Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Ofsted priorities

Ofsted's new chief inspector must reassert the inspection body's independence from the DfES, said John Dunford in the lead opinion article in the TES on 22 September.

In the article he said: "Under Ofsted, the inspectorate has become too closely associated with government policy...The best chief inspectors have always stood between the profession and the government, independent of both and commenting only on the basis of evidence."

Slow the pace of change

'Heads call on Brown to slow school initiatives' was the headline in the Education Guardian on 25 September following the chancellor's Labour party speech.

Deputy General Secretary, Martin Ward said: "We're looking for a period of consolidation, rather than a shopping list of new things that he might want to bring forward in the future."

Martin also suggested that if Brown were elected leader, signs are that he would support the further education sector, which "tends to be overlooked".

"Gordon has shown he's interested in it. He's made speeches about that strand of education that we might not have expected him to make."

He added: "We do have a very overblown system of accountability that is in serious need of rethinking, so that it uses less of the scarce resources we have on just reporting things and leaves more for the actual job of educating."

School food

Healthy meals was the top story at the beginning of the academic year, with John Dunford appearing on Radio 5
drive time, Radio 2, BBC Online, the Independent, and the Guardian to represent members' views.

While schools supported healthier meals, he said, convoluted regulations on lunchtime meals was not the answer.

He called for more education and support for parents in improving children's diets at home and more pressure on the food industry to advertise responsibly.

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