1. Know the structure of education from early years to post compulsory education.
1.1 Summarise entitlement & provision for early year’s education.
From 0-5 years the framework of learning, development & care forms the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which has four guiding principles:
• The Unique Child. Every Child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• Positive relationships. Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents, carers and or a key person
• Enabling environments. The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.
• Learning and development. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. All areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.
In line with the Every Child Matters agenda and the Childcare Act of 2006 all children in England and Wales are entitled to free part time early year’s education between the ages of 3 and 4 which becomes effective the term after their 3rd birthday. This entitlement extends to 12.5 hours per week over 38 weeks per year and is funded by the Government for up to 2 years before a child joins school as a rising 5. Any additional hours required for individual children have to be contributed to by their parents or carers. Early years have to be fully inclusive & cater for the needs of all children including those with special educational needs. Extra funding can be applied for to support these children fully.
The foundation curriculum is for children aged 3-5 years & therefore forms the children’s first year at school (reception). EYFS which came into effect in September 2008 sets out a standard framework from birth to the end of reception and aims to achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes and aims. The principles of EYFS continue in Year 1 until the end of the autumn term. It is distinct from Key Stage 1 in that the emphasis is placed very firmly on learning through play rather than more formalised teaching.
When moving on from EYFS the children pass through different Stages within Primary School defined as Key Stages 1 and 2 and a further 2 (stages 3 and 4) in secondary schools until they attain the age of 16. During these stages they are gradually introduced to a more formal way of learning, initially with adults working alongside children on focused activities, which over time as they progress through their education leads to them becoming independent learners and able to self-govern themselves both in their studies and lives.
1.2 Explain the characteristics of different types of schools in relation to educational stages and school governance.
Any school funded by the local authorities is by law committed to following the National Curriculum, however as independently funded schools do not access local authority funds but obtain theirs from fee paying parents and private investors they do not have to follow the National Curriculum and can set their own admission policies without external reference or input. Whilst they have to register with the Department of Education (DfE) and need to be monitored this does not have to be by Ofsted but can be by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
In direct contrast to the Independent School, there is a high level of control and monitoring for the other four main types of schools which all receive direct Local Authority funding. These are:-
• Community Schools which are owned and run by the local authority who also support the services and develop links between the schools and other communities within their locality. This may lead to an increased usage of facilities for and by many different groups utilising availability and avoiding duplication of available provisions within a local area. The Authority will usually determine the entry admissions policy for all community schools in their area.
• Foundation and Trust Schools both of which are run by their own governing bodies who liaise and consult with the Local Authority re admissions policies. The foundation schools will general own the school buildings and land although this may well be held by a charitable foundation. The trust school is a move on from the foundation school in that the Governing body has made the decision to become a trust following consultation with parents of its pupils. It will then have formed a charitable thrust with an outside partner i.e. a local business and is required to “buy in” any support services it requires.
• Voluntary Schools of which there are two - types aided and controlled.
The Voluntary aided Schools will generally be 'faith' schools or of a religious persuasion but are open to applications from all. They run in the same way as a foundation school by their governing body but ownership of buildings and land will not generally be tied directly to the school or its agents but be held by either a charity or religious order who will part fund it's running with the Local Authority who will provide support services.
With Voluntary Controlled Schools although the land and buildings are owned by a charity or religious order are funded and run solely by the Local Authority who retain responsibility for the employment of staff and provision of support services.
• Specialist Schools should not be confused with special schools (generally schools requiring a statement of special educational needs). A specialist school is usually at the secondary level and is one that has applied for a specialist status to develop in one or two subjects. This status if given attracts additional funding so it is hardly surprising that in April 2009 Teachernet quoted that 92% of secondary schools having been given this specialist status. It should be noted that a Special School can also apply for a SEN (Special Educational Needs) specialism under one of the four areas of the SEN Code of Practice.
• Academies are schools which historically where set up by sponsors from the business sector although where given a boost in 2010 when opportunities for communities to become involved in giving academy status were increased by the government of the time. These schools still maintain close links with the local authorities but are not maintained by them and do not receive the same service support as state schools but do have more freedom in their management.
