tackle social inequality to make up the shortfall in the basic running costs of schools. For example, with regard to the provision of free school meals, the Northern Ireland children’s commissioner has expressed her fears that “this funding may be being spent by schools to plug gaps in general school funding and not for the purpose for which it was intended”. Unlike England, where schools publish their ‘pupil premium strategy’, including the impact of initiatives on the educational attainment of disadvantaged pupils, no similar analysis of the impact of such initiatives exists in Northern Ireland. To address inequality, every school must be adequately funded to meet the needs of every child. Additional resources for targeting social need must be ring-fenced

‘Social mobility’ is widely understood as a shorthand term for discussing the achievement gap between pupils from poorer or disadvantaged families and their more affluent peers. To that end, it is a term headteachers and school leaders are likely to use when discussing this issue with families, communities or pupils. However, while it is important not to get too hung up on terminology, it is increasingly recognised that ‘equality of opportunity’ is potentially a more accurate, and nuanced, term to be using in this context. This is because ‘mobility’ can bring with it connotations of moving from low to high (up a social ladder), and therefore some careers, aspirations or choices in life are somehow ‘worse’ or ‘lesser’ than others.

A good education can be the catalyst that enables someone to achieve a higher income or social sstatus in life. But, o e th may not be what equally, this an individual aspires to in their individ adult life, for very valid reasons.

and nd the outcomes outcom off such investments must be e quantified. The Department and d grantmakers must recognise ise the innovative work that many of our schools have undertaken. School leaders eaders must be consulted with and supported in developing veloping tailor-made solutionss to address social deprivation challenges hallenges and enable pupils to thrive.”

The key, h however, is that education education, or access to education education, should not be what governs o or tempers this choice.

Equal acc access to a good-quality education should be allowing everyone to have the opportunity to be soc socially mobile, as well as the op opportunity to reject that choic choice in life; it is about education providing the of opportunity to find equality o the most appropriate path.





When it comes to equality of opportunity or social mobility, it is very clear that only so much can be done within the classroom or school environment.



s Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the charity The Sutton Trust, questions: “How much can education counterbalance forces outside the school gate? There are huge societal problems out there, and they are not going to be solved in one year or even five. These are big, big fundamental challenges that society is facing. “I think we have to have a debate about addressing the extreme inequality outside the school gate, as well as making sure that education fulfils its aspiration as being a social leveller. It is very, very difficult for education to solve this in an environment where we have such large gaps in wealth and earning.” Over the previous pages we’ve highlighted how schools and the government are working together to tackle inequality of opportunity, both through the new opportunity areas and more widely. But we’ve also highlighted how wider societal



tensions play an important part, how social immobility and inequality of opportunity can be driven by factors as much outside the school gate as on the other side. How, then, are organisations outside the ambit of education helping to unpick, to loosen what Lee describes as the “stickiness” that can often be found both at the top and bottom of society? This, of course, is at one level unanswerable. From the local (yet increasingly scarce) librarian taking time out to help a disadvantaged child to discover the joys of reading through to the housing association helping to lift a family out of inappropriate housing, there are going to be many moments every day when a plethora of organisations make a difference to equality of opportunity, whether directly or indirectly, deliberately or by chance. But let’s look at a snapshot of how just some organisations are making a difference.

I think we have to have a debate about addressing the extreme inequality outside the school gate.


The Sutton Trust

Non-profit organisation The Sutton Trust works to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity through a range of evidence-based programmes – both pre and post-16 – that focus on research and policy advocacy. For example, it recently published research showing that lowering university offers for disadvantaged pupils by just two grades could lead to a 50 per cent increase in the number of free school meals-eligible pupils admitted to top universities. It has run more than 200 programmes designed to promote social mobility, including its flagship summer schools and career-specific “pathways” into areas such as law, medicine and STEM careers. It also offers a Teaching and Learning toolkit for teachers www.suttontrust. com/about-us/educationendowment-foundation/teachinglearning-toolkit developed


We need to have a better system that develops children who have talent, but not necessarily academic talent. with the Education Endowment Foundation. “We put so much on to schools and teachers; are we being unrealistic about the burden we are putting on them and their ability to solve this on their own? We have to address both sides: income inequality and education inequality. It is not about one or the other; it is about dealing with both,” enthuses Lee. “We need to have a better system that develops children who have talent, but not necessarily academic talent. There is a big debate to be had about vocational


opportunities. We need a national discussion about how head teachers think about not only academic high achievers but also the other children in our schools; what are the other routes that are open to them? At the moment, we have a system that is heavily biased towards the academic side. “If we are going to make inroads into social mobility, we have to pay for it. We cannot scrimp on this agenda. I do think head teachers need to be saying ‘we can work with children to enable them, and we can have incredibly high aspirations of what we can achieve, but we cannot solve social mobility on our own’. We need to start to have an honest conversation,” he adds.


Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures

(EDUCATION AND EMPLOYERS CHARITY) he Education and Employers charity was launched in 2009 with the aim, as it puts it, of “providing young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential, through ensuring that every school and college has an effective partnership with employers”. The charity works to achieve this through its research and volunteering programmes, including Primary Futures and Inspiring the Future, which connect 11,000 teachers with more than 38,000 volunteers who go into state schools and colleges and talk about their own job, career and education route. By connecting children and young people with volunteers from the world of work, the programmes aim to broaden horizons, raise aspirations and, by helping children understand the link between learning in school and the world of work, motivate them to improve their academic performance. “It is about introducing children from a young age to different role models and helping them to have an attitudinal change.



It is about helping young people not to close off their options, to broaden their horizons and get them thinking about what they can achieve; really working to tackle the stereotypes that they may otherwise believe in,” explains Katy Langham, director of Education and Employers. “Improving social mobility is not easy, but we do know that introducing children at a young age to a whole range of people from different backgrounds and careers can

help open their eyes to where they might be able to go and challenge stereotypes that are started at such a young age. “We know that being inspired by different people can help children to raise their aspirations and motivate them to study by better understanding the link between the subjects they study and the world of work. We’ve some reports being published soon that look at the link to attainment (currently focused at secondary level),” she adds.

The charity works with around 11,000 teachers and more than 38,000 volunteers who go into state schools and colleges to talk about their jobs and careers

The Scouts Association

ith some 452,000 youth, and more than 100,000 adult members, the Scouts help young people to experience the outdoors, interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The association also works closely with schools, as a recent blog kate-summit17 by head teacher Kate Crawford has highlighted.


Kate, head teacher of Horizon Primary Academy in Kent, is also group Scout leader of Fourth Swanley Horizon Scout Group, with 170 Beavers and Cubs taking part in scouting every Friday afternoon. “It has been transformational for the school and the children for a number of reasons. Hard-to-reach students have been engaged in the activities, which are different to what they would normally do at school,” she says.


The Scouts Association works closely with more than 452,000 youths, helping them to experience the outdoors

Girlguiding ith more than 550,000 members, much like the Scouts Association, Girlguiding (whether Rainbow, Brownie or Guide; or member of its senior section) is about supporting and inspiring young people to develop their potential, make friends and have fun. For example, through regular group meetings or at special events and trips, a girl might: • Conquer her fears on the abseil tower • Gain a leadership qualification • Try out new games and sports • Attend her first ever sleep over • Support other girls to learn about body confidence • Campaign for the rights of girls all over the world • Put up her first tent • Go canoeing.


“Attendance is up overall, detentions and behaviour incidents are down, and our academic results have been well above the national average since we started scouting. Scouting is now embedded into the school’s ethos and values, and, as such, the students feel they are really buying into the values and membership of both the school and the wider scouting community. “We’ve also seen the confidence and self-esteem of the students increase, and this positive change has transferred into the classroom and beyond – possibly even into their own, sometimes difficult and troubled, lives at home. Collaboration and teamwork is better now, and pupils and teachers see each other in a completely different light – as part of the same team that’s working towards a common goal. “I am absolutely confident that scouting has the ability to change the lives of even the most disadvantaged children in our society because I have seen it happen first-hand in my school. But to make sure it happens, we must reach out and offer it up. Young people don’t know what they’re missing out on until they’ve tried it, so giving them that first opportunity is vital,” she adds. “We are seeing increasing interest from multi-academy trusts that are often looking to establish a standard extra-curricular offer across their schools,” agrees head of policy, strategy and innovation Liam Burns.

Activities with schools can include running school assemblies, taster sessions and attending activity centres, among others.


iWill #iwill is a UK-wide campaign that aims to make social action – volunteering, community work, youth activities and so on – part of life for as many 10 to 20-year-olds as possible by the year 2020. The campaign is being coordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve, and it has cross-party political support.


MAKING APPRENTICESHIPS PAY ince April last year (2017), mostt sch hoolls have had d to rummage down the back of theiir (increasiinglly thread dbare)) soffas to find money to pay the government’ss apprenticeship levy. The levy has to be paid by any employer with a wage bill of more th han £3m – th hat’s wh hy th he vast majority of schools fall into its remit, even though h it is esttimatted d fewer than two per cent of employers overall are required to pay it. It is callcullatted d as 0.5 5 per centt off your wage bill, is paid every six months and, for most head teachers, has been a distinctly unwelcome extra squeeze on already hard-pressed budgets.



Indeed, as the levy came into force, then NAHT generall secrettary Russell Hobby warned that its imposiition coulld mean “sch hooll budgets will be pushed further towards breaking point”. NAHT also published guidance for members as to how to manage th he introd duction off th he levy. However, the levy has just been one sttrand d off an amb bitious programme of reform being pushed by the government around apprentticesh hips, att leastt in Englland d. Alongside funding reform has come the development of a raft of new apprenticeship frameworks and standards for a wide range

off ind dusttriies and d proffessiions, as well as the development of new higher level apprenticeships. Many of these new programmes are due to come on stream from eith her th his spring or autumn, and, critically, could become an importtantt way for head d teach hers to claw back some or even all of the apprenticeship levy money they’’ve been payiing, ratther than simply seeing it disappearing out of their budgets. As NAHT head of policy Valentine Mulholland explains:


As we’ve highlighted opposite, one way to claw back some of your hard-earned apprenticeship levy cash is to use it to fund apprenticeships yourself. But how, in practice, does this work? There are, essentially, five things you need to do or remember.

SET UP A TRAINING ACCOUNT If you are a levy-paying employer, the first thing you need to do is to create an online account with the government’s new apprenticeship service. You can find guidance on how to do this (and on apprenticeship funding in general) at manage-apprenticeship-funds You can then use this account to receive levy funds to use for apprenticeships, to manage your apprentices and to pay your training provider.


SOURCE A TRAINING PROVIDER If you are offering or running an apprenticeship, you will need to work with and select an approved apprenticeship training provider. For teacher apprenticeships, this could be a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) provider or an appropriate higher education institute. For lower level apprenticeships, it could be a local or national college or training provider.


AGREE ON A PRICE AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE The whole point of the new


apprenticeship frameworks in England is they are much more employercentred and employer-led. To that end, it is you, as the employer, who has control of the finance rather than, as previously, the funding being managed by the training provider. To that end, an important part of the new process is that you and your training provider must agree on a total price for each apprenticeship, which includes the costs of training and the end-point assessment.


