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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2005): Education - UK - Schools

BLACK BOYS SHOULD BE TAUGHT SEPARATELY, SAYS PHILLIPS

D. Demetriou

The Independent, Mar. 7th 2005, p.8

Black schoolboys should be taught separately from their white classmates to improve their academic performance, the head of Britain's race relations watchdog believes. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, said it may be necessary to examine the option of segregation because of the discrepancy between the academic achievements of black and white teenagers.

(See also The Times, Mar. 7th 2005, p.1,6)

BUILDING WORK-BASED LEARNING INTO THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

J. Asher

Education and Training, vol.47, 2005, p.64-69

Through a case study, article explores the role of Education Business Partnerships in creating opportunities for young people at schools in England to become involved in work-related and work-based programmes.

CHILDREN AT CENTRE OF DRIVE FOR FITTER NATION

S. Boseley

The Guardian, Mar. 10th 2005, p.2

In an attempt to improve the health of the next generation the Government wants PE and sport to be encouraged, alongside school nurses, healthy vending machines and "fun" cookery clubs. Pupils in more deprived areas will also get help from a personal health trainer.

CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION AND POST 16 STUDENTS: A HABERMASIAN PERSPECTIVE

K. Simpson & P. Daly

Citizenship Studies, vol. 9, 2005, p.73-88

Conceptually framed by Habermas's theory on communicative rationality, action and competence, this Northern Ireland study analyses the experiences of 100 post-16 students on a piloted, discussion-based programme of citizenship education (PPCE). The article proposes, supported by students' insightful and positive evaluations, that such courses are offered throughout the U.K and beyond with the aim of achieving a communicatively competent citizenry.

COMPUTERS 'HINDER PROGRESS OF PUPILS IN MATHS AND LITERACY'

J. Clare

The Daily Telegraph, Mar. 21st 2005, p.1

The less pupils use computers at home and at school, the better they do in international tests of literacy and maths, the largest study of its kind reports. The study, published by the Royal Economic Society, suggests the more access pupils had to computers at home, the lower they scored in tests, partly because they diverted attention from homework. Pupils tended to do worse in schools generously equipped with computers, apparently because computerised instruction replaced more effective forms of teaching.

EDUCATION - CORPORAL PUNISHMENT - COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS: R V WILLIAMS [2005] UKHL 15

New Law Journal, vol 155, No 7166, 2005, p. 324

Corporal punishment is banned even where express permission is given by parents to teachers. The article summarises the dismissed appeal by practising Christian head teachers, teachers and parents who contended that:

  • the Education Act 1996 s.548 (1) did not apply where a parent's right to discipline their child was expressly delegated to a teacher;
  • s.548 violated religious freedoms given by The European Convention on Human Rights.

CONSULTATION ON NEW SCHOOL FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS FROM 2006-07

Department for Education and Skills

London: 2005

Consultation document sets out details of new school funding arrangements to be introduced from April 2006:

  • three year budgets for all maintained schools, geared to pupil numbers, with a guaranteed minimum increase each year for every school;
  • a ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant from the DfES to local authorities;
  • a new single standards grant, simplifying and streamlining existing standards related funding streams.

EDUCATION INVESTMENT FAILS POOREST PUPILS

R. Garner

The Independent, Mar. 21st 2005, p.4

Millions of pounds worth of government money has failed to stop a new generation of teenagers from the poorest homes leaving school with nothing to show for 11 years of compulsory education. The report, commissioned from the London School of Economics by the Prince's Trust, found that the 35 education authorities considered the poorest are making the least progress in raising standards.

EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Education and Skills Committee

London: TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2004/05; HC120)

Provision of outdoor learning by schools is patchy. Many are deterred by a false perception that a high degree of risk attaches to outdoor education and by a cumbersome bureaucracy. Committee argues that visits organised in accordance with health and safety guidance should not lead to avoidable accidents or unfounded legal claims against teachers. However, the Committee agrees that the bureaucracy now associated with school trips is excessive, with some local authorities demanding unnecessarily lengthy risk assessments,

THE EMPOWERED SCHOOL

D.H.Hargreaves and D.Hopkins

London: Continuum, 2005

The Education Reform Act (1988) and subsequent legislation aim to raise levels of pupil achievement, in particular through introduction of the National Curriculum and improved self-management by schools. This book, based on a DfES project, draws on the experience of LEAs and schools which have pioneered school development plans. Besides giving advice on constructing and implementing a school development plan, the authors provide a full and practical account of how planning and development need to be managed, and what this implies for the way the school is organized at present. They also describe how schools can be supported in this process, and how development planning fits into the current movements for school improvement and effectiveness.

