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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2004): Education - Uk - Schools

CAN PAY, WILL PAY?

C. Ryan

Public Finance, Mar.12th-18th 2004, p.20-23

School children in the UK are increasingly being driven to school, causing traffic jams and road rage. A solution may be the introduction of school buses, for which most parents would have to pay.

COULD DO EVEN BETTER

M. Johnson

New Economy, Vol. 11, 2004, p. 31-34

The article explores how London schools can overcome Britain's traditional link between social background and attainment, focusing particularly on funding, staffing and admission policies.

EDUCATING CHILDREN WITH FACIAL DISFIGUREMENT: CREATING INCLUSIVE SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

J. Frances

London: Routledge, 2004

Children and young people who are visibly different face significant social and psychological challenges at school. There are many cases of facial disfigurement, which include birthmarks, cleft lip and palate, burns, scars and serious skin conditions. This book aims to help teachers, health professionals, parents and anyone with a commitment to inclusion handle these sensitive issues. Issues dealt with include:

  • staring, curiosity and answering questions;
  • teasing, name-calling and bullying;
  • medical needs and special education needs;
  • creating inclusive school communities;
  • self-perception and self-expression;
  • career ideas and work experience;
  • social skills for life.

EXTRA LITERACY AND MATHS HOURS FAIL

L. Lightfoot

Daily Telegraph, March 23rd 2004, p.1

The extension of literacy and numeracy hours to secondary schools has failed to help children catch up, Ofsted said yesterday. Teaching in maths continued to be weak and fewer than half of the children involved made the desired progress, said the report on the Government's drive to improve the first three years secondary schooling.

GOVERNMENT UNVEILS £2BN A YEAR PLAN FOR EXTENDED SCHOOLS

T. Donovan

Young People Now, 17th-23rd March 2004, p.2

Labour's plan to turn all secondary schools into extended schools will see every secondary school in England rebuilt or replaced in the next 10 to 15 years. School's Minister David Miliband said that schools would not only be centres of formal education but also offer services such as health provision and community centres.

LEARNING TO TEACH "SCIENCE" OUT OF SCHOOL: NON-SCHOOL PLACEMENTS AS PART OF PRIMARY PGCE PROGRAMME

A. Peacock and R. Bowker

Education and Training, Vol. 46, 2004, p.24-32

The article describes an innovative programme for environmental science specialists as part of their teacher training course. It examines the benefits of placements in a non-school environment from the point of view of the students and their hosts and considers how the placements could be improved and developed.

LOCAL MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOLS

Northern Ireland Audit Office

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC297)

Local management of schools has been in operation in Northern Ireland for 10 years and was designed to empower the education community to improve outcomes. Review covers school governance arrangements, financial planning and management, and monitoring and evaluation of schools by boards.

NEW REPORTS TELL PARENTS HOW SCHOOL IS DOING

T. Halpin

The Times, March 26th 2004, p.2

Parents will be sent two-page reports each year on the strengths and weaknesses of their children's school under the government plans announced yesterday. The profile will replace the annual governors' report to parents.

NEW TEACHERS RESORT TO HELPLINE

R. Smithers

The Guardian, March 25th 2004, p.7

The number of young and newly qualified teachers seeking professional help through the telephone hotline, Teacher Support Line, has doubled over the past four years. According to the service, run by an independent charity, the Teacher Support Network, stress accounted for the highest number of calls.

PAY FOR TEACHERS 'SHOULD BE BASED ON PERFORMANCE'

T. Halpin

The Times, March 16th 2004, p.3

Teachers should be rewarded according to their performance in the classroom from the moment they enter the profession, the Government's pay advisory body said yesterday. The School Teachers Review Body said that staff should progress up the salary scale only if their performance each year justified an increase.

SCHOOLS, MARKETS AND CHOICE POLICIES

S. Gorad, C.Taylor and J. Fitz

London: Routledge, 2004

Choice and selection are now cornerstones of education policies wherever these have been shaped by market economics. Now, as never before, schools can face uncertain futures, because their survival is determined by external factors such as housing and the effectiveness other public sector services. This book assesses the impact of choice policies not only upon the education system itself, but also upon wider society and provides valuable insights into economic and social segregation.

A SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM: APPLYING NURTURE GROUP PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES TO SUPPORT SOCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY VULNERABLE CHILDREN WITHIN MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS

R. Doyle

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 31, 2004, p.24-30

The article explores the role of nurture groups in reintegrating children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) into the mainstream classroom. The groups encourage the engagement of pupils in an appropriate curriculum, while recognising their need for positive experiences, thus increasing self-esteem and academic success. The article describes how the methods employed by a nurture group in Thetford, Yorkshire, evolved into a social development curriculum to support teachers working with socially and emotionally vulnerable children in their classrooms. Case studies of two children are included to illustrate the potential use of the curriculum.

STANDARDS AND QUALITY 2002/03: THE ANNUAL REPORT OF HER MAJESTY'S CHIEF INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC170)

Found that primary schools' results in national tests had not improved over several years. There is a persistent gap between standards attained by boys and girls, particularly in writing. At secondary level, there are wide variations in the achievements of different groups of pupils. Girls outperform boys and many Black Caribbean pupils perform less well than some other ethnic minority groups. In many schools a more flexible curriculum at Key Stage 4, including vocational courses, is improving motivation, and, in some cases, achievement. The match of teachers to the curriculum has improved but is good or better in only half the schools, and unsatisfactory or poor in one in seven.

TESTS FOR 7-YEAR-OLDS TO BE DROPPED

R. Garner

The Independent, March 8th 2004, p.1

End-of-year tests for seven year olds will be scrapped this summer in what could be the first step to removing them nationwide. The shake-up, the first radical shift from the testing regime criticised by teachers and parents as too stressful for young pupils, is the biggest overhaul of national curriculum testing in England since its introduction 13 years ago.

UNDERSTANDING AND DEVELOPING INCLUSIVE PRACTICES IN SCHOOLS: A COLLABORATIVE ACTION RESEARCH NETWORK

M. Ainscow, T. Booth and A. Dyson

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 8, 2004, p.125-139

The article summarises the emerging findings of the Understanding and Developing Inclusive Practices in Schools Network as it explores ways to identify and overcome barriers to participation and learning in schools. The network comprises of teams of researchers from three universities, working alongside school and local education authority (LEA) practitioners. The tension between the policies of inclusion and raising standards in schools is highlighted, and the article also considers the benefits of collaboration between practitioners and academics.

VOCATIONAL A-LEVELS SLAMMED BY OFSTED

R. Smithers

The Guardian, March 29th 2004, p.7

Vocational A-levels in subjects such as travel and tourism and health and social care are so badly designed that they do not challenge youngsters or provide them with skills required in the workplace, a report from the education watchdog Ofsted warns today.

(See also The Independent, March 25th 2004. p.7; The Times, March 25th 2004, p.4; Financial Times, March 25th 2004. p.4)

VOCATIONAL A LEVELS: THE FIRST TWO YEARS

Ofsted

London: 2004 (HMI2146)

The advanced Vocational Certificate of Education is not a popular qualification with learners and it is doing little to achieve the objectives of Curriculum 2000. Take-up is low and there is a tendency for colleges to raise entry requirements in the belief that the AVCE is more demanding than the GNVQ advanced. The AVCE is not well designed. It is neither seriously vocational nor consistently advanced. In some subjects course specifications lack vocational content and are too similar to GCE A level. The assessment regime is excessively complex and bureaucratic. Teachers spend too much of their time assessing instead of teaching and students spend too much time completing assessments instead of learning. There is a lack of consistency in the grades awarded to students for work of a similar standard.

WISE AND WONDERFUL

W. Berliner

Education Guardian, March 16th 2004, p.2-3

Parents and the government alike are fans of faith schools - and of their results. But should schools, as the Archbishop of Canterbury wishes, also be churches? And does their growing popularity mean multicultural education has failed?

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