1.3 Explain the post 16 options for young people and adults.
In September 2007 the government of the time introduced 'The September Guarantee' which aims to reduce the levels of school leavers not in education, employment or training (NEET) the government keep NEET figures of all 16-24 year olds. The Guarantee or further learning states that by the end of the September of the year that each young person leaves compulsory education there will be a place available for further learning. This was subsequently extended to include 17 year olds as in 2013 the age for leaving compulsory education or training will increase to 17.
The Formal September Guarantee was as follows:
• full or part time education in school, sixth form college, independent learning provider or further education college
• an Apprenticeship or programme led Apprenticeship, which must include both the training element and a job or work placement
• entry to employment
• employment with training to NVQ2 level.
2. Understand how schools are organised in terms of roles and responsibilities.
2.1 Explain the strategic purpose of:-
Governors are responsible for the aims and objectives of the school, adopting, achieving and setting them.
Governing boards can be composed of a core group of committed long-serving members and a less active periphery but should were possible reflect the local community and be made up from a cross section of the areas involved with the school including, staff, parents, local authority, local community etc.
Evidence (DfE) suggests there is a relationship between good governance and pupils’ achievements, the quality of teaching, and the quality of leadership and management. Schools governors have gained an increasing degree of responsibility throughout the past 25 years. Their role has become increasingly important as schools have gained more independence for their management from Local Authorities. The Government has provided the school governing body with responsibility for the financial and staffing management of the school and it should have a key role in setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and acting as a critical friend to the head teacher.
Governors work closely with the Senior Management Team of the schools which includes the Head and Deputy Head looking at different areas of the schools working.
The Senior Management Team is usually made up of the more experienced members of the schools staff who will work closely with the Head Teacher. In a primary school this will usually include the Deputy Head, Year Group Leaders, the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and The Foundation Stage Leader. They will meet on a regular basis to discuss issues and ensure the implementation of the School Improvement Plan (a 4-5 year document setting the strategic direction of the school) and then manage this, leading any changes and generally make sure that the school is doing the best it can for the children attending it.
Other Statutory Roles in the primary system are those of the SENCO and Foundation Stage Manager. They both have very clearly defined roles.
The SENCO has the responsibility for managing and monitoring provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs. This involves liaising with other professional and parents, offering advice where required, ensuring that an appropriate individual education plan containing targets and strategies is in place for each identified pupil and ensuring that all relevant background information about individual children with special educational needs is collected, recorded and maintained. They must also ensure that all paperwork relating to Early Years, School Action and Action Plus when a child is not progressing as expected in the school environment.
The Foundation Stage Manager has responsibility for ensuring that the EYF stage is delivered correctly for the nursery and reception years. They must ensure that all staff working within this group have the relevant training and that all paperwork including record keeping, observations and assessments are up to date and carried out and recorded in the correct manner. This must be in accordance with the statutory requirements of the EYFS document.
Teachers in primary schools are responsible for developing schemes of work and lesson plans in line with the National Curriculum objectives. They facilitate learning by establishing a relationship with pupils and by their organisation of learning resources and the classroom learning environment. Primary school teachers develop and foster the appropriate skills and social abilities to enable the optimum development of children, according to age, ability and aptitude. They assess and record progress and prepare pupils for examinations. They link pupils' knowledge to earlier learning and develop ways to encourage it further and challenge and inspire pupils to help them deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Teachers will generally also have other areas of responsibility within the school often a subject based one as all areas included in the National Curriculum need to be covered. They are expected to be aware of any developments in their area of responsibility and feed this back to other staff members via staff meetings. They should also be able to monitor support and advise others and are expected to attend subject forums organised by the Local authority.
The Role of Support Staff within a school is varied and covers many areas and all aspects of school life. The titles given to these roles should reflect the responsibilities and will include everyone who offers support either with pupils, administration and maintenance both in and out of normal school hours. However the role of the Teaching Assistant as a member of the Support Staff Team is to work alongside the teacher as directed to plan and prepare work for pupils supporting learning activities, assessing and evaluating pupils work. Giving feedback the teacher on planned activities and identifying and reporting problems/queries which may arise.
