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Items relating to the work of schools and colleges, including resources and training opportunities.

Schools abandon exclusion of sixth formers.

Angry parents are forcing schools across England to rethink controversial policies used to force pupils out of courses midway through their sixth-form years, after the practice was exposed by the Guardian and declared unlawful by the government.

At least three schools have already abandoned their policy after parents complained, while a string of others are considering amending policies that required pupils to achieve set targets in order to continue from year 12 to year 13.

One of those that has dropped the requirement is Fortismere, a popular comprehensive in north London, that used to be run by Aydin Önaç, head of St Olave’s grammar school in Kent, where the illegal practice was first exposed

Read more..


Schools Minister warns about not teaching phonics.

Headteachers who resist teaching phonics are denying students the “education they deserve”, the Schools Minister has warned.

Attacking heads who refuse to accept the “overwhelming evidence” in favour of phonics, Nick Gibb claimed that “fallacious” beliefs about reading had “blighted” the education outcomes of  “generations of children”.

Speaking at an education conference yesterday, Mr Gibb said that whilst the Government was winning the “war” over reading instruction, “pernicious arguments” made by some academics were undermining efforts to improve literacy rates.

Read more.


Smartphones a problem in schools.

Almost three quarters of teachers believe that smartphones should be banned from the classroom entirely, according to research from Nominet, the internet firm that manages .UK domain names on the web.

Worryingly, more than a quarter of teachers (27%) have witnessed social media cyberbullying in class, while 17% have seen pupils sharing explicit or pornographic content.

Read more.

 


Robots to begin replacing teachers.

 

Robots will begin replacing teachers in the classroom within the next ten years as part of a revolution in one-to-one learning, a leading educationalist has predicted.

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children will soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant.

The former Master of Wellington College said programmes currently being developed in Silicon Valley will learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication to what works best for them.

The impact is going to be massiveSir Anthony Seldon

Uni to appoint sexual assault and harassment adviser.

Cambridge University has placed an advert seeking to appoint a sexual assault and harassment adviser.

The new position will sit within the university's counselling service and aims to "bolster the advice and support available to a student".

The National Union of Students has said one in five students across the UK experience some sort of sexual harassment in their first week of term.

The university told the BBC it aimed to tackle all types of harassment.

Read more.


Government analysis on the supply of teachers.

A school’s ability to achieve a supply of teachers is linked to a large range of factors, varying from national level issues to teachers level characteristics. To support this, the Department for Education (DfE) has moved towards more local analysis of the teacher workforce.

Read the full report.


New syllabus for children about digital age.


Teenagers are under more pressure than in any previous generation, England’s public health chief has claimed, as officials roll out a new syllabus to help children cope with the digital age.

Classes devoted to cyber-bullying, body shaming, and “fear of missing out” on line will be available in secondary schools from this term as part of revamped Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) package designed to “build resilience” among social media “natives”.

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Strict new rules at 'failing' academy.

The new head of a failing school has come in for severe criticism after introducing strict new rules to improve pupil performance.

Concerns over the "army-like schooling" at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy have been expressed by parents on Facebook.

New rules include banning mobile phones and children have been told to be in bed by 21:30 every night.

But a spokesman for the school said what pupils needed was "the right environment to learn and succeed".

'Indiscipline, failure'

Great Yarmouth High School was taken over by Inspiration Trust and re-named Charter Academy. Until this summer it had "some of the worst GCSE results in the entire country", according to new principal Barry Smith.

Read more.


Government efforts on teacher retention failing?

Government efforts to help schools keep hold of teachers and develop their skills do not appear to be working, the government spending watchdog suggests.

A National Audit Office report shows more teachers leave before retirement than five years ago, and schools are finding it tougher to fill posts.

In 2016, nearly 35,000 teachers - 8% of the workforce - left their jobs for reasons other than retirement, it said.

The government said it was tackling the challenges facing schools.

The NAO said that between 2010 and 2016 the number of teachers in England's state schools increased by 15,500.

Read more.


Teachers pay cut in real terms.

Teachers in England and Scotland earned less in real terms in 2015 than a decade before, says an annual report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

This decline in income is in contrast to international trends, where average teachers' pay has been increasing.

The OECD's comparisons follow reports of plans by the UK government to lift public sector pay caps.

The National Audit Office says schools are struggling to appoint new teachers.

Read more.


 

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