Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 17/01/2019

Fears over effectiveness of ‘rushed’ DfE curriculum fund – Schools left ‘scrabbling’ to ready curriculum fund provision over Christmas break after DfE told them delivery had to begin in January

Concerns have been raised that a rushed launch and squeezed timescales for a flagship government fund aimed at cutting teacher workload could limit its effectiveness.

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Grammars ‘boost poorer pupils’ chances of getting into top universities’ – England’s 163 grammars send more black and ethnic minority pupils to Cambridge than all 1,849 non-selective schools

Attending a grammar school significantly increases the chance of disadvantaged pupils getting into highly-selective universities like Oxbridge, new research has found.

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Two thirds of schools still flouting Baker clause rules, study finds

Two-thirds of secondary schools are still flouting the controversial Baker clause a year after it was introduced – leading calls for Ofsted to police whether schools are compliant.

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‘Local authority schools overspend more than academies’

Maintained schools are more likely to overspend than their academised peers, according to new analysis that one education body said showed schools “have hit the financial cliff edge”.

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Ministers turn to musicians to design new ‘model curriculum’

A new model music curriculum for schools will be drawn up by an independent panel of experts, the government has announced.

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Hinds to face education committee grilling over academy accountability and exclusions

Damian Hinds has been summoned to appear in front of MPs to answer questions about academy trust accountability, exclusions and the state of careers advice.

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The new GCSEs are suited to robots – not pupils – We are producing a generation of young adults programmed to complete assessments rather than to learn the subject, argues Yvonne Williams

This Sunday morning I’m rehearsing the return to school routine, and my brain’s a bit bleary at this early hour. So I might be forgiven for misreading Joe Nutt’s headline “English GCSE needs a reboot” as “Why English GCSE needs a robot.” But on further reflection, is my misreading such a misrepresentation of the reality?

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‘The “easy” IGCSE argument is really about much bigger issues’ – Labour must be radical and get to the root of the ideological conflict about the purpose of education, says Holly Rigby

With Parliament in recess over the Christmas period, Labour MP Lucy Powell used the respite from the Brexit chaos to intensify the ongoing controversy surrounding the use of International GCSE exams (IGCSEs) in private schools.

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More students starting degrees in January to give them edge in jobs market, university says

More students are starting degrees in January to give them an edge in the jobs market.A number of universities across the UK have seen a rise in students applying for courses starting in the new year, rather than September – with some applications increasing by a fifth in a year.

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DfE appoints Kate Josephs as director of funding

A top government academies official has been appointed as the Department for Education’s new director of funding.

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Behaviour: should we treat girls and boys differently? – One teacher says that considering the different needs of girls and boys could be the key to behaviour management

I am not one to encourage stereotypes and I regularly try to be conscious about any potential subconscious gender bias. However, my experiences in schools suggest that girls do work harder, do complete their homework and do mess around a lot less than boys.

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Students take mobile phones into exams as they feel ‘anxious’ without them, exam officers say

Students do not take mobile phones into exams because they want to cheat, exam officers have said, but because they “feel anxious” when separated from their devices. – The number of penalties given to GCSE and A-level students for taking phones into exam halls increased by 22 per cent last year compared to 2017.

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DfE launches consultation on plans to fund schools’ £830m pension contribution hike

The government has launched a consultation today on plans to provide extra funding to cover the estimated £830 million rise in pension contribution for state schools – although private schools will be left to foot their £110m increase.

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Educational psychologists forced to identify pupils’ needs ‘in one visit’, MPs told

Educational psychologists are being forced to identify the special educational needs of pupils “in one visit” due to lack of funding, resulting in children being given the wrong diagnoses and schools having to pick up the pieces.

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Ofsted praises school with silent corridors and high exclusion rate

Inspectors have praised a school which uses silent corridors and excludes a “relatively high” number of pupils, labelling its behaviour policies as “outstanding”.

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Richest students paying least for university, research finds – ‘Wealthy students can focus on their studies while poorer students work to make ends meet’

One in ten students in England are rich enough to pay their university fees in one go to avoid racking up large debts and paying “sky-high” interest rates, new research has shown.

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Ofsted: Schools in tough areas to get more chance of top grade – Inspectorate says its new focus on quality of education will allow inspectors to look beyond just school results

Schools in challenging circumstances which face a battle getting above-average results will stand a better chance of being judged “outstanding” under new inspections, Ofsted has said.

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Schools failing to tackle bullying and poor behaviour to be heavily punished by Ofsted -‘If every child behaved in school then the standards would rocket up’

Schools that fail to deal with bullying and low-level classroom disruption are to be heavily punished by Ofsted under a major shakeup of its inspection criteria. – A separate judgement focusing on the behaviour and attitudes of schoolchildren is set to be introduced by the watchdog after parents raised concerns about the scale of disruption.

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Ofsted’s new framework: longer inspections and shorter notice

Ofsted has launched the consultation on its eagerly-anticipated new inspection framework, proposing longer inspections for ‘good’-rated schools and a plan to send inspectors in to schools earlier for “collaborative” preparation time with leaders.

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Education technology trends for 2019 – We hear from Martin McKay, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Texthelp, about what is in store for edtech in 2019

2019 is going to be another great year for edtech. One of the things we are continuing to see is IT costs continuing to fall. – Access to technology is getting better. 15 years ago Nicholas Negroponte, from MIT in the US, was talking about a one laptop per child initiative and he was trying to get the cost of computing down to about $100 per child. Many thought that it was a completely unachievable goal.

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Careers advice should start at nine, says school head – The comment comes in response to research by The Sutton Trust recommending an earlier start for mentoring and preparation for university

A headteacher of one of Scotland’s most distinguished schools has said that it is important that careers advice begins before pupils reach double figures. – George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh teaches children from age 3 to 18, but principal Lesley Franklin said she thinks careers advice is important for children as young as nine.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.