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Published on July 5, 2012,

Schools Improvement Net – schools news and views for school leaders and everyone interested in schools and school improvement – sign up for our daily news briefing here

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Confirmed: School tables to exclude IGCSEs in 2017

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Times is reporting that schools that enter pupils for international GCSEs will not have their results recognised in performance tables when the first new GCSEs are awarded…

The decision, confirmed by the Department for Education yesterday, will be a blow to many independent schools and some state schools that switched to these exams.

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Make sport less competitive to get girls involved, MPs say

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  MPs will warn today that PE lessons and an emphasis on competition are putting schoolgirls off participating in sport…

Schools should be more imaginative in the options given to girls, providing them with the chance to do dance, or even rugby, instead of netball and hockey, recommends the Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport.

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White pupils least likely to apply to university

Published on July 25, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that university admissions figures show white teenagers are the least likely ethnic group to apply for places…

Figures from Ucas show that all ethnic groups have increased application rates – but white teenagers are less likely to apply than Asian or black pupils.

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School accused of causing bullying through iPad scheme

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  a school which has asked parents to buy iPads for their children to use in class has been accused of creating a “two-tier” education system in which pupils who can’t afford the gadgets are bullied by their richer peers…

The state-funded Biggleswade Academy in Bedfordshire has asked parents of children in years five and six to pay up to £300 for the Apple tablets, which it says will help to “personalise” their learning.

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Today’s poll: iPads/tablets in class – more trouble than they are worth?

Published on July 25, 2014,

We’ve another iPad/tablet related story today with parents complaining of bullying because some might not be able to afford to get them for their children after the school recommended purchase. Is it really important for children to have iPads or do the associated issues (cost, security risk, bullying, maintenance etc) make them more of an issue than an opportunity?

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Smoking, drinking and drug use down in young, report says

Published on July 25, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that smoking, drinking and drug use among secondary school pupils have more than halved over the past 10 years, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)…

Between 2003 and 2013, regular smoking fell from 9% to 3% of 11- to 15-year-olds.

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New schools trial results in fewer expulsions

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Independent is reporting new research suggesting that  a pioneering plan to give schools more responsibility over the fate of excluded pupils has cut the number of expulsions…

A trial of the scheme carried out in 11 local authorities led to fewer pupils from the schools who took part in the plan being sent home than in those which were not part of the programme.

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Ofsted orders specialist free schools to improve

Published on July 25, 2014,

The TES is reporting that two free schools – one specialising in bilingual education and the other in music – have been censured by Ofsted inspectors for not teaching their main disciplines properly, and both have been told to improve…

It has also emerged that one of them – Bilingual Primary School in Brighton – has been criticised for paying thousands of pounds to its chair of governors for services such as showing parents around the school.

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Increased funding described as ‘historic win for music education’

Published on July 25, 2014,

Writing in the Telegraph, Deborah Annetts, the chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), says that it’s important that voices have been heard after the DfE this week announced increased funding for music education…

On Tuesday there was a historic win for music education.

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Why are Swansea Council selling school land? To end education ‘postcode lottery’

Published on July 25, 2014,

The South Wales Evening Post is reporting that education chiefs have fired back over criticism of a controversial land sale plan saying school improvements will be shelved unless it progresses…

Will Evans, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for learning and skills, says the authority will not be able to fund its share of the £73 million Quality of Education school improvement programme if it cannot raise cash through land sales.

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Children are left without school places as new primary is delayed after councillors vote against planning permission

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Evening Standard is reporting that dozens of parents and children are in limbo after a new primary school was forced to postpone its opening six weeks before the start of next term after councillors failed to agree planning permission that was recommended by their own officials…

Sixty children aged four and five are now without school places after the plug was pulled on Harris Primary Academy Beckenham.

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Police launch criminal investigation into Knowl View school cover-up claims

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that a full criminal investigation has been launched into claims of a Rochdale council cover-up over the Knowl View school scandal…

Current and former councillors will be among those interviewed as part of the probe, after detectives decided there is enough evidence to warrant a major inquiry.

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More universities to charge maximum tuition fees of £9,000

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that the number of universities charging the maximum tuition fees has risen once again, with the cost of a typical three-year course exceeding £26,000 for the first time…

More colleges are to charge the maximum £9,000 annual fee for some or all of their courses from next year, according to figures released today by the government’s access watchdog.

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Derby’s Al-Madinah School ‘making progress’ but still in special measures

Published on July 25, 2014,

The Derby Telegraph is reporting that a second monitoring visit by inspectors has praised Derby’s controversial Al-Madinah School - but they failed to remove it from special measures…

But feedback in a letter to the school’s trustees said that the free school, which was placed in special measures last October, was making “reasonable progress”.

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Some academy chains ‘worse for disadvantaged children’ than local authority schools

Published on July 24, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that some academy chains are “highly ineffective” in improving the prospects of disadvantaged pupils, according to new research, but with others doing much better (indeed, the same research has led to completely different interpretations across the media depending whether the focus is on the best or worst performing chains)…

The study, by the Sutton Trust education charity, finds that almost half the academy chains it surveyed failed to do better than mainstream local authority schools in getting their disadvantaged pupils to obtain five A* to C grade passes at GCSE including maths and English.

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Muslim Council of Britain rejects findings of Trojan horse report

Published on July 24, 2014,

The Guardian is reporting that the Muslim Council of Britain has warned education authorities “not to be sidetracked by culture wars initiated by divisive commentators”, as it rejected many of the findings of a government-commissioned report that found a co-ordinated effort by extreme Muslims to take over some Birmingham schools…

The MCB said the report, written by Peter Clarke, the former Met counter-terror chief, was guilty of “conflating conservative Muslim practices to a supposed ideology and agenda to Islamise secular schools”.

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Labour to tax top football clubs and betting industry to fund school sport, says Harman

Published on July 24, 2014,

The Mail is reporting that new taxes will be levied on betting and Premier League football clubs to fund more school and community sport if Labour wins power…

Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman will today insist there should be a ‘proper levy’ on top clubs’ revenue from the sale of their television rights to help develop grassroots football.

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