NSN welcomes Ofsted’s consultation on proposed changes to its inspection framework and the level of detail provided in the accompanying inspection handbook and curriculum research.
Free School News
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A pivotal moment for the Trailblazers of Pinner High School: from the start of this half term they are nearer their GCSE exams in Year 11 than they are to their first day of school in Year 7. There is a collective sharp intake of breath when they have this pointed out in assembly. That first first day in September 2016 was surely just yesterday? With over 500 students, nearer 700 by September, and a waiting list of 150 perhaps we might soon be 'the new school' no longer?
As a NED on the board of a multi-academy trust (MAT), you know what excellent work your trust is doing to provide a high quality education for your pupils that will prepare them well for the future.
Thanks to the recent launch of the wave 14 free school funding, MATs now have an opportunity to use their commitment, passion and expertise to improve education for even more children in England.
Prior to the panel discussion, John shared his experiences opening The Charter School East Dulwich and provided a high-level overview of the many site-related tasks undertaken during pre-opening; offering a ‘view from the ground’ of the complexities finding and developing a site and building(s) able to deliver the school’s curriculum and founding vision.
Drawing upon his experience, John highlighted three key points to help pre-opening project groups navigate this process successfully:
The new free schools will cover the breadth of the country, including nine in the north, five in Yorkshire and the Humber and five in the Midlands, providing specialist provision for children with social, emotional and mental health needs, children on the autism spectrum and those with Complex Learning Difficulties. They join 76 open special and AP free schools and a further 66 approved but not yet open.
Luke Tryl, Director of New Schools Network, said:
Two minutes after the beginning of the event, three of the four headteachers at my table told me their biggest concern was recruitment. My expertise took a hit. I understood, at once, that I had focused exclusively on mainstream teaching – though, seemingly, special schools are hit the hardest. They face the same recruitment and retention challenges as their mainstream counterparts, as well as having to deal with a unique set of additional needs.
The free school landscape is diverse and many projects have had interesting and rocky beginnings; EHS is no exception, opening its doors in 2015 in temporary accommodation, with year 12 and 13 split between two sites, and separated by the busy A6110 ring road south of Leeds city centre! Fast forward three years and the college has settled into a purpose-built, state of the art building with excellent new facilities.
The key point to draw from the day was the need for greater collaboration between all levels of education. Jennifer spoke about the role of free schools in raising social mobility. Free schools are set up in response to local demand and are designed to meet the specific needs of the local community, and autonomy over curriculum and teacher recruitment means free schools have the ability to tailor their teaching to specific needs of their pupil cohort.