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BBC News: Education

Schools fear business rate rise will be 'breaking point'

A sharp rise in schools' business rates could push budgets beyond breaking point, say head teachers' leaders.

University applications 'depends heavily on where you live'

Teenagers from London were most likely to apply while those in the South West were least likely.

German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears

Researchers say hackers can use an insecure bluetooth device to listen and talk to a child.

Deputy head Jonathan Norbury banned for sex with teens

A deputy head teacher is banned from schools for at least 10 years for having sex with teenage girls.

Lack of sex education a ticking time bomb, councils warn

A lack of sex education in some of England's schools leave pupils at risk of infection, councils say.

Early deaths among care leavers revealed

Young people who have grown up in care are far more likely to die in early adulthood, figures reveal.

Swipe right for new 'mum friends'

New parents' app adopts the format of dating platforms such as Tinder.

A third of UK lives on inadequate income, says think tank

Millions of families "just about managing" are on the tipping point of falling into poverty, says a report.

Top of the BBC news items

In order - the newest listed first


Department for Education

News story: Justine Greening's vision for the teaching profession

In a speech at the Chartered College of Teaching’s inaugural conference, Education Secretary Justine Greening set out her ambition for a high-status teaching profession, backed up by high-quality continued professional development and pledged her support for teachers as the body of experts who are key to driving social mobility.

Addressing an audience of over 450 teachers, Justine Greening described the launch of new the College of Teaching as a historic moment for the teaching profession. Commenting on the launch she said:

Teaching deserves all the hallmarks of the other great professions - with a high bar to entry, high-quality initial training and a culture of ongoing self-improvement.

So it’s crucial that, like other experts, teachers now have a professional body with a shared commitment to ever-improving standards, disseminating evidence on what works, and driving progress for the profession as a whole.

And I especially want to see a new generation of teachers becoming part of the Chartered College of Teaching - to help safeguard and shape the profession’s future.

The Education Secretary also outlined plans to strengthen the teaching profession so that every child has access to an excellent teacher, including:

making absolutely clear that QTS will not be scrapped - instead, the government will work with the sector to develop and introduce a newly strengthened QTS from September 2019, so that all school leaders will want all their teaching staff to achieve it announcing the first round of bidding for the £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund - to enable new, high-quality continued professional development (CPD) provision to be delivered where it can make the most difference, including in the 12 opportunity areas new, fully revised gold-standard national professional qualifications (NPQs), developed in partnership with the teaching profession, to be implemented from September this year. £10 million from the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund will be made available to incentivise take-up of the new NPQs for high-potential professionals working in the most challenging schools

Underlining the importance she placed on ensuring teachers have the right support and skills so they are able to help all young people fulfil their potential, the Secretary of State said:

Teachers are the great drivers of social mobility in our country. We know that the single biggest in-school influence on a child’s life chances is the quality of teaching they receive.

It is important that all teachers are supported with the right framework that will allow them to become the best professionals they possibly can be.

I want to work with the profession to make sure this happens, with a golden thread through every teacher’s career from initial training and QTS through continued professional development, especially in those early post-QTS years, through to specialism or leadership.

Great teaching transformed my life, and I want to make sure that happens for today’s generation of children in our schools. I will do all I can to ensure teachers have the right support that will enable them to spread opportunity for children and young people - particularly those who need it most.

Consultation outcome: Children's social care providers: fees and inspection f...

Updated: Added government response.

We’re seeking views on the following proposed changes to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Fees and Frequency of Inspections) (Children’s Homes etc.) Regulations 2015, with a view to regulations coming into force in April 2017:

a 10% increase on current fees for most settings where fees are not already at full cost recovery amending the frequency of Ofsted inspections for those registered children’s homes which currently have an overall effectiveness judgement of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

The consultation will run for 5 weeks and takes account of the Christmas holiday that falls within the consultation period.

Corporate report: Personal data processing: fair processing notice

Updated: Added Ministry of Justice to the list of organisations involved.

The way the organisations listed below process your personal data relating to financial transactions when interacting with you is changing from September 2016.

Animal and Plant Health Agency Cabinet Office Committee on Climate Change Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department for Work and Pensions Department for Education Environment Agency Food Standards Agency Health and Safety Executive Marine Management Organisation Ministry of Justice Natural England

Some of this data may be processed offshore by our services provider, Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL). SSCL run our back office services through centres of excellence in the UK and in India.

