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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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Science ‘squeezed out of primary schools’

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting that suggests science is being squeezed out of English primary schools, with a third not providing the recommended two hours of teaching a week…

The Confederation of British Industry study also suggests science has become less of a priority in many schools.

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Tories consider plan to pay off teachers’ student debt

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The TES is reporting that the Conservatives are considering helping new teachers to pay off their student loans in order to make the profession more attractive to graduates…

A study published today by thinktank Policy Exchange as part of its manifesto for education calls for all parties to commit to a student loan repayment scheme for teachers who are starting work or training in September.

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Alarming gender gap in UK school science sets women up to fail

Published on March 6, 2015, by

Professor Michael Reiss of the UCL Institute of Education has been looking into the latest OECD analysis that suggests the gender gap for science performance in UK schools is amongst the largest in the world. This is from the Conversation…

Only 14% of young women who enter university for the first time chose science-related fields of study such as engineering, manufacturing and construction.

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Teacher stereotyping means higher marks for girls, says OECD

Published on March 6, 2015, by

In their report on the latest Pisa gender analysis, the TES is reporting that teachers are awarding girls higher marks than boys who have the same ability, partly because they “hold stereotypical views” about pupils’ academic strengths…

…After taking into account their performance in the organisation’s Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests, it found that, across the OECD, teachers “generally reward girls with higher marks in both mathematics and language-of-instruction courses”.

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Where have 30 years of parental choice left school admissions?

Published on March 6, 2015, by

Professor John Coldron of Sheffield Hallam University was the author of the RISE admissions review reported on in the media yesterday. Writing in the Conversation he gives his take on what he found…

Children across the country are absorbing news of which secondary schools they will be going to from September following National Offer Day on March 2.

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Video games are good for children (sort of)

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Telegraph is reporting another angle from the OECD research that suggests that playing video games can help boost teenagers’ results in crucial subjects such as maths and science…

Pupils who enjoy gaming in moderation scored slightly higher overall in international tests and fared particularly well on digitally-based problem solving tasks, according to research published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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Grieving mum blames ‘exam pressure’ after bullied teenage daughter found dead

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Mirror is reporting that a grieving mother has blamed ‘exam pressure’ after teenage daughter was found dead…

Toni Connell, 15, was sadly found at her home in South Ockendon, Essex, last Wednesday.

Her death comes just six months after fellow Ockendon Academy student Temidayo Joseph, 16, was found dead just hours after receiving his GCSE results.

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Obsessing over differences between boys and girls at school won’t fix anything

Published on March 6, 2015, by

In her analysis of the latest PISA data on gender, Professor Jannette Elwood from Queen’s University Belfast says the OECD may be missing the point. This is from the Conversation…

New gaps are opening up in educational achievement between teenage boys and girls, according to a comprehensive new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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School apology over ‘Palestinian terrorism’ homework

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting that a Scottish school has apologised following complaints about a homework worksheet which labelled Palestinians as “terrorists”…

homework from BBC

Image from the BBC

The handout, given to P7 pupils at New Stevenston Primary School, states “Palestinians feel they have the RIGHT to use terrorism against the Israelis.”

North Lanarkshire Council, which produced the worksheet, said it would ensure that it would no longer be used.

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Terrified teachers call police when boy brings toy gun to school

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Mirror is reporting that a 10-year-old schoolboy is facing expulsion after teachers called the police when he brought a bright orange imitation gun to a ‘bring-a-toy’ session…

Little Jayden Taljaard took the replica handgun – which does not fire or make a noise – to a regular Friday class where pupils can bring their own toys.

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50 Shades of Grey World Book Day costume of Christian Grey got boy, 11, excluded from celebrations

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that a schoolboy was ‘excluded’ from World Book Day celebrations after turning up for lessons in a Fifty Shades of Grey costume…

Liam Scholes, 11, arrived at Sale High School dressed as Christian Grey – wearing a suit and carrying cable ties and an eye mask.

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Fury as primary school gets charged treble by photocopier supplier Apogee

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Mirror is reporting a warning to schools and other organisations leasing Ricoh photocopiers from Apogee Corporation…

It comes from the bursar of a primary school in County Durham, whose contract with Apogee meant paying a quarterly standing charge and in return they’d get a set amount of colour and mono copies, paying for any over this number.

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Chemistry teacher jailed for six years for planning to travel to Syria to fight for IS

Published on March 6, 2015, by

The Express is reporting that a British chemistry teacher whose wife hid his passport in a desperate bid to stop him joining Islamic State terrorists has been jailed for six years…

Jamshed Javeed, 30, from Levenshulme in Manchester, laughed in the dock as he was sentenced for organising the trip to Syria to fight alongside the terror group in 2013.

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Today’s poll: Should government pay annual tuition fee repayments for state school teachers?

Published on March 6, 2015, by

Think tank Policy Exchange is recommending that future governments should commit to paying off the annual repayment of student loans for as many years as all eligible teachers remain in teaching in state schools to help boost recruitment. Good idea?

Today's Poll

Should government pay annual tuition fee repayments for state school teachers?
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Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads

Published on March 5, 2015, by

The BBC is reporting new warnings from heads that changes to the exam system, which come into force in six months’ time, risk causing significant problems for schools…

The National Association of Head Teachers is warning of an extended time of volatility, with students unsure which exams and subjects to take…

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said: “We face an extended period of volatility.

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School admissions changes ‘unlikely to help pupils from deprived backgrounds’

Published on March 5, 2015, by

The Guardian is reporting new research that suggests changes to school admissions rules in England are unlikely to encourage pupils from deprived backgrounds to gain places at the best performing state schools…

The report by the Research and Information on State Education (Rise), published on Thursday, concludes that regulation alone will not ensure that schools have a diverse intake, because of economic inequalities but also because social groups show a desire to stick together.

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Pupils who fail 11-plus outperform grammar school peers

Published on March 5, 2015, by

The TES is reporting new research that suggests pupils who scrape into grammar schools end up with poorer GCSE results than their primary classmates who just miss out and attend secondary moderns…

Researchers say their findings, released exclusively to TES, illustrate problems with the 11-plus grammar school entrance test, and show that key stage 2 national curriculum tests are better predictors of GCSE success.

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Anti-drugs lessons may be counter-productive, Government’s drug experts tell Theresa May

Published on March 5, 2015, by

The Telegraph is reporting that the government’s advisory board on drugs has warned anti-drugs lessons at schools may be inadvertently encouraging children to take up illicit substances…

…The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs [ACMD] warned ministers that many popular prevention techniques are “ineffective at changing behaviour” and “may even increase the risks of drug use”…

The advisory council, made up of 20 leading drug experts appointed by the Home Secretary, called on officials to consider holding back funding for programmes unless there is clear evidence that they work.

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