“What we’re working towards is to look at the ways schools can get a slice of the apprenticeship levy money back through offering apprenticeship-style training. “There is often an assumption that apprenticeships are just for those aged 18-25 and just about vocational-style training, but they’re not. With more higher and degree-level apprenticeships being created, apprenticeships are now for anyone of any age, and they can go right up to master’s level. “For a lot of schools in the current financial climate, one of the first things to be cut has been CPD. Clawing back some of the levy money gives schools an opportunity both to retain money but also to keep staff engaged and d devellopiing proffessiionallly.”” As a head teacher, you could, for example, offer apprenticeships and professional developmentstyle training to your teaching

and support staff, your caretaker and maintenance staff, and your IT support team, as our panel highlights overleaf. In many of these areas, new frameworks and standards have been developed or are in development, and they allow training to be delivered as an accredited “apprenticeship” (rather than, say, simply a self or school-funded standalone qualification) and so enable a school to fund this using its apprenticeship levy contribution. Another major change has been the development of two new professional apprenticeship schemes specifically for the school sector: a new teaching apprenticeship and an apprenticeship for school business lead ders. Looking at the new apprenticeship for teachers first, this was formally approved by the government’s new Institute for

PAY FOR TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT USING YOUR LEVY FUNDS Once the apprenticeship training you’ve bought has started, monthly payments will be taken from your service account and sent to the provider. You will see funds entering your account each month after you have declared the levy to HMRC and then the funds leaving your account each month as you pay for training. If you don’t have enough funds in your account to pay for training in a particular month, you can share the remaining cost of training and assessing your apprentices for that month with the government. This is a process the government has called “co-investment”. Under “co-investment” you, as the employer, are expected to pay 10 per


One of the most significant changes is that, as an apprentice, the trainee is an employee rather than being supernumerary.

cent of any outstanding balance for that month, and the government will pay the remaining 90 per cent, up to what is known as the ‘funding band maximum’ because all apprenticeship schemes are now lumped into different funding bands. If your costs go over the maximum, you must pay the difference out of your budget. More detail on all of this can, again, be found in the guidance above. RECOGNISE THAT IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE ENGLAND, ALL OF THE ABOVE WILL NOT APPLY One of the anomalies of the apprenticeship levy is that, while all employers with a pay bill above £3m are required to wage it, the new apprenticeship service only supports the English apprenticeship system.


Apprenticeships in October, and it is now set to “go live” from September. “The teaching apprenticeship is a postgraduate scheme that runs across four terms, essentially, to allow graduates to gain QTS – much as they would through, say, a SCITT scheme or via a higher education institution, but with the school much more at the centre of the training,” explains Sir Andrew Carter, chief executive of South Farnham School Educational Trust in Surrey, and chair of the “trailblazer” employer group that developed the apprenticeship. “One of the most significant changes is that, as an apprentice, the trainee is an employee rather than being supernumerary. This means they are not eligible for a sttud dentt loan, so the sch hooll does have to pay a salary. However, the cost of the training can be drawn down from the levy contribution (up to £9,500 per year per trainee).

As apprenticeships are a devolved policy, the different authorities in each of the UK’s nations manage their apprenticeship programmes, including how funding is spent on apprenticeship training. The Welsh government has “no plans” to bring in a similar scheme to that in place in England. It will, it adds, “continue to deliver its apprenticeship programme via the Welsh apprenticeship provider network”. Similarly, in Northern Ireland, there are no plans to introduce an English-style system, and so employers who wish to recoup what they have paid through the levy can only do so by signing up to the ApprenticeshipNI programme or via new higher level apprenticeships.



APPRENTICESHIPS YOU COULD OFFER TEACHING As outlined overleaf, it is anticipated the first teacher apprenticeships will be available for delivery from September 2018. These will be level six apprenticeships and only open to existing graduates, with trainees achieving QTS after a four-term training period that’s followed by an end-point assessment run by UCET (Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers) and NASBTT (the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers).


“For the graduate, it is attractive because you get the unqualified teacher rate and achieve QTS without adding to your undergraduate debt, as you would have to do with a PGCE,” he adds. The assessment process will be the same as for other school-based routes, such as School Direct, and continuing into the NQT year will depend on candidates passing the assessment. There will also be an “end-point assessment” during the trainee’s first term of full-time work, which is normally an interview and/or a lesson observation. “This is a bold new way to do things, which could work really well. I think the brave, and clever, schools could well clean up here. Hardly any schools in England currently give this opttion for entteriing teach hing on their website – but why not put something on it saying ‘Would you like to be a teacher? Here is a way in’,” says Sir Andrew. “Schools should be involved in teacher training; it really is the way forward. Gone are the days when you can just advertise for a job and hope somebody turns up. But you also get people who can progress with you through to QTS, but who have not necessarily done a PGCE,” he adds. The school business leaders’ (SBLs) apprenticeship is a scheme NAHT has been working on with the Institute of School Business Leadership (formerly NASBM). When the apprenticeship launches in the spring, it will offer a level two qualification for school business leaders, which progresses through to level four and, from there, the ability to advance to both level six (degree) and level seven (master’s). “Back in 2015, the Department for Education removed bursaries for school business leaders. So,

now, if school business leaders want to gain any qualification or self-improvement, they either have to self-fund or hope their school is willing to fund it. But, in the current climate, that is getting harder and harder. Funding training through an apprenticeship could be an important solution,” explains Valentine Mulholland. More widely, the fact employers in England (in this case schools and head teachers) are now in control of apprenticeship funding rather than training providers, means there is an opportunity for head teachers to look at where there are training and development gaps in their schools and proactively work to plug them themselves. “These new qualifications are beiing launch hed d as an ongoiing pipeline. If there is a gap in the market then there is an opportunity for schools to be working with the Institute for Apprenticeships to develop accredited qualifications,” says Valentine. “Our advice, however, for schools is to work with local training providers, who are likely to be able to do a lot of the legwork for you. However, you do need to be slightly cautious as to who you work with, so check they have been recommended and have the experience to deliver the sort of properly accredited apprenticeship you want. “The final important point is whether you are a maintained school or an academy, you need to indicate to the government that you would like to use some of the levy by setting up a training account. You need to grasp the opportunity now available to take back some of apprenticeship levy finance,” Valentine adds.

SCHOOL BUSINESS LEADERS NAHT has been working with the Institute of School Business Leadership (formerly NASBM) to develop a level two apprenticeship qualification for school business leaders and then a level four qualification. From there it is possible to progress to both level six (degree) and level seven (master’s). The aim is that these will become available from this spring, and they will be suitable for current school staff. The levy fund can cover 100 per cent of the cost of professional development for current school staff. TEACHING ASSISTANTS THROUGH TO CATERING STAFF Teaching assistant qualifications are not new, and they will probably be familiar to most school leaders. However, under the new system in England, new apprenticeship frameworks and standards are being developed, and schools can be much more the leader of their delivery, as well as manage the funding. A new teaching assistant apprenticeship standard has been developed by a coalition of schools working with the vocational education provider City & Guilds, and Unison. The standard is set to be launched in June 2018. The plan is for it to be an 18-month level three ‘Supporting teaching and learning’ qualification and available for TAs, learning support assistants, childcare staff and specialist support assistants. A new apprenticeship framework is also being developed for school catering and technical staff, but this will not be specific to the education sector, and it may not vary too widely from existing apprenticeships in these areas. SCHOOL CARETAKER, MAINTENANCE OR IT STAFF Qualifications in areas such as premises management, property, cleaning, caretaking and facilities management, and IT can often be obtained through an apprenticeship. While, again, things are slightly in flux in terms of new standards and frameworks, it could be worth speaking to local training providers as to what is on offer in terms of qualifications that could add to the professional development of your maintenance, cleaning or caretaking staff as well as your IT support staff in this area.

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Pic credit: Girlguiding, Hazel Hughes


The Great STUDY REVEALS: far too many children are missing out on life-changing residential experiences. esidentials in schools are generally of high quality, but availability and cost are stopping many poorer students from participating, according to a new study, writes Kim Somerville from campaigning group Learning Away. The State of school residentials in England: 2017 study, conducted by education think tank LKMco, assesses the quantity and quality of residentials currently delivered in schools, and it is the first report to examine, exhaustively, school residential experiences across England. It draws from the EVOLVE database used to organise trips by approximately 25,000 schools as well as a survey of more than 900 teachers to test the quality of residentials, according to the ‘Brilliant Residentials’ principles. The study found that only one in five children is experiencing a residential every year, with disadvantaged pupils the least likely to participate. Furthermore, only around half of the teachers said they believed the residentials they delivered were affordable to all pupils. Learning Away’s initial research report stated that residential experiences



“provide opportunities and benefits/impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context or setting”. Remarking on the study and the accessibility of residentials for all students, chair of Learning Away, Joe Lynch, said: “This new study provides disturbing evidence that disadvantaged students are missing out on the transformational impact of residential experiences. Surely if these experiences have such a significant impact, all children should be entitled to have them during their time at primary and secondary school.” Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, said: “Many leaders of outdoor education centres are NAHT members. We are acutely aware of the negative impact of funding pressures. At our annual conference this year, delegates voted in favour of campaigning for protected funding to enable all children to have access to high-quality outdoor education and residential experiences. “The benefits of residential experiences and outdoor education are indisputable. It is distressing to learn that they are not

available to all students. The education funding crisis is only going to reduce opportunities to participate in residential activities, which is why we are campaigning for protected funding to enable children to have greater access to high-quality residential experiences. We want more residential opportunities, for more children, more of the time.” Responding to the report’s findings, a Department for Education spokesperson said: “Schools should consider the affordability of any trip they plan to ensure no-one is unfairly disadvantaged. Schools are best placed to understand and respond to the specific needs of their pupils. “This is why we have given them flexibility over how they use the pupil premium funding to improve the progress and attainment of their disadvantaged pupils. This can include covering some or all of the costs of going on a residential trip if the school believes that this will help it improve a pupil’s academic outcomes.”


The study suggests that schools are much less likely to organise residentials in the autumn term, preferring to arrange residentials in the spring and summer. It seems only a few are recognising residentials’ potential to foster deeper relationships between staff and students, which are sustained back in the classroom for the rest of the year. Learning Away believes that the impact, quality and accessibility of residentials could be improved if schools consider providing more winter residentials. To help schools make their residentials more inclusive and effective, Learning Away has launched a new #WinterResidentials campaign that provides schools with ideas, top tips and free resources for teachers and visit leaders.

FIND OUT MORE… @LearningAway #WinterResidentials Pic credit: Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre



advice e resources

At all times, we’re here to help you in every way we can. We provide a wealth of support to all our members. You can find the answers to many of your day-to-day school management questions in our comprehensive online knowledge base. Each term we look at some of the most challenging situations for our members. Here is a summary of our most popular advice topics from the autumn term.


Parental complaints

Managing parental complaints can be challenging for school leaders. Our invaluable guide will show you how to deal with a complaint from parents. It looks at what you should do in this event, what is reasonable and what we can do to help. Our advice team m can advise you on your apprroach when calle ed to an investtigation meeting and will walk you through the processs. If necessary, we can arran nge for one of our reps to acco ompany you to the inv vestigatiion meetin ng or pan nell hearing.



This academic year, the task of managing the pay review process and pay recommendations will be particularly challenging hool leaders. However, it is important to for sch member that the (brok ken) pay system you rem ha ave to work with is a product of government; itt is not of your makiing. To help support you through what was a challenging autumn term, we put tog gether a model pay policy, a model staff appraisal and ca apability policy, and a pay policy guidance docu ument to help you navigate through th he process. We hope you found these documentss useful and that they continue to support you through your next steps.


Model lockdown procedures

We hope you never need to implement a lockdown, but it is best to be prepared to keep your pupils and sttaff sa afe from threat or danger. Our advice e will help you to develop a policy and prac ctice that ensures your school can effective ely move to a status of ‘lockdown’ and, more importantly, how it can discharge its duty of care to pupils, staff, visitors and parents.

FAQs on excluding g pupils from sch hool

Excluding a pupil from your school is one of the most difficult things, as a school leader, you may have to go through. However, the power to exclude is at the disposal of school leaders because their first duty is to protect those under their control. Our adviice, launched in light of new statutory guidance that came into effect on 1 September 2017, steers you throug gh the exclusion process and the thing gs that ma atter when you intend to exclude a child under yo our control. The guide has also been produced to protect you from the inevitable challenges you are likely to face in the event of an exclusion and how best these might be mitigate ed.

Part-time working in schools



Pay and appraisal in 2017/18

Your school is likely to be made up of staff on a varriety of con ntrac ctuall arrangements: some full-time, some part-time, some term m-ttime e and d so on. Each group of staff is also likely to be protected by a relevant piece of leg gisllation and best practice. Our advice will guide you through the statutory y and d pra actic ce frameworks for part-time members of staff, look at how you ca an ma aximise e yo our school’s resources and explain how to protect yourself again nst any challeng ge iff an employee raises objections to their treatment.


