Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (September 1999): Education - UK - Schools

A - LEVEL CHANGES AIM TO BOOST WEAKER PUPILS

R. Gledhill

Times, June 1st 1999, p.6

Reports that UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) is proposing to change the A-level results system to help low-achieving pupils. Under the proposals, an A grade at A level would rank as merely three times as good as the lowest pass mark, an E grade. An A is at present considered to be five times as good as an E.

CITY CHALLENGE

E. Morris

Education and Training Review, vol.1, Spring 1999, p.5-6

Describes how mentoring, learning centres and university Summer Schools will be used to raise educational standards in inner city areas.

CLASS STRUGGLE

B. Rashleigh

Education and Training Review, vol.1, Spring 1999, p.8-9

Reports an interview with Doug McAvoy, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, attacking the government's plans to introduce performance related pay for teachers on the grounds that it will be divisive and undermine teamwork.

CONSULTANTS GROOMED TO OUST LEAs

J. Fair

Public Finance, May 14th - 20th 1999, p.4

A strong impetus has been given to private sector management of state schools by publication of a government list of selected consultancies that will be allowed to bid for services mismanaged by local education authorities.

ENGLISH TESTS FOR 11-YEAR-OLDS A FIASCO, SAYS BLUNKETT

J. Carvel

Guardian, June 1st 1999, p.3

Ministers have described the organisation of the May 1999 English tests for 11-year-olds as a fiasco that threatened the achievement of education targets set by Tory Blair as a key test of Labour's performance in government. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) increased the difficulty of the questions and then lowered the pass marks to maintain the standard of previous years.

FROM TEACHER TO MANAGER: THE ROLE OF THE ACADEMIC MIDDLE MANAGER IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

C. Wise and T. Bush

Educational Research, vol.41, 1999, p.183-195

Paper examines the role of academic middle managers since the implementation of the Education Reform Act 1988. Date were collected from a large scale postal survey of middle managers in secondary schools in three local authorities and from three case study schools. Middle managers have acknowledged the need for management tasks, including the monitoring of colleagues' teaching, to be a central part of their role. Despite the acceptance of the new management role, it remains difficult for middle managers to fulfil their new duties because of shortage of time.

HEADS REJECT BLAIR'S APPEAL ON PAY LINK

R. Smithers

Guardian, June 4th 1999, p.8

Reports that head teachers have voted unanimously to boycott the governments plans to link their pay to pupil performance. They said they would refuse even to undergo the training they need to carry out performance appraisals unless the government agreed to accept 10 minimum conditions. These include scrapping any link between pay and exam results, and guarantees of minimal impact on the workload of head teachers.

(See also Financial Times, June 4th 1999, p.12; Independent, June 4th 1999, p.13; Times, June 4th 1999, p.10)

LET FORMAL LESSONS START AT THREE, SAYS OFSTED

A. Frean

Times, June 23rd 1999, p.12

Reports speech by the Chief Inspector of Schools arguing that children should be given formal lessons in recognising letters and numbers from the age of three.

(See also Daily Telegraph, June 23rd, 1999, p.9)

LIVERPOOL SCHOOLING SERVICES PRIVATISED

J. O'Leary

Times, June 4th 1999, p.10

Liverpool's state school improvement and educational welfare services are to be privatised after an Ofsted report claimed that spending on the City's Schools was too low leaving buildings in poor condition and providing inadequate support to raise standards.

(See also Daily Telegraph, June 4th 1999, p.16)

LONG SUMMER SCHOOL BREAK THREATENED BY NEW INQUIRY

J. Judd

Independent, June 16th 1999, p.13

Reports that local authorities are to set up an independent commission to look at the case for a five term school year as the controversy over the traditional summer holiday increases.

MAKEOVER OR TAKEOVER? THE STRANGE DEATH OF EDUCATIONAL AUTONOMY IN NEO-LIBERAL ENGLAND

J. Beck

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.20, 1999, p.223-238

Paper is concerned with the erosion of educational autonomy in Britain in recent years. It examines ways in which weakened boundaries between the educational and economic/political spheres may be linked to attempts by government in Britain to take over, to an unprecedented degree, domains where educators and producers of knowledge have in the past enjoyed significant autonomy.

MICROPOLITICS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM: CAN A PRINCIPAL EVER BE EXPECTED TO BE 'ONE OF US'?

