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

APPEAL FOR HIGH-FLYERS TO AID GRADUATE TEACHERS

M. Green

Financial Times, June 9th 2004, p.6

An appeal for business people to coach graduates on an inner-city teaching scheme will be launched this week as part of drive to bolster links between companies and state schools. Teach First, set up last year and modelled on a US scheme, recruits graduates from universities who are likely to choose a career in business rather than teaching for a two-year stint in challenging London schools.

BEYOND "JUST SAY NO": NEW DRUG EDUCATION GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS

J. McWhirter

ChildRight, No. 206, May 2004, p. 14-15

Following the media uproar regarding random drug testing in schools, the article examines the government's new drug education guidance for schools. It sets out and discusses the key messages of the document:

  • all schools should have a drug education program;
  • all schools should have a drug policy developed in consultation with the whole school community;
  • all schools should have a range of responses and procedures for managing drug incidents;
  • all staff should receive drug awareness training, have a role in implementing the drug policy and have access to continual professional development;
  • schools should ensure that pupils vulnerable to drug misuse are identified and receive appropriate support.

BOOST FOR EXTENDED SCHOOLS

K. Leason

Zero2nineteen, June 2004, p.7

Extended schools have been a success according to a national evaluation by Manchester, Newcastle and Brighton Universities, benefiting children, families and communities. However, the evaluation also highlights the need for dedicated management structures in extended schools and stresses the importance of thorough consultations with local communities to ensure the schools are meeting their needs.

(See also Young People Now, May 26th-June 1st 2004, p.6)

HOWARD PLEDGES 'GRAMMARS FOR ALL'

J. Clare and L. Lightfoot

The Daily Telegraph, June 18th 2004, p.2

The prospect of grammar school place for every parent who wants one - and whose child is qualified for it - has been held out by Michael Howard, the Tory leader. He said a Conservative government would encourage grammar schools to take over failing comprehensives and make them academically selective if there was sufficient parental demand in the area.

INDEPENDENT SECTOR TO LEAD EDUCATION REVOLUTION

T. Baldwin and T. Halpin

The Times, June 25th 2004, p.1

Tony Blair is preparing a revolution in secondary school education which would free the best state schools from council control and encourage the independent sector to manage comprehensives. The 500 leading state schools will be handed "foundation status" and encouraged to develop distinctive identities with powers to borrow money to improve services. There will also be large scale expansion of city academies in urban areas to woo middle-class parents back to state education by promising state-of-the-art facilities and high standards.

MORE CASH INCENTIVES FOR MATHS TEACHERS

L. Lightfoot

The Daily Telegraph, June 29th 2004, p.9

Maths graduates are to be given more money to encourage them to become teachers, under a package of measures to raise standards in the subject. They will get an extra £2,000 to train and start work as teachers on top of the £10,000 they would already receive for being qualified in one of several shortage areas.

(See also: The Guardian, June 28th 2004, p. 7; The Times, June 28th 2004, p. 7)

A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH SCHOOLS

Department for Education and Skills [and] Ofsted

2004

The report presents the main features of a proposed new school inspection system:

  • shorter but more frequent inspections;
  • shorter notice of inspections;
  • more emphasis on self-evaluation by schools;
  • a common set of characteristics to inspection across all phases of education;
  • a simplification of the categorisation of schools causing concern.

PUPILS MAY GET GSCES FOR WORK EXPERIENCE

R. Garner

The Independent, June 15th 2004, p. 17

Pupils could soon be awarded GCSEs for work experience as part of a radical shake-up of the exams system. The scheme, under which pupils' work would account for half of a GCSE, aims to underline the importance of job training for students aged 14 to 16.

REMOVING BARRIERS TO ACHIEVEMENT: THE GOVERNMENT'S STRATEGY FOR SEN

A. Fiddy

ChildRight, No. 206, May 2004, p.4-6

The article summarises the aims and weaknesses of the government's strategy to give children with special educational needs (SEN) the opportunity to succeed. It looks at moves to reduce statementing, remove barriers to learning and raise the expectations and achievements of children with SEN. A case study is also included, illustrating the problems which can occur if services for SEN children are not co-ordinated.

SCHOOLS FACE SNAP VISITS BY OFSTED

R. Smithers

The Guardian, June 16th 2004, p. 8

Headteachers will receive as little as two days' notice of school inspections in the most sweeping change to the system since the education watchdog Ofsted was set up 12 years ago. The new regime will provide "lighter touch" inspections with shorter visits.

SCHOOLS TO BE GIVEN MORE POWER, INSIST EDUCATION MINISTERS

M. Green

Financial Times, June 16th 2004, p. 2

Schools will continue to be given more power over their own financial and management decisions, education ministers have insisted, in spite of Treasury concerns that devolved spending is wasteful. David Miliband, School Standards Minister, said that although some savings could be made by pooling decisions and resources - for example IT procurement and staff recruitment - it was a "productivity issue" best handled by individual schools or groups.

STATE SCHOOLS 'MUST DO BETTER' FOR MUSLIMS

L. Ward

The Guardian, June 8th 2004, p.4

The British state education system is failing to meet the needs of Muslim pupils and parents, according to a report calling for special classes in Islamic subjects, more single sex education and prayer rooms in secondary schools. The Muslims on Education policy document, complied by Muslim academics and educationalists, argues that Britain's largest minority community should have access to more Muslim state schools and that non-Muslim schools should adapt more fully to the community's needs.

