Latest Educational News

One in five teachers abused online by parents and pupils, survey says

by The Guardian, April 21, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

One in five teachers have received abuse aimed at them on social media and online forums from parents and pupils – some as young as seven – a survey by the NASUWT union has found.

One teacher about to go on maternity leave was told online by a parent: "My son will fail now because of you."Another discovered a Facebook page set up by a pupil claiming the teacher wanted to kill him. One pupil told a teacher via Twitter: "You are a paedo and your daughter is a whore."

About 7,500 teachers responded to a survey on the use of technology conducted by the NASUWT, which is holding its annual conference in Birmingham.

A majority of teachers who received online abuse did not report it to their employers or police, in many cases because they did not think it would be taken seriously.

Of teachers who did report abuse to school management, 40% said no action was taken against pupils and 55% said no action was taken against parents. Where abuse was reported to the police, more than three-quarters said no action was taken against pupils or parents.

Facebook was the most commonly cited forum for online abuse, followed by the Rate My Teacher website and Twitter. A small percentage reported receiving abuse through YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.

School pupils trolling teachers with ‘vile’ abuse on Facebook and Twitter

by The Telegraph, April 21, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Teachers are facing “vile” abuse from children as young as seven on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram, according to research.

Figures show that more than a fifth of teachers have been the victim of “cyberbullying” from pupils and even their parents in the last year.

The study showed social media was being used to make offensive remarks about teachers’ personal appearance, classroom performance and sexuality, with websites also used to circulate malicious claims about alleged inappropriate behaviour and drunkenness.

In one case, pupils set up a bogus Facebook account in a teacher’s name, saying: “I will rape every Year 8 pupil who comes to the school.”

Other pupils found a picture of an unconscious drunk who resembled a particular teacher – then posted it on Twitter and distributed it to other children.

Teachers vote to strike in June during A-level and GCSE exams

by The Telegraph, April 21, 2014

Classified as Strike.

One of Britain's biggest teaching unions today voted in favour of national strike action that threatens to cause chaos in schools at the end of the summer exams season.

The National Union of Teachers confirmed a walk out would be staged in late June unless "significant progress" is made in talks with the Government over pay, pensions and workload.

It follows a series of powerful attacks on Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and the Coalition's reform programme.

At the union's annual conference in Brighton, activists chanted "Gove must go" as they overwhelmingly backed plans to escalate their campaign of industrial action.

A resolution passed by the conference will see members walk out at some point in the week beginning June 23 - when more than a dozen GCSE and A-level exams are scheduled to take place.

Teachers 'devastated' by online insults

by BBC, April 21, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Online social media is being misused to insult, intimidate and smear staff in schools, the conference of the NASUWT teachers' union has heard.

More than one in five teachers had "adverse comments" written about them on websites, according to a survey of 7,500 of the union's members.

A quarter of these insults were from parents - and there were attacks from pupils as young as seven.

Teachers are often "devastated" by the abuse, says union leader Chris Keates.

These insults, posted in places such as social networking websites, are attacks on teachers' "appearance, competence or sexuality", according to the NASUWT survey.

More than a quarter included videos or pictures taken without the consent of the teacher.

Teachers call for boycott of tests for four year olds

by BBC, April 21, 2014

Classified as Primary.

Teachers have moved nearer a boycott of tests for four-year-old pupils, set to be introduced in England's primary schools in 2016.

The National Union of Teachers' conference has heard warnings that such tests will create a "feeling of failure in children and pressure on parents".

Delegates argued that young children learn best through play.

The Department for Education says it will be a "proper measure of progress from when children start school".

The NUT conference in Brighton voted to "investigate the possibility of a mass campaign of principled non-compliance with any policies that erode children's right to play in the early years".

This opposes the baseline assessment tests which the government wants to introduce as the starting point for measuring progress through primary school.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ros McNeil, the union's head of education and equalities, argued that the tests would focus on things that are easy to measure, such as the ability to count up to 10 and will force schools to push children into formal learning too early.

Teachers call for boycott of tests for four year olds

by BBC, April 21, 2014

Classified as Primary.

Teachers have moved nearer a boycott of tests for four-year-old pupils, set to be introduced in England's primary schools in 2016.

The National Union of Teachers' conference has heard warnings that such tests will create a "feeling of failure in children and pressure on parents".

Delegates argued that young children learn best through play.

The Department for Education says it will be a "proper measure of progress from when children start school".

The NUT conference in Brighton voted to "investigate the possibility of a mass campaign of principled non-compliance with any policies that erode children's right to play in the early years".

