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Page last updated: 06/09/2018

​​​​​​Please use the drop down boxes below to view previous news stories from Ofsted, the Department for Education and Public Health. 

Academic Year 2018-2019

September 2018:

Academic Year 2017-2018

September 2017

​September 2017:


Academic Year 2016-2017     

July 2017

School Funding Arrangements in 2018/2019

The Secretary of State for Education has, on Monday 17 July 2017, set out the future arrangements for school funding. In a speech to Parliament, the Secretary of State confirmed the introduction of a national funding formula for schools and for pupils with high needs from the 2018 to 2019 financial year.

The government is also bringing forward additional funding of £1.3 billion, on top of existing spending plans, in 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020. As a result, core funding for schools and high needs will rise from almost £41 billion in 2017 to 2018 to £42.4 billion in 2018 to 2019, and to £43.5 billion in 2019 to 2020.

The increased funding means that the new formula will provide:

  • an increase in the basic amount that every pupil attracts through the formula
  • continued protection for funding for additional needs
  • a minimum of £4,800 per pupil provided for every secondary school
  • for the next two years, gains of up to 3% a year for underfunded schools and a 0.5% a year per pupil cash increase for every school

The DfE will shortly publish the operational guidance for 2018 to 2019 and the baselines for local authorities’ spending in the current year. The Secretary of State has confirmed that in 2018 to 2019 local authorities will receive at least the same amount for schools per pupil and for high needs overall as they are spending in 2017 to 2018, subject to some technical adjustments.​

March 2017

Week Commencing 27 March 2017

Week Commencing 6 ​March 2017                                                                  
  • Managing Asbestos in Schools: Updated Guidance - An updated version of 'guidance on the management of asbestos in schools​' has been published. The update includes new supplementary guidance on where asbestos may be located in schools. The guidance provides information for schools, trusts and local authorities to enable them to understand and carry out their legal responsibilities under The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It offers practical advice to ensure that asbestos is managed properly in schools. This replaces guidance publishe din 2015. 

December 2016

Week commencing 19 December 2016
  • National Funding Formula: second stage consultation - The DfE have launched the second stage of its consultation on the national funding formulae (NFF) for schools and high needs​.

November 2016

Week Commencing 28 November 2016:

Fire Risk from School Maintenance or Building Works - The EFA have published a new document that supports schools to manage fire risks​ when undertaking construction or maintenance activities involving hot works such as roof repairs. Any construction activity involving hot works has the potential to cause a serious fire. They should only be undertaken when all other operations have been considered first. The guidance raises awareness of a school and contractor's legal health and safety duties as they apply to the fire risks created by the contractor's hot work activities. The document includes links to helpful advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

October 2016

Week commencing 31 October 2016
The Department for Education would like to remind all schools and post-16 institutions of the importance of ensuring all chemicals used for practical science activities are stored safely. CLEAPSS, the science and technology advisory service, that provides support to the vast majority of schools and colleges, has recently received a number of calls regarding a particular chemical - 2,4-DNP (2,4-dinitrophenyllhydrazine). For advice on safe storage of chemicals, or specific advice on 2,4-DNP, institutions should check the CLEAPSS website. Any further questions can be answered by contacting the CLEAPSS helpline 01895 251496. 

September 2016

Week Commencing 26 September 2016

​Change of email addresses - From Saturday 1 October 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) email addresses are changing. The 'gsi' part that currently appears at the end of the email addresses is being removed. 

As of the the date mentioned, please change the end of any EFA email addresses that may be used from '' to ''. Any emails sent to gsi addresses as of Saturday 1 October 2016 will not be received. 

The non-gsi email addresses are as secure as the current gsi ones. 

Week Commencing 19 September 2016

Academic Year ​2015-2016

July 2016

Week Commencing 11 July 2016
The DfE has confirmed arrangements for implementing a national database of governors​ by extending the information collected by EduBase.

Week Commencing 4 July 2016
Launched in April 2016, MindEd for Families​, is an interactive online resource offering evidence based advice and information for families in crisis, as well as advice and top tips on how parents can support themselves and their child through challenging circumstances.​

June 2016

Week Commencing 13 June 2016

The DfE have published its response to the consultation on keeping children safe in education which concluded on Tuesday 16 February 2016.  The DfE have also published revised guidance on keeping children safe in education following the consultation.  Current guidance should continue to be followed until the revised guidance comes into effect on Monday 5 September 2016.

