Click here to skip to content

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

THE BIG CHEAT

N. Davies

Guardian, 11th July 2000, p. 1, 6-7

Describes widespread cheating by teachers to meet performance targets set by the government. Cheating involves GCSE coursework, fabrication of figures on truancy and attendance, and falsification of records on excluded children.

BLUNKETT WOOS STEINER SCHOOLS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, July 17th 2000, p.2

The government is negotiating to bring the Steiner schools movement within the state system in order to widen parental choice.

'

CLIMATE OF FEAR' HARMS CHILDREN, SAYS UNION

B. Russell

Independent, Aug. 2nd 2000, p. 6

Teachers' leaders argue that classroom creativity is being squeezed out by tests, inspections and pressure to teach "by the book".

(See also Guardian, Aug. 2nd 2000, p. 6)

COMPUTERS HELP PUPILS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CLASS

M. Woolf

Daily Telegraph, July 10th 2000, p. 5

Literacy and numeracy standards among underachieving pupils have improved since the introduction of computers in schools.

DAMAGING YOUNGSTERS

D. Blunkett

Guardian, July 13th 2000, p. 19

Defends the government's record in raising education standards through the introduction of compulsory literacy and numeracy hours, and measures to tackle truancy and indiscipline, such as the establishment of on-site learning support units for disruptive pupils.

DEVELOPING POLICIES FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: A STUDY OF THE ROLE OF LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITIES

M. Ainscow, P. Farrell and D. Tweddle

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 4, 2000, p. 211-229

This account of developments in English Local Education Authorities illustrates the important role of local administrative arrangements in the development of inclusive education for pupils with disabilities and others categorised as having special educational needs.

EU ACCUSED OF MEDDLING IN SCHOOLS

G. Jones

Daily Telegraph, Aug, 7th 2000, p. 2

The European Commission has approved a 300m budget to develop a European dimension in education. Tenders invited include the development of a European youth policy, the provision of education for active citizenship, the provision of vocational education on a regional basis and the creation of a website for European youth.

(See also Times, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 1; Guardian, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 5; Financial Times, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 3)

GRAMMAR SCHOOLS "WILL BE REDUNDANT WITHIN A DECADE"

B. Russell

Independent, July 14th 2000, p. 11

The Secretary of State for Education predicts that rising school standards will make selection at the age of 11 an anachronism in ten years time. Teaching reforms should mean that all children will reach the same standards in English, maths and science at the age of 11.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 14th 2000, p. 2; Times, July 14th 2000, p. 4; Guardian, July 14th 2000, p. 10)

H

OW TO DEMORALISE A TEACHER

Anon.

Labour Research, vol. 89, no. 7, 2000, p. 15-16

The government is pressing ahead with a new pay system for teachers in England and Wales, which includes payment based on performance review despite evidence revealing adverse effects of performance related pay (PRP) in the public sector. To obtain a 2,000 pay rise the teachers will have to undergo a so-called "threshold assessment". The assessment will be based on a set of national threshold standards which include pupils exam results. However, workers in the public sector believed that PRP was divisive, undermined morale, caused jealousies and inhibited workplace co-operation.

B. Russell

Guardian, July 18th 2000, p. 8

The government has pledged to press on with performance-related pay for teachers despite a high court defeat over the issue. The High Court ruled that David Blunkett had evaded scrutiny by Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the teachers' pay review body.

(See also Times, July 18th 2000, p. 11)

R. Bennett

Financial Times, Aug. 21st 2000, p. 2

Government is studying measures to combat underachievement by boys at school, including a return to single-sex classes and the recruitment of more male teachers.

(See also Times, Aug. 21st 2000, p. 12; Guardian, Aug. 21st 2000, p. 5; Independent, Aug. 21st 2000, p. 7)

B. Russell

Independent, July 28th 2000, p. 11

The Law Lords have ruled that local councils can be sued for failing to provide proper education for children with special needs such as dyslexia sufferers.

(See also Times, July 28th 2000, p. 10; Daily Telegraph, July 28th 2000, p. 6; Guardian, July 28th 2000, p. 7)

J. Kelly

Financial Times, June 30th 2000, p. 7

The government should not presume that the private sector is the automatic alternative to local authorities which fail to deliver quality education in state schools. The Education and Employment Select Committee of MP's reported that successful public sector operators should be called in from other authorities in some cases instead of relying on private sector companies.

