The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

School performance and accountability

Elizabeth Holmes

Bouncing back from a disappointing inspection outcome

Your Ofsted inspection has come and gone, but the outcome wasn't what you'd hoped. What are the next steps? If social media is anything to go by, an Ofsted inspection remains a source of dread for those who work in schools. While much work has been done by Ofsted – and particularly its national...
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John Viner

When inspection is not by Ofsted

While the majority of state schools focus on the Ofsted inspection process for their self-evaluation, around a third must also prepare for a separate inspection of their faith character. Ofsted inspection is carried out under sections 5 and 8 of the Education Act 2005, and every headteacher in the...
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Dai Durbridge

GDPR: your questions answered

We were inundated with questions at our recent GDPR conference. Browne Jacobson lawyer Dai Durbridge answers the most popular ones. 1. What are the implications of staff working remotely with access to confidential information? There is no reason why staff cannot continue to access personal and...
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John Viner

Another year, another education secretary

Unexpected departures and new arrivals at the DfE have brought the future of government education policy into question. Just as the profession was developing a good working relationship with a new secretary of state for education, we looked up and, instead of Justine Greening, found Damian Hinds...
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Damian Moore

'One happy family': reviewing and refining practice for 2018

One year on from our Ofsted report, Holy Family is committed to implementing our plan for better SEND support. Here are some of our priorities. Reviewing and planning are the main two priorities for many SENCOs as the year ends. Ours has just given a wonderful exposition of the history of SEND to...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Should education be secular?

Religious belief is very much alive in our schools, but many teachers are drastically unprepared to teach in the classrooms of the future. One of the most visible effects of globalisation has been the greater movement of peoples and communities. This has led to newer forms of diversity, especially...
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Matthew Burgess

What does Brexit mean for international students?

As the UK prepares to leave the EU and Brexit negotiations continue, Matthew Burgess looks at the impact on international students. Brexit is likely to have multiple effects on those parts of the UK's education sector that welcome students from beyond these shores. What are these effects and why do...
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Lisa Griffin

MATs Summit 2017: four phases of school improvement

‘School improvement is strongest when schools work together.' Lisa Griffin reports back from the first day of our multi-academy trust event. Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future of school improvement School improvement was the theme of the day as the third annual MATs Summit kicked...
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John Viner

From educator to regulator: what you need to know about the new HMCI

What will Amanda Spielman make of the Wilshaw legacy? John Viner suspects there may be change in the air. Ofsted's new chief inspector, Amenda Spielman. Picture credit: gov.uk When the former education secretary, Nicky Morgan selected Amanda Spielman to be successor to Sir Michael Wilshaw as Her...
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Sue Birchall

Ofsted is coming: how SBMs can prepare

No truer is the saying 'Proper preparation prevents poor performance' than when an inspector calls. Here are the steps school business managers can take to stay ahead. For many school leaders, the autumn term can be the winter of their discontent. Image source: HBO At the beginning of term, nothing...
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