This past April, the DfE published guidance for schools on statutory policies:
As part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to reducing bureaucracy for schools, the Statutory policies for schools document, which can be downloaded from the associated resources section, outlines the policies and other documents governing bodies are legally required to hold.
This document now states that maintained schools are now no longer required to have in place either a Curriculum Policy or a Prospectus. I am curious. Without either of these two documents, how does a school make a statement as to its to commitments, vision and principles in the opportunities that it provides for children? Existing stakeholders and prospective parents have been able to understand a school’s overarching approach to learning and teaching.
Certainly these documents have become somewhat generic and, by extension, bland and perhaps meaningless. But what is to stand in their place? Perhaps this will encourage schools and governing bodies to engage in a dialogue that strengthens the approach to learning, ensuring that schools more effectively define and state its values and outline its educational philosophy.
By removing the requirement, I hope that schools will grasp the opportunity to dig deeper into what makes them tick as unique organisations, shaped by their communities and particular needs. The professionals that lead the learning within them understand what is best for the children. Therefore, by taking away the bland, borrowed and generic, Schools have the space to develop something that is fit for purpose.