Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 28/03/2019

Is the ‘Hipster effect’ taking over our schools? – Like hipsters with identical outfits, school websites, promo videos and even teachers are all turning into clones

A man with a beard and a bee in his beanie-hat recently threatened legal action against a magazine. He claimed that it had not sought permission to use his image alongside an article explaining why non-conformist “hipsters” all ended up conforming and looking exactly the same as each other.

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The rate of absence from English schools continued to rise in 2017-18, new government data shows.

According to the Department for Education, the rate of unauthorised absences from schools rose from 1.3 percent in 2016-17 to 1.4 percent last year, the highest level since records began. The rate of authorised absences rose from 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent.

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The number of penalty notices handed out by councils for poor attendance has soared by 74 per cent in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court case, the Department for Education has revealed.

The government says the rise was prompted in part by the decision by the Supreme Court in 2017 to uphold the right of councils to fine parents for unauthorised term-time holiday, which emboldened town halls to pursue parents when children skip school.

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Ofsted may rethink plan to give just 150-minutes’ notice of inspectors’ arrival – Watchdog reveals a lot of the consultation response to the proposal has been ‘very negative

Ofsted could back down on controversial plans for an inspector to arrive at a school the day before its inspection begins, a senior figure has indicated. The inspectorate is currently consulting on its plans to introduce a new school inspection framework, which would take effect in September 2019.

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Outwood Grange won’t say how much it spent on crisis managers – Academy trust at centre of ‘flattening the grass’ controversy says releasing figure would ‘prejudice our commercial interests’

Outwood Grange Academies Trust has refused to say how much money it has spent on “political and media relations firm” Abzed which it initially used to field questions about “flattening the grass”. The multi-academy trust said disclosing how much money it had spent on Abzed “would prejudice our commercial interests”.

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School governors and trustees should “regularly communicate” with parents and make sure schools listen to their communities before making decisions, according to new guidance from the government.

The Department for Education has today updated its governance handbook for academies and maintained schools. The updated document states that boards should be able to show how the views of parents and the local community have shaped their “strategic decision-making”.

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Holland Park school spent £15k on Farrow & Ball paint and £6k on Jo Malone candles.

A state school is facing potential government action after a Schools Week investigation unearthed thousands of pounds have been lavished on designer candles, luxury paint, and furnishings from a bespoke interior design store. Holland Park School, dubbed the “socialist Eton” and based in Kensington, west London, spent almost £15,000 on luxury Farrow & Ball paint over the past three years.

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The government is planning a new national SCITT for computing, despite other subject-specific training centres failing to hit recruitment targets.

The Department for Education is looking for organisations to run a “national computing school-centred initial teacher training” (SCITT) programme to “ultimately design a unique and high-quality school-led offer in this priority subject”.

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The government is “considering options” for supporting primary school children with access to free sanitary products, a minister has said, following criticism that its current plans to tackle period poverty do not go far enough.

The chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his spring statement earlier this month that the government will fund free sanitary products in all secondary schools and colleges in England.

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How is the design of university catering facilities changing? – As institutions adapt to shifting trends, Keri Beckingham finds out how the architecture and design of university catering facilities is changing

From a place to grab a coffee on the go, to a casual study space and somewhere to eat lunch with friends or colleagues, there’s no denying that catering facilities are an intrinsic part of a university campus. But with spaces shifting from a traditional canteen structure to something far more dynamic, we asked experts from the university catering industry to explain why the design of catering facilities is changing.

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Ensuring your school is mentally healthy – TISUK is a provider of mental health training for staff in every school in Cornwall

A trauma informed school is one that is able to support children and teenagers who suffer with trauma or mental health problems and whose troubled behaviour acts as a barrier to learning. Major public health studies show that when children who have suffered several painful life experiences are not helped, there is a very high chance of them going on to suffer severe mental and physical ill-health and our training programmes were born out of response to this.