Week Commencing 6 June 2016

Superfast Essex Update​ - please see the latest quarterly programme update with information on the broadband rollout and Super Sam initiative. 

Portakabin Ltd have advised that some of their customers may have received a fraudulent letter about a change to their bank account details. The letter is attempting fraud and, if your school has received one, you should ignore any instructions. Any concerns should be directed to Portakabin​. ​

May 2016

Week Commencing 16 May 2016

ADCS response to the Education White Paper ​"Educational Excellence Everywhere" - response published includes ADCS' perspective on the announcement made by the Secretary of State that she is not now planning to legislate to compel all schools to become academies.  Dave Hill, ADCS President, has written to the Minister directly to share the ADCS response with her.

Publication of MATs evidence​- the Education Select Committee has published written evidence submitted to its inquiry into Multi-Academy Trust (MATs).

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) report - A M​a​rked Improvement?​ - Researchers at the Department of Education at the University of Oxford have found a significant disparity between the enormous amount of effort teachers invest in marking and the research available to tell them which marking approaches are the most effective.  In light of this report the EEF has ear-marked £2m to fund new trials which will fill the evidence gap and lead to practical and useful knowledge for teachers in such a critical area of teaching practice.

Week Commencing 2 May 2016

Ofsted Maintained Schools and Academies Inspections and Outcomes as at 31 December 2015 - data covers September to December 2015 (provisional) and September 2014 to August 2015 (revised).

​Local area SEND Inspection: framework - how Ofsted inspects local areas to see how effectively areas fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities has been published.

New figures publis​hed by LGA​ show that local authority maintained schools continue to perform better in Ofsted inspections than academies.

DfE: National Teaching Service - a new programme designed to recruit and match high-performing teachers and middle leaders to schools that are struggling to attract, recruit and retain high quality teachers.

Women and Equalities Select Committee - sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools inquiry​launched.  It comes as new research shows how young people are being affected by this problem.​

April 2016

Week Commencing 18 April 2016

The DfE have published the final pupil premium allocations for 2015 to 2016. This includes allocations for new schools that opened from September 2015.​

Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) have published a revised version of the financial planning handbook.​​

March 2016

Week Commencing 21 March 2016

​The Department for Education have published their strategy for 2015-2020​ and 'Educational Excellence Everywhere​'

ADCS response to budget announcement - The ADCS response to the announcement that all schools are to become academies by 2020, or to have an academy order in place to convert by 2022. This announcement was made as part of the Budget 2016. The full Budget 2016 document can be found here​. The section relating to education can be found on page 32.

Association of School and College Leaders: Keeping young people in mind findings from a s​urvey of schools across England - ​National Children's Bureau (NCB) carried out a survey of schools to gain a greater understanding of the mental health issues they are facing and whether the prevalence of these problems are increasing. The survey responses highlighted a range of findings, which are set out in this briefing, relating to the prevalence of mental health and well-being problems, access to services, referrals and the new local transformation plans. 

Schools national funding formula - The Government has published the first of two planned consultations on significant changes to school revenue funding, seeking views on the introduction of a national funding formular for schools and high needs funding.
The first consultation considers the proposed principles of a national formula and how any formula should be constructed. The consultation closes on 17 April and the ADCS Resources & Sustainability Policy Committee will be leading on the Association's response.
If you would like to contribute to the consultation response, please send comments to Esther Kavanagh Dixon at by 1 April. 
The second consultation (dates yet to be confirmed) will focus on the DfE's proposals on how to balance different factors in the national funding formula as well as the impact this will have on individual areas and schools. 

Special Guardianship Guidance - The DfE has recently released updated statutory guidance on the special guardianship services local authorities need to provide in accordance with the Children Act 1989.

Focused inspections of academies in multi-academy trusts - An advice note from Sir Michael Wilshaw to the Education Secretary sets out the findings from Ofsted's assessments of multi-academy trusts. 

