New term, Essential Guide to DfE announcements

26th September 2019

There have been a number of DfE announcements recently, which include plans to introduce a new Ofsted rating for financial management, scrap Ofsted exemptions for “outstanding” schools and increase teacher starting salaries. These are summarised below:

Ofsted – “financial management and oversight” rating to come in, “outstanding exemption” to go
With the new Ofsted framework effective from September 2019, it has been reported that the government are working with Ofsted to a new “rating for financial management and oversight” within the school or trust, although it is not part of the 2019 inspection framework. This is reportedly still in the planning stages, will be subject to parliamentary approval and unlikely to take effect until September 2020

Earlier this year, Ofsted called for the exemption for “outstanding” schools from the usual cycle of inspections, to be lifted, after it was identified that only 16% of those inspected between Sept 2018 and March 2019 retained the rating and it was reported that over 100 schools have not been inspected for more than a decade. There will be consultation on how to include “outstanding” schools in the cycle of Ofsted inspections, now that these schools will no longer be exempt from routine inspections.

Teacher salaries
The government has proposed that starting salaries rise to £30,000 from September 2020, over the next three years. It is also proposed that a new group of ambassador schools be set up to champion flexible working for teachers, and consider recommendation on the introduction of progression points for pay.

School Resource Management Advisor (SRMA) support to be expanded
There has been a pledge to expand the SRMA scheme to “ensure extra funding provided to schools is focused on delivering better outcomes for pupils, reduces wasteful expenditure and improves efficiency”.  What is not clear however is whether  this will be particularly tied to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), or all grants moving forward.

Struggling schools – a new specialist academy trust 
Specifically created to take on “the most challenging school, where there is no other academy trust with capacity available”, this is due to be piloted in the north of England. Designed to tackle “schools no-one wants” (SNOWs), the trust will be run by school leaders with “proven track record of turning around underperforming schools”

“Stuck schools” – new leadership support programme
Stuck schools are described as schools that have not been rated “good” in the last decade. They are due to have access to more help from experienced school leaders and “evidenced based support programmes” as part of the continuous drive for raising standards.

Keeping Children Sage in Education (KCSiE) updated for 2019 and now in force
There are only a few changes to be aware of but it is important that your trust board addresses all necessary changes appropriately.   It is also essential that all governors (and trustees) read part 1 of KCSiE and it is recorded.
Changes to part 1 - relevant to all governors and school staff include “Upskirting” which is now listed as a form of peer-on-peer abuse.  There is also new text for staff to be aware of regarding indicators that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious crime.  Trust boards needs to ensure measures are in place to manage these additions.

Trust boards should gain assurance that changes covered in parts 2 and 3 are addressed by the senior leaders and evidenced accordingly.

With an ever changing list of compliance and updates, it is easy to miss something vital. For any queries in relation to trust board effectiveness, mid-year review or targeted health check, please contact the Bishop Fleming academy team.


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