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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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Minister ‘working on’ pupil premium conundrum

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that ministers are “working on a solution” to avoid a drop in school funding for disadvantaged pupils because all England’s infants now get free meals so fewer are registering for pupil premium…

…Schools Minister David Laws says he is working on a way of automatically identifying those who qualify.

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Schools and local authorities – not parents – to decide when summer borns start school

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The Times is reporting that the government has confirmed that head teachers and local authorities will decide when summer-born children start school instead of their parents…

The new guidance says that heads and local authorities will decide when summer born children should start school if a parent requests their child is admitted outside their normal age group.

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63% of schools struggled recruiting maths teachers last year, figures show

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting an ASCL survey of heads that suggests two out of every three secondary schools have struggled to recruit enough maths teachers in the past year…

They also had difficulty finding English and science teachers, with almost half having problems in key subjects.

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David Laws tells headteachers to shield staff from Ofsted pressure

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that schools minister David Laws has warned that headteachers must stop piling more work on teachers in a bid to please Ofsted inspectors…

 david laws

His comments were made during a live TES webchat on the subject of workload, in which he said that the main areas of concern for teachers were the accountability regime and the scale of government reforms…

Ofsted has repeatedly been identified by teachers and school leaders as one of the biggest contributors to workload.

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Morgan criticised over use of statistics

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that the education secretary has been criticised by a statistics watchdog for claiming that one in three pupils left primary school unable to read or write under Labour…

UK Statistics Authority chairman Sir Andrew Dilnot told Nicky Morgan she should “reconsider” her comments.

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School head leaves after investigation into fiddled figures

Published on December 20, 2014, by

Brighton & Hove News is reporting that the head of a local Portslade school has left after an investigation into fiddled figures which boosted exam results…

James Fox had been under investigation since the start of the autumn term. The investigation has ended and Mr Fox will not be returning to the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA).

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Ofsted suggests mixed picture over progress at “Trojan horse” schools

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that Ofsted is claiming not enough progress has been made at one Birmingham school placed in special measures after the so-called “Trojan Horse” affair but others appear to be doing better…

At Oldknow Academy inspectors reported “considerable decline” in some areas of achievement since its April inspection…

The watchdog said three of the others are “making reasonable progress”.

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Will teacher survey reveal secrets of Shanghai’s success?

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that a decision to enter Shanghai into the next round of the comparative Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) study has been described as “game changing” by a leading educationalist…

…The Chinese city has already taken part in the past two rounds of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s other major education survey, the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

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Welsh primary school pupils ‘still hungry’ after lunches

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting comments from the children’s commissioner that half of younger primary school children in Wales are still hungry some or all of the time after eating their school meal…

The figure was even higher, at 70%, for pupils aged nine to 11.

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Secondary school teacher, 33, who groomed 16-year-old pupil via Snapchat is jailed for 21 months

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a secondary school teacher who groomed a 16-year-old pupil by sending her naked pictures on Snapchat before taking her virginity has been jailed…

Bradford Crown Court heard that Jonathan Firth, 33, began a ‘wholly inappropriate’ relationship with the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

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Parents boycott church after reverend says Santa is not real

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that parents have spoken of their disgust after a clergywoman told school children that Father Christmas is not real…

Rev Margaret McPhee made the mistake during a choir concert for primary school children from Stalham Academy, in Norfolk.

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French police Taser chocolate-loving monkey after it causes ‘bedlam’ at school by attacking children to get to their treats

Published on December 20, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a chocolate-loving monkey was shot with a Taser gun by French police this week after it caused ‘bedlam’ at an elementary school by attacking children to get to their food…

The African macaque had apparently been living in the Castellanne neighborhood of Marseilles for several weeks and police were called more than a dozen times over its unruly behaviour.

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Today’s poll: Do heads pile unnecessary pressure on teachers by trying to second guess Ofsted?

Published on December 20, 2014, by

In a TES webchat this week, schools minister David Laws suggested heads are sometimes placing unnecessary burdens on staff because they misunderstand what Ofsted is actually looking for and think they have to follow whatever methods have been praised in other schools.

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University entrants: Record 500,000 started courses in 2014 (and gender gap widest ever)

Published on December 19, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that figures from Ucas indicate the number UK university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time in 2014, with women still more likely to enter higher education than men…

Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were allocated university places, compared with 26% of men.

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Real Madrid and Lidl: recommended topics for A-level languages

Published on December 19, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that Real Madrid, French rap music and Germany’s Aldi and Lidl supermarkets are among the topics that university academics have recommended for study in new “academically rigorous” foreign language AS- and A-levels…

The subject areas are listed in suggestions for individual project work from the A-level content advisory board (Alcab), made up of university academics and other subject experts.

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Boys ‘held back by reluctance to write at home’

Published on December 19, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting research from the National Literacy Trust that suggests boys’ reluctance to write outside school could be hampering their chances of fulfilling their potential…

Research among 30,000 eight- to 16-year-old pupils finds a third of boys never or rarely write for fun outside class, compared with 18% of girls.

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Teacher who hit boy, six, over head with ruler acquitted of assault

Published on December 19, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that a female primary school teacher who hit a six-year-old pupil on the head with a ruler in class has been cleared of assault…

Rina Khan, 41, was accused of smashing the child with the ruler so hard it broke as punishment for getting a question wrong during a maths lesson.

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Decisions following consultation on AS and A level subjects

Published on December 19, 2014, by

The DfE is reporting that Ofqual has confirmed the assessment arrangements for AS and A level subjects including modern foreign languages, maths and geography…

The decisions follow a consultation on assessment arrangements for reformed qualifications which will be taught for the first time in 2016.

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