Five things we’ve learnt this week

Marianne Pope
Marianne Pope


As researchers at The Key, we’re constantly learning new things thanks to the questions that come in from our members. Here are five of the most interesting things we’ve learnt this week:

1MATs are advised to carry out due diligence on joining schools

One of the first questions we looked into this week was about conducting due diligence on schools wishing to join an existing multi-academy trust (MAT). My colleague Matt got on the case, and found a wealth of advice from education organisations and law firms. He even worked with one of our associate education experts to create a template to support MATs in the due diligence process.

2Some schools may soon be subject to apprenticeship targets

When a school leader from a large secondary school asked us about the government’s proposed apprenticeship targets, I set about reading the consultation document. I found out that, under the proposals, some schools will be required to take on a certain number of apprentices every year until 2020. The proposals are still subject to finalisation and approval by parliament, so keep an eye on The Key for School Leaders for the latest information.

3There’s no requirement to see original DBS certificates

Another of our top questions this week came from a member who wanted to know whether schools need to see original DBS certificates or if it’s sufficient to see an electronic copy. Katie spoke to the DBS and the DfE, who confirmed that electronic copies can be accepted but offered advice on making sure the copy is genuine.

4Pupils with social and emotional difficulties may not need to sit SATs in certain circumstances

On Thursday we published an article in response to a question about access arrangements for pupils with social and emotional difficulties when taking Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests (SATs). This time, Adam was tasked with finding the answer. The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) gave some practical advice on access arrangements for these pupils, and added that if pupils with social and emotional difficulties find sitting the tests too stressful, they should not take them.

5Academies must keep a register of people with significant control

On The Key for School Governors, a question came in about whether academies have to keep a register of people with significant control. In the article, researcher Jessica explains that, as companies, academies not only have to keep a register but must submit it to Companies House by the end of June as part of the confirmation statement.


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