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

ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL NEEDS: A PRACTITIONER'S VIEW

C. Seymour

Child, Vol. 30, 2004, p.249-254

Although statutory guidelines published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2001 set out national minimum standards for the education of children unable to attend school because of medical needs, the focus on providing full time education for those not attending school has been directed at those missing school because of disaffection and exclusion. The article seeks to raise awareness of the special educational requirements of children excluded for health reasons and stresses the importance of ensuring that quality standards are applied as rigorously for these children as for children excluded for other reasons. Legislation concerning the education of children with medical needs is thoroughly examined and the author includes two cases studies detailing the educational experiences of two children with complex healthcare needs.

'BEST EDUCATED GENERATION YET'

R. Smithers and L. Ward

The Guardian. May 20th 2004, p.14

The "Blair generation" will be the best educated in history, the Schools Standards Minister, David Milliband, has promised as he backed a drive to engage parents more in their children's education. Parents would be urged to support the state system, which an upbeat Mr Milliband pledged would create "the best educated generation ever" by the end of three Labour terms.

BOOTED AND SUITED

J. Crace

Guardian Education, May 4th 2004, p. 2-3

By leafleting at the gates, getting onto governing bodies and recruiting teachers, the British National Party is infiltrating schools. It is perfectly legal, so what can be done?

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: PERFORMANCE OF MAINTAINED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC104)

Report considers how the Department for Education and Skills measures and reports the performance of maintained secondary schools. Concludes that performance measures should take into account external factors such as social and economic disadvantage among pupils.

MINISTERS AND UNRULY PUPILS 'CAUSING COLLAPSE OF SCHOOLS'

J. Clare

The Daily Telegraph, May 27 2004, p.1

Secondary education in England is collapsing under the twin strains of Government pressure on schools and deteriorating pupil behaviour, according to a report by Cambridge University's Faculty of Education. The study said the Government's interventionist policies had brought schools to the point where they could no longer deliver what was expected of them.

PARENTAL PARTNERSHIP: THE POLICY AND PRACTICE OF FAMILY LEARNING

L. McKenna

Early Education, no.43, Summer 2004, p.5-6

Author outlines her experience of devising and delivering a family learning programme in the context of the government's agenda of raising standards, widening participation and promoting social inclusion. Discusses the benefits involvement brought to parents and children.

PRIMARY SCHOOL RANKINGS FATALLY FLAWED, SAYS UNION

T. Halpin

The Times, May 26th 2004, p.2

The Government's measurement of the progress made by pupils at primary school is fatally flawed and should 'be abolished', according to recent research. As many as 85 per cent of the 16,000 primary schools in England could be ranked wrongly in league tables of the "value added" by teachers to pupils' test results between the ages of 7 and 17, the study for the National Association of Head Teachers said.

PROMOTING EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING THROUGH THE NATIONAL HEALTHY SCHOOLS STANDARD

Health Development Agency

Wetherby, Yorks, 2004

To meet the National Healthy Schools Standards for Emotional Health and Wellbeing, schools need to demonstrate that they:

  • provide opportunities for pupils' views to inform policy and practice;
  • have a policy and code of practice for tackling bullying;
  • enable pupils to understand what they are feeling and build their confidence to learn;
  • identify and support the emotional health needs of staff.

THE REINSTATEMENT OF EXCLUDED PUPILS

P. Meredith

Education and the Law, Vol. 15, 2003, p.219-225

The article examines the law surrounding the rights of excluded pupils to reinstatement. In particular it focuses on the difficulties head teachers and governors face in reconciling the educational and social interests of the reinstated pupil with the needs of the broader school community.

SCHOOL TRANSPORT

Transport Committee

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, Session 2003/04; HC 318)

The report comments on the transport aspects of the draft School Transport Bill. The Bill is intended to enable Local Education Authorities to run several travel schemes which are tailored to the needs of their area and for which they may charge.

SOCIAL DEPRIVATION 'SHOULD COUNT IN SCHOOL RANKINGS'

G. Owen

The Times, May 13th 2004, p.14

Traditional school league tables based on the results achieved by pupils should be replaced by "weighted" tables taking into account the social background of children, a report by MPs has concluded. The Commons Public Accounts Committee called for the overhaul, to be carried out next year. The aim is to give parents a better picture of teachers' performance. Under the new system, the level of local economic deprivation would be analysed and factored into a school's academic performance.

THE SCHOOL THAT PUPILS SAY MUST DO BETTER

L. Lightfoot

The Daily Telegraph, May 20th 2004, p.3

Headlands School in Swindon, Wiltshire, has been closed all week after a walkout by around 100 pupils in support of a teacher they were told was facing disciplinary action for suggesting that they were being let down by the system. The author talks to some of the pupils - past, present and those excluded from lessons - and their parents.

THREAT TO CHARITY STATUS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS

D. Charter and A. Frean

The Times, May 24th 2004, p.1

The charitable status of private schools and hospitals will be challenged by a powerful committee of MPs and peers set up to examine the draft Charities Bill. Under the Bill, to be published on Thursday, the schools and hospitals will have to demonstrate how they benefit the public to retain the tax- exempt status which helps keep many of them afloat. The Bill will replace the 400-year-old common law definition of charities with 12 "public benefit" categories, including the advancement of education and religion and the relief of poverty. But committee members are understood to want apply a "commonsense test" so that an organisation must clearly appear to be a charity rather than a business to keep its status. This would appear to be an attempt to force exclusive schools and hospitals to do more to help the state sector, especially as the draft bill is expected to remove the presumption of charitable status from all private schools.

UNDERSTANDING SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS: A GUIDE FOR STUDENT TEACHERS

M. Farrell

London: Routledge, 2004

The Professional Standards for Qualified Teachers Status and Induction Standards are now the driving force behind teacher education, and students will need to demonstrate their competence against these, and in particular, their understanding of Special Educational Needs in today's inclusive classrooms. Each chapter of this book explores an important topic within SEN and directly relates it to the competencies teachers require. Chapters cover school policy, literacy and numeracy, ICT, emotional and behavioural difficulties and working with parents.

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