2.2 Explain the roles of external professionals who may work with a school.
In order to provide fully for all children in its care schools will work with many outside agencies from Health to Social Care.
Each school will have an Educational Psychologist allocated to them who will work closely with the SENCO to provide assessments and observations on pupils on the SENCO role to assist in provision and planning for their future development within the school and beyond.
Schools will also receive visits from other agencies who will also assess and advise on individual or group programmes for certain children. These may include: - Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Specialist Teachers who may be asked to advise on behavioural support, social and communication needs or English as an Additional Language.
Educational Welfare Officers (EWO) may visit schools to support Head Teachers monitoring absenteeism and offer support to pupils and families with problems in this area or who may be returning to school after exclusion.
For three to five days each year the Head Teacher will also receive support from the School Improvement Partner (SIP) who will look with the Head at ways of developing the school through the schools self-evaluation document and pupil progress and attainment but also look at the out of school activities such as breakfast and all after school clubs and liaison with pupils parents.
The school may also have visits from other teachers attending Cluster Meetings as already discussed under the Teachers role which are designed to give teachers in similar schools the opportunity to discuss and share ideas and best practice.
3. Understand school ethos, mission, aims and values
3.1 Explain how the ethos, mission, aims and values of a school may be reflected in working practices.
The ethos and mission of a school are often described as going 'hand in hand' with each other as they are effectively seen as the same thing. However the mission is based on what the school intends to physically achieve in terms of academic results where the ethos is the 'spirit' of the school in terms of what it believes and the 'feel' of the school.
The ethos of any school should be instantly recognisable when entering the school environment. It forms part of the daily practice of both staff and pupils and should become a natural part of school life. It is usually clearly set out and reinforced continuously by the daily routine and reactions of all in the school.
In essence, the way people treat each other, the structure of the school day and timetable, how conflict is handled and good practice praised and the example set by all members of the school from Governors though to support staff and passed on to the pupils should all reflect the Ethos, Mission, Aims and Values of any school.
3.2 Evaluate methods of communicating a schools ethos, mission, aims and values.
As already set out above the best way to communicate the expected conduct as set out by a schools ethos and mission statement is by example. This can be reinforced by visual aids both in the school and classroom environment. It also needs to be communicated as much as possible via school literature, websites and general contact. Families should be asked to 'buy in' to them. This can be done by various methods one being a 'contract' type document that parents are asked to sign and return to the school confirming their acceptance of it and that they will support it in the home environment.
4. Know about legislation affecting schools.
4.1Summarise the laws and codes of practise affecting work in schools
There are many laws which a school has to adhere to designed to ensure the safety and well-being of both children and adults who attend, work and visit it. The main ones are:-
The Data Protection Act of 1998- this ensures that only information relevant and necessary to the needs of the school and solely for its purpose may be used and kept. This must be retained on site in a secure locked environment i.e. pass word protected or under lock and key. Information must not be taken off site -except for necessary meetings and should then ideally be locked in a case or encrypted.
The UN Convention on Rights of the Child 1989-ratified by the UK in 1991, 54 of its articles relate to schools. The main articles relevant to schools and stating a child's rights are:-
Article 2 – the right to protection from any form of discrimination
Article 3 – the best interests of the child are the primary consideration
Article 12 – are entitled to express their views, and expect that these are given consideration in keeping with the child's age and maturity
Article 13 – have the right to receive and share information provided that the information is not damaging to others
Article 14 – have the right to freedom of religion and should be free to examine their beliefs
Article 28 – all children have an equal right to education
Article 29 – education should develop each child's personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. Children should learn to live peacefully and respect the environment and other people.
The Education Act 2002-was further amended in 2006 but brought in changes to predecessors to the way schools were regulated, staffed and governed. In 2006 the additional changes meant that from that time schools have been required to work alongside community based organisations , developing links and a 'shared sense of belonging' valuing the contributions of all individuals and communities.
