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

76% REJECT CASE FOR MORE FAITH SCHOOLS

L Lightfoot

Daily Telegraph, Dec. 3rd 2001, p.10

Article reports on the results of a national poll on the issue of faith schools. It asked things like whether there should be more or less faith schools, whether places should be offered to pupils of other faiths or to those whose families were not religious.

CHOICE AND DIVERSITY: THE CASE FOR SMALL SPECIALIST SCHOOLS

A. West

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p. 208-212

Advocates the establishment of small specialist schools run by community groups such as parents or voluntary organisations, but funded by central or local government. They would focus on a specialist theme such as ICT, citizenship, or green issues, as well as basic key skills.

CHURCH SCHOOLS MUST BE OPEN TO ALL, SAYS MINISTER

K. Garner

Independent, Nov. 14rd 2001, p. 10

Government will insist that all new proposals from faith-based schools should demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity, either by accepting pupils from other religious backgrounds or none, or by outlining arrangements for links with schools of other faiths to enable the communities to be taught together.

(See also Guardian, Nov. 14th 2001, p.13; Financial Times, Nov. 15th 2001, p.15; Times, Nov. 15th 2001, p.16; Daily Telegraph Nov. 15th 2001, p.16)

CITY TECHNOLOGY COLLEGES SCORE TOP MARKS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov. 22nd 2001, p.6

City Technology Colleges have outperformed fee-paying independent schools at GCSE target level for the first time. The latest school league tables also highlight the good performance of specialist schools on the eve of their expansion.

CLIMB DOWN PUTS SCHOOLS POLICY IN DOUBT

W. Woodward

Guardian, Dec. 5th 2001, p.12

The government has admitted that the Education Secretary used inaccurate figures to support a claim that specialist secondary schools were improving much faster than ordinary comprehensives.

COMPANY FACES £400,000 FINE FOR MISSING TARGETS

K. Garner

Independent, Dec. 5th 2001, p.10

Cambridge Education Associates, the private company which has taken over the education service in Islington, London is to be fined £400,000 for failing to reach targets for test and exam results in primary schools.

(See also Financial Times, Dec. 6th 2001, p.4)

THE DIFFICULTY OF RANKING SCHOOLS: THE LIMITS TO "VALUE-ADDED"

H. Goldstein

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p. 197-198

The value-added approach to performance ranking of schools assesses the relationship between the examination results or test scores of a large sample of pupils at one stage in their education with their scores at a previous stage. School values can be adjusted to take into account social factors that may differentiate school intakes and be partly responsible for attainment variations.

EDUCATION ACTION ZONES DUBBED A FLOP

W. Woodward

Guardian, Nov. 27th 2001, p.11

Article discusses the lack of anticipated investment in the Education Action Zones which were designed to inject sponsorship and attract business involvement to schools in deprived areas. Stephen Timms, the Schools Standards Minister, has announced that the schemes will not be extended beyond their initial five year term.

EDUCATION BILL FAILS FIRST EXAMINATION

M. McHale

Public Finance, Nov. 30th - Dec 6th 2001, p.12

The Bill provides for successful schools to be given more powers to opt out of the national curriculum and a greater say in teachers' pay and conditions. High-performing schools will also be able to set up and invest in limited companies to provide education services, while failing schools will be partnered with successful ones to raise standards. However, the greater autonomy offered to schools is largely illusory as almost all innovation will be dependent on approval from Whitehall.

FROM THE HEAD UPWARDS: COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW

G. Helft

Charlbury: Jon Carpenter Publishing, 2001

Challenging teachers and governors to rethink aims and methods of management, this book focuses on leadership and management from below rather than above. It discusses the principle of the inverted pyramid in the philosophy and practice of management of schools.

HEADS 'FACE PRESSURE TO KEEP BULLIES IN SCHOOLS'

S. Cassidy

Independent, Dec. 3rd 2001, p.6

Article discusses the conflict between the government's drive to reduce the number of pupils expelled from schools and guidance which clearly states that bullying is punishable by expulsion. The pressure on schools to reduce the number of expulsions has kept many bullies in class. Schools are now being warned that they could be open to prosecution under the Human Rights Act for 'allowing pupils to be subjected to degrading treatment by bullies'. The warning comes after two teenagers committed suicide after complaining of being bullied.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION: ENHANCING LEARNING AND EDUCATION

E. Sallis and G. Jones

London: Kogan Page, 2002

This book shows how education institutions can benefit from knowledge management. It explains what knowledge management is; presents models for making the best use of knowledge; and discusses adapting management processes to meet the challenges of the information age and how best to use knowledge management to strengthen institutional performance and the learning of pupils, students and staff.

