NSN News

New Schools Network kicks-off search for new Director

It was announced yesterday that Natalie Evans (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park), currently Director of New Schools Network (NSN), has been appointed as Government Whip. She will leave her post immediately to take up her new role.

Rachel Wolf, Chair of Trustees at New Schools Network said:"We would like to thank Natalie for her extraordinary leadership at NSN - first as COO and then Director. We know she will be just as successful in her new role.

Statement from NSN's Trustees

The Trustees are grateful for Unity’s work over the past seven years at NSN and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.

Unity Howard, outgoing Director at NSN, said:

“When I joined NSN as an Intern seven years ago, I never imagined I would one day be leading the team. NSN is such a fantastic organisation and I feel incredibly proud of the work we have done together. I want to thank all the amazing school and trust staff NSN has worked with, and of course the brilliant team I have had the honour of leading.

NSN publishes new report with Onward, Lost Learning: Why we need to level up education

The report, Lost Learning: Why we need to level up education, found families in some areas have little chance of securing access to a Good or Outstanding school – such as in South Derbyshire, where every secondary school is underperforming, and Knowsley and Boston, where 80% of secondary pupils attend schools rated Inadequate or Requires Improvement. This compares to other parts of the country, particularly in London, where a

Statement from NSN's Director

Since 2010, New Schools Network has supported thousands of groups – comprising teachers, parents, charities, businesses, arts and sports organisations, and others – as they have navigated the complex free school application process. The knowledge and expertise NSN has accumulated, not only of the application process but beyond into pre-opening and once open, has made NSN the leading provider of support for those committed to demanding something better for the children in their community.

NSN submits response to Ofqual consultation

NSN held discussions with many schools, and used a survey, to gain insight on how results may be awarded most fairly and accurately in the absence of formal assessment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, countless different suggestions and concerns were raised; we have viewed these collectively to find common themes and provide constructive suggestions to Ofqual and the Department for Education.

It should be noted that the consultation response is NSN’s own and does not represent free schools as a cohort.

From our discussions, we have found four key areas that must be addressed:

NSN Director: "As we reach the end of term, I want to say thank you to all working in education"

"The term ‘unprecedented year’ has been bandied around throughout 2020, so much so that it has lost meaning – but it really is true. The challenges schools have faced and tackled head on throughout the year, and particularly this term have been significant.

"This country owes a huge amount of gratitude to teachers, leaders, governors, support staff and others for all that they have done, as schools have done everything they can to keep children safe and learning. They have gone above and beyond, proving once again their role as a pillar of society and community.

NSN Director: "Plans go some way in protecting opportunity for children"

"The announcement on plans for exams in 2021 is hugely welcome news. Since March, teachers have done their level-best under exceptionally testing conditions and this clarity will bring some relief.

"As we saw in August, exams are the only reasonable way to ensure equity and fairness. It is right that centre-assessed grades will not be used next year.

"While there is no perfect way to level the playing field, these plans will go some way in protecting opportunity for children that have missed significant learning time this year."