Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

HMCI report

ASCL hit back strongly against the negative publicity following the HMCI's annual report on 22 November. Martin Ward appeared on GMTV to defend secondary schools' record and John Dunford was on BBC News at One and Radio 4 at noon. ASCL's comments were also carried in the TES, Public Finance, Yorkshire Post, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Telegraph, and Times. See Hitting back at false reports for their comments.

Review performance measures

"Long overdue" was the way John Dunford described Alan Johnson's decision to open discussion on measuring school performance, as reported in the Times and Guardian on 17 November.

He added: "The threshold measure of the proportion of pupils with five or more high grade GCSEs has produced perverse incentives for schools. It skews policy and forces schools to allocate scarce resources to particular areas."

In a speech to new heads, the secretary of state said he would consider moving to a system that recognised individual pupil progression rather than a fixed (test) measure.

Bureaucracy in Wales

"Let us do the job we were hired to do, say teachers". This was the headline in the Western Mail as ASCL Cymru launched its election manifesto during its annual conference. Gareth Jones was quoted as saying: "Excessive bureaucracy is diverting energy and resources away from the key task of school leaders."

The Guardian and TES Cymru also ran the story.

International bacc

ASCL reacted cautiously to the prime minister's announcement expanding the International Baccalaureate. John Dunford appeared on the BBC 10pm News on 1 December to remind audiences that if the government valued a diplomas qualification, it should have implemented the Tomlinson recommendations.

He added: "The IB is an excellent qualification but it is expensive and prescriptive and it is not appropriate for students of all abilities."

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