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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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Sats results show primary school children improving in basic skills

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The Guardian is reporting that more children are reaching the standards expected of them in the “three Rs” by the time they leave primary school, but tens of thousands are still failing in reading, writing and maths…

The results of this year’s national curriculum tests – known as Sats – show a four percentage point improvement in the proportion of 11-year-olds gaining at least a level 4 – the standard expected of the age group, in the basics.

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Claims that top students were ‘penalised for good answers’ in GCSE language exams

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The Times is reporting claims that the highest-achieving girls at a top independent school were marked down for their responses to extended-answer questions in language GCSEs this summer with more basic answers from weaker classmates scoring higher marks…

Fiona Boulton, headmistress of Guildford High School, and Jon Coles, a former director-general for education standards at the Department for Education, conducted the first-ever direct comparison of GCSEs with International GCSEs.

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Schools not ready for new national curriculum

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The TES is reporting a union survey that suggests most schools are not ready for the new national curriculum…

More than six out of 10 teachers said their school was not “fully prepared to teach the new curriculum” – which is supposed to be introduced this term – in the poll of 618 primary and secondary teachers carried out by the the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

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Brian Cox: universities need to play a bigger role in society

Published on August 29, 2014, by

Interviewed in the Telegraph, Professor Brian Cox says that universities need to work alongside schools to raise aspirations, help close the skills gap, and make pupils aware of STEM opportunities…

…Figures published this year by the Higher Education Funding Council (Hefce) have revealed that more students than ever before have been accepted on to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses – an 8 per cent rise on last year and an 18 per cent rise since 2002.

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Guest post: Gove’s grammar test – political meddling as bad as it gets

Published on August 29, 2014, by

Results suggest an improved overall performance in this year’s SATs tests, but Mary Meredith is not too happy about the grammar, punctuation and spelling test introduced by Michael Gove, suggesting it  has nothing to do with genuine standards and everything to do with politics…

Be honest, can you confidently answer this question?

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English children ‘less happy than those in developing countries’

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting a new survey that suggests English children are less happy and satisfied than youngsters in developing countries…

The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Report ranked England behind nations like Romania, Brazil and South Africa.

It came ninth of 11 countries polled – before South Korea and Uganda – on how happy children were with their lives.

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Jamie Oliver: politicians’ failure to tackle childhood obesity is shameful

Published on August 29, 2014, by

Writing in the TES, TV chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver has claimed it a “shameful state of affairs” that not a single political party is attempting to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic in what is an election year…

…The celebrity cook said the lack of focus on the issue was putting the hard work that had already been done  in danger.

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Texas school district begins its school year by arming its teachers

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a Texas school district is arming its teachers for the new school year…

Argyle Independent School District is placing warning signs outside its four schools saying staff may use ‘whatever force is necessary’ to protect their students.

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Cost of kitting out kids for school hits £240 per child – totalling £2.5bn

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The Guardian is reporting research that suggests parents will fork out an average of £240 to kit out each of their children with essentials such as clothes, books, stationery and other key items to equip them for the new school term in September – adding up to £2.5bn across the UK…

The investment doesn’t stop there, as the cost of keeping under-18s in school once term begins adds up to £50 per child per week.

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Code Club founder quits in Google privacy row

Published on August 29, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that one of the founders of an after-school club that paved the way for the introduction of coding to the national curriculum has quit in a row over student privacy…

Code Club was set up in 2012 to teach programming skills to primary pupils and its volunteers now work in more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

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My Ofsted breaking point: why I left school teaching to pursue academia

Published on August 29, 2014, by

Writing in the Guardian, John Hodgson explains how he quit school teaching but ended up working in a university, finding more freedom but less security…

By 1997 I had been teaching for 29 years and I’d spent the last 11 as head of English at a rural comprehensive.

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Pet dogs feel abandoned when term begins, study claims

Published on August 29, 2014, by

According to researchers reported in the Mail, when the holidays are over it’s not just children (and teachers) who get back-to-school blues – dogs  also get upset when their young owners leave…

In a study they found that for many dogs this can leave them feeling abandoned, and some look for a way to lash out.

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Today’s poll: Do you think UK schools will ever have armed teachers?

Published on August 29, 2014, by

Reports indicate more schools in the US are starting the new school year with teachers who have been trained to carrying guns in class in order, they claim, to protect their students. Whilst thankfully rare, we have not been immune from attacks in schools in the UK so do you think we will ever see something similar happening here?

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‘School type does not affect children’s ability to succeed’ (but background and teachers do)

Published on August 28, 2014, by

A new review undertaken by the Institute of Education suggests there is no evidence that investment in new school types including academies, free schools or faith schools has been effective in improving performance. This is from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies…

There is no evidence that government investment in particular school structures or types – for example, academies, free schools or faith schools – has been effective in improving the performance of pupils from poor backgrounds, according to a review published today by the Institute of Education (IOE), University of London, and commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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Britain still ‘deeply elitist’ as privately educated dominate top jobs

Published on August 28, 2014, by

The TES is reporting a new analysis that suggests Britain is still a “deeply elitist” society where the best-paid and most-powerful jobs are dominated by a narrow group educated at private schools and Oxbridge…

The lack of diversity means that many of Britain’s key institutions are not representative of the public they serve, the study of 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders claims.

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South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright quits Labour but not PCC role

Published on August 28, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that under-pressure Shaun Wright has resigned from the Labour Party but insists he will remain police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire…

Mr Wright has faced calls to step down after a report on child abuse in Rotherham, where he managed children’s services between 2005 and 2010.

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Bullying at school ‘damages future career prospects’

Published on August 28, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting new research that suggests almost one in three adults who were bullied at school claim that it has had a negative impact on their career prospects…

Looking at the long-term impact of school bullying, the research indicates that more than half of UK adults were bullied at school at least once, while two in five were bullied on more than one occasion.

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