Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2000): Education - UK - Schools

ANOTHER 'FRESH START' SCHOOL HEAD RESIGNS

J. O'Leary

Times, Mar. 14th 2000, p. 13

Reports resignations of two head teachers from 'fresh start' schools in the face of unrealistic expectations for instant improvement.

(For reports of resignation of a third head, see Guardian, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 1 & 4)

BLAIR BACKS NEW NATIONAL DIPLOMA FOR 18-YEAR-OLDS

J. Judd

Independent, Mar. 9th 2000, p. 2

Reports plans for a new national diploma for all 18-year-olds that would list A-level and vocational qualifications and also include information about work experience, community service, and skills in numeracy, IT and communication.

BLUNKETT FIRM ON GRAMMAR SCHOOLS

B. Groom

Financial Times, March 13th 2000, p. 4

David Blunkett, Education Secretary, insisted that the government remained opposed to grammar schools, and dismissed Tory calls to end ballots on their future. He said he wanted to concentrate on raising standards and the issue of selection was less important.

(See also Independent, March 13th 2000, p.1, Times, p. 6 and Guardian, Mar.13th, 2000, p. 1 & 2)

BLUNKETT UNVEILS CASH FOR URBAN 'ACADEMIES'

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Mar. 24th 2000, p. 6

The Education Secretary has outlined how the £1 bn extra funding for schools unveiled in the budget will be spent. £60m will be shared between the proposed business-led city academies and the 'Fresh Start' initiative. An extra £250m for the repair of buildings will be released through the New Deal for Schools programme. A further £25m will be made available to enable primary schools in existing Excellence in Cities areas to employ learning mentors and provide programmes for able pupils.

(See also Independent, Mar. 24th 2000, p.8; Times, Mar. 24th 2000, p. 8; Guardian, Mar. 24th 2000, p. 4); Public Finance, Mar. 24th-30th 2000, p. 7)

CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION: ANTI-POLITICAL CULTURE AND POLITICAL EDUCATION IN BRITAIN

E. Frazer

Political Studies, vol. 48, 2000, p. 88-103

Article discusses why there is no well-established tradition of education for citizenship in the UK, with the result that young people are not systematically educated about constitutions, political institutions, laws or political history. There is a pervasive antipathy to politics and to government in the UK expressed from the left and right wings of the political spectrum as well as from interests such as those defending professional and personal autonomy.

COMPARING SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMMES IN ENGLAND AND CANADA

A. Harris and J. Young

School Leadership & Management, vol. 20, 2000, p. 31-42

The article provides a comparison of two well-established school improvement programmes in England and Canada. The Improving the Quality of All Project (IQEA) in England and the Manitoba School Improvement Programme (MSIP) in Canada have each demonstrated considerable success in their work with schools. The article traces their development and analyses their different approaches to school improvement. This comparison reveals that there are common elements that the two projects share and that the area of greatest synergy lies in their ability to encourage teacher collaboration within schools and to foster professional learning communities.

COMPREHENSIVELY THRASHED

D. Curry

Guardian, Mar. 14th 2000, p. 20

Argues that the vote by parents against the closure of Ripon grammar school will in fact please the government. In the first place, Labour wishes to retain the support of the middle classes who are against abolition of grammar schools. Secondly, Labour has been emphasising the performance of individual schools, and the old argument about structures has become implicitly redundant.

EDUCATIONAL INCLUSION AND RAISING STANDARDS

M. Farrell

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 27, 2000, p. 35-38

Suggests that the term 'mainstream inclusion' should be replaced by 'educational inclusion' to avoid the implication that venues other than mainstream schools are inferior. Argues that the placement of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools should be informed by a consideration of the effectiveness of the venue in raising personal, academic and social standards.

ELITE TESTS FOR BRIGHTEST CHILDREN TO HELP CREATE GLOBAL STANDARD

B. Russell

Independent Mar. 30th 2000, p. 6 & Education Supplement

Reports plans to launch tough new World Class Tests for nine and thirteen year olds in maths and science in 2001. The tests will help identify bright children who would benefit from special tuition and summer masterclasses, but will be strictly optional.

