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Leadership & Management
Items related to leadership and management in education.

Nick Gibb School Standards Minister on GCSEs

  • This week marks the start of exam season, where a further 20 new GCSEs will be sat for the first time

Hundreds of thousands of pupils are preparing to take new, more rigorous GCSE exams this week, which are on a par with the best performing education systems in the world, the School Standards Minister announced today.

The gold-standard qualifications for 20 new GCSEs – including the sciences, French, German, Spanish, history and geography – have been designed with employers in mind. These qualifications are underpinned by more rigorous content, preparing pupils for future careers in the industries that Britain needs. The new science GCSEs now include space physics and the human genome and the new Computer Science GCSE now includes a greater focus on programming.

Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

These more rigorous, gold-standard GCSEs are helping to nurture the next generation of scientists, linguists and historians. Whatever pupils want to do with their lives, these qualifications will prepare them for future success and help deliver the skills Britain needs to be fit for the future.

 

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Is forced academisation worth it?

The Department for Education's top official has admitted that it is impossible to prove that forcing schools to become academies offers better value for taxpayers' money than leaving them with local authorities.

Permanent secretary Jonathan Slater was pressed repeatedly by MPs this morning on the evidence behind his department's academies policy.

Although the government recently softened its policy on forcing schools to become academies, schools that fail their Ofsted inspections can still be required to convert.

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Ofsted investigates knife crime.

Ofsted is set to ask school and college leaders across London about how they are keeping pupils safe from knife crime, in an attempt to tackle the “sickening” problem.

Leaders of about 700 schools, further education colleges and pupil-referral units in the capital will be asked how they safeguard pupils against the threat of knife crime on their premises, and how students are educated about the dangers of carrying a weapon.

Ofsted’s regional director for London, Mike Sheridan, said the responses would not be used to help form judgements on individual schools.

Schools can take part anonymously, but can also choose to identify themselves or even have focused visits from Ofsted to help with the inspectorate's research.

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GDPR stops pupil data being shared.

The government has halted researchers and others from accessing personal information about UK schoolchildren, it has emerged.

The Department for Education said the step was a temporary move to modify the national pupil database's approval process.

It told the BBC that the step was required to be compliant with a shake-up of EU data privacy rules.

The law gives children and others new rights and comes into force on 25 May.

"The department takes the use of personal information and the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation very seriously," the DfE said in a statement.

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Home office drops international students survey.

A Home Office advisory committee has ditched research assessing the impact of international students after academics labelled it "unethical".

The survey, set up by the Migration Advisory Committee (Mac), which informs Home Office policy, asked for students' views on international classmates.

But it could be completed by anyone and some said it posed "loaded" questions.

A Mac spokesman stressed the survey was "not designed to be discriminatory", but confirmed it was being withdrawn.

"Following online commentary it has become apparent to us that we will be unable to use the responses to the survey," the spokesman said.

 

The committee defended the survey, saying it was "simply an attempt to ask students for their experiences" and "had the potential to show a very positive view of international students in the UK".

However, on Thursday, it concluded the survey "cannot now be used to add to our evidence base".

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