FrontFoot News – July 2016

Front FootFrontFoot News – July 2016

These FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy through to media interest.  Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article.


DfE news story: Amanda Spielman confirmed as next Ofsted Chief Inspector

19 July 2016.   Amanda Spielman has today been confirmed as the next Chief Inspector of Ofsted after approval by the Privy Council.

Ofqual news story: New rules for reviews of GCSE, AS and A levels

15 July 2016.   Ofqual has today published the final rules that set out how exam boards must handle requests for reviews of GCSE, AS and A level marking.

Ofqual news story: Ofqual publishes open letter on qualifications reform resources

15 July 2016.   The letter launches a slide pack, postcards and a guide for schools.

DfE guidance: Standards for school food in England

14 July 2016.  Updated: Added the 2016 version of the document.


Guardian: Academisation, cuts and parents: school governance faces major change

12 July 2016.   Guardian experts debated whether schools could survive without converting, fierce financial constraints facing boards and whether parents will have to pick up the pieces.  One of our own, Kathy Dunnett, was at the table!

Schools Week: Justine Greening ‘committed’ to delivering fair funding formula from 2017, despite delay concerns 

20 July 2016.  Schools Week is reporting that the government has confirmed it is still aiming to fund schools under a new national funding formula from 2017.  Now indicating for the first time the new education secretary Justine Greening’s appetite to plough ahead with the controversial funding overhaul as planned.

Schools Week: New GCSEs and A-levels finally signed off – just days before schools break up for summer 

19 July 2016.  Schools Week is reporting that the exams regulator has announced today it has finished accrediting new qualifications, less than two months before they are due to be first taught in schools.

TES: Times tables tests put on hold as new education secretary takes over

14 July 2016.  TES are reporting that times tables tests for Year 6 pupils will not be introduced next year as originally planned, it has been confirmed.

TES: Controversial primary writing assessment guidelines to continue next year

14 July 2016.  TES are reporting that the criteria that teachers must use when assessing 7 and 11-year-old pupils next summer have been published today.  Staff have been told they will be using the same “interim” guidelines as last year.

TES: New education secretary praises teachers, while refusing to discuss how to pay them

17 July 2016.  TES is reporting that the new education secretary has spoken out in praise of “great, amazing teachers” who can excite children about learning.

Pupil Development

Schools Week: government trebles fund to help schools tackle homophobic bullying 

18 July 2016.  Schools Week is reporting that government funding to help train teachers how to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying has been trebled to nearly £3 million.

Research and good practice

Education Endowment Foundation: New evaluation reports launched 

14 July 2016.  The Education Endowment Foundation has published a series of evaluation reports. This includes the report Texting Parents which found that texting parents about upcoming tests or homework deadlines can lead to improved academic performance.

Save the Children report: The lost boys

15 July 2016.  This report examines the consequences of falling behind in language and communication and quantifies the impact of the gender gap at age five on primary school attainment.  In relation to this report the BBC is reporting that Boys ‘twice as likely to fall behind girls’ in early years.

LKMco report: White working class boys and Higher Education – The role of widening participation 

18 July 2016.  This report provides new analysis of why so few white working class boys progress to higher education and how this can be addressed.  In relation to this report Schools Week is reporting that schools struggle to support white working-class boys because of definition confusion.

Education Policy Institute (EPI) report: Divergent Pathways – the disadvantage gap, accountability and the pupil premium

20 July 2016.  The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published what it calls the “first comprenhensive analysis” of the progress of disadvantaged pupils over the last decade.  In relation to this report Schools Week is reporting:  Closing the gap: report calls for schools to publish disadvantaged pupil progress results on their websites

Sutton Trust report: Changing the subject

20 July 2016.  This report is based on a study of 300 schools, known as “curriculum change schools”, which transformed their curriculum for Key Stage 4 pupils between 2010 and 2013 in order to increase the number of pupils studying these subjects.

In relation to this report Schools Week is reporting that disadvantaged pupils benefit from swift EBacc changes.