Education Policy

Four out of five children in care have special educational needs | Education

Four out of five children taken into care in England during their school years required support for special educational needs (SEN) at some point between the ages of five and 16, according to research. The study, which examined data on almost half a million children who began school in September 2005, found that of the 6,240 children who entered the care system during their school years, 83% required additional SEN support. Researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child…

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Welsh parents lose opt-out for sex, relationship and religious education | Politics

Parents in Wales will soon lose the right to withdraw their children from lessons on sex and relationships or religion, provoking concern among both church groups and secular campaigners. Kirsty Williams, the Welsh education minister, confirmed the plans – part of the government’s overhaul of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) and religious education – but said they would require “careful and sensitive” implementation after the government’s public consultation revealed strong feelings. Williams said the decision “ensures that all pupils will…

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Schools should brace for five years of upheaval from a triumphant party with Gove at its heart | Melissa Benn | Education

The election campaign is now in a bygone decade but we are still not much clearer about what the Tories have in store for education over the next five years. The relevant section of the Conservative manifesto was, at just 646 words, deliberately vague, and seemed oriented towards perceived Labour policy weaknesses – on Ofsted and discipline – rather than on any real plans for education. Not a word on the future use of the pupil premium, nor the burden…

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When school is an isolation cubicle with three toilet breaks a day | Education

Six days a week Brendan, 17, leaves at six in the morning for his job on a building site and doesn’t get home until tea time. It’s his first job and he is loving it. “I am very, very proud of him,” says his mother. But it could have turned out very differently. Brendan left his academy trust school in Normanton, West Yorkshire, without any GCSEs, having spent much of his time in an isolation cubicle, banned from talking to…

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Everyone welcome: inside the schools that haven’t expelled a child since 2013 | Education

Jason Thurley, headteacher at Beacon academy, near Grimsby, leans across the table explaining why yet another of his pupils was excluded before joining the school. “He’d brought in a £1 potato gun. It was at the bottom of his bag and so he goes up to his form tutor and says, ‘I don’t want to get into trouble with this, sir, can you take it?’ And he gets permanently excluded. The school said ‘we have a zero-tolerance policy on firearms’.”…

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Ofsted to bring back routine inspections for outstanding schools | Education

Outstanding schools and colleges in England are to be stripped of their exemption from regular inspections, overturning a policy introduced by the former education secretary Michael Gove. The Department for Education said that from September it plans to return to a five-year cycle of inspections for state schools rated by Ofsted as outstanding , fulfilling an election promise by the Conservatives and an earlier pledge by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson. Since 2012, schools with an outstanding rating have been…

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Learning foreign languages should be compulsory, says report | Education

Learning a new language should be compulsory for pupils up to the age of 16, according to a new report highlighting the UK’s recent abysmal record in encouraging young people to study languages other than English. The report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) cites an EU-wide survey showing that just 32% of young people in the UK say they are able to read or write in more than one language, compared with 79% of their peers in…

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Ofsted report says 200,000 pupils stuck in low achieving schools | Education

More than 200,000 pupils in England are being educated in schools that have performed poorly for at least 13 years, despite being inundated with improvement initiatives from central and local government, a report shows. The schools’ regulator Ofsted has identified 415 “stuck” schools, in all phases of education, that have received persistently poor inspection ratings and have been locked in a cycle of low performance for so long they have potentially failed two whole cohorts of children. Ofsted defines stuck…

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Are snap Ofsted visits a good or bad idea? – Education Article

It probably comes as no great surprise to learn that the Conservative Party’s recent proposals to ‘strengthen’ Ofsted inspections by increasing the length of a standard inspection from two to three days, and to introduce ‘snap’ no-notice inspections, have been met with universal condemnation from headteachers and teaching unions. The proposals have been called ‘draconian’ and concerns have been raised that the move would be potentially damaging, meaning that a school’s focus would be on inspections rather than teaching. The…

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No grammar schools, lots of play: the secrets of Europe’s top education system | Education

It’s a warm September afternoon in the Kallio district of Helsinki. Out in the Franzenia daycare centre playground, groups of four- and five-year-olds roam contentedly. “Would you like an ice-cream?” asks one, having set up her elaborate “stall” on the edge of the sandpit. Kindergarten staff move among the children, chatting, observing and making written notes. There is nothing outwardly distinctive about the centre, though with 200 children, it is the city’s largest. It is a tall, somewhat dour former…

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Would you get into grammar school? Try the 11-plus exam | Education

Theresa May has proposed a shakeup of the education system that could lead to an expansion of grammar schools across England. Many people object to the categorisation of pupils at age 11 on the basis of an exam. But how would you fare in such a test? Here’s a selection of 11-plus questions from sample tests produced by the educational publisher CGP. (To complete all the questions please view on desktop or mobile browsers rather than the app.) Maths Verbal…

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8 Education Trends and Ideas Worth Leaving Behind in 2019 – Education Article

For public education, 2019, like previous years, brought its share of the good, the bad, and the ugly. On balance, there was plenty of good news, made largely possible by the 2018 mid-term elections that swept pro-education candidates into office. Much of that energy was drawn from the #RedforEd movement, which continued to generate momentum in calling for greater investments in public schools. As a result, educators and their unions head into the new decade stronger than ever. Students are…

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Young people more sceptical of need to go to university, poll finds | Education

Young people in Britain are increasingly sceptical of the need to go to university and are more aware of apprenticeships, according to polling, as a record proportion of school-leavers await their A-level results. More than 300,000 sixth formers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will find out the results of their summer exams on Thursday and in many cases use the grades to gain places on undergraduate courses. But only two-thirds of young people rate a university education as important,…

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Millions spent on ‘fake’ apprenticeships, says report | Education

Hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent on “fake apprenticeships” that are just relabelled degrees or training courses, according to a report by a thinktank which says employers are abusing the current system. Since 2017 large companies have been forced to set aside the equivalent of 0.5% of their payroll to fund apprenticeships. But according to Tom Richmond, the author of a report for the EDSK thinktank, many are instead using the funds for existing professional development courses. “Despite…

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Adults in training plunge to record low in a decade | Education

The number of adults who have improved their skills with some form of training has plunged by 4 million over the past decade to the lowest level on record, as government cuts threaten to drive up inequality and damage the economy. In a warning that a decade of decline would undermine the life chances of millions and pave the way for weaker economic growth in future, the Learning and Work Institute said the number of adults taking part in learning…

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Parents’ three-year battle to win support for their autistic son | Education

Like many nine-year-olds, Gyan Pansar lists riding his scooter, swimming and playing football among his favourite things to do. He is cheerful and inquisitive, and loves to be physically active. But it took three years of extreme will and determination for his parents to help Gyan, who is severely autistic, get to this stage. “Previously we couldn’t take him into any social situation because he’d just cry and flop on the floor. He was not a happy child,” said his…

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