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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 1999): Education - UK - schools

£20M FUND FOR TEACHER PAY-LINKED APPRAISALS

J. Carvel

Guardian, July 26th 1999, p. 7

Reports that the government is taking the first step towards introducing performance related pay for teachers by announcing a £20m fund for training heads and senior school managers in techniques of staff appraisal.

(See also Independent, July 27th 1999, p 10)

'ARROGANT BLUNKETT' ATTACKED OVER PAY

B. Russell

Independent, July 9th 1999, p. 12

Reports the government's determination to press ahead with performance-related pay for teachers in the face of opposition from the two largest teaching unions. Under the proposals, experienced teachers could get a £2,000 pay rise and access to pay scales reaching £35,000 a year if they pass a performance threshold based on appraisal and pupils' progress. Once past the threshold, additional pay rises would be available to reward performance or extra responsibilities.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 9th 1999, p. 2; Times, July 9th 1999, p. 8)

BIG IMPROVEMENT IN TESTS FOR 11-YEAR-OLDS

J. Judd

Independent, July 23rd 1999, p.1

Results in this year's English and maths tests for 11-year-olds have improved dramatically and given a huge boost to the government's campaign to raise standards.

THE BIG PICTURE: THE NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AGENDA AND MINORITY ETHNIC PUPILS

M. Barber

Multicultural Teaching, vol. 17, Summer 1999, p. 6 - 10 & 17

Discusses the impact of the government's campaign to raise standards in education on ethnic minority pupils. Outlines policy initiatives including Literacy and Numeracy Strategies, Education Action Zones, Education Development Plans and approaches to tackling truancy and exclusions.

BLUNKETT AND BLAIR RAIL AT 'ELITIST' CRITICS

J. Carvel and R. Smithers

Guardian, July 20th 1999, p. 10

Reports on attack by the government on critics of its education reforms accusing them of pushing their own children at goals deliberately denied to poorer ones, thus willingly promoting the educational failure of the masses.

(For rebuttal of the government attack, see Times, July 20th 1999, p. 16)

CHANGING FORMS OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN EDUCATION ? A CASE STUDY OF LEAs IN WALES

C. M. Farrell and J. Law

Public Administration, vol. 77, 1999, p. 293-310

The educational reforms have introduced a market-based approach, whereby accountability is to the consumer for the outputs of the education service. This represents a shift from the traditional concentration on professional accountability. Results show that in Wales, politicians and officers, although operating within the legislative framework of market accountability, are attempting to prevent its successful implementation. They have used their position as implementers of policy and members of the educational network to effectively interpret, rather than execute, policy. The market-based reforms are in conflict with fundamental values held in Wales, which remain those of professional accountability.

THE CHANGING MANAGEMENT AGENDA FOR PRIMARY HEADS

N. Jones

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 12, 1999, p. 324-337

Paper investigates the modern role of a primary head teacher based on participant observation, interviews and Repertory Grids. Results support the view that the primary head of the late 1990s is a hybrid, both a professional educator and a manager. He/she performs as a manager but is guided by the underpinning professional philosophy of education.

CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION AND THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM

ChildRight, no. 157, 1999, p. 3-4

Summarises the main learning of objectives for each key stage of the proposed programme of citizenship education. At primary school level, citizenship education will be provided on a non-statutory basis within the framework of personal, social and health education. In secondary schools there will be a statutory requirement to provide classes in citizenship for all pupils.

CIVIL RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUTH POLICY

P. Alderson

Youth and Policy, no. 64, 1999, p. 56-73

Article describes the background of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and presents and discusses the findings of a survey conducted in schools to establish young people's understanding of their civil rights. Shows how greater understanding and use of the UN Convention could make a crucial contribution to more just and well-grounded youth policies.

DEMOCRACY, INCLUSIVE SCHOOLING AND THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION

D. Halpin

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 3, 1999, p. 225-238

Drawing on a variety of social and political theories about the nature and future of democracy, paper develops a thesis about the politics of inclusive education. It concludes with a brief preliminary evaluation of the potential of the Labour government's Education Action Zones policy for the development of inclusive schools.

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Technology Colleges Trust

London: 1999

Research shows that the 51 specialist schools designated in 1994 have made considerably greater progress than comprehensive schools to date. The specialist schools have improved their pupils' GCSE results from 41% getting five or more A*-C GCSEs in 1994 to 53% in 1998. The comparable figure for all comprehensive schools in 1994 was 39% and in 1998 it was 43%.

EXAMS CRITICISED AS 'CHILD ABUSE'

M. Henderson

Times, July 28th 1999, p.9

Delegates at the Professional Association of Teachers Conference have called for exams to be scrapped and replaced by continuous assessment after expressing concern that the government's obsession with tests was forcing youngsters with pre-exam stress to contemplate suicide.

(See also Guardian, July 28th 1999, p. 12; Daily Telegraph, July 28th 1999, p. 13)

GLOBALISATION, MODERNISATION AND COMPETITIVENESS: A CRITIQUE OF THE NEW LABOUR PROJECT IN EDUCATION

M. Cole

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 8, 1998, p. 315-32

For British industry to remain competitive in world markets, it needs a highly trained and flexible labour force. To deliver this there have to be on-going improvements in educational standards. These are to be achieved by competition between schools for pupils through selection, and by Education Action Zones (EAZs) intended to raise standards in disadvantaged areas. The zones, however, will give businesses and organisations representing businesses an increasing role in the education system and are being used as a springboard for privatisation.