Speech: Justine Greening: teachers - the experts driving social mobility

Thank you, Alison [Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching].

It’s such a pleasure to be here at the inaugural national conference of the Chartered College of Teaching. I think today marks an historic step change for the teaching profession.

And I wanted to talk to you - not just about what I think about teaching - but also how I feel about the teaching profession. I belong to a profession too - I’m an accountant. That’s what I trained in and the job I did before I got into politics.

One of the things I learnt early on in my career was the importance of being part of a profession - a community of experts with a shared commitment to best practice and driving up standards.

When people ask me now what my profession is, I still say that I am an accountant - because when you are a member of a profession, it is something you are for life.

I know teachers feel the same way about their own profession, and that is why today - and this inaugural conference - is so important.

Teachers are the experts who inspire the professionals of the future.

And we shouldn’t underestimate just how powerful that is - from architects to academics, geologists to graphic designers, technicians to translators - it is teachers who lay the foundations for the successful careers the young people who are growing up in our country today want and need.

When I visit schools I talk to children and I wonder who they’re going to be. What they can be. It is teachers who, on a day-to-day basis, understand and develop that potential to enable and shape those young people to - as it were - become themselves.

Teaching deserves all the hallmarks of the other great professions - with a high bar to entry, high-quality initial training and a culture of ongoing self-improvement.

So it’s crucial that, like other experts, you now have a professional body with a shared commitment to ever-improving standards, disseminating evidence on what works, and driving progress for the profession as a whole.

I’ve been really clear that my defining goal as Education Secretary is improving social mobility across our country. So that it does not matter where you start, or where you grow up, you have the same opportunities to reach your potential.

And I know that I can’t do that without you - a strong profession able to make it a reality.

That is why, in my speech last month setting out my vision, I placed building the right, long-term capacity in the system as 1 of the 3 core pillars of my approach for driving social mobility through education.

This, above everything else, means investing in the people who work in our schools - and that is what I want to talk about today.

Teachers are the great drivers of social mobility in our country. We know that the single biggest in-school influence on a child’s life chances is the quality of teaching they receive - in fact, over a single school year, a strong teacher can help disadvantaged young people to gain as much as a whole extra year’s worth of learning, compared to those taught by a weaker one.

So great teachers are the key to making sure that people can achieve their potential irrespective of where they start in life. I know that from my own personal experience. Teachers are experts in levelling up opportunity for all our young people.

So that is why we’ve particularly got to do more to attract the best teachers to our more challenging schools, and to reward and invest in those currently working there.

To me, education is about a child being ready and wanting to learn and a great teacher being able to engage and inspire them. Everything else is just an enabler.

When I was at school in Rotherham in the 1980s, my teachers helped me to make the most of my own talents. Without them I could never have got into the career that I wanted.

We never forget great teachers. I clearly remember one of my best teachers - my French teacher Mr Tranter. He made sure that all his pupils, including those who weren’t particularly keen on learning French, were going to do it brilliantly.

Mr Tranter had his own techniques - as all teachers do. His was to plant his feet at one end of the board, start writing, steadily going further, and further across the board. We would all watch him to see, firstly whether he was going to be able to write straight - which he did of course - and secondly whether he would remain upright by the time he reached the other side.

He was a fantastic teacher. The proof of this was when, years later, I found myself as a newly qualified accountant in Switzerland. I was able to remember my French as if I had walked out of the classroom the day before, thanks to the amazing teaching by Mr Tranter.

I remember from when I started as Education Secretary, the many emails and letters from teachers around the country, sharing your thoughts and perspectives on what the priorities should be for education.

And I also received a letter from Mr Tranter, which actually started with the line “you probably won’t remember me”. Of course I did, because everybody remembers their amazing teachers.

People never forget great teachers because the impact they have on our lives goes beyond that of other people that we will go on to meet. That is why this profession is so important - it is transformational.

Across the country, teachers are doing an amazing job every single day of the week.

We have flown around the world to try to ensure we have the best, most innovative teaching that is out there - I was recently in Shanghai to observe how they teach maths. And they do it brilliantly. But it has really struck me what incredible expertise and practice there is right here on our doorstep.

And part of our challenge is unlocking that best practice, understanding why it works, and disseminating it around other schools and teachers. It is important for us to be able to do that effectively, which is why I believe the Chartered College of Teaching can be so important.

It is important that all teachers are supported with the right framework that will allow them to become the best professionals they possibly can be.

