The long-awaited Timpson Review of School Exclusion was published last week. The review puts forth a number of worthwhile recommendations, including plans to hold schools accountable for the outcomes of children they exclude, greater local authority oversight of pupil movement, improvements to alternative provision (AP) and proposals to tackle off-rolling.
Free School News
If you have a press or media enquiry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are now over 700 Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) in England and 50% of children are being taught within a MAT structure. MATs are now the large incumbent; the majority player. But opinions remain divided.
It is a critical time for MATs. The approaches and structures of the early days are too often failing to meet the challenges the sector now faces. We need a new phase of MAT leadership.
"We know one of the biggest barriers to innovative curriculum thinking has been a fear of falling foul of Ofsted and the experience of some of the first free school inspections confirmed this.
The central conclusion of the report saw solutions based in encouraging inclusion methods within mainstream schools as a way of tackling consequences of exclusion such as poor GCSE grades and risks of gang violence. Although this will lead to a reduction in the overall exclusion figures, vulnerable children may not be receiving the support they require remaining in mainstream schools.
"The obvious conclusion to draw from the Timpson Review is that we need more high-quality alternative provision places, and we need them now. Too many young people who have been excluded have been consigned to provision that is not even inspected by Ofsted or to see if it meets basic safety standards – around 20,000 young people who have left mainstream schools.
Last week, the Independent Schools Council published its annual census. On publication, Julie Robinson, ISC Chief Executive, said “The existence of a private sector eases pressure on class sizes in state schools, and saves the taxpayer £3.5billion each year”. The census also reported a rise in both the number of partnerships projects between state and independent schools, and provision of means-tested fee assistance increasing to a value of more than £420million.
Director of New Schools Network, Luke Tryl, said:
"While the increase in bursaries for lower income families is welcome, it is a drop in the ocean. Still only a very small minority of children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive support from the independent sector. It is not surprising that many state school leaders think independent schools need to do more to justify their social contribution claims.
Free Schools in the media
Ofsted data shows that 2,223 primary schools are rated as Inadequate or Requires Improvement. This means that around 95,000 four and five year olds will be starting their school days in schools that are not good enough.
Amongst this number, Ofsted has identified 290 ‘stuck schools’ – primary schools which have been judged as Satisfactory, Requires Improvement or Inadequate at every inspection since 2005. The New Schools Network’s analysis estimates that over a million children will have attended these primary schools over the 14-year period.