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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

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Government accused of endangering school children with changes to insurance scheme

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that children could be put at risk by a new insurance scheme that will remove the incentive for academies and free schools to keep their buildings as safe as possible…

Global insurance broker Marsh is urging the Department for Education to rethink the introduction of a risk pooling arrangement (RPA) for academies and free schools.

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Universities taking students for languages who only have GCSE in the subjects

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Sunday Times is reporting that universities struggling to fill foreign-language degree courses are taking sixth formers who have not studied the language beyond GCSE…

Some are even considering recruiting sixth formers who may have never taken a language exam but were brought up abroad or can speak a foreign language because of their family background.

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Today’s poll: Should language degree places be offered to students who only have a GCSE in the subject?

Published on July 28, 2014,

Reports suggest that, in order to fill places after a drop off in demand, universities are offering places on modern language degree courses to students who only have GCSEs in the language(s) to be studied and who have not taken it at A level.

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Pupil behaviour better at academies and free schools

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting a new analysis that suggests behaviour is significantly better at academies than at council-run schools…

Official data shows that academies and free schools are a quarter more likely to be rated outstanding for maintaining order than local authority schools.

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Mum defies council’s gagging order to speak out on term time holiday criminal record

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Sunday Times is reporting that a mother who was prosecuted for taking her children out of school during term time to ease the stress of caring for a dying relative has defied a council’s gagging order by launching a parliamentary petition against her treatment…

Janice Skelcher was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 costs by magistrates in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, after she and her husband refused to pay a fine for taking their children to visit family in Australia.

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Trojan Horse: Park View School headteacher suspended

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Birmingham Mail is reporting that the headteacher of the Birmingham school at the centre of the Trojan Horse plot has been suspended…

Park View School acting principal Monzoor Hussain was relieved of his duties in the wake of damning conclusions reached in a report compiled by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke.

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Now Bradford schools face claim of Muslim takeover

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Sunday Times is reporting that Ofsted inspectors are set to be sent into schools in Bradford to investigate claims of an attempted takeover by Muslim extremists (although local media claims have subsequently downplayed the likelihood of this happening)*…

The Sunday Times understands that officials from the schools watchdog and teams from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) are likely to begin snap inspections when schools reopen in September after the summer break.

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Inner city school ready to teach English as a second language to all students

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that every teacher at a Leeds school has been trained to take part in an innovative programme to teach English as an additional language to all its pupils – even native English speakers…

City of Leeds School attracted national publicity earlier this year after the Yorkshire Post revealed the plan to help raise standards in a school where less than a quarter of children have English as a first language and the majority are new to the country within four years

Now it has a plan in place to teach English as a foreign language through an extra lesson every week.

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Study shows celebrity-backed scheme inspires struggling readers

Published on July 28, 2014,

The TES is reporting that children’s enjoyment of reading soared when they took part in a celebrity-backed scheme linking football with literacy…

Premier League Reading Stars, which has been running since 2012, is designed to grab the attention of children aged 9 to 12 who are falling behind in reading.

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GCSEs are the ‘new 11-plus’ with leading universities using them to weed out degree candidates

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Mail is reporting warnings from an Oxford tutor that GCSEs have become the ‘new 11-plus’ as top universities increasingly using them as a way to weed out candidates for degree courses with potential unfair consequences for ‘late bloomers’ and disadvantaged students…

Dr Peter Claus warned that the approach disadvantages late bloomers in the same way as the 11-plus, which determines entrants to grammar schools.

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Schools get extra £20m to help adopted children

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Times is reporting that schools are going to receive a funding boost for pupils who have been adopted from care in a bid to improve their reading and literacy…

Children adopted from care do not perform as well as their classmates at school and in 2013, less than half of adopted children reached the expected levels of reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2, compared with 75 per cent of non-adopted children.

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College for dyslexic pupils uses unique flashcard system to teach literacy

Published on July 28, 2014,

The Independent has a report on Maple Hayes Hall in Lichfield, Staffordshire, which teaches 200 seven- to 17-year-olds and has won plaudits for the way it has helped dyslexic pupils to overcome their struggles to read and write…

“If these children had stayed in their mainstream school, they would probably have got no GCSEs whatsoever,” said Daryl Brown, the school’s head and son of the founder, psychologist Dr Neville Brown.

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Concerns over Britain’s ‘Thin Outside but Fat Inside’ children

Published on July 28, 2014,

According to the Mail, new research might suggest that one million British children classed as healthy by the Government’s official statistics are actually dangerously unfit…

Academics warn that an epidemic of inactivity means many slim-looking children have ‘hidden’ fat which puts them at risk of an  early death from type 2 diabetes  or heart disease.

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Primary schools build over playgrounds to accommodate rising pupil numbers

Published on July 26, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that hundreds of primary schools are building over playgrounds and playing fields in order to accommodate growing numbers of pupils…

Play areas are being cut back at schools across the country as local authorities build additional classroom space to cope with an increasing demand for school places, a study shows.

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GCSE middle-achievers most likely to be put off by tuition fees rise

Published on July 26, 2014,

The TES is reporting new figures that suggest students who gained average results at GCSE were the most likely to be put off from applying to university because of the rising cost of tuition fees…

…The analysis is the first to link GCSE results with the likelihood of applying to university, and shows that applications from the highest-performing students remained broadly constant over the increase in fees and applications from the lowest performers actually increased.

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OCR releases sample ‘core maths’ exam questions

Published on July 26, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that ahead of the new ‘core maths’ qualification for sixth formers, exam board OCR have released some sample questions…

Up to 5,000 pupils will take a new “core maths” qualification from September, in a move designed to address the “rusty” numeracy skills of many school leavers.

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Exam reform in Scotland delayed by ‘significant numbers’ of schools

Published on July 26, 2014,

The BBC is reporting new research suggesting that dozens of schools across Scotland are delaying the introduction of new Highers in popular school subjects…

New look Highers start in the new school year to tie in with the replacements for Standard Grades.

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