End of term letter to headteachers

Reflection on the year and information about next year

The following was sent to all headteachers last week.

As the academic year draws to a close, we would like to thank you and your staff teams for all your dedicated work throughout the past year. There have been many successes in Oxfordshire, which could only have been achieved with your commitment to nurturing all your pupils, supporting them to achieve to their potential.

We welcome renewed national focus on the importance of a broad curriculum, and on children’s wellbeing (especially their mental health). We have visited many Oxfordshire schools through the year, and we are encouraged by the wide range of exciting and supportive learning opportunities, particularly for more vulnerable learners.

In 2016, new assessment arrangements, particularly in primary schools, led to variable data. We are currently in the midst of collecting and analysing this year’s primary data returns. Primary Position Statements will again be available in Perspective Lite for the start of the Autumn Term (with Secondary Position Statements available in October ahead of the publication of the data). The purpose of the Position Statement is to prompt school leaders to ask pertinent questions, ensuring that there is full evaluation of the impact of teaching, and that school development planning is well-focused. We acknowledge that schools now determine their own assessment culture and process, and we provide the position statement as a tool to assist school leaders to focus on current national and local accountability measures. Please note our Oxfordshire ‘obsession’ for improved attendance to lead to improved attainment.

Primary head teachers, please log in to Perspective Lite to find your position statement at or immediately before the start of the new term. You can find a reminder of how to do this here: Perspective Lite Guidance

This year a working group of head teachers has helped us to improve the format and content of the document. We acknowledge the challenges involved in evaluating small cohort data and urge you to ‘tell the story’ behind the data.

We know that many of you will have already scrutinised your data, and we have been asked by headteachers to alert new school leaders to the importance of this.

Although there is no position statement for special schools, we use information gathered from inspection reports and recent visits to focus the school improvement offer.

We would like to remind you of Oxfordshire’s Education Quality ‘Guarantee’ , published in Schools News and at the recent heads and chairs briefings and the chairs of partnership meeting. This one-page summary of the revised plan explains the support that your school will be entitled to in the 2017/18 academic year.

All maintained schools will be contacted by the Oxfordshire Teaching School Alliance (OTSA) in September regarding the name of the System Leader who will work with you. OTSA, for a second year, holds the contract for coordination and delivery of school improvement. Please note that inadequate schools will be contacted by us.

Early Years Service buy back details.

Finally, we wish you all the best for your summer break.

Lucy Butler, Director of Children’s Services
Chris Malone, Strategic Lead, Education Quality
Janet Johnson, Strategic Lead for Vulnerable Learners
Roy Leach, Strategic Lead for Education Sufficiency and Access