ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

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

'National Teacher Learning Day'

A ‘National Teacher Learning Day’ is being held to prevent teachers from having to do continuing professional development in their spare time.

The organisers say they have already got more than 100 schools signed up across five regions for the event, which will take place on an inset day in July 2020.

The day is the brainchild of Debra Kidd, the teacher and author who set up the Northern Rocks education conference in 2013.

Earlier this year, Ms Kidd announced that the 2018 conference – which took place on Saturday – would be the last Northern Rocks, because she was concerned that holding the event on a weekend had created “an additional workload burden” for teachers.

Speaking to Tes, Ms Kidd said that when she set up Northern Rocks, there were "probably about two or three Saturday [CPD] events across the year", and that teachers organising their own CPD "felt really empowering".

Read more.

Education and GDPR

Despite high levels of awareness regarding the incoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) only 22 per cent of schools, colleges and universities out of 500 surveyed felt their data protection policies were compliant.

Furthermore, 70 per cent said that if they fell foul to a data breach, they wouldn’t be able to show that the correct procedures were in place.

These findings are the result of a survey conducted by NW Security Group, a leading provider of security systems, consultancy and training services.

The research asked head teachers, governors, IT, security and facility managers in the North West to determine their awareness levels of, and adherence to, the upcoming GDPR.

The survey found only 22 per cent of respondents believe their data protection processes are GDPR compliant and 64 per cent are aware of the GDPR but require further information regarding its impact.

Read more.

AS level entries fall by 60%

Entries to sit AS levels have fallen by almost 60 per cent on last year, provisional figures from Ofqual show.

The number of GCSE entries in 2018 increased by just under 1 per cent compared to 2017, but there was a fall across all non-English Baccalaureate subjects except art and design. 

A level entries dropped slightly by 3 per cent on last year.

Entries for English A-level subjects have fallen by 14 per cent since 2016.

Overall entries for AS subjects in England fell from 659,880 to 269,090 in 2018, continuing a declining trend which was seen in 2016 and 2017.

In 2015, AS-level entries stood at 1,331,955, meaning that entries have now cumulatively dropped by 1,062,865.

Ofqual said that the drop is “largely due to the decoupling of AS from A levels”, which has meant less schools are interested in offering the qualification.

Read more.

School Leaders thing GCSE reforms disadvantage SEND pupils.

Nearly three quarters of school leaders think changes to GCSEs have disadvantaged pupils with SEND, a poll has revealed.

The head of one special school warns the reforms have put pupils "10 steps back" and forced them to sit alternative qualifications that are less well-regarded by employers than GCSEs.

A survey by Tes and the Association of School and College Leaders put the following question to school leaders: "Some heads are concerned that the removal of coursework from GCSEs will disadvantage pupils with SEND. Do you believe this to be true?"

In response to the question, which was answered by 422 ASCL members from schools and colleges in England, 73 per cent replied "yes".

Read more.

Parents threaten to remove children.

Parents say they are considering removing their children from a school rated "outstanding" amid concerns over bullying.

The Colne, in Brightlingsea, is part of the Thrive Partnership Academy Trust.

One parent told the BBC his daughter had been "horrendously" bullied and had last week called him from the school toilets in tears.

The school said it "takes any allegation of bullying extremely seriously".

In a statement it said: "[The school] takes appropriate action to quickly deal with any issue brought to our attention.


"We cannot comment on an individual case, but have an open door policy for students or their parents to raise any concerns they have with us."

Read more.

League tables stigmatise white working class areas.

The way secondary school league tables in England are now devised is unfairly stigmatising schools in white working-class areas, head teachers say.

They say the format is "toxic" for schools with a combination of high levels of deprivation and few pupils speaking English as a second language.

"Disenfranchised" communities will be even more disillusioned if their schools are unfairly blamed, say heads.

The Department for Education says the revised rankings have become "fairer".

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union, said the league-table changes had been welcomed as an improvement but the patterns emerging meant it was "definitely time to look at it again" and talks with the Department for Education were expected.

Read more

Maths premium for GCSE maths announced.

Colleges and other post-16 providers could be in line for an extra £500 per student to help them achieve a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths.

The Department for Education has announced a trial of a basic maths premium to see if extra up-front funding, or the incentive of extra funding based on achievement, improves outcomes.

To be eligible for the trial, providers must be in a geographical area where current educational performance is defined as weak by the DfE and have students enrolled on a 16-19 programme who have yet to achieve a GCSE grade 4 or above in GCSE maths.

Read more.

The new GCSE and mental health.

On Monday morning, what may be the most dreaded and feared set of public exams England’s teenagers have ever sat began in school assembly halls up and down the country.

It is 30 years since GCSEs (General Certificate for Secondary Education) were first introduced under Margaret Thatcher, replacing O-levels and CSEs. The new exam was designed to cover a broad spectrum of ability rather than dividing pupils between high achievers, who sat O-levels, and lower-ability students, who took CSEs. Now, three decades later, following claims of grade inflation and dumbing down, GCSEs have been revised and re-formed and a brand new set of exams is being rolled out.

Gone are the old-style assessments with their forgiving modules, repeat exams and coursework. In their place are Michael Gove’s super-tough, “gold-standard”, highly academic qualifications. Gove, secretary of state for education between 2010 and 2014, believed the old GCSEs’ reliance on coursework assessment was open to abuse. He argued that the content of the revised examinations should be pitched at a more sophisticated level, claiming: “By making GCSEs more demanding, more fulfilling, and more stretching we can give our young people the broad, deep and balanced education which will equip them to win in the global race.”

Read more.

Breastfeeding on the curriculum.

The idea of introducing breastfeeding to the UK school curriculum has once again hit the news and is, of course, receiving a varied reception. But should the idea be taken seriously? The answer is, of course, yes. Just like children learn about any other aspect of biology, child development and social science, they should be taught how babies are fed and the impact this can have.

In a tightly packed curriculum, it can be hard to justify any addition, but the fact is that we urgently need to change public attitudes to and understanding of breastfeeding and human milk. They contribute to the UK having some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, and changing the next generation’s knowledge and attitudes is critical to improving this. 

Read more.

Music education being lost.

Wolf Alice say they wouldn't be a band now if they hadn't had access to music education at school.

"We're losing it. I don't know where I would be without those kind of advantages," singer Ellie Rowsell says.

"I did music for GCSE but I also reaped the benefits of extra-curricular things which were provided in my local community for free."

There's been warnings that the success of British music is at risk because the subject was being neglected.

Last year, the head of UK music, Michael Dugher, said future talent could be going to waste because of a drop in the number of GCSE places being offered in England.

Read more.


©2002-2015 Association of Christian Teachers. All rights reserved. Use of this website is subject to our Terms & Conditions and Cookie Policy. Click here to read ACT’s Privacy Policy. Click here to read ACT’s Refund Policy. Click here to read ACT’s Electronic Transactions Security Policy. Website by: Serve Design 

ACT Login