Latest Educational News

Detentions are in many cases an effective deterrent for repercussions of misbehaviour, but to what cost?

by Education News, July 19, 2016

Classified as General.

Nearly every secondary school I have visited or worked in uses the method of detention as a way of deterring pupils from breaking the school’s rules – which must mean that in more cases than not, it is a method of discipline that works.

However it is also a method that can significantly hinder the learning of pupils who have landed themselves in detention, particularly when they have been placed in isolation during lesson times.

Most agree: schools should have a constant ongoing plan to improve the efficiency of the school

by Education News, July 19, 2016

Classified as General.

In fact, it is more than “most” who agree. In research undertaken by the School of Educational Administration and Management, 82% of school managers and administrators agree that schools should have a constant ongoing plan to improve the efficiency of the school.

While a small minority continue with the view that efficiency is either not an issue that should bother schools at all or that efficiency savings can be introduced when something is noticed, most now share the mainstream view of organisations across the UK – we have to think about efficiency all the time.

Labour warns of rising tuition fees

by BBC, July 19, 2016

Classified as General.

University tuition fees in England would face "significant rises" under plans being put forward by the government, says Labour's shadow education minister Gordon Marsden.
The government wants to allow fees to rise with inflation if universities have a high standard of teaching.
Mr Marsden said it gave universities "cash-in coupons" to raise their fees.

England could be set for a new generation of grammar schools, Justine Greening suggests

by Daily Telegraph, July 18, 2016

Classified as General.

new generation of grammar schools could open in England under Theresa May’s government, the new Education Secretary has suggested.

Justine Greening said she was “open-minded” about the need for more of the selective schools in England and would seek to find out what role new grammar schools could play.

The comments will delight MPs who have been pressing for a return of more grammar schools for years after they were outlawed by Tony Blair in 1998.

Mrs May has previously expressed support for parents who want more places in academically selective schools, and backed plans for a grammar to be expanded in her own constituency.

Around a third of the new Cabinet are understood to have been educated at grammar schools. Mrs May’s new chief of staff, Nick Timothy, has also backed selective schools in the past.

Ms Greening told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show that she was “prepared to be open-minded” about opening new schools.

She said: “I recognise that this is an important debate, so of course I've got lots of things in my in-tray. I will work my way through them very, very carefully over the coming weeks.”

Asked if she was completely closed-minded to the idea, Ms Greening said: “I think that the education debate on grammar schools has been going for a very long time, but I also recognise that the landscape in which it takes place has changed fundamentally.

“We need to be able to move this debate on and look at things as they are today and maybe step away from a more old-fashioned debate around grammar schools and work out where they fit in today's landscape.”

Grammar schools are state secondaries that select their pupils by means of an examination at age 11. There are currently about 163 in England, out of some 3,000 state secondaries, and a further 69 in Northern Ireland.

But under the law created by the Labour government, no new grammar schools are allowed to open in England.

England could be set for a new generation of grammar schools, Justine Greening suggests

by Telegraph, July 18, 2016

Classified as General.

A new generation of grammar schools could open in England under Theresa May’s government, the new Education Secretary has suggested.

Justine Greening said she was “open-minded” about the need for more of the selective schools in England and would seek to find out what role new grammar schools could play.

The comments will delight MPs who have been pressing for a return of more grammar schools for years after they were outlawed by Tony Blair in 1998.

Boys 'twice as likely to fall behind girls' in early years

by BBC, July 18, 2016

Classified as General.

Boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to have fallen behind by the time they start school, a report says.
Save the Children says a quarter of boys in England - 80,000 - started reception class struggling to speak a full sentence or follow instructions.
The report, based on a University of Bristol study, says children who start school behind often never catch up.

Tips and tricks for teachers: how outdoor learning boosts student wellbeing

by Guardian Education , July 17, 2016

The pressures of Ofsted, results, targets and constantly moving goalposts can mean that learning in a natural, or non-classroom setting, feels like a hassle too far. But our live discussion on how outdoor learning boosts student wellbeing showed that there are many reasons why getting out of the classroom should be a priority, and many ways it can support teachers to meet all the demands they face in a student-friendly way. Here are some highlights from the chat:

The benefits
Self-esteem boost
There are the obvious benefits, such as learning about and taking care of our natural environments and the creatures and plants that inhabit them – as well as physical exercise and refining motor control while developing strength and coordination.

