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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Education - UK - Schools

A-LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

W. Woodward

Guardian, May 3rd 2001, p.19

Describes curriculum 2000 under which sixth formers take 4-5AS levels in their first year, followed by three As (advanced extension awards) in their second year. Students are also supposed to acquire key skills in numeracy, communications and IT within their course.

BLOW TO PLAN FOR WELSH BACCALAUREATE

J. Pickard

Financial Times, Apr. 19th 2001, p.6

Plans by the Welsh Assembly to set up a baccalaureate that could one day replace A levels have been dealt a blow by the refusal of the International Baccalaureate Organisation to become involved by tendering to run a pilot.

BLUNKETT KILLS HOPES FOR JUST ONE INSPECTION PER DECADE

J. Kelly

Financial Times, May 2nd 2001, p.6

The Secretary of State for Education has announced that schools will continue to be inspected every six years. The idea floated by Ofsted that this could be cut to one inspection every ten years has been rejected, to the anger of teaching unions.

BLUNKETT PROMISES THOUSANDS OF SCHOOL ASSISTANTS

R. Garner

Independent, May 1st 2001, p.5

Government has pledged to ease teachers' workloads through the appointment of more classroom assistants, of a further 800 mentors to work with disaffected youngsters, and of joint bursars and secretaries in small rural schools. It has, however, firmly rejected union demands for a 35 hour working week.

CALL FOR RETURN OF SCHOOL NURSES TO TREAT SICK PUPILS

D. Millward

Daily Telegraph, Apr 20th 2001, p.15

Teachers have called for the return of the school nurse. Many are being forced to undertake 'invasive' and 'intimate' procedures and fear being sued if they make a mistake. The government drive for 'inclusivity' in education has meant that many pupils with medical problems are now being taught in main stream schools.

Article argues that teachers are being put in an 'unfair position by the obligation to provide medical care for pupils?'

EMAs INCREASE PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION

L. Britton

Working Brief, issue 123, 2001, p.14-15

Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) are intended to provide a financial incentive for young people aged 16-19 from disadvantaged backgrounds to stay on in post-compulsory education. Results of pilot schemes have so far been very encouraging.

EXTRA HELP TO BOOST STRUGGLING 5-YEAR-OLDS

R. Garner

Independent, Apr. 20th 2001, p.15

Reports launch of a scheme to reduce the number of five-year-olds struggling to keep up in class. Teachers will use the results of baseline tests taken by children as they start school to identify those who will need extra help with reading, writing and arithmetic. These will then have regular lessons in groups of six so that they can receive intensive coaching.

HEADS CALL FOR CONTINENTAL - STYLE EXAMS

C. Owen

Times, May 17th 2001, p.9

The National Association of Head Teachers is calling for GCSEs and A-levels to be abandoned in favour of a baccalaureate system based on French practice. It would mix vocational and academic subjects and would be tested at five stages.

(See also Independent, May 17th 2001, p.1)

I THINK WE SHOULD DO

J. Freedland

Guardian, Apr. 18th 2001, p.17

Introduces School Works, a group committed to transforming education by redesigning school buildings.

IF WE WANT THRIVING STATE SCHOOLS, PARENTS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY UP

A.Selden

Times, Apr. 26th 2001, p.18

In order to raise standards in state schools, more money will need to be pumped in through means tested parental contributions. Schools also need to be freed from bureaucratic control, and kept small so that headteachers know their staff and pupils personally.

LITERACY HOUR IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS WOULD BE DAMAGING, TEACHERS WARN

R. Garner

Independent, May 8th 2001, p.8

Government is planning to introduce a daily compulsory literacy hour into secondary schools. However a survey of teachers piloting the reforms showed that 88% believed that the plans would adversely affect English teaching. Introduction of the literacy hour would leave too little time to develop the quality of extended writing among pupils.