Many of our members tell us that the wealth of the advice produced by our experts is worth the cost of membership alone. Each week we provide a new, researched and evidencebased guide to help you manage the key issues in your school. Make sure you open our e-newsletters to get your copy of the latest advice guide.

Our NAHT members can find these advice documents and much more at Our NAHT Edge members can find these and other specially tailored advice documents at naht-edge/help-and-advice We hope that you never need us, but if you do, call us on 0300 30 30 333 (option 1). Alternatively, email specialistadvice@



Building strategic partnerships to create inspiring learning environments From our partners at STRICTLY EDUCATION he state education sector is transforming. Budgets in real terms are going down while costs and the pressure to improve outcomes for students are rising. At the same time, schools are being encouraged to break from local education authorities (LEAs) and strike out on their own as academies. While independence offers rewards, market dynamics and education policy are driving academies to group together for mutual support. As a result of these dynamics, the boards of trustees of multi-academy trusts (MATs) face new problems. As MATs grow from



two or three academies to 30, 40 and more, how can they oversee every establishment and have the range of expertise necessary to meet these challenges? How do they allocate and monitor resources to diverse academies or plan for the future? Academies and MATs also have increasing statutory burdens; legally, they are charitable entities in their own right and some are almost mini-LEAs. Finding business leaders or volunteer trustees with the requisite skills and the willingness to take on significant legal risk and responsibilities in the areas of premises, people, payroll and finance can be a challenge.

The senior leadership teams in MATs are experienced educational professionals, primarily concerned with setting and executing a successful vision to improve outcomes for their pupils. Although it may make economic sense for a MAT of 50 academies to employ specialists to plan and manage premises, finance, payroll, health and safety, technology, and human resources, it does not for a MAT of three or four. So, how can they make the grade when it comes to professional management and strategic thinking? Services companies have been taking on some of the responsibilities of LEAs for a while, ensuring that gates are locked, windows repaired and staff paid, but a new kind of relationship is evolving. As well as the transactional relationship of providing security, maintenance and HR services, companies are now working as strategic partners with schools, academies and MATs, providing strategic solutions and advice as well as caretakers. Alfriston Special Girls’ School in Buckinghamshire, which left LEA control in 2012, works with Strictly Education,




We represent school leaders just like you. Our expert advice includes:

Information on employment and education management

Individual guidance and negotiations on pay, conditions and pensions

Individual support and representation to help you navigate the particular challenges you encounter, including difďŹ culties with parents, staff and governors

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a specialist provider of professional services to schools, academies and MATs. The school uses Strictly Education’s Helpdesk Plus-3 service, a property maintenance helpdesk that supports planned and reactive maintenance, coordinating contractor support for repairs and security when needed, and ensuring statutory compliance. The academy inherited a variety of historic buildings, not all designed for educational purposes, and must ensure that all comply with current standards. Like an increasing number of trusts, Alfriston School is also looking beyond the current financial year for longer term strategic advice and guidance. That support comes in the form of a specialist property adviser who visits the school once a term to meet with academy business director Anne Pickford, providing advice on property matters. Anne said: “Business managers have high-level expertise, but we also have to work in a variety of areas and we can’t possibly have the necessary depth of skills or time, for everything. “Working with Strictly Education enables me to cover all the necessary details so we can get the best results for school refurbishments, and keep health, safety and maintenance around the school covered. We know we have the support we need.” Surveyors to Education (S2e) is a strategic partner of Strictly Education. S2e carries out space planning and condition surveys, formulates infrastructure strategies, bids for capital funding and manages projects. Through S2e, Alfriston School has successfully bid for Condition Improvement Fund grants for major improvements in infrastructure, security and fire safety.

Martin Hier, a director of S2e, said: “We focus on premises, planning strategically to ensure students have a safe environment today and a more conducive environment in the future. We help academies get the most from their premises.” As illustrated in the infographic, Strictly Education is also building partnerships in other areas to provide two levels of service for the 2,000 schools and academies it supports across the UK. Nick Morrissey, a director of Strictly Education, said: “We used to provide independent service strands but we’ve turned that on its head to look at it from the client’s perspective. We assist schools in four general areas: people, payroll and finance, premises, and school effectiveness. Within each we offer a strategic layer, solutions to assist MATs in meeting their responsibilities and achieving their educational vision. “A trust of 50 schools may employ a premises expert, or a payroll expert, but if you’re a trust of three, four or even 20 schools, are you going to pay for an expert who only needs to be there a few days a month? It’s not economic. And academics don’t necessarily want the risk of recruiting and managing an expert – it’s our job to take on these roles working with the trust.” MATs can make significant savings at strategic levels, whilst ensuring they have flexible support and expertise when they need it, Nick explained: “In the premises area we help academies make the most of their assets. If you’re taking on additional schools, we survey their premises and write a gap analysis report before they come on board so that

issues can be managed out. And if you have a maintenance plan you will save on utilities and repairs in the future.” School <business managers and trustees also gain visibility of what’s happening across their MAT, ensuring consistency, better cost control and statutory compliance. Mike Bannister, who heads up Strictly Education’s property team, said: “Board trustees have responsibility for thousands of pupils and hundreds of staff and the buck stops with them. At that level, they need a strategic overview of what their assets are doing and whether each of the academies in the MAT are compliant.” Another client of Strictly Education, Rush Common School near Oxford, is an independent primary academy. Zoe Bratt, head of business and finance, said: “We’re not supported by the county council, so we carry many different responsibilities for the legal requirements of running an academy. Strictly Education property services and health and safety packages give us the reassurance that we are compliant.” For additional assurance, another strategic partner of Strictly Education, Xact, offers audits, guidance and an online e-learning package in health and safety to ensure academies do not fall foul of legislation. Finding a strategic partner can offer a business manager and headteacher with responsibility for more than one academy a number of advantages: visibility, consistency, cost control, compliance and, ultimately, peace of mind. With these benefits in place, a MAT can realise the full potential of its estate, staff and resources for the future, while allowing teaching staff the freedom to focus on educating students. Strictly Education is a strategic partner of the NAHT and provides payroll and finance, human resources, premises and technology services under the NAHT Assured brand.

For more information visit or email



Celebrating success JAMES BOWEN , NAHT Edge director, looks at the successful development of the professional association and union for middle leaders over the past three years. AHT Edge was born in November 2014 and so, give or take a few months, we are now celebrating three years of supporting and developing middle leaders. In that time, I am very pleased to say that NAHT Edge has been a real success. Last year (2017) was a record year for the number of new members joining, and NAHT Edge is now well established as a valuable part of NAHT that helps middle leaders on their leadership ‘journey’. A key part of this evolution has been the free continuing professional development (CPD) sessions we have been running for middle leaders for the past 18 months, since the summer of 2016. We now run an average of two to three sessions a week and, in that time, I have visited schools from Newcastle to Cornwall and beyond. The rationale behind the CPD sessions is that when NAHT Edge was set up, yes, it was about being part of a union,


with all the benefits that brings. But it was also about NAHT positioning itself as an organisation that can help with your professional development and help you ‘to be and become more effective in your middle leadership role.’ The sessions are available as either CPD for individual school teams – normally, for around five or six middle leaders – or as larger, often regional, groups with as many as 70 participants. We’ve sometimes found clusters of schools getting together, which has the added networking benefit of enabling middle leaders to share resources and knowledge, and collaborate in the future. Or it may be, perhaps, a cohort of subject-specific middle leaders from a particular region or multi-academy trust. The sessions are, normally, run on a twilight basis, which starts at around 3.30–4pm because we recognise it can be extremely hard for middle leaders to find the time to get out of school, especially

with all the covering of commitments that is necessary in the current climate. The sessions tend to follow two distinct themes. The first examines the big picture when it comes to school leadership. Often when you speak to middle leaders, there tends to be a sense they have almost fallen into the role. They’ve become a teacher, perhaps spent three to four years in that role and suddenly found themselves stepping up to take on a leadership responsibility because an opportunity has arisen. That’s great, but at the same time, it can mean you’re taking on this extra responsibility with little or no leadership or management training – training in, for example, how to manage a team, hold “difficult” conversations, give effective feedback, or motivate and manage performance (especially if there are performance concerns) – all those sorts of things.


ability to analyse data or put together an improvement plan. So, while technical skills are essential as a leader, it is important to recognise they are not necessarily what makes a brilliant or memorable leader. The second session is a follow-up session that really gets into some of the nitty-gritty of being an effective middle leader. It is about offering advice and practical guidance on the sorts of difficult situations middle leaders commonly face. For example, we often look at topics such as more effective time management or prioritisation, how to manage team relationships when you are suddenly senior to the people who have previously been teaching colleagues, and so on. It is very much about offering and applying practical solutions to common challenges faced by middle leaders. How to handle difficult conversations will often come We think about up, and ‘how to have successful the challenges middle Ofsted conversations’ is always leaders face and start a popular one! Another popular to explore possible topic is how to write an solutions. We also begin to think about what effective subject improvement brilliant leadership plan. But often the focus of looks like. the session will be led by the particular concerns and challenges of the participants in the room. One important point to make is that in these sessions there are absolutely So, these sessions are very much about no role-playing and no awkward helping to build those leadership skills building of skyscrapers exercises with and sometimes even simply validate that cardboard boxes, sticky-back plastic what you’re already doing is right. It can sometimes be the first time anyone has come in and, outside of the ferociously busy day-to-day cycle of the school day, helped you to step back and reflect on what it means to be a middle leader and how to carry out that role more effectively. We think about the challenges middle leaders face and start to explore possible solutions. We also begin to think about what brilliant leadership looks like. It is also about asking “what kind of leader am I?” There is no one way to be a ‘good’ leader – some leaders are outgoing and assertive; others assert their authority through quiet decisiveness (plus all shades in between). But it is important to understand the behaviours as a leader you are modelling and showing to your team, how ‘authentic’ (or not) you are coming across as a leader and whether this is the sort of leader you want to be. Often, I ask participants “tell me who is the most memorable leader you’ve worked for, and why?” Almost every time, what has been memorable is that person’s interpersonal skills or emotional intelligence rather than their

and paperclips! At NAHT Edge, we recognise we are dealing with highly skilled, highly motivated people who have carved out a path into leadership – and you have absolutely no need to be patronised! It is simply about giving middle leaders a vehicle through which to reflect, learn and improve. The final point to make is that this development work does not end when the session finishes at the end of the day. The danger with any training is that you come out all fired up and then by 4pm the next day, you’re back on the same exhausting treadmill and all your good intentions have gone to the bottom of your everexpanding ‘to-do’ list. So, we encourage schools to build in a follow-up session that takes place roughly six weeks later. This can be something we help to organise and run, or it can simply be something your head teacher schedules in, perhaps alongside a regular staff meeting or at another point outside the daily school cycle. To conclude, if you are an NAHT Edge member yourself, or a head teacher who simply feels your middle leadership could benefit from this CPD activity – and remember, it is free – please drop me an email. I look forward to meeting you and your team during 2018.

At NAHT Edge, we recognise we are dealing with highly skilled, highly motivated people who have carved out a path into leadership - and you have absolutely no need to be patronised!



Conferences and events 2018 We are delighted to confirm our exciting CPD programme of conferences and events for 2018. With an exceptional line-up of policymakers and highprofile speakers, our conferences are designed specifically to meet the needs of senior school leaders and will provide you with practical advice and information on a wide range of issues affecting schools across the country.

Sarah Kendrick – Q&A


Sarah Kendrick is the head of service in the south at Place2Be, the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity, and she will be one of the keynote speakers at our 2018 secondary conference on Capturing the teenage brain. We put our questions to her ahead of the big event.

Capturing the teenage brain: Secondary conference

9 February 2018, Birmingham his new conference, featuring internationally renowned speakers in the field of neuroscience, offers you an opportunity to explore the latest educational and neuroscience thinking on adolescence. Featuring cognitive scientist Professor Guy Claxon, practising paediatric neurologist Dr Andrew Curran, and head of service (South) at Place2Be, Sarah Kendrick as the keynote speakers, this conference is set to provide you with the ideas and support you need to understand and better cope with teenagers.



