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

APPOINTMENT OF NEW HMCI

Education and Skills Committee

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, session 2001/02; HC 830)

Report reviews previous recommendations of the Education Select Committee concerning a greater role for Parliament in the appointment of HM Chief Inspector of Schools. After a description of the process that led to the appointment the present Chief Inspector of Schools, his qualifications and career are set out briefly. There follows a survey of issues covered in his oral evidence, including early years, the burden of inspection, self-evaluation, composition of inspection teams, supply teachers, combating racism and inspecting special schools. Recommends that the appointment of HMCI should be subject to Parliamentary approval.

ART AND MUSIC SQUEEZED OUT, REPORT ALLEGES

W Woodward

The Guardian, July 5th 2002, p.6

Art and music are being squeezed out of primary schools by the government's testing regime, according to a report by Cambridge University academics. More than 10 hours a week, almost half of teaching time, is devoted to fulfilling the government's literacy and numeracy strategy. The curriculum has narrowed over 30 years even though the number of working hours has gone up.

'BAD' GRAMMARS SPARK NEW ROW

R Smithers

The Guardian, July 1st 2002, p.11

Underperformance by grammar schools in Kent, which operates the most selective schools system in England, is likely to fuel the campaign to abolish selection. Since 1997 Labour has not closed down grammar schools but put their future in the hands of parents who organise local ballots. However a report from York University suggests that a quarter of the remaining 39 grammar schools in England, are under-performing compared with the rest of the country.

BELL ÉPOQUE

V Smart

Public Finance, June 21st-27th 2002, p.22-23

Reports an interview with the new Chief Inspector of Schools David Bell. He argues that the rigorous regime of external inspection against a common standard introduced by his predecessor Chris Woodhead built up a vital evidence base on school performance. However the new framework to be introduced in September 2002 will see inspection proportionate to risk of failure.

THE BEST YEARS OF THEIR LIVES? PUPILS' EXPERIENCES OF SCHOOL

C Cullingford

London: Kogan Page, 2002

This book examines the purpose of education and its ability to prepare children for the world beyond. It assesses pupils' impressions of the nature and quality of the curriculum; whether their time is well spent; whether what they learn is relevant; and how school influences their views of the outside world.

BLAIR REFUSES TO SCRAP AS-LEVELS

C Jones

Daily Telegraph, July 3rd 2002, p.2

Tony Blair has defended the controversial AS-level examinations on the grounds that they broaden what young people study. He rejected accusation that Britain is "over-examining" pupils.

BROWN 'DECEIVED' PUBLIC OVER CASH GIVEN TO SCHOOLS

A Grice

The Independent, July 12th 2002, p.2

The government faced accusation of "spin" yesterday when head teachers complained that money announced for schools in April's budget had been hugely exaggerated. The Chancellor said a typical secondary school would receive a direct payment of £114,000 this year but the National Association of Head Teachers claimed the cash boost was much smaller because Mr Brown's figures included money already in the pipeline.

CHILDREN OF VIOLENT PARENTS MAY BE EXPELLED

G Owen

Times, July 3rd 2002, p.10

Posters are to be placed in schools warning parents that they will face prosecution if they are violent or abusive to staff. Government is also considering excluding pupils whose parents have been aggressive.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 7th 2002, p.8; Independent, July 3rd 2002, p.6)

CITIZEN GAIN

M Maclay and T Breslin

Public Finance, June 21st-27th 2002, p.24-25

In order to improve social cohesion, citizenship will become a compulsory subject in secondary schools. There will be three strands of teaching: political literacy, involvement in the community, and social and moral responsibility. However there is also a citizenship awareness agenda going beyond schools, extending from post-compulsory education to lifelong learning and the workplace.

CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE?

A Pollock and D Rowland

Public Finance, July 5th-11th 2002, p.26-27

At present the projected costs of any private finance initiative (PFI) scheme have to be compared with the notional cost of a publicly financed project. If a PFI scheme is to be approved by government, it must show better value for money than the publicly financed option. Article shows how Haringey Borough Council manipulated the costings in order to get approval for a PFI project to refurbish its secondary schools.

