Since 2004 all children in the UK aged 3 and 4 years old, have been entitled to free places at nursery or another preschool setting eg. Childminders. However from 1st September 2010 the Government extended the free entitlement from 12.5 to 15 hours per week for up to 38 weeks per year. There are several options for early years education of which these are; Nursery school-Usually linked to a Primary school and you would usually have to apply for your child’s place. Sure Start Childrens Centre-Family based centres who not only provide early years education but offer help and support to parents too. Day Nursery-These are independently run businesses.
Childminder-You would normally take your child to the childminders’ home. They can look after upto 6 children but no more than 3 of these can be under the age of 5. Nannie/Live in carer-Would look after your children in your home.
There are four main types of State schools which are funded by local government. They all follow the National Curriculum and are monitored by Oftsed. Community School- Community schools are run by the local government, which employs school staff, owns the land and buildings, and sets the entrance criteria that decide which children are eligible for a place. Foundation and Trust schools- Foundation schools are run by a governing body which employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria. Land and buildings are owned either by the governing body or by a charitable foundation. Trust schools are similar, but are run together with an outside body – usually a business or charity – which has formed an educational trust. Voluntary aided school- Voluntary-aided schools are religious or faith schools. Just like foundation schools, the governing body employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria. School buildings and land are usually owned by a charity, often a church. Voluntary controlled schools- Voluntary controlled schools are a cross between community and voluntary aided schools. The local authority employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria, like a community school, but the school land and buildings are owned by a charity, often a church, which also appoints some members of the governing body. Other types of schools are;
Specialist- State secondaries often specialise, which means they have an extra emphasis in one or two subjects. Schools can specialise in: the arts, maths and computing, business and enterprise, music, engineering, science, humanities, sports, languages, and technology. They would usually gain extra funding for these departments. Academies- Academies are independently managed schools set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups in partnership with the local authority and the government Department for Children, Schools and Families. Special school- Pupils at a special school have usually been assessed and given a statement of special educational needs (SEN). These may include learning disabilities or physical disabilities. Some special schools are funded by the local education authority. These could be community, voluntary-aided or controlled, or foundation special schools. Some special schools are independent. Free school- Free Schools are normally brand-new schools set up by teachers, charities, community or faith groups, universities and groups of parents where there is parental demand. They will be set up as Academies and will be funded in the same way, directly from central government. They also share with Academies a greater control over their finances, the curriculum, and teachers' pay and conditions. There are several post16 options for young people and adults to consider. During the course of year 11 at school you should have met with a careers advisor who has a wealth of information that they can share regarding the different options available. Depending upon choice and exam results there are different routes that could be taken. Staying on at your own school to retake exams or partake in new subjects. Or sixth form at a new school to do the same thing. College is also another option for either the retaking of exams or to study something new. University is available for those who wish to take their education to another level. Employment is obviously an option immediately for some people who have been able to gain required exam results to obtain a position at work straight away. Volunteering to do work is an opportunity to gain invaluable experience that may be needed to clinch a position of employment.
The strategic purpose of the school governors, senior management team, other statutory roles, teachers and support staff is primarily to provide a safe, secure environment to provide an excellent range of teaching and learning. However they all have their own roles in facilitating this. School governors- Are responsible for how the school is performing, for staffing and budgeting. Challenging the head and/or teachers about any issues and ensuring that the school is meeting all of its pupils needs. Senior Management team- The head, deputy and heads of departments usually make up this team. The SMT will ensure that they keep the rest of the staff up to date with any issues and help to motivate staff and students in trying to lead by example. SENCO- Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator will oversee all of the pupils on role who have any sort of educational need and is usually directly involved with the management and deployment of the support staff. Teachers- Are responsible for providing students with the best education possible. They are role models to all students and their teaching will have a direct impact on them. They will help motivate students and colleagues.