What will be the key takeaways from your presentation? Managing emotional well-being across a busy secondary school is a real challenge. I hope this session will help school leaders to feel better equipped to talk about mental health with their teachers, school staff and young people; and take steps to ensure everyone has access to the information and support they need.


What is the one thing you want the audience to understand on a deeper level? As school leaders, you’re no doubt very aware of how vulnerable young people can be to mental health issues. However, adolescence also makes possible

the great potential for change, and it is a time when improvements in emotional well-being can be made. This is thanks not only to brain plasticity but also to the way adolescents are typically interested in new ideas and mental health. I’m going to focus on how, when educating and supporting young people to build resilience, it’s important to step into their shoes and see challenges as they do to work effectively with them – even when that might be challenging.


What is the key piece of advice you would give every school leader to support pupils with mental health needs? It’s so important to develop a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health - that includes things like behaviour policies. But it is also about recognising that emotional well-being is everyone’s business. I’ll discuss how the entire school community can have a positive influence on the well-being of students and staff.



New and aspiring heads conference 23 May 2018, Birmingham

TESTIMONIALS FROM 2017: “I loved this conference. It was a real ‘pick me up’. It delivered a great mix of practical advice and inspirational stuff to keep me going. It was a rare opportunity to focus on my own leadership as an area for CPD, and I very much enjoyed chatting with colleagues at lunchtime and break time because this can be a lonely profession!” Nicola F, head teacher “As a result of this conference, when I go back to school I will be more confident, feel energised, and believe I can do this headship job thing now!” Jacqueline W, head of school

Becoming a new school leader can be both exciting and challenging, which is why it is important to continue to invest in your own skills and find time for reflection.


CYPMHS (Children and Young People’s Mental Health Centres) have long waiting lists and high thresholds, which means many pupils referred cannot access the specialist support they need. But schools cannot be expected to plug this gap, and most schools do not have the funds to be able to commission specialist mental health services themselves. What can be done to ensure pupils do get the specialist support they need? Identifying mental health problems as early as possible can prevent them from becoming lifelong or enduring issues – and you don’t necessarily have to be a mental health professional to do that. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with local CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centres) and ensuring there is a shared language about the mental health and well-being of students is also key.



What strategies can schools and teachers use to promote good mental health among their pupils?


Before they’re able to promote good mental health among their pupils, teachers need to look after themselves. When teachers and school staff are in good mental health and aware when they are not, it helps them to support their pupils better and makes them strong role models for how to practise emotional wellbeing. I’ll discuss this further and offer some suggestions.


How important is it that school leaders are supported to maintain their mental health? It’s crucial that all members of staff are supported, and this includes school leaders who have their specific stresses. I’ll discuss what wellbeing measures for staff might look like and how specialist mental health services, like Place2Be, can offer professional guidance.

Limited places are available for this conference so please book now to avoid disappointment. Follow us on Twitter #SecondaryConf

This year we would like to provide you with an opportunity to meet other new and aspiring heads, engage in a range of workshops focusing on topics relevant to you, and attend networking sessions to discuss some of the key changes and developments being proposed by the government and Ofsted, and what these might mean for you. Featuring Ben Walden from Olivier Mythodrama as the keynote speaker, you will be able to choose from a range of workshops, including a practical guide on how to deal with Ofsted inspection, media training for new school leaders, dealing with difficult people, taking the fear out of finance, good HR practice, and emotional health and well-being. You can rely on NAHT to provide you with the highest standard of support and advice throughout your time as a school leader – whether you will be leading in the early years, primary, secondary, or special schools and alternative sector. Formulated by successful and experienced head teachers from all sectors, this CPD for new and aspiring heads provides sound foundations, so you return to your school equipped to develop and deliver your vision, or plan your pathway to headship as well as prioritise the daily demands of your new role and ways to sustain your personal resilience throughout your career. On becoming a new school leader, we know that you’ll have competing priorities; we think you should have the opportunity to develop your potential, which is why we are offering this conference at subsidised rates. Who should attend? The conference is suitable for new heads in the first two years of headship, deputy and assistant heads, and those aspiring to leadership from early years, primary, secondary and special schools. To book your place, please visit ALSO DON’T FORGET OUR ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018! 3-5 MAY, ACC LIVERPOOL NAHT’s annual conference will involve debate and policymaking, and delegates will have the chance to hear addresses from the general secretary, incoming national president and guest speakers. naht-events/conferences/annualconference-2018



A Canadian education

Canada is a nation that prides itself on equality of opportunity. GARETH EVANS joined five Welsh head teachers on a study visit to Ontario to see what could be learned from colleagues overseas. He explains what they discovered.

he growth of internatio onal league tables and the ease with which one can travel between countries have opened d our eyes to a wealth of knowled dge and understanding. While their benefits and pitfalls can be debated, benchmarking tools such as PISA have helped education systems across the globe compare and contrast their practice with that of others many miles apart. It was with that in mind that Yr Athrofa, the University of Waless Trinity Saint David’s Institute of Education, last summer led a study visit to Canada to see wh hat Wales could learn from one of the world’s leading school systems. A delegation of nine, including five head teachers and senior Welsh government officials, held


GARETH EVANS is director of educationa policy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Institute of Education The full report is available on the institute’s website

meetings with representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and test agents at the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). These were supplemented by visits to local elementary, middle and high schools where delegates were given the opportunity to chat with principals, teachers and pupils. In the most recent PISA tranche, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in December 2016, Canada scored 528 points in science, 527 in reading and 516 in maths. By comparison, Welsh pupils scored 485 in science, 477 in reading and 478 points in maths. The difference is stark, but Canada is a relative newcomer to PISA’s top table and as recently

as 20 years ago its teachers were in dispute with the government, and trust in the profession was at an all-time low. If nothing else, Canada’s educational revival is proof a system can be turned around if conditions are conducive to positive change. So what does Canada do differently to Wales? And what can we consider emulating as we embark on our own reform journey? The first thing that strikes you when visiting Ontario, which accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the nation’s five million stu udents, is the high level of public con nfidence in both its education sysstem and in the province mo ore generally. There is a very noticeable culture of togethernesss and pride e in Canada’’s rich history


and heritage – Canadian flags are commonplace, flying proudly above civic offices, department stores and indeed schools. The Maple Leaf is instantly recognisable wherever you go and is a symbol of what it means to live, work and lea arn in Canada. It is no great surprisse, therefore, that Ontario’s educattion system is characterised by hig gh expectations and success for all. ‘Ensuring Equity’ and inspiring every child to reach their full pote ential is one of the government’s four key goals for education, and d there is nothing superficial about their expectation ve access “to rich h that all pupils hav learning experiences that begin n at birth and contin nue into adulth hood”. Toronto is considered on ne of the e world most diverse cities in the and that was very eviident during our visits to sch hools. The student population was extremely varied, albeit there was an unquestionable tolerance of different race, religion and socio-economic background. Ontarians celebrate and embrace their diversity, believing wholeheartedly that it creates a better and stronger society. Statistics show around 27 per cent of Ontario’s pupils are born outside Canada, and 20 per cent are visible minorities. But the children of newly arrived, migrant families are able to integrate at such a pace that they perform at the same high level as their classmates. This is, without question, an enviable trait and proves that factors such as poverty and immigration should not be used as an excuse for failing to provide a sound education. Ontarians recog gnise that

excellence in education is diluted, if not diminished entirely, without equity. But while significant progress has been made in negating the impact of socioeconomic factors, it was surprising to learn that Ontario streams its children in early high school. Students in grade eight (aged 13–14) are required to choose between academic and applied courses that largely determine their educational pathways. It appears somewhat contradictory that a system so dedicated to equity in education op perates a form of selection ba ased on two levels of learning – an nd the irony was not losst on our accom mpanying head teachers. Nevertheless, indiviidual learner’s need is regularly assessed, and a sophisticate ed form of national testing ac cts as a valuable diagnostic to ool. The EQAO measures pu upils’ achievement in reading, writing and maths at key stagess of their education and provides schools with detailed reports used to improve school programming and d classroom instruction. But this data has to be used effectively, and the celebrated Ontario Lead dership Strategy notes the critical role school and system m leaders play in creating the conditions for success. The stra ategy has two goals: to attra act the right people into prin ncipalship and to help principals and vice-principals develop into the best possible instructional leaders. Building capacity within the education workforce is of as much importance to Ontarians as it is to us. The difference, perhaps, is that teachers are extremely well supported in their

Ontario, which accounts for approximately


per cent of the nation’s five million students, enjoys a high level of public confidence in both its education system and in the province more generally


per cent of Ontario’s pupils are born outside Canada, and


per cent are visible minorities Opposite page: A number of head teachers and Welsh government officials made the trip out to Canada. Below: Learning points from the trip have been disseminated widely back at home.

endeavours across all facets of the education system. Their role as change agents is well understood, and there is a wide range of optiions available to practitioners to enhance their qualifications oughout their careers. thro Th he OCT is a thriving proffessional body that gives chers a greater sense of teac own nership over their profession, and its slogan – “what’s good for teachers is good for all Ontarians” – speaks volumes. It is clear that Wales’ education systtem has much to learn from Ontario. But so too was our visitt helpful in affirming the things that Ontario can learn from m us. Canadian officials show wed considerable interest in our ‘pioneer’ approach to currriculum reform while Wales’ Foundation Phase and schoolto-sschool collaboration are seem mingly ahead of the curve. Sttriking was the unwavering honesty and propensity to engage in frree and frank discussion; the Ontarian education system has mattured to a level that allows it to o critically analyse, in public fora a, its weaknesses as well as its strengths. Despite having some of th he very best in educational prov vision, Ontarians are keen to test what they are doing with othe ers to validate progress and asce ertain areas for improvement. Th hat said, what I have seen on our own doorstep here in the UK would rival much of what they y had to offer in terms of teac ching and learning. Each of the home nations has a lot to be proud of and, together, we musst be better at celebrating the goo od practice that takes place on a daily basis in our schools. Fo or Wales in particular, there ertainly some truth in the is ce OEC CD’s assertion that we are not a strrong enough cheerleader for what we do well. We must all aspire, as our head teachers did, to welcome international dele egates into our classrooms to see for themselves the very bestt of what we have to offer. Countries like Canada, that have e been there and done it on n the world stage, can help p show us the way.



DPR is a forthcoming piece of legislation which seeks to bring current data protection law into line with the more modern ways that data is now being used. Currently, the UK relies on the Data Protection Act 1998, which was enacted following the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, but GDPR will overwrite this legislation. GDPR introduces very tough fines for noncompliance and breaches, but also gives people more choice over what companies can do with their data. It also makes data protection rules more or less identical throughout the EU.


What information does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’. However, the definition of ‘personal data’ will be expanded to include such items as an IP address. This particular change, for example, simply reflects the developing and digital technologies, the developing methodologies of data collection and the internationalisation of commercial transactions and general trading arrangements.

Will there be any immediate impact on schools?

The change to the wider definition of ‘personal data’ will have little immediate impact on schools. Information that falls within the scope of current data protection legislation will also fall within the scope of the GDPR. This said, the advent of the GDPR is a ‘wake-up’ call for all organisations, including schools, and there are a number of areas where it would be advisable for schools to start considering and reviewing their current processes.

Personal data and sensitive personal data

All ‘personal data’, whether held manually or electronically, will fall within the scope of the new GDPR. The GDPR refers to ‘sensitive personal data’ as “special categories of personal data” – new categories will include ‘genetic data’ and ‘biometric data’ where such data is processed to uniquely identify an individual (eg fingerprints, face recognition or eye screening).


The new principles under the GDPR are similar to those under current data protection legislation with added detail at certain points and a new accountability requirement. In practice, this means that the GDPR will require schools to show how they have complied with the principles – eg by documenting the decisions that have been taken about a particular processing activity. Article 5 of the GDPR requires that ‘personal data’ shall be: a) Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals; b) Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes; c) Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation

Can I say, with absolute certainty, and then prove that the only people who need access to sensitive personal data can access it?



to the purposes for which they are processed; d) Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay; e) Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; f) Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction of damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures. Article 5 (2) requires that “the controller shall be responsible for, and able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles”. This means that the school or the person to whom the overall management of information has been delegated (typically, the school business leader), is now not only responsible for the management of information but must also have systems and practices in place to underpin compliance to the revised ‘personal data’ principles.

