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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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‘Let schools pay top teachers 25% more,’ mobility tsar Alan Milburn says

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Telegraph is reporting that the government’s social mobility tsar has said top teachers should get a 25 per cent pay rise if they teach in challenging areas…

There needs to be reform to increase the financial incentives for the best teachers to entice them to work in disadvantaged areas, said Alan Milburn, the chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

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Media studies survives – but leisure studies doesn’t – in final cull of A-levels

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Guardian is reporting that last wave of Michael Gove’s examination reforms will see several perceivedly ‘soft’ courses disappear from syllabus by 2017…

Leisure studies – often the butt of jokes about the dumbing down of exams in schools – is to be axed as an A-level subject, while the equally maligned media studies is to survive, the exams regulator for England has announced.

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Schools should join academy chains of 30 or more, research claims

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The TES is reporting claims from a thinktank that all schools should join academy chains of 30 or more to enjoy economies of scale and improve teaching…

Research released by the right-leaning thinktank Reform claims schools should link up with larger chains to make savings of “between 5 and 8 per cent”, which can then be reinvested by hiring experts to boost teaching.

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‘Pupils absence at record low,’ figures show

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Telegraph is reporting that the number of children missing lessons has fallen to a record low due to families taking fewer authorised holidays after the government clampdown…

Figures show the number of students regularly missing school in England in 2013/14 is down nearly 200,000 over the last five years.

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One in four children starts school without the necessary language and communication skills

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting a study that suggests too many children – particularly those from poor backgrounds and deprived communities – are starting school in England unable to speak in simple sentences or control their behaviour…

The Early Intervention Foundation’s analysis found a fifth of children lacked the expected personal, social and emotional development by age five.

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Don’t penalise us for helping struggling schools, heads tell Ofsted

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The TES is reporting that headteachers say they are being “penalised” by Ofsted for doing what the government wants and helping to turn around struggling schools…

Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw and Prime Minister David Cameron have called on the best school leaders to improve more than one school and share their expertise where it is needed most.

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Education Scotland puts school leaver data online

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting that people in Scotland can discover more about how well their local school is doing following a decision to put a bigger range of information online…

Education Scotland’s website now hosts previously unpublished data like where a pupil goes after leaving school.

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Bullies set fire to schoolgirl’s exam coursework – and then send her a video of them doing it

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Mirror has a video showing a gang laughing as they set fire to a Berkshire schoolgirl’s GCSE coursework…

Teenager Rhiannon Blair was heartbroken after the callous youths poured lighter fuel over her precious notes and set them ablaze – destroying years of hard work in a few seconds of mindless vandalism…

The video shows pupils, from the same secondary school as Rhiannon, laughing and joking as they pour lighter fluid over the pile of papers on a picnic bench and even spray it with deodorant to fan the flames…

She said she had been the victim of bullying since last September and had suffered from anxiety and depression as a result…

Headteacher Liz Cook said letters had been sent out to everybody involved in the incident and that none of the pupils’ grades would be affected as the exams board had measures in place to protect results in such circumstances.

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Confirmed: Last council-run secondary in Norwich to be forced to become an academy

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting that Norwich’s last council-run secondary school, which was placed into special measures, is being forced to become an academy by the government…

The Department for Education (DfE) said it had issued an Academy Order on the Hewett School to bring about “rapid and sustained improvement”…

More than 1,300 people have signed a petition saying the Hewett School should remain under local authority control.

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British public remains keener on tuition fees than you may think

Published on March 27, 2015, by

Writing in the Conversation, Rachel Ormston from ScotCen Social Research has been looking at attitudes towards tuiotion fees and suggests opposition might be less widespread than imagined…

University tuition fees have been a regular source of political aggravation ever since they were first introduced by the Labour government in 1998.

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Richard Curtis and TES reveal plans for the world’s largest ever lesson

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The TES is reporting that plans have been revealed for the world’s largest ever lesson to take place this autumn…

Supported by TES, the project will see schools around the world take part in the same lesson during one day at the end of September.

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Sports teacher who attempted to arrange threesome with two besotted schoolgirls is jailed

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Mirror is reporting that a supply teacher who was caught attempting to arrange a threesome with two teenage pupils has been jailed…

James Heathcote, 26, groomed two besotted schoolgirls and pestered them to fulfil his fantasy of having a threesome while working at St Helena School in Colchester, Essex.

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Driver in fatal school bus crash who may have dozed off convicted of manslaughter

Published on March 27, 2015, by

The Birmingham Mail is reporting that a coach driver has been found guilty of manslaughter over a crash in France which killed a teacher and left several children seriously injured…

Derek Thompson, 49, was driving a group from Alvechurch Middle School in Worcestershire back from a ski trip when the bus flipped on its side on a motorway embankment in the Champagne-Ardenne region.

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Today’s poll: Should 25% pay rises be offered to persuade top teachers into challenging schools?

Published on March 27, 2015, by

Alan Milburn, the government’s social mobility champion, has called for a radical approach to closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and better-off children involving a 25% rise for 2,000 top teachers if they agree to teach in a challenging school. Good idea?

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Term time holiday ban prices out poor, warns union

Published on March 26, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting warnings from the NUT that strict new rules on taking pupils out of school in term time risk making family holidays a middle-class preserve…

Since 2013 parents in England have faced fines for taking their children out of school in term time…

A motion due to be debated at the NUT’s annual conference in Harrogate over Easter, argues that the regulations unfairly impact on working parents, especially the low paid.

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Schools could face cuts of 12 per cent, says Institute for Fiscal Studies

Published on March 26, 2015, by

The TES is reporting warnings from an influential thinktank that schools should brace themselves for cuts of up to 12 per cent over the next Parliament…

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said commitments made by all three of the main parties were “much less generous” than suggested and could mean that spending would fall by 7 per cent in real terms between 2014-15 to 2019-20.

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Trojan Horse school head axed after ‘damning’ Ofsted report and wasted funds

Published on March 26, 2015, by

The Mirror is now reporting that the interim head of a Birmingham school embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal has been axed less than two months into the job after spending almost £7,000 upgrading the headteacher’s room and a meeting room…

Dr Rashida Sharif’s departure from Nansen Primary – placed in special measures last year – was confirmed after a damning Ofsted report found violence, racism and wasted funds.

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Girls ‘less keen on sport after 7′

Published on March 26, 2015, by

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting a study that suggests girls may become more self-conscious, lose confidence and stop playing sport after the age of seven…

It suggests that at this point, young girls already dislike being outside and cold and are starting to express reservations about taking part because they feel they are not good enough.

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