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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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Fewer teenagers got five good GCSEs

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that fewer pupils got five good GCSEs, including English and maths, this year than last year, amid major changes to the exams system…

Some 52.6% of pupils in England reached the government’s new five A*-C benchmark, official statistics show.

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Nick Gibb: Why a drop in the core GCSE pass rate is a good thing

Published on October 24, 2014, by

Nick Gibb, the minister for school reform, has taken to the Telegraph to give his view of the GCSE pass rates and says everyone – from young people and parents to teachers and ministers – needs to be sure that the qualifications which young people study are of the highest possible quality…

You might think it odd for an Education Minister to extol the virtues of a drop in the national pass rate of those achieving the benchmark number of GCSE passes.

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Concerns grow that lower GCSE results erode confidence in education system

Published on October 24, 2014, by

According to a report in the Guardian, concern over England’s exam system mounted when it was revealed that the proportion of teenagers gaining five good GCSEs including English and maths had dropped significantly…

…Teaching unions expressed concern that the most disadvantaged students were being worst affected, and with more changes next year, when there will be a greater reliance on final exams, there are fears results will be hit further.

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Nurseries to be given £300 for poor infants with launch of Early Years Pupil Premium

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that the government has announced that schools, nurseries and childminders will receive extra funding to help disadvantaged infants catch up with their peers…

Three and four-year-olds from low-income families will attract an additional £300 in funding to help close the attainment gap by the time the start school.

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Let parents take kids out of school to beat half term holiday costs, LGA says

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Independent is reporting that local council leaders have urged the Government to let up on its attempts to stop parents taking their children out of school during term time…

Up until September 2013, head teachers were allowed to grant 10 days holiday a year during term-time, but regulations have been changed so leave can only be granted in “exceptional circumstances”, with local authorities obliged to fine parents if their child’s absence is unauthorised.

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League tables are ‘nonsense’, say private schools

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that independent school leaders have attacked official league tables as “a nonsense” after a rule change sent their GCSE scores plummeting…

According to government data released today, the proportion of private school pupils achieving the main five A*-C GCSEs, including English and maths, nearly halved from 54.4 per cent in 2013 to 28.4 per cent this summer.

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Education standards ‘in decline’ at overcrowded universities

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting claims that university standards are being eroded by a “culture of rack ‘em, pack ‘em and stack ‘em” in which rising numbers of students are squeezed into lectures…

Research showed almost a third of academics believe quality is being “compromised” because of an increase in the number of students being admitted to courses.

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Bandon Hill Primary school headteacher being paid £205,000 a year

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a London primary school head teacher is being paid more than £200,000 a year…

Isabel Ramsay is paid more than her boss, the chief executive of Sutton Council and is one of the highest paid headteachers in Britain.

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Lessons in cybersecurity launched for schoolchildren

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that lessons in cybersecurity will be delivered to schoolchildren across the UK in response to growing concerns about a rising skills gap in the industry…

Resources funded by the Cabinet Office and backed by the National Crime Agency will include case studies of international cybercrime attacks and lessons on cryptography and malware.

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Dad fined over £400 for taking children out of school to attend grandma’s (month long) funeral

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Mirror is reporting that a dad has paid a huge fine for taking his daughter out out of school during term-time – so she could attend her grandmother’s funeral in Pakistan…

Ikram Hussain, 51, ended up paying a £416.80 bill for taking daughter Imaan, 5, and three other children out of Paddock Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Huddersfield.

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Teacher cleared of sexual abuse in less than 40 minutes

Published on October 24, 2014, by

I missed this story earlier in the week but heard Simon Warr interviewed about his ordeal on the radio and found it this from the BBC…

A teacher and BBC contributor has been cleared of sex offences at schools in the 1980s and 90s.

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Parents of 13-year-old US girl who committed suicide sue her school for ‘not telling them she was bullied’

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting from the United States that the parents of a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide last year say her death could have been prevented if the school had informed them of the reports she was being bullied…

On Tuesday, Jason and Jennifer Lambeth hit the Clark County, Nevada School District with a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of their daughter, Thurman White Middle School seventh-grader Hailee Lambeth.

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Today’s poll: Should heads be given more discretion to allow term-time holidays?

Published on October 24, 2014, by

The Local Government Association is calling for discretion for head teachers to make decisions over term-time holidays on a case-by-case basis. The DfE argues this is already but would you like to see more freedom for heads to make these decisions, or would it create even greater confusion?

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Nicky Morgan told to clarify Ofsted’s powers to inspect academy chains

Published on October 23, 2014, by

The Guardian is reporting that Nicky Morgan has been ordered by MPs to write to the chief inspector of schools after she publicly contradicted him over the watchdog’s powers to inspect academy chains….

Morgan came under fire over the government’s academies and free schools programme when she appeared before the House of Commons education select committee.

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Education Secretary warns over huge salaries paid to heads

Published on October 23, 2014, by

School leaders should rein in huge salaries to ensure more public money is spent on “frontline education”, according to Nicky Morgan. This is from the Telegraph…

The Education Secretary said the heads of academy chains – groups of independent state schools – needed to “think very carefully” about levels of pay.

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Benefits of free nursery education ‘not lasting’

Published on October 23, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting a study that suggests free part-time pre-school education in England has not led to lasting educational benefits…

The greatest impact, it indicates, was on the poorest children, whose early education foundation stage profile (FSP) scores were boosted by 15 points.

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Headteacher, Jenny Winder, cancels term-time break to Caribbean after governor disputes events

Published on October 23, 2014, by

Bedfordshire News is reporting that a headteacher has now cancelled plans to take a term-time break to the Caribbean after facing pressure from parents and one of her school’s own governors…

…Bedford Borough Council – the authority in charge of running the school – has now confirmed Mrs Winder has ‘cancelled the proposed leave and will be in work from the start of the new spring term on the January 5, 2015′.

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Code of practice for religious schools shelved

Published on October 23, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that the DfE has shelved plans for a code of practice for some religious schools which operate outside of mainstream education…

It was recommended by the government’s Extremism Task Force to ensure children were not exposed to intolerant views.

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