Week Commencing 14 March 2016
Post-16 allocation statements for 2016-2016 have been issued to schools, academies and further education institutions and uploaded to EFA Information Exchange in February.
Safer recruitment pre-appointment checks - European Economic Area (EEA) teacher sanctions.  Schools and colleges are now able to use the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) Teacher Services system to identify restrictions imposed by other EEA teacher regulators.  This check, in additional to all other safer recruitment pre-appointment checks should be carried out, as detailed in part 3 of "Keeping Children Safe in Education Statutory Guidance".  This check cn be accessed through the DfE Secure Access portal.
Week Commencing 7 March 2016

Consultation on national funding formulae - the DfE have launched the first stage of this consultation for schools and 
high needs.  The consultation will be run in two stages, the first outlines the principles by which the formulae will be set and the building blocks of the national funding formulae for schools and high needs.  The first stage will close on ​Sunday 17 April 2016.
The DfE will publish the response to the first stage alongside the launch of the second stage consultation.  The second stage will focus on the detailed design of the formulae and will show how the new formulae will impact on the funding of schools and local authorities.

Guidance on impact of using school as a polling station - The DfE have released the following guidance for schools regarding the impact of using a school as a polling station for the 23 June referendum on the requirement to provide children with 190 days of education. In addition, please note that some schools will also be affected by the Police and Crime Commissioner elections to be held on the 5 May 2016.​​​ Local returning officers have the power to require a school to act as a polling venue and may choose to do so where no suitable alternative accommodation is available. Whether or not the school then has to close is a decision for the headteacher. Decisions about closure will usually depend on what arrangements can be made for voting to take place separately from the rest of the school premises. If pupils and the voting public can be kept apart, with a separate entrance and exit, and without compromise to the school's controlled access or interruption to education, it may be possible for the school to remain open. If the school decides to close on the day of the poll, it should try and make up the lost education. For example, it may be possible to re-arrange the local school calendar so that the school meets the requisite 190 days. Alternatively, a non-contact day (training or 'INSET' day) could be arranged on the day of the poll so that teachers work but pupils are not present, thus saving another day when the school would normally have been closed to pupils. This of course depends on enough time being available for re-arrangements to be made. If the school is prevented from meeting, and it is not reasonably practicable to arrange an alternative day, the school is treated as if it had met for the purposes of the school year regulations. The law regulating the school day and school year applies only to schools maintained by a local authority and special schools not maintained by a local authority. This law does not apply to academies and Free Schools. 
DfE has produced some advice on school attendance.​

February 2016

Week Commencing 29 February 2016

The Education and Adoption Bill has passed through Parliament.  The bill is designed to ensure more schools become academies - transforming the education system by giving power and responsibility to teachers on the front line.
Ofqual Exam Matters - reviewing and appeals: Student views survey.  Ofqual have written to schools asking them to encourage students to complete a short online survey about the proposed changes to the marking review and appeals system.
The consultation into reviewing and appeals which launched in December is due to close on ​Friday 11 March 2016.  The consultation documents​ are still available.
Week Commencing 22 February 2016

Baseline Assessment - The Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Union of Teachers and UCL Institute of Education has published the results of research on baseline assessment. According to the research, many teachers and school leaders doubt the use of measuring progress from Reception to Year 6 given the problems of assessing accurately at age four and the variability of children's patterns of progress and development.

Week Commencing 8 February 2016
Rochford Review Survey - The Rochford Review is an independent review on statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. The Review is seeking views via a Survey Monkey survey which is open until Monday 22 February 2016. Further information about the Rochford Review is available here. The interim recommendations​ report is also available, and the final report will be published in Spring/Summer 2016.

Recent addition to the ADCS website - Good practice: Open Up, Reach Out​ - Transformation plan for the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in Southend, Essex and Thurrock. 

Essential school maintenance - a guide for schools​ has been published and provides advice to schools on a range of subjects relating to the effective maintenance of school buildings. 

Week Commencing 1 February 2016
Headteachers: The Future Leaders Trust published a report into headteachers. The report highlighted two key issues. Firstly, the insufficient supply of senior leaders willing to become headteachers; and secondly, the negative view of headship that has developed.
Apprenticeships in Schools: The Government has announced a new law to end 'outdated snobbery' towards apprenticeships. A new law will ensure schools must give equal airtime to the non-academic routes pupils can take post-16, under government plans to end the 'second class' perception of technical and professional education. This announcement builds on the Prime Minister's Life chances speech.

