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Published on July 5, 2012,

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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New Ofsted chief named as David Hoare, trustee of academy chain AET

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Guardian is reporting that a trustee of Britain’s largest academy chain group has been appointed as chairman of the schools regulator Ofsted in what it describes as ‘a surprise announcement meant to calm some of the internal conflicts within the coalition’…

David Hoare, chairman of the mail company DX Group and a trustee of AET, the largest academy group in the UK, is the first senior appointment by Nicky Morgan, the new education secretary, who is widely seen as less combative than her predecessor Michael Gove.

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Rise in primary pupil suspensions for attacks on staff

Published on August 1, 2014,

The TES is reporting official figures that show the number of primary school pupils suspended for attacking teachers has risen but overall exclusions are down…

Students aged five to 11 were suspended 9,080 times for physical assault against an adult in the 2012/13 school year, up from 8,630 in 2011/12, according to Department for Education figures.

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Exam watchdog Ofqual to compare ‘extra help’ data between state and private schools

Published on August 1, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that Ofqual is to collect information on how many private school students receive extra time in exams, compared with state pupils…

English and Welsh exam boards will find how many pupils get extra help because of special needs such as dyslexia.

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New Ofsted boss David Hoare embarrassed by problems at his own academy chain

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  the new chairman of Ofsted faces the embarrassing prospect of seeing the struggling chain of academies at which he currently plays a key role criticised by the school standards body…

Businessman David Hoare, who was appointed to the Ofsted post today, is a director at the AET Academy Trust, which the Government has banned from taking on new schools due to concerns about its performance.

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Free school meals will break down classroom social divides and boost learning, says report

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that trials have suggested giving free meals to primary school children will help poorer pupils get better exam results and break down social barriers in the classroom…

Government trials for the new school meals programme, which starts in September, found those from poorer backgrounds performing better in the classroom.

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Clegg: We must end ‘acrimonious’ relationship between teachers and government

Published on August 1, 2014,

The TES is reporting that Nick Clegg has called for the government to bring an end its “acrimonious” relationship with teachers by tackling the rising workload faced by the profession…

In an exclusive interview with TES, the deputy prime minister claimed that the departure of Michael Gove had created an opportunity to “turn the page” and bring to an end the war of words between the Department for Education and the teaching unions under the controversial former education secretary’s watch, which he said had left many teachers feeling “browbeaten and that they are not properly valued”…

Mr Clegg also said he was “increasingly concerned” by the rising workloads faced by teachers.

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Elite London school accused of failings over paedophile teacher William Vahey

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Guardian is reporting the conclusions of an independent review suggesting that serial paedophile William Vahey drugged and abused dozens of boys left in his care after a series of serious failings by the elite London school that employed him…

Southbank International, a £25,000-a-year school favoured by diplomats and international business executives, failed to properly handle concerns raised internally about the 64-year old American, according to a review into his criminal conduct by barrister, Hugh Davies QC.

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GCSE results? Don’t fret – no one will care in 5 years, says leading head

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting a leading girls’ school head as saying that students should not fret over exams because no one will “give a damn” about results a few years afterwards and they don’t reflect character…

Judith Carlisle, headmistress of Oxford High School, is running a ‘Death of Little Miss Perfect’ initiative at the independent girls’ school to combat perfectionism in the students.

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Standards in Rhondda schools on the rise, say Estyn inspectors

Published on August 1, 2014,

Wales Online is reporting that officials at one of Wales’ biggest local authorities have been praised by the nation’s schools inspectorate for taking “difficult decisions” to improve educational standards…

Estyn said Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council had made “sufficient progress” since its last core inspection in March 2012 and, as a result, additional support and monitoring would now be removed.

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Over one-in-10 Welsh children starting school obese

Published on August 1, 2014,

We heard something similar (in fact potentially even worse) from Northern Ireland recently but now the BBC is reporting that more than a quarter of Wales’ four and five-year-olds are overweight – with more than one in 10 classed as obese, according to public health officials…

…Public Health Wales looked at the Body Mass Index (BMI) of just over 1,000 children starting primary school – with a BMI over 25 considered unhealthy.

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Teacher banned from classroom for life after repeatedly punching students and pulling their hair

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Mail is reporting that a soldier-turned-teacher has been given a life-time classroom ban for punching, jabbing and pulling the hair of his pupils in a history of ‘recurring violence’…

Jason McDermott, 45, struck pupils in the stomach or chest on four separate occasions – one of which left a pupil off school sick for two days.

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Boys more likely to drop out of university than girls but overall fewer students are quitting

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting new figures that suggest boys are still more likely to drop out of university than girls…

Statistics released by the Higher Education Funding Council for England reveal that 7.6 per cent of male students dropped out after their first year in 2011/12, compared to 6.9 per cent of female students.

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School blogger fired after blog post about homophones ‘was seen as relating to homosexuality’

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  a “social media strategist” for  a school in Utah has been sacked after writing a blog post explaining what a homophone was…

Tim Torkildson, the former employee at the Nomen Global Language Center, said he was removed from his role as head of social media because his boss believed that his post about homophones might give off the impression that the school promoted homosexuality…

Speaking to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Torkildson said that after the post went public he was called into the office of the company’s owner Clarke Woodger, who told him he was fired.

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‘Toilet phone’ teacher Andrew Eades gets life ban

Published on August 1, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that a teacher who set his mobile phone to record in a secondary school’s toilets has been banned from the profession for life…

Andrew Eades, 26, admitted installing his phone in a staff toilet at Kingsthorpe College, Northampton, in January 2013.

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London school produces Hollywood-style leavers’ video featuring playground ‘gun massacre’

Published on August 1, 2014,

The Independent is reporting on a London school where pupils have upped the ante with the production of a controversial 60 minute leavers’ film as competition – particular in the private sector – is said to be intense…

…This year’s “leavers” film at the £18,000 a-year Highgate School in North London has risked controversy with the footage showing rioting pupils fleeing from a teacher armed with a replica rifle.

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Today’s poll: David Hoare – reasonable choice as new chairman of Ofsted?

Published on August 1, 2014,

David Hoare, chairman of the mail company DX Group and a trustee of AET, the largest academy group in the UK, has been appointed as the new chairman of Ofsted by Nicky Morgan. Commentators are describing it as a less controversial choice than some who were said to be in the running under Michael Gove, but others say he will be embarrassed by issues likely to be raised by Ofsted at some of AET’s academies…

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Call to align nursery and primary school teacher status

Published on July 31, 2014,

The BBC is reporting calls from the Pre-School Learning Alliance that nursery school teachers should be given the same status and pay as those in primary school…

It said early-years teachers were being “locked out” of teaching in primary schools, even in reception classes.

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