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

Construction Skills Fund.

New ‘hubs’ based at live construction sites will train up thousands of workers and help tackle skills shortages in the construction industry, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced today (16 November).

Twenty six innovative partnerships across the country have won a share of the £22 million Construction Skills Fund to set up the new ‘hubs’ which will train more than 17,000 people to be job and site-ready by March 2020. The winning projects, including Southwark Construction Skills Centre in South London and Liverpool Waters Construction Hub in the North West, have collectively committed to training up over 7,000 people into permanent jobs by the end of the programme.

With an estimated 158,000 new construction workers needed in the UK over the next five years, the scheme will help create the skilled workers to meet this challenge.

Read more.


Informally excluded pupils.

A dozen schools in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have admitted informally excluding pupils at some stage last year, the BBC has learned.

BBC News asked more than 1,000 secondary schools whether they informally excluded children last year, using Freedom of Information requests.

And six schools in England, five in Northern Ireland and one in Wales have admitted doing so.

A few schools offered reasons for informally excluding children.

More than one school said they had taken the measure to defuse or investigate an incident between pupils.

One email obtained by BBC News from a school illustrates the lack of choice given to a parent asked to keep their child at home.

The email advises their son take two days off "to calm down", an act the school says "may avoid fixed-term exclusions at this stage".

Read more.


A'Level students in Wales have less spent on them.

Teenagers studying A-levels in Wales have £1,000 less spent on their education every year than in England, a council official has said.

A specialist officer for post 16 education at Bridgend council calculated the sum by comparing the English and Welsh models for funding schools and colleges after GCSE.

Read more.


Support for SEND in difficulty.

Vital support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is facing a potential funding gap of more than half-a-billion pounds, local authorities say. 

Services in England face a projected shortfall of £536m this year - more than double the gap they faced the previous year as councils struggle to cope with rising demand for support, a survey of 73 councils by the Local Government Association (LGA) found.  

 

It also discovered that the they would have a total deficit of £280m by the end of 2018/19.

Scaled up, this could translate to a deficit of more than £500m pounds. 

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A backwards step for EAL

New research demonstrates why the Department for Education should heed the evidence and reintroduce a record of proficiency in English in the School Census

 

New research provides evidence on why the decision taken by the Department for Education (DfE) in June to withdraw the requirement for schools to record the proficiency in English of their English as an additional language (EAL) learners in the School Census is a retrograde step (Strand & Hessel, 2018).

This and previous research, provide evidence on the diversity of the EAL cohort. The term EAL encompasses pupils with a wide range of language skills, from new arrivals to the country with little or no English to third generation students with a heritage language but also fully fluent in English.

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The UK's strength in science is because of the EU – not in spite of it

Brexit negotiations may be in turmoil, but UK universities need the government to encourage even stronger links with the remaining 27 member states in the European Union, no matter how we finally decide to leave. We must ensure the UK remains a beacon of scientific excellence, driving improvements in productivity, job creation and growth.

The UK’s new relationship with the rest of the EU will be vital in determining the future of its scientific standing. Producing 11.6% of the world’s citations and 15.9% of the most highly-cited articles, it is rightly admired as a beacon of scientific excellence. The UK constitutes just 0.9% of the global population and has 4.1% of the world’s researchers. Among our comparator countries, we have overtaken the USA to rank first by field-weighted citation impact of scholarly publications. And after the USA, we have more universities in the top 100 in the world than any other country.

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Is spending on poorer pupils effective.

There are many tricky questions facing education policymakers but here is a conundrum: why, if funding for poorer pupils is now outstripping money spent on those who are better off, is it proving so hard to narrow the attainment gap?

The funding figures revealed last week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies mask a complicated set of indicators. The shift in spending over the past 20 years includes more children from poorer homes staying on in higher education as well as the money committed to schools by successive governments for the worst-off pupils.

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'Hundreds of pupils spend week in school isolation booths'

"The windows, the bare walls. It was that every day. Every single day. They put me in a room on my own, I was in isolation," says Casey, 16.

More than 200 pupils spent at least five straight days in isolation booths in schools in England last year, a BBC News investigation has learned.

Casey's school disputes the length of time he spent on his own and said he was "regularly disruptive".

The teenager says he was placed on his own after he contracted fibromyalgia.

He takes the painkiller Tramadol for the chronic pain condition.

More than 5,000 children with special educational needs also attended isolation rooms at some stage.

Dozens of them had education, health and care plans (EHCPs) provided for children with complex needs.

Read more.


'Schools should have consistent policy on phones'

Pupils in schools where smartphones are banned like being free of the associated pressures, says England's Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield.

Ms Longfield said schools across England should have a consistent approach to the use of mobile phones.

She told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that every school seemed to have its own policy on whether pupils could use phones.

She said schools could help families if they took a "bold approach".

The select committee was taking evidence about the impact of social media and screen use on young people's health.

Appearing as a witness on Tuesday, Ms Longfield said research from her officehad shown that children's social media use increased dramatically when they made the transition between primary and secondary school.

Read more.


Expensive designer coats to be banned at school.

A school in Merseyside has banned pupils from wearing expensive designer coats in a bid to stop "poverty-shaming" among its students.

In a letter to parents, Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead said pupils would not be allowed to wear branded coats such as Moncler, Pyrenex and Canada Goose.

Head teacher Rebekah Phillips said pupils and parents supported the move.

However, some people on Twitter have called the ban "absolutely ridiculous".

The labels banned by the school include children's sizes which sell for between £400 and £1,000.

The ban will be introduced after the Christmas holidays.

Read more.


 

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