FrontFoot News – March 2017

FrontFoot News – March 2017

These March 2017 FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy, media, research and statistics.  This report includes items about 2-tier GCSEs, more free schools, SEND, tracking of social media, writing assessments, careers, breakfast clubs and much more.  Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article. Continue reading “FrontFoot News – March 2017”

Reducing Teacher Workload

Reducing Teacher Workload Poster

Reducing Teacher Workload PosterReducing Teacher Workload

The Department for Education have provided an update on their policy towards reducing teacher workload.   Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, has issued the following letter introducing this:

Letter from Lord Nash

Dear Colleague,


We are committed to removing Continue reading “Reducing Teacher Workload”

FrontFoot News – January 2017

Front FootFrontFoot News – January 2017

These January 2017 FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy, media and research.  This report includes studies on young carers, news about term-time holidays and the new Ofsted chief and policy guidance on SEN funding, computer equipment and more.  Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article. Continue reading “FrontFoot News – January 2017”

Newsbites – Research, Police & Mental Health

Newsbites – Research, Police & Mental Health

Does counselling pupils work – research project

The TES is reporting that researchers are looking for secondary schools to volunteer to take part in a major new study into whether professional counselling helps young people to cope with anxieties.  The £835,000 project will provide 18 schools with professional and experienced school-based counsellors at no cost for two years.

School staff will assist to identify pupils who may be helped by counselling and want to take part in the research. Students will then be divided into two groups, with half receiving up to 10 weeks of counselling and the other half being helped by the school’s existing support system.

Read more at – TES: Does counselling pupils work? Research project seeks schools to find answer.

Government considers Police establishing free schools for ‘troubled children’

The Guardian is reporting that home secretary Theresa May has announced that elected police and crime commissioners should be given the power to set up their own free schools to support “troubled children”.  The move will be part of a major expansion of the powers of police and crime commissioners into the areas of youth justice, probation and court services to be proposed after their second set of elections take place in May.

The home secretary said that the next set of PCCs should “bring together the two great reforms of the last parliament – police reform and school reform” to set up or work with “alternative provision of free schools to support troubled children and prevent them falling into a life of crime”.

Read more at – The Guardian: May wants police commissioners to set up free schools for ‘troubled children’.

Heads warn more needs to be done over pupils untreated mental health issues

At the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, the BBC is reporting warnings from headteachers that children’s untreated mental health issues could spiral into psychiatric problems later in life unless more is done in schools, with particular concern over the situation in primaries.  The National Association of Head Teachers says with a fifth of children having a mental health problem before age 11, it is a key concern.  A snapshot survey of 1,455 English heads suggests two-thirds of primary schools cannot deal with such issues.

Read more at – BBC: Heads warn over pupils’ untreated mental health issues.




BBC R4 - The Educators

BBC R4 - The EducatorsBBC Radio 4: The Educators

BCC radio 4 is running a new series of the Educators.  The latest episodes are below:

  • Character Lessons– The KIPP school movement began 20 years ago in the US. It stands for Knowledge Is Power Program, and the schools focus on two things; academic achievement and building strength of character. Sarah Montague speaks to KIPP co-founder Dave Levin about how character is taught alongside traditional subjects.  She visits the KIPP Infinity school in Harlem and hears from Kings Langley Academy. To see an HfL case study on character education at Kings Langley School, click here.
  • What Finland Did Next– Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Sarah Montague interviews the city’s Education Manager Marjo Kyllonen and visits a Helsinki school, to see the changes being made to a world-leading education system.
  • Turning Schools Around– Schools in England have been warned that if they coast, rather than improve, they risk being closed down. Sarah Montague meets the new head teachers of a Birmingham secondary school involved in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal.
  • The First Teachers– The most important educator in most children’s lives is their parents, and the first five years is deemed to be critical. Sarah Montague meets Margy Whalley, the co-founder of Pen Green Children’s Centre and Research Base in Corby, Northamptonshire.
  • The World’s Best Teachers– Studies have shown that the most important thing in a child’s education is the quality of their teacher. A child at a bad school with a good teacher can learn more than someone at a good school getting bad tuition. Doug Lemov has trained thousands of teachers in the UK in how to use their classroom time effectively – keeping children focused with the most subtle of techniques and gestures.

Newsbites 25th November 2015

Newsbites 25th November 2015

Some news updates that might have passed you by are listed with brief synopses and links to the sources are shown below:


Speech: HMCI’s monthly commentary: November 2015

19 November, 2015

In his second monthly commentary Sir Michael Wilshaw looks at the role that governance plays in an increasingly autonomous education system. Wilshaw launched a call for evidence for anyone who has views and experience to contribute to inform a piece of work about the effectiveness of governance in schools.

Corporate report: Ofsted’s senior structure

16 November, 2015

Ofsted’s senior structure.

Blog: Closing the gap: test and learn

2 November 2015

At the Closing the gap: test and learn event, almost 50 teachers shared their school-led research. Robin Hall, school-based research and development manager at NCTL, explains more about the project

Healthy breakfasts ‘help pupils do up to twice as well’ in assessments

17 November 2015

The BBC is reporting a new study that suggests children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to do well – up to twice as well – in end of primary school assessments than those who do not. The full report published in Public Health Nutrition can be found here.

The ASCL School Leaders Survey 2015

20 November 2015

The ASCL School Leaders Survey has revealed that school leaders are facing intense budget pressures and are considering making cuts to both teaching and non-teaching positions over the coming year as they look to manage their budgets.

New study reveals 30,000 fewer children bullied in last 10 years

15 November, 2015

The study involving more than 10,000 secondary school pupils shows that:

  • 30,000 fewer children in England now face the fear of bullying compared to 2005
  • robbery between pupils has halved – last year just 1% of children reported being robbed

The full study Bullying: Evidence from LSYPE2- wave 2,  can be found here.

Transparency data: Bullying of year 10 pupils in England: estimates

15 November, 2015

A comparison of reported instances of bullying in 2005 and 2014.

Nick Gibb speech at the Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association (FASNA) annual conference

12 November, 2015

Academisation is unleashing innovations across English schools, liberating teachers and driving up standards.

Exclusion guidance cancelled by Nick Gibb still not replaced after 10 months

5 November 2015

Guidance on pupil exclusions that was withdrawn eight months ago has yet to be updated by the Department for Education.

Teachers offered £10,000 above pay scale as staff shortage sparks school bidding wars

13 November 2015

The Independent is reporting that bidding wars between schools mean sought-after teachers are being paid up to £10,000 extra as headteachers compete to attract or retain the best staff.

‘Fat letter’ should be scrapped or reformed to help parents tackle obesity

10 November 2015

The TES is reporting that public health experts are calling for “fat letters” – in which teachers write home to parents to tell them their child is overweight – to be scrapped or reformed.