Your Weekly Sector News 23/02/24

One Education is proud to bring you Your Weekly Sector News, ensuring you never miss out on the latest updates in education. Discover more about the teacher pay review, rising trends in pupils leaving state education, and a new safeguarding requirement. 
Two children playing in school.
Share Post:

10,000 pupils have ‘fallen through the cracks’ after leaving state education

According to a new report published by the Children’s Commissioner, 10,000 pupils have ‘fallen through the cracks’ after leaving state education to unknown destinations. In all cases where a child was recorded as unknown, local authorities could not confirm if they moved to another school, were educated otherwise, or were missing education. 31% of these children had a history of persistent or severe absenteeism, compared to 24% of their peers in school. These pupils were also more likely to be from ethnic minority backgrounds and looked-after children. 

Analysis shows that another 13,120 children left state education to enter home education. This brings the total number of home educated pupils in 2022-23 to 140,000, a 12% rise from the year before. In the Children’s Commissioner’s report, parents expressed they ‘had not freely decided to home educate, they said they felt forced to do so.’ One common reason for leaving state education was a lack of support for mental health and anxiety. Parents also said that they faced challenges in securing appropriate special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision. Indeed, data shows that 25% of children who left school for home education had SEND support, double the proportion of those in state schools. 

The report makes a series of recommendations to ensure children are identified wherever they are educated and to protect those with additional vulnerabilities. Recommendations include enhanced mental health and SEND training for school staff, establishing local authorities as the admissions authority for all schools, setting up a register of all unregistered alternative provision, and placing a ban on home education for any child with a social worker who has been identified as at risk of harm in the home. The Children’s Commissioner says ‘every child deserves a world class education […] We must go much further to ensure that our school system lives up to this principle.’ 

★ Our consultants can provide an assessment of your attendance policies, procedures, and practices, identifying strengths and areas for development.

Reach out to our team to receive expert, tailored advice to help you improve attendance and punctuality at your school.

Government to introduce a new legal duty on reporting child sexual abuse

The government is introducing a new legal duty for all teachers to report child sexual abuse, the Home Office has confirmed. If they fail to do so, they face being barred from working with children and young people. Those who intentionally block reporting could go to prison for seven years.

These changes follow the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which recommended the government make it a legal requirement for certain people to report child sexual abuse. The Home Office then published a call for evidence on the implementation of such a duty last year. The consultation outlined that reports should be made to either the council or the police ‘as soon as reasonably practicable.’ Further, it clarified that teachers would be protected from any repercussions by their employer or wider organisation.

This new requirement will be introduced as an amendment at the report stage of the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Commons and will apply in England and Wales. It has not yet been confirmed when the changes will come into action. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the school leaders’ union NAHT, says that school staff ‘already have a range of statutory duties when it comes to safeguarding and are frequently inspected against these.’ However, the Home Office consultation states that the new policy ‘seeks to introduce appropriate sanctions to secure better compliance.’

Our experts can deliver safeguarding training to meet the needs of your setting, ensuring your professional development is aligned with your whole school safeguarding culture. 

Explore our services to find out more. 

Government misses deadline in teacher pay review

This week, the government missed the deadline to submit evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which makes recommendations on teacher pay and conditions each year. This follows an earlier delay to the remit, which was issued to the STRB in December – more than a month later than the previous year. 

Generally, the government waits until the end of term to publish the final STRB recommendations and confirm its decision, after many schools have already drawn up their budgets. However, following the teacher strikes last year, the Education Secretary pledged to bring forward the review body process in order to better align with the schools’ budget cycle. Now, education unions have released a joint statement which states ‘this pledge has fallen at its first two hurdles.’

Together, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), National Education Union (NEU), the school leaders’ union NAHT, and Community say it is now ‘even more important that the government comes up with a fair proposal on pay,’ which takes into account the recruitment and retention crisis and pay cuts against inflation.

At One Education, we understand that staying ahead of the curve can be a challenge, but it’s essential for school leaders and teachers to navigate sector developments, seize opportunities, and make informed decisions.

With a wide range of training and professional development opportunities, One Education can help you keep pace with current standards and best practice. 

Get in touch to find out more. 

Enquiry Form

Please complete the form below and we will get in contact as soon as we can to help you with your query.

Login to your account

Search our website

Request a brochure

Please fill in your details below to receive our free brochure.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Please fill in your details below to sign up to our newsletter.

Request a call back

Please fill in your details below to receive a call back from a member of our team.