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

BUDGET SCHOOLS TO CHALLENGE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS

G. Owen

The Times, October 28th 2003, p.12

A new breed of cut-price, middle market private schools is being planned for Britain. Sunny Varkey, an Indian businessman, aims to capture the business of parents who balk at paying £21,000 per annum for Eton and who also recoil at the local comprehensive. Over the next decade Mr Varkey's company, Global Educational Management Systems (Gems) plans to establish up to 100 schools, with fees as low as £5,000 a year.

DISABILITY AND THE RESTRUCTURING OF WELFARE: THE PROBLEM OF PARTNERSHIPS WITH PARENTS

L. Todd

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 7, 2003, p.281-296

The article explores the role of parent partnership services in regard to assessing children's special educational needs. It includes a case study from Newby Local Education Authority's parent partnership scheme, in which 24 families were interviewed about their experience of the special needs statement process.

EDUCATION MANAGEMENT IN MANAGERALIST TIMES: BEYOND THE TEXTUAL APOLOGISTS

M. Thrupp and R. Wilmott

Open University Press, 2003

This book offers a critical review of the educational management literature itself. The main concern of the authors is that educational management texts do not do enough to encourage school leaders and teachers to challenge social inequality or the market and managerial reforms of the last decade. They demonstrate this through analyses of texts in the areas of educational marketing, school improvement, development planning, school leadership and school change. The book also offers practitioners alternative management strategies intended to contest, rather than support, managerialism.

EVERY PUPIL TO RECEIVE £3,500 PASSPORT

S. Hall and C. Ward

Guardian, October 7th 2003, p.11

The Conservatives yesterday unveiled radical new plans to give parents a £3,000 voucher to fund their children's schooling - but immediately admitted they had no idea how to pay for it.

(See also the Times, October 3rd 2003, p.10; Financial Times, October 3rd

2003, p.4)

EXAM BOARD IN "CONFLICT OF INTERESTS"

G. Owen

The Times, October 28th 2003, p.12

The head of a teachers' union has given a warning of a possible conflict of interest between an examination board and its corporate owner. John Durford, the General Secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said that the government should ensure that NCS Pearson, which acquired the Edexcel board earlier this year, was not allowing its commercial interests to influence the board's setting of public examinations. He was speaking after Edexcel had disclosed it was introducing a qualification, the International GCSE, aimed at schools disillusioned by the amount of coursework in current domestic GCSEs.

GCSE RESULTS REVEAL GOVERNMENT IS MISSING VITAL TARGETS

S. Cassidy

The Independent, October 9th 2003, p.4

New GCSE results show that the government has failed to reach a key target for the number of top passes and looks set to miss a broader target for grades next year.

GIFTED, BUT BLACK

W. Berliner

Guardian Society, October 14th 2003, p.2-3

The education system is failing African Caribbean children, even, says a new report, in authorities whose schools lead the field in race relations. The report, still unpublished, is based on race equality and education in Birmingham

A HEAD FOR BUSINESS

C. Arnot

Guardian Society, October 14th 2003, p.6

Article looks at the appointment of Dean Hancox, who has never taught children, but has become the country's first executive director of a school - Champion School in Leamington Spa.

I'D RATHER BEG THEN SEND MY CHILDREN TO LOCAL STATE SCHOOL, SAYS LETWIN

A. Sparrow

The Daily Telegraph, October 10th 2003, p.2

Oliver Letwin, shadow Home Secretary, yesterday said he would "go out onto the streets and beg" to avoid sending his children to his local inner city comprehensive.

IF AT FIRST YOU FAIL YOUR FAIL YOUR A-LEVELS, KEEP RESITTING UNTIL YOU PASS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 3rd 2003, p.1

A-level students will be able to resit their exams as many times as they like. The move will trigger fresh claims that standards are being eroded.

IS WALES BLAZING A TRAIL IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES?

D. Reynolds

Independent Education, October 2nd 2003, p.3

Author looks at how the Welsh educational alternative is taking shape, involving commitment to the "bog standard" comprehensive school, the reduction of market-based pressures to perform and a shift towards internally based assessment of pupils. The private sector will not be used.

NO MORE SECONDARY SCHOOL TARGETS, URGE MPS

M. Green

Financial Times, October 15th 2003, p.4

Secondary schools are struggling to keep up with the deluge of targets and initiatives and the government should not introduce any more, says a report published today by the influential Education Select Committee.

'ONE SIZE FITS ALL' LEARNING AXED IN SHAKE-UP

J. Clare

Daily Telegraph, October 3rd 2003, p.1

The biggest shake-up in secondary education for 60 years was announced by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority yesterday. For children aged 14 and above it means the end of the national curriculum, commons exams and a unified system of schooling.

(See also the Times, October 3rd 2003, p.6)

PRIVATE SCHOOL HEADS REJECT BACCALAUREATE

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 9th 2003, p.9

The government's plans for an English version of the baccalaureate received a setback yesterday after being given the thumbs down by private headteachers. Without the support of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) the proposals may not go any further than the drawing board.

PROCEDURAL JUSTICE AND SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS ASSESSMENTS IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

S. Riddell

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 7, 2003 p.201-222

The paper examines how the White Paper Modernising Government has been applied to the field of special education needs in England and Scotland. Case studies are presented of four Local Education Authorities, two in England and two in Scotland, which include the experiences of families involved in the Special Education Needs process.

