Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 28/02/2019

Social mobility cold spots will get worse unless action is taken to close attainment gap, MPs warn – ‘A regional attainment gap acts as a major roadblock to social mobility’

Social mobility “cold spots” in England are likely to get colder if action is not taken, a cross-party group of MPs and peers warn. There could be serious repercussions for children’s achievement in these areas, such as Norfolk, Somerset and Blackpool, if the government does not offer more support, a report on social mobility says.

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Early schooling helps narrow boys’ disadvantage gap – Researchers say that deferring school entry for summer-born children should only happen in ‘exceptional circumstances’

Early schooling helps to narrow the gap between boys from disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged backgrounds, new research has found. Academics from University College London’s Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration said their results suggested that the school-entry point for summer-born children should only be deferred in “exceptional circumstances”.

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Three in five young people believe education doesn’t equip them for the job market.

Almost three in five young people believe the UK’s education system fails to equip them for the job market, a new poll shows.

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How I get to know about every pupil in one lesson – Creating a culture of trust depends on openness, and one assignment can build that from the start.

It is day one of a new class, and the students and teacher are eyeing one another with the mutual wariness of animals at the watering hole. – “Will this teacher know how to create an atmosphere where I feel comfortable offering my perspective?”

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UK education still failing to produce sufficient engineers, says report – The updated Perkins Review finds that apprenticeship levy limitations and technical teacher shortages are among the factors threatening economic growth.

A new report suggests that the UK education system cannot produce enough engineers to support the economy. Engineering Skills for the Future – the 2013 Perkins Review Revisited finds numerous barriers to addressing the annual shortfall of 59,000 engineers and technicians in the UK workforce, including narrow post-16 education options, teacher shortages and an overly restrictive apprenticeship levy.

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Re-focus pupil premium on teacher retention and CPD, say MPs

The government should rename the pupil premium the “social mobility premium” to encourage schools to spend the cash on teacher development and retention, a cross-party group of politicians has said.

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No point teaching coding, says Pisa chief – Andreas Schleicher warns that coding – now part of England’s national curriculum – ‘will be outdated very soon’

Coding will be as irrelevant as trigonometry one day and more focus should be placed on teaching children tools that will benefit them in the future, the official who runs the Pisa global education rankings has said.

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Ofsted: ‘No formal recruitment process’ for subject curriculum groups

Ofsted’s national director of education has admitted there was no formal recruitment process for new subject curriculum groups, following allegations of “pedagogical bias”.

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Vietnam university to be first in region to go digital-only – British University Vietnam (BUV) is soon to become the first higher education institution in Vietnam to provide its students with only digital learning materials

The university is partnering with ebook provider Kortext to roll-out the institution-wide scheme, which will provide students with digital learning content from some of the world’s leading educational publishers.

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More than 100 rural schools to get super-fast broadband – Headteacher in Dorset primary school says high-speed broadband has ‘revolutionised’ the way her school works.

More than 100 rural primary schools are set to get gigabit-capable broadband connections within the next few months, the government has announced. Under the £3 million pilot programme, three schools have already been connected, and 52 have signed contracts with work expected to be completed in the coming weeks. The government said a further 72 schools are in discussions.

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Ofsted publishes first academy trust ‘summary evaluation’

The first ever summary evaluation of a multi-academy trust by Ofsted has been published, ushering in a long-awaited new inspection process for chains.

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T-level contracts halved as fewer students predicted – Contracts to deliver the first T levels in 2020 were awarded last month – but the payments involved have been cut.

The value of the first T-level contracts handed to awarding bodies was significantly below the figure initially advertised due to lower projected student numbers.

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Students gambling their loans to afford cost of living, survey suggests – ‘At vulnerable times I’d often end up losing money that I couldn’t afford to lose’

Tens of thousands of students are using their loans to gamble in a bid to top up their funds, with many ending up in debt to the tune of £5,000 or more, a new report suggests. Students are increasingly turning to gambling as the student support provided by the government has failed to keep up with the rising costs of living, the National Union of Students (NUS) says.

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Parents lobbying for new law on pupil restraint consider judicial review

Families of children with learning disabilities have sought legal advice over pupil restraint in schools, and may launch a judicial review to force ministers to introduce a new law governing its use.

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NFER warns of ‘clear need’ to improve working conditions of teachers

The working conditions of teachers must improve if the government is to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis, the National Foundation for Education Research has warned.

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‘England will need 80 more special schools by 2027’ – FFT Education Datalab says population bulge will drive demand for 9,000 extra special school places

England will need an estimated 80 more special schools by 2027 as the population bulge moves into secondary schools, FFT Education Datalab has predicted.

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Government urged to ‘rethink’ academy conversion approach after another U-turn.

The government is facing calls to “rethink its whole approach” to converting schools into academies after making another U-turn on plans to force a school to make the change.

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‘Lack of funding mean colleges will have to turn employers away’- Many colleges had anticipated expanding their apprenticeship volumes – but the funding isn’t there

The 12th National Apprenticeship Week starts on Monday and the theme this year is blazing a trail. To quote the minister, this is about recognising “the change that apprenticeship can bring – for employers blazing a trail to new markets, apprentices to new career opportunities and for colleges and training providers raising the skills levels for everyone”.

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London state school to introduce four-and-a-half day week to make teachers happier – ‘We are confident that the introduction of a shorter timetable will not impact on our capacity to continue to achieve among the very best results in the country’

A top-performing comprehensive state school in east London will adopt a four-and-a-half day week to create a happier workforce, boost productivity and tackle teacher shortages. – Pupils and teachers at Forest Gate Community School, a secondary school in Newham, will be allowed to leave just after midday every Friday from September, parents have been told.

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Speech, language and communication needs: a quick guide – Sendco Gemma Corby shares her advice for working with pupils with speech, language and communication needs.

Language skills and vocabulary are widely recognised as being the biggest predictors of a child’s success at school. The Rose Report (2009) stated that there is strong evidence that between 35 and 40 per cent of children with reading problems experience language impairment (5.2.5, page 111).

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.