Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 03/10/2019

SEND inspections: How the system is failing – Inspections show how children are being let down by delays, poor support plans and exclusions.

Inspection reports into the education and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reveal widespread failings across the country. This year, two-thirds of the inspections carried out have resulted in negative outcomes, with local councils and health bodies being ordered to produce written statements of action setting out how they aim to improve matters.

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Headteachers hit back at ‘ignorant’ Labour plans to abolish private schools – The Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference has unveiled polling showing two thirds of the public back parents’ right to privately educate.

Private school heads have hit back at a Labour’s proposal to abolish them, claiming it is based on “ignorance and the desire to damage”. The Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents 296 independent schools across Britain, accused “political activists who want to tax good schools to death” of lacking common sense. It has unveiled new polling which finds that two thirds of the public (68 per cent) agree that parents should be able to pay for their children’s education if they can afford it.

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Improving student experience with self-service device loans – By Debbie Exley, Events and Marketing Executive, Lapsafe.

More and more colleges are offering their students the opportunity to borrow a laptop or similar device for set periods of time. Offering this type of service is a great way to enhance the students experience with very little staff interaction. Whether it’s for short term loan or long term, students are constantly looking for ways to access resources such as laptops/tablets to finish that essay or research for their assignments.

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Gavin Williamson calls on universities to ‘up their game’ over drop out rates and access for disadvantaged students – Education Secretary writes to universities as new data shows those from well-off areas are 2.4 times more likely to enter higher education.

The Education Secretary has written to universities demanding they “up their game” by cutting drop out rates and opening their doors to disadvantaged students. Gavin Williamson flagged up that white working class boys are less likely to go to university and black students are less likely to complete their courses than others.

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School bike-share scheme for pupils is a ‘UK first’ – Pupils often stop using their bikes after they move up to secondary school, but scheme aims to reverse that trend

A school bike-share scheme , believed to be the first in the UK, is being launched to inspire pupils become more physically active. Bike stations have been installed at three secondary schools in Stirling as part of the project by charity Forth Environment Link (FEL), which is being run with bike-share operator nextbike. Each school will have 10 bikes, as well as access to the 160 bikes stationed across the city as part of the nextbike scheme which already operates in Stirling.

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Schools have been warned to “consider the implications” of teachers offering or promoting paid tuition after a survey found a quarter of secondary teachers took on private tuition in the last two years.

The Sutton Trust’s annual polling of teachers and pupils also shows that two thirds of teachers who have tutored did so after direct contact from parents. The survey of 1,678 teachers also asked if their school had promoted paid-for private tuition to parents. Although secondary school teachers were more likely to have tutored outside of school than primary teachers (24 per cent versus 14 per cent), heads in primary school were more likely to say their school had sent parents information about private tutoring (18 per cent compared to 11 per cent).

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Jisc trials free 3D scanning for higher education – The non-profit is providing a studio-quality 3D scanning service to allow universities to provide wider access to fragile or awkward artefacts.

Jisc is trialling a free 3D scanning service for universities, giving wider access to items that are too precious or fragile for real-life inspection. The studio-quality service is focused on research and education, and uses state-of-the-art hardware from London-based startup Reality Zero One. Scanning equipment is expensive and complex, meaning many universities aren’t able to invest in their own. Jisc hopes that this new service will fill the gap, producing both 2D and 3D images.

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Two-thirds of public support independent education – As HMC conference opens today, private school heads hit back at Labour’s plans to ‘integrate’ private schools into state system.

Over two-thirds of people – 68 per cent – support the idea that parents should be able to pay for their child’s schooling if they can afford it, according to findings from a ComRes survey. The survey of 2,016 adults also found that only about one fifth – 18 per cent – of respondents were against private schools. The results are expected to be announced today by Fiona Boulton, chair of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) at the organisation’s annual conference.

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68% think parents should be able to pay for their children’s education – A new survey shows voters, including previous Labour supporters, want the choice to send their children to independent schools.

A new survey by ComRes* has revealed two thirds (68%) of the public think parents should be able to pay for their children’s education if they can afford it, with only one in five (18%) disagreeing. The findings of the survey will be revealed to nearly 300 independent school heads later today at the HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) Autumn Conference by the organisation’s chair, Fiona Boulton, who is also head of Guildford High School. Over half (56%) of Labour voters agree parents should be able to pay for their children’s education, as well as 83% of Conservative voters and 70% of Liberal Democrats voters.

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Analysis: Would Eton move abroad to escape Labour? – As elite independent heads gather for this week’s HMC conference, we consider whether a Corbyn government could really see their schools leaving England.

The last time Labour seriously mooted abolishing independent education back in the 1980s, there were rumours that England’s elite public schools would simply move overseas. So with the Labour party conference last week voting to redistribute all private school assets to state schools, have more plans been hatched for the likes of Eton and Harrow to escape the clampdown by re-opening abroad?

