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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2002): Education - UK - Schools

BACK TO SCHOOL

R. Bayley

Roof, Nov/Dec. 2001, p.31-33

Discusses the sometimes unforeseen effects of regeneration schemes on local schools. Redevelopment can lead to house demolition and falling school rolls. In another case a change in the letting policy of a social landlord led to an influx of unemployed people and non-traditional families. This caused a 25% increase in pupil numbers at the local school.

BELEAGUERED BY INFORMATION? THE REACTIONS OF HEAD TEACHERS TO SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS INITIATIVES

C. Cullingford and H. Swift

Educational Review, vol. 53, 2001, p. 271-283

Argues that if any sense is to be made of league tables or "value added" input, there must be clear statistics about various aspects of the school . Research describes the reaction of head teachers to the proliferation of statistical information. Also explores their reactions to the political climate and their relationships with other schools, teachers, parents and governors in the light of the government's heavy emphasis on performance measurement.

EXCLUDING THE INCLUDED: A RECONSIDERATION OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

R. Slee and J. Allan

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. II, 2001, p. 173-191

Article explores the adhesion of the traditional special and regular education imperative to the development of inclusive education. The authors contend that inclusive education is not a linear progression from special education needs and that the very different nature of these knowledge bases must be understood. Deconstruction is presented as a way of exposing exclusion as it is embedded in inclusive education policies. A deconstructive reading of the UK Quality Assurance Agency's Code of Practice on Disability in Higher Education is presented as an example of how texts "get into trouble, come unstuck, offer to contradict themselves".

FACILITATING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES: THE PROVISION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE NEEDS

J. Law et al

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 28, 2001, p. 133-137

Article reports on the outcomes of government research into the provision of speech and language therapy services and identifies 13 key themes that emerge from a review of these findings. Calls for improved funding at the national level for speech and language therapy services and for their joint planning at the strategic level by health and education services.

GCSE MOVE COULD LET PUPILS LEAVE SCHOOL AT 15

J. Clare and L. Lightfoot

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 13th 2001, p.12

The government's chief adviser on examinations and the curriculum has suggested that all pupils should take GCSEs at 15 instead of 16 and spend three years in the sixth form. Pupils could also skip GCSEs in subjects they intended to take at A-level.

GRADUATES SPURN TEACHING FAST-TRACK

D. Charter

Times, Nov. 5th 2001, p. 13

The fast-track teacher programme was launch in September 1999 to recruit a cadre of up to 1000

 

future heads every year. Initial take-up has been disappointing with only 111 graduates joining out of 1574 applicants.

HANGING ON IN THERE: A STUDY OF INTER-AGENCY WORK TO PREVENT SCHOOL EXCLUSION IN THREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES

G. Lloyd, J. Stead and A. Kendrick

London: National Children's Bureau, 2001

Policies to prevent school exclusion advocate joined-up working. Scotland has a long history of inter-agency working in relation to vulnerable young people. Study focuses on school-based inter-agency meetings in three local authorities. The project explored issues of effectiveness for young people, their perceptions of success, those of their parents, and those of relevant professionals.

HOW INCLUSIVE IS THE LITERACY HOUR?

J. Wearmouth and J. Soler

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 28, 2001, p. 113-119

Article focuses on the inclusive requirements of the national curriculum and the prescriptive pedagogy of the National Literacy Strategy. The National Curriculum now requires teachers to respond to pupils' "diverse needs", while the Literacy Strategy is based on a philosophy of whole-class teaching.

KEEP GOD OUT OF CLASS

D Toynbee

Guardian, Nov. 9th 2001, p.17

Article discusses the response to the education white paper whose evidence points strongly against religious schools.

It examines the advantages and disadvantages of faith schools and looks at the government's policy and the impact it may have on communities split by religious education in the light of the September 11th attacks.

KITEMARK PLAN TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SUPPLY TEACHERS

R. Garner

Independent, Nov. 5th 2001, p.12

Reports that the government is planning to improve the standards of commercial teaching agencies by offering them official kitemarks if they can prove they offer a first class service to schools.