This opposes the baseline assessment tests which the government wants to introduce as the starting point for measuring progress through primary school.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ros McNeil, the union's head of education and equalities, argued that the tests would focus on things that are easy to measure, such as the ability to count up to 10 and will force schools to push children into formal learning too early.

National Union of Teachers votes for strike in June

by BBC, April 21, 2014

Classified as Strike.

The National Union of Teachers' conference has voted for a strike that could close schools in England and Wales in the week beginning 23 June.

The union's conference in Brighton has also decided to consult teachers on further action in the autumn term.

The strikes are part of a long-running campaign over teachers' pay and workload.

The Department for Education said strikes would "damage the profession's reputation".

Delegates chanted "Gove must go" as they backed calls for a campaign that could see a summer term classroom walk-out.

The other biggest classroom teachers' union, the NASUWT, has also threatened to take industrial action in the run-up to next year's general election.

Teachers warn of 'permanent surveillance' from CCTV

by BBC, April 20, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Teachers are warning that CCTV safety cameras are being misused by senior staff as a way of spying on lessons.

The NASUWT teachers' union conference will hear the claims in a debate over "excessive monitoring" in schools.

A survey of 7,500 union members found that about than one in 12 staff were working with this "permanent surveillance" in their classrooms.

"Lab rats have more professional privacy," said the union's general secretary, Chris Keates.

Teachers at the union's conference in Birmingham will hear that this constant observation is an unfair pressure on teachers and stifles their creativity.

They will say that it undermines their professionalism.

Teachers' unions demand qualified status for staff

by BBC, April 19, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Teachers' unions are demanding that schools in England should only employ fully-qualified teachers.

The National Union of Teachers' conference has voted against schools using teachers who do not have formal teaching qualifications.

The NASUWT conference has also warned that allowing unqualified teachers is an "attack on professional status".

But a Department for Education spokeswoman said: "It is entirely up to head teachers who they employ."

A survey among NASUWT members earlier found that 53% had worked alongside unqualified teachers.

Speaking at the NUT conference in Brighton, Agnes Bishop, a teacher from Essex, said: "We condemn those responsible for attempting to de-professionalise teaching."

Child bullying victims still suffering at 50 - study

by BBC, April 18, 2014

Classified as Bullying.

Children who are bullied can still experience negative effects on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, say researchers from King's College London.

Their study tracked 7,771 children born in 1958 from the age of seven until 50.

Those bullied frequently as children were at an increased risk of depression and anxiety, and more likely to report a lower quality of life at 50.

Anti-bullying groups said people needed long-term support after being bullied.

Crisis in primary places as one in seven children fail to win admission to their first choice school

by The Independent, April 17, 2014

Classified as Primary.

eachers' leaders warned of a crisis in primary school places on a day when thousands of parents had to face up to the disappointment of not getting their child into their first-choice school.

A poll of more than 50 local councils indicated that around one in seven parents - nearly 86,000 - failed to win a place at their first choice school.

In Kensington and Chelsea, the figure was 39 per cent, while parents in other London boroughs also fared worse than the rest of the country. In Lambeth, south London, the figure was 21 per cent, and in Hammersmith and Fulham it was 25 per cent.

Chess 'should be compulsory in primary schools'

by The Telegraph, April 17, 2014

Classified as Primary.

Pupils as young as seven should be given compulsory lessons in chess amid claims it boosts concentration levels, numeracy and reading comprehension, according to a teachers’ leader.

Primary schools should give all pupils at least one term’s worth of chess in an attempt to get them interested in the game at a young age, it was claimed.

Hank Roberts, former president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said Britain was one of the few European countries that failed to recognise chess as a sport or fund a proper “in-school programme”.

He insisted the game was hugely popular in private schools but too many in the state system failed to offer it to pupils.

Research has shown that the game – which is already part of the curriculum in some nations – can dramatically improve pupils’ levels of concentration, boost problem-solving skills and develop their thought processes.

Primary school places revealed as squeeze continues

by BBC, April 17, 2014

Classified as Primary.

England is facing a "growing crisis" over primary school places, a teachers' leader has said, as parents find out where their children will attend.

Dr Mary Bousted, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of failing to ensure places are available.

Early figures suggest tens of thousands of pupils will not get their first choices.

The government said it had doubled funding for new school places to £5bn.

It highlighted how it had allowed good schools to expand and said most families were getting their first choice of school.

Report: 10% of bullied teenagers have tried to commit suicide

by The Independent, April 16, 2014

Classified as Bullying.

One in 10 teenagers bullied at school have attempted to commit suicide, according to research published today. In addition, a further 30 per cent go on to self-harm.

