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Welcome to Schools Improvement Net

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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Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become ‘unbearable’

Published on April 25, 2015, by

An open letter signed by 1,200 teachers and organised by the ATL has been sent to the Independent claiming the working lives of teachers have become “unbearable” because of constant monitoring and suggesting they are quitting in such numbers that the profession is heading for a crisis…

The letter calls for more support and warns that politicians have made teachers’ working lives “increasingly difficult and for many, unbearable” and that “a constant fear of being judged to be failing” was “bleeding the profession dry”.

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120 heads urge support for free schools

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting that a group of 120 head teachers coordinated by the New Schools Network has writing to the Times appealing for all political parties to allow free schools to be set up “wherever parents want them”…

In a letter to The Times, the members of the New Schools Network said that they included supporters of all parties and were driven not by political ideology but by a “common cause” to ensure all children have access to good education.

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Schools retrain librarians to address teacher shortage

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The TES is reporting that librarians, classroom assistants and school administrative staff in Scotland are being retrained as teachers to try to counter the recruitment crisis…

..A scheme to encourage more people to retrain as primary teachers has been launched with a £342,000 grant from the Scottish government, and comes as the number of teachers in Scotland has hit a 10-year low…

Under the approach being used in local authorities such as Aberdeenshire and Highland, training is largely done through distance learning, allowing staff to work alongside completing their training.

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Guest post: Warning -​ Exam season turns good teachers into bullies

Published on April 25, 2015, by

Leah K Stewart is the founder of Beyond the Box, a website exploring limitations of centrally controlled education systems. In her debut Schools Improvement post she exposes a core issue of school examinations…

The self-congratulatory lull following syllabus completion is now officially over.… Read the rest

 

Middle East woos British teachers with pay and perks

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Times is reporting that generous pay packets are perdsuading increasing numbers of teachers to move to the Middle East, while British schools struggle to recruit enough teachers in core subjects…

The report suggests both young teachers coping with student debt and experienced senior staff are being tempted to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait by the promise of tax-free salaries, free accommodation and medical insurance.… Read the rest

 

Teens and tech: what happens when students give up smartphones?

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Guardian is reporting on an innovative study – the Disconnect project – that has challenged young people at a London secondary academy to go cold turkey on using digital devices for a week…

Was it hard? Yes. But impossible? No.

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Parents anger after children as young as three told to sign contract promising not to use ‘transphobic language’ at nursery

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Mail is reporting that children as young as three are being asked to sign a contract pledging not to use – amongst other things – ‘transphobic language’ at school…

The pledge is contained in a ‘home-school agreement’ which all children must sign before they start at Turnham Primary School in September.

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Schools becoming ‘A&E departments of communities’, says new union leader

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Guardian is reporting suggestions from the NAHT president that schools are becoming the “A&E departments of communities”…

Tony Draper, headteacher of a primary school in Milton Keynes and is about to take over as president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said schools had no choice but to get involved when faced with a desperate family.

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School tries to ban pupils from taking mobile phones on visit to war memorial

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Herald Scotland is reporting that a school has tried (and failed) to ban on teenagers from taking mobile phones on a First World War battlefield trip…

Staff at the school in Edinburgh insisted that phones had to be left at home because texting and social media would be too distracting for the youngsters on the sensitive visit.

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Michael Rosen: If only every child had the quality of education enjoyed at private schools

Published on April 25, 2015, by

Writing in the Guardian, Michael Rosen notes that spokespeople of the three main parties have said they are ok with sending their children to private schools and suggests anyone trying to explain to a Martian how England works couldn’t do much better than to start here…

…You look puzzled, Martian Being.

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Why do poor children perform more poorly than rich ones?

Published on April 25, 2015, by

Professor Elizabeth Caucutt from the University of Western Ontario has been looking at the factors that mean children from poorer families perform less well than better off peers and asks what can be done about it. This is from the Conversation… 

Research has shown that children of poorer parents display substantially worse math and reading skills by the time they start grade school.… Read the rest

 

Exam cheat jailed for hacking into university computer system

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Telegraph is reporting that a university student who hacked into a computer system to improve his grades is thought to be the first ever British student to be jailed for cheating…

Jailed for four months, Imran Uddin, a student at the University of Birmingham, used a keyboard spying device to steal staff passwords and then increase his marks on five exams, including one from 57 per cent to 73 per cent.

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Learning a language? Sleep on it and you’ll get the grammar

Published on April 25, 2015, by

We covered the (somewhat over-simplified) media reports of this last week, but Professor Kathy Rasle and Dr Jakke Tamminen have now written a more detailed insight into their latest research. This is from the Conversation…

In 2006, former US president George Bush supported his embattled defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the words: “But I’m the decider, and I decide what is best.” This quotation quickly entered the folklore of political humour.… Read the rest

 

Parents campaign after headteacher bans all drinks apart from water during school day

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Mail is reporting that what it calls ‘furious’ parents have launched a campaign to overturn a primary school headteacher’s decision to ban all drinks except water during the school day…

Headteacher Linda Shute has banned children from consuming drinks – including tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks – in a bid to protect the long-term health of pupils at Rowdown Primary School in New Addington, south London.

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Head defends jobs axe at top secondary school

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Express & Star is reporting that a headteacher has defended redundancies being made at one of the country’s top performing schools…

Wolverhampton Girls’ High School is laying off 11 staff…

Bosses have embarked on a cost-cutting drive because of recent financial pressures, but hope to avoid compulsory redundancies.

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Teaching assistant suspended from primary school after she is found with amphetamine in her bag

Published on April 25, 2015, by

The Mail is reporting that a primary school teaching assistant has been suspended after a colleague discovered white powder in her bag and reported it to the police…

It was revealed that Lisa Heath, 45, an assistant at Willowtown Community Primary School in Gwent, had been carrying Class B amphetamines after police were called and quizzed her.

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Today’s poll: Would an annual smartphone-free week benefit teenagers?

Published on April 25, 2015, by

An innovative new project has taken a group of secondary school students and challenged them to go cold turkey on using digital devices for a week with apparently positive results. Would all teens benefit from something similar, perhaps on an annual basis?

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Election 2015: Labour says unqualified teachers must go

Published on April 24, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting that Tristram Hunt has said Labour would fire unqualified teachers if they are not working towards qualification by 2020…

Mr Hunt said a teacher not “on a pathway” to a formal qualification would “not deserve to be in the classroom”.

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