ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 1 December 2023

Spotlight On: The Kent Academies Network

ISC blog

In the final blog to mark this year's Partnerships Week, director of the Institute of Service and Partnerships at Sevenoaks School Kathy O'Donnell explains how the Kent Academies Network – which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary – is helping to remove barriers to higher education.

The Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide 2024

General education

The Sunday Times features its Parent Power tables, based on the academic outcomes of state and independent schools in the UK using the latest A-level and GCSE results. St Paul’s Girls’ School is named as the Independent Secondary of the Year by Academic Performance 2024. By Sian Griffiths.

The paper's analysis of this year’s top A-level and GCSE results reveals that five girls’ schools feature in the top 10 independent school rankings. The highest-ranked boys’ institution is St Paul's School, in third place. By Sian Griffiths.

A supplementary piece outlines how families can access scholarships at top independent schools, with information on awards for academic and sporting success to means-tested funds. Reference is made to recent figures from the Independent Schools Council (ISC). An accompanying table details the proportion of pupils who get 100 per cent of their fees paid for at 50 leading independent schools. By Sian Griffiths.

Separate articles in the paper explain how the best schools of 2024 were chosen and what's new for Parent Power this year, and how one parent tutored his children to pass the 11-plus exam (by Luke Baker). Teachers and psychologists offer advice on how to help your child stay happy at school (by Jayne Dowle), while another item provides tips on avoiding secondary school parent politics (by Louise Eccles). Colin Hegarty, voted UK Teacher of the Year in 2014, talks to Parent Power about how maths became a "cool" subject at his school, with the article featuring a table of "the best schools at maths" (by Matthew Syed and Ryan Watts). In another piece, Sian Griffiths considers "what went wrong with English teaching" and suggests books every 16-year-old should read.

Numerous schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations are mentioned across the guide. 

Ofsted inspection 'directly linked to headteacher’s death', inquest hears


Colleagues of headteacher Ruth Perry have told an inquest they believe there was a “direct link” between an Ofsted inspection and Mrs Perry’s mental health deterioration and death. Mrs Perry took her own life earlier this year after the primary school she had worked at for 13 years was downgraded from "outstanding" to "inadequate". By Louisa Clarence-Smith, The Telegraph. 

Shadow schools minister on Labour’s plans for education: 'The list is really long'

Education policy

Tes speaks exclusively to Catherine McKinnell, the new shadow schools minister, about Labour’s plans for education. Ms McKinnell does not discuss the party's policy to impose VAT on school fees but reflects on some of the key challenges facing the sector. Outlining Labour's stance on inspection reform, she says "we would like Ofsted to be less high stakes and stressful as a process." By Matilda Martin.

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