Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 04/04/2019

‘Schools should model mobile use, not ban them’ – Teachers should allow mobiles in the classroom to demonstrate appropriate phone use

Schools should let students use mobiles in the classroom at certain times instead of banning them outright, to “model” how to use them in a “productive way”, a union leader has said. Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said that schools were too “squeamish” about mobiles, when they were a “transformational” piece of technology.

Read more

Commission on the ‘college of the future’ unveiled – A commission featuring Sir Ian Diamond, Steph McGovern and Shakira Martin will set out a new vision for colleges

A panel of sector experts and leaders will ponder over the future of the college sector. The “Independent Commission on the College of the Future” will be chaired by Sir Ian Diamond – who notably led a review that saw the overhaul of Welsh higher education funding and the introduction of maintenance grants to cover costs for full-time and part-time students.

Read more

Bad behaviour in classrooms fuelled by fashionable ‘restorative justice’ schemes, teacher union chief says

Bad behaviour in classrooms is being fuelled by fashionable “restorative justice” schemes, the head of a teacher union has said. The schemes are failing to deter unruly pupils from misbehaving, according to Chris Keates, general secretary of National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).

Read more

The proportion of schools that were full or over-capacity fell slightly last year, new data shows.

Department for Education statistics released this morning show 15 per cent of secondary schools were full or over-capacity in 2018, down from 16 per cent in 2017. The proportion of full or over-capacity primary schools also decreased from 23 per cent in 2017 to 21 per cent in 2018.

Read more

Education research’s ‘terrifying existential crisis’ – EEF has ‘huge task’ of checking ‘validity and security’ of all studies contributing to teachers’ toolkit.

A government-backed research body is reviewing the “validity and security” of all the individual studies that contribute to its highly influential summaries of evidence for teachers. The decision by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) comes amid concerns that education research is facing an “existential crisis” that has “terrifying” implications.

Read more

MPs have backed changes to relationships and sex education, as protests from parents against teaching primary pupils about LGBT relationships spread.

The reforms backed by Parliament on Wednesday will mean that, from 2020, relationships and health education will be compulsory in all schools and sex education will be mandatory in all secondaries. The reforms still need approval from the House of Lords.

Read more

What’s the best thing you’ve seen happen in a school recently? – When Tes Scotland asked that question on Twitter, the responses were inspiring, surprising and hugely varied

We asked our Twitter followers this week to tell us about the best thing they’d seen happen in a Scottish school recently. We’ve had dozens of responses so far – here is just a selection.

Read more

Academies ‘blackmail’ teachers to take worse pensions – NASUWT says it has ‘nipped in the bud’ academies’ efforts to persuade teachers to leave Teachers’ Pension Scheme

Some academies are “blackmailing” teachers into opting out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and joining schemes with worse benefits, a union leader has warned. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said the issue had come to the fore since the government announced a large increase in employers’ pension contributions.

Read more

Why every teacher should be using dual coding – Our brains work best when information comes in more than one format – mix it up to make learning stick

The principle of dual coding, as first put forth by Allan Paivio in 1971, states that our brains can process information from two channels at the same time. We can take in things that we hear and read on one channel (the written word is processed like sound by our brain), and things that we see on another (for more on this, see the 29 March issue of Tes, and an interview with Professor Uta Noppeney).

Read more

Why are we so reluctant to take learning into the outdoors? – ​​​​​​​The idea of ‘risky play’ is offputting to schools and should be rebranded

New things are scary – like tackling long division or trying to spell “photosynthesis” for the first time. But trying new things is how we learn, develop and grow as people, and setting challenges is how we teach. It is the same when children play outside, whether climbing a tree, building a den or tending a fire for the first time. These new challenges are all lessons, too.

Read more

Pupils without 100 per cent attendance or a clean behaviour record are allegedly being forced to the back of the queue for lunch at a secondary school.

Immanuel College in Bradford, run by the Bradford Diocesan Academy Trust, introduced a new behaviour system in the summer term of last year, in which pupils begin each term with two badges – one for good behaviour, and one for 100 per cent attendance.

Read more

How is the transactional shift of universities affecting their brands? – Could the commoditisation of higher education lead it inexorably towards brand failure

Universities and their brands have shifted in recent years towards becoming metronomically transactional. Nothing encapsulates this quite like the mayhem of the post-A level results clearing frenzy, which seems to get more feverish each year.

Read more

Schools can try out DfE times tables check – ‘Try it out’ facility opens today to enable schools to familiarise themselves with the controversial multiplication check

Schools have been told they can try out the Year 4 times tables check from today, before the test becomes mandatory next year. Access to the times tables check system, which includes a pupil ‘try it out’ area, will enable schools to familiarise themselves with the check, the Standards and Testing Agency guidance says.

Read more

‘What does Ofsted really want to see from school curricula?’ – Instead of overhauling the curriculum, let’s focus on sequencing it: making sure that learning builds on what went before

It won’t have escaped your attention that curriculum is the next big thing. Of course, you may have thought that curriculum had been around for years, but now everything you thought you were doing under the heading of curriculum needs looking at again because you-know-who has decided it’s a big priority. Curriculum is no longer the stuff we put on our curriculum plans; now it’s the stuff that Ofsted inspectors scrutinise when they come to check if we’re up to scratch.

Read more

This grainy photo of two raggedly-dressed boys, Fred and George, shows two of the first children to be admitted to a children’s home in England 150 years ago.

The house in Church Street, Lambeth, was the first incarnation of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage, set up by Methodist minister Thomas Bowman Stephenson in 1869. Its successor charity, Action for Children, is launching a nationwide search for the descendants of some of these first children in care.

Read more

DfE plans register of home educated children – Spielman says new home education register will help identify and tackle off-rolling and unregistered schools

Plans for a register of all children not attending school are being put forward by the education secretary. The proposals, to be set out by Damian Hinds today, aim to provide a clear picture of where children are if they are not in state-funded or registered independent schools.

Read more

Outstanding grade ‘should go only to schools that help others’ – School improvement charity calls for Ofsted’s top grade to be renamed ‘leading schools’

Ofsted should give a school a top grade on inspection only if it is found to be supporting other schools to improve, according to an education charity. Challenge Partners has also called on the inspectorate to change the name of the top grade from “outstanding” to “leading school”.

Read more

Getting more out of classroom technology through an MDM solution – How mobile device management can aid your schools’ digitalisation journey

Over the last ten years, the edtech sector has changed dramatically, with teachers, students and parents realising the growing impact that technology will have on the way we learn, develop skills, and teach. Mobile connectivity in particular, has provided the sector with a number of new opportunities for operators globally to change the future of education through developing the skills of the 21st century digital workforce.

Read more

Parents who fail to register their children as home-educated could face prosecution or a fine under new proposals set out by the government.

In a consultation on a new compulsory register of all home-schooled pupils, published today, the Department for Education revealed it plans to use existing school attendance orders to enforce the new requirements. Such orders are currently used by local councils if it appears parents are not providing a suitable education. They give parents 15 days to provide evidence of they have registered their child at a specific school or that home education is being delivered. Those who don’t comply can be prosecuted or fined.

Read more

DfE edtech strategy tackles teacher workload, cheating, and better tools for SEND students – The strategy outlines ways in which industry and education can work together to address the UK’s most pressing educational challenges

The DfE has today released its edtech strategy, outlining how education and industry can collaborate to reduce teacher workload, boost student outcomes, and better serve SEND students.The strategy marks out approaches to 10 key education challenges.

Read more

Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.