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Secondary sector council

Chair: Stuart McLaughlin, education consultant and retired secondary head teacher.

The combination of challenges facing secondary schools and their students has never been greater, with the covid-19 pandemic exacerbating many pre-existing issues. Many school leaders are concerned about maintaining high standards in the face of simultaneous upheaval on so many fronts. With a perfect storm facing secondary schools, our members must come together to ensure we continue to nurture and cultivate young people’s minds. This council provides a forum for our secondary members to have their say about how we support them and what actions we take on their behalf.

The council, which meets four times a year, helps to steer and develop our policy and campaigning priorities. It considers a broad range of policy areas that include curriculum and assessment, accountability, pupil support and safeguarding, recruitment and retention, and funding.

The group supports the work of our membership team in recruiting new secondary members, assists with the development of our training courses and conferences, and ensures our advice and guidance reflects the needs of our secondary members.

Areas of focus for the council include the following:

  • Curriculum and assessment, including exams, assessments and awarding in light of the covid-19 pandemic, the narrowing of the curriculum through accountability measures and monitoring reforms to GCSEs/A levels
  • Structures, inspection and accountability, including Ofsted and the calculation and use of progress data
  • Funding of the secondary sector
  • Recruitment and retention of staff and leaders in the secondary sector
  • Pupil support and safeguarding with a focus on mental health, online safety, safeguarding and child protection, and support for vulnerable groups.

For any questions about the council, get in touch with our policy team by emailing policy@naht.org.uk.