National Middle Schools’ Forum Newsletter

Minutes of the Steering Committee Meeting held on 8th June 2010

1 Present Zoe Linington (Herts), Laura Rawlings (Herts), Mark Walker (Somerset), Mark Duke (Bedford), Pete Bowers (Staffs), Maxine Warner (C Beds), Cindy Pritchard (Dorset), Tim Jones (Worcs), Paul Hugall (Newcastle), Nigel Wyatt (Associate Officer). 2. Apologies Apologies were received from Shelley Flynn (C. Beds) GL Assessment Mike Boyce Mike Boyce of GL Assessment reported that 56 middle schools have currently taken up the middle school offer, of which 18 are using the full digital solution. It was anticipated that this number will grow, and in a number of areas first schools have also agreed to use the system. Nest steps agreed: • Mike offered that he and colleagues would be happy to meet with senior staff and assessment coordinators in Local Authority areas to discuss how best to use the assessment data and reports to promote pupil progress. These sessions would be provided free of charge – the schools would need to arrange a venue. • A booklet summarising best practice in middle schools in tracking pupil progress from Year 5 to Year 8 would be particularly helpful, and could be developed jointly • Mike reported that schools will need individual schools to sign a consent form to allow the inclusion of their school data in a report showing the results for all middle schools as a single national average figure for the combined results of middle schools. The results of individual schools would not be included in this report. Mike to agree the wording with Nigel Wyatt and Mark Walker and then approach individual schools who have signed up with GL Assessment to gain their consent. • Mike agreed to bring a draft version of this report to our June meeting for discussion. • There was interest in discussion of a model for formative assessment with a model based on stanines, that Mike briefly mentioned. Action • Nigel Wyatt to promote local workshops to members through the newsletter • Nigel Wyatt to liaise with Mike Boyce over gaining the consent of schools for the inclusion of their data in the production of a report of middle school results at a national level. • Mike to bring a draft report showing middle school data to our June meeting. 3. Minutes The minutes of the last meeting in 4th November 2015 were approved 4. Matters Arising School Organisation Peter Dolling, one of the group opposing the change of age range at Gamlingay First School, has successfully challenged the legal basis in the regulations for changes proposed by the governors of maintained schools. The School Organisation Guidance for changes proposed by maintained schools does not conform to the regulations. DfE lawyers have advised that he is correct and as a consequence the School Organisation for maintained schools has been withdrawn and the governors of Gamlingay First School have had to rescind their decision to change their age range. This means that maintained schools can no longer bring forward proposals for a change of age range, and then make the change on a decision by the governing body. Coasting Schools Members very much welcomed the willingness of Jane Vaughan of the DfE to speak to heads at our Day Conference, and the draft wording she proposed for inclusion in the guidance due out shortly. Clearly the responses by middle schools to the consultation had been effective. 5. Treasurer’s Report The Treasurer reported on transactions between 21st October 2015 and 20th February 2016. The accounts at the end of this period are as follows after paying the day conference expenses: Business Account: £2,423.47 Community Account: £19,842.01 Total funds £22,265.48 These figures include income of £1650 for the day conference. The account for the national conference in October 2015 showed a profit of £1165.18 which was a very encouraging outcome, given the high cost of some of the contributing speakers. The recent Day Conference was very well attended -with over 50 paying delegates. There were no costs for speakers and it is anticipated that the day conference will have made a profit of over £1,000. 6. Executive Officer's report Education Select Committee Nigel Wyatt submitted evidence to the recent enquiry by the Education Select Committee into the roles of RSCs based on our recent experience in Worcestershire. It was pleasing to see this was quoted in the select committee’s final report. 7. Review of Day Conference Delegate evaluations showed that the day was very successful. Members were pleased that the link with Ofsted continues to be constructive. Members also welcomed the presence of Jane Vaughan from DfE and welcomed the draft wording she proposed for the forthcoming guidance on coasting schools. The sharing of school’s approaches to formative assessment proved very worthwhile. It was agreed to hold a Day Conference for aspiring senior leaders in middle schools on 10th June 2016 at Broadway House in London. A number of heads volunteered to contribute to the day. Mark Walker and Nigel Wyatt will arrange and promote the conference. Action Nigel Wyatt to promote the invitation by Joanna Hall, Ofsted, for senior leaders to attend Ofsted events and to consider the value to their schools of undertaking training as an inspector. Nigel Wyatt to book the Council Chamber at Broadway House for 10th June. Nigel Wyatt to promote the day to schools. 8. Plans for Conference 2016 Monday 17th October to Tuesday 18th October, 2016 The Stratford Hotel, Stratford on Avon Mark Walker presented a paper with some initial ideas for the conference programme. It was agreed to invite: • Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education. • Joanna Hall, Ofsted • Sir David Carter, Schools Commissioner Keynote speakers: Nigel Wyatt to approach Andy Cope and David Cameron Action Nigel Wyatt to approach identified speakers and prepare a draft programme for consideration at our June meeting. 11. Area News Bedford The council have voted to support a move from three to two tier education. The detail of how this will be achieved is yet to be resolved in some cases. Hertfordshire Heads have arranged to meet with the school’s minister Nick Gibb. Staffordshire Windsor Park Middle School has recently gone from good to requires improvement following an Ofsted visit. Somerset Minehead Middle School has joined Danesfield Middle School and five feeder first schools in the formation of the West Somerset Academies Trust. Worcestershire The three tier schools which are not in the changes brought about by Tudor Garnge Academy, Redditch have seen applications from parents rise, as they seek to avoid the schools affected by the reorganisation. 12 A.O.B. There no items of other business 13. Future meetings Steering Committee Meeting – date of the next meeting: • Wednesday 8th June 2016 Proposed dates for 2016/2017 – (equivalent dates to current year) • Wednesday November 2nd, 2016 • Wednesday March 1st , 2017 • Wednesday June 7th, 2017 At 10.30 am – St Saviour’s Church, St George’s Square, Pimlico, SW1V 9AL The meeting closed at 13.00 p.m.