Leadership and Policy

Conducting a teaching assistant audit

Are your school’s teaching assistants effective? Or perhaps we should ask: do you train, deploy and manage them effectively. Daniel Sobel says that poor use of TAs can harm student outcomes. He explains how to carry out an effective audit of your TA provision


Relationships education: What should we expect?

The campaign has been long and difficult, but at last those determined to see the introduction of statutory relationships and sex education have been rewarded. What can primary headteachers expect now as the discussions and consultations set in? Suzanne O’Connell reports


Assessment consultation – is it too little, too late?

The year 2016 perhaps marked the worst year in primary national assessment history. Now the DfE has launched its promised consultation to find out what the way forward for primary assessment might be. But is it asking the right questions and has too much been decided already?


Lessons learned from creating a Teaching School Alliance: Part 2

In March, we asked a headteacher, writing anonymously, to describe the process their school has been through in becoming a Teaching School and in leading a Teaching School Alliance. Our writer continues their account now, focusing on the ‘lessons learned’ so far...



Ideas to boost your school budgets

Budget pressures continue to build, with little sign of respite ahead. Sara Martin looks at how schools have been creating opportunities in their local communities and beyond to stretch and boost their budgets


Planning your CPD for next year

Many schools are starting to plan their CPD spend for the year ahead. Maria Cunningham offers advice on effective CPD planning


Safeguarding: What are the early signs of abuse or neglect?

Most schools are clear about those signs of abuse and neglect that should lead to a referral. But what about the first warning signs that something needs further investigation? NICE has released draft guidance to help schools and other services know what these are. Suzanne O’Connell takes a look



Year 6 attainment: Filling in the gaps

In a bid to raise year 6 attainment, Lesley Keast led a project to identify and focus on the ‘key marginal’ students and close the gaps in their learning


The emerging role of executive headteachers

What is an executive headteacher? Karen Wespieser looks at the role and skills of the growing number of executive headteachers and outlines the strategic purpose of this emerging role





Inclusion: We learn better together...

How can schools provide pupils of all abilities and backgrounds with access to a high-quality education? Laura McPhee discusses how her school has built and maintained an inclusive learning environment


Is your governing body up to the challenge?

After the release of the DfE’s new competency framework for governance, Rosemary Hill looks at how governing boards can prepare themselves to meet the increasing challenges of the role...


Creating and leading a Teaching School Alliance

What is involved in becoming a Teaching School and leading a Teaching School Alliance? One headteacher reflects on their experiences of this process and offers advice to those considering taking the leap


What can we learn from our TIMSS results?

International comparison studies make regular headlines, but their findings must be interpreted with caution. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at two recent reports analysing science and maths performance in England and Northern Ireland


Financial turmoil forecast for schools

The DfE has set out more detail of its plans for a fairer funding system. But with no new money, there will be winners and losers. Meanwhile, schools are facing increasing costs and real-terms reductions in per-pupil funding



The mental health crisis

Headteachers are reporting a rise in mental health needs among children. Yet, the resources to help support them seem to be lacking. Is the government right to put the emphasis back on to schools? Suzanne O’Connell reports



Challenging schools: Five recurring themes

Every school is different and must tackle its challenges in a way to suit its own circumstances. However, Daniel Sobel has seen some generally recurring themes in schools that could be classed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘challenging’


Case study: Improving attainment in year 4

In a bid to bridge the gap between years 2 and 6, school leader Ciara Murphy focused on outcomes in year 4, implementing four key strategies to improve attainment in reading and writing


SEND reforms: Still no real culture change

It is now more than two years since schools were required to implement the new SEND Code of Practice. Now the Scott Report and local authority inspections have thrown more light on current practice. Are the changes really delivering for our SEND children?

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Headteacher Update is the only magazine delivered directly to every primary school headteacher in the UK. It is published six times a year, at the beginning of each term and half-term, to keep headteachers up-to-date with everything going on in primary education.

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