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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2008): Education - UK - schools

Acting locally to have global impact: citizenship education in theory and practice in England

A. Convery and K. Kerr

Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, Vol. 7, 2007, p. 189-200

Concepts of global citizenship, rather than citizenship per se, are gaining increasing currency in education (Alexiadou, 2005; Lundahl, 2005). There are specific structures local, national and international through which citizens can act in order to have global impacts. Additionally, citizens can engage in both cooperative and integrative activities at local levels to work towards the same results. The question the authors pose is whether these structures and activities are informing citizenship education in England? To address this, they report data from an empirical study which suggests that while teachers recognise that local actions can have global impacts, they are less likely to engage with the specific political and legal intermediary contexts and structures available to them. The authors conclude that there are 'missing links' which citizenship educators need to address.

Anti-social behaviour: children, schools and parents

D. Riley

Education and the Law, vol.19, 2007, p. 221-236

This paper reviews the anti-social behaviour legislation introduced by Tony Blair's New Labour government in order to inform school leaders of the powers that exist to regulate the behaviour of pupils and parents inside and outside of school. Increased individual responsibility has been pivotal to New Labour's social policies, and responsibility for the behaviour of children has shifted from the state to the family.

Commission possible

J. Knight

Public Finance, Jan. 11th-17th 2008, p. 20-21

Sets out the government's vision of a new role for local authorities as commissioners of education services. A commissioning local authority will need establish demand for education services, plan how the school system can best meet community needs, support a network of self-governing schools, and monitor and manage performance.

Embracing families and communities through extended services

S. Werner

Race Equality Teaching, vol. 26, no. 1, 2007, p. 41-45

By 2010, all schools are expected to provide access to a core offer of Extended Services which meet the needs of children, young people, families and the wider community and which may include activities such as study support, arts and sports activities, childcare before and after school hours etc. The article gives a brief overview of extended services and cross-references from the author's own work context as an Extended Services Coordinator for Worcestershire County Council and shows how this work supports the social and community cohesion agenda.

Every Muslim child matters

M. I. Coles

Race Equality Teaching, vol. 26, no. 1, 2007, p. 23-25

This article proposes that young Muslims in the education system find themselves on the confusing front-line of a religion and way of life that preaches peace, harmony and moderation and yet is continually characterised as dangerous, undemocratic and somehow alien 'to the British way of life'. For services which deal with children and young people, the greatest driver for change and the yardstick against which they are measured is the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters (ECM): change for children agenda (DfES, 2004) which aims to ensure that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, has the support they need to be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; and achieve economic well-being. The article contains an analysis and response to these five outcomes as a way of providing the key to effectively meeting the needs of Muslim pupils.

Every voice matters: evaluating residential provision at a special school

F. Hallett, G. Hallett & M. McAteer

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 34, 2007 p. 219-225

This article presents the findings of an evaluative report on a review of residential provision at an identified community special school. Within this review a consultation was undertaken with parents and pupils to assist in shaping policy and practice, and the main focus of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of that process. By using an evaluative case study approach, it was hoped to document the chronological narrative of the consultation process and offer recommendations as to the effectiveness of participation. The authors conclude that the qualitative features seen by pupils and parents as having the greatest value suggest a need for high quality, accessible social care, rather than for curricular led, educational residential provision. The authors' critique of the consultation process raises issues relating to the complexities of eliciting a valid pupil perspective. They also express concerns about the general conduct of the review regarding bias, validity and the absence of staff voice.

Getting them together: the equalities agenda in education, autumn 2007 and beyond

R. Richardson

Race Equality Teaching, vol. 26, no. 1, 2007, p. 6-12

The overall purpose of this article is to act as a resource and reference point for deliberations and decisions currently taking place in the area of national equalities in education. This article is divided into two sections both of which are concerned with bringing together the separate strands of the national equalities agenda. The first section focuses on the theory and practice of equality impact assessments (EQUIAs). The second looks at developing shared understandings of the nature of prejudice and of the relationships between prejudice, discrimination and inequality.

