Latest Educational News

London headteacher: 'Boot camp' discipline and 'tough love' key to high standards in schools

by ITV, November 18, 2016

At Michaela Community School, the motto is ‘work hard, be kind’.

Lessons are very calm and very focused, with lots of extended subject practice in silence.

Corridors are also silent, and pupils walk briskly and purposefully in single file lines between lessons to maximise time for learning.

Every single minute of every single lesson is used: classroom entry only takes 30 seconds and books are handed out in five seconds down rows of desks.

App for being a better parent works, Oxford University study finds

by Guardian, November 18, 2016

Researchers say local authorities and schools should consider using digital outreach as way of improving school readiness among infants
Interested becoming a better parent? There’s an app for that. And, according to an Oxford University study of families who downloaded the games designed to encourage child development, it works.

The Oxford researchers said the success of the trial meant that local authorities and schools should consider using digital outreach to parents as a cheap and simple way of improving school readiness among infants.

The study followed 144 families from disadvantaged areas in Bournemouth who used the EasyPeasy software application that offered techniques, suggestions and nudges for parenting while bringing up children aged between two and six.

Teachers Protest To Save Schools From ‘Shocking’ Cuts

by Morning Star Online, November 18, 2016

TEACHERS and education campaigners demonstrated in London yesterday to demand investment in education as it faces “the largest cuts in a generation.”
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) warned that schools are set to lose a shocking £2.5 billion a year by 2020, with 92 per cent of schools facing funding cuts.
People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn warned: “All public services are in a deep crisis because of this government.
“We need investment on a massive scale. The money is there, but it’s going to the wrong people.”

Nicky Morgan 'worries' about claim that UTCs are a 'good option' for non-grammar students

by Times Educational Supplement, November 18, 2016

Former education secretary raises concerns about Justine Greening's position on university technical colleges
Former education secretary Nicky Morgan has expressed concerns about her successor’s backing for university technical colleges as an alternative for children who do not get into grammar schools.

Last month, Justine Greening told TES that the technical schools were a “good option” for students more suited to a "technical education-based route”.

Although Ms Greening denied that she was advocating a return to dividing pupils into academic and vocational routes, Joanne Harper, principal of UTC Reading, said she was wary of UTCs being labelled as schools for “the less academic”.

There are more illegal Jewish schools in a London borough than legal ones, council admits

by Independent, November 18, 2016

The number of ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools believed to be operating illegally in the east London borough Hackney now outstrips those which are legal, the council has suggested for the first time.

The admission by a senior education official at a furious council meeting on Wednesday night has intensified concerns for the safety and welfare of hundreds of children who are being taught in often isolated conditions with little contact for the secular world

Andrew Lee, Assistant Director of Education Services at Hackney's education authority the Hackney Learning Trust, said his team had now identified “possibly 35” unregistered ultra-Orthodox schools in the borough, compared with 33 that are legal.

Schools struggle to find good staff from teachers to senior leaders, says study

by BT , November 18, 2016

Schools are still struggling to find good staff with many blaming the crisis on teacher shortages and funding pressures, according to a report.

Schools are still struggling to find good staff with many blaming the crisis on teacher shortages and funding pressures, according to a report.

For the third year running, headteachers are reporting problems with recruiting all types of school staff, from teachers to senior leaders, a National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) survey found.

In total, nearly eight in 10 (79%) of vacant posts were considered "difficult to recruit to", while more than one in six (17%) on average went unfilled.

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said that despite three years of warnings, the Government is still failing in its responsibility to guarantee enough decent teachers are available to meet the needs of England's schools.

Cash injection to secure youth music for four years

by BBC, November 18, 2016

Practical music teaching in England, delivered by a network of 121 hubs, is secure for another four years, ministers have announced.
The hubs, first set up in 2012, allow children to play instruments, sing in choirs or play in bands, but continued funding has been uncertain.
Now the government has announced £300m to last over the next four years.
The Musicians Union said the cash would be welcome relief to music teachers "struggling" in insecure jobs.
Music education hubs work with schools, local authorities and community organisations to encourage more five to 18-year-olds to take part in music and the arts.

Academy schools breach transparency rules

by BBC, November 18, 2016

Nineteen academy schools are to be investigated for "flouting" rules on transparency following a BBC investigation.
The schools have not published a register of all their governors' interests, against official rules.
Education campaigners say there is "a culture of secrecy" around some academies.
The Department for Education (DfE) said the "rules were clear" and it would investigate.

'Incorrect' postgraduate loans withdrawn from 68 students

by BBC, November 18, 2016

Loans were "incorrectly awarded" to 68 Welsh students and later withdrawn, the Student Loans Company has admitted.
The students were told they would get funding for postgraduate courses at English universities beginning in September 2016.
One student told BBC Wales he was "devastated" when told of the mistake on the day his first payment was due.
Welsh Education Secretary Kirsty Williams called the situation "totally unacceptable".

British students are getting theme park style-slides inside university buildings

by Metro, November 18, 2016

Living in university halls of residence is basically like having a 10-week sleepover with 50 of your mates. With booze.
So imagine how incredible it would be to live in one which had massive theme park-like slides to take you from floor to floor.

