Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 14/03/2019

How could schools be held accountable for excluded pupils?

Various government reviews, at least since the 2010 white paper, have claimed that the way to improve alternative provision is to make schools take greater responsibility for the pupils they exclude. Leaked documents suggest the Timpson review of exclusions will repeat this recommendation, but how might it work?

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‘Link arts and STEM to help students steam ahead’ – Encouraging collaboration between college departments can boost students career options

Greater collaboration between arts subjects and Stem subjects can benefit students, according to a campaigner. Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, the chief executive of Stemettes, an organisation that encourages girls and young women to consider a career in STEM, said thinking about arts, alongside science, technology, engineering and maths is advantageous.

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Police chiefs link off-rolling to knife crime – Police chiefs and London mayor say off-rolling ‘must be outlawed’

Police chiefs have written to Prime Minister Theresa May, warning that a “broken” school exclusion system is linked to a surge in knife crime. London Mayor Sadiq Khan co-signed the letter, which calls for an end to unofficial “off-rolling exclusions”.

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Manga-loving librarian ‘a stellar example of whole-school literacy’ – A school librarian who believes ‘the right book can change lives’ – including manga comics – has won a national award

A school librarian who runs a manga club with more than 30 members and has organised her library’s books into different “worlds” has won a national prize for promoting reading for pleasure.

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The academies minister Lord Agnew has appealed to leading city business professionals to become school governors and trustees.

During a meeting at auditors KPMG today, the minister urged senior staff to join the 250,000 people already running England’s schools. The meeting was co-hosted by Academy Ambassadors, a programme run by the New Schools Network which has linked 1,200 businesspeople with schools since 2013.

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‘The baseline test won’t work – just look at my kids’ – Instead of replacing KS1 Sats with a baseline assessment, let’s scrap tests altogether for pupils so young, says one parent

At the age of 4, my eldest child’s idea of fun was throwing stuff. His talent for on-target chucking was both awe-inspiring and exhausting. If you had given him a pencil and told him to write something, he would have launched it across the room with a right-armed windmill manoeuvre. Sitting still at a desk was not his strong point.

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50% rise in student demand for mental health counselling services – What can universities do to manage this dramatic upsurge in demand for mental health support?

Clare Bradshaw of Unihealth urges universities to review ‘preventative’ strategies and solutions to stem the sharp 50% rise in student demand for mental health services (as reported by the Institute of Public Policy Research) and the onset of more serious mental health issues on Student Mental Health Day today.

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Hinds urges academies to listen to local communities – Education secretary asks academies to ‘value the input of the local community and to ensure that they help to inform trust decision making’

The education secretary has urged academies to listen to their local communities and use their feedback to inform decision making. Damian Hinds made the comments at a summit of academy trusts, hosted in partnership with the Confederation of School Trusts at the Department for Education.

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‘Invest in arts and PE to boost attainment and engagement’ – Pupils who enjoy physical education and the arts take part in school life more fully than those who do not, study shows

Participation in physical education and activities such as music, drama and visual arts is the greatest predictor of “school engagement” among adolescents, according to researchers.

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Half the councils expecting the biggest rise in demand for secondary school places have offered fewer pupils their first choice of school.

It comes as a pupil population bulge moves out of primary and into secondary schools, leaving one council at least 400 places short. More than 600,000 pupils were last week told which secondary school they will attend this September. Latest government figures forecast there will be an extra 9,751 secondary places needed by 2019-20 – more than three times the almost 2,600 extra places needed this year.

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University drop out rates are worse among disadvantaged students, official data shows.

University drop out rates are worse among disadvantaged students compared to their wealthier peers, official data shows. Damian Hinds, the education secretary, has warned that universities must step up their efforts to tackle the “damaging” drop out rates, adding that the regulator will intervene if they fail to do so.

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The chief inspector intervened to downgrade the Ofsted rating of a school found to have off-rolled pupils.

Inspectors visiting Discovery Academy in Stoke-on-Trent in January were advised by Amanda Spielman (pictured) to rate the school’s leadership and management as “requires improvement”, rather than “good”, after they discovered evidence of off-rolling of year 11 pupils.

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‘Safeguarding has become too complex for teachers to manage alone’ – Schools need more help from professionals in safeguarding, this teacher-turned-social worker argues

Suddenly, after 12 years of leading pastoral teams in schools, I was on the other side of the phone: I was the social worker. I have been asked many times why I took this leap and retrained, but to me it was an obvious progression and part of a bigger plan: I ultimately want to return to education with the skills, understanding and knowledge my time as a social worker will give me.

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Schools have ‘very strong claim’ in spending review – Damian Hinds promises to make ‘strongest possible case’ for school funding

Schools have a “very strong claim” for additional funding in the coming spending review, the education secretary has said. Damian Hinds said he would be making “the strongest possible case” to the Treasury on behalf of schools in the coming review.

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‘SEND inclusion can be tough – but segregation isn’t the answer’ – Don’t push pupils with SEND out of the mainstream – instead, let’s give teachers proper support.

When it comes to schools, there are lots of ways that children and young people can traumatise the adults who work there. From injury (there was the time when Guy broke his arm performing a cartwheel, and the first time I had to deal with a head injury – it was me who needed a sit down after) to illness (anyone who works with young epileptics will recognise this) to disclosures (especially the sort that make you have to wait in the office for a little bit so that you can compose yourself).

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Questioning: when and how to use it in the classroom – Too often, we use questioning badly in our teaching – here’s how to make sure that it deepens learning.

Questioning is a fundamental tool in the practice of most teachers. We ask questions for a variety of reasons, but most can be put under two broad categories: checking for understanding and deepening understanding.

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England’s teacher recruitment and retention crisis will not be solved without an increase in the number of ethnic minority teachers, the education secretary has said.

Damian Hinds told Oasis’s Break the Cycle event in London this morning that the government “can’t afford” for people to think teaching isn’t a viable career for them because of their background or ethnicity, as he renewed his pledge to boost the proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) teachers.

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‘Boost adult education spending or UK will lag behind’ – Investing in literacy and numeracy skills would deliver substantial benefits for a modest investment.

One undeniable impact of Brexit is that employers are now more worried about education and skills than they have been for a very long time. Last month, in a speech at Cambridge Regional College, Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, added to calls on the government to invest more in colleges and skills below degree level.

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Some children more likely to be criminalised for carrying knife on basis of academic record, Ofsted says – An inconsistent approach to police involvement among schools risks ‘bias’, watchdog warns.

Some children are more likely to be criminalised for carrying a knife on the basis of their academic record or background rather than the risk they pose, education watchdog Ofsted finds. A report, which looks at knife crime in London, reveals that schools’ decisions about whether to call the police to knife-carrying incidents can be based on irrelevant factors – such as a child’s prior attainment.

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New GCSEs did not increase pupil stress, says watchdog – Ofqual says evidence 'does not support the view' that design of reformed qualifications has increased anxiety

Reforms to GCSEs and A levels have not increased exam stress nor contributed to growing pupil anxiety, the exams regulator has said. The chair of Ofqual, Roger Taylor, denied that anxiety is being driven by “the way exams that are designed”, while the regulator’s chief executive, Sally Collier, said the key issue was “whether students feel supported”.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.