Using the advent of the new legislative framework, the General Data Protection Regulation will be the catalyst for measured change for schools that need to get their houses in order. The case for change is compelling. The new arrangements for handling ‘personal data’, enshrined in the GDPR, have been brought about by changes in technology, changes in how data is collected, stored and utilised (e.g. genetic data, biometric data), the exposure to identity and other types of fraud, the growing mobility of labour, employment and working arrangements, across EU states (and the rest of the world), globalisation and digitalisation and the need to bring data protection legislation that is approaching its 20th anniversary a fresh (post-Google) coat of paint! Ironic then that the UK is leaving the EU but this won’t affect the development and eventual implementation of the GDPR in 2018. So, while the new arrangements won’t commence until May 2018, now is the time to get the GDPR on agendas, sharpen appetites, generate some interest and agree on what needs to be done. The risk for many schools is that they simply don’t know whether they are complying with current data protection legislation. The advent of the GDPR will only exacerbate any uncertainty. If you’re not entirely sure about your school’s current ‘data’ status or your readiness for change, ask yourself this question: “Can I say, with absolute certainty, and then prove, that the only people who need access to sensitive personal data can access it?” If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to this question, you are not protecting personal data and you will therefore (probably) not be aware of any data security breaches. At the very least, it would be prudent to satisfy yourself that ‘personal sensitive data’ is protected by a password, that access controls are in place for electronically held data or if data is held in hard copy only, it is secure, especially when it is left unattended. Another question to consider and to get the ‘data’ debate under way is: “Is our school ready to handle a Subject Access Request (referred to earlier in this advice document)?” Additionally, who would deal with such a request? Is there a straightforward

process in place to ensure that such requests are handled effectively? Under the new GDPR framework, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) will have a clearer picture of data protection practices and will have the power to impose fines on those organisations that are in breach of the revised data protection arrangements. Claiming to be ‘on the case’ or ‘playing catch-up’ will not be a sufficient reason for avoiding a penalty. To frame any debate, it’s really helpful to regard data as a ‘critical resource’ to the school that needs careful management – data persuades, data underpins important decisions about what to do and what not to do, data helps to shape a school’s strategic direction and the individuals needed to achieve it. If you need a place to begin, it’s advisable to start the whole programme with an audit of your school’s data, to establish your current position and your departure point. You may even wish to collaborate with neighbouring schools to spread the work and cost of such an exercise. It would be advisable to consult your employing body to establish whether there is any funding available to complete such an audit and any ongoing compliance work. The aim of any audit will be to get a clear picture of all the types of personal data and sensitive personal data that your school holds and where and how it is stored. You can then begin to design, develop and implement a data protection system that is right for your school. Further monitoring and evaluation will inevitably need to be considered. To ensure that you remain connected to ongoing developments that relate to the launch of the new data protection arrangements, schools might like to subscribe to the ICO’s e-newsletter, a facility available on the ICO website.

If you would like to discuss anything further in this document or would simply like some advice or guidance, then please give our advice team a call on 0300 30 30 333 (option 1) and we will be pleased to make arrangements to discuss your situation further. Alternatively, you can email us at and we will promptly respond to you.




PAUL WHITEMAN: General secretary 2017/18

Fresh starts, new ideas he first term of each academic year is always the busiest. They tell me that it calms down a bit in January… The other thing about a new year is that we’re all used to making resolutions and looking forward to what we can do with the 12 months ahead of us. So what are NAHT’s priorities for 2018? Let’s start with the topic that runs through this edition of the magazine – equality. On the steps of Downing Street, when she was but a newbie, Theresa May talked about the burning injustices of society and the desire to make the UK a country that works for everyone. Now, deep in the midst of Brexit negotiations, we must make sure that she and her ministers keep focused and recognise the proper place that schools have in that important mission. As Anne says in her column at the beginning of the magazine, schools can’t improve equality for pupils if they are struggling for money themselves. We will continue to campaign for more money for schools. We’ll repeat our Breaking Point member survey of the past two years and use that data to press the government for more investment. I hope you’ll take a moment to fill out that survey when it lands in your inbox. Although there was no more core funding for schools in last November’s Budget, we can still look back at our campaigning work with pride. There is the small matter of £1.3bn heading our way from April. We know that’s not enough, we know it’s not new money, but it’s still a hardwon improvement from where we were a year ago. I’m most


proud of the way our members have stepped up and become campaigners. In my five years at NAHT I can’t recall a time when we’ve had a similar impact. There was also something else that was significant about our #TellTheChancellor campaign. We were able to mobilise alongside the other education unions in a way that also has no precedent. We know that this is something that you want us to do more often, so we’ll continue. The trade union movement is at its most powerful when it is unified, sensible and galvanised by a common purpose. That purpose resonated with parents, families and school governors, who all became campaigners too. In some cases, parents regard school leaders as part of the establishment, just one of the many powerful individuals exercising control over their lives. Not this time. Parents understood that we were shouting loudly because we shared the same sense of frustration as them. In 2018, I’d like to see our association campaigning jointly with parents on more occasions and on other issues, too.

Above: Paul Whiteman

Recruitment will continue to be a focus. It has to be. Unless the government gets a grip here, we’ll continue to miss our targets year on year.

Recruitment will continue to be a focus. It has to be. Unless the government gets a grip here, we’ll continue to miss our targets year on year. This month, Ofsted presses ahead with ill-advised plans to change its short inspection process, meaning that some schools may be left in limbo for as long as two years without a judgement while a re-inspection date is arranged. There are enough senior figures in education expressing reservations here to cause Ofsted to think again. In December, the government revealed long-awaited strategies for improving mental health and careers guidance. Both were good strategies, in many ways. Both could have a strong impact on equality of opportunity, if done right. Both could heap more burdens on schools without offering sufficient funding and training. So NAHT will continue to lobby hard that improvements in the system shouldn’t be attempted on the cheap, and need to be done alongside the profession rather than confrontationally. Before we know it, we’ll be in Liverpool for our annual conference. I hope you’ll book your tickets soon. There’s much to occupy us in 2018. And I can’t see that this term’s going to be any calmer than the last one. Who wanted an easy life anyway?

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School budgets in Northern Ireland in crisis

Helena Macormac, director of policy at NAHT(NI), focuses on the financial issues.

he school budget crisis has remained the dominant campaigning issue in recent months. Despite rising pupil numbers in primary and nursery schools, school budgets have not received investment reflective of this increasing demand. This school year there are 3,000 additional children in nursery and primary schools with no funding in Northern Ireland. School budget reductions have resulted in a cut of at least £61 per pupil in primary schools, £83 in nursery schools for full-time pupils, and £25 per pupil in real terms for post-primary pupils. In the absence of a devolved assembly Northern Ireland’s budget for 2017–18 was published by James Brokenshire, NI secretary of state, in November. Whilst an increase was shown in education spending of 1.5 per cent, NAHT(NI) is concerned that this increase constitutes a reframing of the budget and will not have an impact on the cuts which schools are being forced to make. Previous announcements of additional funds for education made by Brokenshire in July and October have not reached schools, nor has any additional funding from the DUP/Conservative confidence and supply arrangement.


In September, at a meeting organised by NAHT(NI), the Department of Education’s permanent secretary, Derek Baker, stated the department had £24m less in cash than last year, but rising costs meant pressures of £105m. NAHT(NI) are anxious that any additional funds will go to address gaps in the central administration rather than being targeted to the front line where they are needed desperately: 41 per cent of the NI education budget is currently spent on central administration, a figure much higher than any other part of the UK. Investment in schooling in Northern Ireland lags significantly behind other parts of the UK. A report published by the NI Children’s Commissioner in September highlights that spending on pre-school, primary and secondary education per pupil is 46 per cent higher in Scotland, 18 per cent higher in England and 31 per cent higher in Wales. In addition, parents contribute more to the cost of education in Northern Ireland than any other region of the UK (on average £1,222.30)i . NAHT(NI) is holding a series of public meetings to address

the issue and the campaign has been gaining momentum with governors and parents who are beginning to see the impact of the cuts. There has also been extensive press coverage in recent months of the situation underlying the severity of the impact. In the absence of a Northern Ireland Education Minister NAHT’s general secretary and the president of NAHT (NI) have requested an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and the Permanent Secretary for Education in Northern Ireland, Mr Derek Baker, to discuss the cuts.

WHAT WE ARE CAMPAIGNING FOR • Greater investment in Education overall • Schools must be given greater control over their budgets so money can be targeted to the delivery of education at the front line • All children must be properly funded to enable them to access an education which best meets their individual needs and allows them to reach their full potential.



Wales – policy update inconsistency in this new cycle. NAHT Cymru continues to feed into Welsh Government work on a new performance measures system, and it’s important that school leader members continue to come forward to feed into this work.

Recruitment and retention



NAHT Cymru’s campaign for sufficient, equitable and transparent school funding continues. Current education spending from Welsh Government has fallen – the overall draft budget for 2018–19 has been published at a time when the amount of money available to Wales continues to fall. This means Wales will have £1.2bn less to spend on public services and, more specifically, £35 million less for education – a 2.4 per cent cut in real terms. Members received a commitment from Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, at the 2017 NAHT Cymru Conference to ‘encourage’ local authorities to ‘do the right thing’ and ensure as much funding is delegated to schools as possible. It is critical for school leaders that this commitment is adhered to, as many are reporting an increase in responsibilities being passed down to schools from local authorities, but without any additional resource provided.

Curriculum and assessment

NAHT Cymru presented to the Policy Forum for Wales, ‘Next steps for Curriculum Reform in Wales: Priorities for turning the vision into reality’, where we called for obstacles to be removed, such as an inhibiting system of accountability, and levers to be introduced, for example reinstating

Wales will have £35 million less to spend on education – a 2.4% cut in real terms.

the two additional directed Inset Days, to enable all schools to become proactively and collaboratively involved in the curriculum reform process. The consultation, ‘The Education (Amendments Relating to Teacher Assessment Information) (Wales) Regulations 2018’, announced by Kirsty Williams, is now open. The proposed changes would mean that the 2017 teacher assessment results would be the last set of data routinely published for schools and local authorities by the Welsh Government. Please make every effort to respond to the consultation – it is open until 30 January 2018.

Structures, accountability and inspection

NAHT Cymru contributed to the high-level policy approach within the new Estyn inspection arrangements which sought to encourage innovative and creative teaching during the rollout of the new curriculum. Approximately 40 inspections have taken place since September 2017, although only a few reports have been published thus far. However, a few school leader members still suggest that the new process remains too inspection team dependent – this view has been passed back to HMI in Estyn. In the rollout of the new framework, it is critical that school leaders continue to inform NAHT Cymru and Estyn of

The NAHT Cymru director of policy continues to attend the National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL) shadow board. The director also chairs the stakeholder engagement subgroup seeking to extend the direct involvement of school leaders and wider stakeholder groups in the evolving NAEL establishment and functions. Once the new NAEL is in place, stakeholders, including a large proportion of school leaders, will need to assist in shaping the future direction of the work of the academy. Look out for opportunities to get involved. Further pay and conditions meetings have been held with Welsh Government officials. The mechanism favoured by NAHT Cymru – a Wales-specific STRB model – has been clearly communicated. The Cabinet Secretary for Education will make the final decision as to the model once all responses have been considered.

Pupil wellbeing

NAHT Cymru has continued its work in feeding into the ALNET (Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal) Bill and feeding information into Welsh Government officials. Stage 3 saw a number of amendments to the final bill, and there have been some gains achieved in multi-agency responsibility and challenge, but a number of areas are still of concern. The detail in the new ALN Code will be critical, as will establishing the exact responsibilities and relationships between school governing bodies, local authorities and the health sector.

