Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Welsh inspection

Media attention at the ASCL Cymru annual conference on 6-7 December focused on funding and inspection, with the TES Cymru running a page two story on ASCL Cymru's proposed changes to the inspection policy. ASCL Cymru Secretary Gareth Jones said: "In many of the current inspections, the grades on the key questions in the school self-evaluation and in the inspection report are the same.

"What is the point of continuing to inflict stress and incur considerable expense, running into thousands of pounds, for the inspection team to merely confirm what the school or college already knows?"

Tory vision

ASCL came out in opposition to several aspects of the Tory vision for education, launched on 19 November. In a debate with Conservative shadow education minister Nick Gibb on Radio 5 Drive Time, John called Tory plans to require setting in all schools 'micromanagement of the worst kind'. The real issue was not setting, he said, which ASCL supports, but the Conservative government's proposals to interfere in the everyday running of schools.

ASCL also opposed the Conservative proposal to abolish exclusion appeals panels, which would most likely result in more cases ending up in the courts. Instead, ASCL called for the powers of appeals panels to be limited.

Children's Plan

ASCL's concerns regarding the Children's Plan were covered by Guardian, Telegraph (in John Dunford's comment piece), BBC Online and a Radio 5 interview with Martin Ward and Ed Balls. While welcoming the principles of the plan, ASCL warned that it was placing massive expectations on schools.

John Dunford said: "There has been a tendency when policy has been drawn up to use the levers most easily available, and too often this has been schools and colleges. The must not be allowed to happen with the implementation of the Children's Plan."

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