Where will the funding for teachers' and support staffs' pay rises come from?

On the 19th July, the government announced a pay rise for teachers starting in September. As part of the push towards a £30,000 salary for new teachers, Early Career Teachers (ECTs, formerly NQTs) outside of the capital will receive an 8.9% increase. More established teachers will receive increases ranging from 5% to 8% depending on experience, whi...

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How do your teacher's appraisals affect their salaries?

Appraisal time is approaching! Appraisals can be a time of high stress. It's normal for even the most confident, beloved teacher to feel some anxiety at appraisal time. Appraisals shouldn't be a rod to beat your teachers with but should be a part of a wider conversation around school improvement. A good appraisal should be thorough but supportive w...

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How to diversify your income for long-term financial security

Diversifying our income is key to being able to deliver what you want for children. A wise person once told me that, "you can cost control yourself out of a crisis, but it doesn't give you the long-term future". Never has this been truer than in the world of schools. The financial pressures we have experienced over recent years have seemingly becom...

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How to ensure your school's website is compliant with the ATH

Since 2016, the Academies Trust Handbook has detailed exactly what schools and trusts have to do in order to remain compliant. There are also requirements detailed in the Equality Act 2010 and Children and Families Act 2014. Websites are often fall to the bottom of the "to do" lists and it's easy for them to become out of date. To help you keep on ...

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Behind the Education Headlines in July

 We welcome the new education secretary July started with a flurry of activity after previous education secretary Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to Chancellor. Michelle Donelan was the first to be appointed into the vacancy, but resigned after just 36 hours in the job in protest of Boris Johnson's refusal to resign as PM. This makes her the shorte...

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Good ideas jump sectors

"Why do we do things this way or that way?" That is the question often goes through my mind whenever I enter a school or trust. Why is the status quo the status quo? Is it because it's the right thing to do, the best way to do things or the easiest way to do things? Academisation has given schools and trusts more freedom than ever to run as they se...

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Keystone's Expert Tips for Procurement

As school budgets are stretched tighter by inflation and the cost of living crisis, it's increasingly important to take a second look at areas where you can make efficiencies, rather than cuts. Managing the procurement process to ensure that your school or trust gets the best value for money is a way to economise without sacrificing quality. While ...

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What are Keystone Knowledge's values?

At Keystone Knowledge, we talk a lot about values. It's so important to have a good set of values, whether they are your personal values or your schools. They really do form the basis for everything you do, provide a framework for how to tackle problems and build a happy, fulfilling environment for everyone. If you would like some advice on putting...

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Behind the Education Headlines in June

The impact of Ofsted on student's wellbeing The charity States of Mind has produced a short film called Breaking the Silence which offers a fascinating insight into how students view the educational system in the UK. Using the input of 150 students and 80 head teachers, teachers and Ofsted inspectors, the charity found that young people say that th...

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Is being compliant with the ATH enough?

Keeping up to date with legal and regulatory compliance can feel like a full-time job as the changes to the ATH can be never-ending. While it's a relief to be able to say, "we're compliant", is that really enough? Why being compliant matters Compliance takes many forms. It covers aspects from regulations around; providing parents with information o...

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Behind the Education Headlines in May

Cost of Living Crisis The rate of inflation in April was 9%, up from 7% in March. This represents the highest rate of inflation on record. The rising price of oil and consumer goods have contributed to this and there doesn't look to be an end in sight. Schools are always an important hub in the community, but there are needed even more so. We have ...

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Creating a culture – not just a fad

At Keystone, we talk about culture, both internally and externally. Workplace culture is a huge aspect of a positive, efficient school. It's just as important as having good salaries but is much harder to quantify and even harder to change. Having a good workplace culture can increase your staff retention, boost productivity, make recruitment a lot...

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Keystone's digest of the Schools Bill

The DfE released the new Schools Bill which outlines the government's plans to "help spread opportunity, level up the country and boost our economy". This follows on from the school's white paper which laid out the ambition to have all schools in a MAT by 2030. The draft bill compromises of 15 different sections, ranging from academy trust int...

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The importance of good governance

Although the role of governors has changed drastically over the last few decades, they still remain absolutely vital for schools to run effectively. More and more emphasis is being put on the accountability of the governors to run the school correctly. Although not strictly from an academic background, governors set the strategy for the school or M...

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Behind the Education Headlines in April

 DfE to stop reporting Covid absences The government has returned to Pre-Covid updates on the absence. The DfE removed their "questions on pupil absence due to COVID-19" which means that there will no longer be a record of absences caused by Covid. Schools will now include any Covid related absences under the 'illness' code on the register. Ho...

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