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Welfare reform on the Web (July 2007): Education - UK - schools

Barring teachers: the new vetting arrangements

A.A. Gillespie

Education and the Law, vol.19, 2007, p.1-18

Following the eruption of a controversy when it was discovered that some teachers were being allowed to remain in the classroom after being cautioned for child sex offences, the government reviewed the operation of List 99 (the name given to the list of those barred from teaching) and in the longer term wished to completely rethink the vetting and barring system. The government proposes that there will be three ways in which a person will be entered onto List 99: automatic barring with no right of appeal; automatic inclusion, with a right of appeal, and discretionary inclusion. This article explores concerns around the place of cautions in the reformed system, plans to make the scheme retrospective, and the extension of List 99 to include everyone convicted of a relevant offence regardless of their employment status at the time.

Expectations for all: will Raising Expectations make a difference?

V. McKee

ChildRight, issue 236, 2007, p. 16-19

The consultation paper Raising Expectations proposes that the school leaving age should be raised to 18. It unfortunately confuses compulsory attendance at school or training with learning. Young people can be physically present at school or college, but totally disengaged from learning. The proposals could be improved by more emphasis on the development of a relevant, practical and motivating curriculum and a good learning environment in which young people feel relaxed.

School uniform guidance: will it protect children’s rights?

R. Dobson

ChildRight, issue 236, 2007, p. 13-15

Following a number of high profile cases involving Muslim pupils' rights to manifest their religion by wearing Islamic dress, the Department for Education and Skills has released guidance on school uniform policy for consultation. The guidance seeks to ensure that schools are not subject to further legal challenges and that their policies comply with human rights and anti-discrimination legislation. This article assesses the guidance with reference to the two seminal cases of Shabina Begum and R (on application of X) v the Headteacher of Y School.

Self-evaluation and Ofsted Inspection: developing an integrative model of school improvement

D. Plowright

Educational Management,Administration and Leadership, vol. 35, 2007 p. 373-393

The Office for Standards in Education (Osted) is responsible for carrying out inspections of all schools in England. Compared with early inspections, there is now an increased focus on the contribution that school self-evaluation can make to the inspection process. However, it is clear from studies undertaken in recent years that there is a tension built into the inspection process: it is aimed at assuring accountability but also at ensuring development. The research reported here investigates how teaching staff and school managers in one case study school felt about the self-evaluation procedures that were put in place in preparation for its Ofsted inspection. The purpose is to develop an integrative model that brings together ideas about school self-evaluation, school improvement and the concept of the learning organisation.

Teacher supply: the key issues

S. Gorard and others

London: Hambledon Continuum, 2006

The book draws together recent UK and worldwide research into issues concerning teacher supply, recruitment and retention, and seeks to explore many of the controversies which surround them. The first chapter presents the traditional account of a teaching workforce in crisis, with shortages and poor quality prevalent, before continuing to look at some of the reasons advanced for this crisis, and some of the policies introduced to try and solve it. The following chapters introduce the datasets used in the book and reconsider the complete trajectory of teaching from career choice to retirement. The book then extends the analysis to all developed countries and offers important recommendations for the future such as recruiting people who have expertise in maths and science but no formal named qualification.

White working-class boys are the worst performers in school

R. Garner

The Independent, 22nd June 2007 p.26

This article draws upon two papers published by the Jospeh Rowntree Foundation and the Sutton Trust. The former claims that white working class boys perform worse than any other ethnic or gender group in school. White boys on free dinners account for 62 per cent of the bottom 10 per cent of performers compared to 43 of Afro-Caribbean children. Both reports also have criticisms for the current league table system that forces schools to concentrate on helping students that are likely to pass above grade D in exams. The Sutton Trust report states that there is no other country in the advanced world that has such a wide gap in performance between independent and state schools.

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