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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


Teachers to vote on motion for June strike action

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Guardian is reporting that parents are facing the prospect of another round of national strikes closing schools, as the country’s two largest teaching unions meet this weekend to consider industrial action during the summer term…

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) annual conference in Brighton will vote on Saturday on a motion that includes possible strikes after 23 June if it remains unhappy with the progress being made in talks over pay, pensions and working conditions taking place with the Department for Education. (more…)


Unions step up attacks on use of unqualified teachers

Published on April 19, 2014,

The TES is reporting that both of the biggest classroom unions are using their Easter conferences to attack new freedoms for state-funded schools to employ teachers without qualified teacher status…

…Unqualified teachers were working in the schools of 53 per cent of those who answered the survey – rising to 61 per cent for respondents who worked in academies. (more…)


Leaked Trojan Horse report suggests schools are isolating non-Muslims and restricting syllabus

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Telegraph is claiming that a leaked official report reveals that schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”…

…The report, into three schools in the city, follows weeks of controversy over the alleged plot to “Islamise” secular schools in Birmingham and will lead to calls for intervention. The report focuses on Park View School and its sister schools, Golden Hillock and Nansen, the only primary of the three. Inspectors found that Park View practised forced and discriminatory sex segregation and has “restricted” GCSE subjects “to comply with conservative Islamic teaching”. (more…)


Tristram Hunt: Alleged Birmingham schools takeover plot shows we need more local scrutiny

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  Tristram Hunt will say today that he controversy over an alleged takeover of Birmingham schools by Islamic hardliners pinpoints the needs for more local scrutiny of schools…

He will claim that the controversy has shown “the inability of the Department for education to run 5,000 schools from Whitehall”. (more…)


Bolton council votes for schools to sing the national anthem and fly the union flag

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that schools in Bolton will be urged to fly the union flag and sing the national anthem in assemblies to help foster patriotism in the young following support for a council motion…

The council motion to encourage national pride was proposed by Conservative councillor Mudasir Dean and attracted overwhelming support, passing by 34 votes in favour with 11 abstentions and four against. (more…)


Poorer pupils forced to drop arts subjects due to the costs of studying

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Independent is reporting research into the impact of poverty in the classroom with suggests that pupils in state schools are having to ditch arts subjects at GCSE because they can no longer afford the cost of studying for them…

The study of 400 young people says more than one in four pupils on free school meals (27 per cent) have had to ditch subjects like art, music, photography and textiles because of the cost of equipment. Amongst other  children from low income families, one in seven said they were choosing their study options on the basis of cost. (more…)

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NASUWT initiative asks teachers to ‘inspect’ Ofsted

Published on April 19, 2014,

The TES is reporting that teachers are being given the opportunity to “inspect” their own Ofsted inspectors through an internet site being launched by a teaching union…

The NASUWT wants teachers observed during an inspection to go online immediately afterwards and critique their inspector. They will be able to report on the inspector’s behaviour and whether they followed Ofsted’s inspection rules. (more…)


A quarter of teachers bring food into school to help hungry pupils

Published on April 19, 2014,

Teachers are having to bring in food to give their pupils breakfast every day because they are too hungry and exhausted to learn as a result of increased poverty, according to a report out today of behalf of the NASUWT. This is from the Independent

A survey of 4,000 teachers concluded that the educational opportunities for thousands of children were being blighted by the impact of the Government’s social and economic policies. (more…)


Teachers received £40m in compensation payments last year, figures reveal

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Independent is reporting that  record compensation payments totalling around £40 million have been paid out to teachers in the past year as a result of of accidents in schools and botched attempts to fire teachers…

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers today reveals its members have clocked up £20.6 million worth of compensation deals in the past year – a 30 per cent rise in the previous year’s figures. (more…)


Child bullying victims still suffering aged 50 says study

Published on April 19, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that children who are bullied can still experience negative effects on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, according to researchers from King’s College London…

Their study tracked 7,771 children born in 1958 from the age of seven until 50. (more…)


It’s no wonder boys aren’t reading — the children’s book market is run by women

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Times is reporting that an author is suggesting that boys are being deterred from reading because the “gatekeepers” to children’s literature are mainly women…

Jonathan Emmett said that the majority of publishers, editors, librarians, judges and reviewers of children’s books were women, and this was exacerbating the literacy gap between the sexes. (more…)


How can government justify cuts when there’s money for a £45m free school?

Published on April 19, 2014,

Writing in the Guardian, principal Eddie Playfair attacks the government’s decision to open a £45m free school sixth-form when successful colleges in the same area are suffering funding reductions…

Education secretary Michael Gove has made some moves in the right direction with further education. But his failure to protect funding rates and his zeal for promoting new providers are undermining his worthy objectives and doing real harm to some colleges. (more…)


Women arrested in Adderley Primary School fraud inquiry

Published on April 19, 2014,

The BBC is reporting that four women have been arrested in connection with a fraud investigation at a Birmingham school…

The four – all aged in their 40s – were arrested at about 07:00 BST at addresses in Birmingham and Solihull. (more…)


Grade inflation concerns as number of top degrees ‘higher than expected’ at Oxford

Published on April 19, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that leading universities including Oxford have become embroiled in a row over “grade inflation” after figures suggested they awarded more top degrees than expected…

A study from England’s Higher Education Funding Council found “significant unexplained variation” in students’ likelihood of gaining a first or 2:1 depending on their chosen university. (more…)


Today’s poll: Should children sing the national anthem in assemblies?

Published on April 19, 2014,

Schools in Bolton are going to be urged to fly the union flag and sing the national anthem in assemblies to help ‘foster patriotism’ following support for a council motion. What do you think of the idea?

Should children sing the national anthem in assemblies?
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Mary Bousted: Ofsted is ‘riddled with problems’ and a ‘laughing stock’ among teachers

Published on April 17, 2014,

The TES is reporting claims from Mary Bousted that Ofsted is “wounded”, “riddled with problems” and not fit to reform itself…

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), used her speech at the union’s annual conference this afternoon to launch an outspoken attack on the watchdog, which she claimed was “designed to inspire fear and loathing” in schools. (more…)


‘Crisis’ warning as up to four in 10 refused first choice primary school

Published on April 17, 2014,

The Telegraph is reporting that up to four in 10 children have missed out on their first choice primary school in parts of England amid warnings of a mounting admissions “crisis” and a surge in the number of official appeals…

Figures show that almost 40 per cent of infants in part of inner-London failed to secure a place at the school of their choice and a quarter were rejected from at least three state primaries. (more…)

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