EDUCATING PUPILS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES IN ENGLAND; THIRTY YEARS ON

P Mittler

International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, vol. 49, no.2, 2002, p.145-160

This paper draws out the major developments in the education of children with intellectual disabilities in the light of a review of progress and reforms of the education system as a whole since 1971. It looks at access to the National Curriculum, prospects for the education of children with intellectual disabilities in mainstream schools and the implications of developments for all teachers.

EDUCATION AND SKILLS: DELIVERING RESULTS: A STRATEGY TO 2006

Department for Education and Skills

Sudbury: DfES Publications, 2001

Document sets out the Department's aims, objectives and strategic priorities. It provides an overview of the targets the Department has been asked to achieve and indicates how it will go about meeting them.

ESSENTIAL MOTIVATION IN THE CLASSROOM

I Gilbert

London: Routledge Falmer, 2002

The author highlights the seven keys of motivation in teaching, learning and thinking, providing a range of strategies, ideas and insights to help learners become motivated from within. This book offers useful, practical advice for teachers who want to know how to motivate children.

THE GOVERNMENT IS DRIVING MORE CHILDREN INTO PRIVATE EDUCATION

S Richards

Independent, July 4th 2002, p.?

The government is promoting the creation of more specialist secondary schools. Those will be better funded than standard comprehensives and will cream off the brighter children. The remaining standard comprehensives will become more like secondary modern schools, and will be shunned by motivated parents.

"I WASN'T TRAINED TO WORK WITH THEM": MAINSTREAM TEACHERS' ATTITUDES TO CHILDREN WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES

J Marshall, S Ralph and S Palmer

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.6, 2002, p.199-215

Presents results of a survey of student teachers at Manchester University which sought to elicit their attitudes towards the inclusion of children with speech and language difficulties in the mainstream classroom. Attitudes were generally positive, but tempered with concerns about time, resources and training.

INCLUSION AND THE CHALLENGE OF AUTISM: THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

S Broach and A Lee-Foster

Child Right, issue 187, 2002, p. 14-16

The majority of children with autism are being educated in mainstream schools in settings which are not primed to the particular learning style and behaviour implications of their disorder. Article highlights the need for improved teacher training, more learning support assistants, and better access to speech and language therapy. Expresses concern that exclusion may be inappropriately used by head teachers to get rid of autistic children.

AN INTRODUCTION TO CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

M Alcott

Hodder & Stoughton, 2002

This book provides a framework from which teachers can draw to develop an approach to unfamiliar situations. It gives an overview of relevant legislation for working with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and provides an introduction to working with children whose conditions create SEN including physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities.

LOW MATHS STANDARDS FORCE TEACHING REVIEW

W Woodward

The Guardian, July 22nd 2002, p.5

A review of maths teaching for students of 14 and over is to be announced by Estelle Morris, the Education Secretary, as she acknowledges complaints from employers about the low standards achieved by school leavers. The decision is likely to lead to a shake-up of the maths curriculum at GCSE, AS and A-levels.

MANAGING COMPLEX EDUCATIONAL CHANGE

M Wallace and K Pocklington

London: Routledge Falmer, 2002

By investigating initiatives to reorganise school systems this book reveals that reorganisation is a complex change to manage because of its large-scale, componential, systematic and context dependent nature. It discusses four management themes as realistic strategies for coping with complex educational change: orchestration; flexible planning and co-ordination; culture building and communication; and differentiated support.

MINISTER BACKS FREE CONDOMS IN SCHOOL CLINICS

J Carvel

The Guardian, June 28th 2002, p.8

The government yesterday backed plans for free contraceptive pills and condoms to be made available in England's secondary schools, in a campaign to halve the number of teenage pregnancies by 2010. Education officials believe few, if any, schools would introduce such a measure. Health clinics could only be run with the approval of the head teacher, the governing body and the parents.

MORE PARENTS FAILING TO GET CHILDREN INTO THEIR CHOSEN SCHOOL

S Cassidy

Independent, June 28th 2002, p.6

Over 90,700 parents failed to enrol their child in the school of their choice last year. Numbers successful in appealing against non-selection have fallen steadily since 1997. At primary school level this appears to be due to the government's imposition of a limit of 30 on infant class sizes.

MORE WHEEZES FROM THE NATION'S HEAD TEACHER

M Brown

Independent, July 3rd 2002, p.17

Attacks the Education Secretary Estelle Morris for micro-management of schools, over-centralisation and imposition of excessive testing.

