Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 24/01/2019

How to tackle the problem of pupil loneliness – Stories that portray a ‘perfect life full of friendships and fun’ can be problematic

In the run-up to Christmas many classrooms were fully decked, with beautifully decorated trees standing in school halls, but for many children Christmas was a time of anxiety and uncertainty. As a primary teacher, I saw this first hand, even visiting homes with little or no evidence of the festive period. When I moved to my local authority’s behaviour support team, I became even more acutely aware of the problem.

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Survival as a teacher means learning to say ‘no’ – Most teachers were students who didn’t object to extra homework – therein lies our workload problem

Not long ago, I went to see a documentary about a man who had climbed one of the most technically difficult rock faces in the world, and done it “free solo” – with no ropes or safety equipment. One mistake and he would certainly be dead; impressive, though I’d like to see him teach 9D last thing on a Friday.

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Trusts hit with warning letters after flouting Baker clause

Ten large academy trusts flouting the Baker clause will be issued with letters from the skills minister to “remind them of their legal duty”.

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DfE rule sees trainees drop out over classroom ‘shock’ – Trainee teachers without prior experience are leaving when the reality of working in school hits them

Changes to make it easier to get into teacher training are leading to higher numbers of dropouts – and increasing anxiety among trainees – say teacher training providers.

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More schools refusing pupils with SEND as admissions get harder to police – Official report reveals ‘less and less justifiable reasons’ from schools turning away pupils with SEND as funding pressures increase

“Making families visiting the school feel their child is not wanted or will not be supported” is just one of the “informal means” by which academies may be “dissuading” admissions of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), according to a new report.

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Over £50m for disadvantaged pupils goes unspent – Last year a third of Scottish government money set aside for the three main drives to close the attainment gap went unspent

New figures reveal that the Scottish government’s flagship policy to drive up the attainment of disadvantaged pupils continues to be blighted by a large underspend.

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Schools to split £2.5m funding for foreign exchange trips

Schools can apply for a slice of £2.5 million in government funding to take disadvantaged pupils on trips abroad, the Department for Education announced today.

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‘Traditional PE just doesn’t cut it – it never has’ – Teenagers are far more likely to enjoy physical education if they are not forced to change in front of each other and do team sport.

We have an obesity crisis on our hands and, despite there being a number of ways to make participation in sports at school more appealing, someone, somewhere, is missing a trick.

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‘No evidence more testing drives pupil anxiety,’ says Pisa boss – Andreas Schleicher says anxiety more linked to ‘how we use’ tests and ‘the extent to which students feel supported’

There is “no correlation” between the amount of testing in an education system and pupil anxiety, the head of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) has said.

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Schools denying teachers their national pay rise – ‘Chaos’, says union, as survey finds 12% of teachers going without salary increase, despite £187m DfE grant to help fund it

Many schools are denying teachers this year’s cost of living pay rise – despite being given a £187 million government grant to help fund it, Tes can reveal.

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AI chatbot takes up post at Staffs University in UK first – The support assistant has been created to improve student experience

Staffordshire University has become the UK’s first university to use an AI-driven chatbot to help improve the student experience.

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38% of new students want more help with independent learning – Student Voices report identifies how universities can tackle the 8% drop-out rate of new students

Student Voices, a 40-page report just published, identifies that 38% of first-year students want more help with independent learning as they make the difficult transition from school to university according to a new report.

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Unlock your potential with technology – The Bett time of year is approaching again, when tech newbies and experts alike gather at London’s ExCeL to celebrate technology and innovation in education

Now more than ever technological change is gathering apace and this will have a real impact on future generations. Many jobs that exist today are likely to disappear, whilst the jobs our children will go on to do currently don’t exist. Bett will be embracing the challenge of adapting to an uncertain future, as a forum for discussion among teachers, school leaders, academics, innovators and policymakers. Here’s an overview of what’s on at Bett in January 2019.

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Creativity is key when teaching current affairs – Chloe Taylor, English teacher at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy in Walsall, discusses how to get students reading the news

As I’m sure many teachers will agree, broaching current affairs with a class of young people is sometimes no easy feat. With social media encompassing more and more of our daily lives, and along with the proliferation of fake news stories across the web, the definition of news is becoming broader and broader. As an educator, it can be difficult to draw students’ attention to real and relevant news in an engaging way, and my best advice is that teaching current affairs should be creative and inclusive of many perspectives – reflecting the world itself.

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‘Most criticism of home education is smoke without fire’ – The state is less likely to fail than homeschooling? History provides evidence to the contrary, writes one home educator

It is almost a decade since then education secretary Ed Balls questioned whether “home education [was] being used to cover child abuse”. There have subsequently been a number of high-profile and tragic cases where claims were made that electively home educated (EHE) children were “hidden” from their local authority.

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Children’s education being ‘damaged’ by academy failures, MPs warn – ‘When things go wrong in schools, pupils can be badly affected’

The government’s oversight and intervention of academy chains must be more “rigorous” to prevent any more serious failures from happening again, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said.

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DfE: School improvement has ‘arrested or reversed’ in some sponsored academies

Converting schools to sponsored academies does not consistently cause pupil performance to get better – with school improvement actually being “arrested or reversed” in some cases, government research has found.

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Teachers should not spend evenings responding to emails from pushy parents, Education Secretary says

Teachers should not be spending their evenings and weekends responding to emails from pushy parents, the Education Secretary will say today.

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Ormiston Academies Trust got £1.1m government loan

One of the country’s largest multi-academy trusts was lent more than £1 million by the government to help “cash flow management” last year, the second such settlement it has negotiated to takeover struggling schools.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.