The Children Act 2004- took its root from the errors that surrounded the death of Victoria Climbie and the lack of communication between agencies involved in her care. It came in alongside the Every Child Matters framework and had a massive impact on the way that schools handle issues of care, welfare and discipline. Agencies such as Social Services and Education are required to work together to take on more responsibility for pupil welfare and are required to highlight any potential concerns they may have.
The Childcare Act of 2006- places more responsibility on the Local Authorities. They have a duty to: -
• improve the well-being for young children and reduce inequalities
• ensure that sufficient childcare is available to allow parents to work
• ensure that parents are provided with information about childcare
• ensure that all local childcare providers are trained to a legally acceptable level
• introduce the Early Years Foundation Stage for under 5s
• reform the regulation system for childcare, with two new registers of childcare providers ( early years child-minders and other early years providers) which is run by Ofsted
The main outcome of these acts has been the co-operation and improved communication between schools and other agencies which can only be seen as being in the best interest of the children. There has also been a major increase in provision of early morning and evening care by schools in the form of Breakfast and After School clubs enabling more parents to work and ensuring that more children are in a safe environment while they do.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000- introduced in 2005 this act allows anybody to request information from anywhere including schools provided the request is made in writing. There is no time restraint on the information requested so this could date back a considerable time. There are certain things that schools can refuse to answer to protect confidentiality but these could be challenged if the inquirer feels they are avoiding rather than protecting as the school does have an overriding obligation to provide advice and assistance to anyone who requests information in the correct way.
The Human Rights Act 1998- this act is linked to the 1950 Convention on Human Rights which although adopted by the newly formed Council of Europe in 1953 unlike the 1998 act is not legally binding. The 1998 recognises that individuals within the UK have particular rights and freedoms but states that these must be balanced against those of others. This in practice means that whilst for example it is legal for a school to restrain a pupil whose behaviour in deemed to be a danger to children or staff it should have a policy outlining how this in practice would work. Articles in the Act which have direct bearing on schools include;
Article 2 of part II – The First Protocol – the right to education (not the right to a certain school)
Article 8 – the right to respect for private and family life
Article 10- the right to freedom of expression.
A key provision of the Act is that 'It is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with a Convention right'.
The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice Act 1995/2005- has had a major impact on the inclusion of children identified as having SEN being included in mainstream schools particularly at primary level as it has given parents and pupils an increased right to access mainstream provision. This in turn has resulted in an increase in the levels of support staff required and training implications for all staff. Schools must now manage pupils with a more diverse range of needs.
The introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and subsequent legislation relating to access means that although schools constructed before the act are exempt from some areas all schools built today or additions to existing premises are required to make provision for pupils with disabilities by ensuring suitable access in and across the school. That there are lifts, disabled toilets and changing facilities provided. No child should be excluded from school trips or life as a direct result of their disability.
4.2 Explain how legislation affects how schools work
Schools are required by law to adhere and fully comply to all legislation that impacts their working environment and any individual they employ, teach, accept onto their premises or engage in any form of contact. This will obviously include volunteers who assist in school or on school trips. The laws are wide reaching and subject to change so they need to ensure that they are kept fully informed of any changes and that these are communicated to all of the above groups at meetings and in written format. They must be implemented where required within the accepted time scales set out by the law. Should something go wrong or they are found to be in breach of any law ignorance is not acceptable as an excuse.
4.3 Explain the roles of the regulatory bodies relevant to the education sector which exist to monitor and enforce the legislative framework, including
• general bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety Executive- define their mission as 'to prevent death and ill health to those at work and affected by work activities'. It works with Education stakeholders to ensure that duty holders are managing any significant risks arising from school activities and from school premises. They encourage a 'common sense' approach to risk management and are clear that 'schools are about providing children with a range of valuable learning experiences within which risks should be managed proportionally and sensibly'.
The employer is however required to: complete and hold appropriate paperwork (such as accident records – in the case of schools these must be retained until a pupil reaches the age of 21) which may be requested for inspection under the act. They must also carry out risk assessments and ensure appropriate measures are put in place in new situations or ones that may pose an increased risk to adults or children i.e. school trips.
