ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The week
News items from the week’s daily and education press, covering the major education news stories of the week.

Focused review of Diocese of Leicester Academies Trust.

Focused review of Diocese of Leicester Academies Trust
Following the focused review of six academies in the Diocese of Leicester Academies
Trust (‘DLAT’ or ‘the Trust’) in November 2017, and the subsequent follow-up visit by
Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI), I am writing on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief
Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the findings.

Read the full report.


Ex Education Secretary pushes government to see through Relationships and Sex Education reforms.

In her first comments to Parliament since Monday's Cabinet reshuffle, the former education secretary called for cross-party support on relationships and sex education 

Former education secretary Justine Greening has pressed the government to ensure that relationships and sex education (RSE) is taught in all schools.

In her first comments to the House of Commons since leaving the Cabinet on Monday, Ms Greening also called for cross-party support for changes to the guidance for teaching RSE in primary and secondaryschools.

Addressing a parliamentary question to home secretary Amber Rudd, who took over Ms Greening’s brief as minister for women and equalities in the Cabinet reshuffle this week, Ms Greening said: "First of all I'd like to congratulate the home secretary on her expanded role – I know she will do a brilliant job.

Read more.


Education Secretary resigns from government.

Justine Greening has resigned from the government after refusing a job as work and pensions secretary in Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the PM was "disappointed" the ex-education secretary had quit.

She has been replaced by Damian Hinds, while Esther McVey has been promoted to be the new work and pensions secretary.

Brandon Lewis is Tory chairman, Matt Hancock is culture secretary and Karen Bradley is Northern Ireland secretary.

Read more.


Did Justine Greening block proposals to cut tuition fees?

Justine Greening blocked proposals to cut tuition fees, according to one of Theresa May’s former chiefs of staff.

The ex-education secretary dramatically resigned from the Government after refusing an offer from the Prime Minister to move to the Department for Work and Pensions in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Read more.


Toby Young resigns.

Toby Young has resigned from the board of a new university regulator after criticism over controversial comments.

Writing for the Spectator, Mr Young said his appointment had "become a distraction" from the "vital work" of the Office for Students.

The right-wing journalist unreservedly apologised for past comments he said were "ill-judged or just plain wrong".

The OfS chairman said Mr Young was "right" to quit and his remarks were "not in line" with the body's values.

Sir Michael Barber said he had done some "good work" in education and to promote greater social mobility.

Read more.


Office for Students legally established.

The Office for Students (OfS), the new regulator designed to champion the interests of students, promote choice and help to ensure that students are receiving a good deal for their investment in higher education, has legally come into force today (1 January).

With the legal establishment of the OfS, Education Secretary Justine Greening has also announced the final six appointments to the OfS’ 15-strong Board.

These appointments will not only reflect the diverse needs of the HE sector but will also make sure the interests of employers and students are represented by the new body, which will also hold universities to account over issues such as vice chancellor pay and free speech.

The OfS will replace HEFCE as the main regulator of higher education, and it will hold universities to account for the quality of teaching they provide.

Read more.


New Education Secretary makes his first visit to a CE school.

Damian Hinds met with pupils and teachers at a primary school in Cambridgeshire today (11 January) during his first visit as Secretary of State for Education.

Mr Hinds was given a tour of St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School in Soham, one of nearly 19,000 good or outstanding schools across the country, which included watching pupils taking lessons. Pupils in Year 5 showed him around the school library and asked him about the world of politics, ahead of a forthcoming visit they have to the Houses of Parliament.

St Andrew’s – which is in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, one of the Department for Education’s twelve Opportunity Areas – has a strong focus on encouraging every child to realise their potential and raising standards. Recent results have shown pupils are above average for reading.

Read more.


Durand Academy Caretaker.

Caretaker who is also a trustee at the embattled academy was paid three times the going rate, including £39,000 lump sum covering eight years of unclaimed annual leave 

A caretaker at a controversial academy trust was paid at least £100,000 last year – including a one-off payment of £39,000 for eight years of unclaimed holiday, Tes can reveal.

The one-off payment to Brendan McShane is understood to have been signed off by the school's former headteacher Mark McLaughlin.

Mr McLaughlin left in August 2017, after the Department for Education decided to withdraw funding from the trust following concerns about its financial management and governance.

Durand's website describes Mr McShane as its premises manager, though he was also named by the trust as its caretaker when contacted by Tes.

Read more.


Ofsted underspend - more inspections?

Audit-committee minutes reveal an underspend of £1.2 million in its budget, a surplus that could be used to finance more inspections 

 

Ofsted is forecasting an an underspend of £1.2 million in its 2017-18 budget despite seeing its budget slashed and says it wants to use the extra money to finance more inspections.

By 2019-20, the inspectorate will have seen its funding cut by 38 per cent, compared to the £200m in funding it enjoyed in 2010-11. But now audit-committee minutes from the schools watchdog have revealed it is on course to have money left over at the end of this financial year.

Read more.


Iran bans teaching of English in Primary Schools.

Iran has banned teaching the English language in primary schools, calling the subject a "cultural invasion".

The education ministry "envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage", its secretary told state media.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously expressed concern about the teaching of English.

It is seen as an important skill by many Iranians and is widely studied.

English is a foreign language option for many at secondary level, which begins at the age of 12, but its popularity has led to classes being offered by some schools much earlier.

Read more.


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