GIVE SCHOOLS THEIR HEAD

C. Haskins

Financial Times, Apr. 6th 2000, p. 23

Argues that central government's inability to delegate is damaging the delivery of education and health services. Proposes a structure for education whereby central government should fund teachers, IT and books. Local authorities should provide catering and estate management. The governor's overriding responsibility should be the selection, appraisal and support of the head teacher. Local authorities should provide a range of services for the head teacher, including allocation of pupils, provision for special needs, training and recruitment.

GRAMMAR BALLOT PETITION HALTED

Anon.

Guardian, Mar. 27th 2000, p. 5

Reports that anti-selection campaigners in Kent are to suspend petitioning for a ballot on the fate of the county's grammar schools due to political confusion on the issues, the complexity of the rules and a tight deadline.

GRAMMAR OPPONENTS SURRENDER

D. Charter

Times, Mar. 28th 2000, p. 6

Reports that anti-selection activists have abandoned their attempts to force parental ballots this year on the future of grammar schools in all areas except Trafford, Greater Manchester and Sutton, London.

(See also Independent, Mar. 28th 2000, p. 12)

HEAD WARN OF BACKLASH OVER RISING CLASS SIZES

B. Russell

Independent, Apr. 10th 2000, p. 11

Reports that government efforts to cut class sizes for infants are increasing class sizes for children aged 9-14, and are encouraging more mixed-age classes.

(See also Guardian, Apr. 10th 2000, p. 5)

HEADTEACHERS' RED TAPE BURDEN REVEALED

J. Kelly

Financial Times, April 4th 2000, p. 8

Reports the findings of a report by a taskforce chaired by Dr Chai Patel, to review internal regulation in schools. According to the report headteachers are struggling under the burden of education department red tape and Whitehall interference.

LEGAL CHALLENGE TO SCHOOL START FOR 4-YEAR-OLDS

R. Smithers

Guardian, Mar. 30th 2000, p. 10

Government is facing a legal challenge from a Ms Leah Brown of Hendon, who is demanding the right to stop her children being made to start school at 4. She is seeking legal aid to challenge the government under the Human Rights Act which comes into force in October 2000.

NO GAIN WITHOUT STRAIN

S. Crabtree

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 29th 2000, p. 27

Argues that it is unrealistic of government to expect schools to solve all the ills of society. This ethos puts an intolerable strain on teachers, who are leaving the profession in droves.

OFSTED NAMES THE SCHOOLS GUILTY OF UNDERACHIEVING

J. Judd

Independent, April 3rd 2000, p. 4

Reports that Ofsted inspectors have named 4 secondary and 12 primary schools as "coasting" (failing to get the best out of their pupils) under new rules designed to pick out schools in middle-class areas which appear to be doing well by national standards but which could do better.

PEERS VOTE TO HALT PARENT BALLOTS ON GRAMMAR SCHOOLS

S. Schaefer

Independent, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 8

The House of Lords voted by 166 to 161 to throw out the new rules under which parents can hold a ballot on whether they want to keep their local grammar school or turn it into a comprehensive. The vote on a Tory amendment to the Learning and Skills Bill will be reversed when the Bill is debated in the Commons, but the defeat is an embarrassment to the government.

(See also Times, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 16)

SCHOOL DAY TO GO ON UNTIL 5PM

J. O'Leary

Times, March 13th 2000, p. 6

Secondary schools will be expected to operate a longer day to give their pupils access to extra academic, cultural and sporting activities. David Blunkett announced extra funding for state schools to support the new developments.

(See also Daily Telegraph, March 13th 2000, p. 7)

THE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT JOURNEY: PERSPECTIVES ON LEADERSHIP

D. S. Jackson

School Leadership & Management, vol. 20, 2000, p. 61-78

The article describes the involvement of Sharnbrook Upper School with the Improving the Quality of Education for All (IQEA) schools improvement initiative. Issues relating to maintenance and development, and to leadership are explored. The final phase of the article suggests limitations to the models of transactional and transformational leadership as a means of providing leadership for the long haul of improvement. Finally, new leadership themes are presented, which are based around values, shared leadership contexts and capacity creation through learning.

