Schools in England will no longer be punished for failing to meet the government’s standards in national exams or tests, Damian Hinds will announce as part of a new strategy to attract and retain teachers in the profession. The Guardian reports
The proposals to be unveiled by the education secretary means schools will not be defined as failing or “coasting” based on results of national tests or GCSE exams, removing a burden of assessment that has been criticised for unfairly hitting schools with challenging pupil intakes.
Instead, only Ofsted inspection results are to be used in future as a trigger for intervention in schools such as a change in management – a decision welcomed by school leaders as removing the assessment double jeopardy that many faced.
The move is part of a package designed to make teaching more attractive, including efforts to increase flexible working and job-sharing, announced by Hinds in the Guardian last week, while also cutting workload in areas such as marking, data collection and lesson planning.
The new measures include an “early careers framework”, designed to support newly qualified teachers at the beginning of their career, a time when a substantial number drop out of the profession.
Under the framework, new teachers will receive a two-year package of training and support at the start of their career, including a reduced teaching timetable to continue their training. The Department for Education said the framework would be backed by £130m in annual funding when fully operational.
The strategy includes some retention-based payments for those who remain past the early stages, with additional bursary payments throughout the first years of their career. The DfE said the priorities for the strategy had been decided in consultation with leading education unions, who had agreed to help schools implement the strategy.