The main points are:

  • institutional racism is preventing private muslim schools moving into the state sector;
  • councils should be free to fund independent schools;
  • religious awareness training for staff and governors should be instituted at non-muslim schools;
  • schools should provide prayer rooms, segregated pe lessons and non-communal changing facilities;
  • there should be an end to simplistic "sarees and somosas" teaching of muslim culture;
  • tax breaks should be offered for parents who wish to educate their children at home.

TEACHERS PLEAD FOR MORE TIME AND MONEY

V. Russell

Public Finance, May 28th-June 3rd 2004, p.9

Academics and teachers' leaders have called for an independent inquiry into the organisation of teaching, claiming that the extra resources being poured into education would not deliver results unless teachers were better supported. Their main concerns include the deterioration of pupil behaviour, which obstructs teachers' ability to teach, and the fact that non-teaching periods allocated to teachers have not kept pace with increased responsibility. They stressed that teachers needed more time and money in order to achieve government goals.

TEACHERS' REPORTS NOW THE LENGTH OF A NOVEL

L. Lightfoot

The Daily Telegraph, June 21st 2004, p.1

Teachers are having to write reports the size of novels alongside test scores for five-year-olds which will be published for the first time this week. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the Government's curriculum advisers, has told them to record 117 individual judgements, backed up by evidence, on each child. These assessments amount to a total of 105,300 words for a class of 30.

TEACHING WITHOUT DISRUPTION IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL: A MODEL FOR MANAGING PUPIL BEHAVIOUR

R. Chaplain

London: RoutlegeFalmer, 2004

How might teachers develop new ways of coping with behaviour management in school? The author argues that a 'multilevel' approach is the key to successfully responding to the diverse pressures of teaching and managing behaviour. A range of topics is discussed, including:

  • teachers' personal development - coping with stress, developing effective communication and assertiveness;
  • whole school management strategies to anticipate and minimise disruptive behaviour;
  • classroom-level management - organising the classroom environment to promote learning and minimise disruption;
  • individual assessment and intervention with students who have emotional or behavioural difficulties.

THIRTEENTH REPORT - SCHOOL TEACHERS' REVIEW BODY, PART 2, 2004

London: TSO, 2004 (Cm 6164)

The report recommends that teachers' pay should be strictly linked to performance and that an excellent teacher scheme should be established for teachers who will have reached scale UPS 3 and who have distinguished themselves at that level.

TORIES PLAN LOW-COST PRIVATE SCHOOLS

M. Green

Financial Times, June 20th 2004, p.6

Parents would be able to spend taxpayer's money on private education under radical new plans unveiled by the Conservatives. The policy could usher in an era of low-cost independent schools competing with the public sector, but was condemned by headteachers' groups and classroom unions as "unworkable". Michael Howard, Tory leader, used a speech launching his party's education policy to pledge and extra £15bn for schools on top of Labour spending commitments by the end of the decade. The money would be used to fund places equivalent to 260 new schools. He said parents would be given the right to choose where they would spend the average £5,500 the public purse currently provides for every child at secondary school.

(See also The Independent, June 20th 2004, p. 18)

UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF MIXED HERITAGE PUPILS

L. Tikly and others

Department for Education and Skills, 2004, (Research report; RR549)

The research focuses on the educational needs of mixed heritage pupils with specific reference to the barriers to achievement faced by white/black Caribbean pupils. The attainment of White/Black Caribbean pupils is below average. The key barriers to achievement facing them are similar to those faced by pupils of Black Caribbean origin. They are more likely to com e from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, to experience racism in the form of low teacher expectations, and to be excluded from school. They often experience racism from their peers as well as their teachers, leading to their adoption of rebellious and challenging forms of behaviour. The barriers to achievement faced by White/Black Caribbean pupils operating in a context of mixed heritage identities are not recognised in the curriculum or in school policies.

WELCOME TO HOLISTIC HIGH

P. Revell

Education Guardian, June 22nd 2004, p.9

The government wants to concentrate welfare services for children in schools, but, asks the author, have the plans been worked our properly worked out?

WHEN AN INSPECTOR CALLS

C. Ryan

Public Finance, May 28th-June 3rd 2004, p.28-29

The article reviews the new style school inspections expected to be operating from September 2005. Under the new regime, the current six-yearly inspections, preceded by at least 6 weeks warning, will be replaced with three-yearly inspections, with little notice. Fewer teachers will be observed in the classroom, and inspections will focus on leadership, management and teaching methods rather than individual teachers. Reports will also be shorter, with less detail and reduced jargon. Although the changes do not go far enough for the NUT (National Union of Teachers), who want an "externally validated self-evaluation", there are concerns that the reforms could reduce the information available to parents, forcing them to find information about a school's individual departments elsewhere, and diminish their opportunities to talk to the inspectors about their concerns.

WORKING WITH TEACHERS

L. Neall

Working with Young Men, Vol. 3, May 2004, p.32-36

The article explores the challenges teachers face when working with boys and considers ways that they can bring the best out of them.

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