The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

School performance and accountability

Tiffany Beck

Multi-academy trust governance: your questions answered

Governance was a hot topic at our annual MATs Summit. Tiffany Beck, chair of trustees at Maritime Academy Trust, answers some popular questions from the event. 1. We have a shortage of governors and trustees and require more skilled professionals. Can you share any tips on recruitment? Ask your...
Read more...
Lisa Griffin

What is the ePrivacy Regulation?

Thought you’d heard the last of changes to data compliance? Get ready for the new ePrivacy Regulation. The EU have proposed that the current ePrivacy Directive be replaced by the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) and sit alongside the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May...
Read more...
John Viner

We need to talk about Ofsted

New proposals from Ofsted have prompted a shift in the rhetoric around inspection. John Viner summarises the changing times. With the departure of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted moved into a new phase under the leadership of Amanda Spielman. Out went the old-...
Read more...
John Viner

Pupil premium: is it making a difference?

While pupil premium funding was introduced with the good intention of helping schools narrow the attainment gap, its future looks increasingly uncertain. In April 2011, the coalition government introduced the pupil premium and the service premium. This injected an additional £625 million of funding...
Read more...
Diane Leedham

Ethical assessment and tracking for EAL learners

Diane Leedham argues why data should be the servant and not the master when it comes to championing the needs of EAL learners. After months of uncertainty and behind the scenes speculation about the position for EAL and BAME learners in the 2018/19 school census return, the DfE finally released the...
Read more...
John Viner

When is outstanding not good enough?

Recent reports have brought renewed criticism of Ofsted’s delay in inspecting 'outstanding' schools. John Viner summarises what has changed – and what hasn’t. It has taken rather longer to surface than might be expected, but you must have noticed the frequency with which the education press is...
Read more...
Lisa Griffin

MATs: inspection and accountability

We asked three multi-academy trust CEOs for their views on Ofsted, inspection and how MATs can measure and evaluate their own impact. Ofsted have asked for the power to inspect MATs. What would this mean for trusts? The key issue is not who inspects MATs, but rather how MATs are to be inspected...
Read more...
Caroline Collins

GDPR: ready and waiting

Bring on the GDPR! In the last of her GDPR blog series, Caroline Collins describes her final preparations. I’ve been talking to quite a number of people since my last post and am still hearing from people who are telling me that they’ve done nothing about it and don’t intend to, until they get some...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...