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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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Washington State school shooting: Two dead including gunman at High School

Published on October 25, 2014, by

A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring four others before turning the weapon on himself, officials have said. This is from the Independent…

Police said the gunman was a student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville.

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Pupils to ‘learn fractions and recite fairy tales at age seven’

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that seven-year-olds will be expected to count to 100, use basic fractions and recite fairy tales and poems by heart under a toughening up of primary school assessments…

The Department for Education said teachers would be expected to rate children’s performance on a new four-point scale – set around a clear “national standard” – after two years of compulsory schooling.

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Ofsted’s Norfolk schools “advance warning” inquiry faces independent review

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that the investigation into alleged inspection irregularities at three Norfolk schools faces a review by an “independent figure”…

The move follows the emergence of emails that were not available to the original investigation.

The report, published last month, found no evidence the academy schools had been improperly warned about when to expect inspections.

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Secondaries to increase maths teaching time

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The TES is reporting a survey that suggests more than a quarter of schools are planning to increase the amount of time spent teaching maths next year…

Ahead of the introduction of a new maths GCSE next September, half of schools say they are introducing training programmes for staff, while more than a third are aiming to recruit more maths teachers.

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GCSE religious studies students ‘must study two religions’ under plans to tackle extremism

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Times is reporting that children taking a GCSE in religious studies will have to study at least two religions under government plans to tackle cultural isolationism and extremism…

…The changes are likely to have the biggest impact on faith schools, which can now choose to teach only their own religion and ignore others.

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Christian school urges Ofsted to revise ‘British values’ rule

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a Christian school which claims it could face closure for failing to invite imams and other religious leaders to take assemblies has urged the government to revise controversial ‘British values’ rules…

Trinity Christian School has been told by Ofsted it is not adequately meeting the ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ of pupils.

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Ministers told to act over ‘holiday hunger’ of schoolchildren

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Guardian is reporting that the founder of the Leon restaurant chain and co-architect of the government’s school food programme has urged ministers to tackle “holiday hunger” faced by hundreds of thousands of children from low-income families who struggle to eat healthily outside term time…

John Vincent said children living in poverty dropped further behind their better-off peers when schools closed and they had no access to free school meals, and they were often physically and mentally unprepared for learning when they returned.

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The cut-and-paste Ofsted inspector: Official is dropped over identical wording in reports

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a school inspector accused of ‘inappropriate copying and pasting’ in his reports has been dropped by Ofsted…

David Marshall produced identical or near-identical sections in his assessments of schools over three years while working as a lead inspector for Tribal, a private contractor used by the education watchdog.

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Guest post: Why bother me with a College of Teaching? A very personal view

Published on October 25, 2014, by

Angela McFarlane is a science educator and education researcher. Recently she joined the College of Teachers to help them realise their desire to help found a new fit for purpose College of Teaching.  Here she gives a personal perspective on why she thinks that is an important and worthwhile thing to do and why it could offer value to all teachers…

I am tired and harassed, it is a Friday at the end of a long week – but it is the Friday before half-term, so Hurrah! 

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Boy, five, brought a kitchen knife into school and said he wanted to ‘stab bad teachers’ – but the incident was hushed up by staff

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a five-year-old boy smuggled a kitchen knife into his primary school and told classmates it was for ‘stabbing bad teachers’…

Horrified staff at Patrington Church of England Primary School, in Hull, East Yorkshire, overheard the pupil telling friends he had a knife in his schoolbag – before confiscating the weapon.

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UCL Academy school ‘puts right problems’ – after help from council experts

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The Camden New Journal is reporting that twenty-two teachers and an A-team of “expert advisers” from Camden Council have been parachuted into a flagship academy school following a devastating Ofsted inspection earlier this year…

…The report praised the school for taking “swift, incisive action”, adding: “The academy has quickly put right the problems experienced by sixth-form students in 2013.

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Compulsory sex education won’t reduce rates of teenage pregnancy

Published on October 25, 2014, by

Writing in the Conversation, the University of Nottingham’s David Paton argues that recent calls for compulsory sex education in all schools might be less justified in terms of its likely impact on young people’s sexual health than is commonly suggested…

Proposals to force all schools to teach a compulsory sex education curriculum from primary level up and to restrict the right of parents to opt-out their children are back on the parliamentary agenda.

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National Association of Head Teachers joins TUC

Published on October 25, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that the National Association of Head Teachers, representing 28,500 heads, has joined the Trades Union Congress…

The NAHT is the biggest union to join “for some time”, says the TUC, and the first dedicated to school leaders.

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Today’s poll: Are school holidays too long for the wellbeing of vulnerable children?

Published on October 25, 2014, by

Ministers have been asked to tackle “holiday hunger” faced by children from low-income families who struggle to eat healthily outside term time. Is there a broader issue here that school holidays are too long for more vulnerable children and too much good work done by schools is often undone?

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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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