Latest Educational News

Children must be taught British values at school to develop resilience against terror, says Ofsted chief

by Independent, June 24, 2017

'Recent attacks in Westminster, London Bridge, Manchester and Finsbury Park have brought into stark relief the threats that we face', says Amanda Spielman

Children must be taught British values in school to help them develop resilience against terror attacks, the new head of school inspectors has announced.

Giving her her first official speech since the General Election, Ofsted chief, Amanda Spielman, said she would carry on her predecessor’s efforts to counteract extremism by searching for illegal, unregistered schools where children are at risk.

Speaking to school leaders at an education festival in Berkshire, she said: “One area where there is room to improve is the active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools.

The 1,300 headteachers paid a £100,000 salary: Number earning six-figures soars by 8% as parents warn of 'cash-starved schools'

by Daily Mail, June 23, 2017

A rising number of head teachers are taking home bumper pay packets, with 1,300 handed at least £100,000 last year.
As salaries continue to soar among senior staff, latest figures from the Department for Education reveal the number now earning six- figure salaries rose 8 per cent on the previous year.
Of those, almost half earned more than £110,000.
But it comes as head teachers from 4,000 schools have sent a letter to two-million families complaining that the £4billion of extra funding promised by the Tories for schools over the next five years would not cover rising costs.

Amanda Spielman will condemn schools that put league table above their pupils

by Daily Mail, June 23, 2017

Ofsted's new schools inspector will today urge teachers to stop letting league tables get in the way of children receiving a proper education.
Amanda Spielman is to condemn primary and secondary schools that place league table results above the interests of pupils.
Ms Spielman will make her first major speech since the general election to argue that teachers are facing pressure to boost exam grades and that the real substance of education is dwindling.
'We should be ashamed that we have let such behaviour persist for so long', Ms Spielman will say at The

Government spent £140,000 of taxpayer's money on term-time holiday court battle

by ITV, June 23, 2017

The government paid out nearly £140,000 in taxpayer's money pursuing a court case against a father who took his daughter on holiday during term time, new figures show.

The revelation comes as the case, which was closely watched by families across the country hoping for cheaper family holidays, returns to Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court.

A Supreme Court ruling earlier this year backed the government's position against unauthorised absences, but figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request show that the government spent the equivalent of six newly-qualified teachers' salaries pursuing the case.

As of May 10, the Department for Education (DfE) bill for the court cases was £139,891.93, the figures show.

Schools go green to support Grenfell fire victims

by BBC, June 23, 2017

Pupils in schools in London and other parts of England are wearing green to show support for those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.
The campaign is asking pupils and staff to give £1 to charity in exchange for wearing something green for the day.
The idea arose when students at Fulham Cross Girls' school in London wanted to show solidarity for the fire victims.
Fulham Cross head Peter Haylock said more than 100 schools in west London had worn green for Grenfell on Friday.
He added: "The idea arose from the students themselves who have relatives and friends who have been really badly affected by the fire.

Ofsted chief: Promoting British values in schools can help fight extremism

by BT Home, June 23, 2017

Amanda Spielman said there was “room to improve” the “active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools”.

Schools can play a “crucial” role in combating extremism in the wake of recent terrorist attacks by promoting tolerance and British values, the head of Ofsted has said.

Giving young people “knowledge and resilience” is as important as physical safety, the body’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman told an education conference.

In a speech to the Festival of Education at Wellington College in Berkshire on Friday, Ms Spielman said there was “room to improve” the “active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools”.

Michael Palin proud university honour recognises work in geography

by BT Home, June 23, 2017

Michael Palin proud university honour recognises work in geography
Comedian, broadcaster and writer Michael Palin has declared he feels “very proud” to be awarded an honorary degree by one of the UK’s oldest universities.

The Monty Python star, who has also presented a series of ambitious TV travel documentaries, has been made a doctor of science by the University of St Andrews in recognition of his contribution to the subject of geography.

The 74-year-old joked the honour – the third to be given to a Python by the university – shows the ancient institution is not “stuffy”.

Ofsted to punish schools pushing exam targets over learning, says chief

by Guardian, June 23, 2017

Amanda Spielman says some schools should be ashamed of ‘badges and stickers’ tactics to bolster league table standing
Ofsted will closely monitor schools that chase meaningless “badges and stickers” and turn themselves into exam factories rather than offering a well-rounded education, the chief inspector of schools in England has said.

Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, said school leaders should be ashamed of some of the tactics used to bolster their league table standings. They include primary pupils sitting mock tests for more than two years, and entering secondary students for qualifications requiring just two days of study to pass.

“This all reflects a tendency to mistake badges and stickers for learning itself. And it is putting the interests of schools ahead of the interests of the children in them,” Spielman told an education conference in Berkshire. “We should be ashamed that we have let such behaviour persist for so long.”

More grammar schools could open despite Tory U-turn, campaigners say

by Guardian, June 22, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Schools in Kent and elsewhere are hoping to exploit loophole allowing existing grammars to open ‘satellite’ campuses
Grammar schools across England could be allowed to expand even though the government dropped its manifesto promise to revive school selection, education campaigners have warned.

Existing grammar schools remain able to exploit a loophole that bypasses the ban on any new school in England from selecting pupils based on entrance exams, despite the government’s change of heart over the policy.

The loophole allows existing grammars to open “satellite” campuses or annexes miles from their original site – as has already happened in Kent – or even in neighbouring local authorities.