B. J. Vann

School Leadership and Management, vol.19, 1999, p.201-204

Personal account of how the writer has used micropolitics to achieve positive outcomes in implementing change. Tension and confrontation have been used as steps towards change, and participation in decision making has been encouraged. Leaders under conditions of reform need to be guided in their actions by principles, philosophy and values.

MODULAR GCE AS AND A-LEVEL EXAMINATIONS 1996-1998

Office for Standards in Education

London: TSO, 1999.

This is the first detailed study of modular A-levels since their introduction in 1994. Many students, particularly weaker candidates, benefit from a modular approach, but whether students completing a modular course have the same overview of the subject as those who have completed a linear course is open to question. The modular approach is better suited to physics and maths than French, English and Geography, and there is criticism of the rules that allow candidates to retake failed modules more than once. There is some evidence of teachers not being properly prepared for the modular approach, and examiners not having the training or the time to carry out their duties properly.

OFSTED ON GOVERNANCE: A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE?

M. Creese

School Leadership and Management, vol.19, 1999, p.241-252.

Paper considers the view of the role of school governors propounded by OFSTED. It is argued that OFSTED sees the governing body as an instrument of central government with the governors as part of a system which monitors the school's compliance with national policy. Questions how far governors are able to fulfil this role, which requires them, for instance, to make informed judgements about the quality of teaching in individual departments.

REPEAT PERFORMANCE

M.S.J. Parker

Education and Training Review, Summer 1999, p.16-17

Attacks the proposed introduction of the advanced subsidiary (AS) qualification, on the grounds that it will not in practice lead to greater breadth of study, will cause class sizes to rise in the lower sixth, and will subject candidates to an unremitting round of examinations and assessments from the GCSE year onward.

THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM IN ENGLAND: THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S PROPOSALS

Department for Education and Employment

Sudbury: QCA Publications, 1999

Contains a summary of the Secretary of State's proposals for revising current national curriculum subjects. Details of his proposals for important new areas of personal, social and health education and citizenship are also included.

THE RIGHT RESPONSES: MANAGING AND MAKING POLICY FOR DRUG - RELATED INCIDENTS IN SCHOOLS

Standing Conference on Drug Abuse

London: 1999

Guidance document intended to help schools deal with drug-related incidents without resorting to exclusion.

SCHOOLS MUST BE WORTHY OF EXTRA CASH, SAYS BLAIR

J. O'Leary

Times, June 3rd 1999, p.8.

Reports Tony Blair's speech to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Conference in which he promised more investment in education in return for necessary reforms to raise standards. He proposed a modernisation of comprehensive schools, ruling out a return to selective education. He also emphasised his determination to link teachers' pay to pupils results and an annual appraisal of performance.

SCHOOLS SAY THEY WILL MISS TARGETS

B. Russell

Independent, June 2nd 1999, p.9

A survey of local authorities by academics at Durham University found only 54% expected to meet their target for 11-year-olds' performance in maths only 51% expected to meet goals in English by 2002. Researchers found head teachers even less confident, with only 49% expecting to hit their own school target set for next year.

(See also Times, June 2nd 1999, p.4; Daily Telegraph, June 2nd 1999, p.8; Financial Times, June 2nd 1999, p.1)

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN

L. Purves

Times, June 15th 1999, p.24

Criticises the current British practice in which children often join highly structured classes shortly after their third birthday. The proposed new requirements for early testing are leading to infants passing their school days doing repetitive worksheets in an atmosphere of hurry with no time for play and an unnatural curb on chatter.

TABLE FOOTBALL

R. Shaw and A. De Caux

Education and Training Review, vol.1, Spring 1999, p.16

Argues that the complexities of running a school cannot be measured by league tables. Goes on to point out the ways in which the tables are flawed.

TOWN HALLS TURN THE TABLES ON BLUNKETT

M. Henderson

Times, June 25th 1999, p.13

The Education Secretary has accused local education authorities of spending extra cash meant for education on other projects, of waste on bureaucracy and of refusing to allow schools sufficient control of their budgets. The Local Government Association has said that this analysis is a misrepresentation of the facts and has published its own tables justifying the spending on administration. The LGA will ask the Audit Commission to examine both sets of figures and adjudicate on which is fairer.

(See also Municipal Journal, June 25th - July 1st 1999, p.4)

RAISING STANDARDS IN SCHOOLS: THE YOUTH WORK CONTRIBUTION

J. Hand

Leicester: Youth Work Press, 1995

Presents eight case studies showing how the youth service has worked successfully with schools to extend educational opportunities to young people.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web