FRIENDSHIP AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICE: PEER INFLUENCE AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

R. Brooks

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

This book aims to provide an insight into how young people go about making decisions about their educational options and the subtle, yet crucial, influence of friends and peers on this process. It provides a critical introduction to current sociological debates about friendships and other informal relationships. In addition, it offers a thorough overview of recent research within the sociology of education, which has focussed on the ways in which educational decisions are made.

GOVERNING THE SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE

Department for Education and Skills

Nottingham: 2004

Document looks at what the DfES's Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners means for school governors and how they can take advantage of the opportunities it offers. Schools will have more autonomy and flexibility in how they operate and are being encouraged to work with other partners, including voluntary providers, social services and the NHS. Document explores what government and others need to do to help governors meet these challenges. It sets out what the DfES and partner organisations plan to do on governor support and training, recruitment and profile raising.

HUMAN RIGHTS - FREEDOM OF RELIGION - REQUIREMENT TO WEAR SCHOOL UNIFORM: R (ON THE APPLICATION OF B) V GOVERNORS OF DENBIGH HIGH SCHOOL [2005] EWCA CIV 199

New Law Journal, Vol. 155, No 7167, 2005, p. 383.

Summarises the background to, and judgements on, the above successful appeal case regarding exclusion of a female pupil who, rather than wearing the headscarf and shalwar kameeze permitted by her school, wore a jilbab in line with religious requirements for the attire of mature Muslim women in public places.

IMPROVING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN ENGLAND

National Audit Office

London, TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2004/05; HC212)

The Department for Education and Skills spent £887m between 1997 and 2004 on initiatives intended to reduce truancy. These measures have contributed to a reduction in authorised absence, but unauthorised absence has not declined. Report discusses how national initiatives such as truancy sweeps, the Behaviour Improvement Programme, electronic registration systems and sanctions against parents can improve attendance. At the level of the school, curriculum adaptation, reward schemes and support from parents can help.

JAMIE'S CAMPAIGN HITS THE SPOT

L. Donnelly and H. Mooney

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Mar.24th 2005, p.7

Public health managers are giving their support to the campaign launched by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for a ban on junk food in school meals. Primary care trust managers are also urging the government to introduce the ban, which they believe is the best way to achieve the target of halting the rise in childhood obesity by 2010.

LANGUAGE STUDY FOR ALL PUPILS PLANNED

R. Smithers

The Guardian, Mar. 11th 2005, p.6

Every primary school pupil in England could have the chance to learn at least one foreign language during the normal school day as part of a £115 m package unveiled by the Government.

LITERACY AND SCHOOLING: TOWARDS RENEWAL IN PRIMARY EDUCATION POLICY

K. Hall

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005

In this book the author analyses recent educational reform in England relating to primary education and literacy. By taking account of themes such as globalisation, teacher education, children's learning and especially literacy, she develops a critique of government reactions and explores alternative responses to the crucial issues of our time. The book concludes with policy recommendations based on evidence drawn from a range of perspectives.

MAKING THE DIFFERENCE: IMPROVING PARENTS' INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOLS: A CONSULTATION ON A DRAFT BILL

Scottish Executive

Edinburgh: 2005

Key proposals are to:

  • replace School Boards with new parents' forums to represent parents' views;
  • ensure that schools respond to parents' requests for advice and information about their children's education;
  • ensure that education authorities draw up strategies for parental involvement in schools;
  • establish a complaints procedure;
  • provide for education authorities to modernise their appointments systems for head teachers and deputy heads while retaining the principle of parental involvement.

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR

Ofsted

London: 2005 (HMI 2363)

Report recommends that schools, colleges and pupil referral units should:

  • focus on improving the quality of teaching and provision of an appropriate curriculum that meets pupils' needs;
  • improve systems for tracking academic and social development and make better use of this information to help pupils manage their behaviour;
  • provide more systematic training for staff in behaviour management;
  • review the way they link with parents;
  • underline the need for consistency in the way expectations for behaviour are set and maintained.

THE NATIONAL LITERACY AND NUMERACY STRATEGIES AND THE PRIMARY CURRICULUM

Ofsted

London: 2005 (HMI 2395)

Report shows a rise in literacy and numeracy standards at key stage 2 after a four year plateau. 78% of pupils now reach level 4 or above in English and 74% reach level 4 or above in mathematics. However, findings suggest that schools are struggling to implement the Primary National Strategy through major restructuring of the curriculum or changes in the way learning is organised.

