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Published on July 5, 2012, by

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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Nicky Morgan pledges to cut teachers’ workload

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has held out an olive branch to the teaching profession in England with the promise to reduce their workload…

Speaking to the Conservative party conference, she said it would be her priority to “reduce the overall burden on teachers”.

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Essex school shocked by revelations over teacher’s death

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Guardian is reporting that parents at an Essex school have expressed shock at the news that a deputy headmaster secretly filmed pupils undressing in changing rooms…

Martin Goldberg, 46, a maths teacher at Thorpe Hall school in Southend, killed himself this month after being visited by detectives.

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Don’t pass bought essays as your own, students warned

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting warnings from Ofqual that A-level students who submit essays bought online are not only cheating but may also be paying for a poor product…

Many of the essays on sale are nowhere near the claimed standard or grade, says a report for Ofqual.

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School leavers missing out on university in higher education ‘cold spots’

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting research that suggests hundreds of thousands of teenagers living in rural areas may be missing out on degree courses because of the existence of university “cold spots”…

A study by England’s Higher Education Funding Council found that school leavers in many areas – including those with large numbers of middle-class families – were failing to move on to university despite achieving good exam grades.

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Thirty five new free schools announced

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Academies Week is reporting the announcement from Nicky Morgan in her Conservative party conference speech that thirty five new free schools have been approved…

The announcement takes to 363 the number of free schools that have either opened or been approved to open.

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Digital divide opening in UK schools report warns

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Half of pupils in UK state schools have slow broadband or unreliable wi-fi, according to a new report. This is from the BBC…

It says 65% of primary schools and 54% of secondary schools complained about a lack of wi-fi connectivity.

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Half of Scots teachers lack confidence in new Highers

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Herald Scotland is reporting a survey which suggests that nearly half of teachers in Scotland lack confidence in the delivery of flagship new Higher exams less than a year before their introduction…

A poll of more than 1,300 teachers found 44 per cent said they were “not at all confident” the new Higher qualifications would be introduced successfully in 2015.

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Headteacher suspended as police investigate alleged financial irregularities at Salford primary school

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that a local headteacher has been suspended after police launched an investigation into alleged financial irregularities at a primary school…

Valerie Rutty has been sent home from Irlam Primary School in Salford. Parents were told in a letter that her deputy, Elaine Darwin, would be running the school.

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Toby Blume: ‘Glorious isolation’ for academy schools won’t work

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Writing in the Guardian, free school founder Toby Blume says we can’t row back on academies, but we could have a ‘duty to co-operate’ requiring all state schools to work with local councils…

…Many of the problems we have stem from a lack of strategic planning over school places.

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Teaching to the T-E-S-T: phonics is working for most children

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Writing in the Conversation, Pat Black of Bath Spa’s School of Education has been digging deeper into the phonics test results and says it is clear teachers are doing a good job of implementing the government’s strategy, but less clear if the needs of some groups are being adequately addressed…

Teaching children to read with phonics has been a central plank of recent “Govian” education policy.

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Teach children in pounds and ounces not metric, David Cameron tells schools

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting claims from David Cameron that schoolchildren should be taught using pounds, ounces and yards, not grams and kilometres…

The Prime Minister insisted he was a ‘modern compassionate conservative’ but wanted to turn the clock back to using imperial measurements…

Appearing on BBC2’s Newsnight last night, Mr Cameron was asked a series of questions to shed light on his own character.

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Private schools ‘key to survival of harder university subjects’

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Evening Standard is reporting that headteachers have warned independent school pupils are propping up some university courses which would face extinction without them…

Classics departments, language courses and engineering subjects at some universities would struggle to survive without the large numbers of independent school pupils who enrol on them, according to the group of elite private schools in the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC).

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Eleven schools could shut in £75m Rhondda education shake-up

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Wales Online is reporting that three secondary schools and eight primary schools could soon close in Rhondda in the biggest shake-up of education the region has ever seen…

RCT Council says the school closures would be part of their proposed £75m investment in Rhondda and Tonyrefail schools which they say would provide improved educational facilities and opportunities for nearly 7,000 children.

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Conservative minister claims UK students ‘illiterate and innumerate’

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that teacher leaders have criticised a Conservative minister for claiming the UK has some of the most “illiterate and innumerate” young people in the developed world…

Sam Gyimah, minister for childcare and education, told a meeting at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham yesterday that too many young people were leaving school without the basics of education.

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Devon teenager ‘obsessed with US school shootings’ stabbed fellow pupil in the back with kitchen knife

Published on October 1, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a court in Plymouth has heard that a 14-year-old stabbed a fellow pupil in the back with a kitchen knife after hearing voices in his head and watching documentaries about American school massacres…

The teenager attacked the boy without warning or provocation at his school and then mentioned to police the gun killings at Columbine and Virginia Tech.

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Today’s poll: Would you recognise if a student submitted someone else’s essay?

Published on October 1, 2014, by

Ofqual is warning students tempted to buy and submit essays bought online that not only are they cheating but the quality might be less than ideal too. However, as a teacher do you think you would notice if a student attempted to do this?

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Nicky Morgan must tackle teachers’ workload, says NUT

Published on September 30, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that the NUT has threatened more strike action unless the education secretary reduces teachers’ workloads in England…

Nicky Morgan makes her first Conservative Party conference speech as education secretary on Tuesday.

About 90% of 16,379 NUT members who responded to a survey said they had considered quitting in the past two years over excessive work.

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New teachers struggle to ‘manage’ classrooms, according to poll of heads

Published on September 30, 2014, by

The TES is reporting new research that suggests nearly three-quarters of heads say trainee teachers finish their courses without acquiring the skills they need to manage a classroom…

The poll by the NAHT headteachers’ union of 1,127 of its members also found that more than half said that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) lacked subject knowledge and a sufficient understanding of pedagogy and child development.

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