Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Backing schools

ASCL strongly criticised the remarks made in a speech by Andrew Adonis that 800 secondary schools were underperforming and "wasting pupils' talents".

John Dunford was quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Independent, the Guardian and BBC Online on 3 October as saying that this was patently untrue.

"It is quite wrong to say that all those 800 schools are giving a bad education. Many of these schools serve extremely challenging communities and many children who are new to this country."

He said that schools were being forced to change priorities to focus on maths and English.

Health and safety

In response to the judgement against an independent school head who was fined for health and safety issues related to a toddler's death, ASCL said that the sentence reflected the enormous burden of responsibility put on headteachers for the children in their care.

He said: "The notion of what is safe has changed over the years and schools now find themselves operating in a no-risk culture.

"Heads of both maintained and independent schools are coming under increasing pressure from health and safety legislation. Standards expected of schools are now higher than those that most parents would observe at home."

John was quoted in the Daily Mail, Western Mail, and on Sky News.


"Complete nonsense" was the way ASCL described figures put out by the Office of National Statistics in September saying that school productivity had fallen by 0.7 per cent a year since 1999.

The TES and Public Finance magazine picked up the story and ASCL's comments, which pointed out that the simplistic formula relied too heavily on exam results and failed to take into account the wider outcomes of education.

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