Well, just head up to Glasgow and that could be a reality.
The £40m True Student Living building in Glasgow is getting a 15ft high slide which will feature two twirling loops.

Difficulty recruiting teachers at schools in the East

by ITV, November 18, 2016

Recruiting teachers to this region continues to be a problem - with up to a quarter of posts going unfilled.

According to a survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), schools in the East said they'd failed to fill one in four jobs for teachers on the main and upper pay scales.

Almost nine out of 10 headteacher roles were a struggle to recruit for, and two thirds of newly-qualified teacher jobs.

'Philosophy needs to be given its proper place at the heart of UK education'

by TES, November 17, 2016

One director of learning calls for the subject to have a GCSE all of its own
Why do we go to school? This isn’t just a question that children (or teachers) are prone to ask on a cold winter morning. It’s a philosophical question – a question about the point of education. Why do we do it?

Much educational thinking is based on the assumption that the answer is an economic one: learning is a preparation for working life. Education is the engine of economic productivity, and participation in it is a vital step to a better, more prosperous life.

The UK's top 20 universities for employability

by The Week, November 17, 2016

Oxbridge romp home in ranking based on survey of local recruiters

The University of Cambridge has been named the top UK institution for preparing graduates for the workplace, according to this year's Global University Employability Ranking.

Oxford comes in at second place, but half of the top ten universities are based in London, according to the list, published by Times Higher Education.

Should childcare be free for all? Working parents' fury over "unfair" system which 'favours benefits claimants'

by Mirror, November 17, 2016

Hundreds of mums and dads have argued their toddlers are missing out - and all their wages are eaten up by childcare

A working dad's rant about free childcare for people on benefits who choose not to work, even though they are able, has sparked a huge debate among parents - and many are furious.

Currently all children in England aged 3-4 are entitled to to 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year, which usually amounts to 15 hours per week, 38 weeks of the year.

But some families are entitled to free childcare from the age of two - a full list of those who qualify is on the government's website - including children of parents who choose not to work and receive income support or jobseekers' allowance.

Justine Greening: Don't let young people 'hit a brick wall' in English and maths

by TES, November 17, 2016

The education secretary, addressing the Association of Colleges' annual conference, also says that FE learners studying English and maths must get the same breadth of assessment as in schools
Colleges must make sure that young people don’t hit “a brick wall” in trying to pursue qualifications for English and maths, the education secretary has said.

Universities are using casual contracts to put profit before people

by Guardian, November 17, 2016

In 2009-10, during the final year of my PhD at the University of Birmingham, a decision was made on high to close one of the flagship departments of British sociology. The rationale was that they could offer a degree in the subject without the expense of a large team of highly trained specialists. As one of the managers put it at the time “we are all social scientists”. So why invest in a department of sociology when the degree could be taught by a range of other staff?

Durham teaching assistants to strike for second time over pay cuts

by Guardian, November 17, 2016

Two-day strike to take place on 23 and 24 November is in response to county council’s plan to give TA’s termtime-only contracts

Teaching assistants in County Durham are to strike for a second time in a month over a new contract that unions say could result in their pay being cut by nearly a quarter.

The committee of County Durham Teaching Assistants Activists announced on Wednesday that the 48-hour industrial action would take place on 23 and 24 November.

Rise in Jewish children attending faith schools

by TES, November 17, 2016

Report says a near doubling of the number of Jewish children in faith schools is partly explained by the growth of the Orthodox population in the UK
A report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research says much of the increase was driven by the number of pupils going to strictly Orthodox schools.

A smaller growth in pupil numbers was also seen in mainstream Jewish schools, the analysis of DfE data finds.

In 2014-15, 30,900 Jewish pupils were enrolled in Jewish schools, compared to 16,700 in 1995-96, even though the overall population of that faith is falling.

Walsall Council motion opposing new grammar schools is passed

by Express and Star, November 17, 2016

Classified as 11 Plus.

The authority, led by Labour's Sean Coughlan, passed a motion at its full council meeting where it confirmed its opposition to government plans for bringing back grammar schools.

But the motion, which also rejects any changes to free schools, was only narrowly passed by 28 votes to 27 after both UKIP and the Conservatives launch impassioned defences of grammar schools.

The notice of motion, put forward by Councillor Coughlan and Liberal Democract leader Councillor Ian Shires, states that the council:

- Confirms its opposition to the expansion of grammar schools

- Calls on the Government to abandon the selection by ability and social separation of young people into different schools

- Rejects any change to Free Schools to enable them to select on the basis of academic ability.

- Calls on the Government to respect the spirit of existing legislation on grammar schools and not seek out loopholes within it to effectively create new grammar schools under the pretext of expansion.

- Calls on the Government to do more to cater for all young people according to individual aptitudes and abilities.

Old boys network helps men from private school...but not women

by The Telegraph, November 17, 2016

Sending girls to private school will not help them earn more but the old boys network is still placing men in top jobs with high salaries, a new study suggests.

Researchers at University College London’s Institute of Education (IOE) have been following 7,000 people who were born in 1970 to see how their background and education has affected their earnings and profession in the past four decades,

They found that by middle age, those with the best educations were in the best jobs. But crucially, simply having a degree did not guarantee a large salary.

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