As part of his speech, Mr Hinds looked to clarify the role of Ofsted as the main body to “provide an independent, rounded judgement of a school’s performance”. Amidst confusion in the sector concerning decisions in relation to directing an academy order, Mr Hinds outlined that “school leaders need complete clarity on how the accountability system will operate … this means we will not be forcibly turning schools into academies unless Ofsted has judged it to be Inadequate”.
Speaking out about accountability measures, Mr Hinds will also look to scrap the dual system of both “floor-standards” and “coasting” triggers dictating whether a school is in need of statutory intervention. He outlined that “there will be a single, transparent data trigger for schools to be offered support … I intend this to replace the current confusing system of having both below the floor and coasting standards for performance”. A consultation on accountability measures will be released in due course.
Finally, Mr Hinds also introduced a number of initiatives to “make sure teaching remains an attractive, fulfilling profession”. This includes increasing the induction period from one to two years for newly qualified teachers, new “early career development opportunities” for those beginning their career and, for more established teachers, introducing opportunities for more flexible working patterns (including a new sabbatical programme funded by the DfE).
Commenting on Mr Hinds’ speech, Sam Henson, Head of Information at the NGA, said: “A clear accountability system is crucial for promoting pupils’ understanding across a broad curriculum, maximising progress and attainment and for helping governing boards carry out their own accountability role. Schools’ effectiveness should be judged on both progress and attainment measures to ensure the school’s impact can be properly assessed."
"Teacher supply remains a concern for governing boards - 46% of respondents to the NGA/TES 2017 annual governance survey said they find it difficult recruiting to teaching posts. We therefore welcome the commitment from the Education Secretary to ensuring teaching is an attractive profession as part of our ongoing call for the government to invest in teacher recruitment, retention and professional development."