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Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Education - UK - Schools

500 failing schools on ‘hitlist’ face takeover

A.Frean

The Times, Sept. 21st, 2006, p.1

A confidential government ‘hitlist’ has identified 512 out of 3,385 secondary schools in the country as ‘underperforming’, because only 25 per cent or less of pupils gain five GCSES at grades A*-C. Under new plans the failing schools may be shut down or taken over by high achieving schools and linked in the form of ‘trusts’.

Caution ahead: teachers, vetting and the law

A.A. Gillespie

Education and the Law, vol.18, 2006, p.19-30

In January 2006, a media furore erupted in respect of allegations that sex offenders were permitted to work in English schools. A list of unsuitable people (List 99) has been in operation since 1926, but the system appears to have broken down. This article reviews some of the issues involved in the operation of List 99, including the suggestion that people who are cautioned for committing offences against children should be banned from working with them.

Education, inequalities and social structures

R. Riddell

Race Equality Teaching,vol.24, Summer 2006, p.44-47

Efforts to improve educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged groups have focused on the reform of teaching. They have largely ignored the structural inequalities arising from the stratification of urban schools. Good schools attract children from White middle class families and thrive, while children with social and educational needs are concentrated in schools at the bottom of the league tables. This article outlines ways in which some of the proposals in the current Education and Inspection Bill will deepen existing structural inequality,

Inclusion in the early years: critical analyses and enabling narratives

C. Nutbrown and P. Clough

London: Sage, 2006

The book seeks to demonstrate how inclusive practices, which are designed to help all children reach their potential, can be embedded within the early years curriculum, pedagogy and services. It discusses research studies relating to inclusion, considers specific issues that concern children identified as having special educational needs and presents a range of definitions of inclusion as they have been developed by practitioners from around the UK and other parts of Europe.

Markets and equity in education

G. Walford

London: Continuum, 2006

In this book the author brings together many of his papers on issues relating to choice, markets, diversity and equity in education. He traces the development of policy on school choice and argues that this policy must be understood within the wider social and political contexts in which it has arisen. The chapters cover topics such as: the history and development of British comprehensive schools, different forms of selection, the relationship between competition and quality, and increased school self-management. The final chapter brings the discussion up to date and examines the policies of New Labour with regard to markets in education.

Must try harder

R. Willis

Community Care, Aug.31st-Spr. 6th 2006, p.32-33

The General Teaching Council for England has been mauled by the media and is unpopular wit teachers and their unions. By contrast, the General Social Care Council is credited with creating a national voice for social care and being a protector of standards. Important lessons can be learned from the work of he General Social Care Council and certain reforms are suggested that might make the General Teaching Council more effective.

The new QTS standards

U. Maylor

Race Equality Teaching, vol.24, Summer 2006, p.22-24

Offers a critique of the way in which the revised QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) standards developed by the Teacher Development Agency address issues of diversity in schools and the promotion of multiculturalism

Sick of school?

M. Zhang

Community Care, Sept.21st-27th 2006, p.36-37

Research has shown that illness, possibly linked to cramped housing conditions and unhealthy lifestyles, is the main reason for children’s absence from school. The current campaign against truancy and families taking holidays in term time is ineffective because it is attacking he wrong targets.

Special educational needs

Education and Skills Committee

London: TSO, 2006 (House of Commons papers, session 2005/06; HC 478)

The report highlights the difficulties faced by a large number of parents who find that the special educational needs (SEN) system is failing to meet the needs of their children. It then considers how the Government can improve outcomes for all children with SEN and disabilities in England. It calls on the Government to clarify its position on SEN and to provide national strategic direction for the future. Finally, it recommends that SEN provision should be integral to the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda in order to ensure that a seamless service is in place with multi-agency involvement across key transition phases and through adulthood.

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