OUTSIDE, LOOKING IN: CHILDREN'S AND FAMILIES' EXPERIENCES OF EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL

C. Hayden and S. Dunne

London: Children's Society, 2001

Research examined the experience of school exclusion of 80 families, and how this experience unfolded over the course of one year. Findings show that exclusion not only has a serious effect on the lives of children involved, but can also place families under severe stress. Researchers call for a managed transition to another school or educational facility in cases where the status quo has become untenable, but acknowledge that the education system will continue to allow permanent exclusion to occur.

PARENTS EXIST, OK!? : ISSUES AND VISIONS FOR PARENT-SCHOOL RELATIONSHIPS

J. Hallgarten

London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2000

Book explores the current and future challenges and opportunities for the relationships between parents and their children's schools. Presents a vision of parents as citizens and schools as citizenship banks, where families can invest, deposit and withdraw various forms of support. Government attempts to break the cycle of educational underachievement are certain to fail because parents are not involved enough in school life. Instead, schools must take up the challenge of fostering and encouraging parental links.

POLICE READY TO MOVE INTO CITY SCHOOLS

J.Woods

Daily Telegraph, May 7th 2001, p.1

Police are to be stationed full time in secondary schools in Southwark, London in a move to fight youth crime.

(See also Times, May 7th 2001, p.3)

PERFORMANCE PAY INCREASES WILL GO TO 150,000 TEACHERS, SAYS BLUNKETT

A.Russell

Independent, Apr. 27th 2001, p.8

Reports that performance related pay rises will go to 70% of eligible classroom teachers and more than half of all head teachers.

RAISING ACHIEVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN PUBLIC CARE

Ofsted

2001

Reports results of a survey of 126 primary and secondary schools which have set targets to improve opportunities for children in care. Argues for joint training for social workers and teachers to overcome a lack of understanding about their roles in supporting children in care. Highlights lack of communication between social workers and teachers as a particular issue in primary schools, while lack of stability was found to be the main problem for older children. Poor record keeping on the part of local education authorities was also identified as a problem. Inspectors were also unhappy about the increasing trend towards discharging young people from care at the age of 16.

RECORD NUMBERS OF SCHOOLS HAVE TEMPORARY HEADS

S. Cassidy

Independent, Apr. 24th 2001, p.10

Reports that 840 schools are now without a permanent headteacher, compared with 754 in 2000. The number of headships filled by an interim appointment has risen to 650, up from 540 last year. Vacancy rates among deputy heads have also increased by 30%. These figures disprove government claims that the number of vacancies is falling.

RICH PARENTS LIE TO GAIN SUBSIDISED SCHOOL PLACES

S. Cassidy

Independent, Apr. 30th 2001, p.5

An audit by the Department for Education and Employment has revealed serious abuse of the assisted places scheme which was designed to help poor children take up places at independent schools. Better-off parents have been underestimating their incomes in order to gain assistance with fees.

SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH SPECIAL HEALTH NEEDS IN MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS: POLICY AND PRACTICE

J. Lightfoot, S. Mukherjee and P. Sloper

Children and Society, vol. 15, 2001, p.57-69

Education policy favouring "inclusion" together with medical advances, mean that many children in mainstream schools may have health-related support needs in respect of a chronic illness or physical disability. Data from an empirical research study investigating these needs and carried out between 1996 and 1998 are used to reflect on the position of this group of pupils within policy guidance on special educational needs and medical needs. Evidence of confusion and ambiguity, both in the guidance and its interpretation, suggests that the needs of this group remain somewhat hidden.

STAFF CRISIS FORCES HEAD TO TEACH A CLASS OF 94

L. Lightfoot

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 25th 2001, p.10

Reports that the headteacher at Queensway Community Junior School in Thetford was forced to teach a combined class of 94 pupils for a week because he could not find temporary cover when two of his eight teachers were away on a training course.

