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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Education - UK - Schools

A CHILD'S WORTH

P. Revell

Guardian Education, November 19th 2002, p. 2-3

As the cost of a child's education continues to vary widely from one placed to another, the author asks if the government has missed a unique opportunity to tackle the inequalities.

BLOW FOR BLAIR AS MORRIS QUITS

C. Newman

Financial Times, Oct 24th 2002, p1+2

Reports the resignation of Estelle Morris as Education Secretary in the wake of the A-level grade fixing scandal, her U-turn over teacher vetting and Tory revelations that in 1999 she promised to resign if literacy and numeracy targets were missed. Ms Morris said she did not feel equal to the task of running a large department of state.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Oct 24th 2002 p1+4; Times Oct 24th 2002, p.1, 4-6; Guardian, p.1, 2-3)

CENTRALISED CONTROL BLOTTED THE EDUCATION COPYBOOK

J. Daley

Daily Telegraph, Oct 24th 2002, p. 26

The government has relied on centralised decision-making and imposition of targets to raise school standards. In response, schools have rigged the figures in order to satisfy government demands.

THE CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND: THE STATE OF INNER CITY EDUCATION

J. Tate and G. Clark

London: Conservative Policy Unit, [2002]

Underperformance in inner city education is not primarily a question of funding as is often claimed, but of worsening discipline, teacher shortages, the micromanagement of schools, and a resultant poverty of ambition. While some inner city schools have managed to transform themselves, key factors in their success, including autonomy and free thinking leadership, are being undermined by the government is centralising and micromanaging approach to education.

DEVELOPING THE ROLE OF SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF: THE CONSULTATION

Department for Education and Skills

London: 2002

The government proposes to provide additional funding for salaries for extra support staff in schools. It will also introduce regulations allowing support staff to undertake some teaching activities in place of qualified teachers. It will improve the training and qualifications available to support staff to this end. Finally it will support head teachers in managing the change and deploying support staff effectively.

DIVIDED IT FALLS

P Francis

Guardian Education, November 12th 2002, p2-3

In place of a single test, the 11-plus, Kent County Council is considering a system of continuous assessment of pupils, starting from the day they enter school.

EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

A. Harris et al

London: Routledge Falmer, 2003

This book explores the changing context of leadership within schools. It looks at leadership and school improvement; building leadership capacity; and future directions and implications. It discusses theories and issues and puts forward alternative ideas and perspectives.

EQUALITY AND POWER IN SCHOOLS: REDISTRIBUTION, RECOGNITION AND REPRESENTATION

K. Lynch and A. Lodge

London: Routledge Falmer, 2002

By exploring the issues of equality and power in the classroom and in the staff room, this book offers an insight into the ways schools operate in terms of social class, gender, religion and ethnicity. It raises questions about the use and abuse of power in schools and how this affects the lives of both students and staff.

FOUR IN 10 BRITISH PUPILS CANNOT DO SUMS, SAYS UNICEF

R. Garner

The Independent, November 26th 2002, p.8

Forty per cent of British pupils aged 14 or 15 cannot add up properly, according to the findings of a UNICEF report on literacy, maths and science standards in 24 developed nations.

FROM RUSKIN TO THE LEARNING COUNTRY: EDUCATION POLICY, THE STATE AND EDUCATIONAL POLITICS IN ENGLAND AND/OR WALES, 1976-2001

R. Phillips and G. Harper-Jones

Educational Review, vol 54, 2002, p. 297-305

Discusses development of education policy in England and Wales from 1976 to 2001, emphasising divergent elements in Welsh education. Focuses on three pivotal events:

  • Firstly, comments on a 1976 speech by James Callaghan in which he raised doubts about progressive education, criticised teachers, called for more parental input and demanded greater accountability for standards;
  • Secondly, discusses the 1988 Education Reform Act which led to the introduction of the National Curriculum, local management of schools, City Technology Colleges, standard assessment tests, and Ofsted;
  • Finally. discusses the New Labour 2001 White Paper, Schools Achieving Success, which fuses a commitment to modernisation with promotion of marketisation and so-called choice.

FUND TO HELP HARD-UP SCHOOLS WIN SPECIALIST STATUS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, November 29th 2002m p.10

Schools which are unable to raise the £30,000 private sponsorship needed to achieve specialist status will be underwritten by a new government fund, the Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, announced yesterday.