NEW ENGLISH EXAMS FOR 14-YEAR-OLDS 'TOO EASY'

R Garner

The Independent, July 8th 2002, p.7

"Pupil Friendly" English exams are to be introduced for 14-year-olds as part of the first overhaul of the national curriculum tests since they were introduced a decade ago. Pupils will be given an "exam break" of about half an hour between separate tests on reading and comprehension, instead of completing the test without a rest. The move has prompted fears among opposition MPs that the changes will make tests easier, to coincide with new government targets.

PUPILS MAY GET £40 A WEEK TO STAY ON

N Watt

The Guardian, July 2nd 2002, p.2

Children from less well-off families are to be paid up to £40 a week to stay on at school after the age of 16. Encouraged by pilot schemes the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, is expected to earmark £600m to fund the allowances nationally. In 56 areas where the special allowances have been tried, the school stay-on for pupils is five percentage points higher than the average.

PUPILS UNDER 16 TO GET FREE CONTRACEPTION AND ABORTION ADVICE IN CLASSROOM

L Duckworth

Independent, June 28th 2002, p.2

In an attempt to cut Britain's alarmingly high rate of teenage pregnancy, schools will be encouraged to provide special clinics for pupils to obtain confidential advice about sex and free contraceptives and condoms without parental knowledge or consent. The Department of Health is also pledged to increase NHS abortion provision so that teenagers have easy access to free terminations.

SCHOOLS BILLIONS WILL FUND MAJOR TEACHING CHANGES

G Owen

Times, July 17th 2002, p.11

Increased investment in schools will be used to fund sweeping reforms. Increased numbers of classroom assistants will be used to cut teachers' workloads. A greater use of performance-related bonuses will increase pay differentials for top staff. Unsuccessful head teachers will be sacked; successful ones will be encouraged to take over failing schools. Targets will be set to determine if a school is failing and so eligible for takeover. Up to half of all secondary schools will acquire specialist status, with the best 300 becoming advanced schools. These will lead the reform of schools in their area.

(See also Guardian, July 17th 2002, p.13; Daily Telegraph, July 17th 2002, p.12; Financial Times, July 17th 2002, p.4; Independent, July 17th 2002, p.6)

SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND EDUCATION

P Mittler and S Jackson with J Sebba

MCC: Building Knowledge for Integrated Care, vol.10, June 2002, p.5-15

Article begins with a general review of :

  • fiscal measures to reduce numbers of children living poverty;
  • initiatives to reduce social exclusion;
  • initiatives to raise educational standards among disadvantaged groups of children.

Goes on to look in detail at issues surrounding the education of children in local authority care, and at the role of inter-agency work in raising standards.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

J Gross

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002

This book describes workable strategies for managing common behaviour difficulties and meeting special needs in language, literacy and mathematics. It also offers guidance on reviewing special needs policies, assessment, record keeping and the management of resources. This edition takes into consideration the revised SEN code of practice and its related legislation.

"SUCCESS IN SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN FAILURE IN EVERYTHING": REPORT OF THE LGA SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND EXCLUSIONS WORKING GROUP 2002

[London]: Local Government Association, 2002

The damage done by parents to their children's education through authorised absence from school for shopping trips and holidays has been overlooked by the government because of its obsession with exclusions and truancy.

TEACHER COLLEGES RECRUIT FEWER MEN

R Smithers

The Guardian, July 15th 2002, p.7

Fewer men are entering teaching, even in secondary schools, according to data compiled by the Teacher Training Agency. The proportion of male recruits to secondary training courses has fallen from 43% to 36% over two years. The figures also show teaching continues to attract relatively few recruits from the ethnic minorities.

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION

E Sallis

London: Kogan Page, 2002

Introducing the key concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM), this book demonstrates how they can be put into effective use in a contemporary educational setting. Its coverage includes understanding the concept of quality; looking at organisational considerations; and leadership and teamwork for quality.

TRUANCY FROM THE TRUTH

T Jeffs and M K Smith

Young People Now, issue 159, 2002, p.16-17

Points out that most young people who play truant from school do so with the collusion of their middle class parents. Truancy is also fuelled by over-lengthy compulsory schooling and an unappealing national curriculum.

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