LABOUR SOFTENS STANCE ON GRAMMAR SCHOOLS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Dec. 7th 2001, p.2

Describes government plans to foster partnerships between comprehensive and grammar schools. Schools will share teachers and facilities and nurture their brightest pupils in common programmes.

(See also Times, Dec. 7th 2001, p.1)

MAKING TEACHING BOOM PROOF: THE FUTURE OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION

M. Johnson

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p. 203-207

Discusses how the recruitment and retention of teachers could be improved to address national shortages. On the recruitment side, suggests targeting mature entrants, minority ethnic entrants and teachers on career breaks, as well as encouraging career progression for para-professionals. On the retention side, reducing teachers workloads and increasing professional autonomy would help.

THE MANAGERIAL SCHOOL: POST-WELFARISM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN EDUCATION

S. Gewirtz

London: Routledge, 2001

Examines the types of schools that are emerging as a result of management practices borrowed from business such as target setting and performance monitoring. The author argues that New Labour's Third Way for education is a contradictory mix of neo-liberal, authoritarian and humanistic ideas that is not in any real sense a new educational settlement.

OFSTED BLAMES POOR MATHS TEST RESULTS ON TEACHER SHORTAGES

S. Cassidy

Independent, Dec. 5th 2001, p.10

Literacy levels in primary schools failed to improve in 2001, and numeracy levels declined. Ofsted attributes this in part to teacher shortages. Schools have had difficulty in replacing staff who have left and difficulty in securing good supply teachers to cover. Few supply teachers have undertaken training for the numeracy strategy.

(See also Financial Times, Dec. 5th 2001, p.5; Daily Telegraph, Dec. 5th 2001, p.12; Times, Dec 5th 2001, p.4)

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON SCHOOLS FAILING TARGET

W. Woodward

Guardian, Nov. 22nd 2001, p.18

Seventy-six secondary schools in England have failed to meet the government's minimum target of 15% of pupils achieving five grade Cs or better at GCSE. They have two years to improve their GCSE results. If they do not, they will face government pressure to close.

(See also Times, Nov. 22nd 2001, p.1; Independent, Nov 22nd 2001, p.1)

PUBLIC MONEY TO PAY FOR "DIGITAL CURRICULUM"

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Dec. 11st 2001, p.2

Reports that more than £300m of public money is to be spent over the next five years on buying computer-based lessons for schools from private providers. The government is to give schools £50m in "credits" to spend with companies in the first year.

PUPILS TO GET SKILLS-BASED TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov 30th 2001, p.6

An overhaul of the 14-19 school curriculum could see pupils as young as 14 spending part of their week in skills-based training with local employers under a new government scheme. The idea is to allow more youngsters to pursue vocational training with some 16-year-olds moving into a revamped modern apprenticeship programme with employers paying their wages and the state paying training costs. Article goes on to discuss the Learning and Skills Council's targets.

SCHOOL CHOICE AND POLARISATION: ANY EVIDENCE FOR INCREASED SEGREGATION?

P. Nodes

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p.199-202

There is evidence that social segregation has increased in secondary schools during the 1990s, at least as measured by eligibility for free school meals. Article argues that this may be the result of the economic cycle, rather than the effect of the marketisation of education.

SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES: HAVE THEY OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS?

J. Hallgarten

New Economy, vol. 8, 2001, p.189-196

Discusses the effects of the publication of league tables on pupil performance, parental attitudes, school admissions and exclusions, teaching and accountability.

SELECTION IS MAKING A COMEBACK

R. Hattersley

Guardian, Dec. 10th 2001, p 18.

Argues that the comprehensive system of secondary education is being undermined by government tolerance of grammar schools and encouragement of faith schools and specialist schools.

SUPPORTING INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: A CONNECTIVE PEDAGOGY

J. Corbett

London: Routledge Falmer, 2001

This book provides some practical guidance on working with pupils who have a wide variety of learning styles. It examines different teaching and learning systems; the effective use of learning support assistants; classroom management of children with challenging behaviour; differentiation and valuing differences; and how to go about researching inclusive education.

VALUE-ADDED BONUS OF TAILORED TEACHING

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov. 22nd 2001, p.6

Reports results of the first full-scale pilot test of value-added scores, which measure a school's ability to get the best out of its pupils. The "value-added" scores reflect differences between pupils' performance when they came in aged 11 and their public examination results at 16.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Nov. 22nd 2001, p.19)

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