A framework of support that will allow the profession - your profession - to flourish.

Strong entry into the profession

That support has to start when teachers begin their journey into the profession, with a real focus on evidence-based practice through the new ITT framework, recently developed by leading teachers and heads.

And we know that initial training is just the first step. I want there to be an expectation of ongoing learning throughout a teacher’s career - and the support necessary for that to happen.

A mature profession like teaching also needs high-status qualifications that reflect its standing.

So I want to be really clear today about my views on qualified teacher status.

Some people have suggested that QTS might be scrapped… or replaced with some vague notion of an ‘accreditation’ - let me be absolutely clear: not on my watch.

Keeping and strengthening QTS is vital. This is not about removing school freedoms. But I believe that teachers should have the highest quality qualification and what I want to see is a QTS so well regarded, so strong that school leaders will naturally want all their teaching staff to have it.

QTS should be the foundation stone for the teaching profession to build on.

And I want to strengthen it as a first step to ensuring that people entering teaching in the future join a profession that, as well as being truly valued, empowers them with access to the sustained high-quality training and development that every professional needs in the early stages of their career.

My aim is that from September 2019 we will introduce the newly strengthened QTS. And I want to work closely with the profession - including those of you here today - to shape what that will look like.

Meaningful professional development

And of course professional development as a teacher doesn’t stop once you qualify - it has to continue.

The first few years are crucial for new teachers to embed learning and also to find their place in the classroom and the wider school community.

Getting this right means making sure that a new generation of teachers have the support they need, not only within their school, but from a broader profession made up of experts, with a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills.

There is a growing culture and ethos within the teaching profession of constantly seeking to improve teaching methods, use evidence, to look at research and stay ahead of the curve - just like other professions like medicine, engineering or law.

This culture of constantly pushing to do better - a hallmark of a great profession - will continue to be strengthened and embedded by teachers, with the support of the Chartered College of Teaching, as well as organisations like the Education Endowment Foundation and ResearchED.

This continued professional development also needs to happen within clear career development pathways - whether staying in the classroom as a subject expert, working elsewhere in the education system as part of a wider ‘education career’, or progressing into school leadership roles.

Lots of schools and multi-academy trusts are already doing this brilliantly - but I want it to become the norm throughout the system, whatever type of school you teach in, wherever you are.

And I want to work with you - the profession - to make sure this happens, with a golden thread through every teacher’s career from initial training and QTS through continuing professional development, especially in those early post-QTS years, through to specialism or leadership.

We all know that for a culture of development to work, the highest quality, evidence-based CPD has to be available - particularly where it is needed, in our more challenging schools.

So today, I am opening the first round of bidding for the £75 million Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund.

This first round of funding will support programmes which will have an impact in the 12 opportunity areas I recently announced - where we want to really galvanise social mobility to increase opportunity for young people, as well as in other areas throughout the country where it can make the biggest difference.

This fund will enable new, high-quality CPD provision to be delivered where it can make the most difference and where it’s needed most.

I believe that, as much as anything, investing in home-grown talent in these more challenging areas where we want to see educational outcomes improve, is absolutely vital. That talent will be key to supporting disadvantaged pupils and driving forward social mobility.

People are often most invested in improving the schools and pupil outcomes in their own communities.

This was something I saw within the DfE when I launched the opportunity areas. Lots of officials who had grown up in them came forward to offer help - they wanted to be involved. They know the areas like the backs of their hands, and now they are helping to champion change on the ground.

The Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund will also help to provide new evidence of what works, to add to the growing evidence base for the teaching profession, and enable approaches that are working locally to be scaled-up, so that teachers and leaders across the country can benefit.

I want to see us increasingly move from carrying out pilots to scaling up what works. We need to get into the phase of being able to spread that knowledge right across our school system so that all teachers and leaders, in all areas, can benefit.

I also think it’s important that existing training is reviewed and reshaped - to make sure it keeps up with emerging practice and evidence.

So I can confirm that the new fully revised, gold-standard national professional qualifications - developed in partnership with the teaching profession - will be implemented from September this year.

There will be new high-quality qualifications for middle and senior leaders, headteachers, and - for the first time - executive leaders. I’d like to thank the expert working group that has put so much work into this.

The qualifications build on the strong NPQ brand, with a revised content framework, to reflect the education system of today, and with an even stronger emphasis on the use of evidence and support for the pupils that need it most.