GOVERNMENT POLICY AND SCHOOL EFFECTS: RACISM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN POLICY AND PRACTICE

D. Gillborn, D. Youdell and A. Kirton

Multicultural Teaching, vol. 17, Summer 1999, p. 11-17

Discusses the adverse effects of the present trends towards use of selective pupil grouping strategies (in sets, streams or bands) on ethnic minority pupils. Argues that the Labour government's naive multi-culturalism represents a grossly inadequate policy response in the face of the deep seated and institutionalised racism that characterises the contemporary education system.

GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO THE THIRD REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE, SESSION 1998/99: HIGHLY ABLE CHILDREN

Education and Employment Committee

London: TSO, 1999 (House of Commons papers, Session 1998-99; HC 610)

The government is committed to developing and implementing a national strategy for the education of talented children. If plans to:

  • ensure that all national education policies and initiatives include, where appropriate, a focus on the needs of gifted children;
  • identify, encapsulate and disseminate effective practice on the identification, education and support of gifted children;
  • produce an action plan for embedding good practice in every school and LEA.

THE GREEN PAPER: IS IT INCLUSIVE FOR TEACHERS?

C. Vieler-Porter

Multicultural Teaching, vol. 17, Summer 1999, p. 26-30

Considers the impact of the green paper's recommendations on performance related pay, training and development, and reduction in bureaucracy on teachers from ethnic minority groups.

INCLUDING ALL LEARNERS: QCA's APPROACH

J. Wade

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 26, 1999, p. 80-82

Discusses work of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in setting appropriate targets and developing assessment approaches for pupils with special educational needs.

INSULTED BY BLUNKETT

S. Farrow

Guardian, July 21st 1999, p. 18

Points out that research findings on the value of homework in primary schools have been widely misinterpreted and misrepresented. The researchers have simply presented their findings as fact, and have never, contrary to Mr. Blunkett's accusation, made recommendations to schools about setting homework. For the record, results show that pupils who reported doing homework once a month achieved the best scores in tests of reading, maths and science.

IT'S TIME TO SEND THE TORIES TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CLASS

J. Daley

Daily Telegraph, July 27th 1999, p. 22

Criticises the Tories for failing to attack the Labour government's abolition of grant-maintained schools. Their reversion to voluntary-aided status will mean loss of a proportion of their funding for capital expenditure.

MORE NURSERY PLACES BEING PROVIDED

R. Smithers

Guardian, July 15th 1999, p. 11

Reports government announcement that 41,500 new free nursery school places would be provided from September 1999, rising to 47,800 the following year. It is claimed that more than 80% of the new places will be in the private or voluntary sector.

THE QUALITY OF NURSERY EDUCATION

Office for Standards in Education

London: 1999

Inspection findings show that four-year-olds benefit from structured learning, where there is a deliberate effort to teach them knowledge and skills in the areas of learning covered by the Desirable Learning Outcomes (DLOs). In the best settings many four-year olds are forging ahead happily with early reading and writing. These children are far from exceptional and their response rebuts the idea that young children are damaged by being taught these things from an early stage. In less successful settings, children are more likely to be under-challenged than given work with which they cannot cope.

QUASI-MARKET REFORMS AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLING IN ENGLAND: AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

P. Davies and N. Adnett

Journal of Education and Work, vol. 12, 1999, p. 141-156

The introduction of quasi-market reforms has been detrimental to the development of vocational education in England. Parents and schools have been encouraged to focus their decision-making around the proportion of 16-year-old students at the school gaining five or more grades C or above in academic GCSE qualifications. This entrenchment of the position of academic qualifications in providing the key indicator of the school's success reduces the likelihood that schools, parents and employers will opt for vocational qualifications.

SCHOOL'S OUT AND WORK'S IN

K. Raymond

Daily Telegraph, July 14th 1999, p. 20

Argues that by offering students more extensive work experience, schools can ease the transition to the workplace. Children as young as 14 should be given the option of spending 1 or 2 days a week in the workplace, either for a few months or until the end of their compulsory education.

SCHOOLS' SELECTION POLICY THREATENED

J. Judd

Independent, July 19th 1999, p. 6

Reports that the Office of the Schools Adjudicator has received complaints from parents and local authorities about more than 40 schools that select some but not all of their pupils by ability. Under new rules, the team of 16 independent adjudicators can order changes in admission arrangements and end partial selection.

"STREET CRED" FOR BRIGHT PUPILS

B. Russell

Independent, July 8th 1999, p. 8

Reports government concern that schools are ignoring the brightest children. It is calling for every school to have plans for stretching gifted youngsters. A culture change is needed to give high academic performance 'street cred'.

(See also Guardian, July 8th 1999, p. 8)

TEACHING SUBJECTS TO PUPILS WITH PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES: CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEW FRAMEWORK

N. Grove and N. Peacey

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 26, 1999, p. 83-86

Discusses development of a framework for teaching national curriculum subjects to pupils with profound learning difficulties through discussion with mainstream specialists.

'WELL. THAT ABOUT WRAPS IT UP FOR SCHOOL CHOICE RESEARCH': A STATE OF THE ART REVIEW

S. Gorard

School Leadership and Management, vol. 19, 1999, p. 25-47

A considerable body of research now exists on how parents go about choosing a school and what criteria and sources of information they use in doing so. Results are often contradictory, due to methodological problems. A method is needed of synthesising the results of previous studies and compiling a clear account of the current state of knowledge in the field. This would give school leaders and managers clear knowledge of the processes and outcomes of school choice on which to build their school-based responses.

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