School leaders’ priorities for the new academic year

The Key
The Key
In the run up to the new academic year, we asked school leaders on our website and Facebook Groups, what their main priorities were for the coming term. We display the results below.

The overwhelming majority said that they will be focused on implementing and embedding curriculum changes. As we know, the new Ofsted framework was announced earlier this year, which places a sharper focus on the curriculum with the new ‘quality of education’ judgement. It hones in on three key areas:

  • Intent: what are you trying to achieve with your curriculum? 
  • Implementation: how is your curriculum delivered? 
  • Impact: what difference is your curriculum having on pupils? 

Earlier this summer, we spoke to Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director about the curriculum and the new framework and he stressed that the inspectorate did not expect schools to rewrite the curriculum under the three Is, but rather to focus on whether teaching and learning supports the intent of the curriculum and whether children have learnt the key things that they need to know to be able to do the next thing – i.e. the impact they’ve had. 

We asked Sean, “What would you say to a school that might be concerned about the budgetary and workload implications of reviewing the curriculum?”

He explained that, “Nobody says you have to review your curriculum. If you’re happy with it, crack on and implement it. If you’re reviewing it, carry on – don’t stop doing it for us. Any management team needs to make sure that it can do what it’s intending to do with the resources it has at the time.”

You can read more about the interview here

Use The Key’s Ofsted curriculum prompts poster to kick-start a discussion about your school’s curriculum intent, implementation and impact, and to identify any areas where you might need to do more work. If you would like to see an example of an outstanding 21st century curriculum, you can also access this on our website. 

‘Ensuring pupils are settled in’ came in second on the list of priorities. Transitions from one year group to another can be difficult for some children, but the process can be particularly frightening when moving from primary to secondary school. At The Key, we’ve looked at successful transition between school phases and listed examples of transition strategies from primary and secondary schools

Budget planning and effective performance management came lower down the list, but they are still important areas of focus for this time of year. On The Key for School Leaders, we have created downloadable budget planners for maintained schools and academies with the help of our associate education experts. We have resources on allocating departmental budgets, effective budget monitoring meetings and much more. We also have a range of performance management resources, including checklists and proformas

Finally, some school leaders are beginning to prepare for the changes to primary assessment. The Year 4 multiplication tables check comes into effect from June 2020. It’ll test year 4 pupils’ multiplication tables between 2 and 12.  Finalised guidance on check administration, and assessment and reporting arrangements, will be published in the autumn term 2019. Read our article for further details.  

A statutory reception baseline assessment will be introduced in autumn 2020, and will be used as a baseline to measure progress from reception to the end of KS2. The EYFS profile will remain statutory. Read the article we wrote on this, informed by the STA’s published guidance

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