Secondary schools

Ofsted plan to inspect ‘cultural capital’ in schools attacked as elitist | Education

A two-word term, invented in the 1970s by a French sociologist heavily influenced by Karl Marx, makes an unlikely entrance in Ofsted’s new framework [pdf] for the inspection of schools in England this week. Each institution is now to be judged on the extent to which it builds pupils’ “cultural capital”. What exactly does that mean? Users of the term, including the schools minister Nick Gibb and the former education secretary Michael Gove, suggest it is about ensuring that disadvantaged…

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School’s back – but some parents can’t keep up with cost of branded uniforms | Education

Charities and community groups aiming to lower the cost of buying school uniforms for low-income families say they cannot keep pace with rocketing demand, as parents struggle to afford essential items for their children in the run-up to the start of the new school year. The popularity of groups offering free donations and secondhand school uniforms for swap has risen sharply this year and organisers say they have been inundated with thousands of requests for items over the past six…

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‘I will never return to teach in England’: the UK teachers finding refuge abroad | Education

The English education system is broken, says Freya Odell, a state secondary school teacher with 18 years’ experience. This month, she followed in the footsteps of thousands of other talented, fed-up teachers and moved abroad – in her case, to St George’s British International School in Rome. “It wasn’t a difficult decision. My job in England took over my life. Over the past year, I had stopped laughing and smiling. I had lost all sense of who I am.” Despite…

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Why are teachers miserable? Because they’re being held at gunpoint for meaningless data | Jeremy Hannay | Education

Everyone seems to be dancing around the elephant in the room. Jeremy Corbyn is talking about scrapping Sats. The DfE is on the workload warpath. Ofsted is myth-busting itself out of the dark ages into the 21st century, saying it doesn’t care about marking any more. Almost a third of teachers quit in the first five years, and those who stay are burning out in record numbers. Let me clear up this edu-mess for you. It’s not Sats. It’s not…

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Former Chetham’s headteachers accused of ignoring abuse | UK news

A lawyer for some of the victims in an inquiry into child sexual abuse has attacked the evidence given by three former headteachers at a prestigious music school. Peter Hullah, John Vallins and Claire Moreland – all headteachers at Chetham’s School of Music – were criticised for ignoring the abuse of their pupils and failing to disclose essential evidence. A public inquiry was launched after the music teacher Christopher Ling was suspected of grooming and sexually abusing a number of…

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‘It’s got out of hand’: parents split after protest over Carlisle school’s strict rules | Education

A secondary school in Carlisle where police were called to a protest by parents and students outside the school gates after missiles were thrown has insisted staff are working “tirelessly” to improve children’s lives. A peaceful demonstration by parents over behaviour policies at Richard Rose Central Academy (RRCA) on Wednesday afternoon quickly became heated and plastic bottles and stones were thrown, leading to pupils and teachers being kept inside school buildings. Dozens of parents and students joined the protest outside…

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One in 10 pupils removed from school rolls ‘to boost GCSE results’ | Education

Research into “off-rolling” from schools in England has found the scale of the problem may be worse than previously thought, with one in 10 secondary pupils removed from the rolls without explanation. Researchers from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) found that more than 61,000 pupils out of the national cohort who sat their GCSEs in 2017 experienced an “unexplained exit” at some point during their secondary school career. Of these, two out of five never returned to school again. The…

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Just imagine if your school had seen a 5% annual funding rise since 2010, like the Labour years | Fiona Millar | Education

Sick of the slogan, Get Brexit Done? The new Conservative party mantra will almost certainly infuriate or seduce, depending on your view about the EU referendum. It may also be time-limited, depending of the outcome of the next few weeks. The strapline, however, Invest in our hospitals, schools and police, is designed to live on into a fantasy post-Brexit world, where the Conservatives are reborn as the party of public spending and commitment to public services. So, let’s get real.…

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Secret Teacher: the exodus of older teachers is draining schools of expertise | Teacher Network

There is a teacher at my school who is adored by students and staff. He’s a dedicated and efficient educator with years of experience who once taught some of our pupils’ parents. The school benefits from his expertise daily, from the way he handles tricky content to how he manages difficult behaviour. In many ways, he is irreplaceable. Sadly, we’re losing him. Forced to record data that’s never looked at and deliver subjects focused on rote-learning that leaves students uninspired,…

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Parents, can you spot a ‘toxic’ school? A headteacher writes … | Education

The banners are up, the adverts are in local newspapers. No sooner has the autumn term begun than schools are recruiting the next cohort of students. If it sometimes seems that they all say the same things about their engaging curriculum, personalised pastoral care and professional ethos, how can you tell them apart? For some parents, it’s all about outcomes. Which school tops the league table for results? Which has been judged by Ofsted as outstanding? For others, it’s more…

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Secret Teacher: I hated teaching – until I realised my school was the problem | Teacher Network

Not so long ago, I was ready to quit teaching. Now, I’ve got my sights on leadership. The difference is my headteacher. Under my previous head, I got the point where I couldn’t go on. I was signed off work with anxiety and stress. At school, we’d been under intense pressure to get more children to expected levels to show the school was improving – and were always on edge thanks to drop-in observations. As a member of the school…

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Secret Teacher: the emphasis on British history is depriving students of balance | Teacher Network

The wedding of two people who ostensibly have nothing to do with most people in the country has been the hot topic in playgrounds and classrooms over recent weeks. Despite Prince Harry and Meghan being wholly unrepresentative of the schoolchildren in my area of the UK, pupils have been transfixed by the details. They want to talk about the dress Meghan wore, the car Prince Harry drove to the reception. They’re proud this glamorous, confident American is becoming part of…

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‘If you get a good inspector, it can be magic’: Is Labour right to want Ofsted gone? | Education

The Labour party has said it would abolish Ofsted and its one-word judgments. Local authorities would carry out regular “health checks” instead, while inspectors would be called in for more in-depth visits. What do teachers and parents think? Should Ofsted be abolished? Henry Emoni maths teacher, the Beacon school, Banstead, Surrey Yes. Ofsted creates an environment of fear, anxiety and worry for teachers. To prepare for an Ofsted visit, you may have to do a lot of tick-box exercises, regimented…

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Funding for 80% of schools in England ‘worse next year than 2015’ | Education

Four in five state schools in England will be financially worse off next year than they were in 2015 despite promises by Boris Johnson’s government of a multibillion-pound funding boost, according to research by teachers’ unions. The School Cuts coalition of six unions, which spearheaded a national campaign for more funding in schools, has conducted an analysis of recent government announcements which it says shows that more than 80% of schools will have less funding per pupil in real terms…

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Politically literate citizens seem to be a problem for Michael Gove | Laura McInerney | Education

From the vast compendium of Michael Gove’s arrogant moments as education secretary one has been on my mind these last few weeks. He was never a fan of citizenship as a subject – the one that teaches children the rules of democracy – and, once in office, set out to slim the curriculum and get rid of “political fads”. You know, such as teaching young people the rules politicians must follow even when their plans are fading in front of…

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Quarter of secondary school pupils have private tuition | Education

More than one in four secondary school pupils have a private tutor, research shows. Young people from wealthier homes are significantly more likely to have additional help than their poorer peers, according to the Sutton Trust report. The social mobility charity is calling on the government to introduce means-tested vouchers to help lower-income families access private tuition for their children. In total, 27% of the 2,800 11- to 16-year-olds questioned said they have had private tuition. This proportion is up…

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