Visit for details


NAHT solicitor SIMON THOMAS looks at dishonesty and regulatory proceedings large part of the work of NAHT’s legal department is advice and representation for members who are subject to regulatory proceedings. There are separate regulators for England (National College for Teaching and Leadership), Wales (Education Workforce Council) and Northern Ireland (General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland). All three regulators have powers to prohibit from teaching. In many cases a key issue is whether the accused acted dishonestly. How this issue is decided can often determine whether or not the teacher is prohibited. The Supreme Court has recently set out a new legal test for dishonesty which is the same whether in regulatory, criminal or civil proceedings. The previous test was established in a 1982 case (Ghosh). The debate was whether ‘dishonesty’ refers to a course of conduct or a state of mind. Was objective or subjective? Dr Ghosh had claimed fees for operations he had not conducted, arguing he was not dishonest because the fees were properly due for consultations. Lord Lane (then Lord Chief Justice) gave a hypothetical example to illustrate the distinction. “Take for example a man who comes from a country where public transport is free. On his first day here he travels on a bus.



He gets off without paying. He never had any intention of paying. His mind is clearly honest; but his conduct, judged objectively by what he has done, is dishonest.” Lord Lane rejected the ‘simple uncomplicated approach’ that the test was purely objective. However the purely subjective test had its disadvantages in that it could “abandon all standards but that of the accused himself”. Lord Lane explained that it would not be a defence to say: ‘I knew that what I was doing is generally regarded as dishonest; but I do not regard it as dishonest myself. Therefore I am not guilty.’ What he can say is: ‘I did not know that anybody would regard what I was doing as dishonest.’ Under the Ghosh test the adjudicator first had to decide whether according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people what was done was dishonest. If it was not, that is the end of the matter and the prosecution fails. If it was dishonest by those standards, then the jury must consider whether the defendant himself must have realised that what he was doing was by those standards dishonest. It was not enough for the accused merely to say that he did not believe he was acting dishonestly; it was always open to the adjudicator to find that the accused’s assertions as to his state of mind were not credible.

In many cases a key issue is whether the accused acted dishonestly. How this issue is decided can often determine whether or not the teacher is prohibited.

Over the years, the Ghosh test came in for criticism in several cases, including on the basis that the lower the accused’s own standards of honesty the less likely he was to be found dishonest. This year the matter came before the Supreme Court in Ivey v. Genting Casinos. Mr Ivey, with the assistance of his colleague Ms Sun, employed a system for Baccarat called ‘edgesorting’ which involves identifying minute differences in the patterns on the back of cards, persuading the croupier to turn certain cards the opposite way to others so that the punter might identify certain higher value cards – thus shifting the odds slightly, but crucially, in favour of the punter. Employing this method Ivey and Sun won £7.7 million from the casino in one night. The casino cried ‘cheat’ and refused to pay. During the ensuing litigation it became necessary to determine whether Ivey and Sun had acted dishonestly in the context of the Gambling Act 2005. The Supreme Court, overruling the 35-year-old Ghosh test, ruled it is still a two-stage test, but the test for dishonesty is objective. • First the adjudicator must ascertain (subjectively) the actual state of the individual’s knowledge or belief as to the facts; and, • whether his conduct was dishonest is to be determined by the fact-finder by applying the (objective) standards of ordinary decent people. There is no requirement that the defendant must appreciate that what he has done is, by those standards, dishonest. In the majority of cases dishonesty would either be proved or not proved under either test but in borderline cases it will make dishonesty easier to prove. While not many NAHT cases involve multi-million pound gambling wins, dishonesty is often a disputed issue in, for example, cases involving maladministration of SATs, nepotism or false expenses claims. In another case last year [Wallace v. Secretary of State for Education], overturning a prohibition decision following an NCTL hearing the High Court ruled that the public interest in retaining a person who is able to make a valuable contribution to a profession can be a factor carrying substantial weight against prohibiting him or her from working in that profession.



£12k a year – the cost of dying of motor neurone disease New research shows that people with motor neurone disease (MND) are spending their final months struggling to cope with the financial impact of the disease and worrying about the long-term impact on their families after their death. he Motor Neurone Disease Association represents people affected by MND across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It campaigns to improve care, raise awareness and funds research towards a cure. The Association commissioned the cross-party think tank, Demos, to research the costs of living with MND and the ongoing financial impact on families, post bereavement. Demos surveyed people living with MND (331 responses), bereaved carers (441 responses) and also conducted 10 in-depth month-long diary-led interviews with people living with MND. The full report MND Costs: Exploring the financial impact of motor neurone disease is available at campaigning-influencing/mnd-costs/ Chris James, from the MND Association said: “Motor neurone disease is devastating and this report underlines the extra hardship people face financially too. It clearly demonstrates the significant spend required to try and maintain quality of life; from home adaptations and care to trying to maintain independence through specialised wheelchairs and vehicles. “I’d like to thank all those people affected who shared sometimes harrowing stories. The gap between the benefits entitlement and the actual cost of living with MND is stark. These stories and the


data gathered will help our continued efforts to campaign for the right care and support at the right time. When facing terminal illness, no-one should have sleepless nights worried about how they are going to pay for their own funeral or that they will be leaving their family without a home. We released this report in June – to coincide with our annual MND Awareness Month – and hope that sharing these shocking statistics will help more people realise the wider impact of MND.” • On average, people with MND and their families spend the equivalent of £9,645 every year as a direct result of the disease, plus a further £2,175 in one-off costs – a total of nearly £12,000. • Those living with children and those of working age were likely to incur even higher costs. Demos’s research identified that people living with MND are forced to incur three types of additional costs as a result of their illness: One-off costs – the biggest are 1 typically housing adaptations, and adapting or buying a vehicle

Regular costs – care costs, and paying for extra assistance around the home (e.g. with laundry, gardening) Enhanced costs – costs that are 3 common but increase as a result of having the disease; the biggest are typically energy bills and travel insurance.



NAHT is supporting the MND Association this year, as our chosen charity, after our close friend and colleague Colm Davis was diagnosed with the disease. If you would like to make a donation in his name, please visit our JustGiving page at Colm-Davis

Could you support the MND Association this year? Please email to learn more on schools and our charity of the year partnership.



PSHE â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Leadership Focus editor, NIC PATON , looks at the world of PSHE



PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE ... and its importance within the education sector.


NAHT has long advocated statutory PSHE and age-appropriate sex and relationships education, for all pupils in all schools, to help prepare young people for the challenges they will encounter in their adult lives and the current challenges they face beyond the school gates.” So said NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman in November on

the publication of a major NAHT survey showing that a massive 91 per cent of school leaders believe PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education should be delivered in regular timetabled lessons in school. The survey of more than 900 school leaders (see panel on page 57 for the full details) was published in anticipation of a government call for evidence on

whether PSHE should be made a statutory requirement in schools, and it was designed to show the weight of support among school leaders for making this change. The call for evidence – which is expected by the end of 2017, but had not been published as Leadership Focus went to press – follows the passing of the Children and Social Work Act earlier in 2017.


This made “relationships education” in all primaries and “relationships and sex” (RSE) education in secondaries statutory from 2019, and it suggested there was the potential to do the same for PHSE, pending consultation, of which the call for evidence is, naturally, a key part. The difficulty, as NAHT senior policy adviser Sarah Hannafin highlights, is that, in many schools, the delivery of RSE is inherently bound up in the delivery of PSHE and so to make one, yet not the other, statutory, could create challenges. “We are very pleased with the fact RSE is being made statutory because we have long called for this for pupils in all schools. But the issue is that, in most schools, PSHE is the vehicle by which RSE is delivered; RSE is commonly taught within the broader context of PSHE. So, we would argue, PSHE also needs to be made statutory,” she points out.

PSHE must not become the Cinderella of subjects.


“MY BIGGEST CONCERN WOULD BE IF STATUTORY STATUS IS ACCOMPANIED BY STATUTORY CONTENT’ Marijke Miles is acting headteacher of Baycroft School, a special needs secondary school in Stubbington, Hampshire, which has around 170 pupils and employs 70 staff. “I firmly believe PSHE should be made statutory; in fact, I struggle to imagine any school that is not delivering PSHE as standard. However, for me, the biggest concern would be if statutory status is then accompanied by statutory content, i.e. if teachers are being told what to teach. “Of all the areas of the curriculum, to me, PSHE is the one that requires the most detailed differentiation. The danger is this could easily become restricted if there is statutory content that, for example, specifies progression or sets expectations in relation to age, and so on. “PSHE and RSE are, by their nature, very sensitive in terms of content. We have an education system where we have common values and understanding, but

schools and communities are, of course, very diverse. I feel it would be a mistake if parents did not feel they had some input or voice in terms of the messages being given out to their children by the school in this context. “In my school, we’ve just overhauled our PSHE provision to combine it with a philosophy for children (P4C) approach. We’ve been rolling this out since September, and it is now very much an all-round foundation that incorporates RSE and is essentially an SMSC (social, moral, spiritual and cultural) education programme. “It is about understanding both the needs of your children and what is important to their families. Taking a P4C approach enables us to be quite differentiated and to understand where children are at in their personal development. Some of our children are scared or daunted by RSE, while others will already be sexually active, so there is extreme diversity. “The onus needs to be on schools to be transparent about how they determine appropriate content and reflect the context of the community they are working within. “Finally, it is important to emphasise that effective teaching of RSE and PSHE is entirely reliant on there being effective relationships between teachers and their students. PSHE must not become the Cinderella of subjects; it needs to be delivered by teachers who are very well trained and able to deliver the content safely and confidently.


“There are a lot of pressures in terms of curriculum and time. Making PSHE statutory would give the subject the protection it needs.” “The only place where PSHE is mandatory at the moment is within independent schools. Neither PSHE nor RSE has the same status within schools as other subjects; in fact, as our survey shows, just 51 per cent said they had the same status. Yet 90 per cent want this to be the case because they feel the benefits for pupils are so important,” she adds. While, self-evidently, the process is still ongoing, with draft guidance expected from the government next spring, NAHT will be working to keep the pressure on ministers. NAHT is also pushing hard to get the government to commit appropriate resources to this change to ensure teachers delivering PSHE and RSE are properly trained and resourced. “We are continuing to engage

If you treat it as a tick-list exercise, you will fail.


closely with the government to press these arguments,” says Sarah. “We are also talking to government about the need to consider pupils with SEND. There is a lot of talk, naturally, about age-appropriate RSE, which is great. However, for a lot of our members, it is not chronological age that is important; it is the development stage that pupils are at. “So, the government needs to make sure that whatever guidance it produces is flexible enough to work for special schools as well as mainstream,” she adds.

“PSHE AND RSE ARE LINKED TO OUR VALUES AND BEHAVIOURS FOR LEARNING” Tony Draper is headteacher at Water Hall Primary School in Milton Keynes, part of the Lakes Academies Trust, and has approximately 340 pupils under his care. “PSHE and RSE are at the heart of everything we do; they are wrapped into everything, right from an early age. They are closely linked to the values and behaviours for learning that we expect; they are so important, right from the start of schooling. “RSE is so important because it tackles areas that sometimes people may be afraid to take on. But it is essential for children because it is essential that they grow up having healthy relationships. If you do not feel valued and if you do not feel safe, you do not learn as well. It is also about important safeguarding issues. “For me, it is also vital that these behaviours are taught by well-trained people and that the teaching is effective; it is important to have specialists in place. But that, of course, can bring it back to money. Money is always the issue, isn’t it? “I am very much for the idea of statutory PSHE, personally. For us, PSHE and RSE are implicit in everything we do and vital for how we bring children, parents and our community along with us. But it is also important that you follow up and follow through, so that this is not just something done as a tick-list. If you treat it as a tick-list exercise, you will fail.”

