Changes in education 2023/24

Get up to speed on the key changes to government guidance that are likely to affect your school this academic year, and find resources to help you take action.

Last reviewed on 24 July 2023
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  1. Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) updated for 2023
  2. Ofsted's inspection handbook updated for 2023
  3. Suspensions and exclusions guidance for 2023
  4. EYFS framework updated for 2023
  5. Induction for early career teachers (ECT) for 2023
  6. The white paper: upcoming changes
  7. Academy Trust Handbook 2023 now published
  8. Academies: new guidance on commissioning high-quality trusts
  9. Other changes on the horizon

We've summarised the major changes to statutory guidance for the 2023/24 academic year.

Find out more below about what's changed, and likely to change in the coming months, and what you need to do. Select 'save for later' in the upper right-hand corner if you'd like to get email alerts when we update this article with new information or resources.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) updated for 2023

The DfE has updated KCSIE – the changes come into force on 1 September 2023.

The most notable change this year is the emphasis on your school's approach and processes regarding online filtering and monitoring.

Take your next steps

If you're a member of The Key Safeguarding: 

Ofsted's inspection handbook updated for 2023

The changes come into force on 1 September 2023.

There are a number of changes this year, including:

  • More detail on what it means to have a 'culture of safeguarding'
  • A new section on Ofsted's 'conduct during inspection'
  • A new section on how Ofsted inspects attendance as part of 'behaviour and attitudes' 
  • A broader definition of 'off-rolling'

It also embeds changes we were expecting as part of reforms announced in June 2023:

  • More detail on what 'ineffective safeguarding' looks like
  • Clarity that you can share provisional outcomes with whoever you deem appropriate
  • More detail on when you're next likely to be inspected
Take your next steps

Suspensions and exclusions guidance for 2023

The changes come into force on 1 September 2023 for new cases arising from that point onwards.

Changes include:

  • Allowing remote access to governing board meetings and independent review panels (IRPs)
    • Parent/carers can request that a meeting be held remotely
  • Tightened rules around cancelling suspensions/exclusions
    • This includes that headteachers can now cancel exclusions that have not started yet, whereas previously they could only cancel suspensions/exclusions that had already begun
  • Clarity on timelines for the board to meet to consider representations
    • This is for pupils who have been suspended for 15.5 days in a term

Take your next steps

  • Get up to speed on the changes with our summary
  • Update your suspension and exclusion policy – use our template to save you time

EYFS framework updated for 2023

This applies from 4 September 2023.

There are 2 small changes and 1 clarification:

  • Minimum staff-to-child ratio for 2-year-olds is now 1:5 (rather than 1:4)
  • Childminders can now care for more than the specified maximum of 3 young children
  • Clarification that 'adequate supervision’ while children are eating means children must be within sight and hearing of an adult

Take your next steps

Induction for early career teachers (ECT) for 2023

This applies from 1 September 2023.

There have been minor changes, including:

  • Only organisations determined by the secretary of state will be able to act as an appropriate body
    • There's a transitional period for LAs (from 1 September 2023 to 31 August 2024)
    • LAs can only continue to act as appropriate bodies in a limited capacity where the LA was already acting as an appropriate body immediately before 1 September 2023 for an ECT who was serving an induction period in that same institution immediately before 1 September 2023
  • Overseas teachers with qualified teacher status (QTS) will now be required to complete the 2-year induction period if they have less than 2 years' full-time experience when they receive QTS (this is for those who applied after 1 February 2023)
  • Schools are expected to provide appropriate bodies with copies of all progress reviews
  • The appropriate body is expected to make sure the headteacher has contacted the ECT's previous appropriate body to obtain the necessary reports in order to continue an effective induction

Take your next steps

The white paper: upcoming changes

While the Schools Bill (which would have introduced several aims from the white paper into legislation) has been scrapped, the white paper is still going ahead. 

Notable upcoming changes include:

  • You're expected to provide a 32.5-hour school week by September 2024 (your school might be meeting this already). The initial deadline was going to be September 2023, but it's been extended 
  • All schools will be inspected by September 2025
  • The DfE is not enforcing the 2030 target for all schools to move into academy trusts, and there are currently no plans to do so in the future

Take your next steps

Academy Trust Handbook 2023 now published

The new handbook comes into effect on 1 September 2023. 

There are quite a few significant changes this year, including:

  • Financial changes
    • These changes include an extra month to submit your budget to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and that ESFA approval isn't needed for related party transactions of £40,000 or less within a financial year
  • Leadership and governance changes
Take your next steps

Academies: new guidance on commissioning high-quality trusts

This guidance explains how the DfE:

  • Judges the quality of academy trusts
  • Uses that information to decide which schools to recommend to which trusts

The guidance includes 5 'descriptions of trust quality':

  • High-quality and inclusive education
  • School improvement
  • Workforce
  • Finance and operations
  • Governance and leadership

These descriptions will help the DfE consider the best trust for each school, and will also inform the creation of new trusts.

You won't be 'judged' against these descriptions, and you don't need to take any action right now.

Take your next steps

Other changes on the horizon

We're anticipating further updates during this 2023/24 academic year to the:

Delayed guidance: we were expecting guidance from the DfE on policies for transgender pupils. This guidance is currently being delayed, and there's been no updated deadline.

We'll update this article, and our other resources, when more information is available.

Article updates

24 July 2023

We updated this article for the 2023/24 academic year.

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