(See also Guardian, Nov. 5th 2001, p.11)

MISSING PERSONS

J. Howson

Guardian - Education Supplement, Nov. 13th 2001, p.61

In spite of increases in recruitment onto secondary teacher training courses, shortages are set to continue. This is due to the impending retirement of over 160,000 teachers over the next 15 years and pressure from teaching unions to decrease workload. Shortages may be alleviated somewhat by expected falls in pupil numbers after 2004.

MORE TRAINEE TEACHERS, BUT 50% WILL QUIT

W. Woodward

Guardian, No. 2nd 2001, p.13

Official figures show that entries to teacher training in England are up 5% to their highest level for seven years. However, research by the National Union of Teachers shows that of every 100 trainee teachers, 12 did not complete their course, 29 did not go into teaching after completing their training, and 11 left within three years.

(See also Independent, Nov. 2nd 2001, p.2)

ORGANISING LEARNING IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM

J. Dean

London: Routledge, 2001

This book looks at issues surrounding the latest edition of the National Curriculum, particularly literacy and numeracy strategies. I t addresses issues such as: choices faced by a teacher when planning work in the classroom; classroom management; and dealing with children with special needs or exceptional ability. It also includes recent research results into effectiveness in teaching and learning and the importance of developing emotional intelligence.

PART-TIME WORK AND FULL-TIME EDUCATION IN THE UK: THE EMERGENCE OF A CURRICULUM AND POLICY ISSUE

A. Hodgson and K. Spours

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 14, 2001, p. 373-388

Using evidence from recent studies, authors show that the scale and intensity of participation in part-time work by 16-19 year olds in full time education increased significantly towards the end of the 1990s. Research shows, however, that learners in A-level courses have related study and paid work in different ways. Most attempt to balance work and study, some take the risk of undertaking high hours of paid work while studying and a few make active connections between their part-time work and their full-time courses. Finally, authors explore how Curriculum 2000, which seeks to expand study programmes for A-level students, might affect the relationship between earning and learning.

PLANNING TEACHING AND ASSESSING THE CURRICULUM FOR PUPILS WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES: A RESPONSE FROM EQUALS

K. Humphreys

British Journal of Special Education, vol.28, 2001, p. 123-125

EQUALS is a charitable organisation that focuses on supporting staff who work with pupils with severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Article provides a response to the publication of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority guidelines on the adaptation of the national curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties. It discusses EQUALS' response to these guidelines and proposes a way forward for schools already using EQUALS' materials. While acknowledging that the implementation of the guidelines should lead to the development of good practice, article expresses a concern that staff should continue to appreciate the value of their own development work.

PLANNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSING THE CURRICULUM FOR PUPILS WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES: CURRICULUM GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT THE REVISED NATIONAL CURRICULUM

I. Colwill and N. Peacey

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 28, 2001, p. 120-122

Article provides a commentary on the publication of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority guidelines on developing the curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties. It links these guidelines to the recent review of the National Curriculum and identifies some of the key contributions they can make to planning, teaching and assessment.

SCHOOL ACTION ZONES TO BE PHASED OUT

W. Woodward

Guardian, Nov. 15th 2001, p.16

Announces that Education Action Zones are to be phased out and merged with the more successful excellence in cities scheme. The zones have failed to attract significant business sponsorship and have produced a mixed record of improvement.

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT FOR REAL

D. Hopkins

London: Routledge Falmer, 2001

Offering a strategy for educational change, this book focuses on raising student achievement by altering classroom practice and management arrangements within the school to support teaching and learning. It refers to research and practical examples of staff development and school improvement strategy and techniques.

THE SCHOOL TEXTBOOK: GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES

W. E. Marsden

London: Woburn Press, 2001

Looking at the important trends in teaching and educational policy, this book explores the substance, purpose and usage of the school textbook. It reviews the American experience and the British historical perspectives and explores: the British anti-textbook ethos; ideas of continuity and change; issues of bias, prejudice, stereotyping, nationalism and internationalism; schooling for war and peace; propaganda; indoctrination; and censorship. It also explores how to go about choosing and using textbooks, the national curricula and national standards.