HOPES AND FEARS: STAKEHOLDER VIEWS ON THE TRANSFER OF SPECIAL SCHOOL RESOURCES TOWARDS INCLUSION

M. Priestley and P. Rabiee

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol 6, 2002, p.371-390

This paper reviews the findings of an evaluation of two pilot projects for the transfer of disabled pupils from special schools into mainstream settings. These included:

  • paired partnerships between schools;
  • the use of special school staff in a support role.

The paper considers that although the schemes under consideration had little impact, they highlight important tensions in the debate over inclusion in the British school system under the New Labour government

ICT IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

A. Loveless and B Dore (eds)

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002

This book discusses how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can make a critical contribution to children's learning in the primary school. It considers its impact on social, economic, and cultural life and on children's experiences in schools which are expected to change.

INFANT CLASS SIZE TARGETS MISSED

The Guardian, November 21st 2002, p. 12

The government has missed its target that no five-to-seven year olds should be in classes of more than 30 by September 2002, figures from the Department of Education and Skills revealed yesterday. The number of infants in oversize classes rose to 0.7% of the age group from 0.5% last year

LEADERSHIP IN URBAN AND CHALLENGING CONTEXTS: INVESTIGATING EAZ POLICY IN PRACTICE

K. Carter

School Leadership and Management, vol 22, 2002, p.41-59

The Employment Action Zone (EAZ) strategy was launched by the Labour government in 1998 to raise the performance of schools in deprived areas. It emphasised partnership working between the public, private and voluntary sectors and introduced a new model of governance for education. This entailed replacing control by the Local Education Authority with multiagency arrangements involving community members and local businesses.

LIFE AT THE MARGIN: EDUCATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE, SOCIAL POLICY AND THE MEANINGS OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION

L. Milbourne

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol 6, 2002, p.325-344

This paper explores the term 'social exclusion' in the context of new social and education policies being constructed in the UK. Drawing on research being undertaken in a deprived inner-city area the paper examines the links with terms such as 'poverty' 'deprivation' and 'equality'.

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF "PLAYING FOR SUCCESS"

I. Schagan, L. Kendall and C. Sharp

Education Research, vol. 44, 2002, p. 255-267

Playing for Success is a national initiative to establish Study Support Centres in English Premiership and First Division Football Clubs. It represents a partnership between Government, football clubs, Local Education Authorities and business sponsors. It is targeted on under achieving youngsters at key stages 2 and 3 and operates outside school hours. The centres focus on skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT. Paper shows how detailed statistical analysis based on careful study design (pre-and post-course instruments and control group) and using appropriate methodology (multilevel modelling) can establish the apparent effectiveness of an initiative such as Playing for Success.

THE NATIONAL LITERACY STRATEGY: THE FIRST FOUR YEARS

Ofsted

London: 2002 (HMI; 555)

New Labour's introduction of mandatory literacy hours in primary schools has failed to raise standards. In fact the number of 11 year olds reaching the required standard in reading fell from 86% to 83% among girls and from 80% to 77% among boys. This appears to be due to lack of instruction on how to teach reading using phonics and use of an imported reading scheme without pretesting it.

ONE-DAY STOPPAGE HITS UP TO 5,000 SCHOOLS, SAY UNIONS

R. Smithers

Guardian, Nov 27th 2002, p.8

Teachers in the capital staged a one day strike in support of their claim for their London allowances to be increased to £6,000, to match those of police officers.

(See also Times, Nov 27th 2002, p.8)

RETHINKING PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

J. Paul and others (eds)

London: Ablex Publishing, 2000

This book consists of a series of papers which look at the development of special needs education. It looks at the demographics of special education, research into those with special needs and their quality of life, and the home, school and community violence suffered by children with disabilities. It also considers several different aspects of teaching children with special needs.

SCHOOL'S OUT

P. Revell

Public Finance, Nov 15th-21st 2002, p24-25

There are increasing problems with anti-social behaviour amongst school children. This is due:

  • to an academic curriculum beyond the abilities of many;
  • to increasing incidence of family dysfunction and child mental health problems.

In an environment dominated by league tables, head teachers are increasingly reluctant to admit violent or disruptive children.