School Results
The Department for Education publishes statistics on:

Academies: August accounts return due Sunday 31 January 2016 - final reminder.  Full guidance on completing and submitting the return, a recorded webinar and a series of short training videos are available.

Ofsted Annual Report 2014/15 - sets out evidence and findings on the quality of schools and the further education and skills sector. 

Protecting children from extremism - Nicky Morgan recently announced a package of measures which include: a website for parents and teachers offering advice on preventing extremism; an escalation of Ofsted inspections of unregistered, illegal and independent schools; and a consultation on registering children who go missing from school.

Publication of Holocaust education report​ - too few teachers, particularly history teachers, are being trained to teach the Holocaust says the Education Select Committee in a report published this week.  While much of the training available for teachers is of a high standard, more also needs to be done to extend its reach to subjects other than history, such as English, drama or PSHE.

January 2016

Week Commencing 25 January 2016

Education Select Committee, The role of regional school commissioners​ The Education Committee's report on the role of regional schools commissioners (RSCs) finds that more work is needed to improve the transparency, accountability and working relationships of RSCs. Eight RSCs were appointed in 2014 with responsibility for approving and monitoring academies and free schools in their region.

Preventing Gang and Youth Violence: Spotting Signals of Risk and Supporting Children and Young People​, is available to download from the Early Intervention Foundation's website, who has been working with the Home Office to produce this report.

Week Commencing 18 January 2016

The Department for Education is seeking views on revisions to the statutory safeguarding guidance 'Keeping Children Safe in Education'. Consulation closes on Tuesday 16 February 2016.

The latest Secretary of State approved list of independent special schools in England and Wales and special post-16 institutions​ has been published which parents and young people can express as a preference for when their education, health and care plan (EHCP) is being agreed. 

Week Commencing 4 January 2016

The Department for Education publishes the response to its consultation on School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2015.

The Association of School and College Leaders​ has published the results of a survey on raising the numbers of maths and physics teachers. The report suggests the Government should consider paying off student loans for maths and physics graduates who become teachers to encourage more of them into the profession, according to a survey of school and college leaders.​

December 2015

Week Commencing Monday 14 December 2015

University of Manchester: The impacts of the 'Bedroom ​Tax' on children and their education​
In a study, published on Tuesday 8 December, it revealed that the benefits cuts are causing children emotional distress and affecting concentration at school.  The 'Bedroom Tax' in particular, was forcing children to share bedrooms, meaning that they don't have a quiet place for homework or undisturbed sleep. 

On Monday 7 December, the DfE opened a consultation on draft departmental advice about how schools should respond to requests regarding wraparound and holiday childcare.  The consultation closes on Monday 29 February 2016. 

On Monday 7 December, the DfE published a report looking at whether pre-school and early home learning helps students gain more A-levels.  The report concludes that there are continuing effects of pre-school at age 17, but that for most students the pre-school effect had disappeared by the time they took their A-levels.

On Tuesday 1 December, Ofsted published its annual report, setting out the evidence and findings on the quality of schools and the further education and skills sector.  The report finds that 82% of pupils in Essex were attending a good or outstanding primary in 2015, up 9% on 2014, and that 86% of pupils in Essex were attending a good or outstanding secondary school in 2015, up 12% on 2014.

The National Foundation for Educational Research published a report on Monday 30 November on teaching supply.  Findings include teacher numbers have been growing in recent years, despite the fact that around 10% leave each year; pupil numbers are forecast to rise, and so more teachers will be needed in future; and that secondary schools face particular challenges, especially in some Ebacc subjects.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc) consultation - the consultation which was launched on Tuesday 3 November 2015 will close on Friday 29 January 2016.

Week Commencing Monday 7 December 2015

Governance Handbook​
The department and the National College for Teaching and Leadership has published a revised governance handbook which offers advice outlining the roles and duties of school governors and academy trusts.  

ADCS, the Virtual School Heads Network (VSHN) and the National Consortium for Examination Results (NCER) have published a paper looking at how the educational progress of children in care can be measured more accurately.
The paper aims to stimulate a national debate around improving support and raising ambitions for this vulnerable cohort of children and young people. It makes a compelling argument for change by setting out a range of challenges and recommendations for local authorities, individual schools, multi-academy trusts, the DfE and Ofsted and by identifying deficiencies in the current approach in order to improve education provision and individual outcomes for children in care, to enable all parts of the care system to be held to account and to improve the dissemination of good practice.