SCHOOLS TO OPEN 6 AM TILL 10 PM IN MORRIS REFORMS

P. Wintour and R. Smithers

Guardian, Nov. 12th 2001, p.11

The government is proposing education reforms which include giving a greater role to classroom assistants and appointing an extra 20,000 of them to release teachers from administrative burdens and allow them more time to prepare lessons and to individualise programmes. Schools will also be encouraged to open from 6am to 10pm and to teach adults as well as children.

(See also Financial Times, Nov. 12th 2001, p.2)

SPECIAL NEEDS AND EARLY YEARS PROVISION

H. Mortimer

London: Continuum : 2001

This book looks at partnership and change in an early years policy context in the UK, identifying the key players in meeting special needs in partnership settings. It goes on to examine assessment and intervention methods in the early years. It concludes by looking at what the future may hold.

TEACHER APPRAISAL RESEARCH NETWORKS 1980-2001

H. M. Gunter

Educational Review, vol. 53, 2001, p.241-250

In the late 1990s there was a national policy strategy to direct schools in England away from developmental appraisal towards performance management. Legislation has privileged instrumentalist knowledge claims and has severely weakened the pluralistic research networks in which creation of a workable system of developmental appraisal was taking place.

TEACHERS SHOULD ACCEPT SOME HELP

D. Orr

Independent. Review Supplement, Nov. 14th 2001, p.5

Government is proposing to broaden the role of classroom assistants to include supervising classes doing work set by teachers, invigilating tests and taking on administrative duties such as photocopying. The government's increased emphasis on assistance in the classroom has worked well, easing the burden on teachers and increasing the attention given to children. However the scheme could lead to abuse if assistants are used as substitutes for teachers in poorly performing and struggling state schools.

TRAINING IN DANGER

D. MacLeod

Guardian, Education Supplement, Nov. 13th 2001, p.9

Reports that teacher training is in jeopardy because university and college lecturers are leaving to take up higher paid jobs in schools, in the Teacher Training Agency and in the Department for Education and Skills.

UNION TELLS HEAD TEACHERS TO BOYCOTT EDUCATION TARGETS

R. Garner

Independent, Nov. 6th 2001, p.1

The National Association of Head teachers is urging members to refuse to collect or provide information which is requested by Ofsted or used to compile league tables. It claims that providing this data puts too great an administrative burden on school leaders.

VIOLENT PUPILS WHO FORCE TEACHERS OUT

W. Woodward

Guardian, Nov. 19th 2001, p.11

Presents a case study of a violent assault by a disaffected pupil on a teacher in North London. There are concerns that, in their efforts to meet government targets for reducing exclusions, schools are holding on to violent pupils for too long.

WE'RE SHORT OF 25,000 TEACHERS, ADMITS MORRIS

S. Cassidy

Independent, Nov. 13th 2001, p.16

The Education Secretary has admitted that the current shortage of 25,000 permanent teachers is likely to rise to 40,000 by 2006. Government is proposing to address the problem by expanding the role of classroom assistants, increasing class sizes and making more use of university lecturers and business people as teachers in schools.

(See also Times, Nov. 13th 2001, p.12; Financial Times, Nov. 13th 2001, p.6)

"WORLD CLASS TESTS" BEGIN TO SPOT BRIGHT PUPILS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov. 5th 2001, p.3

Announces the launch of voluntary "world class tests" to help identify bright children in comprehensive schools. Children so identified will benefit from an enrichment programme including weekend and after-school classes, online special lessons and summer schools at universities. There will also be a "super-bright" stream embracing the top 1% of pupils, who will all get postgraduate mentors in the run-up to university.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Nov. 8th 2001, p.15; Independent, Nov. 8th 2001, p.14; Times Nov. 8th 2001, p.11; Guardian, Nov. 8th 2001, p.13)

YOUNG, GIFTED AND RECOGNISED

Anon.

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 7th 2001, p.20

Discusses the introduction by the government of an accelerated learning programme for gifted pupils. The top 10-15% of secondary school pupils will be selected on the grounds of intellectual ability, without due regard for creativity, concentration and commitment to task. There is also a danger that participation in the programme may lead to an unhealthy perfectionism.

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