Wild things: how ditching the classroom boosts children's mental health
Read more
But for me it’s about what happens when children are in nature that really counts. Active learning and play outdoors are essential to children’s health and development. Children’s fitness levels improve and they learn about the differences in their bodies before and after exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins so there are psychological benefits, such as improved self-esteem.
Lisa Causer, reception teacher at Thorpe House school

Find calmness and focus
Just providing space outside for revision can help to calm and focus the mind. All the teachers I have been working with who have mindfulness programmes in their schools have found that “sit” spots or “magic” spots in natural outdoor spaces really help with their mindfulness practise – both indoors and outdoors. Being alone but not lonely in a special outdoor place really helps students tune into the present and focus their thoughts and feelings, while acknowledging all the other “stuff” that enters our heads. Using the sensory faculties then brings us back to the present. It is often a real de-stressor.
Jon Cree, chair of the Forest School Association and training coordinator for Bishops Wood Centre

Pokémon Go used in classrooms to help autistic children

by Independent, July 17, 2016

Classified as General.

Australian autism expert Craig Smith has devised a way of incorporating the hit game into his lessons to encourage austic students' social skills

Pupils at a school in Australia are being actively encouraged to use Pokémon Go in the classroom, after research showed the game could help rather than hinder their studies.

Brighton and Hove half-term change to help family holidays

by BBC News, July 17, 2016

Classified as General.

Schools in Brighton and Hove are set to have a new two-week break to allow parents to buy cheaper holidays.
The city council said the new two-week October half-term, to begin in 2017, would help families spend time together without children missing school.
It said the break, from 14 to 29 October, had been designed to give families more flexibility to go away outside the peak summer holiday period.

Justine Greening 'open minded' about new grammar schools in England

by BBC, July 17, 2016

Classified as 11 Plus.

New Education Secretary Justine Greening has said she is prepared to be "open minded" about allowing new grammar schools in England.
Senior Conservative Graham Brady has called for an end to the "silly" ban.
Ms Greening told the BBC the issue was "an important debate", but she would not "make some big sweeping policy pronouncement" at this stage.

Grammar School supporters optimistic’ 18-year ban will be lifted by Theresa May's new government

by Telegraph, July 16, 2016

Classified as General.

Theresa May's elevation to the highest office in the land has raised hopes that her new government could open a wave of grammar schools across England as part of a dramatic overhaul of state education.

The Prime Minister has expressed support for parents who want more places in academically selective schools, and backed plans for a grammar to be expanded in her own constituency.

Schoolchildren given extra week off in the autumn to help cash-strapped parents afford a holiday

by Telegraph, July 16, 2016

School pupils are to be given an extra week off school in the autumn to help parents with the cost of expensive holidays.

Brighton and Hove City Council has announced that the traditional week-long autumn half-term break will be doubled for state schools from October 16 2017.

Text parents about homework to boost exam results – study

by The Guardian, July 15, 2016

Researchers found efforts such as joining Scouts or exposure to classical music led to little or no impact on attainment
Texting parents about their children’s homework proved to be cheaper and more effective in improving exam results than a series of other efforts, including joining the Scouts, exposure to classical music or individual tuition over the internet, according to new research.

Trials funded by the Educational Endowment Foundation found no substance in a number of myths, with most of the studies showing little or no impact in terms of attainment even if several resulted in improved self-confidence and teamwork.

Almost 100,000 more women than men applied to UK universities this year

by Telegraph, July 15, 2016

Classified as General.

There were 94,000 more women than men applying to university this year, according to new figures.

UCAS has revealed that, by the 30 June deadline this year, a total of 593,720 people applied to full-time courses in UK higher education.

But this included significantly more men than women, marking a continuation of the gender gap in university education.

Extra 750,000 school places needed in population surge

by BBC, July 15, 2016

Classified as General.

An extra 750,000 school places will be needed in England by 2025 to keep up with a population bulge, says an official forecast from the Department for Education.
The pressure on creating new schools and extra classrooms will be one of the challenges for incoming Education Secretary Justine Greening.

