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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2000): Education - UK - schools

£5,000 OFFER TO ELITE TEACHER RECRUITS

J. Carvel

Guardian, Sept. 20th 1999, p.2

Reports government plans to recruit an elite corps of high-flying teachers. The elite corps would be expected to work longer hours and to be available for posting around the country in a variety of schools. In return they would get extra training and financial incentives that could raise their salaries to over £25,000 within five years of qualifying. Successful applicants to the scheme would be offered a £5,000 bursary paid in two installments, half on starting in teacher training, and half when they took up their first post.

£10,000 PRIZES FOR CUTTING TRUANCY

J. Carvel

Guardian, Nov. 1st 1999, p. 9

As part of a concerted strategy to reduce truancy, the government will offer prizes of up to £10,000 to the 50 schools making most progress over the next year. The prize winners will be expected to use the money to share the secrets of their success with other schools.

£35M PLAN TO HELP PROBLEM PUPILS AND COMBAT TRUANCY

J. Carvel

Guardian, Nov. 2nd 1999, P. 3

As part of the government's strategy to combat truancy, inner-city comprehensives will receive funding to recruit a corps of learning mentors to deal with the personal and family problems of stressed pupils.

£100M TO BE SPENT ON PRIVATE NURSERIES

A. Frean

Times, Oct. 15th 1999, p. 10

Announces the funding by government of 83,000 nursery places for three-year-olds. Most money will go to privately run nurseries, rather than state primary schools. Funds will be directed to nurseries that employ a qualified teacher, are inspected by Ofsted, and are working towards the 'desirable learning outcome targets set by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

BIAS THAT KILLED THE DREAM OF EQUALITY

N. Davies

Guardian, Sept. 15th 1999, p. 1, 4-5

Traces the problems in Britain's secondary education to a combination of parental choice and the quasi-market in education. Successful schools in affluent areas attract extra funding for the additional pupils they enroll and prosper, while struggling schools in deprived areas lose resources as their rolls fall. Middle class parents abandon failing schools, and can, if necessary, move into the catchment area of the successful schools. This means that the intake of Britain's secondary schools is now heavily polarised, with bright children from affluent homes being creamed off by successful schools.

BLAIR UNVEILS 10-YEAR EDUCATION REVOLUTION

J. O'Leary

Times, Oct. 22nd 1999, p. 14

Reports speech by Tony Blair promising new measures to force local authorities to channel more money to schools and further funds for education in the governments next spending review. Blair in the same speech also attacked the 'conservative mindset' of a minority of teachers, and the 'culture of excuses' prevalent in some parts of the profession that 'tolerates low ambitions, rejects excellence, and treats poverty as an excuse for failure'.

(See also Times, Oct. 21st 1999, p.l; Guardian, Oct. 23rd, 1999, p. 9; Independent, Oct. 22nd 1999, p. 10; Daily Telegraph, Oct. 21st 19999, p. 2)

BRIGHT PUPILS DO BETTER AT COMPREHENSIVES

J. Judd

Independent, Nov. 2nd 1999, p. 10

Reports results of a study which examined two similar local education authorities, one comprehensive and one selective. In the comprehensive authority 52% of pupils got five or more A* - C grades at GCSE, compared with 48% in the selective one. Results also show that pupils at secondary modern schools get lower grades at GCSE than they would if they were in comprehensives. These research findings will boost the campaign to scrap the country's remaining grammar schools.

(See also Times, Nov. 2nd 1999, p. 6; Guardian, Nov. 2nd 1999, p. 4; Daily Telegraphs, Nov. 2nd 1999, p. 10)

CRISIS, CRISIS, CRISIS: THE STATE OF OUR SCHOOLS

N. Davies

Guardian, Sept. 14th 1999, p. 1, 4-5

Argues that academic failure in inner city schools arises not from teacher incompetence but from the fact that the majority of pupils come from poor and disadvantaged families.

HOW TO GET AHEAD

R. Smithers

Guardian. Nov. 5th 1999, p. 23

Describes how the National College for School Leadership will use the Internet to foster distance learning and electronic networking amongst headteachers.

IF SCHOOL DOESN'T WORK, TRY CRED

A. Buxton

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 20th 1999, p.24

Describes the Creative Education Project (CRED) a work-based scheme aimed at disaffected teenage pupils. CRED pupils spend three days a week at the project following part 1 of a GNVQ in business studies and the remaining two days on year-long work placements.

LESSONS OF PIMLICO

J. Shaoul and P. Edwards

Public Finance, Oct. 29th-Nov. 4th 1999, p. 16-18

The planned redevelopment of Pimlico School in London is one of the first education projects under the Private Finance Initiative. A project which started out in 1994 as an investigation into repairing a poorly maintained building requiring a new roof, turned into plans for a complete new building. The result was that a new building, larger than required, became the council's preferred solution, with consequent escalation of capital costs. The larger premises were then rationalised by assigning an extra 100 children to the school.

