It’s been another busy week with lots going on in education. Here are links to some of the headlines:
- Hundreds of school buildings projects were scrapped this week. However, there was confusion after the original report included errors which gave some schools hope that their plans were to go ahead, only to be cancelled later. Two headteachers, where ‘buildings are beyond their life expectancy’ have since asked Michael Gove to rethink his plans and the government has faced mounting anger over the decisions. Here is the full list of projects scrapped.
- The government has announced a review of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, expressing concerns that it is too rigid.
- An author and literary researcher has claimed that it is harder for English children to read and write because of the complexity of the English spelling system.
Image – Extra Credit
- Primary schools in England do not have enough specialist Science teachers, according to a Royal Society study.
- The education secretary has said that modular A-Levels could be phased out, bringing back traditional exams at the end of two-year courses.
- The National Union of Teachers has claimed that schools could be breaking the law by asking support staff to teach lessons when qualified teachers are absent.
- A BBC Panorama programme reported that 18 UK teachers have been struck off for incompetence in the past 40 years and claimed that bad teachers are ‘recycled’ by moving between schools. This report from the Guardian talks about the issues raised in the programme and complains about the ‘teacher-bashing’.
- Headteachers will be given greater powers to search pupils and clearer guidance on when they can restrain disruptive pupils in a drive by ministers to improve behaviour and discipline. This BBC article outlines some experiences of behavioural issues in the classroom.
- The government plans to cap headteachers’ pay to the £142,500 salary of the Prime Minister.
- Teaching unions have accused the government of ‘cold calling’ headteachers to encourage them to turn their schools into academies.
- Schools are using increasing amounts of CCTV and other security measures, turning them into ‘prisons’, claims a study by Hull University.
Image – Dystopia
- The charity Teach First aims to double the number of top graduates it recruits into the teaching profession.
- University and higher education staff face cuts to their pensions, with a vote about the issue taking place on 22nd July. There is also a risk to university jobs if plans for 25% funding cuts go ahead. The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has also outlined plans to separate teaching from examining in high education.
- There has been a rise in the number of children eating school lunches in England, according to data from the School Food Trust.
- A new report revealed that the number of NEETs (teenagers not in education, employment or training) may be worse than previously thought. It also shows the effects that being in this situation has on the individuals.