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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2004): Education - UK - Schools

CHALLENGING DISAFFECTION: BEST PRACTICE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF DISAFFECTION

Economic and Social Research Council, 2003

The research examined disaffection among school pupils by surveying teachers and producing case studies of inclusive practice. Pupils showing behaviour indicating disaffection in school are a considerable day-to-day concern for teachers. Strategies for re-engaging disaffected pupils in learning include:

  • removing the stigma of failure
  • creation of home-school partnerships
  • collaborative working among teachers
  • emphasis on the connectedness of the educational experience through strong cross-curricula links

web linkEDUCATIONAL SERVICES FOR HEARING IMPAIRED CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (PDF format)

Department for Training and Education, Welsh Assembly Government

Cardiff: 2003

Consultation document aims to highlight strengths and weaknesses in current provision, propose strategies that will enable local education authorities to deliver quality services which will raise standards, and suggest alternative models for future delivery of services. The consultation explores the background and current situation, supporting hearing impaired children and young people, specialist training, staff recruitment and retention, standards for excellence in service provision, and the way forward.

EMPHASIS ON SCHOOL RESULTS LEAVES CHILDREN WITH NEEDS ON PERIPHERY

S Wellard

Community Care, Dec. 4th-10th, 2003, p.16-17

The current focus on attainment targets gives schools an incentive to exclude children who would adversely affect their rating. Children with special needs who do get places in mainstream schools are not well supported. Article considers the impact on pupils with disabilities, looked after children and children with behavioural difficulties.

GRAMMAR SCHOOLS BOOST CHILDREN'S PERFORMANCE

S. Cassidy

The Independent, December 17th 2003, p.8

Grammar schools are better than comprehensives at boosting children's performance between the ages of 11 and 14, according to the first ever national league tables ranking secondary schools according to the success of their 14-year old pupils. Selective grammar schools dominated the top of the league tables based on results in national tests taken by 14-year old this summer, which were published yesterday. Headteachers, however, maintain that the rankings are spurious.

See also The Guardian, December 17th 2003, p.6; The Times, December 17th 2003, p.1)

HALF OF PRIMARY TEACHERS 'FAILING PUPILS'

J. Clare

The Daily Telegraph, December 10th 2003, p.1

Nearly half the teaching in English primary schools is not good enough, mainly because teachers do not know enough about literacy and numeracy, according to Ofsted. In its most damning report for years, Ofsted said a quarter of 11-year olds - more than 150,000 children - moved on to secondary school every year without reaching the expected levels in English and maths. Ofsted saw little hope of the situation improving, with not enough lessons in which the teaching was good enough to raise the standards for the lowest attaining quarter of pupils. Ofsted also found teachers failed to challenge higher-attaining pupils sufficiently. The report measures the impact of the first five years of the national literacy and numeracy strategies.

(See also The Guardian, December 10th 2003, p.7)

INTEGRATION IN AN AGE OF CHOICE

S. Gorard

New Economy, December 2003, Vol. 10(4), p.240-244

The article investigates whether children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the same educational opportunities as their more advantaged peers, with particular reference to the distribution of disadvantaged students between schools.

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT: MANAGING THE SCHOOL WORKFORCE

Ofsted

London: 2003 (HMI 1764)

Good leadership and management of teachers and other school staff are essential if schools are to improve. Report highlights the importance of developing and managing the culture and ethos of the school, providing a good working environment, tackling excessive workloads, providing well-targeted staff development opportunities and introducing change with sensitivity.

LEARNING BY EXAMPLE?

H. Brighouse

New Economy, vol. 10(4), 2003, p.230-233

The article examines why schools set in similar deprived areas, with similar socio-economic compositions in their pupil mix, face dissimilar circumstances - some successful, others failures. Ways of supporting disadvantaged schools are also investigated, including increasing the salaries of teachers working in difficult schools and reducing class sizes.

THE MYTH OF EDUCATION-BASED MERITOCRACY: WHY THE THEORY ISN'T WORKING

J. Goldthorpe

New Economy, December 2003, Vol. 10(4), p.234-239

The article examines the theory of meritocracy, which concerns the relationship between class origins, educational attainment and class destinations. Conventional wisdom asserts these relationships change over time according to the requirements of modern society. However the article challenges this theory, concluding that the associations between class origins and destinations have been stable for many decades and will remain so.

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: TARGETING DISADVANTAGE THROUGH PERSONALISED LEARNING

D. Milband

New Economy, vol. 10(4), 2003, p.224-229

The article argues that schooling is the best way to ensure equality of opportunity for young people but the way teaching and learning are organised must change if this is to occur. It explores how to break the link between poverty and disadvantage, looking at areas such as out-of-school opportunities, personalised learning, improved teaching and the use of ICT.

PROMOTING A PRO-EDUCATION CULTURE

N. McIntosh

New Economy, Vol. 10, 2003, p.245-248

The article warns against using the education system to promote social justice. Rather, it emphasises the importance of parental support of, and commitment to, their children's education, arguing that this is the most powerful force in improving social mobility.

SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES A 'POISONOUS THORN' IN SIDE OF EDUCATION, WARNS THINK-TANK

S. Cassidy

The Independent, December 15th 2003, p. 10

League tables of pupils' exam results have become a "poisonous thorn" in the side of educational progress and should be scrapped. The tables have skewed schools' priorities and damaged pupils' education, according to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research. However, Charles Clarke, the Secretary of State for Education says that "testing, targets and performance tables are very much here to stay".

UNDERSTANDING UNDERACHIEVEMENT: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE DIFFERENTIAL ATTAINMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS

E. Smith

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.24, 2003, p. 575-586

Report of a study that addressed issues around how "underachievement" can be defined and measured, and how underachieving pupils can be identified. Data were collected for 30 variables from over 2000 secondary school pupils in South Wales and used to predict performance in national tests at age 14. Pupils whose performance fell below their predictions were classified as underachieving. Conversely, pupils who obtained better results than expected were classified as overachieving.

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