LITERACY HOUR TO BE EXTENDED TO SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS

P. Waugh

Independent, Oct. 28th 1999, p. 1

Reports that the 'literacy hour' may be extended to the first year of secondary school to prevent children from losing ground during their transition from primary school.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Oct. 28th 1999, p. 2; Guardian, Oct. 28th 1999, p. 5)

MAKING OUR SCHOOLS WORK AGAIN

M. A. Siegbart

Times, Sept. 17th 1999, p. 24

Proposes reform of Britain's secondary education through:

  • opening up the best independent schools to poor children through some form of assisted places scheme;
  • encouraging state schools to specialise so that some form of assisted places scheme;
  • encouraging state schools to specialise so that some are academic-biased while others emphasise technology or sport;
  • promoting setting, so that the least able children are taught suitable subjects at a suitable level, rather than being placed in mixed ability academic classes in which they cannot keep up.

MARKETING AND THE 'RE-ENCHANTMENT' OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

D. Harbley

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol-20, 1999, p. 309-323

Just as educational structures have been marketized, so there are now some signs that school management is itself becoming marketized, thereby revealing an emergent 'common marketing' within the field of education. In order to illustrate this, two concepts from the academic literature on marketing are considered: relationship marketing and internal marketing. Relationship marketing refers to ways in which schools seek to manage the new key player in the educational market, the parent while internal marketing refers to the ways in which headteachers may come to manage teachers within schools.

MISSING OUT

Audit Commission

Abingdon: Audit Commission Publications, 1999

One third of local education authorities are unable to trace all of their permanently excluded pupils six mouths after the academic year in which they are expelled. Less than half of LEAs keep track of single mothers still of school age. Another group of which LEAs lose track are 'missing pupils' who are taken out of school by their parents and drop out of education altogether. The fate of permanently excluded children varies according to where they live. Some receive no education after they are expelled for two-thirds of a school term. Others are without schooling for nearly half an academic year. Even then, they often receive lessons part-time either at home or in a pupil referral unit.

MIXED SCHOOLS URGED TO RUN SINGLE-SEX CLASSES TO HELP BOYS

R. Sylvester

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 25th, 1999, p. 8

Mirroring teaching methods in the private sectors mixed state schools are to be encouraged by government to hold single-sex lessons to improve the educational standards achieved by boys.

NEW HEADS, OFSTED INSPECTIONS AND THE PROSPECTS FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

N. Ferguson et al

Educational Research, vol. 41, 1999, p. 241-249

Headteachers who regard themselves as 'new' do not feel as threatened by inspection as established heads, and are more open to its possibilities as a catalyst for improvement. Paper reports these differences in attitude and examines their consequences for teaching staff. Its main purpose is to discuss whether Ofsted inspection can act as catalysts for school improvement and as instruments of public accountability.

OVER PRESCRIBED

D. Martin

Education and Training Review, vol. I, Autumn 1999, p. 7-8

Reports Professor Ted Wragg's comments on the literary hour in primary schools, which he considers over-prescriptive, and the role of Ofsted.

OVERCROWDED INFACT CLASSES HALVED THIS TERM

J. Carvel

Guardian, Oct. 28th 1999, p. 6

At the time of the last election there were 477,000 infants in classes over 30. By September 1998 when government funding started to come on stream to hire more teachers and build extra class rooms, that number fell to 354,000. As the £620m programme has rolled forward, the total was cut to 181,000 in September 1999.

PAY ATTENTION, BLAIR

R. Smithers

Guardian, Oct. 21st 1999, p. 19

Reports union concern that, in spite of improved levels of recruitment into the profession as a whole, teachers are deciding, in greater numbers than ever before, not to seek promotion to head.

PAY FOR TEACHERS LINKED TO TRUANCY AND EXAM RESULTS

J. Judd

Independent, Sept. 23rd 1999, p.

Under the government's new proposals, teachers may voluntarily agree targets with a head or head of department as part of an annual performance review. Targets may include cutting truancy among 13 year olds by 5% or increasing the percentage of A* and A grades in maths at GCSE from 8 to 15%. Success will mean an immediate pay rise of about 10% and access to a new pay scale of up to £35,000 per year. Those whose performance does not come up to scratch could be denied annual increments.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS TO TEACH STATE PUPILS

R. Sylvester

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 22, 1999, p. 1 & 2

The government plans to pay independent schools to teach minority subjects, such as Latin and Greek, to pupils in the state sector, possibly via the Internet or on videotape. It will allocate an extra £400,000 for partnerships between private and state schools.