• school specific regulatory bodies
Included in this group are:
Ofsted – who inspect and regulate the provision and education of children and young people. They collect first hand evidence from practice they observe and gather from service users, pupils and parents. They report back directly to parliament.
The General Teaching Council all registered teachers in England are required to join this council. Its role is a regulatory one ensuring that teachers adhere to its Code of Practice.
Independent schools have the Independent Schools Council who provide information on independent schools and regulates them. They have the separate inspectorate ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate).
5. Understand the purpose of school policies and procedures.
5.1Explain why schools have policies and procedures
The purpose of school policies and procedures is, effectively, to give a clear process and outline for the handling of any potential situation that may arise that could affect any part of the school environment. This enables everybody who comes into contact with the school including parents, staff and governors to have a clear understanding of how the school works and what to expect from any contact or dealings with them with them.
5.2. Summarise the policies and procedures schools may have relating to
Staff- the main policies in place for staff within will be performance and pay ones as employees there will also need to be a clear grievance policy. These cover the physical employment of a staff member but the will also be governed by all other policies across the board such as:-
Pupil welfare- again a blanket of policies can fall under this area. The main ones being: - safeguarding, health and safety, drugs awareness, behavioural management, and bullying. There may be others such as healthy eating all aimed at making sure that pupils are protected and feel safe.
Teaching and learning - to ensure that all are working in the same way. This will include policies on curriculum (broken down into subject areas), early years, teaching and learning, planning and assessment and marketing (to attract new pupils).
Equality diversity and inclusion- this area includes policies such as equal opportunities, race equality and cultural diversity, special educational needs and inclusion, disability and access and gifted and talented.
Parental engagement- this area looks at involving the home with the school in what is effectively a contact by way of homework policies, attendance and home school agreements (sometimes called the code of conduct).
5.3 Evaluate how school policies and procedures may be developed and communicated.
It is important that any policy set by a school is maintained and updated on a regular basis in line with legal changes and environmental changes if applicable. In view of this it would be prudent to revisit them on at least an annual basis.
Responsibility for a policy is usually delegated to a named individual or group who will draft the document (help is available on line in many formats). The draft document is then usually presented to staff members (who will generally be the ones implementing the policy) for feedback and once agreed will need to be approved by the governing body who will ratify it and then it will pass in to the current policies.
Once ratified, the policy will need to be transmitted to all who are involved in its delivery. This should be by way of meetings explaining any changes and by giving direct access to the policy. It may then be necessary for relevant training to be arranged and implemented. The policy should then be made available to the wider forum either by way of a website but also by hard copy if requested or required. Policies relating to Parental Engagement should be physically sent home with pupils each year.
6. Understanding the wider context in which schools operate.
6.1Summarise the roles and responsibilities of national and local government for education policy and practice
The National government is responsible for devising and ensuring that policies are implemented. The main department responsible for schools in England is the Department of Education. Its aim is to improve the opportunities and experiences available to children and their practitioners by ensuring that all children regardless of background have the same level of education and opportunities and to look at news ways to improve the quality of service available to children in line with the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters (being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing). The DfE is also responsible for the Education Budget determining the level of funding each local authority receives. It has also set up and administers the national School League tables.
As well as controlling funding to local authorities the DfE also invest in research into education based projects and others concerned with children and young people, they develop workforce reform, promote integrated working for all working with children and young people and help develop the role of non-government agencies working with children such as charities and the voluntary organisations.
Local Government departments are responsible for providing schools within their area with advice and support regarding their services. The local authority is responsible for providing accessible local services in seven key areas:
• staff training and development
• special educational needs
• the curriculum, including early years
• promoting community cohesion
• school management issues
• behaviour management
• the development of school policies
They are required to outline their plans for the development of any government initiative clearly, setting out how they intend to integrate children's services within the local area and setting out times lines for this.
In the same way that schools have individual policy documents the local authority will also have its own set covering the same and wider reaching issues such as the use of restraint or use of medicines. They will very likely have specialist advisor on their roles covering areas such as SEN and the Foundation Stage. Specialist Teachers will be employed and deployed to schools where needs are identified for a specific need i.e. dyslexia, behavioural issues. This will often be a free service although they are within their rights to charge schools should they feel it necessary especially if they are used to train school staff.
