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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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Academy regulation ‘too weak’, says MPs’ report

Published on September 17, 2014, by

Checks and balances on how academy chains in England spend large amounts of public money are “too weak”, research commissioned by MPs has found. This is from the BBC…

A report carried out for the Education Select Committee said “questionable practices” were being signed off.

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“Appalling marking” means pupils fail to make grade

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The Times is reporting that head teachers of leading schools say that “appalling” standards of marking have left highly academic teenagers with poor results in this year’s GCSEs and A levels…

One pupil missed out on a university place after an examiner wrongly added up the marks in his French A-level paper.

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Regional commissioners branded a ‘nonsense’

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that plans for the deployment of the new regional commissioners have been branded as “nonsense”…

The commissioners, who officially started work this month and earn a salary of £140,000 a year, have oversight of academies and free schools in eight separate regions across the country and will be asked to take action if any academy is deemed to be underperforming.

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Heads attack no-notice inspections

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that head teachers have attacked the idea of Ofsted inspectors visiting schools in England without any warning…

…On Monday, Ofsted said there would be 40 no-warning inspections this month…

But head teachers’ leader Mr Lightman said: “Moving to no notice for routine inspections is unnecessary and would be counter-productive.

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State school pupils doing worse in ‘tutor-proof’ 11-plus tests

Published on September 17, 2014, by

Writing in the Guardian, Fiona Millar says Buckinghamshire’s new exam was meant to improve poorer children’s access to grammar schools, but

The start of the autumn term is a bittersweet time for headteacher Sue Lewin. Settling new entrants at her Buckinghamshire junior school quickly gives way to five weeks of stress and anxiety for older pupils preparing to move to secondary school.

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Four-year old boy found playing in street after escaping school on first full day

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that a four-year-old boy had to be taken home by a stranger after he left his primary school in Kent and was found playing in the road…

Gary Hart said his son Jensen was back home in Ramsgate at about 13:00 BST on what should have been his first full day at Newington Community Primary.

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Free school meals: are the right children getting served?

Published on September 17, 2014, by

Writing in the Guardian, Louise Tickle says a Lib Dem MP and an author of the pilot evaluation are among the latest to question Nick Clegg’s claims for the policy’s educational benefits…

…At a time of austerity and with so many families struggling, critics have wondered if the universal free school meals for infants is a social policy to feed poor children, dressed up as an education policy and justified by twisting the evidence on increased attainment.

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Families stop sending children to Devon school over contaminated soil

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that five families have stopped sending their children to a Totnes primary school because of contaminated soil discovered during building work, its head teacher has confirmed…

The contamination was discovered at the Grove School, built on a former gas works, during construction work carried out over the summer holidays.

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Party conferences: what teachers and parents can expect

Published on September 17, 2014, by

Laura McInerney, writing in the Guardian, gives her low down on the education measures we’re likely to hear about in the upcoming party political conferences…

….As Labour heads to Manchester this weekend, the shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, has already shown some of his cards.

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Knowl View school: Abuse ‘beyond horror’ says Tony Blair’s priest

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The level of child sexual abuse at the Knowl View school in Rochdale was “beyond horror”, a former pupil who became Tony Blair’s chaplain has said. This is from the BBC…

Father Michael Seed, 57, started at the school in 1970 and said he was abused by the one person from the school to be jailed for abuse.

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School apologises after 11-year-olds are given homework on John Wayne Bobbitt’s severed penis

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a school has sent letters of apology to parents after 11-year-old pupils were given homework containing graphic references to a man’s severed penis…

The Year 7 pupils at Mortimer Community College in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, were told in an assignment to read an extract from 1996 travel book Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson.

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Islamic State issues new school curriculum in Iraq

Published on September 17, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that national history, literature, art, music and evolution have all been banned from the school curriculum in Mosul, the largest city under the control of the militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to a new decree…

A document drawn up by the Isil education department, headed by a 30-year-old religious scholar, has instructed teachers to return to schools for the new academic year but demanded they teach a “Sharia” curriculum.

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Today’s poll: Should we test numeracy proficiency at 14?

Published on September 17, 2014, by

Yesterday we reported calls from charity National Numeracy for testing of numeracy skills at 14 as part of its Manifesto for a Numerate UK. They claim this would establish a national benchmark for the level of numeracy needed for further study in all subjects between the ages of 14 and 19.

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Ofsted announces wave of 40 no-notice inspections taking place this month

Published on September 16, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that Ofsted has announced there will be 40 unannounced school inspections across England this month…

After the so-called Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham, there were proposals for inspectors to visit schools without warning…

This followed concerns that schools were able to change how they behaved when they knew they that Ofsted inspectors were about to call…

Ofsted has revealed that inspectors have returned for monitoring checks on five of the Birmingham schools placed into special measures after the Trojan Horse investigations.

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Nicky Morgan: More should be done to tackle “unnecessary workload” to give teachers more time with children

Published on September 16, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that Nicky Morgan has called for teachers to be spending more of their working week in the classroom rather than carrying out ‘pointless’ administration tasks…

More should be done to tackle the issue of “unnecessary workload” faced by teachers to give them more time with children, said Nicky Morgan.

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Test 14-year-olds in maths to counter ‘national scourge’ of poor numeracy, says charity

Published on September 16, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that a charity has warned poor numeracy skills are still a “national scourge” that risk harming the UK economy, as it called for a new GCSE in everyday maths [Updated with link to full report below]…

The importance of maths in everyday life has been overlooked for too long, according to National Numeracy, which has set out a new seven-point plan to tackle the problem.

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All schools ‘should run a longer day’ to benefit poor pupils

Published on September 16, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that the DfE has said schools should consider a longer day to prevent pupils from working-class white families falling behind their peers…

All state primaries and secondaries should consider extending the school day to give pupils more teaching time and access to “character building activities”.

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