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

£71,428 To Return A Truant To Class

B. Brogan

The Daily Telegraph, September 18th 2003, p.2

The government spent £50 million on anti truancy measures last year, but only stopped 700 children missing school. About 50,000 children skip school every day, a figure that has remained broadly unchanged since records began in 1994.

£75m Experts To Take On School Bullies

G. Owen

The Times, September 4th 2003, p.11

Primary schools are to receive £75m funding to hire specialist consultants to identify and treat pupils aged 5 to 7 who are showing signs of anti-social behaviour. The package is part of a three-year Behaviour Improvement Programme that includes "behaviour audits" of schools and fast-track prosecution of parents of persistent truants.

A DEMAND FOR BETTER HOSPITAL SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS

N. Fitzduff

Scope, September 2003, p.18

The development of rural hospital services in Northern Ireland has been controversial, producing much bad feeling. Rural communities have been disadvantaged due to disproportionate investment in hospitals in the Belfast area and services in rural areas have been run down before new proposals have been put on the table. Access to quality acute services is crucial and the survival of services may be down to communities whose links with hospitals are strong.

BAD REPORT FOR BRITISH SCHOOL DROPOUTS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, September 17th 2003, p.9

Britain has one of the worst records for children staying on in full time education after the age of 16 according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Youngsters are also leaving school with poor qualifications, leaving Britain trailing 22nd out of 30 in a comparative table of developed countries.

(See also: The Financial Times, September 17th 2003, p.2; The Times, September 17th 2003, p.2)

CASH CRISIS FORCES OUT TEACHERS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, September 1st 2003, p.1, 12-13

At least 1000 teaching posts have been lost across England and Wales. More than 800 of the losses have been through redundancy, but many schools have also opted not to replace teachers who have left voluntarily. Nearly a third of Local Education Authorities said that funding for schools was worse than last year.

CLASS SIZES ON THE INCREASE, SAYS NEW STUDY

R. Smithers

The Guardian, September 10th 2003, p.5

Class sizes in England have risen to 22.6 primary pupils and 17 secondary pupils per teacher, according to official figures. The number of foreign teachers and instructors without qualified teacher status has also increased by 2,800 since last January.

FIRM PLANS 50 CUT-PRICE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

R. McGreevy

The Times, September 22nd 2003, p.4

Children may be able to gain access to private education at more competitive rates as a company, which already provides private education to pupils in the Middle East, plans to set up a network of cheap independent schools in Britain. Global Education Management, whose chairman is Michael Tomlinson, the former Chief Inspector of Schools, hope to develop 50 independent schools over the next decade.

FRIENDS, PUPILS, CITIZENS

J. Crace

Guardian Education, September 9th 2003, p.23

One year on and citizenship is still finding its place in the curriculum. The author visits a school in Widnes to witness the wider implications.

'HEADLESS WORKER' ADS ANGER UNIONS AS TEACHERS LOSE JOBS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, September 2nd 2003, p.9

Teachers' unions have spoken out against a new advertising campaign encouraging people to give up office jobs to follow a more challenging career as a teacher. The adverts, which are being launched this week, coincide with hundreds of teachers losing their jobs at the start of the new school year.

HEAVEN AND HELSINKI

J. Crace

Guardian Education, September 16th 2003, p.2-3

Recent international league tables for education show that Finland leads the world. Finnish children don't start school until they are seven, there is no streaming, and no national tests until the final year. The author went to find out what Britain could learn from the Finnish success story.

MORE PUPILS MISS LESSONS WITH ANXIETY AND PHOBIAS

S. Cassidy

The Independent, September 8th 2003, p.5

Bullying and unruly behaviour leaves many children too frightened to go to school. Although the problem is more prevalent in secondary schools, Ofsted inspectors have noticed that it is also beginning to increase in primary schools. Children's progress often suffers as local authorities fail to provide an adequate alternative education for the vulnerable.

NUT STRIKE THREAT OVER CLASSROOM ASSISTANTS

R. Garner

The Independent, September 1st 2003, p.1

Schools may face strikes later this term as the NUT threatens action over new teaching regulations that will allow unqualified assistants to take classes. The union is also unhappy about tests to be taken by 2 million pupils aged 7, 11 and 14.

PARENTAL ETHNOTHEORIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN'S SCHOOL PREPARATION

L. Brooker

International Journal of Early Years Education, Vol. 11, 2003, p.117-128

The article focuses on the different cultural backgrounds of Anglo and Bangladeshi children and the impact that their background has on their first year of schooling. It discovered that there are many differences in the way Anglo and Bangladeshi families bring up and view their children, but that in both cultures families were frequently at odds with the school in their understanding of teaching and learning, and the roles of adults and children.

PARENTS NOT PREPARING CHILDREN FOR SCHOOL, OFSTED HEAD WARNS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, September 1st 2003, p.5

Children's "disrupted and dishevelled" lives are leaving them ill prepared for school according to David Bell, the head of Ofsted. Many parents leave children in front of the television instead of engaging them through talking and playing, adversely affecting their verbal skills. These children therefore start school behind their peers and the gap often continues to widen as they go through the education system.

