Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Not more inspection

ASCL's criticisms of more inspections for satisfactory schools were widely reported in the press, including the Manchester Evening News, Yorkshire Post, Birmingham Post, Evening Standard and the national papers. John Dunford went head to head with Miriam Rosen, Ofsted Education Director, on Radio 5 and appeared on regional radio.

He said, "We are completely opposed to an increase in inspection for schools graded 'satisfactory'This will increase the pressure on heads and schools that are already under immense pressure. Inspecting schools more does not help them improve."

Caution on extended schools

The TES carried an editorial written by John Dunford on 14 July outlining concerns with the extended schools agenda.

The article said that while breakfast clubs and after school activities are commonplace in most schools, "it is a considerable step from this to the government's concept of all children accessing a core offer of extended services from 8am to 6pm every day of the year. This defines policy in quantity terms, while schools are judged on quality of provision."

Schools should not be encouraged to sacrifice quality in order to meet government targets for quantity of provision.

John also stated that there are major implications in the way the scheme is funded. "While 680 million sounds like a lot of money, this needs to be broken down carefully to see how much will actually go into school budgets," he said.

"Heads cannot afford to divert money from raising achievement into extended schools activities."

Boys vs girls

In the Daily Mail and the Sun on 13 June, John Dunford raised objections to claims by a leading academic that boys fall behind in exams because teachers do not nurture male traits such as competitiveness and leadership.

John called the remarks sweeping generalisations. "Schools have put an immense amount of effort into raising boys' achievement in recent years, just as they did for girls in the previous generation."

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