And running through all this there is a recognition that we need to be conscious of the right approach for teachers working with children with special educational needs and disabilities. Every teacher is a teacher of children with SEN and disabilities, so it is important to ensure that this is mainstreamed within our NPQs, training and best practice. I think this needs to happen as they are being developed, rather than as an afterthought so that the professionals are properly equipped to support all pupils.

I think the national professional qualifications for school leaders should have the same kudos that MBAs do in business - recognised in and outside the profession as qualifications that empower individuals with high-quality leadership and management skills.

I want to make sure that these new qualifications are available to as many people as possible - particularly in the areas where they can make the biggest difference.

I want to support those working in challenging schools by investing in their development.

That is why I have set aside up to £10 million from the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund to incentivise take-up of these new gold-standard NPQs for high-potential professionals working in our most challenging schools. These people are key to raising standards and driving social mobility, and I want to support them however I can.

And alongside this, I also want to do much more to attract the very best teachers and school leaders in the system to work in and transform our most challenging schools.

I think we should be looking at how can use career progression routes to make that happen and I am directing my department to explore the available options.

Helping to meet wider challenges

I recognise that strong career pathways are not just about recruitment and making sure we get the best and brightest people coming into the profession. To me it is just as much about retention.

I know that there are challenges in teaching - yes, on recruitment and retention, but also on workload - challenges that we all need to tackle together.

Of course, there is no silver bullet to solve these, and I wouldn’t want to underestimate the challenges.

We will shortly publish the findings of the DfE’s teacher workload survey, and an action plan setting out what we will do - including a programme of targeted support for schools to tackle workload where it is most needed.

I want to work with the profession to explore new and innovative ways to address these challenges. And I want that mind-set of partnership with the teaching profession to exist throughout the Department for Education.

I believe a new focus on making sure all teachers have a clear and supported career path can help with some of these issues.

I want our teaching professionals to have clarity about how you can progress in your careers, a framework of support, and a culture that continues to embed new evidence and learning.

This has to underpin how we make teaching an even more attractive and rewarding profession to join and stay in.

And our continuing work with you, as well as the teaching unions, on reducing workload - including relentlessly challenging practices which add unnecessary burdens to your days - is part of how we make sure there is the time for you to spend on your own development and the skills you need in the classroom.

A self-confident profession

When I look at the profession, I believe a lot of the key building blocks are already in place.

Through organisations like the Education Endowment Foundation, evidence-based practice is really starting to take off, and the Chartered College of Teaching can be a real driver for that - collecting research and disseminating it for the benefit of the system as a whole, and connecting the teaching profession more widely.

Its establishment shows that the profession is stepping up to address the needs of today’s young people and evolve to meet the challenges for future generations.

And I especially want to see a new generation of teachers becoming part of the Chartered College of Teaching - to help safeguard and shape the profession’s future. You have as much to invest and are as invested in its success as anyone.

With evidence at the core of the way you deliver teaching for our children and young people, I believe the teaching profession can continue to assert itself as a truly high-status profession.

Teachers are the experts on teaching, and so I want to see the teaching profession leading on raising standards in schools.

And to return to my core ambition as Education Secretary, I know it is great teachers and teaching that - more than anything else - can level up opportunity and drive social mobility in this country.

Great teaching transformed my life, and I want to make sure that happens for today’s generation of children in our schools.

I’m therefore thrilled to have been here today to mark this inaugural conference.

It really is an historic step for the teaching profession and I look forward to the difference the independent Chartered College of Teaching - and you - will continue to make for children and young people throughout the country.

Thank you.

Speech: Nick Gibb: the importance of an evidence-informed profession

It is a pleasure to be at Buckingham University again, an institution with established values, an emphasis on traditional methods and a determination to influence other institutions.

It is important that the country’s most prestigious academic intuitions are engaged in advancing our understanding of education and ensuring the next generation of teachers are endowed with high levels of subject knowledge and evidence of best teaching practice.

I recently spoke at the Education World Forum in London, which is a gathering of education ministers from around the world. I spoke about the importance of evidence in education and how experts needed to embrace that evidence rather than the comfort of prevailing orthodoxies. Just as with decisions made by teachers in their classrooms, advice given by education experts should be evidence-informed.

Teaching is a deceptively complex art. Every adult in the country has been to school and consequently, everyone has a view of what good teaching looks like. Everyone has a favourite teacher from school. No doubt, some are here today because of an inspirational teacher.