Support staff- Will work under the guidance of the Teacher either in the whole class setting, with small groups or indeed on a 1:1 basis. Again will be looked upon as a role model and supports both students and staff alike. Other professionals who may work with a school include;
Educational psychologist, The Educational Psychologist’s role is to work closely with the Senco and parents to support children who are experiencing on going difficulties with learning. The Police, In our school we actually have a Police officer on site who all pupils get to meet and who also works closely with the local community. School nurses work closely with the school and various pupils who may have certain medical requirements. They also provide drop in clinics within school for confidential help such as quitting smoking. The ethos, mission, aims and values of a school should be reflected in working practices by leading through example. The Ethos of the school should be recognisable when entering the school setting as it is part and parcel of the environment of the school and the daily practice of the staff and pupils there. All adults who work at a school have an important responsibility in modelling standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with children who attend the school and amongst colleagues, as their own example has a great influence on the children. Good associations and strong collaborations between adults will encourage the good behaviour in children. All adults within the school should aim to create an optimistic and positive environment that holds high but reasonable expectations of every child who attends the school, emphasise the significance of being respected as an individual within the school as well as outside. Encourage, through example, truthfulness and politeness while encouraging children to have relationships based on fairness, kindness and understanding of the needs of the other children within the school. The ethos and mission of a school are often referred to as the same, however, they are both different. The mission of a school is based upon what the school intends to achieve in a more physical and academic way, as set out by the head teacher. This is often seen as a motto and slogan as you enter a school. Ours is “Inspire, Believe, Achieve”. The Ethos of a school is more related to the beliefs and feelings of a school. The Ethos of the school should be recognisable when entering the school environment as it is part of the nature and daily practice of the staff and pupils who work there. The ethos is set out for the whole school to be aware of and is reinforced through daily activities. It enforces that children’s safety is paramount and that the children are at the centre of everything. The aims of the school are set out by the head teacher in partnership with the parents, staff and the community which should provide all members of the school community with a safe and respected environment which is paramount in obtaining a successful learning environment. The aims for the children at our school are to provide each pupil with the appropriate balance of both challenge and support in their learning, to provide for the spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of the pupils regardless of their gender, race, ethnic background or disability. The roles of 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.
Health and Safety Executives (HSE) is a UK government body that is responsible for enforcing Health and Safety at work legislation. The HSE plays an additional role in producing advice on Health and Safety issues and guidance on relevant legislation. The HSE mission is to prevent ill health, injuries and to ensure that professionals within education or elsewhere are managing any significant risks arising from school activities and off the school premises. The HSE will check a number of things within a school e.g. toilet facilities for both staff and pupils, the condition of the school premises, medical rooms, water supplies, weather protection, lighting, heating and ventilation. Properly maintained flooring and that the appropriate measures are in place to prevent slips on wet surfaces. In the playground, the equipment that the children play on or use is not faulty or rusted and that the playground surfaces are adequate. On school trips and off site visits HSE will be carried out on any special educational or medical needs of the students. The age, competence and fitness of the pupils, along with the usual standard of behaviour. Adult to student ratio. The proficiency and experience of the accompanying adults. Modes of transport, journey routes and location visits as well as any emergency procedures. School specific regulatory bodies.
School specific regulatory bodies (OFSTED for England) are responsible for carrying out inspections of colleges, children’s homes and schools to ensure that the quality of the service provided is adequate for every individual child and young person. During an inspection they will gather evidence based on the practice they are observing as well as what they learn from the people using the service. They then use this evidence and other information that is gathered to make a professional judgement on the service offered and it will then be published in an Ofsted report. The report will contain the quality of provision in the National Curriculum subjects and aspects of childcare, social care, education as well as learning and skills. Ofsted will also act as a regulator in checking that the people, premises and the services that are provided are suitable to care and educate children and potentially at risk young people. If childcare or a child’s social care provider does not meet the adequate or required standards then Ofsted will need them to take the necessary actions to improve their facilities. Policies are important because they help schools establish rules and procedures and create standards of quality for learning and safety, as well as expectations and accountability. Without these, schools would lack the structure and function necessary to provide the educational needs of students. Ultimately, policies are necessary to the success and safety of a school. Policies for staff are put in place to protect the staffs’ welfare and their rights within a school setting and to support staff in their management of situations they may be involved in. Every policy should outline its aims, purpose and responsibilities the staff will have. Examples of policies staff may have relating to;
Anti-bullying policy: will outline what the school will do to prevent and tackle bullying. How the school will discuss, monitor and deal with bullying. Whistle blowing policy: will provide avenues for staff to raise genuine concerns about other members of staff and will allow a member of staff to take the matter further if they’re dissatisfied with the governing body or local authorities response. The policy will also assure staff of the steps that will be taken to protect themselves from reprisals in whistle blowing real worries. Pupil welfare policies will include;