KEY FINDINGS FROM NAHT’S SURVEY ON PSHE AND RSE NAHT’s survey on the provision of PSHE and RSE in schools was open to both NAHT members and non-members for three weeks, and it received a total of 903 responses – more than 80 per cent of them school leaders, and almost two-thirds from primary schools. The majority were from maintained schools (56 per cent), with the remaining respondents coming from academies (27 per cent), independent schools 9 per cent), special schools, free schools and alternative provision. The majority of respondents reported that PSHE was currently being taught in their school, although its delivery was less prevalent in years 10 and 11 than in any other year groups. In year 4, 25% of respondents said that their school did

not teach RSE, but by years 5 and 6, this dropped to 9% and 4% respectively. At secondary level, there was a more mixed picture. Years 7, 10 and 11 were the groups where 10% or more of respondents reported that RSE was not taught. More than eight out of 10 (82%) respondents said PSHE was taught in regular timetabled lessons in their school. More than 91% believed it should be. A total of 84% of schools delivered RSE as an identifiable part of their PSHE programmes, and almost 96% agreed this was the way it should be delivered. What this appears to suggest, NAHT has argued, is that schools are delivering RSE as part of PSHE, and they must be supported to continue to do this.



“PSHE already has regular timetabled lessons in many schools; statutory status would encourage those that don’t to do so. It would also raise the status of PSHE as a subject and ensure that regular lessons remain a part of the school timetable. With the current pressures on curriculum time in schools, that protection is absolutely necessary,” the report stated. However, if PSHE is not statutory, the case for regular lessons to be on the timetable is not as strong, and the subject becomes vulnerable to being squeezed out of the weekly or fortnightly timetable. “If this goes, the vehicle for delivering RSE also disappears, and there is a risk the delivery becomes a more ad hoc basis, with irregular sessions and potentially a ‘tick-box’ approach to delivering what is required,” the report added. While 91% of respondents stated that they thought PSHE/ RSE should have the same status as other subjects, only 51% felt that was actually the case in their school. When broken down to primary and secondary, 54% of primary respondents stated that PSHE had the same status as other subjects compared with just 38% of secondary respondents. Survey respondents strongly

Only 51% of respondents agreed that PSHE and RSE in their school was taught by teachers who had had training in the subject. agreed with NAHT’s position that delivering effective PSHE and RSE requires increased training for teachers. Only 51% of respondents agreed that PSHE and RSE in their school were taught by teachers who had had training in the subject, but 89% agreed PSHE and RSE should be taught by teachers with such training. A massive 96% of respondents – so, nearly unanimous – agreed that increasing the status and profile of PSHE would help to improve provision. The top way in which respondents felt RSE provision could be improved was through better parental understanding and support (92%). Aside from this, access to quality resources, guidance and training also featured highly. Yet one of the main barriers cited was a lack of parental engagement in this, with one school even reporting that only two parents came to their RSE workshops out of a school with 210 children. There was concern about a lack of high-quality resources to

support teaching and learning in this area, and respondents said they would welcome sensible national guidance from government. NAHT is currently working with the DfE to ensure that suitable resources are made available to schools. Some respondents also highlighted the need for specific RSE guidance relating to difficult or unusual situations (for example, teaching in faith schools, dealing with parental requests to withdraw their children from lessons, managing the delivery of PSHE to pupils with SEN, and so on). As one respondent put it: “Because of the complex nature of our learners and limited cognitive development, we are selective about what and how we teach RSE… sex education has to be approached skilfully and sensitively, and it is individualised for pupils because their levels of understanding vary. We see it as extremely important that our students are informed and as equipped as they can be for the outside world.”


Understanding the role of the virtual school head irtual school heads (VSH) exist to promote the educational achievement of looked-after and previously looked-after children. Their relationship with the schools that those children attend is therefore critical. NAHT members in school leadership report varying experiences of how well they work together. Some school leaders are frustrated that the pupil premium plus funding, to support those children’s education, can fail to reach schools or it can get lost in wider local authority budgets. Many VSHs are also NAHT members, and they have also reported their frustration where they feel that schools are reluctant to provide places for these vulnerable children, or can fail to meet their needs – leading to a growing risk of exclusion or disengagement.


The current challenges


Jane Pickthall, chair of the National Association of Virtual School Heads and an NAHT member, highlights the current challenges faced by VSHs and the important role they play in the educational support for looked-after children. “Virtual school heads have a statutory duty to promote the education of looked-after children, and now, previously looked-after children who are adopted, have a special guardianship order or a child

arrangement order. As a virtual school head, I’m also a corporate parent for my looked-after children so I always have to ask the question, ‘would this be good enough for my own child?’ and if the answer is no, then I need to do something about it. It can be tough getting the balance right between support and challenge but at the end of the day our priority lies with the child and doing what is right for them. My favourite schools to work with are those that take their duties concerning supporting looked-after children seriously. They spend time getting to know each child, build positive relationships, understand the complexities of their histories and the trauma they have been through and can see their behaviour in the context of this. They have fully embraced the attachment and trauma training we provide and have adapted their policies and procedures in light of this. They don’t wait until a situation reaches crisis point but contact me to say that they’re worried and would like some advice and support. This has led to a huge reduction in exclusions for lookedafter children in my authority. We work in partnership to work out what the child needs and agree a package of support. I split my pupil premium plus between schools and my virtual school. This

allows us to provide an enhanced offer that includes access to teachers, a counsellor, educational psychologists and a crisis pot that we can use to provide additional resources to a school, so they can fund short-term support when a child is experiencing a crisis, such as a bereavement or a placement breakdown. My schools seem to value this approach as they know that looked-after children are not a homogenous group and that some children need more support than others. They also know that when they need that crisis support they’re going to get it and we can maintain stability. None of us choose the family we are born into and looked-after children are in care through no fault of their own. We need heads to work alongside virtual school heads to ensure they get admitted to schools in a timely way, avoid exclusion and get the support they need to succeed through carefully targeted use of the pupil premium plus. At the end of the day, I want my looked-after children to experience stability, feel safe to learn and become self-sufficient adults, and I know most school heads want the same. From my 18 years of experience, I realise that this isn’t always easy but if we get our partnership working right, we can prove that two heads are indeed better than one.”

PROPOSED CHANGES ON THE HORIZON The Department for Education is also proposing to bring in policy changes that may improve transparency and support for those pupils, as the Children and Social Work Act 2017 has brought in a number of changes to the roles and responsibilities of VSHs to ensure that looked-after and previously looked-after children continue to receive the best educational support. In November 2017, the government consulted on changes to statutory guidance on roles and responsibilities of designated teachers for looked-after children. The key proposed changes include: • an amended structure to clearly signpost information on the role of virtual school heads and designated teachers for previously looked-after children; • addition of information on the new role of virtual school heads and designated teachers for previously looked-after children; and • an increased emphasis on: mental health, training for virtual school heads, designated teachers and school staff, promoting schools’ awareness of looked-after and previously looked-after children’s needs and proactively building interagency relationships.

Previously, statutory guidance from government has focused on supporting looked-after children, but the education challenges still faced by previously looked-after children mean that the remit of VSHs will be extended to support certain children who have been previously looked after. As noted above, the new statutory guidance proposed by government will also have a greater emphasis on mental health, training for professionals and proactively building interagency relationships. It is recognised that looked-after and previously looked-after children have an increased likelihood of experiencing mental, social and emotional health issues than their peers, and it’s important that VSHs and designated teachers have the expertise, support and appropriate guidance in place in order to support them. Another key change is in the shift of funding to support the education of looked-after and previously looked-after children. The ‘looked-after children’ factor is set to be removed from local authority funding formulae and will be purely funded through an increased pupil premium plus (going directly to schools), which will be £2,300 per pupil from April 2018.


Building the future With its blocky charm, Minecraft: Education Edition is unlocking the creativity of students around the globe. n a world where only your imagination limits you, the learning-focused version of the popular game that pops you into pixelated 3D virtual landscapes gives students a chance to explore and create things out of textured cubes as they wrestle with thoughts and ideas. Immersive open-world games, like Minecraft: Education Edition, push students to develop their unique ideas as they construct knowledge. And the collaborative nature of the game empowers students with negotiation, project management and debate skills – all essential for them to master for later life. New to Minecraft: Education Edition, and in partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ‘The Oregon Trail Experience’ gives students a chance to load their wagons and explore the wonders and challenges faced by the early pioneers on their journey to the western United States, from Independence, Missouri to the Oregon Coast. The new world in the wild west offers 15 enriching learning experiences along the way, with activities in language arts, maths,


science, visual arts and more. Students can also add their paths to the game and create their own nineteenth century communities along the journey to the frontier. But this great adventure is only one of the many ways for students’ imaginations to shape the learning platform. “We continue to be excited by the like-minded partners we’ve worked with so far to create ‘The Oregon Trail game experience’ in Minecraft, or the Roald Dahl Imaginormous contest [that saw a child’s winning story transformed into a playable Minecraft experience] this past spring,” explains Neal Manegold from Minecraft Education. “We see more and more organisations working to support students in their individual creative journey, and it’s powerful as an educator to see so much support for developing this next generation of thinkers.” We asked the technology giant to share with us any upcoming releases that will offer students more great learning experiences. “Most recently, the book Minecraft: The Island was published as the first official Minecraft novel,


We continue to be committed to leveraging Minecraft: Education Edition as a way to complement and enhance the incredible teaching already happening in classrooms around the globe.

written by Max Brooks. And we published an adventure world full of challenges that mirror the adventures within the book, along with a series of language arts lessons teachers can use to create units of study around the book itself,” added Neal. “We continue to be committed to leveraging Minecraft: Education Edition as a way to complement and enhance the incredible teaching already happening in classrooms around the globe.” Minecraft: Education Edition is available in more than 115 countries worldwide. It includes helpful features for educators and schools, like border blocks that stop students from going into certain areas, secure authentication for safe multi-player experiences, and other classroom management tools. For more information, visit


Supporrting disadv vantag ged


CATHERINE ROCHE , ch hief executive of leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be, discusses mental health, poverty and the role of schools. ur teams of school-based mental health professionals often emphasise to children and young people that we all have mental health just as we all have physical health. This is an important message. Inevitably, all of us will experience challenges in life – times when we feel stressed or down, or times when we might need a bit of extra support. Thankfully, for most of us, those feelings usually pass. However, unfortunately, sometimes they can develop into more serious mental health problems that can affect anyone.



Risk factors

That said, while it is true that any pup pil or member of staff could experience a mental health issue, there are certain ‘risk factors’ that mean some are more likely to develop problems than others. When it comes to children – for instance, those who have been severely bullied, who have experienced the death of a close family member, who are young carers or who live with a parent who has had mental health problems – they are all more likely to develop a mental health problem than their peers because of these experiences. As school leaders will know, children who live in poverty are another ‘at risk’ group p, with those from low-income fam milies four times more likely to experience mental health problems than children from higher-income fa amilies.1 From our own experience working in partnership with scho ools over 23 years, we have seen countless


The number of children living in poverty in the UK in 2014–15, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

examples of children growing up in n poverty who have been exposed to debt, poor housing and low income – all of which can have an impact on their mental health, physical health h and ability to concentrate in class. More broadly, research by The Children’s Society2 found that youn ng people growing up in poverty also feel less optimistic about the future e than their more affluent peers. Almost a quarter (22%) said they y didn’t feel ‘useful’, and one in five (20%) reported that they ‘feel a failure’ – compared with 18% and 14% respectively for those from more affluent backgrounds.

Child poverty in the UK K

According g to the Child Poverty y Action Group, there were 3.9 millio on children living in poverty in the UK in 2014–15. That’s nine children in an average classroom of 30. In November 2017, the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicted that the number of children living in povertty will soar to a record 5.2 million ove er the next five years because welfare e cuts have a significant impact on households with young families. Although not a perfect metric, eligibility for free school meals remains one of the best available e ways to measure socio-economic c disadvantage among pupils. On average in England, 14% of school pupils are eligible e. In the 282 primary and second dary schools who work with Place2Be, on average, almost a quarter 23%) of pupils are eligible, which suggests these sc chools typically serve communities that

face above-average levels of disadvantage. Furthermore, when we look at the pupils Place2Be supported directly through our one-to-one counselling service last year, just more than 50% received free school meals, which suggests that even within disadvantaged communities, pupils from low-income families are far more likely to be the ones accessing mental health support.

