‘End exam tricks and willy-nilly off-rolling,’ heads told

Heads are being asked to pledge to end “exam tricks” and “willy-nilly” off-rolling under a new ethical code to show them “the right way to act”, Tes can reveal.

The Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education, which says leaders should be truthful, open and selfless, is due to be launched by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) later this month.

It was drawn up by a high-powered commission, with members including Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman, governors’ leader Emma Knights, UCL Institute of Education director Becky Francis, and Nigel Genders, director of the National Society of the Church of England.

Carolyn Roberts, the head of Thomas Tallis School, who chaired the commission, has outlined the main points of the code and said what they should mean in practice:

  • Trust: “If we hold trust on behalf of children then we can’t be off-rolling them willy-nilly. We can’t be encouraging parents who are signally incapable of home educating a child to take a child home to be educated because it will make our numbers look better at the end of the year. That’s not holding trust on behalf of children. The safest place for children to be is in school.”
  • Wisdom: “Proper schemes of work, not exam tricks.”
  • Kindness: “If you have to give someone some really bad news, don’t say at 3.30pm on a Friday, ‘I want to talk to you on Monday,’ because that’s their and their family’s weekend gone. Do it on the Monday. Have a thought for how other people live.”

She also told a meeting of the National Governance Association that the size of school leadership teams was “a particular bugbear” of hers.

“One head said to me a couple of weeks ago, ‘I have got a leadership group of 11 assistant heads.’ First, how can you afford it? And secondly, who wants 11 assistant heads dogging your footsteps everywhere?

Read more points of the code ‘End exam tricks and willy-nilly off-rolling,’ heads told

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~  Tamsin

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