WYM: Working with Young Men, vol. 2, 2003, p. 7-10
Presents a list of obstacles to boys' achievement at school, and suggests ways to remove them.
Guardian Education, February 18th 2003, p. 2
Schools are being given more money than ever but according to head teachers that money hasn't found its way to the frontline.
Times, Feb, 21st 2003, p.8
The proportion of Afro-Caribbean students scoring at least five A-C grades at GCSE fell from 39% in 2000 to 36% in 2002. This compares with a rise of 2% for white pupils' to 52% and a jump of 12% for Pakistani and Bangladeshi young people to 41%. Statistics on class size released at the same time show deterioration in teacher-pupil ratios in secondary schools since 1997.
Guardian, Feb. 25th 2003, p.6
In a pilot project, cameras could be installed in five schools in Manchester to film pupils' behaviour during lessons. The recorded evidence of bad behaviour would be shown to parents.
The Guardian, February 11th 2003, p. 9
The Education Secretary, Charles Clark, has demanded an urgent explanation from the government's exam watchdog regarding its plans for a "dumbed-down" Shakespeare test for 14-years-olds.
Financial Times, February 14th 2003, p.4
The country's top exams regulator calls for employers to have a big role in setting and marking the new generation of skills-based vocational GCSEs and A levels. "Industry-driven" qualifications should be assessed through the "performance of tasks" on a modular basis rather than through traditional written exams, according to the new regulator Ken Boston.
Financial Times, Feb. 26th, 2003, p.6
Goldman Sachs is making an initial grant of £420,000 to the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at Warwick University. This will pay for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend the annual Summer School.
Reports finds that while state spending on school buildings has risen from £500m in 1995-96 to a forecast £56bn in 2005-06, there are problems with the allocation system. Resources are distributed according to numbers of pupils rather than on the grounds of the condition of the buildings. They are therefore not targeted on areas of greatest need.
D. Reay and H. Lucey
Sociology, vol. 37, 2003, p. 121-142
Paper focuses on children's understandings and experiences of the process of secondary school choice. Finds that real choice is a possibility only for children from middle class backgrounds. Poor children having been turned down by their preferred school, have no choice but to accept whatever sink establishment will take them.
The Guardian, February 13th 2003, p. 2
Parents' right to choose a school for their children could be reduced by government plans to raise standards in some of the country's worst schools, a head teachers' leader has warned. David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said that a single governing body meant admissions would be to the federation rather than to an individual school. Under recent plans schools with outstanding leaders and top results will form "federations" with poorly performing neighbours.
Guardian, Feb. 25th 2003, p. 19
Recent research has shown that children, especially the less able, benefit from being taught in small groups. Instead of investing in reducing class sizes, the government is focusing on increasing support for teachers by recruiting an army of classroom assistants.
Guardian Society, February 25th 2003, p. 2-3
Article asks if any child is really 'unteachable'? The two girls highlighted could be labelled 'unteachable' - or they could be seen as two lively children whose problems were simply not spotted early enough.
Financial Times, Feb. 24th 2003, p. 3
Government is considering imposing fixed penalty fines on parents who take their children on holiday in school term time. This would be part of a general crackdown on truancy.
(See also Daily Telegraph, Feb 24th 2003 p. 1+4; Times, Feb. 24th 2003, p. 5; Independent, Feb. 24th 2003, p. 7)
Found schools built under private finance initiative scheme to be of poorer quality than "conventionally" built ones. Report does not address issues of speed of construction or cost-effectiveness.
(For comment see Public Finance, Jan. 31st-Feb. 6th 2003, p. 23-25).
The Times, February 11th 2003, p. 1
Private companies will be invited to run all new state secondary schools under plans set out by Charles Clarke, Education Secretary, which will greatly extend private sector involvement in state education. Local Authorities will be compelled to seek bids from businesses, charities and parents' groups whenever they propose a new school. Until now private companies have been confined to bidding to run failing schools.
(See also Financial Times, February 11th 2003 p. 2; The Daily Telegraph, February 11th 2003, p. 1)
Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2003
Based on the results of an empirical study, this book looks at Muslim, Hindu and Sikh school girls of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi descent and their experiences of schooling in two regions of England. It challenges western misconceptions and stereotypes of young Asian women and reassesses the role that schooling can play in developing the identities of young people.
The Guardian, February 27th 2003, p.7
A "fast track" scheme promoted by the government as a way of cracking down on the parents of persistent truants has suffered a serious set back. Of the ten parents expected by magistrates in court under the scheme, only four turned up and none of the cases were concluded.
(See also The Independent, February 27th 2003, p. 2; The Times, February 27th 2003, p. 4)
London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC 286)
Points out that standards of attainment, teaching and leadership continue to improve in most schools. However, schools in deprived areas continue to struggle with problems of staff recruitment, truancy and poor pupil behaviour. Expresses particular concern about the poor performance of boys at primary school and in the early years of secondary school in the core subjects of English and mathematics. On further education, inspections have shown a lack of coherent strategies at the local level and little provision for young people who are not academically gifted.
Independent, Feb. 26th 2003, p. 5
The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers has produced a dossier describing the violent behaviour of 39 children. These are still in school after appeals panels overturned decisions by head teachers to expel them.
London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 5715)
Recommends an increase of 2.9% in teachers' pay in England and Wales in 2003/04
The Times, February 27th 2003, p. 4
Local councils will be told to close failing comprehensives and expand popular ones under a £2.2 billion plan to rejuvenate England's secondary schools. Hundreds of schools which have lost parental confidence because of poor results will be earmarked for closure or replacement.
Public Finance, Jan. 24th-30th 2003, p. 18-20
The government has improved teachers' pay and record numbers are entering the profession. However, retention remains a challenge, with a quarter of new teachers leaving the profession within five years. Government is addressing this issue through reductions in hours of work and administrative workload.