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Global standard for digital literacy launched in world first – The DQ Global Standards Report 2019 sets out a framework for digital literacy, skills and readiness for the first time

The world’s first global standard for digital literacy, outlined in the DQ Global Standards Report 2019, has been released at GESF in Dubai. The framework aims to establish a global framework for digital intelligence – known as DQ – which includes a common set of definitions, language, and understanding of digital literacy, skills, and readiness. This consolidated framework can then be adopted by worldwide stakeholders such as governments, educators, tech companies, and service providers.

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Schools face a funding shortfall of £5.4 billion despite extra funding to cover teacher pay rises, six unions have warned.

The School Cuts coalition, which includes leadership unions NAHT and ASCL, the National Education Union and support staff bodies the GMB, Unison and Unite, has published its latest analysis based on government figures for school funding between 2015-16 and 2018-19.

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Tinder for teacher recruitment, anyone? – Maybe we need a system like Tinder to match-make schools with suitable teacher job applicants, writes Michael Tidd

Teaching is a strange career in many ways, and none more so than when it comes to recruitment. For a start, we’re trapped in this strange cycle of term dates and academic years. Everyone knows that the big turnover of staff happens just as summer turns to autumn, and so the big stride in recruitment happens just as winter gives way to spring. How many other roles are routinely recruited six months in advance?

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‘Why schools must do better on apprenticeships’ – Too many young people still don’t find out about apprenticeships from their schools.

Reading the case studies in Tes’ Inspiring Apprentices series is a great reason for getting out of bed in the morning. They are a perfect reminder of why I love my job. So why, then, is it still the case that too many young apprentices have to find out about exciting apprenticeship opportunities for themselves instead of being informed about them at school?

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A leading curriculum expert has joined the David Ross Education Trust as it steps up its focus on developing a knowledge-rich curriculum.

Christine Counsell, who sits on Ofsted’s curriculum advisory panel and was formerly director of education at Inspiration Trust, joined the trustee board earlier this month to advise on implementing a knowledge-based approach to teaching and learning at DRET.

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‘Crude school league tables demoralise teachers and pupils’ – Teachers are unfairly given an ‘annual kicking’ by school league tables

Humans love a list, a ranking, a way of understanding things through a numerical order based on a predetermined merit – from where you finished in your Saturday morning parkrun to who got the most likes on a Facebook post. Our media have long been aware of this desire to process information quickly, and have capitalised on this cheap approach to filling space, from the music charts to myriad lists of the “most influential” people (which are even more susceptible to manipulation than the hit parade, you’d have thought).

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One in six students say they have no ‘true friends’ at university, according to study – ‘As universities get bigger, there is a real danger that many students get lost and lonely’

More than one in six students say they have no “true friends” among their peers, according to a survey that has raised concerns about mental health at universities. Nearly a third of students feel lonely on a weekly basis, while 15.8 per cent feel that way every single day of term time, according to research published by higher education policy group Wonkhe.

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‘Socially selective’ faith schools must introduce fairer admissions to increase poorer students, charity says – ‘Middle-class parents are more able to navigate complex admissions policies in faith schools’

Top faith schools that are “socially selective” need to boost the number of disadvantaged pupils they admit from local areas to ensure they are “fairer”, a social mobility charity has urged. A report from the Sutton Trust reveals that the proportion of poorer pupils at the top-performing comprehensive schools in England, Scotland and Wales is around half of the average state school.
And the top state secondary schools in England and Wales often admit a much lower proportion of disadvantaged pupils than the average proportion of poorer pupils that live in the local area.

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Apprenticeships should bring back ‘Master Craftsman’ title to boost status, says think-tank – Adopting medieval terminology would help to boost the status of the higher level apprenticeships, the SMF say.

Apprenticeships should bring back the medieval terminology of “master craftsman” to boost their status, the Social Market Foundation has said. Using different titles for the varying types of apprenticeships would help to boost the prestige of the higher levels qualifications, according to a new report by the think-tank.

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.