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Obstacles to adding VAT to fees

In the current education policy landscape, the debate over adding VAT to independent school fees is by far the most high-profile dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives. That said, the question of what would actually happen in practice if Labour won the next election and tried to implement this policy, has received remarkably little attention…

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Why students deserve a variety of assessment methods

Deputy Head at The King Alfred School in North London, Alistair McConville, discusses a new research paper, which shines a light on the problems with the current exam-focused assessment framework. As exam season rolls around again, the number of voices questioning the dominance of timed, written assessments in schools is growing…

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Teaching controversy in schools

Throughout the course of their education children and teenagers will inevitably encounter contentious questions. In a world where wider discussion of these subjects is often defined by populism, polarisation, prejudice and ‘alternative facts’, teaching these issues in an honest and supportive manner can be challenging…

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Coaching for appraisals

Can coaching principles be applied to the teacher appraisal process? Director of Studies at St Andrew’s School, Berkshire, Kirsty Stokes, believes they can. Here she explains why and how training in coaching for appraisers can empower educators and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

“Independent schools are not required to follow the appraisal regulations which apply to maintained schools, but have the flexibility to design their own appraisal processes, building on best practice in schools, and from other organisations…

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Reaching out to the cyber girls of the future

With a lack of girls applying to study computing at university, Head of St George’s School, Edinburgh, Carol Chandler-Thompson, discusses the importance of getting girls into the industry and the role schools can play in combatting the perception that digital careers are dull and sedentary.

“As schools, we are awash with societal problems that schools are tasked with addressing, not all of which it is in our powers to reasonably affect on our own…

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Draft gender questioning guidance for schools

Last year the Government published its draft guidance for schools, ‘Gender questioning children: Non-statutory guidance for schools and colleges in England’. It applies to all schools, with the final version anticipated before the general election. So, what should schools consider whilst waiting for the government’s decision? Education and employment law specialist, Joanna Lada-Walicki, breaks down the main points…

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Digital Literacy project

In 2021, Jersey College for Girls, Channel Islands, embarked on a journey regarding their use of technology. Assistant Headteacher for Digital Learning at the College, Miss Ruth Lea, discusses how the Digital Literacy project has resulted in improved learning for all students involved as well as reduced paper consumption. “Inspired by how the College had turned to technology during the

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Four lessons for professional learning

Aldenham School, Hertfordshire, has developed its ‘Teaching Partners’ programme to help drive continual improvement in classroom practice. Assistant Head (Learning), Luke Harding, draws four lessons from Aldenham’s experience of designing professional learning for teachers. I once worked with a headteacher who gave great assemblies inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost. Every year, she’d find a new use for: Two

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Learning to live with VAT

With VAT on school fees a cloud on the horizon, VAT specialist, Rupert Moyle, takes a look at some of the potential implications and outlines some of the things to consider when looking at ways to minimise exposure. “Independent schools are currently exempt from charging VAT on school fees. They are “eligible bodies” in VAT legislation. Exemption also extends to

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