Discipline policy: which will show that the school will encourage positive behaviour which will enhance opportunities for children to learn and develop, and establish acceptable patterns of behaviour that will encourage a sense of responsibility towards others. Child protection policy: will consist of key elements in protecting children and young people, these elements being: To ensure that the appropriate steps will be taken in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers who work with children and young people in a school environment. Raise awareness of child protection issues and providing children with the skills and knowledge they require to keep themselves safe. Develop and apply procedures to identify and report cases, or suspected cases of abuse. Support victims of abuse in accordance with their arranged child protection plan. Establish safe surroundings in which children and young people can learn and develop to the best of their ability. Teaching and learning: will include curriculum policies, special educational needs policy, planning and assessment policy and marking policy. The aims and missions of these policies are to provide safe, stimulating learning environments for pupils and teachers. These policies are put in place to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to the school curriculum so that learning is differentiated to fit each child’s individual learning needs and capabilities. Equality, diversity and inclusion: the following policies are set in place to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, abilities or disabilities, race or religious beliefs have equal access to the school and its curriculum and to be treated equally in every aspect of school life. The Gifted and Talented policy outlines the way that the school identifies what ‘gift and talented’ means and also identifies the procedures and measures that are used in supporting a child or young person who is gifted and talented. An Equal Opportunities Policy is set in place in education to ensure that children and staff recognise that discrimination on the foundation of colour, culture, origin, sex or ability is not acceptable and to ensure that all staff feel valued, supported and have the appropriate advice and encouragement for professional development. Children are to be seen as an individual and each child‘s education is to be developed in relation to their needs and abilities. Parental engagement: parents and families play a fundamental role in helping children achieve their full potential in education by supporting them in their learning and developing within their own homes. By working together with the child’s school parents can create a learning environment to help reinforce lessons that are learned at school. Homework policies contribute towards building responsibilities and self-discipline in a student. Homework should provide a student with the opportunity to apply the information they have learned in class, complete unfinished class assignments and develop independence. Home School Agreement: can raise standards and contribute to school success by providing structure for partnerships between home and schools on issues such as; pupils progress, information on what pupils will be taught and any concerns that may affect the pupils ability to learn. Parents are able to support and help their child’s learning at home with more success and confidence. Schools need to ensure that policies and procedures that are in place are regularly revised and updated. Each policy will be dated and have a date for its revision. There are model policies available on the internet through local education authorities to assist the schools in drawing them up as this can be a time consuming process. Depending on the policy, the person responsible for a curriculum area (for example, the numeracy coordinator) may produce a draft policy and then have it checked by other staff during a meeting. It will then need to be agreed or ratified by the governing body before it takes effect. The revised/new policies or procedures would be communicated/distributed in the appropriate way ie. If it was an updated mobile phone policy for pupils then letters would be sent to parents and the new version posted on the school website. National Government.
The Department for Education is responsible for education and children’s services. Basically, this means that they are responsible for setting the national curriculum and early years foundation stage, which the schools and nurseries operate and also looks into new ways to develop the quality of service available to children. Other roles and responsibilities of the Department of Education include funding research into Education based projects concerning children and young people. Developing workforce reform such as the 2020 children’s workforce strategy. Promoting integrated working for those who work with children and young people. Developing the role of the third sector, which are non-government organisations, such as voluntary, community organisations and charities that work with children and young people. Local Government.
Are responsible for providing services to all the schools in the community. The local Education authority is responsible for providing, school management issues, behaviour management, the development of school policies, staff training and development and special educational needs.
The LEA will have policies which communicate their own leadership for schools in the community. The local authority will employ specialist advisers for different aspects of the curriculum. They will also have people with their own area of expertise in place for pupils with challenging behaviour and special educational needs. The majority of these services will be provided free to schools by the LEA, but in some circumstances the school could be expected to pay, this will be when specialist teachers need to come into the school setting. The LEA will be responsible for informing the schools in the community of changes to the education policy and they will then be given extra training within the area of changes. It is the responsibility of all schools to make sure they are up to date with all the current policies which are put in place for children, young people and their families. There are a large range of organisations that work with children and young people. All these organisations will delegate with each other as a team and share their knowledge and experiences to achieve the best interest of children and young people. Social services will work with schools if certain information comes to light about pupils or if they need to gather information for court reasons. Children’s Services. Are based on the framework Every Child Matters. These are basically based in different areas of professionals including; Education, health, early years, child care, social services and youth services. These will work with secondary schools, but will be more involved with the training and provision of young people from the age of 14 and beyond. National Health Services. There are many different services which will work with and within the school setting. These may be employed by the national health services and the primary care trust. This will include; Speech therapists, Occupational therapists, Physiotherapists.