SCHOOLS TO GET EXTRA £300M CASH

J. Kelly

Financial Times, March 22nd 2000, p. 4

The chancellor gave headteachers £300m in extra cash funding to spend directly in their schools on books, equipment and staffing as part of an overall £1 bn package for British education. More than 18,000 primary schools will get between £3,000 and £9,000 - depending on the number of pupils. The 3,500 secondary schools will be given between £30,000 and £50,000. Special schools will obtain £15,000.

(See also Independent, Mar. 22nd 2000, p. 15, Guardian, Mar. 22nd 2000, p. 17)

SEN AND DISABILITY RIGHTS IN EDUCATION BILL: CONSULTATION DOCUMENT

Department for Education and Employment

London: 2000

Consultation on proposed legislation to ensure a better service for parents of children with special educational needs and for students with disabilities. The bill will require LEAs to: offer parents of children with SEN access to an independent parental supporter; strengthen the right to a mainstream place; establish independent conciliation arrangements for resolving disputes with parents; and comply with orders of the SEN Tribunal within specified timescales.

SPONSORS TO TAKE OVER BAD SCHOOLS

J. Clare

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 1 & 22

Announces government plans to allow businesses, churches, and community groups to set up new secondary schools or to take over existing failing institutions. These schools would be outside local authority control, but would remain in the state sector. They would be required to admit pupils representing the full range of abilities, and to meet government performance targets. Sponsors would be expected to make a significant capital investment, which the government would match. In return they would be able to employ teachers, decide their pay, and depart from the national curriculum.

(See also Financial Times, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 15; Times, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 1 & 6; Guardian, Mar. 15th 2000, p. 4; Financial Times, Mar. 16th, 2000, p. 5; Independent, Mar. 16th 2000, p. 6; Guardian, Mar. 16th 2000, p. 6; Times, Mar. 16th 2000, p. 14)

SUPPORTING SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: OBSERVATIONS ON THE INSIDE, REFLECTIONS FROM THE OUTSIDE

M. West

School Leadership & Management, vol. 20, 2000, p. 43-60

The article focuses upon the role of the 'change agent' in schools improvement. Drawing upon the work of the 'Moving Schools' project, it attempts to shed some light on the dynamics of schools 'on the move'; and how both internal and external change agents contribute to this process. It is suggested that to be most effective external agents need to work not just in the school but in the classroom. The article concludes that while the school improvement field has begun at least to delineate the key areas for support, the understanding of how support 'works' remains partial.

TEACHER INCENTIVES MAY WASTE MILLIONS

B. Russell

Independent, Mar. 31st 2000, p. 11

Points out that millions of pounds a year could be wasted under plans to pay salaries to trainee teachers who may never work in schools. At present nearly one in seven trainees taking post-graduate training courses does not take up a job in a school.

(See also Guardian, Mar. 31st 2000, p. 9)

TEACHERS WARN OF ACTION OVER PAPERWORK

B. Russell

Independent, Apr. 6th 2000, p. 11

Liberal Democrats have published figures showing that schools are being buried under a mountain of paperwork. Government has sent out 315 consultation papers, 387 sets of regulations and 437 sets of guidance to LEAs since May 1997.

THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS SEEKING HELP FOR STRESS

J. Judd

Independent, Mar. 24th 2000, p. 12

A thousand teachers a month are calling the government funded Helpline, Teacherline, for advice about disruptive pupils, growing paperwork, bullying head teachers and Ofsted inspections.

TRAINEES TO BE PAID TO AVERT TEACHER CRISIS

J. Carvel

Guardian, Mar. 30th 2000, p. 1

The government is to intervene to avert a looming teacher recruitment crisis by paying graduates embarking on training in September 2000 salaries of £6,000 - £13,000.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Mar. 31st 2000, p. 13)

URBAN SCHOOL REVIVAL PLAN TO RECEIVE £60M

J. Kelly

Financial Times, 23rd March 2000, p. 3

Reports that gifted and struggling children in urban schools are to benefit from an extra £60m injection into the Excellence in Cities programme. About half of the new funding will be spent on extending the programme to secondary schools in Tyne and Wear, Nottingham, and Bristol. A further £30m will go on extending it to primary schools in existing areas such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, and Sheffield.

(See also Guardian, March 23rd 2000, p. 28)

Search Welfare Reform on the Web