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About Schools Week

Schools Week

Schools Week is read widely by headteachers, governors, business managers and the education leaders of the future. Established in 2014, our weekly print newspaper is now read by around 22,000 education managers and sector stakeholders, and 1.4 million unique users visited our website in 2015-16. We have quickly become the “go-to” news source for reliable education journalism, with a formidable reputation for hard-hitting investigations, breaking news and expert analysis.

About FE Week

FE Week

FE Week is the premier news source for the further education, apprenticeships and skills sector, with a reputation for breaking news, investigations and expert analysis that is second to none. Our weekly newspaper is read by over 10,000 education managers and sector stakeholders and over 75,000 people access our website on a monthly basis. Trust is essential, and our readers know that FE Week provides an unrivalled platform for sharing accurate, timely information.

In the News

Which accountability measures should schools prioritise?

With the DfE and Ofsted making clashing requirements, Liam Collins is forced to wonder which accountability measures and diktats schools should be prioritising Let us all understand this correctly: the new key stage 4 accountability measure will be the lever that gets schools to enter every pupil into the now infamous five (effectively seven) Ebacc GCSEs. We already have to work out how to deliver a third as much content again in these new exams, then in the same summer, Ofsted announced it would take a dim view of schools that narrow their curriculum to score well on league tables. This leaves school leaders stuck between a rock and a hard place. Here’s the dilemma: should a school aim for great outcomes on the Ebacc by focusing on a narrow curriculum that is suited to the intake, and risk a poor Ofsted report? Or opt for a wider curriculum and poorer outcomes, and face the RSC breathing down its neck instead? Poor accountability measures mean people lose their jobs, but so does a poor Ofsted According to Ofqual, the Ebacc curriculum has already been narrowed away from creative subjects. There is only so much time in a curriculum and forcing schools...

EBacc improves pupils’ chances of studying A-levels

Studying subjects in the English Baccalaureate increases the likelihood that a student will stay on at school and sit A-levels, regardless of their ability, according to new research. Students who pursue the full range of EBacc subjects – maths, English, science, history or geography, and a language – between the ages of 14 and 16 have “a greater probability of progression to all post-16 educational outcomes”, while taking applied GCSEs has “the opposite effect,” according to researchers Vanessa Moulton, Morag Henderson, Jake Anders and Alice Sullivan. Speaking to Schools Week, Sullivan explained that even when controlling for student ability by taking into account previous key stage scores, EBacc subjects make pupils more likely to stay on in education. “The results show that controlling for both prior attainment, and a range of socio-economic and other factors, pupils who had taken EBacc subjects at GCSE were seven percentage points more likely to stay on at school,” Sullivan said. Pupils taking EBacc subjects at GCSE are also more likely to take A-levels, and to study “facilitating” subjects – those the Russell Group universities say are more helpful for getting onto a degree course. This was still true even if students did not achieve...

Institute for Apprenticeships remains the favourite option for EQA

The Institute for Apprenticeships continues to be the dominant external quality assurance (EQA) provider of choice for most Trailblazer groups – even though it describes itself as the “option of last resort”. As a result, concerns are deepening across the sector that the government’s own EQA regulator is regulating itself, a situation that Graham Hasting-Evans, managing director of NOCN, described as “bizarre”, calling on the minister “to step back and rethink before we dig a pit we cannot then get out of”. In the most recent publication of standards that have been approved for delivery, five of the six standards published in August all chose the IfA to provide their external quality assurance, while the remaining standard selected its own professional body. These latest standards take the Institute’s tally to 35, nearly double that of the next most popular option, Ofqual, which has 19. Surprisingly, since FE Week reported in March that the Institute was by far the most popular choice, its share of the EQA market has actually increased from 16 per cent to 19 per cent, during which time an additional 21 standards were approved. In total, 35 organisations or boards are represented in the choices for external quality assurance...

EXCLUSIVE: DfE’s decision to defend small school sixth form cost £76,000 in fees

A legal challenge brought against the government by the Association of Colleges over the opening of a small-school sixth form last year has cost the tax payer over £75,000, FE Week can reveal.  According to a Freedom of Information we submitted to the Department for Education in July, it paid out a huge £60,000 for the AoC’s legal costs when the case was dropped before it made it to court, on top of almost £16,500 in its own legal fees. The AoC joined Havering Sixth Form College to launch a challenge in the High Court in September last year against a decision to fund a new sixth form at Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College in Hornchurch, Essex, its first judicial review against the government in more than a decade. It claimed that Tim Coulson, the regional schools commissioner for the east of England and north-east London, failed to follow the government’s own rules on new sixth forms when he approved the request from the Loxford School Trust, which took over Abbs Cross in February 2016. These rules state, for example, that sixth forms should only be created in schools which expect to enrol 200 students or more. They should also have...