The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Government education policy

Gareth D Morewood

SEND reforms implementation: for better or worse?

A humble SENCO's honest appraisal of the progress we've made over the last four years. 1 April 2018 was a significant date, circled on calendars and etched into memories, for one reason: the end of the implementation period for the SEND Reforms. Or so we thought… There are many ‘old’ Statements of...
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John Viner

New FE access policy is a clause for concern

With the 'Baker clause' now in effect, secondary schools are obliged to open their doors to technical education providers. But are they meeting this new requirement? Former education secretary Kenneth Baker addresses the 1987 Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Picture credit: Evening...
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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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Sue Birchall

School funding reform: welcome relief or wishful thinking?

The government's promise of more investment in schools is welcome news to SBMs, but Sue Birchall thinks the proof is in the pudding. Never one to turn my nose up at more money, imagine my delight at the secretary of state for education, Justine Greening’s announcing that there will be even more...
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John Viner

All change: the new funding formula explained

At last, the DfE has released its plans for the long-awaited national funding formula for schools. Here's what we know about the proposed reforms. Since the new national funding formula will impact on schools in every parliamentary constituency, MPs have received a detailed briefing. This summary...
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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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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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Elizabeth Holmes

NEU horizons for ATL and NUT

The amalgamation of two national education unions is a rallying cry for those looking to get their voices heard. It couldn't have come at a better time, argues Elizabeth Holmes. In March, members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT), two of the...
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John Viner

A new school year, a reshaped DfE?

The aftermath of the general election saw several top jobs in education change hands, but what hope does a revamped department give for the future? When Theresa May called the general election for June, Optimus asked me what my three wishes would be for future education policy. They were: to...
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Liz Worthen

‘Because you care, you can pull it off’: Lord Blunkett at the MATs Summit 2016

Grammar schools, career pathways, dealing with controversy and creating change: David Blunkett reflects on the current landscape for leaders in education. One of the highlights of the Optimus Education MATs Summit was hearing Lord Blunkett in conversation with Laura McInerney , editor of Schools...
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