School communications

John Viner

Term-time holidays: the verdict is in

The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Jon Platt case highlights again the importance of dealing with term-time holidays - though we're yet to hear the last of this legal tussle. I have previously examined the debate surrounding term-time absences. In this update, I consider what happened in...
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Alex Masters

Let’s end the fear around academisation

SBMs up and down the country are full of trepidation about their school’s impending academisation. We need to see this as an opportunity, rather than threat. ‘When nothing is sure, everything is possible.’ It’s fair to say that the education system is always in a state of flux and, given the fact...
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Janet Goodall

What works for engaging parents?

From posters in the playground to bacon butties, schools are likely to find new ways to bring parents on board if they're given time to think creatively. We’ve recently completed a yearlong project with 34 local schools in the Wiltshire local authority. The aim was to improve these schools'...
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Chris Fenton

Manama or Manchester: parents are parents

When working with parents, is there any difference between being a headteacher in the UK and headteacher abroad? Chris Fenton describes his experience. I fought in a playground once. Not uncommon I suppose, but more so when I reveal that I was a headteacher at the time. I may be exaggerating a...
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Sue Birchall

To MAT, or not to MAT?

Academisation has significant implications for the role of the SBM. If you place your trust in trusts, collaboration will be the key to meeting the needs of pupils. Are multi-academy trusts the future of academies? As someone who works within a multi-academy trust (MAT), I’m eagerly watching the...
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John Viner

The inequality of deferred entry

Deferring entry for summer-born children may work for some, but not for others. It is time to be absolutely clear about what admissions authorities can and cannot do. My twin grandsons were born in August. Bright though they are, when they are due to start school – when they just turn four – their...
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John Viner

What's so bad about term time holidays?

Many headteachers are troubled by the pressure to refuse parents term time holidays. This regulation is not only problematic to schools, it is unpopular with parents and an ongoing niggle to the DfE. Clear link between absence and attainment In 2011, Education Secretary, Michael Gove commissioned...
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Lucinda Reid

On trend: sixth-form colleges becoming a 16-to-19 academy

Lucinda Reid, editor of Academy Today , looks at the growing trend of sixth-form colleges converting to academies and what should be considered before the application process. In February 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) released advice which would help sixth-form colleges become a 16-to-19...
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Alex Cuetos

No talking at the back! Open classes and parental engagement

Calls for positive engagement can often fall on deaf ears, but teachers must endeavour to create a positive relationship with parents if they hope to improve pupil outcomes. I teach English at an experimental kindergarten in Foshan, China. I prepare my pupils not only for primary school, but also...
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Lisa Griffin

Establishing or joining a MAT: autonomy vs capacity

Our recent Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts conference was a day of debate, thoughtful questions and honest answers. Lisa Griffin highlights some of the key learnings. Autonomy and capacity were the big buzz words of the event. For most of the attendees who were looking for guidance on...
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