The Local Authority are also responsible for advising schools of any policy changes passed down from central government and provide training to either key staff or if necessary on site to the whole school (Via INSET days).
6.2. Explain the role of schools in national policies relating to children, young people and families.
There is an expectation that all schools will have knowledge and understanding of national policies relating to families, children and young people. They are required to show this and include this in their own policy documents in the way they develop and implement them in line with national and local requirements.
They should be visible in their involvement with the local community with schemes such as the extended schools programme and development of links with the extended community and be continually looking at ways of improving policy and feeding back any areas they feel need further development or improvement.
6.3 Explain the roles of other organisations working with young people and how these may impact on the work of schools.
It is essential that all organisations involved with young people and children work together for the better of the individual.
There are many different agencies that can be involved in the care and safety of this group all collating different information at different times i.e. Social Services, Children's Services, Youth Services, NHS. All of these groups will have different ways of working but multi agency meetings are essential. If the information they hold is pooled generally a clearer picture of a young person’s life or the local area communities will emerge. The benefits of agencies working together cannot be under estimated and may result in additional support being put in place within the school environment and/ or schools being able to offer extended facilities such as holiday clubs, sports clubs, weekend clubs which without the help available could never happen.
Is a faith based voluntary aided school drawing funds from the *********** it has its own admissions policy and 584 pupils aged between 3-11. It has a higher than usual number of children with SEN within the mainstream body of the school and the Base which provides for 20 children of reception age upwards who are on the autistic spectrum. In view of this it has close contacts with many agencies throughout Sefton. My personal experience as a parent and through working in the school has brought me into close contact with many of these agencies. With four children in the school (one with additional needs and a 1:1 in the school environment) I have experience from both sides the workings of many agencies including: - • The Educational Psychologist
• occupational therapy
• speech and language therapy
• Learning Disability Team
• Assessment and review meetings
We are currently going through the statement process.
The school has a comprehensive community cohesion policy (amongst many others) copy attached. As a person working within the school I have knowledge of the health and safety policy (attached). There is a clear ethos which is evident throughout the school (attached) and the school is active in its involvement with the local community engaging with many local schools and having a very strong tradition of involvement with charities both local and further afield. The school has an extensive range of policy documents which are updated regularly. They are available for examination both via the school office and website. A full list of those currently in place follows.
Our school policies are currently under review and are subject to change. • AbleandTalentedPolicy.pdf
• Design Technology Policy.pdf
• Early Years.pdf
• English as an Additional Language Policy.pdf
• First Aid Policy.pdf
• PE Policy.pdf
• Policy for the Arts.pdf
• Policy on Eating and Health.pdf
• Racial Equality Policy.pdf
• RE Policy.pdf
• School Uniform Policy.pdf
• Science Policy.pdf
Board of Governors
The Governing body is very active within the school and the local community. It works with the Head Teacher to secure the delivery of education in the school suitable to the needs, ages and abilities of the pupils. Becoming a governor is a way of contributing to the local school and learning new skills. The Board manages the school in line with a scheme of management approved by DfE and meets at least once a term. Most people can become school governors, with the exception of anyone disqualified on the basis of child protection requirements, bankruptcy restrictions or recent criminal convictions. No special qualifications are required, but you must be 18 years of age or over. Enthusiasm, commitment, and interest in education and team work are important qualities. Although they don’t need to have to have a child at the school were they are governors. The role of the Board of Governors is to manage the school with a view to providing the best possible education and educational opportunities for all of the pupils. This involves: • setting the school’s vision and aims
• establishing and maintaining the school’s ethos
• setting the school’s plans and policies
• monitoring and evaluating school performance
• promoting self-evaluation to sustain school improvement Make-up of Board
• 2 Parent Governors
• 1 LEA Governor
• 3 Staff Governors (including the Head teacher)
• 8 Foundation Governors (including 3 Foundation Governors eligible to be parents)