Named and shamed, elite universities with second rate teaching: Findings raise questions over whether students are getting value for money

by Daily Mail, June 22, 2017

Some of the country's elite universities have been embarrassed in the Government's first official rankings of teaching standards.
Several received only the minimum benchmark, raising questions over whether their students are getting a good deal.
They include the London School of Economics and the Universities of Liverpool and Southampton, as well as the world-famous School of Oriental and African Studies.
Meanwhile, the University of Buckingham, a small private university, is thought to have got one of the highest marks in the country despite receiving no Whitehall grants.

Boys at Exeter academy wear skirts in uniform protest

by BBC, June 22, 2017

Some 30 boys have worn skirts to school in protest at being told they were not allowed to wear shorts.
The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter apparently asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather, Devon Live reports.
One of the boys who took part in the protest said: "We're not allowed to wear shorts, and I'm not sitting in trousers all day, it's a bit hot."
Head teacher Aimee Mitchell said shorts were "not part" of the school uniform.
For more on the school skirt protest, and other stories from across Devon and Cornwall.

Leading universities rated 'bronze' under new ranking system

by BBC, June 22, 2017

Several leading universities have failed to score highly in a new ranking of degree teaching standards.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has rated 295 institutions bronze, silver or gold according to their standard of undergraduate teaching.
Gold went to 59 and silver to 116.
The lowest score of bronze was awarded to 56 - including the London School of Economics (LSE), Southampton, Liverpool, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas).
The new teaching rankings aim to help students make informed choices about degree courses, but many universities rated as bronze have criticised the system as unfair and unreliable.

Job advice for children in poverty a 'national disgrace'

by BBC, June 22, 2017

A lack of careers advice is stopping young people getting out of poverty in Wales, an education expert has warned.
Just 1.3% of school leavers went into work place training programmes, such as apprenticeships, last year.
Prof David Egan, of Cardiff School of Education, said it was a "national disgrace" that children were not given the chance to get out of poverty.

Elite UK universities found to be second-rate in new Government rankings

by Independent, June 22, 2017

More than half of Russell Group institutions – traditionally considered to be the best in the country – did not score top marks

Britain's elite universities are failing to achieve teaching excellence, official rankings have revealed, as the Government publishes its first major assessment of teaching standards in higher education.

More than half of Russell Group institutions – traditionally considered to be the best in the country – did not score a gold rating after entering the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Instead, a number of newer universities, including former polytechnics, have been awarded the highest standard in terms of teaching, learning and potential employment outcomes for students.

US-style behaviour programme set for Scottish schools

by Scotsman.com, June 22, 2017

A groundbreaking US programme that aims to prevent conflict in young schoolchildren is to be rolled out across 14 Scottish primary schools.

The PATHS programme uses a variety of tools including puppets, manuals and activities to help pupils think before acting when upset or confronted with a conflict situation and lessons focus on teaching identification of problem situations through recognition of “upset” feelings. The pioneering health and wellbeing education programme begain in 1981 and was exclusively for deaf children, using sign language and speech. By 1986 it was being used in inner-city areas, having being tested in Seattle. Since then it has been translated in 10 languages and is used in an estimated 5,000 schools in 20 countries. A pilot programme involving 13 schools in Renfrewshire has taken place with a further 14 schools in the area set to join the scheme run in conjunction with children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland.

Live The Telegraph Festival of Education 2017: Brexit and grammar schools are the talk of the festival

by Telegraph, June 22, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Good morning and welcome to The Telegraph Festival of Education 2017.

This year's event promises to be another roaring success, with some of the UK's most prominent education leaders set to join a host of talks and debates on major issues including Brexit, new grammars and how schools should approach discipline in the classroom.

Festival-goers will hear from nearly 300 speakers during the course of the two-day festival, which begins at 9am with a keynote speech from comedian Hugh Dennis.

UK 'bottom of the league' for free early education

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

The government should prioritise disadvantaged children when it comes to extending the amount of free pre-school hours, urges Pisa boss
The UK is "bottom of the league" when it comes to the amount of free early education it provides, and government plans to double the hours available are unlikely to help disadvantaged children, OECD education director Andreas Schleicher has said.

Speaking at the London launch of two OECD reports on early years, Starting Strong 2017 and Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education, Mr Schleicher highlighted that England offered less free early education to three-year-olds, at just 15 hours a week, than any other developed country.

Funding pressure increases: Schools need 'at least' £2 billion extra from September

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

Four unions say today's Queen's Speech missed a 'golden opportunity' to boost school spending
Teaching and headteacher unions have urged the government to boost the schools budget by 5 per cent in the 2017-18 academic year, after today's Queen's Speech failed to pledge additional funding.

The Queen's Speech, outlining the government's priorities for the next two years, said plans to make school funding "fairer" would go ahead, but did not set out any plans to increase planned spending overall.

The Conservative Party manifesto had pledged an extra £4 billion for schools by 2022. Background notes to today's speech appear to refer to this pledge, stating: "This government has committed to increase the school budget further, as well as continuing to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it."

On the day the government failed to provide more school funding, a comprehensive asks parents for £25 a term

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

South London secondary needs money from parents to cope with PFI costs and funding cuts, becoming the latest in a growing list of state schools sending out begging letters
A London comprehensive that has had to make £400,000 of cuts over the past three years has today sent parents a letter asking them to contribute £25 every term.

The letter from Rutlish School, in Merton, south London, comes on the day that the Queen's Speech failed to offer any extra money for schools over and above existing commitments.

Headteacher Alex Williamson wrote: "As you are aware, many schools are facing significant financial difficulties. Schools' budgets have not kept pace with costs and, consequentially, savings have had to be made."

UN warns 'no progress' on 260 million missing school places

by BBC, June 21, 2017

Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations.
There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco.
Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education.
The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security.
The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.

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