RAISING THE STANDARD

S. Galbraith

Education and Training Review, vol. 1, Autumn 1999, p. 17-18

Outlines plans to raise standards in Scottish schools through injection of extra cash resources, and through the enhancement of teachers' skills.

THE ROLE OF LEAs IN DEVELOPING INCLUSIVE POLICIES AND PRACTICES

M. Ainscow et al

British Journal of Special Education, vol. 26, 1999, p. 136-140.

Article summarises the findings of a recent DFEE funded study on LEAs' policies and practices on inclusion. Concludes that inclusive practices must become a corporate priority which is reflected in global targets within the LEA and supported by co-ordinated target setting at the individual school level and at the service level through local arrangements for the implementation of Best Value.

SCHOOL LEADERS TO SPEND TIME WITH TOP EXECUTIVES

J. Kelly

Financial Times, Nov. 1st 1999, p.6

In order to gain fellowship and companion level awards from the new National College for School Leadership, headteachers will have to spend time working with executives in leading private and public organisations.

SEXUAL SPIN

T. Stammers

Postgraduate Medical Journal, vol. 75, Nov. 1999, p. 641-642

Reports evidence suggesting that providing more sex education lessons and distributing condoms in schools will do nothing to reduce teenage pregnancies and may even encourage youngsters to have sex at an early age.

SHOW SOME SUPPORT

S. Bee bee

Young People Now, no. 126, 1999, p. 24-25

Study support is becoming an increasingly popular way of enabling young people to boost their level of achievement while realising the value of continued learning. An investment of £200 million from the New Opportunities Fund illustrates the government's commitment to study support. Article looks at the benefit study support can offer to the lives and futures of young people.

A SIMPLE LESSON, BUT IT GAVE MY PUPILS HOPE - HOW DO YOU VALUE THAT, MR BLAIR?

M. McMahon

Independent. Thursday Review, Oct. 21st 1999, p. 8

Argues against the government's proposed system of performance pay for teachers, which is based on measurable targets and misses the minor breakthroughs achieved by those working with damaged and deprived children.

'SPIDER' READING TEST HELPS BOYS TO CATCH UP WITH GIRLS

L. Lightfoot

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 1st 1999, p. 8

Reports research which shows that reading standards in schools improved this year, not because of the literacy hour, but because pupils found the stories about spiders in this year's English test more appealing than the extract from a novel they were faced with last year.

START SEX LESSONS AT EIGHT, BLUNKETT TOLD

P. Waugh

Independent, Oct. 27th 1999, p. 2

The Local Government Association proposes that all children over eight should have compulsory sex education as apart of a drive to cut teenage pregnancies.

(See also Guardian, Oct, 28th 1999, p. 11)

TEACHERS MARK DOWN PERFORMANCE - RELATED PAY

J. Judd

Independent, Sept. 22nd 1999, p. 12

Reports results of research on the effects of performance related pay in the Inland Revenue, NHS, Employment Service, water industry and among headteachers. None provided strong support for the governments proposals for PRP for teachers and only in the health service was there some evidence that the scheme motivated workers. Study suggested that PRP had improved productivity in private industry, but in the public sector it was rare for more than 20% of employees to agree that it had given them on incentive to change.

TEACHERS WARN ON EXPULSION TARGETS

J. Carvel

Guardian, Sept. 21st 1999, p. 9

Local education authorities are forcing schools to cut exclusions of unruly pupils in order to meet government imposed targets before proper facilities for handling them on the premises are in place. This is disrupting the education of children who want to learn.

TEACHERS WILL REJECT PAYMENT BY RESULTS, SAYS SURVEY

J. Judd

Independent, Oct. 13th 1999, p. 6

An NOP survey carried out for the 178,000 member National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers found that only 17% of those eligible said they would apply next year for a new 'threshold' test of their teaching, which, if passed, would entitle them to a £2,000-a-year rise.

(See also Guardian, Oct. 13th 1999, p. 11)

THREATENED REVOLUTION

N. De Gruchy

Education and Training Review, vol. 1, Autumn 1999, p. 14-15

Argues that teachers should be judged by lesson preparation and planning, subject knowledge, lesson presentation and teaching methods, discipline, communication and motivational skills, marking, monitoring and assessment of pupil's work, effective use of homework, classroom organisation and implementation of school policies. Government proposals to judge teachers by pupil outcomes are unacceptable. Pupils' results depend upon a variety of factors, many of which are outside the control of the individual teacher.

TRUANCY AND EXCLUSION: COMMENT ON RECENT GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE

H. Rimington

Childright, no. 160, 1999, p. 18-19

The government has set the target of reducing unauthorised absences from school by one third in 2002. Article summarises and discusses two recent circulars designed to assist schools and Local Education Authorities to in reaching this target.

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