Mental health services in schools

By taking a ‘whole-school approach’ to mental health, schools have the opportunity to build pupils’ resilience and equip them with the life skills to manag ge future challenges. In many cases, they can also identify and prevent potential mental health problems from becoming more severe and complex by offering well-evidenced ‘early intervention’ services. It’s important to acknowledge that many schools are already going above and beyond to support pupils’ mental health and well-being proactively. Part of our Mental Health Champions programme for school leaders involves supporting participants to assess their school’s current approach and identify not only areas for improvement but also areas where significant progress has already been made. Not every pupil will need a professional intervention, and there is a huge amount that can be achieved by creating a supportive culture where pupils can turn to their peers or school staff for help when they need it.


However, some pupils’ problems will be serious enough to require professional support. When we place this in the context of continued pressure on schools’ budgets – 91% of schools are facing real-terms budget cuts3 according to the School Cuts website – it stands to reason that these vital services could be at risk. Furthermore, schools are not health services. They cannot do it alone. In our survey of NAHT members, which was published in February 2017, 93% said pupils bring more worries into school than they did five years ago, and 92% said teaching staff have to manage issues for pupils that go beyond their professional roles. According to research conducted for the Department for Education, more than nine in ten (93%) of schools that are able to provide counselling services use their budget to fund this provision.4 Our research in partnership with NAHT found that 84% of schools with a schoolbased counsellor either fully or partly fund the service using the pupil premium funding.5 For children from low-income families, school-based support may be particularly important because their parents or carers may find services in traditional settings more difficult to access. Early intervention support can also have a powerful impact and potentially break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. Only when we bridge the gap between education and health, and with the necessary investment, can we truly begin to see the transformation in services that children and young people deserve.

The toll on teachers’ mental health

Finally, a whole-school approach must extend to teachers and school staff. In Sonia Blandford’s recently published book Born to Fail, she argues that society’s failure to tackle child poverty is having a damaging knock-on effect on teachers: “Those in education [are] left to feel overwhelmed by having to meet the targets of traditional teaching while addressing a much wider remit – supporting children who feel anxious and invisible, and who are the victims of poverty... as a result, too many of those teachers, unable to see how change will come and feeling helpless, are abandoning their profession.” In thinking about how best to support the most disadvantaged pupils, we must not overlook the psychological toll on hardworking teachers who may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of transforming the life chances of their pupils with few resources. The oxygen mask metaphor, albeit somewhat overused these days, remains pertinent. Without paying due care and attention to the well-being of staff, we cannot hope to influence the mental health of pupils positively. Other than their parents and carers, teachers are some of the most important role models that children and young people have – ensuring that they are not overwhelmed and have suitable support structures in place will have a beneficial impact on the whole school community, especially those growing up in challenging circumstances.

• Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional well-being of pupils, families, teachers and school staff.

References 1 Centre for Mental Health, Children of the new century, November 2015 2 The Children’s Society, Poor Mental Health: The links between child poverty and mental health problems, March 2016 3 [accessed 20 November 2017] 4 Department for Education, Supporting Mental Health in Schools and Colleges, August 2017 5 NAHT and Place2Be, Children’s Mental Health Matters, February 2016


According to research for the Department for Education, more than nine in ten of schools that are able to provide counselling services use their own budget.


This Children’s Mental Health Week, Place2Be is encouraging children, young people and adults to celebrate their uniqueness. It’s all about #BeingOurselves! The week provides a perfect opportunity for schools to promote the importance of looking after your mental health to pupils, families and staff. It’s easy for schools to get involved, with free downloadable resources including assembly guides, group activities and top tips for staff, parents and carers. You can also inspire others and show your support by adding yourself to the interactive Children’s Mental Health Week Map, which will track support for the week across the country! For free resources and to show your support for children and young people’s mental health, visit


New training courses for 2018 eing in a school leadership role can be incredibly fulfilling but also present you with a variety of challenges – from changes to the curriculum and dealing with difficult situations to


ensuring your management team fulfil their potential. Whether you are looking to develop your career or sharpen up your skills, we have a course to help support your professional development.

At our courses you’ll be able to share your experiences as well as hear about the experiences of your peers at other schools. Our courses will provide you with the practical strategies to help you succeed.



22 March 2018, London What is the role of the accounting officer in an academy trust and why is it so often misunderstood? The accounting officer must either be the senior executive leader or principal in the case of a single academy trust. The role of accounting officer in an academy trust is pivotal to the medium-term success of the academy. A number of legal responsibilities are placed upon the accounting officer to make sure all checks and balances are in place and financial reporting arrangements are robust. The aim of this course is to assist education leaders in understanding the constitutional status of an academy trust and explore varying options for the delegation of financial management responsibilities in a multi-academy trust. Course facilitator: Lorraine Cooper

“It was a very reflexive day and it was useful to go on the course with my colleagues from my school.” ANGELA, C, ASSIST TANT HE EAD TEACHER

AN INTRODUCTION TO INCOME GENERATION AND GRANT WRITING 2 March 2018, London Creating successful income generation activities and writing effective grant applications. This is the starting point for anyone planning and undertaking their income generation journey. We start the day by exploring how to utilise your school

development plan and will consider both the impact of communicating a strong vision and the importance of having measurable goals when fundraising. During the course you will compare different income streams that your organisation can exploit and use case studies to give real-life examples and

inspiration. The second half of the day focuses on the art of school grant writing. We coach you through developing a project narrative for items you need, which can save you and others lots of time when completing grant applications to raise funds for your school projects. Course facilitator: Ryan Green



2 May 2018, London This course will focus on the role of the executive head teacher, offering practical advice on how headteachers can formulate a long-term plan to upskill in preparation for this change in focus and career. You will reflect on how the role of executive headteacher differs from the role of headteacher in a single school, and will consider how to form a multi-academy trust, ensuring it is efficient, effective and financially viable. This course will

also explore teaching and support staff structures in more than one school, in order to ascertain whether they are ‘future proof’ and financially sustainable into the future. This course will provide an overview of multiple school business planning, teaching and support staff structures, and governance. Delegates will have the opportunity to consider how they will develop their existing skills into system leadership skills. Coure facilitator: Philippa Ollerhead

“A key advantage of NAHT courses is that they invariably attract a cross section of school and system leaders who bring to the day their own experiences. Such leaders are allowed, by the facilitator, to enhance the value and quality of discussions”. BARRY, NED DUCAT TION CO ONSULTANT


27 April 2018, London. 11 June 2018, Birmingham How to maximise learning opportunities and diminish differences in progress. This one-day course will enable you to learn new ways of maximising opportunities to drive progress for children. You will be supported to consider how you can diminish differences in attainment and you will leave with tools and materials to help you at your school. You will explore how children learn and how essential the indoor and outdoor environment is in enabling children to deepen their understanding and apply their skills. You will also evaluate the purpose and context of your environment and consider the importance of outdoor learning. Course facilitator: Sarah Quinn

EFFECTIVE WORKFORCE DEPLOYMENT 13 March 2018, London 20 March 2018, Birmingham How to develop an effective and efficient staffing structure for your school. A current challenge within education is maintaining and improving standards alongside a shrinking budget. School leaders in all sectors need to think creatively about workforce deployment and evaluating current teaching and learning and support structures. By attending this course you will have the opportunity to reflect on the structure of your timetable and teaching and support staff structures in order to ascertain whether they are ‘future proofed’ and financially sustainable into the future. You will then learn how to formulate an internal personnel action plan and consider the HR implications, as well as any pitfalls to avoid.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found the pitch and pace of the delivery excellent. This was a hightempo, engaging and in-depth day of professional development. Thank you.” JO OE E DEPU UTY HEA AD TEAC CHER



SUSAN YOUNG: Education columnist

Creating aspirations ou can’t miss Twickenham Primary’s mantra: “BE ALL YOU CAN BE” is painted in huge letters outside. Inside, evidence of how seriously everyone takes this includes a cabinet groaning with sports trophies, and awards marking the astounding progress routinely made by some of the country’s most disadvantaged children. “The great joy is that you are trying to change life chances and aspirations. The greatest joy was having a former pupil walk in and say, ‘Miss, I’m applying for university.’ That’s amazing – the first in their family,” says headteacher Helen Slack. “We are really proud of children who go on to achieve, and that they want to come back and tell us. We celebrate them – it gives our current children something to aspire to.” Creating aspirations is one of the cornerstones of Twickenham, which serves children from Birmingham’s Kingstanding estate, where many families struggle with problems including extreme poverty, addiction, domestic violence, unemployment, low pay and imprisonment. So Twickenham strives to be “a haven for children, a place of safety and happiness” where children are greeted by staff, eat lunch with them, and attend breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs. Its commitment to academic excellence, opportunity, setting children up to succeed and ensuring they experience doing well, runs alongside its drive to provide a full range of childhood experiences. That includes a commitment for every child to climb a hill, visit a forest, a river, the sea, an art gallery and a pantomime, as well as curriculum-driven school trips. “We take year 6 camping in Cornwall for a week and it



shows them a different world. Some are scared of the horizon because they’ve never seen a big one before, didn’t realise the sea moved, didn’t realise your feet get wet on the sand.” Every child learns an instrument and Twickenham encourages ultracompetitiveness at sport, paying for the best kit (“They’ve got to look the part”), sending teams in the school minibus, and giving a heroes’ welcome on their return. “We tell them they are fantastic, they can be the best they want to be, that they are going to win. They do because we are giving them this sense of self-belief, that they can be the best at something whether it is music, art, drama, sport or academia,” says Helen. “They need to overachieve, to have 100 per cent belief in their own abilities and that’s going to drive them through secondary school. Our aim for secondary is that they’re in the best possible position, in the highest group, that they think they are fantastic.” All staff take responsibility for progress. Data is pored over, interventions made, extra teachers shoehorned into year groups. Children arrive with below-average attainment, exceed national performance in KS2 SATS, and the

Above: Susan Young

Our aim for secondary is that they’re in the best possible position, in the highest group, that they think they are fantastic.

school wins progress awards. In this age of stagnating budgets, how does Twickenham do it? Currently, 68% of children get pupil premium (it’s often higher), which funds experiences, sport and music for every child “because often children who might not get it are the least welloff. It’s about equality of opportunity for all,” says Helen. “We are very careful about how we spend our funds, pursuing best value at all time. Staff understand that making simple savings can lead to greater spending power and more benefits for our children.” Work-life balance is encouraged. “Working relentlessly at home means you’re too tired to have fun with the children. I’m not a great one for collecting everyone’s planning – I’m interested in progress and inspiring lessons, and if teachers didn’t have a private life I don’t think they’d be able to do that. There’s a lot of laughter.” Helen concludes: “Our hope for the children is that through education you can get a better life and aspire. Our big aim for the children is to see that the world is a bigger place than their estate. We’re never complacent about the standards they reach, and challenge every decision, asking what difference it will make to each of them. “It’s their money, their chance. They didn’t have a choice about coming here: we have to make the best of it for them.”


WHO'S ATTENDING THE SHOW: Head Teacher, Principal, CEO, Head of 6th Form, Executive Head, Head of Academy, Deputy Head Teacher, Chair of Governors, Head of Education, School Business Manager, Head of Finance, Governor, SENco, Head of Services, Trustees, Head of School, Finance Director, Director of Development, Bursar, HR Director, Director of Facilities, Head of Learning, Clerk, Head of Department

KEY THEMES INCLUDE: Funding & Finance • Teacher Recruitment • MAT Development • Conversion Guidance • Governance • Joined-up Leadership • Accountability • SEND • Curriculum & Assessment • Government Policies & Plans • Pupil & Staff Wellbeing


Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Schools System, Department for Education (DfE)

The Rt Hon David Laws, Executive Chairman, Education Policy Institute

Sir David Carter, National School Commissioner, Department for Education (DfE)

Lara Newman MBE, Chief Executive, LocatED








Profile for NAHT Communications

NAHT Leadership Focus January 2018  

It's an equality and diversity special. We take a look at the current inequalities that exist within the education system and society at lar...

NAHT Leadership Focus January 2018  

It's an equality and diversity special. We take a look at the current inequalities that exist within the education system and society at lar...