newsletter-banner

NASS Newsletter - July 2013

Free School Meals

School dinners Despite our fears and encouragement to members to ensure that all children entitled to free school meals take them, the evidence is growing that millions of pupil premium grant is going begging. In Lincolnshire a news report shows that 20% of those entitled to claim FSM (4000 children) have not done so and are not therefore registered for the £900 per child pupil premium - a total loss to the particular schools of £3.6 million. Whilst the majority will be urban, some are rural and we urge small schools to watch this situation closely.

spacer.gif

Subscription Reminder

Fair funding for small schoolsIf your Information Officer finds he has forgotten to renew since 2011 and finds a reminder notice in the new summer newsletter it is easy to understand how many others also forget. We hope this is the case because this year renewals have fallen behind to levels that would be alarming if not remedied.

We apologise that some envelopes did not carry the number at the end of the first line indicating last year paid and this may have confused you. If you received a reminder letter that indicates non-renewal for 2013 at least! Please do renew a.s.a.p if you have not already done so. Many thanks for your belief in the work we do.

£10 individual and £15 school: cheques payable to NASS via Jeffersons Business Centre, 6 South Bar, Banbury OX16 9AA or via Bank transfer to: Sort Code 08 92 99 account 6546 0203 00.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Future Funding Campaign Success

Future of education - home tutoringThe revisions for 2014 to 2015 clearly reflect DfE concern that present practice, not least lump sum decisions, carries serious risks of small school unviability and closures, not least of the East Riding kind where closure is happening rather than paying its agreed standard (DfE stipulation) lump sum to all schools regardless of circumstance. The significant new element is a Sparsity concept which definitely improves small school prospects. We believe this follows from pressure brought by our members and others via MPs along with our direct lobbying of and meetings with DfE senior staff and Ministers.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Suffolk Governors relent

Nass - the VOICE of small schoolsHaving initiated some local consultation on their proposal to close Badwell Ash Primary School in Suffolk, despite strong opposition from parents who express satisfaction with the school, governors have withdrawn the proposal "as a result of consultation response." NASS gave its usual good advice to the parents clearly establishing the fact that a well-run small school is well able to work to the highest national standards. Difficulties of a management nature can hit any school from time to time and we can then help governors and staff with relevant professional advice. We are not just the fire brigade for the emergency but a professional resource. At £15 a year that is wise insurance, even if your school may now be part of a larger grouping.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Good Practice Primary Academies

children working in schoolWe have been asked by a Trust interested in promoting best primary practice to advise them on the possibilities of forming regional groups of small schools into small school academies it would sponsor but without any reduction of each school's individual freedom of action. We shall report further in due course. Existing experience from secondary–led academy groups has proved very worrying for smaller schools and we are realising that caution is needed. We believe good example to be possible.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Morley Primary - Success!

Morley PrimaryWe were pleased to hear from Kate Marsland, head of Morley Primary School who also received a letter from David Laws and are delighted to have another opportunity to celebrate publicly how fantastic small schools are. We're sure there must be more amazing schools out there and that some of you are hiding your light under a bushel!

Read Kate's letter to NASS.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

National Society Discussions

Church SchoolWe have likewise been invited to meet senior representatives of the National Society to discuss the concerns of the Church of England for the future of its many schools at a time when one of its leaders, the Bishop of Oxford, has declared the concordat between State and Church to be "dead." We have long hoped to interest the entire diocesan education movement in a set of common good practice principles backed by evidence that would enable rational, responsible responses to local crises such as closure proposals and the occasional school in difficulties.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Charity Status again denied

Charitable statusThough now we have been considered only by Revenue and Customs, our involvement defending schools through relevant advice and support has brought further rejection. We have appealed citing Charity Registration rules which clearly allow political lobbying and other involvement.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Ofsted criticises seaside and rural outcomes for disadvantaged: Note: NOT villages!

Seaside school tripIn a new attack on under-performing schools the Chief Inspector claims that though London inner city performance is now better for disadvantaged children these are still losing out elsewhere. He cites seaside towns and others not regarded as inner city, not least market towns. Whilst the media have in many cases simply used the word "rural" we are telling everyone that in this case it was the towns that were specifically mentioned. All the evidence has always found small school environments positive for such children and their families.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Ofsted "School Improvement Inspections" Start

Ofsted inspectionsSchools in Norfolk and the Isle of Wight have been learning what these are all about during June. We shall welcome news from any village schools of perceived differences and any novelties. Ofsted found much to criticise in Norfolk, compared to Cornwall, which has also been recently inspected. Complaints were at both primary and secondary levels, though examples of good practice also mentioned. Nothing particular about small schools was seen.

Read about an Ofsted visit to South Stoke Primary School.

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Enjoy your summer break!

It might be the last you have if Michael Gove has his way and offers all schools total freedom over how long they have, including less weeks per year anyway. Some in our profession express delight.

Your views are welcome! Tell us what you think

spacer.gif
spacer.gif
If you have any contributions for our newsletter please email us or write to us at:
National Association for Small Schools
'Quarrenden' - Upper Red Cross Road,
Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG8 9BD
Tel: 0845 2235029
spacer.gif

If you would prefer not to receive further newsletters from NASS, please let us know by unsubscribing here

<