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policy

Updates & Reports October 2016

The following updates & reports have come to our attention in October 2016:

  • House of Lords debate on Grammar Schools & selection,
  • Teacher Workload & Professional Development,
  • Policy for Summer-born children delayed, 
  • Other News. 

House of Lords Debate

House of Lords debate moved by Baroness Andrews on the government’s proposals for the extension of grammar schools and selection in education: Continue reading

VoiceLittle Has Changed

In an interesting blog article Richard Fraser argues that little has changed in education since 2001 starting by saying:

In 2001, a certain Theresa May MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, addressed the PAT [now Voice] Annual Conference in Cardiff.

Her speech reveals how little has changed in education since then: teachers working excessive hours, performance-related pay, SATs, admissions….

Interestingly, some of Mrs May’s criticisms of the Labour Government’s education policies have been made by politicians, unions and practitioners about the current Conservative Government and its Coalition predecessor.

The following Briefing from The School Bus is also worth a read: Continue reading

Front FootFrontFoot News – July 2016

These FrontFoot news updates cover a range of educational areas of interest including matters of policy through to media interest.  Click the links below to go to specific categories of interest; when there, the headings link to the full article. Continue reading

Newsbites 29th October 2015

Some news updates that might have passed you by are listed with brief synopses and links to the sources are shown below in 3 main groupings, News/guidance/policy, Research and good practice/statistics and Downloaded documents & articles:

News/guidance/policy

School governors and inspection

19 October 2015

Following an inspection, any governors entitled to be at the final feedback meeting should be privy to the draft inspection report.

Teacher workload: Marking Policy Review Group

The group will consider effective practice on marking in schools which raises standards for pupils without creating unnecessary workload.

Teacher workload: Data Management Review Group

The group will encourage schools to reduce the burden of data collection, building on the work of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels. 

Teacher workload: Planning and Resources Review Group

The group will consider how effective lesson planning and use of resources can raise standards without creating unnecessary workload. 

Inquiry into supply of teachers

16 October 2015

The Education Committee has issued a call for evidence regarding teacher recruitment and retention.

Written submissions are invited addressing the following points:

  • whether there is a ‘crisis’ in the recruitment and retention of teachers, including at senior levels of the profession, at a regional level, and by subject, and how the situation may develop during the 2015 Parliament
  • what the root causes of the current situation with regard to the supply of teachers are
  • what further action should be taken by the Government to tackle teacher shortages.

The deadline for receipt of written submissions is midday on Friday 20 November 2015. It is expected that the oral evidence session will take place later in the year and will inform the focus of further Committee work in this area.

MPs to investigate teacher recruitment problems

16 October 2015

The TES is reporting that MPs have announced they are going to investigate whether there really is a crisis in teacher recruitment

Teacher recruitment crisis can be averted using Skype and unqualified teachers

19 October 2015

Sir Andrew Carter, leader of the government’s teacher training review, has said schools can help avoid a recruitment “crisis” by using virtual teachers from other countries and “embracing unqualified teachers”.

Teacher shortage lesson

20 October 2015

Laura McInerney in the Guardian addresses teacher shortages, saying that recruiters should talk up the challenges of teaching in tough areas rather than talking them down, saying people are more likely to click on teacher recruitment adverts if they sell the challenge of the job rather than its social purpose. She also suggests the UK follows a model used in Europe where teachers decide how many classes they wish to teach and renegotiate their hours annually as personal circumstances change.

Attracting head teachers

21 October 2015

Head teachers of schools in struggling coastal towns are using innovative techniques to lure new graduates away from cities. A report by the Future Leaders Trust said some posts had only one or two applicants. When only one person applied for a job at Meadow Primary School in Lowestoft, Suffolk, Nadia Paczuska, the head teacher, placed an advertisement inspired by a wartime poster calling on men to enlist. She then had 155 applications.

‘Everyone knows there’s a recruitment crisis. The consensus breaks down on what we should do about it’

12 October 2015

Ahead of a special conference on teacher supply organised by Policy Exchange and supported by TES, the thinktank’s head of education asks whether anyone has a solution to the problem of recruitment

FGM reporting mandatory from next week

20 October 2015

As of 31st October, teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers will be legally required to report child cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to the police. Legislation announced earlier this year will make such disclosures mandatory and professionals who fail to report the illegal practice in under-18s could face the sack.

Recovery of unpaid penalty notices for absence

6 October 2015

On 6 October the government announced its intention to introduce new provisions to recover unpaid penalty notices directly through parents’ child benefit and, where parents do not receive child benefit, through the courts. Local authorities will also be given a new duty to pursue all penalties. Government will set out its plans for implementing this proposal in due course and this will include a consultation. 