I will always remember Miss Weston from Hornchurch Infant School, my first ever teacher. She impressed upon us all, at the tender age of 5, the importance of standing up for what is right. I guess that’s why I went into politics and why I’m standing here today.

And the very best teachers make their craft look easy. To the untrained eye, the underlying complexity and difficulty of teaching is easily missed. To the uninitiated, the wealth of experience and expertise that goes into constructing examples; the moment by moment decision making necessary for successfully managing a classroom; and the intellectual intensity of teaching, is difficult to appreciate.

But for all of this additional difficulty what makes teaching most challenging is its central component; namely, changing what is happening in your pupils’ minds and ensuring knowledge and important concepts are retained in their long-term memory. Whether teaching pupils their times tables, explaining the process of longshore drift or teaching pupils to distinguish a between a crotchet and a quaver, teachers are presenting pupils with information that they hope will be transferred to their long-term memory.

Professor Dan Willingham - a cognitive scientist who has greatly influenced my thinking - said that “memory is the residue of thought” and that it is this accumulation of factual knowledge in long-term memory that enables people to be creative and critical thinkers.

Growing evidence is being gathered by cognitive scientists, and, increasingly, we understand how to maximise what pupils learn and how teachers improve retention of knowledge. We understand that certain classroom activities contain so much distracting information that pupils experience cognitive overload and therefore information is less likely to be retained. In the words of Professor Willingham:

People are naturally curious, but we are not naturally good thinkers; unless the cognitive conditions are right, we will avoid thinking.

In his excellent ‘Why don’t students like school’ he cites a lesson he observed where a teacher focused so much on making the subject matter relevant to her pupils, that none of them learnt the required knowledge. In a lesson on the Underground Railroad - the secret network of routes and safe houses used by African American slaves to escape to Free States - the teacher had pupils bake biscuits similar to those used for sustenance by escaping slaves. Whilst pupils were clearly engaged in the lesson and were enjoying making biscuits, they were not thinking about the Underground Railroad and therefore were not going to remember the key facts about the event.

Professor Willingham concluded from his observation that pupils had spent 40 seconds considering the relationship between the biscuits and slaves and 40 minutes thinking about making biscuits. It is not hard to imagine what pupils took from this lesson.

There are components of great teaching that cannot be gleaned from reading the evidence. Some of our most memorable teachers had a natural charisma that made their lessons particularly enjoyable. But, as Professor Willingham concludes:

The jokes, the stories and the warm manner all generate goodwill and get students to pay attention. But how do we make sure they think about meaning? That is where the second property of being a good teacher comes in - organising the ideas in a lesson plan in a coherent way so that students will understand and remember.

For a synopsis of the emerging evidence in cognitive science, I recommend Deans for Impact’s ‘The science of learning’. This short document summarises some key findings from the field. It highlights some practical implications for the classroom and provides links to further reading. The importance of interleaved practice for long-term memory retention is covered, as is the importance of domain-specific knowledge for pupil success when problem solving. The document also debunks some of the common neuro-myths, clarifying that pupils do not have so-called ‘learning styles’, humans do not only use 10% of their brains and cognitive development does not progress in age-related stages as Piaget asserted.

Debunking the neuro-myths that surround teaching is an important endeavour as unchecked they can pervade classrooms throughout the country, damaging educational achievement. A decade ago, the neuro-myth of Brain Gym was prevalent in England’s schools. In schools afflicted by Brain Gym, pupils were instructed to activate their brains by rubbing so-called ‘brain buttons’, located in different areas of the body. By having pupils rub their clavicle, various regions of the brain would light up - so went the theory. In the oddest cases, pupils were instructed to slowly sip water in the hope that water would be absorbed into the brain via the roof of the mouth, thus hydrating the brain!

However biologically illiterate this practice may seem to us now, it demonstrates the importance of having a knowledgeable and research-informed profession inoculated from falling victim to this nonsense.

We live in an era of unrivalled technical and scientific enlightenment. But in England, in the 21st century, we have seen teachers taking into account the imagined learning styles of their pupils - such as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic - which is both a waste of effort and can have a negative effect on pupils, according to the Education Endowment Foundation. The EEF, which evaluates teaching interventions using randomised control trials, concluded the following about learning styles:

Studies where teaching activities are targeted towards particular pupils based on an identified learning ‘style’ have not convincingly shown any major benefit, particularly for low attaining pupils. Impacts recorded are generally low or negative.

