Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 07/02/2019

Do home visits boost attainment at secondary? Possibly… Research suggests text messages and visits home can have a promising impact on achievement

In theory, parental engagement and support should play an important role in determining how well children do in education. That investment may be financial (eg, paying for tutoring) but it may also include time spent researching school choices, or promoting positive outcomes (eg, through helping out with homework).

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Ofsted handed power to inspect all Steiner schools following failures.

Ofsted now has the power to inspect all Steiner schools after the chief inspector called for a “thorough examination” into “deeply concerning” failures.

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Gap between rich and poor students at top universities widens for first time in decade – Figures called ‘disappointing’ and ‘unacceptable’

The gap between rich and poor students going to Britain’s best universities has widened for the first time in nearly a decade, Ucas figures reveal. Last year, students from the most advantaged backgrounds were 15 times more likely than those from the most disadvantaged social backgrounds, the data shows.

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GCSE mocks: have you made the most of the data? GCSE mocks are all but done, but have you used the data you got from them wisely

If you teach in an 11-16 or 11-18 school (or a 16-18 FE college), then in all likelihood, not long before Christmas – or soon after we came back from Christmas (where did that time go!) – your exam groups will have sat a mock exam.

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‘Tiny number of schools responsible for off-rolling spike’ – Children’s commissioner says parents now liken schools to the Hunger Games as her analysis shows withdrawals from within 11 LAs jumped 50 per cent in two years

A “tiny” number of schools are responsible for most “off-rolling” of pupils into home education, according to new analysis by England’s children’s commissioner. Nine in 10 councils who spoke to Anne Longfield for a new Channel 4 documentary said they are worried about children disappearing from school rolls.

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Mobile phones ‘should be banned from schools’, minister says – ‘Every hour spent online and on a smartphone is an hour less talking to family, and it’s an hour less exercise and it’s an hour less sleep,’

Mobile phones should be banned from classrooms and pupils need to be lectured about the dangers of device dependency, the schools minister has said.

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Children’s commissioner to publish home education figures for every school

The children’s commissioner will publish figures for every school in England showing how many of their pupils withdraw to be home educated amid huge rises in some parts of the country.

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Training restaurant for modern-slavery victims planned – Amsterdam restaurant Dignita, which supports victims of trafficking to complete vocational courses, could come to the UK

M Restaurants founder and Gaucho boss Martin Williams is working with an anti-trafficking charity on plans to open a new restaurant in the UK that would train victims of modern slavery.

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We need sustainable SEND training more than ever' – Too many teachers feel unprepared to teach pupils with SEND, but something can be done about this.

Ever since the Carter Review of initial teacher training (ITT) in 2015 reminded us that “good teaching for special educational needs and disability (SEND) is good teaching for all children”, practitioners and policymakers have highlighted the variability in coverage of SEND in ITT in this country.

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Universities are allowing free speech to be curtailed in favour of ‘rule of the mob’, former equalities chief warns.

Universities are allowing free speech to be curtailed on campuses in favour of “rule of the mob”, the former equalities chief has warned, as he says vice-Chancellors must stop behaving like “frightened children” and take a stand.

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80% of levy-paying employers have hired no apprentices – Some £3bn of apprenticeship levy contributions from large businesses – three-quarters of the total – remains unspent, figures show

Four in five levy-paying businesses have yet to take on a single apprentice, new figures reveal. Responding to freedom of information requests from the Open University, HM Revenue and Customs confirmed that 53,449 individual employers have paid towards the apprenticeship levy. Of these, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) confirmed that 10,417 employers had accessed their digital apprenticeship service accounts and made at least one commitment to hire an apprentice up until December 2018.

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Exclusive: Restorative behaviour policies ‘leading to teacher-blaming’ – NASUWT union claims restorative approach is being ‘abused’ and is prompting teachers to be accused of ‘negativity’

A new approach to pupil behaviour management that uses restorative-practice sessions to promote values of right and wrong has led to accusations that “teacher negativity” is to blame for poor behaviour, a union has warned.

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Quality of music education should affect a school’s Ofsted rating, says report

Failing to provide a high-quality music education should have an “adverse impact” on a school’s Ofsted rating, an influential parliamentary committee has said.

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28 academy trusts ordered to justify CEO pay – Lord Agnew demands proof trusts are not ‘diverting financial resources that could be more effectively deployed on front line of education’

Twenty-eight academy trusts have been ordered by the government to justify salaries of more than £100,000. The academies minister, Lord Agnew, has written to chairs of trustees today in a bid to curb “excessive” salaries. The trusts have been asked to provide extra details on the pay of executives who earn more than £150,000, as well as those earning £100,000 if two or more people in a school command a six-figure salary.

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Don’t demonise social media – work with it. This Safer Internet Day, Eleanor Bradley, COO of Nominet, says social media can be used as a force for good

Parents are twice as worried about their teenagers getting addicted to social media as drugs. This comes as over a third of UK teenagers are classed as ‘extreme internet users’ and the NHS opens an internet addiction clinic to help tackle rising incidences of mental health disorders among young people.

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How classrooms can be designed to boost productivity – Lloyd Coldrick, managing director of Cobus, shares his wealth of knowledge on creating inspiring spaces for the educational sector

A learning space that embraces and nurtures the relationship between teachers and children is crucial in cultivating a culture of working together. In today’s more progressive classrooms, technology is ubiquitous, collaboration is celebrated, movement is encouraged and multiple activities take place in adaptable environments. The British Council for School Environments recognises the right of young people to learn in an environment which is safe, healthy and achieves the highest-quality education possible.

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An alliance of edtech: collaboration in the classroom – Keri Beckingham explores how technology is enabling more collaboration in the classroom, and how staff can work alongside edtech to create an efficient and effective learning experience

There’s no denying that edtech is transforming the classrooms of today and improving the learning experiences of students across the country; but how can tech and staff work together to ensure effective collaboration?

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Councils warned that ‘headteacher pipeline may dry up’ – ‘Significant concerns’ remain about headteacher recruitment as councils urged to prepare for mandatory qualification

A government group set up to tackle the headteacher recruitment crisis is warning that local authorities need to do more to ensure posts do not go unfilled – particularly in primary – when it becomes mandatory next year for Scottish school leaders to hold a qualification.

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MPs to debate starting school day at 10am to help tired teenagers – Petition calling for pupils to get a lie in attracts more than 176,000 signatures

MPs are to debate a petition calling for schools to start at 10am because teenagers are too tired to work any earlier. The call has been backed by more than 176,000 signatures and is still rising – well over the threshold needed to be considered for a Parliamentary debate.

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Landmark judicial review hands schools more power to challenge council SEND placements

Schools are in a stronger position to push back against councils that order them to take a pupil whose special educational needs they are unable to meet following a landmark judicial review.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.