(See also Independent, Apr. 25th 2001, p.5)

TEACHERS DEMAND RETURN OF TRADITIONAL SCHOOL NURSE

S. Cassidy

Independent, Apr. 20th 2001, p.13

There have been calls for the return of the traditional school nurse to deal with the growing number of children taught in mainstream classes with conditions such as asthma, diabetes and attention deficit disorders. More staff with the necessary medical training, either nurses or teachers who are specially trained in administering medicines, are needed to avoid undue pressure being put on staff to do a job they have not been trained for.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Apr. 20th 2001, p.15)

TEACHERS TOLD TO BOYCOTT RULING BODY'S £23 FEE

S. Cassidy

Independent, May 14th 2001, p.4

Union leaders are urging teachers to refuse to sign an agreement to pay a £23.00 registration fee to the General Teaching Council. By law all qualified teachers in state schools must be registered with the council by 1st June.

TEACHERS' UNIONS UNITE TO DEMAND A 35-HOUR WEEK

G. Owen

Times, Apr. 19th 2001, p.10

The NAS/UWT has joined the campaign for a 35 hour week in state schools and an independent enquiry into teachers' pay and conditions. The government stands opposed to a fixed week, saying it is unprofessional. It is also offering to reduce workloads by employing more teaching assistants, mentors and IT and administrative staff.

(See also Independent, Apr. 19th 2001, p.4; Daily Telegraph, Apr. 19th 2001, p.14; Financial Times, Apr. 18th 2001, p.5; Financial Times, Apr. 19th 2001, p.6; Guardian, Apr. 18th 2001, p.6)

TEACHERS VOTE TO BOYCOTT "DEMEANING" PERFORMANCE PAY SCHEME

R. Garner

Independent, Apr. 18th 2001, p.11

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers conference have voted to boycott the new performance appraisal system introduced by the government.

(See also Times, Apr. 18th 2001, p.2)

TORIES WOULD ALLOW MORE EXPULSIONS

D. Millward

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 20th 2001, p.15

Theresa May, the Conservative education spokeswoman has said they would scrap Labour's targets to cut the number of pupils expelled from school by a third by 2002. Restoring discipline in the classroom would be one of their key priorities. Simply moving disruptive pupils around the school does not solve the problem. Their pledge for greater protection for teachers would result in more expulsions.

UNIONS BACK STATE TEACHER SUPPLY AGENCY

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Apr. 20th 2001, p.5

Teacher unions are supporting plans by the Local Government Association to set up a public sector supply agency to fill vacancies in schools and stop profiteering by some private companies.

UNIONS SUPPORT TEACHERS' WORKLOAD INQUIRY

W. Woodward and R. Smithers

Guardian, May 2nd 2001, p.10

Government has commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper to study conditions at 75 schools in order to find ways of reducing administration and unnecessary workload. A steering group will be set up to oversee the review and will make submissions to the School Teachers' Review Body in the autumn of 2001.

VOICES FROM SEGREGATED SCHOOLING: TOWARDS AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION SYSTEM

T. Cook, J. Swain and S. French

Disability and Society, vol. 16, 2001, p.293-310

Presents a case study of a local education authority which is adopting a policy of inclusion in providing education for young disabled people. The reorganisation involved the closure of an all-age school for pupils with physical disabilities and their placing in a range of provision including mainstream schools and new special schools for people with learning difficulties. Research explored the pupils' views about their education and the changes they were experiencing. Concludes that moves towards inclusion must be founded on the participative involvement of disabled people (adults and pupils) in changing education.

WE'LL BAR PROBLEM PUPILS SAY THE TORIES

G. Owen

Times, Apr. 20th 2001, p.

Teresa May, the Shadow Education Secretary has said under a Conservation Government, schools would be given more encouragement to expel disruptive pupils. Excluded children would not be allowed to challenge their expulsions at local appeal panels which would be abolished. Head teachers would be given back the power to enforce discipline and teachers who have allegations made against them would be guaranteed anonymity until allegations had been proved.

(See also Guardian, Apr. 20th 2001, p.9)

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