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

ACADEMIC FERVOUR

J. Crace

Education Guardian, July 20th 2004, p.2-3

One of the most contentious proposals in the educational five-year plan is the expansion of city academies. But with the dozen that are already up and running experiencing mixed fortunes, the article asks if the government should be pinning it hopes on them.

ALARM BELLS RING IN THE STAFFROOM OVER DRIVE TO REDUCE EXCLUSIONS

A. Taylor

Community Care, June 10th-16th 2004, p.16-17

The government is pressing schools to reduce the level of pupil exclusions. There is concern among teachers that there is insufficient funding for preventative initiatives aimed at helping unruly pupils improve their behaviour. There is also a lack of educational provision for excluded children.

CHILDREN AT THE CENTRE: AN EVALUATION OF EARLY EXCELLENCE CENTRES

Ofsted

London: 2004 (HMI 2222)

Early Excellence Centres (EECs) were established in the late 1990s to provide an integrated approach to education, day care, social support and adult learning. Between 2001 and 2003 Ofsted inspected 23 EECs, and two Early Excellence Networks, to see how well they fulfil their purpose and to pilot the multi-disciplinary inspection of education, care and adult learning. The report identifies features of effective practice and makes recommendations about areas where improvement is needed.

A DIFFERENT CLASS

G. Hopkins

Community Care, June 10th-16th 2004, p.36-37

The article describes an extended schools project in Great Yarmouth that offers holistic, multi-agency support to at risk pupils and their families.

EDUCATION FUNDING: THE IMPACT OF MEASURES TO STABILISE SCHOOL FUNDING

Audit Commission

Audit Commission Publications, 2004

The Commission found that, contrary to general perceptions, there was no funding crisis in schools in 2003. Councils were passing on funds made available by government to schools. However, funding guarantees for schools and transitional funding for councils do not tackle areas of greatest need. Schools and councils in greatest difficulty in 2003 did not benefit from transitional funding support. At the same time the overall level of schools unspent revenue is substantial and increasing. Current balances exceed £1bn. Councils need to monitor and challenge schools' financial management more actively.

FIVE YEAR STRATEGY FOR CHILDREN AND LEARNERS

Department for Education and Skills

London: TSO, 2004 (Cm 6272)

The report promises that successful schools will be helped to expand while failing schools will be closed down. 200 city academies will be set up in the most deprived areas by 2010. New providers, including parents, will be encouraged to start schools. There will be new freedoms for all schools to own their land, manage their assets, employ their own staff, and put together their own governing bodies. Local Education Authorities will be given a new role as champions of pupils and parents and in strategic planning of education services. Extended schools will be open from 8am to 6pm and at weekends, offering wrap around childcare, out-of-school clubs, study support and family learning. Parents will also be supported by provision of 12 1/2 hours per week of free "educare" (integrated childcare and education) for all three-year-olds.

HIDDEN AGENDA

R. Hattersley

Education Guardian, July 13th 2004, p.2-3

The author argues that the Five-Year strategy contains good points, most of them in fine print. But its main focus, the fashionable doctrine of choice, remains deeply flawed.

NATIONAL AND POST-NATIONAL DIMENSIONS OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION IN THE UK

C. Gifford

Citizenship Studies, vol.8, 2004, p.145-158

The debate about citizenship education in the UK culminated in the publication of the Crick report in 1998. Citizenship education has now been established as a statutory component of the compulsory school national curriculum in England and a set of proposals for Scotland were launched in 2002. Paper explores, with particular reference to the Crick report, the theories and concepts of citizenship that are evident in this policy area and considers the opportunities it offers for embedding democratic practices within late modern societies.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS BILL SHAMBLES

P. Wintour

The Guardian, August 3rd 2004, p.1

The Home Office is the review its proposals for tightening the rules giving independent schools charitable status, after the Charity Commission said they would have no impact.

PROFESSIONAL ISSUES FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS

A. Browne and D. Haylock

London: Sage, 2004

This book deals with the key professional issues in primary teaching that are addressed in primary teacher training courses. The book aims to enable the reader to understand the nature of primary education in England and the professional demands made upon primary school teachers, including those from parents, the teachers themselves, the law, government agencies, society and the profession

QUALITY INDICATORS FOR EFFECTIVE EARLY INTERVENTION IN LITERACY AND NUMERACY

I. Stobie and others

International Journal of early Years Education, vol.12, 2004, p.157-168

A set of quality indicators, which education authorities and schools can use to review early intervention programmes (EIPs), is derived from the outcome of an evaluation of an EIP in literacy and numeracy in three North Ayrshire primary schools.

REACH OUT, I'LL BE THERE

R. Smithers

Education Guardian, July 6th 2004, p.6-7

Article profiles Steve Sinnott, the new general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

SCHOOL MEALS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND

M. Nelson and others

Department for Education and Skills, 2004 (Research report; RR557)

Reports results of a survey aimed at assessing school compliance with the statutory nutritional standards introduced in 2001. The survey showed that most schools are meeting the nutritional standards and that progress is being made in improving the choice and quality of food. There are also improvements in young people's education on the importance of healthy eating.

SCHOOLS TO RUN THEMSELVES ON CASH FROM THE STATE

T. Halpin, J. Sharman and D. Charter

The Times, July 7th 2004, p.1

Schools will be given complete control of budgets in a move that will virtually end the role of local education authorities. Under the government's five-year plan for education, to be announced tomorrow, successful schools will be able to admit more pupils to meet parental demands for higher standards. Main points are:

  • schools get control of their own budgets;
  • education funding nationalised;
  • council tax will no longer fund schools;
  • good secondary schools will be able to take more pupils;
  • city academies will replace weak schools;
  • heads to get three year budgets;
  • town halls relegated to advisory roles.

SPECIALIST SCHOOLS MAY LOSE RIGHT TO SELECT

A. Blair

The Times, July 28th 2004, p.7

Selection at specialist schools could soon be scrapped after the Government hinted that it might be ready to make a u-turn in its schools admission policy. Stephen Twigg, the Schools Minister, told delegates at the Professional Association of Teachers Conference, that while he could see a case for selection in sports and music, he could not defend it for other schools.

STARTING EARLY: FOOD AND NUTRITION EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN

Ofsted and Food Standards Agency

London: 2004 (HMI 2292)

In 2003/04 Ofsted and the Food Standards Agency visited schools and nurseries to assess the extent to which the curriculum and the environment support good nutrition. They found that teachers need better training and resources to teach children about food and nutrition in schools, and unhealthy food available at mealtimes is hindering good work on food and nutrition in the classroom. Nurseries are generally better than primary schools at promoting healthy eating.

TRADITION AT HEART OF SCHOOL PLAN

R. Smithers, S. Hall and M. White

The Guardian, July 9th 2004, p.1

Labour has placed school uniforms, discipline and the traditional house system at the heart of a pre-election education package unashamedly designed to win disillusioned middle-class voters back to the state sector and stem the flight to private schools. In a five-year programme which for the first time includes a list of educational "guarantees" for pupils, parents and students, Charles Clarke promises to expand the number of places in popular and successful schools and grant them unprecedented freedoms.

(See also The Daily Telegraph, July 9th 2004, p.1; The Times July 9th 2004, p.1; The Independent July 9th 2004, p.1 and Financial Times, July 9th 2004, p.4)

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