Teacher Network

Free breakfasts to form part of Labour plan to ‘poverty-proof’ schools | Politics

Labour is to promise free, healthy breakfasts for all primary-age children as part of a multibillion pound plan to “poverty-proof” England’s schools and boost educational standards. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, will on Thursday pledge to recruit 20,000 more teachers, cap secondary class sizes at 30, and spend £7bn on repairs and upgrades to England’s crumbling school buildings. As well as expanding the provision of free breakfasts to all primary schools across England to help combat hunger, Labour would…

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‘Off-rolling’ hides true extent of disadvantage gap in schools – study | Education

The gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers in England is much wider than previously estimated, with as many as 9,000 disadvantaged 16-year-olds not taking exams or recorded in school league tables because they cannot be located on school records. Analysis by FFT Education Datalab found an increasing number of pupils, both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged, leaving mainstream schools last year for an unknown destination. In total, 24,600 disappeared from school rolls compared with 22,000 the year before, amid concern…

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British schoolchildren among least satisfied, says OECD report | Education

Schoolchildren in Britain are more likely to be miserable and less likely to think that their lives have meaning compared with children in other countries, according to an influential OECD survey that shows a slight improvement in the UK’s international education performance. The OECD’s programme for international student assessment (Pisa), which quizzes 15-year-olds on reading, maths, science and a range of attitudes, found that those in the UK had the biggest declines in life satisfaction since its last survey in…

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Secondary teacher recruitment in England falls short of targets | Education

The government has failed to reach its recruitment targets for secondary school teacher trainees for a seventh year in a row, raising fears that schools in England face shortages in key subjects such as maths, physics and foreign languages. Figures published by the Department for Education (DfE) show that while there was a slight increase in overall numbers starting teacher training in 2019, the figure for secondary school teachers was just 85% of the total required by the government’s teacher…

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Conservatives pledge to boost Ofsted’s power to inspect schools | Education

The Conservatives plan to increase Ofsted’s powers to inspect schools in England with longer, more detailed inspection visits and increased fundingin stark contrast with Labour and Liberal Democrat manifesto proposals to abolish the watchdog in its current form. Arguing that Ofsted is widely supported by parents and a key driver of rising standards, the Conservatives say they will increase the duration of the standard inspection, known as section 5, for secondary schools and large primaries from two to three days,…

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Teaching union calls zero-tolerance school policies ‘inhumane’ | Education

A teaching union has described increasingly draconian behaviour policies in schools in England as “inhumane” and “damaging to pupil mental health”. The National Education Union (NEU), which is holding its annual conference in Liverpool this week, said zero-tolerance approaches to discipline were resulting in schoolchildren spending inappropriate and harmful amounts of time in isolation. Anna Wolmuth, a teacher from Islington, north London, told the conference: “While classrooms may be calm, the referral rooms are full of Send [special educational needs…

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One in five teachers using own money for school supplies – report | Education

One in five teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies, while nearly half say they buy food, clothes and even soap for poor pupils, according to a report charting the effects of austerity on schools. Among the more than 4,300 teachers who responded to the NASUWT education union, 20% said they paid for resources such as paper or books used in their lessons at least once a week, with half of those saying they did so “several times…

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One in four teachers ‘experience violence from pupils every week’ | Education

One in four teachers in the UK say they experience physical violence from their pupils at least once a week, and many say poor behaviour is making them want to leave the profession, according to figures compiled by a teaching union. The NASUWT union found that 24% of the nearly 5,000 teachers who sent in feedback said they were on the receiving end of physical attacks each week. Many reported that they had been “shoved or barged”, and a significant…

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Teacher knows best? Not any longer as parents muscle in on the classroom | Education

When Geoff Barton started teaching in 1985, parents’ evening – a brief five-minute chat – was the only time teachers saw most mums and dads. If families had a concern, they might write a letter, or call the school office. Fast-forward three decades and the dynamics between schools and parents have changed dramatically. The voice of parents is louder, their expectations higher – and it’s much easier to instantly broadcast a complaint. Research by academics at Bath Spa University suggests…

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Parents: not happy about something at school? Here’s how to complain | Education

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was from a friend in the restaurant business. If I were planning to complain about any part of my meal or service, he said, I should wait until I had eaten all I was going to eat that night. He illustrated this warning with examples of what can happen to food prepared for awkward customers, and so I’ve followed this advice ever since. It’s a good principle: don’t complain…

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10 things teachers want to say to parents, but can’t | Education

1 Your kids are not your mates Something I’m starting to hear with worrying frequency within the primary school setting is “my daughter’s my best friend”. Often, this rings alarm bells. Your kids aren’t your mates. You’re their parent, and your responsibility is to provide them with guidance and boundaries, not to drag them into your own disputes. Your nine-year-old doesn’t need to know about your bitter feud with his friend’s mother, or which dad you’ve got the  hots for at the school…

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Are you a teacher who has left the UK to work abroad? | Education

Schools in England are struggling to recruit and retain sufficient teachers. Around one in five teachers plan to leave education in less than two years, citing “out of control” workload pressures and “excessive” accountability, according to a poll by the country’s largest teaching union. The government missed its teacher recruitment targets in most secondary school subjects last year and is trying to tackle the problem by introducing higher starting salaries and bonuses. However young teachers are still leaving their careers…

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Burned out: why are so many teachers quitting or off sick with stress? | Education

It was a toxic routine: plan lessons until 1am, wake up at 5am in a sweat, vomit, go to work, teach. “I lost a stone and a half in two months,” Dan Lintell said. “I was having heart palpitations and panic attacks. My body was totally exhausted. I couldn’t go on.” He had barely completed his first half-term as a newly qualified teacher. The start of the school year in September had been filled with optimism. After a successful 20-year…

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Secret Teacher: Class, I wish I’d told you the truth about my mental health | Teacher Network

Last year, I quit teaching. I had completed my NQT induction, and despite the years of self-doubt and tears I’d finally come to recognise that I was a competent teacher, and had started to believe my positive feedback. I had also come to realise, however, that teaching was an unhealthy career choice for me. I am a perfectionist – or now, I hope, a recovering perfectionist – who is prone to anxiety. Unfortunately, I could not reconcile these aspects of…

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Teachers on Twitter: why you should join and how to get started | Teacher Network

I’ve been using Twitter for six months and it’s already one of the best career decisions I’ve made. For a while, it seemed that my relationship with teaching was going to be short lived (the first rush of excitement and energy was gone and in need of resuscitation). But thanks to some of the inspiring educators on Twitter, I have fallen back in love with teaching. Earlier this year, a colleague (@historychappy) presented a 10-minute continuing professional development session on…

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‘It’s dangerous’: full chaos of funding cuts in England’s schools revealed | Education

The impact of the funding crisis in England’s schools is laid bare in a Guardian investigation that reveals a system falling apart at the seams, with teachers covering for canteen staff and cleaners while essential funds are raised by parent donations and “charity” non-uniform days. Teachers and parents who responded to a Guardian callout complained there was not enough money even for basics such as textbooks, stationery and science equipment. They say children with special educational needs (SEN) are the…

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