Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news...

School dinners

The Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail and Evening Standard all carried ASCL's comments in response to the government's announcement of new standards for school lunches on 19 May. John Dunford was quoted as saying: "Schools can offer two portions of fruit and veg with every meal, but there is no requirement for students to eat it. The only way to reverse the obesity trend is through the education of parents and students."

"These new standards are another example of the government's increasing micromanagement of schools."

John's comments on the poor funding situation were also noted in the papers: "A secondary school with 1,000 pupils has got just ?2,000 to improve meals over the year which is a paltry sum."

Recruitment in Wales

Brian Lightman, ASCL treasurer and head of St Cyres School in Penarth, was on BBC Good Morning Wales on 26 May responding to a speech by Chief Inspector Susan Lewis about the future of school leadership.

While he welcomed the chief inspector's vision of schools led by teams rather than one charismatic individual, he said that the Welsh Assembly Government's response was "dangerously complacent". The government claimed that there was 'no shortage of heads in Wales' because over 1,000 people will have achieved NPQH by July.

Brian said: "The fact that someone has done that course does not mean they are then going to progress to be a headteacher."

Fees for extended schools

ASCL has been critical of the latest guidance from the DfES on extended schools, which suggests that schools should charge for out-of-hours, non-academic activities.

In an article in the Times, John Dunford said, "It could be extremely difficult if you end up with a situation in which children in one room are doing one extracurricular activity for free, while children in the next room doing something different are paying for it."

The DfES must realise that if it wants extended schools to become a reality, it needs to provide adequate funding.

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