THE SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING HANDBOOK: CHALLENGING ADOLESCENT STUDENTS TO EXCEL

M. Gibbons

Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, 2002

Providing an innovative programme to guide teachers in customising schooling to the learning needs of individuals, this book discusses the case for self-directed learning (SDL). It provides a framework for teaching SDL and suggests ideas for planning lessons and projects. It discusses the concept of teaching independent thinking, negotiating student learning agreements and motivating and empowering students.

STANDARDS THREATENED BY RISE IN DISTURBED PUPILS

T Halpin

The Times, November 11th 2002, p.8

An increase in poor behaviour is threatening efforts to improve school standards, according to the Head of Ofsted. David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England, said teachers are encountering larger numbers of disturbed children, making it more difficult to keep order in the classroom

STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE INCLUSIVE PRACTICE

C. Tilstone and R. Rose (eds)

London: Routledge Falmer, 2003

Considering the development of policies to promote inclusive education for pupils with special educational needs, this book looks at the issues from the perspective of individual pupils, schools and local education authorities and provides a critical commentary on co-ordinated approaches to inclusion.

TEACHER APPRAISAL 1988-1998: A CASE STUDY

H.M. Gunter

School Leadership and Management, vol. 32, 2002, p.61-72

Article traces the development of teacher appraisal in an urban Local Education Authority in the North of England from 1988 to 1998. The LEA sought to establish a developmental model of teacher appraisal in an increasingly hostile climate. Developmental appraisal largely failed because it was starved of resources and was out of step with the performance management strategy that came to dominate education policy by the turn of the century.

TEACHERS STRIKE IN FIGHT OVER LONDON WEIGHTING

G. Owen

The Times, November 26th 2002, p2

More than two thirds of the capital's schools are expected to close when members of the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers walk out. Teachers want a 100 per cent increase in London Weighting Allowance, which is £3,105 for Inner London and £2,043 for Outer London.

TEACHERS WANTING TO BE HEAD FACE LEADERSHIP COURSE

R. Smithers and L. Ward

Guardian, Oct 24th 2002 p.7

Aspiring headteachers are to be required to take a compulsory leadership qualification before they can apply to run schools. There are concerns that this additional hurdle could deter able candidates from seeking headships.

TEACHING PRIMARY LITERACY WITH ICT

M. Monteith (ed)

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002.

As part of a wider series this book contributes to the exploration and theoretical underpinning of the ways in which curriculum content and skills can be developed by the effective integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It seeks to support teachers in developing children's literacy skills through the use of ICT. It contains specific chapters which deal with literacy learning in schools; national literacy strategies, the effectiveness of software and the use of the internet.

THINKING ABOUT INCLUSION: WHOSE REASON? WHAT EVIDENCE?

G. Thomas and G. Glenny

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol 6. 2002, p. 345-370

The authors suggest that most inquiry into special education is misconceived. Suggesting that the preferred inquiry methods in special education have led only into culs-de-sac, the authors argue that inclusive education research should reinstate the importance of teachers' own experiences. The authors suggest arguments for inclusion less out of notions of success and failure (of children or of schools) and more out of ideas of social justice.

THRESHOLD ASSESSMENT: ANOTHER PECULIARITY OF THE ENGLISH OR MORE McDONALDISATION?

P. Mahoney, I. Hextall and I. Menter

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol 12, 2002, p 145-168

Focuses on the establishment of a performance management regime in English schools, in particular the Threshold Assessment of teachers. Discusses the origin and development of the policy, the experience of the process of Threshold Assessment by various actors in schools, and the initiative in a global context.

TIME FOR STANDARDS: REFORMING THE SCHOOL WORKFORCE

Department for Education and Skills

London: 2002

Puts forward a seven point plan for reducing teachers' workloads. Changes will be made in teachers' contracts to ensure that they:

  • are relieved of administrative tasks;
  • provide less cover for absent colleagues;
  • have guaranteed planning and assessment time.

A concerted attack will be made on unnecessary paperwork. Additional school support staff will be recruited to act as "personal assistants" to teachers. New types of school support staff will take on more demanding roles in the classroom after appropriate training. New managers with experience outside of education will be recruited. Finally head teachers will be supported by a national "change management programme" to achieve all this.

UCAS CHIEF BLAMES PRIVATE SCHOOLS FOR A-LEVEL FIASCO

R. Garner

Independent, Nov 28th 2002 p1

The chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has blamed poor teaching standards in independent schools for the disputes over A-level results in the Summer of 2002. He has claimed that independent school pupils got poor results because the schools mishandled their coursework.

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