What are the biggest growing pains facing MATs? Finances, resilience, Ofsted and accountability, said our panel.
Last Friday, ASCL hosted its Annual Conference in Birmingham, and Sir David Carter outlined in his speech the biggest challenge he currently faced was from preventing a system of isolated academy trusts over the next 10 years. His message highlighted the importance of collaboration and the need, in a competitive educational landscape, for academies to work together in order to offer the best possible outcomes for children and to help make their school as attractive as possible.
Our panel debate at the conference focused on the growing pains faced by all MATs, whatever their size, as they take on more schools. Recruiting and retaining the best staff, speaking a common language of assessment and building a strong capacity for growth were all key themes. What are the biggest growing pains? Finances, resilience, Ofsted and accountability, said the panel. They were also asked to name their ‘non-negotiables’ – commonality of moral purpose, common systems and innovation were their top three, with an important addition – patience.
Building on the growing pains theme, we have this week published a best practice guide on considerations and best practice for successful MATs, with contributions from Daisy Christodoulou from ARK Schools, Maxine Evans from NET Academies Trust, Paul Smith from Future Academies and ATT’s Lisa Crausby to name just a few. Here, they talk about a range of themes relating to growth and how a good assessment framework can help them some of the challenges they face – measuring pupils’ progress, baselining and transition, and using data to set priorities and raise standards.
By Daniel Sims, Business Development & Key Accounts Director, GL Assessment
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The importance of developing children's skills of self-regulation, and shares her strategies for how to do this
The importance of maintaining a focus on literacy within the curriculum has never been far away from the government’s agenda and anyone working within education would agree that developing strong literacy skills are key to a student’s success, particularly as external examinations consist of written papers.
GL Assessment has today published a termly, standardised spelling test which is designed to help teachers measure their pupils’ spelling skills against a national benchmark. The first digital, adaptive spelling test of its kind, the New Group Spelling Test is designed for pupils aged 6 – 14 years and is suitable for use on a PC or tablet.