The Education Law Digest: Winter Term Edition – In the news
5th January, 2024
New head of Ofsted announced
Sir Martyn Oliver has been joined Ofsted as His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, replacing Amanda Spielman. Sir Oliver was previously the Chief Executive and Accounting Office of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, having started teaching in 1995. He has announced that inspections are to be paused while training is delivered to school inspectors. We wish him well.
Exams will not be changed to accommodate schools closed due to RAAC
Students at schools that have been partially closed by RAAC will not receive additional exam support, the Department for Education has confirmed. Some school leaders have been calling for changes, such as being able to award teacher-assessed grades, so that pupils are not negatively impacted by the closure of specialist spaces with specialist equipment such as science rooms etc. The BBC’s article explains further: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-67781489
Not so private WhatsApp Messages
Teachers employed by Aberdeenshire Council have been disciplined after their private WhatsApp messages criticising parents and pupils came to light. More details in news article can be found here.
Education Secretary says parents can see sex education material
In recent case law, a Tribunal found that a school did not have to disclose lesson plans and other teaching resources to parents, which are used by an external trainer who provide relationship, sex and health lessons to pupils. The tribunal concluded that (1) the materials were provider’s intellectual property & (2) was not held by the school. However, in October 2023, the Education Secretary announced that she considers contractual clauses which prevent disclosure are not enforceable and will write to schools to ‘debunk the copyright myth that parents cannot see what their children are being taught’. Please see more detail in the attached link.