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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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Faith schools not targeted with snap inspections, Ofsted insists

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that Ofsted has insisted faith schools are not being disproportionately targeted in a drive to ensure British values are being taught…

A third of the schools targeted in a wave of snap inspections failed to ensure students were “well prepared for life in modern Britain”, the watchdog has announced.

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Majority of state schools will be forced to make cuts next year

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Independent is reporting a new survey that suggests the majority of state schools will be forced to cut their budgets next year despite government promises to maintain spending on education…

A survey of nearly 500 school leaders showed 55 per cent were looking to reduce their costs in the next 12 months.

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Nine-year-olds should recite times tables by heart, says Schools Minister

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting schools minister Nick Gibb as suggesting that primary schools should start maths lessons with traditional times table memory sessions to ensure children master “instant recall” by the age of nine…

Pupils should know their tables up to 12 x 12 by heart two years before completing primary education, said Nick Gibb.

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Ofsted to restrict ‘dawn-raid’ inspections on schools

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Times is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has confirmed that the use of no-notice inspections will not become the norm because there are too many “logistical drawbacks” in doing so…

The report claims the the power will be reserved mainly for cases where schools are suspected of teaching a narrow curriculum that fails to prepare pupils for modern Britain.

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Head of Tristram Hunt’s old school criticises Labour’s ‘bigoted’ attack on private education

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Telegraph is reporting that the headmaster of Tristram Hunt’s old school has accused Labour of peddling “offensive bigotry” after the shadow education secretary unveiled plans to strip fee-paying institutions of up to £700 million in tax breaks…

Mark Beard, the head of University College School, north London, said the party should spend more time attempting to raise standards in state schools rather than relying on the independent sector to do the job.

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Degree apprenticeships launched to boost hi-tech skills

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting a new scheme backed by government and industry that aims to enable young people to gain a full honours degree while earning a wage and paying no fees…

The new Degree Apprenticeship qualifications will be taught in England from next September, starting in the digital and software field.

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Ofsted rejects claims schools downgraded as ‘too white’

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has said it is “nonsense” to claim that schools would be criticised by inspectors for being “too white”…

…Last week, there was high-profile coverage when a school in Lincolnshire, with few ethnic minority pupils, was not found to be outstanding because pupils lacked “first-hand experience of the diverse make-up of modern British society”.

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Public school children will be forced to play football with state school pupils under Labour plans

Published on November 26, 2014, by

In the latest on Tristram Hunt’s proposals for private schools, the Telegraph is now reporting that public schools will be forced to play football against local state school pupils under new Labour reforms…

Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, said there was “no reason” that private schools could continue with their “exclusive private-only” sports leagues and said it was “hardly difficult” for private schools to join the local leagues…

He told an audience of secondary school students and education professionals at the Walthamstowe Academy, East London: “I have to say it baffles me that we can have private schools loaning a sports pitch to the local comprehensive once or twice a year yet completely refusing to play them at football, opening up their halls and amphitheatres yet unwilling to engage in a debating competition.

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Teaching needs less ideology, and more evidence

Published on November 26, 2014, by

Writing in the Guardian, former education secretary Estelle Morris says that although she failed to persuade her own party, she still believes politicians should not tell teachers how to teach 9and raises half a cheer to recent comments from David Laws…

…There is an increasingly powerful voice in education that is calling for a shift in culture from one where ideas seem to re-emerge with a different label every few years to one where we build on evidence of what has gone before.

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University leavers three times more likely than apprentices to be unemployed a year after finishing course

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that new research suggests graduates and A-level students are three times more likely to be jobless a year after finishing their courses than apprentices…

Just five per cent of apprentices are unemployed a year after starting their job hunt compared with 16 per cent of graduates and 13 per cent of those with A-levels.

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Academy spends pupil premium cash on taxis and buses

Published on November 26, 2014, by

Writing in his Guardian column, Warwick Mansell is claiming an an academy spent £15,000 from its pupil premium money on ferrying students by taxi to school last academic year…

The same school, the Oldham Academy North spent a further £85,000 on free bus travel for pupils living around a mile away, also coming from its pupil premium money, which is designed to raise the test results of disadvantaged pupils.

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Computer game Football Manager could be introduced as homework for PE classes

Published on November 26, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that pupils in Scotland could be swapping the real football pitch for a virtual one during PE classes under proposals put forward at an education conference…

Plans to introduce popular sport-related video games, such as Football Manager and Just Dance as part of PE lessons, were discussed during a meeting of the Scottish Association of Teachers of Physical Education.

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Today’s poll: Should private schools be forced to compete against state schools in sport and debating?

Published on November 26, 2014, by

Tristram Hunt is saying that a future Labour government would demand that private schools participate in regular competitive extra-curricular activities such as sports matches and debating competitions against state schools. Would you support such a move?

Today's Poll

Should private schools be forced to compete against state schools in sport and debating?
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Private school tax break warning from Labour

Published on November 25, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that independent schools could lose millions in business rate relief under a Labour government unless they worked more closely with state schools…

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says many private schools are not doing enough to earn this “subsidy”…

Mr Hunt will say in a speech at an academy in Walthamstow, east London: “If we are to prosper as a country, we need to be a more equal country…”

He will cite figures suggesting 3% of private schools in England sponsor an academy, while a further 5% lend them teaching staff and a third share facilities.

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Rote learning in nurseries can harm maths skills for life, MPs find

Published on November 25, 2014, by

A new report from MPs has suggested rote learning is causing children to fall behind in maths before they even start school. This is from the TES…

In 2014, more than one in four children did not reach the expected level in maths by the time they were 5, according to government statistics.

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No-notice Ofsted inspections reveal school weaknesses

Published on November 25, 2014, by

The BBC is reporting that Ofsted has uncovered problems with poor teaching, inadequate governing bodies and failures to safeguard pupils against extremism in a wave of school inspections without warning…

The watchdog carried out 35 no-notice visits across England in September…

The reports are to be published in full later on Tuesday.

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Girl pupil, 13, raped by classmate on school grounds after sex education lesson

Published on November 25, 2014, by

The Mail is reporting that a teenage boy has admitted raping a 13-year-old classmate just after they had been in a sex education lesson together…

The student, who cannot be named, led the young victim to a secluded part of the grounds in a North Wales school and then attacked her.

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Teachers will be forced by law to help fight extremism, says Theresa May

Published on November 25, 2014, by

The TES is reporting that the home secretary has announced teachers will be required by law to take steps to counter terrorism…

Along with colleges and universities, schools will have a statutory duty to help prevent people from being radicalised, Theresa May told a counter-terrorism event in London today.

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