Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 18/04/2019

More pressure on housing developers to fund new school places – DfE outlines how councils can use planning laws to make sure that housing developers pay towards new schools

The Department for Education is issuing new guidance which aims to make sure that councils get the most from their powers to force housing developers to pay for new school places.

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The current system for dealing with school place appeals and waiting lists leads to increased social segregation and must be reformed, according to a think tank.

The Education Policy Institute has warned that the way the system works now risks “damaging social mobility” after analysis found pupils in the most affluent areas are more than twice as likely to get their first choice of school after an appeal, while some ethnic minority groups are less likely to secure their top choice than white British pupils.

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The number of appeals against GCSE and A-level exam grades rose by more than 40 per cent in 2018, the second year of a new appeals process.

There were 847 appeals in 2018, up from 597 in 2017. Of last year’s appeals, 400 were upheld, up from 260 the previous year. The increase in 2018 was driven by a substantual rise in the number of appeals at GCSE, which went from 272 to 479. At the same time, the number of GCSE grade appeals that resulted in a grade change also rose from 92 to 144.

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Error in skills test led to prospective teachers being failed – DfE to offer compensation payment to candidates affected.

Schools minister Nick Gibb has said that more than 200 would-be teachers have been affected by an error in the skills test, which has to be passed in order to join the profession.

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Housing developers should pay to build new schools, new Department for Education guidance says.

Housing developers should pay to build new schools, new Department for Education guidance says. It comes amid pressure on school places with the secondary school population set to swell to 3.3 million within a decade, according to official projections.

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Photography competition looks to challenge outdated images of engineering – The Gadget Show’s Georgie Barrat is among the judges for the IET Engineering & Technology Junior Photographer of the Year

In a bid to challenge the stereotypical image of hard hats and dirty overalls often associated with engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched its annual photography competition for 2019, and is calling on young people to enter.

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The Treasury has clawed back more than £300 million in funding from the Department for Education’s budget after money paid into the apprenticeship levy went unspent.

School leaders today lamented the fact that the cash – a proportion of which will have been paid in by schools that then struggled to find a use for it – won’t be used to address financial pressures in the school system.

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Primary school will give pupils Friday afternoons off as children ‘lack focus’ by end of week

A primary school is to give pupils Friday afternoons off as they say that children “lack focus” by the end of the week. From September, Neyland Community School in Pembrokeshire, west Wales will close its gates at 12.15pm rather than 3.20pm on Fridays.

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Stem: Inquiry explores impact of science teaching on nursery children – Young children have natural enthusiasm for Stem and quickly form views about it.

The importance of teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) to young children will be explored by MSPs. The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee has today launched an inquiry to examine the impact of Stem subjects on children aged three to seven, and how successfully they are being delivered. It will also consider the impact Stem teaching at this stage has on broadening children’s horizons about possible careers.

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England’s network of illegal schools is “not just a faith school problem”, an Ofsted director has said, after new data revealed thousands of pupils could be languishing in “appalling” alternative provision, sometimes at the taxpayer’s expense.

Inspectors have described visiting unregistered settings with “open sewers”, “exposed electrical work” and “holes in walls and floors”, as they renewed their appeal for greater powers to take action against schools which operate illegally.

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Need to know: Teaching union conferences 2019 – It’s that time of the year again when teachers’ concerns suddenly make a lot of national headlines. Yes, the Easter teaching union conferences are upon us. Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the Easter teaching conferences? They’re the annual gatherings of England’s main classroom teaching unions – the NEU and the NASUWT – where delegates meet to debate everything from workload, pay, and behaviour to conflict in the Middle East.

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GDPR: year one – One year on from the implementation of the new GDPR framework, Hazel Davis asks how the education sector has adapted to the new regulations

The lead up to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) implementation last May brought with it a flurry of activity. GDPR – which everyone in edtech knows by now – applies to any organisation that handles personal data within the EU, regardless of location, and educational establishments are no different. The legislation has necessitated changes in all sectors, some of them less dramatic than was previously trumpeted, some of them more so. But how has the education sector fared?

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University’s apprenticeships ‘require improvement’ – Too few apprentices at Sheffield Hallam University completed the NVQ element of their training

A university has had its apprenticeship provision graded “requires improvement” by Ofsted. Inspectors said that too many engineering apprentices at Sheffield Hallam University did not value or complete the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) component of their programmes. Around two-fifths of operations/departmental manager apprentices left their programmes early without completing this component.

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Around 12,500 youngsters are set to be offered places at primary schools that haven’t been rated ‘good’ in over a decade, a new analysis has warned on national offer day.

More than 1.2 million pupils have passed through 290 “stuck schools” – those continuously graded ‘inadequate’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘satisfactory’ since 2005 – the New Schools Network has said.

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Student number forecasts ‘ambitious’, says OfS – OfS report challenges institutional optimism about future intake in higher education and should be ‘wary’ of unrealistic projections

The Office for Students (OfS) has cautioned universities about misplaced optimism in their forecasts for future student numbers. In its report – Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England – the sector watchdog says “providers will need to reassess their financial assumptions and forecasts”.

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Children with special needs forced out of school for years as funding fails to meet demand – Mother of child with Asperger’s says his rapid decline while out of school is ‘heartbreaking’

Hundreds of shocking cases of children with special needs being forced out of school have emerged as figures reveal a £1.2bn drop in real-terms funding over the past four years. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are out of school for years at a time as government funding to local authorities has failed to keep up with a rise in demand.

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‘Schools have forgotten about fun for fun’s sake’ – We make a mistake trying to inject fun into lessons – we should simply aim to make schools more fun in general

For years, I joked with my classes that I didn’t like any “unnecessary fun”. The implication being, of course, that when we took part in Comic Relief or an inflatable assault course, that I was doing so purely out of duty and would much rather have been indoors, marking a test or some such.

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Why sports kit should be fit for purpose – Kathryn Shuttleworth, managing director of David Luke Schoolwear, says whether it’s competitive or for social pleasure, sports should be enjoyed by all and not avoided due to uncomfortable kit

Many sportswear brands place kudos on ‘being the best’: ultimate performance and exclusivity. But for our children, who are exposed to increasing levels of perfection pressure on social media, the freedom to just ‘have a go’ at sports is fast becoming eclipsed by the fear of not being good enough.

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Academics should use emojis in emails, says new study – The report from the University of Edinburgh’s Business School has found using them has a positive effect on students

Academics should use emojis in correspondences with students, a new study suggests. The study released by University of Edinburgh’s Business School suggests students view academics who use emojis in computer-mediated communication (CMC) as more friendly. The report added that friendly academics have a positive effect on their students’ work.

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Number of children taught in ‘super-size’ primary school classes is highest in a decade, data shows

The number of children being taught in “super-size” primary school classes is at its highest in a decade, official data shows. More than one in ten pupils (10.8 per cent) aged between four and 11 are now taught in classes of 31 or more – the largest proportion since 2007 – according to figures published by the Department for Education (DfE).

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.