PM: New counter-extremism strategy is a clear signal of the choice we make today

19 October 2015

The government’s new one-nation Counter-Extremism Strategy launches to confront and defeat all forms of extremism.

Teachers to become gender champions

18 October 2015

New DfE guidelines will call for headteachers to appoint senior staff as gender champions, ban sexist words and phrases and help encourage students to study subjects traditionally more associated with the opposite gender. Janice Callow, deputy head at Fairfield High School in Bristol which was one of the scheme’s pilots, said: “We are making it clear to staff that any kind of sexist language is not acceptable. We used to say, ‘Man up, cupcake,’ we’ve stopped that. Saying, ‘Don’t be a girl’ to a boy if they are being a bit wet is also unacceptable. Language is a very powerful tool. You have to be so conscious of what you are saying to children.”

Tom Bennett: make better use of detentions to discourage disruptive behaviour

18 October 2015

The Telegraph is reporting that the Government’s behavioural tsar Tom Bennett has urged schools to make better use of detentions as he says today’s teachers are too soft to keep badly behaved students back after class.

Volunteer squads to report sexist language in schools

18 October 2015

The Sunday Times is reporting that new government-backed guidelines are being sent to all schools in England this week to urge head teachers to ensure that sexist phrases become as unacceptable as racist language

Schools mental health anti-stigma campaign: Make Time 4 Mental Health

Time to Change will be running a mental health anti-stigma campaign during November. They are asking every secondary school in England to take their pupils through the Make Time 4 Mental Health programme, aimed to make it easier to talk about mental health. The free resources consist of 4 ‘scripted’ 10 minute sessions which can be delivered in an assembly or class room setting.

The case for statutory PSHE education

21 October 2015

The PSHE Association Chief Executive launches a new report setting out the latest compelling evidence for making PSHE education a statutory part of the curriculum. The full report A curriculum for life can be found here.

DfE: Intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools:

21 October 2015

The DfE are launching a consultation on proposals to allow the government to intervene quickly in failing schools.

Research and good practice/statistics

Science teachers most likely to consider quitting the classroom, research says

23 October 2015

The Independent is reporting new research suggesting science teachers are the most likely to consider quitting the classroom with many feeling overwhelmed by having to run practical lessons. The full report Why Teach by Pearson and LKMCo can be found here

Research and analysis: School improvement: effective school partnerships

15 October, 2015

Research into collaboration and partnerships between schools.

Father says parents have ‘nothing to fear’ after magistrates throw out term-time holiday case

16 October 2015

The BBC is reporting that a father at the centre of a legal battle has said parents who take children on holiday in term time have “nothing to fear” after magistrates dismissed the case against him.

Not all academies are the same – don’t assume they will all boost results

14 October 2015

New research on schools that have converted to academies since the coalition government suggests they are unlikely to see the same positive results as the original converters under labour. The full report can be found here

World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) England National Report

September 2015

This Department of Health funded study included over 5000 young people from across England.

The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG

The report paints an important picture about the health and wellbeing of young people in England today and how young people’s health has changed over the last decade. Traditional risk behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and fighting are declining – with many showing the lowest reported prevalence since 2002. However healthy behaviours such as physical activity and healthy eating have not mirrored these positive changes over the last decade. The report also highlights young people’s emotional wellbeing as an area for concern.

You will find quotes from young people embedded throughout the report. Youth engagement is an important element of the HBSC England study, and it is important to capture young people’s interpretation of the findings.

Please take a look at the report and share within your networks. Publicity is very welcome! The team will be tweeting from the @HBSCEngland account using #HBSCEngland – please feel free to join in and retweet!  Below are suggested tweets including key search terms:

  • How has the #health and #wellbeing of #YoungPeople changed over the last decade? http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG #HBSCEngland
  • #HBSCEngland latest report on #adolescent #health & #wellbeing and social determinants http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG
  • Hot off the press! #HBSCEngland report on #adolescent #health from 2002-2014 http://bit.ly/1MqnnrG

National Statistics: Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn 2014 and spring 2015

20 October, 2015

This release reports on pupil absence in primary and secondary schools across the autumn and spring terms of the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

National Statistics: Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn 2013 and spring 2014

20 October, 2015

Levels of overall, authorised and unauthorised absence by school type, with indicative statistics on persistent absentees.

Per pupil spending ‘to fall by 8%’ says Institute for Fiscal Studies

21 October 2015

The BBC is reporting that spending per pupil in schools in England is likely to fall by 8% in real terms over the next five years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns. The report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies can be found here

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