Policy and Practice round-up November 2016

18 November 2016

This month we bring you education annoucements and consultations, debates in the House of Lords, best practice guides, a survey and a job opportunity.

Education announcement – no new testing

On 19 October 2016 Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, announced that there would be no new testing introduced in Primary schools before 2019 saying:

‘It is important that we now set out a clear path to a settled system.’


Greening said that Key Stage 1 tests in grammar, punctuation and spelling will not become statutory. The proposed re-sit tests in Year 7 in mathematics and reading for children not reaching age-related expectations in their SATs are not going ahead.

She promised a  consultation early in the new year on primary assessment and the implications for accountability. Read the full speech here.

This is all good news. The CLA with colleagues at Bacc for the Future, have been calling for the existing accountability in schools, including Progress 8, to be given a chance to bed in and for the proposals around the EBacc that were consulted on at the start of the year not be taken forward. It is great that the government is listening to the sector.

We hope the government continues to consider carefully any additions to the current accountability systems, especially around the EBacc. In our consultation response in January we argued for removing the EBacc and using Progress 8. You can read our full EBacc briefing here

We would support any moves to lighten the EBacc load in schools to ensure children are receiving a truly broad and balanced education which includes arts subjects.


House of Lords debate on creative education

The issue of a broad and balanced education and the role of the EBacc in driving creative subjects out of the curriculum was comprehensively covered in a debate on 3 November in the House of Lords.

In response to the question posed by Baroness Brinton “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they intend to take to ensure that exam boards continue to offer a range of creative subjects at A-Level” crossbench Lords and those from both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties all called for school accountability and the EBacc to be looked at again. They made eloquent arguments for the value and importance of creative subjects in the curriculum.

Crossbench peer Lord Bilimoria said: (Bilimoria)

‘There are many reasons why it makes sense to encourage the creative industries. The arts make self-starters, develop emotional intelligence. The arts are stretching. Arts students are highly sought after by employers. Arts reach the parts other subjects cannot reach. Arts reach the students other subjects cannot reach.’


Speaking on behalf of the government Viscount Younger of Leckie said:

‘The arts also enrich children’s lives. The Government fully recognise that they help develop the self-confidence, resilience, communication and team-working skills that will stand young people in good stead throughout their adult lives… The Government are determined that all young people should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education, and the arts are central to this.’


You can read the full debate on Hansard.


Selective schools consultation

The Schools that work for everyone consultation closes on the 12 December. This includes questions about selective schools, or Grammar schools by another name. Read more about it in our September Policy and Practice round-up.


Teaching Schools Council - Effective Primary Teaching Practice

A new publication from the Teaching Schools Council has drawn together existing evidence on the most effective primary teaching practice.

Led by Dame Reena Keeble, who sits on the Arts Council England’s Artsmark Leveling Panel, it considers a wide range of evidence and outlines the most effective practice for primary schools in England, focusing on four elements.

While the arts are not referenced specifically in the guidance, the introduction emphasizes the importance of arts learning:

‘Being able to talk, read and write alongside a solid understanding of maths is essential. But, there is a broader knowledge required to provide the foundation for secondary and, indeed, for later life, which needs to be considered in school. Our ambition for primary should include high expectations of both the appreciation of, and achievement in, art, music, drama and of sport too.’


Download the full report here.


Have you taken a look at the Creative People and Places website recently?

The Creative People and Places programme is about more people choosing, creating and taking part in brilliant art experiences in the places where they live. It is working in 21 places across England.

The website includes reports on their action learning programmes including a handbook on Pop Up Shops, quality guidelines and collaborative working.


Do arts organisations have a civic role? Short survey

Do you think arts organisations have a civic role in education?

The Calouste Gulbenkain Foundation (UK Branch) is running an Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations.  The CLA with What Next? hosted a workshop on arts organisations’ civic role in the context of education. Participants roundly endorsed a civic role for arts organisations which included supporting young people to reach their potential, and their personal development and employability. However, this is a complex issue. In a landscape where local authority services are curmbling and arts in schools is on the decline, is it the responsbility of arts organisations to take on the provision of arts subjects to young people?

The Gulbenkian Foundation is running a survey to test draft definitions of arts organisations’ civic role. The survey closes on the 22 November. Do please take 10 minutes to fill it in and comment on what you think the unique civic role of the arts is in education.


Apply to be the Chair of new panel overseeing technical, creative education.

The Institute for Apprenticeships is recruiting for Chairs for their new ‘Route Panels’ on ‘Creative and Design’ and ‘Digital’. This Panel will oversee the setting of standards for apprenticeships and all things to do with technical education. It is essential that we have a great field of expert collegues applying for the posts. These are paid positions and require around 2-3 days per month. You will need to be an employer in the discipline required to be considered. Read more about the role and applying here.