NEARLY HALF OF ALL TEACHERS HAVE SUFFERED FROM STRESS

R. Garner

The Independent, Mar. 23rd 2005, p.17

Nearly half of the country's secondary school teachers have suffered mental health problems due to worsening pupil behaviour. A survey, by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, of 300 secondary school teachers showed that abuse at the hands of pupils had left 46 per cent taking antidepressants or facing long lay-offs from school through stress

PRIMARY SCHOOLS TARGETED FOR REBUILDING

M. Taylor

The Guardian, Mar. 17th 2005, p.20

In the budget, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, set out a massive renovation programme which will see more than half of the country's primary schools refurbished or rebuilt. He said the Building Schools for the Future programme, which aims to replace dilapidated secondary schools, would be extended to include primary schools with £9.4bn invested over the next five years - £650m of which is new money.

(See also Financial Times, Mar. 17th 2005, p.15, 26)

PROFESSIONALS, OR PARROTS?

P. Revell

Education Guardian, Mar. 8th 2005, p.2-3

What's wrong with teacher training?. The author, an ex-teacher, spent two years talking to students and heads about their training and career structure and discovered some uncomfortable truths. Teachers are inadequately trained for the job they do, and they lack a professional career structure. It is a combination of these two problems that allows politicians to set the education agenda.

SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

A. Harris and N. Bennett

London: Continiuum, 2005

The pressure on schools to improve and to raise achievement continues to be a dominant issue in both school and government policies. This book seeks to develop the debate further, providing academics and practitioners alike with:

  • a summary and discussion of research on school effectiveness and school improvement up to the present;
  • new perspectives on these fields, developed from other traditions of thinking and research;
  • a consideration of the role of organisation theory;
  • an integrated view of these current perspectives;
  • clear, practical implications for policy and practise.

SCHOOL NURSES: WELL PLACED TO ADDRESS CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR

N. Kelly

Community Practitioner, vol. 78, 2005, p.88-92

School nurses can offer local knowledge, continuity of care and trusted home-school links, all of which can be applied in interventions to help children with behavioural difficulties and their families. Based on semi-structured interviews with parents, children and teachers, paper reports on successful whole class, group and family interventions by nurses working in Devon schools.

SCHOOLS IN HEALTHY EATING PROGRAMME DO BETTER IN NATIONAL TESTS

R. Smithers and J. Meike

The Guardian, Mar. 9th 2005, p.3

Primary schools that belong to the government's national healthy schools programme, where pupils are better fed and exercised, have outperformed others in national tests in reading, writing, maths and science.

SPECIALIST SCHOOLS: A SECOND EVALUATION

Ofsted

London: 2005 (HMI 2362)

Report evaluates the quality of education in specialist schools and examines trends in their performance compared to the national pattern. Specialist schools are performing better than other schools and have made significant improvements over the past three years, but must now focus on raising standards in their specialist subjects to ensure that all pupils achieve well at GCSE. Inspectors found that the range and quality of the curriculum had improved in specialist schools since Ofsted's first report and pupils had a broader choice of options. More pupils are now participating in out-of-school hours activities. Schools have also developed valuable links with partner primary schools and local community groups. Inspectors found no evidence that other local schools are disadvantaged by having a specialist school in their area.

TEACHERS' UNION VOTES FOR END OF FLAGSHIP ACADEMIES PROGRAMME

J. Boone

Financial Times, Mar. 23rd 2005, p.4

A teachers' union has voted to halt the government's controversial academies scheme, describing the flagship schools that are sponsored by business as a "Trojan horse" designed to destroy state education. In a move likely to be echoed by other unions, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has passed a motion arguing that the scheme was "against the long-term provision of free state education to all".

(See also The Times, Mar. 29th 2005, p.11; Daily Telegraph, Mar. 29th 2005, p.6)

'THIS IS MY WORLD'

W. Berliner

Education Guardian, Mar. 15th 2005, p.2-3

There are some affluent city-dwelling parents who ignore the New Labour trend of seeking out 'top' schools and instead choose their local comprehensive. Are they throwing their children to the wolves, or giving them a rounded education?

USE TECHNOLOGY AND TRUST THE TEACHERS.

M. Ripley, J. Nightingale & J. Khan

Public Servant, issue 21, 25th Feb. 2005, p. 16-18

Planning the future of education, this article envisages and offers case studies of innovative use of technologies to complement rather than threaten traditional standards. Looks at:

  • teacher assessment allied with national online marking and moderation tools;
  • teacher and learner portfolios of achievements and work in progress;
  • student self e-assessment of strengths and weaknesses;
  • a digital TV channel for teachers' professional development.

Focussing on Harrow Council's visit to India and the importance of cultural sensitivity in urban schools of the future, it calls for the pursuit of a less Euro-centric curriculum, remote learning resources for pupils on extended family visits, and other innovations.

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