(See also Independent, June 30th 2000, p. 10)

B. Russell

Independent, Aug. 4th 2000, p. 4

A survey by the Secondary Heads Association, the Professional Association of Teachers and the Children's Society has shown that children between 11 and 18 are reporting strains such as sickness, insomnia, and loss of appetite due to the pressure of exams. On average sixth-formers could have taken up to 75 exams during their school careers.

(See also Guardian, Aug. 4th 2000, p. 6; Times, Aug. 4th 2000, p. 6)

J. O'Leary

Times, July 12th 2000, p. 10

The Secondary Heads Association has called for assessment tests to be introduced at the start of secondary education. Results could be used as a base line against which future progress should be judged. This approach would show up the "value" added by the school to the pupil's education.

(See also Independent, July 12th 2000, p. 11)

D. Charter

Times, 11th July 2000, p. 9

A fourth "Fresh Start" school has announced the resignation of its "superhead" after it failed an Ofsted inspection. Head teachers are calling for a rethink of the policy.

Education and Employment Committee

London: TSO 2000 (House of Commons papers. Session 1999/2000; HC 118)

Covers the principles underpinning private sector involvement in state education, the promotion of partnership working, and accountability and evaluation mechanisms.

D. Charter

Times, Aug. 1st 2000, p. 1

New guidance is to be issued to the independent appeals panels to the effect that if there is a clear and consistent breach of school rules they should uphold the head teacher's decision to exclude a pupil. They should not normally reinstate a pupil who has been expelled for violence or a refusal to conform to school policies such as the wearing of uniform.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Aug. 1st 2000, p. 2; Independent, Aug. 1st 2000, p. 2; Guardian, Aug. 1st 2000, p. 4)

D. Charter

Times, July 31st 2000, p. 8

There is a world-wide shortage of English-speaking teachers, which is leading to recruitment campaigns overseas to fill vacancies in the UK for infant teachers and teachers of maths, science and modern languages at secondary school level.

J. Clare

Daily Telegraph, Aug. 18th 2000, p. 1 + 26

Reports growing concern over the under-achievement of boys at A-level. This is ascribed to a range of causes including magazines which encourage boys to conform to an anti-work culture, a lack of male role models, and the fact that emphasis on coursework and the switch to modular A-levels favours girls.

B. Russell

Independent, July 21st 2000, p. 7

Applications for postgraduate teacher training courses have increased by 48% since the government announced 6,000 bursaries for trainees.

(See also Guardian, July 21st 2000, p. 8)

N. Davies

Guardian, July 10th 2000, p. 1, 6-7

The rise in truancy in the UK is associated with increasing emotional and behavioural problems among children from deprived backgrounds. Government is combating truancy through the creation of in-school learning support units for disaffected pupils, the introduction of mentoring schemes, and the imposition of fines on the parents of truanting children. These measures are likely to fail due to the effects of financial incentives for schools to improve their position in the league tables, performance related pay for teachers, and lack of educational psychologists and welfare officers to provide specialist help.

A. Chrisafis

Guardian, Aug. 3rd 2000, p. 6

Despite London salary weightings of abut 2000 nurses and teachers can only afford to buy properties in nine out of 32 London boroughs. In order to address the problem, government is considering offering interest free loans under its starter homes initiative.

G. Lane

Public Finance, July 21st - 27th 2000, p. 32

Argues that Conservative plans to free schools from local authority control are a recipe for lowering standards, leaving education at the mercy of market forces. Schools would be unaccountable, and co-operation would be non-existent.

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Aug. 3rd 2000, p. 4

North West Water will offer ongoing work experience to disaffected youngsters under the governments 43m campaign to keep problem children in the education system.

T. May

Public Finance, July 14th - 20th 2000, p. 25

Explains how a future Conservative government would remove schools from local authority control, and give them control over their budgets, buildings, admissions policy and standards of discipline.

T. Baldwin

Times, July 10th 2000, p. 9

The Chief Inspector of Schools has come out in support of the Tory leaders calls for a though stance on school uniforms, discipline and greater powers for headteachers.

P. Waugh

Independent, July 24th 2000, p. 4

The Chief Inspector of Schools has argued that children with special educational needs who disrupt classroom teaching should be excluded from school.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 24th 2000, p. 8)

Search Welfare Reform on the Web