(See also The Daily Telegraph, September 1st 2003, p.9)

PUPILS GET LESSONS ON WALKING TO SCHOOL

B. Webster

The Times, September 17th 2003, p.2

Children are to be given lessons on the benefits of walking or cycling to school as part of the government's £50m drive to reduce congestion. Schools will also be asked to stagger their opening times in order to spread the school-run traffic.

PUPILS PAY FOR REFORMS TO EASE TEACHERS' WORK

T. Halpin

Times, Sept. 9th 2003, p.4

Teachers' contracts have been changed to release them from administrative tasks. Schools were expected to take on extra clerical staff to deal with these tasks, but have been unable to do so because of budget shortfalls.

SCHOOLS TAKE THOUSANDS MORE FOREIGN TEACHERS

L. Lightfoot

The Daily Telegraph, September 10th 2003, p.9

More than four times the number of foreign teachers and unqualified staff are working in schools than in 1997 when Labour came to power. A spokesman for the Department of Education stresses that the teachers were qualified in their own countries.

(See also The Independent, September 10th 2003, p.6)

SCHOOLS URGED TO STAGGER LESSONS IN BID TO CUT TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK

S. Cassidy

Independent, September 4th 2003, p.2

Government will attempt to reduce traffic congestion caused by parents driving their children to school. Proposed measures include staggering the start and finish of the school day, charging parents who drive, and introduction of school buses.

"SUPPRESSED" REPORT WILL SHOW SCHOOLS STAFFING CRISIS

R. Garner

The Independent, September 22nd 2003, p.2

A government report, allegedly suppressed for three years and finally due out this week, will reveal that thousands of secondary pupils are receiving lessons from staff not trained in the subject they are teaching. 11-14 year olds are the most likely to be affected and the problem is most acute in core subjects such as maths and science.

TEACHERS WARN OF CONTINUING CASH CRISIS

R. Garner

The Independent, September 16th 2003, p.2

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed that the funding crisis in schools will continue until 2006. This will make it almost impossible for schools to implement Tony Blair's public-service reforms for education, in which teaching staff should be guaranteed 10% of school time away from the classroom for marking and preparation.

(See also The Financial Times, September 16th 2003, p.6)

TOP STATE SCHOOLS ADD 33% TO HOUSE PRICES

L. Smith

The Times, September 5th 2003, p.12

Parents hoping to get their children into the best state schools are spending as much to buy a house in the catchment area as they would paying fees at an independent school, according to research by the Royal Geographical Society. House prices rise by a third around the top primary schools and a fifth for the best secondary.

TOWARDS AN INCLUSIVE SCHOOL CULTURE: BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ELTON'S "AFFECTIVE CURRICULUM"?

G. Hanko

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 30, 2003, p.125-131

In spite of our better understanding of how children learn and how their emotional and social realities can be used as a source of learning that is relevant to all, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties continue to be seen as impeding their teachers' pedagogical effectiveness and as damaging the educational chances of others. The article offers an overview of practical approaches to professional development that, by deepening teacher's insight into emotional and social factors in children's learning, have been shown to eliminate the need to exclude the disaffected, as suggested in the Elton report of 1989.

TRANSITION PLANNING: HOW WELL DOES IT WORK FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES?

L. Ward and others

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 30, 2003, p.132-

Legislation and guidance require that transition planning takes place for all children with a statement of special education needs. However, research based on questionnaires completed by parents and separate in-depth interviews with the young people and their parents, reveals that many youngsters with learning disabilities left school without any transition planning at all. Where transition planning had occurred there was a mismatch between the topics the family wanted to cover and those addressed by the professionals involved. Many youngsters who did receive transition planning had little involvement in the process; parental involvement was significantly less than it should have been.

WE WANT OUR SAY: CHILDREN AS ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR EDUCATION

R. Klein

Save the Children, Trentham Books, 2003

The British government plans to give children the right to be involved in their own education, and not before time according to Reva Klein. In her book she examines the challenges of creating a power-sharing ethos in today's school and what schools have to gain from the result. She also looks at specific schools in both the US and the UK who already have a student-teacher partnership and examines the effects the scheme has had.

WHEN SOCIAL INCLUSION BECOMES SOCIAL EXCLUSION?

L-A Barnes

SCOLAG Legal Journals, Issue 311, September 2003, p.160-163

The article explores the procedures involved in school exclusion, be it permanent or temporary. It covers the grounds for exclusion, the obligations of the school and the right of pupils and/or parents to appeal against the decision.

WILL WORKLOADS DEAL GET TEACHERS TO STAY?

Anon

Labour Research, vol.92, Sept. 2003, p.20-21

Government is tackling problems of overwork and stress among teachers by expanding the role of classroom assistants. Staff appointed to the new position of higher level teaching assistant will be able to take whole classes under the supervision of a qualified teacher.

YOUNG TEACHERS PREFER "GETTING A LIFE" TO WINNING PROMOTION, HEADS WARN

R. Garner

Independent, Sept. 9th 2003, p.9

The Secondary Heads Association has warned that young teachers are reluctant to take on management roles due to the long hours and heavy workloads involved.

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