The annual report, which sets out the evidence and findings on the quality of schools and the further education and skills sector was published this week. ​

November 2015

Week Commencing Monday 30 November 2015

The Department for Education has issued a press release following the Spending Review 2015 announcement.  It sets out the high level messages about the education budget over the course of this Parliament.  The DfE will announce further detail about specific programmes in due course.
The Role of the Regional Schools Commissioners - the Education Selection Committee has published supplementary written evidence from witnesses as part of its inquiry into the role of the Regional School Commissioners.
Digital Da​ngers​ - report which explores the impact of technology on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people published by the Marie Collins Foundation and Barnardo's.

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion - the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have published a report on monitoring poverty and social exclusion. Findings include that, in 2013/2014, over 13 million people lived in low-income households and that the proportion of children receiving free school meals not attaining five GCSEs at A*-C including maths and English is particular poor in the East of England, specifically in East Anglia.

Protecting children from harm - report from the Children's Commissioner on the sexual abuse of children in the family network.  The report concludes that only around 1 in 8 victims come to the attention of statutory authorities.

Week Commencing Monday 23 November 2015
The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) has launched professional standards for schools business management​. The standards provide a national blueprint describing core responsibilities, specialist disciplines, leadership and management behaviours, and ethical expectations for the school business manager profession. 

Week Commencing Monday 16 November 2015
Reducing teachers' workload - the Secretary of State has set up 3 review groups in response to the Workload Challenge survey.  The groups are looking at marking, planning and data management.  They would like to hear about effective marking, planning and data management practice in schools which maximises the impact of time spent dealing with these areas but which minimises the effects on teacher workload.  Any colleagues wanting to help should send a brief outline of their work to the Teacher Workload Team by Friday 11 December 2015. 

2016 to 2017 Academic Year Post-16 Allocations Timetable - the DfE have updated the information on post-16 allocations timetable and expected data sources for 2016 to 2017 allocations on GOV.UK.  There are still some elements subject to change after the spending review but the DfE wanted to update institutions with the latest information available.  The annual post-16 funding letter will be issued after the spending review.

Week Commencing Monday 9 November 2015
Plans for a National Teaching Service to provide elite teachers to struggling areas that struggle to attract and retain the professionals they need were announced on 2 November by the Education Secretary. The government expects that, by 2020, there will be 1,500 outstanding teachers and leaders in the service, deployed across the country to the schools that need them most.

The DfE have updated the information which provides further clarification on how English Literature GCSE is treated for prior attainment in relation to the grade D revision to the condition of funding.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission want these inspections to act as a catalyst for improvement.  The consultation​ closes on Monday 4 January 2016.​

On 3 November 2015, the Department for Education published a consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate. It seeks views about the government’s proposals on how to get at least 90% of pupils to take GCSEs in the EBacc subjects. The consultation closes on 29 January 2016.

DfE: Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils

On 5 November 2015, the Department for Education published research into how schools are raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and narrowing the performance gap.​

Monday 2 November 2015

On 23 October 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) published data on the provisional destinations of key stage 4 and 5 pupils for 2013/14. The percentage of the 2012/13 KS4 cohort going to sustained education, employment or training destinations in Essex was 92% (which was equal to the average for England), whilst the percentage of students, in 2012/13, who entered an A-Level or other Level 3 qualification, going to, or remaining in, an education or employment destination was 80% in Essex compared to 79% in England. Data is also available by parliamentary constituency and institution. 

PHE: Briefing on increasing physical activity in schools and colleges
On 19 October 2015, Public Health England (PHE) published a briefing on what works in schools and colleges to increase levels or physical activity among children and young people, on the back of emerging evidence on the association of being physically active and academic attainment and attention. 

On 20 October 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) published reports on pupil absence in primary and secondary schools across the autumn and spring terms of the 2014 to 2015 academic year. 

On 21 October 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) launched a consultation on proposals to remove failing schools from local authority control and convert them into academies. The new powers will allow the Government to intervene in schools rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted and in those deemed to be 'coasting'. The consultation closes on 18 December.