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:
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 “FrontFoot News – July 2016”
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.
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”.
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.
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.
UKGovChat is a weekly Twitter discussion normally taking place between 8:45 and 9:15 every Sunday evening, providing a home for Governors to learn, share, challenge and support each other and improve the governance of all of schools to the benefit of the children and young people. From the original concept being born in 2013, well, as the website says:
Exactly a week later #UkGovChat was born, delivered to over 400 eager followers in a fast and furious chat encompassing “top tips” for new governors and the biggest challenges to effective governance.
The website remains totally independent of any government or commercial interest. To find out more visit UKGovChat at ukgovchat.wordpress.com, search Twitter for hashtag #ukgovchat or follow the group @UKGovChat. The site also has an impressive list of inks to a range of useful blogs and archives of weekly chats going back to 2013. Recent chats were on subjects such as:
What is the GBs responsibility as far as Health and Safety is concerned?
What are your hopes for the newly announced Foundation for Leadership in Education?
What is your school doing about the DfE challenge of ‘character education’?
What is a Coasting School?
What will inspection of governance look like under the new framework? Ofsted Special with Sean Harford.
Professor Chris James, University of Bath, is undertaking research into the state of school governing.
Six years ago, he surveyed school governors in England to find out about the state of school governing but now there have been a number of changes to the education landscape many of which have affected the important work school governors undertake. The survey is being undertaken in partnership with the National Governors Association. Of course other organisations with an interest in school governing are supporting the survey — ASCL, the Education and Employers Taskforce, the CBI, National Co-ordinators of Governor Services, and Governors for Schools (SGOSS), and HASG will be looking closely at the results.
All governors are invited to complete the research questionnaire. It is available here until 14th April: https://www.survey.bath.ac.uk/schoolgovs. All your responses to the research questionnaire will be completely confidential.
A report of the survey findings will be available on the National Governors Association website –http://www.nga.org.uk/ – in mid-May 2014.