How businesses can contribute positively to local schools and communities

S. Aggarwal

Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, vol. 1, 2007, p. 260-274

This paper looks at the business reasons for school and community involvement in the UK, the current level of investment, and the kinds of activities that are being delivered. The focus is largely on education and school programmes, including employee volunteering, pre-14 business education link activity, curriculum development and support, and academies.

Independent schools: charitable status, public benefit and UDI

D. Palfreyman

Education and the Law, vol.19, 2007, p. 167-175

In England and Wales independent schools almost always have charitable status and are registered with the Charity Commission. However, they are now subject to the new 'public benefit' test imposed in the Charities Act 2006. There is much debate as to whether this test as set by the Charity Commission will be expensive to pass. For example, the Commission could require schools to offer one third of places at reduced fees to children from families with modest incomes. On the other hand, the Commission could let schools off lightly, for example by merely requiring them to allow state school pupils to use their facilities occasionally. Assuming that the test is serious and compliance is expensive, this article asks at what point cost might exceed the tax advantages of charitable status, leading some independent schools to opt to operate as commercial businesses.

The participation of children with multi-sensory perception impairment in person-centred planning

K. Taylor

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 34, 2007 p. 204-211

Consultation with pupils with learning disabilities through the use of person-centred planning methods is becoming increasingly common. However, little research has focused on pupils with multi-sensory impairment (MSI). The author has taught children with special educational needs for over 25 years and has expertise in MSI. She suggests that the characteristics of MSI affect the capacity of some pupils to participate in person-centred planning and presents case studies in which she investigates the impact that the characteristics of MSI have upon adults' abilities to elicit the views of children with MSI about their experiences in the classroom. The article provides an analysis of the factors that maximised the children's involvement and participation and a commentary on the trustworthiness of the outcomes of the consultation processes described. The author is committed to improving her own approach in the classroom and calls upon other practitioners to follow her example.

A review of recent developments in the role of the SENCo in the UK

S. MacKenzie

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 34, 2007 p. 212-218

This paper reviews previous research to identify changes in the role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in schools in the UK. The author provides an overview of the SENCo role from an historical perspective and discusses the diverse and challenging nature of the SENCos' work. She notes a marked lack of consistency, over time and across contexts, in interpretations of the SENCo role and examines variations in workload, status and position within school hierarchies. The gaps in current research are highlighted and suggestions are made for future developments in the role, focussing particularly on the ways in which SENCo 'effectiveness' can be determined.

The schools linking network, four years on

A. Kotler

Race Equality Teaching, vol. 26, no. 1, 2007, p. 46-49

This article focuses on recapping the original aims and objectives of a Schools Linking Project (SLP) which began in Bradford in 2004, describing its progress since that time, reviewing some of the findings of an external evaluation, as well as describing the current situation regarding the project. In 2007, the SLP in Bradford was asked by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to establish a national programme of support for schools that wish to form links to explore issues of identity and diversity.

Schools policy is off-target

Anon.

Labour Research, vol.97, Jan. 2008, p. 14-16

Unions are concerned about many aspects of the Brown government's education policy, including: 1) over-emphasis on examination results in the measurement of school performance; 2) plans to raise the school leaving age to 18 by 2015; and 3) lack of proper preparation for the introduction of the new vocational diplomas.

Subject to change: new thinking on the curriculum

M. Johnson

ChildRight, issue 242, 2007/08, p. 20-23

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) says that the present curriculum and assessment framework do not meet the needs of pupils in England. All pupils suffer from teaching to the test. This means they are taught to recall information, which they may not have understood, in an examination so that they pass with good grades and the school maintains its position in the league tables. The ATL proposes a new curriculum model which would equip pupils with a generic set of skills, rather than knowledge of facts. These would include: physical skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement, creativity, communication and interpersonal skills, spiritual and moral standards, and learning, thinking and information management skills.

Technology and special needs provision in the UK: is current law satisfactory?

R. Kariyawasam

Education and the Law, vol. 19, 2007, p. 139-165

This paper shows that one way disabled people can begin to gain a more equal footing with their able-bodied peers is through the use of technology which can give them greater independent access to education. However the legal obligation on government to provide access to information and communication technologies as communication aids in schools either as an auxiliary aid or an educational service is unclear under current UK disability discrimination and special educational needs law.

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