National Middle Schools’ Forum
Annual General Meeting
Monday October 15th 2007
NCSL - Nottingham
1. Chair's introductory remarks
Sue Kennedy thanked members attending the AGM in such numbers. She reported very positive feedback from conference members about the booklet produced by Hertfordshire head teachers – Middle Schools Matter. The steering group will explore the possibility of either making the booklet available for associations to copy and use, or for the booklet to be published centrally.
2. Treasurer's Report
A total of £7800 has been received in subscriptions up to the end of July 2007. While expenditure exceeded income during this period the accounts showed a healthy closing balance of £12826.20.
The steering committee will be discussing was of using these funds to benefit members.
Click to download a copy of the accounts presented to the meeting - download
3. Executive Officer's report
The Executive Officer presented a report of the work undertaken over the last 12 months. The support given to Suffolk heads, governors and parents was key feature of the year with extensive use being made of the Forum website.
Support has also been offered to heads in Harrow.
The Forum has maintained contact with a number of national bodies which have contributed directly to the planning of the current conference. The Forum has also submitted evidence to the Primary Review.
Middle School Research – The Forum has given a small grant to support the work of Jenny Symonds, PhD Student, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge who is researching middle school effectiveness. She has given a very interesting and thought provoking presentation to Steering Committee. Kathy Seymour – Nottingham Trent University – is also conducting research on middle school effectiveness and she has attended the conference with Forum support.
Click to download a copy of the Executive Officer's report – download
4. Brief feedback from ELMLE conference 2007
Sue Kennedy represented the Forum at the 2007 ELMLE conference, together with John Kime. This proved so valuable that it was proposed that in a similar way interested members were supported to attend the 2008 conference in Vienna.
5. Survey – Middle Schools’ Experience of Ofsted Inspections
Nigel Wyatt presented the main findings for the survey of middle school head teacher experiences of Ofsted inspections under the new framework. While the majority of heads report a good or satisfactory experience there are a significant minority of schools reporting inconsistent practice by inspection teams. These inconsistencies leave all middle schools uncertain about the reception of their data on progress and achievement.
A copy of the full report was sent to Christine Gilbert, HMCI. She responded positively and has suggested that Sean Harford, HMI attend our November 2007 meeting of steering committee to discuss the report and its implications.
The full report and response from HMCI are available to download on the conference reports page of the Forum website.
6. Suggestions for the NMSF Development Plan 2008
The following suggestions were received from members:
- Continue to develop research into achievement data and Ofsted inspections
- Develop further the international links to other middle school countries
- Consider a conference aimed at the development of middle level leaders in middle schools – perhaps in conjunction with the leadership network
- Consider becoming a recommending body – or work with an existing middle years ITT provider – to enable middle schools to train overseas and GTP teachers.
- Develop our work to extend the experience of middle schools to colleagues in upper primary and lower secondary – with a focus on middle level learners.
- Continue to disseminate good practice in middle schools
- Seek to engage with the Children’s Plan via Alan Steer
- Offer dialogue and contribute to the Primary Review.
These suggestions will be considered at the steering committee.
7. Conference 2008
A date for our 2008 conference was discussed and agreed
Venue: National College for School Leadership, Nottingham
Date; Monday October 20th , 2008
8. Steering Committee Membership 2006/2007
Members are encouraged to attend steering committee meetings – with ideally at least one member from each LEA association.
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Steering Committee Meetings arranged for the coming year:
- Tuesday 20th November 2007
- Tuesday 11th March 2008
- Tuesday 10th June 2008
At 10.30 a.m - London Diocesan House, 36, Causton Street, London SW1P 4AU