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Gavin Williamson’s goal to ‘overtake Germany’ on technical education ‘undermined by funding shortages’ – Four in five schools in England will still be worse off even after the Government’s announcement of extra funds, unions say.

A pledge by the Education Secretary to “supercharge” further education risks being undermined by continuing funding shortages, unions have said. The unions issued their warning as they released new analysis showing that four in five schools in England will still be worse off even after the Government’s announcement of extra funds last month. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference today, Gavin Williamson set a goal to “overtake Germany” in the provision of technical education within ten years.

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‘Don’t make closing private schools education’s Brexit’ – Former DfE official warns that abolishing independent schools could tie up government in the same way as Brexit.

Abolishing private schools could become education’s Brexit, tying up policy-making for years, according to a former senior Department for Education civil servant. Natalie Perera, now executive director at the Education Policy Institute, warned that it would take focus away from dealing with important education issues such as closing the disadvantage gap and tackling teacher shortages.
She was speaking at a Tes fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference yesterday.

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Sommet Education and Ducasse Education create new global culinary initiative, École Ducasse – École Ducasse offers a broad range of culinary programmes across three stunning locations.

Driven by strong growth in the gastronomy sector, École Ducasse aims to provide tailored education programmes for all students, from food enthusiasts to seasoned professionals, and from adults changing career path to young graduates. École Ducasse will offer a broad range of programmes, responding to an international demand while keeping in line with Alain Ducasse’s DNA: “philosophy of excellence, combining the perfect transmission of well-mastered culinary techniques and expertise with a resolutely contemporary approach to gastronomy”

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Teachers told not to switch GCSE boards over grades – Expert warns against moving over apparently ‘staggering’ differences in GCSE English language grades.

GCSE English teachers have been warned against switching exam boards, despite “staggering” differences in grading statistics. The advice came after data posted on Twitter showed that a striking 6.38 per cent of entries to OCR English language GCSE were awarded a grade 9 – the highest possible grade – this year.

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Call for poorer families to get ‘vouchers’ for private tuition as more parents pay for tutors – The Sutton Trust found that 27 per cent of students in England and Wales have received private tuition.

Private tuition is on the rise according to new research, prompting concern that richer parents might be more able to help their offspring bag better exam grades. The Sutton Trust social mobility charity, which carried out the research, has urged the Government to introduce a means-tested voucher scheme so poorer families can access subsidised tuition. The charity found that the proportion of 11-16-year-olds in England and Wales who have received tuition rose from 18 per cent in 2005 to 27 per cent this year.

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Knowledge exchange: £10m project pushes student involvement – A joint competition from Office for Students and Research England aims to learn more about how students can participate in knowledge transfer.

The Office for Students (OfS) and Research England have launched a £10m competition to boost student involvement in knowledge exchange. Knowledge exchange – the work universities do to share their research and skills beyond the campus – strengthens the community and economy, statistics show. In 2017/18, universities in England generated over £3.7bn from their knowledge exchange activities. Research England estimate universities helped create over 3,500 start-up and spin-off companies.

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£120m for 8 new institutes of technology announced – Every big city should have ‘at least one’ IoT, says education secretary Gavin Williamson.

Eight more institutes of technology (IoTs) are to be created, education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. Mr Williamson unveiled the £120 million proposals at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today. The announcement comes as Mr Williamson used his conference speech to vow to “super-charge further education” over the next decade. The specialist Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) institutes are collaborations between colleges, universities and employers, offering higher-level technical training at levels 4 and 5. The announcement follows the first 12 IoTs opening this year.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock says parents could be forced to vaccinate their children – Health Secretary says there is a ‘strong argument’ for compulsory jabs, as preventable diseases continue to make a comeback.

Parents could be forced to give their children measles jabs after the Health Secretary revealed he has taken legal advice on making vaccinations compulsory. Matt Hancock said there is a “very strong argument” for making immunisation mandatory amid fears that deadly diseases, such as measles, are making a comeback across the UK. A growing “anti-vax” movement, fuelled by scare stories on social media, has seen a dramatic drop off in the take up of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations in recent years.

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Digital Schools Awards help pupils in Northern Ireland stay safe online – A new cybersafety award scheme has been launched by young digital leaders from Ballyclare, NI.

A Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety (CR-IS) badge has been developed by Digital Schools Award NI to help schools keep pupils safe online. The badge is backed by tech companies HP, Microsoft and RM Education, with support from ICT in schools network C2K, and the Department for Education.

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The majority of academy trust leaders are worried that growth could have a negative effect on schools in their trust – but financial pressures mean many are trying to expand anyway, new research reveals.

Findings released by The Key, in partnership with the Forum Strategy, show that only 12 per cent of leaders are “not at all concerned” about their financial viability over the next three years. But the research reveals that most trust leaders have concerns about expanding. Fifty one per cent said that growth could have a negative effect on existing schools in the trust and their ability to support them.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.