Justine Greening becomes first Education Secretary with comprehensive school background

by Independent, July 14, 2016

Classified as General.

Ms Greening, who was educated at a comprehensive school in Rotherham, was previously Secretary of State for International Development.

Justine Greening has been appointed as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, the first education minister to have attended a comprehensive secondary school.

Ms Greening replaces Nicky Morgan as part of a major cabinet reshuffle, and moves to the role from the Department for International Development, where she has been secretary of state for nearly four years.

She was tipped to be a likely candidate for Education Secretary after the new Prime Minister Theresa May said she was keen to assign more women to top cabinet positions.

The MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields is the first education secretary to have attended a state secondary school, having been educated at Oakwood Comprehensive School in Rotherham.

She is also believed to be the first openly LGBT equalities minister.

Last month, she announced she was in a same-sex relationship during Pride, making her the first openly gay female Cabinet minister.

Leaving Downing Street after the announcement, Ms Greening reportedly told onlookers it was her “perfect job”.

Asian maths method offered to schools

by BBC, July 13, 2016

Classified as General.

Thousands of primary schools in England are to be offered the chance to follow an Asian style of teaching maths.
The government is providing £41m of funding to help interested schools to adopt this method, which is used in high performing places like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The money will be available to more than 8,000 primary schools in England.
This approach to maths is already used in some schools, but the cash means it can be taken up more widely.

Scouting in schools improves pupils' leadership skills, report finds

by BBC News, July 13, 2016

Classified as General.

Lighting fires, tying knots and knowing their toggles and woggles can significantly improve pupils’ leadership capabilities, but teacher workload could be an issue, a study finds
A pilot scheme offering after-school Scouting activities to pupils in six primary schools has revealed that participating pupils’ leadership capabilities increased by 22 per cent over six months, an independent report shows.

The £300,000 pilot delivered Scouting activities to 126 children aged between 8 and 10, at schools in the Midlands and the South of England. Participating schools were selected on the basis of deprivation and a lack of similar activities in their wider community.

Scout sessions – at some schools run during the school day, and at others as an after-school activity – enabled pupils to participate in outdoor games, arts and crafts, cooking activities and challenges designed to build skills such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving.

The Scouting pilot was one of 14 recipients of a £3.5 million Department for Education grant for character education. The aim was to help to develop skills such as empathy, leadership and grit.

The evaluation, conducted by thinktank Demos, concluded that the Scouting project had had “statistically significant and positive impacts” on participants’ leadership skills. It also said that the project had helped to boost pupils’ moral, critical-thinking and social capabilities.

Asian maths method offered to schools

by BBC News, July 12, 2016

Classified as General.

Thousands of primary schools in England are to be offered the chance to follow an Asian style of teaching maths.
The government is providing £41m of funding to help interested schools to adopt this method, which is used in high performing places like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The money will be available to more than 8,000 primary schools in England.
This approach to maths is already used in some schools, but the cash means it can be taken up more widely.
The Department for Education says the mastery approach to maths teaching, as it is known, involves children being taught as a whole class and is supported by the use of high-quality textbooks.
Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts, so objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
There is a focus on whole-class interactive teaching at a brisk tempo, rather than teacher explanation followed by slower individual group practice, and textbooks, rather than worksheets, are used.

Teacher’s letter praises boy with autism for qualities not tested in Sats

by Guardian Education , July 11, 2016

The mother of a boy with autism has publicly shared a letter from a teacher praising her son for qualities that the teacher said school tests could not measure.

The inspirational letter from Ruth Clarkson to 11-year-old Ben Twist, who failed the Sats he took this year, listed all the talents and abilities that Clarkson told Ben “make you the special person you are”.

Ben’s mother, Gail, from St Helens, Merseyside, tweeted that she was in tears as she read the words: “These tests only measure a little bit of you.”

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Clarkson, an assistant headteacher at Lansbury Bridge school and sports college, congratulated Ben on his “attitude and success” in completing the Sats.

“A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways,” she wrote.

The examples listed included his artistic talents, ability to work in a team, growing independence and kindness.

Clarkson continued: “We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely bright young man. Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.”

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