Focus Education

Professional development & school improvement specialists for nearly 30 years

Focus Education is a leading organisation providing training, consultancy and resources, both face to face and virtually to the primary sector. We are renowned for our high quality and excellent value.

What do they do?

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Product Overview.

HeadteacherChat’s Review of Focus Education

Read the full review below...

Focus Education offers many resources, including books and courses, as well as a consultancy service. Popular products include:

The ‘Subject leadership’ range - a separate book (hard copy and e-book) for each subject in primary education. The books all follow a similar format - content covered includes:

  • An overview of the relevant Ofsted research and how this relates to subject leadership.
  • Key questions for subject leaders to consider
  • Simple outline of the statutory curriculum.
  • Example of year by year progression through KS1 and KS2 for foundation subjects.
  • Simple template for recording assessment for each cohort.
  • Updated guidance and templates for monitoring and evaluation (with a focus on triangulating evidence).
  • Action planning template.
  • Audit for the intent, implementation and impact of the core and foundation subjects.

  

 

 

Mini clips – Focus Education recognises that school budgets for training are stretched. To help address this, their consultants have developed and produced half-hour videos on a wide range of topics that can be purchased individually. The wide range of topics includes ‘Developing Middle Leaders’, ‘Deep dives’ and ‘Effective subject leadership in small schools’. They are ideal for staff meetings or twilight sessions for sharing ideas and generating discussions. Consultants from Focus Education can provide support afterwards to answer and discuss issues raised by staff.

 

Consultancy – Focus Education offer support on a number of areas including leadership, governance, curriculum, coaching and assessment. They describe their ethos as ‘a private company with a public sector heart’ and pride themselves on the open and honest relationships they build with school leaders, working alongside leaders and offering objective advice.

Headteacher’s Professional Handbook - one product that has proved particularly useful to school leaders is the Headteacher’s Professional Handbook: A Guide to the National Curriculum and Ofsted Expectations. This is described in greater detail below.

How does Focus Education describe their product?

Produced following consultation with inspectors and head teachers, this is an invaluable companion for head teachers, deputies, advisors, inspectors and senior managers in primary schools.  This product is made up of our two most popular “minis” – we’ve put the two together in one book to enable the user to pick it up and use it repeatedly when needed.

The A5 bound booklet is a convenient size containing 2 sections:

  • Section one contains the National Curriculum. The content for reading, writing and mathematics is outlined not only by year group but also by strand or element.  

 

  • Section two contains the Ofsted Evaluation Schedule.  This includes the latest changes to the grade descriptors, taking into account the removal of the transition arrangements and other changes.

 

What are the benefits of using the Headteacher’s Professional Handbook?

  1. The format of the National Curriculum section makes planning for differentiation much easier as you can track an element of the curriculum from one year group to another. Content for foundation subjects is outlined by key stage expectations.
  2. It is presented in a user-friendly and accessible format.  The book is a handy A5 size with tabbed dividers to make it quick and easy to access.
  3. Up to date information using the latest Ofsted framework contained all in one place. 

Testimonials:

“I find it really useful – I use it at home when writing my reports for quick reference” Ofsted Inspector

“I think it’s so useful and the order has been well received by the 600 teachers in our Trust”

Senior Director Primaries for a Multi Academy Trust

In summary, HeadteacherChat recommends Focus Education because:

We like the variety of interesting and helpful resources for leaders. 

Their short video clips are useful for staff meetings, especially as conversation starters. The subject leader range of resources are particularly useful for those who are new in role, or for those who are looking to ensure that they have covered all important areas. Their resources are available in a range of subjects so schools could potentially purchase them for their leaders to ensure consistency. Lucy Coy, CEO HeadteacherChat,  October 2022