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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

 

1,000 pupils caught with weapons including guns, axes and a meat cleaver in schools

Published on April 23, 2014,

Almost 1,000 pupils were caught with weapons including guns, axes and a meat cleaver in schools in the last three years, a Sky News investigation has found…

New figures show 981 children have had weapons confiscated on school premises since 2011. (more…)

 
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Union says staff will pay for heads’ salaries

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Times is reporting suggestions from Chris Keates that head teachers should be forced to publish their salaries before a “dash for cash” this autumn…

Some head teachers are in line for big pay rises from September when governors of all state schools will be given greater freedom to reward them. (more…)

 

NUT conference: Union leader goads Michael Gove, saying she’s proud to be a member of ‘The Blob’

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that NUT leader Christine Blower declared at the union’s conference that she is proud to be a member of “The Blob” – the derogatory term used by Michael Gove to disparage his opponents…

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, made the comment as she pledged “to lead as much action as our members feel is right” in the union’s fight with the Government over Gove’s school reforms. (more…)

 

‘Irresponsible’ term-time Center Parcs ad banned

Published on April 23, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that a television advert for Center Parcs holiday resorts has been banned for “irresponsibly” encouraging parents to take their children out of school…

Promoting midweek breaks, the advert showed parents and school-aged children, with small print stating that the offer “excludes school holidays”. (more…)

 

Education trust accused of Islamist ‘Trojan Horse plot’ receives hate mail

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Guardian is reporting that the trust that runs schools at the centre of claims of a Islamist “plot” in Birmingham says it has received hate mail after a series of leaks purporting to come from DfE and Ofsted investigations were published in the media…

Park View education trust, the governing body of the Park View, Nansen and Golden Hillock schools in Birmingham, said that the leaks and disclosures were “causing unwarranted and unnecessary alarm amongst families who are seeing reports of their schools ‘closing’ and teachers being ‘removed’ alongside any number of other sensational allegations. (more…)

 

Play and puzzles not punctuation are key to clever toddlers says psychologist

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Times is reporting claims from a Cambridge lecturer that ambitious parents who try to teach toddlers to read and write would be better off sitting on the floor playing puzzles with them to ensure future academic success…

David Whitebread, a senior lecturer at Cambridge University, said that children who learnt through play were self-motivated and did better in later life than those drilled in the 3Rs. (more…)

 

Estelle Morris: Early years learning – the fights we do not need

Published on April 23, 2014,

Writing in the Guardian, Estelle Morris says that as the teaching unions join the polarised debate over the best way of educating the under-fives, there is middle ground…

If anything is predictable in the world of education it is the taking up of battle positions at the start of any discussion about early years learning. Last week saw the teaching unions weigh into the fray at their annual conferences, showing the passion that always accompanies any discussion of education for the under-fives. It comes on the back of Ofsted’s recent early years report and shows how polarised the debate has become. On the one hand, there is the feeling that children should be better prepared for school. On the other, there are fears that children are being denied their childhood and pushed into formal education too early. (more…)

 

Children don’t respond to scare tactics, teachers told

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting new research that claims teachers who use scare tactics in an attempt to make pupils try hard in exams could be wasting their time…

Research published on Tuesday found that children who felt threatened by teachers’ warnings that they might fail did worse in tests. The pupils said they felt less motivated and scored lower in exams than students whose teachers used fewer fear tactics. (more…)

 

Section 28-style bans on promoting homosexuality on the rise in UK schools, teachers say

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Independent is reporting claims from the NUT conference in Brighton that growing numbers of schools are introducing Section 28-style bans on promoting homosexuality in the classroom…

The controversial clause, introduced under the Thatcher Government, was repealed by Labour because it was widely seen as prompting anti-gay feelings in schools. (more…)

 

Aberdeen Waldorf School kindergarten gets lowest Care Inspectorate grade

Published on April 23, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that an independent Aberdeen school kindergarten which is to close this summer amid an investigation has been given the lowest possible grade for quality of care…

The Care Inspectorate said last month it had received complaints about “staffing and the care of children” at the Waldorf School Kindergarten. (more…)

 

NSPCC says teachers ‘must look out for teenage pupils in abusive relationships’

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Evening Standard is reporting warnings from the NSPCC that teachers must watch out for signs that their teenage pupils are in abusive relationships…

…Fiona Becker, senior consultant at the charity, told the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference: “Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. It is distinguished from bullying. A lot of people have experience of it but school policies don’t reflect this.” (more…)

 

Web pornography ‘led to child school rape’ court told

Published on April 23, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that a court has heard internet pornography was likely to be behind the rape of a 10-year-old boy by a fellow pupil in school toilets…

Karl Scholz, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court the defendant was “acting out” what he had seen. (more…)

 

Girls need science mentors, says teachers union chief Max Hyde

Published on April 23, 2014,

The Independent is reporting a campaign by the new president of the NUT for mentors to encourage girls to take up science careers…

Max Hyde, a science teacher in Warwickshire, wants to see more mentors appointed to schools to discuss career options with pupils and promote science options to girls, who are more likely to drop the subject in the sixth form. (more…)

 

New Family Court comes into being amid justice reforms

Published on April 23, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that new combined Family Courts have come into being in England and Wales as part of family justice system reforms…

The plan also includes new time frames for cases where children are taken into care and compulsory mediation awareness sessions for separating couples. (more…)

 

Today’s poll: Should all state school headteacher salaries be public?

Published on April 23, 2014,

NASUWT leader Chris Keates told her conference that she believes ordinary teachers will pay the cost for ‘excessive’ headteacher salaries and claimed “every other senior executive in the public sector is required to publish their salary annually, except head teachers.” Do you think this needs to change or would it cause problems for schools trying to recruit new heads?

Should all state school headteacher salaries be public?
(more…)

 

NUT votes for strike in June with cries of ‘Gove must go’

Published on April 22, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that the NUT conference has voted for a strike that could close schools in England and Wales in the week beginning 23 June and has also decided to consult teachers on further action in the autumn term…

…Delegates chanted “Gove must go” as they backed calls for a campaign that could see a summer term classroom walk-out. (more…)

 

Islamist plot: six schools face Ofsted special measures (with link to alleged leaked report extracts)

Published on April 22, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that at least six Birmingham schools at the centre of an alleged Islamic takeover plot are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted in a move that could see their entire leadership removed. Andrew Gillian from the Telegraph has also published what he claims are extracts from the inspectors’ report (link below)…

The six schools are implicated in the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot by extremists to “Islamise” secular state education in Birmingham which has allegedly seen the illegal segregation of pupils and discrimination against non-Muslim pupils. (more…)

 
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