SCHOOL CASH CRISIS 'HAS COST 20,00 JOBS'

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 15th 2003, p.5

More than 20,000 jobs in schools have been lost during this last year as a result of the education funding crisis, according to a survey carried out for the largest classroom teaching union, the National Union of Teachers, which suggests that the scale of the job losses is much worse than previously thought. It showed more than half of all primary schools and two-thirds of secondary schools in England and Wales received budget settlements for 2003-04 that left them worse off than the previous year. Nearly a quarter of primaries and a third of secondary schools cut staffing as a result.

SCHOOLS FOR OUR CITIES: URBAN LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

R. Riddell

Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2003

Schools serving urban areas are at the forefront of state education and on their success depends a high quality public service accessible to all. Urban schools have received much attention from policy makers, not all of it helpful. This book looks at how provision can be brought to a high standard. It examines the nature of the particular education challenges they face and the implications for teaching and leadership of the ways inner-city children learn. The book concludes with an assessment of what schools in urban areas need to be like to be successful and how this might be achieved.

THE SEN DISABILITY TRIBUNAL: A CHILD'S RIGHT TO BE HEARD

S. Vollans and T. Vollans

Family Law, Vol. 33, October 2003, p.745-748

The article examines the rights of the Local Education Authority, children and their parents in hearings before the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND THE LAW: SOME PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS

L. Henshaw

Education and the Law, Vol. 15, 2003, p.3-18

The article examines the law relating to Special Educational Needs, focusing particularly on appeals against local education authorities' (LEA) decisions in placing children with such needs. It details the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal process, with specific reference to Liverpool LEA.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS IN THE MAINSTREAM

Ofsted

London: 2003 (HMI 511)

The report finds that schools are taking seriously their responsibility to adopt an inclusive approach, although inspectors judged that pupils in primary schools were making better progress than those in secondary schools.

STRATEGIC APPROACHES TO TACKLING SCHOOL ABSENTEEISM AND TRUANCY: THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS (TL) SYSTEM

K. Reid

Educational Review, vol.55, 2003, p.305-321

Article presents a whole-school, long-term strategic approach to improving attendance. In the traffic lights scheme, categories of absentees by level of severity are colour coded by schools for monitoring and intervention purposes. The red group is made up of the most serious cases of non-attendance, while the green group at the other extreme is composed of regular attenders. The scheme aims to monitor the attendance of all pupils, and to move absentees into higher attending groups as interventions start to work effectively.

SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS IN THE MAINSTREAM: LEA POLICY AND SUPPORT SERVICES

Ofsted

London: 2003 (HMI 556)

The report highlights examples of good practice in local education authorities (LEAs) that have satisfactory or better provision for pupils with special needs. Schools were having to cope with the move of most support services from direct assistance to a consultancy and advisory role. There was an increased focus on pre-school and early years activity that was in turn said to have resulted in fewer requests for statements of special educational needs at this stage of pupils' education. Schools and LEAs were finding it hard to make appropriate provision for pupils with emotional or behavioural difficulties and their numbers were said to be increasing.

TACKLING UNDER-PERFORMANCE IN TEACHERS

D. Torrington and others

London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003

The authors, using case studies, examine ways in which under-performance can be handled in a range of circumstances. Clear guidance is given on a range of procedures that should be followed to ensure actions are within a legal framework and within current directives on performance management.

Key sections include:

  • how to handle capability issues;
  • ill health and capability;
  • procedures and the legal framework;
  • performance management.

TASKFORCE STEPS IN TO HELP PRIVATISED EDUCATION FIRM

L.Ward

Guardian, October 20th 2003, p.7

A Government-appointed task-force has moved into the country's biggest privatised education authority only months after targets were lowered to allow the company awarded the contract to protect its cash bonus. The move has been seen by critics of privatisation as proof that Serco, which began a £360m contract two years ago to run education in Bradford, is not up to the challenge of improving the city's failing schools.

TEACHERS FACE PAY FREEZE TO AVERT FUNDING CRISIS

L. Ward

Guardian, October 29th 2003, p.1

Teachers face an effective pay freeze over the next two years as the government tries to avoid a repeat of this years school funding crisis. Ministers are expected to announce next week a stand-still inflation-based pay rise of 2.5% from next April up to 2006. The deal will be coupled with an announcement scheduled for today of a guaranteed funding increase of around 4%, or £130, for each pupil in England for 2004-2005.

WELSH WONDER

R. Garner

Independent Education, October 2nd 2003, p.4-5

Since devolution, Wales has begun to develop a very different education system to that in England. The author talks to Jane Davidson, the Welsh Education Secretary, about her plans.

WHAT GOES AROUND …

S. Flynn

Public Finance, Sept.26th-Oct.2nd 2003, p.26-28

Three developments in the education sector have put into question the rationale for outsourcing services to private companies. It is now being recognised that:

  • contracts have a negative impact on strategic decision-making;
  • local education authorities (LEAs) are getting better at delivering the services themselves;
  • highly innovative methods for stimulating the market for education services are coming from LEAs themselves, rather than the private sector.

WOMEN TEACHING BOYS: CARING AND WORKING IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

M. Ashley and J. Lee

Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2003

Ever since the achievement of boys became an issue, the media have made much of the 'shortage' of male teachers. This book challenges much of the accepted wisdom about men and boys. Drawing on the authority of boys' owns voices, it redefines the profile of a good primary school teacher as one, which men or women, it seems, are equally capable of matching. The conclusion is that feminisation is not to blame for the 'problem' with boys.

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