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

God and the Big Bang Project.

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From the biochemistry of bacterial cells to the astrophysical study of black holes, from animal behaviour to artificial intelligence, science is an awe-inspiring subject with important implications for understanding our place in the universe. The God and the Big Bang Project wants to encourage everyone to get excited about tackling the all-important questions about life, the universe and everything, giving people the resources and experiences they need in order to get thinking!

The majority of our work is with Year 6 – 13 (10-18 year olds), offering exciting off-curriculum days where students have the opportunity to discover, discuss and debate the compatibility of science and Christian faith. We aim to equip young people with the all-important tools they need in order to form their own opinions and engage in rational, exciting, well-reasoned and thought-provoking discussion about the place for science in God’s world.

The project also offers training days and evenings for primary and secondary school teachers to explore these topics for themselves. Each event is carefully tailored to the subject-area or year-group/ key-stage focus of teachers, and can be hosted by a local school or Cathedral. Check out or get in touch at to find out more.




Is there a Grammar School Team in the DfE?

Confusion reigns over whether there is a specific team for grammar schools at the Department for Education. Officials are claiming it’s been disbanded – but a group of school leaders seem to have met a similar team just a few weeks ago.

The National Association of Secondary Moderns, which represents non-selective schools in areas with grammar schools, was told it could meet members of the “admissions and selective schools team” last month, in an email seen by Schools Week (pictured).

Read more.

Grammar schools expanding "through the back door".

Grammar schools in Gloucestershire are expanding “through the back door” by increasing their pupil admission numbers, a furious local comprehensive head has warned – but grammar heads are pointing to funding pressures and the need for more local secondary places.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said members were reporting an increase in grammar school expansions, with specific concerns raised about Gloucestershire. Schools Week has previously reported that Kent grammar schools took on enough extra pupils over five years to fill a new large school.

Read more.

Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching.

A Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching is one of a range of measures launched today by Education Secretary Justine Greening to help more children from disadvantaged backgrounds master the basics of reading in primary school.

Today’s series of announcements represents the next step towards delivering on the Government’s ambitious social mobility action plan Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential, published on 14 December.

The plan identifies how the Department for Education will deliver equality of opportunity for every young person, regardless of where they live, through five key ambitions. Today’s measures will deliver progress in the first two core ambitions, Ambition 1 to close the word gap in the early years and Ambition 2, closing the attainment gap in school outcomes between disadvantaged young people and their peers.

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The future of online University?

In the digital age, what happened to newspapers will happen to universities. This was the startling proposition put to an audience of academics a few weeks ago within the 900-year-old walls of Durham Castle, by Peter Horrocks, vice-chancellor of the Open University.

What, asked Horrocks, is to stop platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn – the latter has “unparalleled data about the qualifications and employment records of graduate professionals” – from teaming up with US universities to offer degree courses and modules on a global scale? What if multinational companies in the UK were to accept LinkedIn degrees and even prefer them to Russell Group degrees?

Read more.

Bitdegrees in FE?

FE providers are constantly deluged with change.



If you’ve been in the sector for long, you’ll have seen the 1980s style YTS morph into a Levy based scheme; HMIs vanish, and Ofsted emerge plus the advent of Academies, UCTs & now the Baker Clause.

In fact, change has become the new certainty. So much so that we are blinded to the real change that is occurring in education.

But what could be the biggest change is yet to hit FE. It’s going to use the same technology as Bitcoins.

BitDegrees will be Blockchain Powered

Over recent years you will have undoubtedly have heard of bitcoins and the technology that powers them, the blockchain. The two are synonymous in the minds of many, but are in fact only loosely related in reality. The blockchain is no more than a glorified ledger used to record any form of transaction, in this case the bitcoin transactions.

Read more.

Are single school Academy Trusts paying leaders too much?

Revealing the identities of the trusts could place 'undue pressure' on them, the department claims. But one union says academies need proper accountability over taxpayers' money  


The Department for Education is refusing to reveal which single-school academy trusts are paying leaders more than £150,000 despite having financial problems, because it does not want them placed under "undue pressure" and says they need a "safe space".

Last month the department's Education and Skills Funding Agency wrote to 29 standalone academy trusts that have paid leaders such salaries. Of those trusts, 13 were "at risk of financial difficulties" and were asked to explain their "rationale".

However, the DfE refused to name any of the trusts concerned.

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1 in 83 on long term sick.

Teacher unions are warning of an “epidemic of stress” as research revealed that 3,750 teachers were signed off on longterm sick leave last year because of pressure of work, anxiety and mental illness.

Figures obtained through a mass freedom of information request show a 5% rise on the year before, revealing that one in 83 teachers spent more than a month off work in 2016-17.

Read more.


Learning through play can lead to poor behaviour.

MODERN teaching techniques where pupils are allowed to learn through play can lead to poor behaviour, a new report warns.

  So called active learning - where pupils are also encouraged to work in groups or teach each other - have also been blamed for a lack of focus in secondary school when pupils sit exams.

  The warning comes in a report by Ipsos MORI Scotland following a survey of teachers' attitudes towards behaviour in primary and secondary schools, commissioned by the Scottish Government.

Read more.

Segregation in playground due to funding contributions?

A primary school has been accused of segregating children in the playground based on whether or not their parents contributed towards the cost of sports equipment.

Those whose parents had paid for the footballs, skipping ropes and other items were allowed to play with them at lunchtimes, while those whose parents had not were excluded from the games organised by a member of staff.

Parents launched a petition online, accusing the headteacher of Wednesbury Oak Academy, in the West Midlands, of separating the children into “paid” and “unpaid” pupils.

Read more.


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