The study, by the anti-bullying pressure group, Ditch The Label, shows that 45 per cent of 13- to 18-year-olds have experienced bullying by the age of 18, with the majority saying the primary reason was their physical appearance. Researchers canvassed 3,600 young people.

Bullying expert Professor Ian Rivers, from Brunel University, said the research showed that we still have got a great deal to do to ensure that our young people are safe in our schools and able to learn in a supportive educational environment.

Disadvantaged schools are 'career suicide' for headteachers

by The Independent, April 16, 2014

Classified as Ofsted.

Ofsted was wielding a "Sword of Damocles" over "any senior leaders foolish enough to think that they will be sufficient to undertake the tricky work of turning round schools with seriously entrenched problems," Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, told her union's annual conference in Manchester.

The education standards watchdog often delivered a verdict on schools of high challenge or high deprivation soon after the new head arrived, with the result the school got a poor rating and was forced into becoming an academy.

Dr Bousted described Ofsted as "an agency designed to inspire fear and loathing in teachers and school leaders".

'Crisis' warning as up to four in 10 refused first choice primary school

by The Telegraph, April 16, 2014

Classified as Primary.

Up to four in 10 children missed out on their first choice primary school in parts of England while hundreds of pupils were not allocated places at all.

There were warnings of a mounting admissions "crisis" as figures show that almost 40 per cent of infants in parts of the country failed to secure places at the main school of their choice.

Officials were also warned to brace themselves for a surge in the number of official appeals.

GCSEs and A-levels 'scheduled to take account of Ramadan'

by The Telegraph, April 16, 2014

Classified as GCSE.

Exam chiefs are considering scheduling GCSEs and A-levels to accommodate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, it was announced today.
The Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents exam boards, said it could run large-entry tests in the morning to prevent Muslim pupils being forced to take them when they are hungry.
It is believed that the move will affect subjects such as English and maths in 2015 which traditionally cater for the largest number of pupils.
The move comes as members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers called on examiners to take account of the impact of Ramadan when Muslims are supposed to fast during daylight hours.

Blame the system, not teachers, for any 'cheating'

by The Telegraph, April 15, 2014

Classified as Cheating.

Research by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) reveals that many teachers are "cheating" – or, to be more precise, “teaching to the test” and manipulating lessons to make sure they hit targets.

What a surprise. If Britain’s schoolchildren are indeed the most over-examined in Europe, there are bound to be a few unpleasant sideeffects. One of these is that teachers too are overworked, overstressed and over-pressurised.

“Welcome to the Machine”, as Pink Floyd once so masterfully put it. Our secondary education system – three full years of game-changing exams in teenage years alone (GCSE, AS and AS level) – means that British education has become one giant exam-passing machine, guided by often arbitrary exam targets.

One-in-five new primary places ‘created in poor schools’

by The Telegraph, April 15, 2014

Classified as Primary.

More than a fifth of new school places for under-11s have been created by expanding poor-quality state primaries, official figures show.

Some 51,000 additional places – 21 per cent – created to meet extra demand for primary schools are in institutions that have been branded “inadequate” or “requires improvement” by Ofsted, it emerged.

In some areas such as Wolverhampton, Shropshire, Doncaster, Bracknell Forest and Medway, the proportion of new places created in poor schools rises well above half.

The disclosure threatens to cast a shadow over action taken to ease the pressure on primary schools, with fears that local authorities in some areas are prioritising quantity over quality.

It comes just a day before the parents of more than 600,000 children find out which state primaries they have got into for September.

Cambridge 'town' vs 'gown' gap is widening, Mary Beard warns

by The Telegraph, April 15, 2014

Classified as University.

Classics professor Mary Beard has warned that residents in Cambridge feel large areas of the town are closed off to them due to heightened security at the university

The ‘town’ versus ‘gown’ divide in Cambridge has grown in recent decades as the university has become increasingly closed off from the general public, classicist Mary Beard has warned.
The professor and TV presenter warned that Cambridge was becoming a “two-party town” as the heightened security prevents residents accessing university buildings and land.
Prof Beard made the claim in an article for the Cambridge News in which she dismissed the image of dons as "port-swilling freeloaders" as a myth and expressed concern about the low pay of junior university staff.
She wrote: “I also think that the division of ‘town’ and ‘gown’ has grown in some ways more obvious over the 30 years I have lived here as a resident, rather than as a student.
“Increasing (and understandable) concerns with security have meant that more college buildings, playing fields and through-ways are open only to those with an electronic uni card.

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