Receiving a critical Ofsted inspection is traumatic for any school and its community, and can lead to crushing disappointment and soul-searching, as well as falling pupil numbers.
But it can also provide a much-needed focus and reflection on school improvement. Three years on, senior leaders at Heyford Park School, in Oxfordshire, are well on the way to turning things around and they share their journey and strategies for putting it back on the right track.
Is your school one of the 80% of all primaries that groups pupils by ability – particularly in English and maths? If so, you will likely have a – positive – view on the academic effectiveness of doing so.
But how many heads and teachers have thought of the impact of such a policy beyond pupil progress and performance, and especially those pupils who aren’t in the top set?
What if being put in a lower-ability group has a detrimental effect on self-esteem and pupil behaviour? Professor Eirini Flour, from UCL Institute of Education, discusses her research.
Every headteacher would like a bigger budget and more spending power, but existing funding arrangements usually mean money is tight for everything but the absolute basics.
Kyrstie Stubbs, head of Boothroyd Primary Academy, in Dewsbury, has advice and tips on how a bit of creative and innovative thinking – and poking your head above the parapet – can help you top up the bank account.