It can be particularly damaging for pupils to believe they have a particular learning style, as this can act to prevent pupils learning material that does not fit their supposed learning style. The EEF concluded that “it is particularly important not to label primary age pupils or for them to believe that their lack of success is due to their learning style.”

And yet, there are teacher training institutions where learning styles remain on the initial teacher training curriculum.

Barak Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of instruction’ debunks another pervasive teaching myth; the myth of too much teacher-talk. I trust no one here has been told to be a “guide on the side, not a sage on the stage” by this university - an unevidenced trope designed to prevent teachers from spending time talking to their class.

Still today, I occasionally hear of schools and teacher training institutions where teachers are prohibited from addressing the class for more than 20% of the lesson, as if listening to a knowledgeable adult would harm the education of pupils.

The most effective teachers, according to Rosenshine’s evaluation of the evidence, do not overwhelm their pupils by presenting too much new material at once. Instead, they intersperse explanations with directed questioning and multiple examples. Consequently, these teachers spend far more time at the front of the classroom, as Rosenshine explains:

Teaching in small steps requires time and the more-effective teachers spent more time presenting new material and guiding student practice than did the less-effective teachers. In a study of mathematics instruction, the most-effective mathematics teachers spent about 23 minutes of a 40-minute period in lecture, demonstration, questioning and working examples. In contrast, the least-effective teachers only spent 11 minutes presenting new material.

Similarly, many teachers believe that pupils best retain knowledge if lessons are structured in such a way that they discover information for themselves. For many, it is a truism that the best means of teaching pupils is to allow them to discover.

Often, science classrooms are set up for pupils to behave like scientists. Pupils of history are expected to act like historians. It is commonly believed, contrary to what we increasingly understand about the differences between the brains of novices and experts, that by being given the opportunities to behave like historians or scientists, pupils will inevitably become better at science and history. It is not immediately obvious that this is not the case.

However, Richard Mayer’s 2004 paper ‘Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning?’ provides an excellent summary of the arguments against this point of view. Mayer’s thesis is that “there is sufficient research evidence to make any reasonable person sceptical about the benefits of discovery learning.”

Concluding his article, he emphasises the importance of applying what we know about how the human brain works to teaching practice:

Thus, the contribution of psychology is to help move educational reform efforts from the fuzzy and unproductive world of educational ideology - which sometimes hides under the banner of various versions of constructivism - to the sharp and productive world of theory-based research on how people learn.

Teaching practice that encourages novice pupils to behave as if they are expert scientists or historians is an example of just this, education theory moving away from research on how people learn. It is hoped that by behaving like experts, pupils will develop the skills and strategies of experts.

Drawing on the work of Michael Polanyi, Daisy Christodoulou, head of Assessment at Ark, explains that experts spend “hours focussing their attention on tiny details, and learning to recognise differences that completely elude the casual observer. This is not achieved through discovery, but through direction. It is not achieved quickly, but through thousands of hours of deliberate practice.”

And as Bransford, Brown and Cocking make clear in ‘How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school’, novices cannot behave like experts because their brains tackle problems in different ways:

Experts have acquired extensive knowledge that affects what they notice and how they organise, represent, and interpret information in their environment.

Hence, it is not by having pupils behave as if they are experts that will have the best chance of them developing into experts, but rather giving pupils a strong grounding in the knowledge they will need. This knowledge provides a mental framework that pupils can then use and apply to new and novel problems - eventually, after many years of study, allowing them to become scientists and historians in their own right.

Ensuring teachers of the future are equipped with an up-to-date understanding of the latest research and a desire to use evidence to inform their teaching practice is key to improving schools. We must give trainee-teachers a firm foundation of knowledge and a healthy dose of scepticism with which to deal with the next Brain Gym.

In conclusion: Teaching is difficult. It is hard work. It is both challenging and rewarding intellectually and emotionally. And for all of these reasons, it remains one of the most honourable and important professions you can choose. To all of you, thank you for choosing to be a teacher.

Statutory guidance: Initial teacher training: criteria for providers

Updated: Initial teacher training criteria and supporting advice attachment updated.

This guidance is for:

accredited ITT providers and their partner schools organisations seeking ITT accreditation Ofsted

This statutory guidance sets out what accredited ITT providers must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

Collection: Further Education Commissioner intervention reports

Updated: Added Canterbury College FE Commissioner assessment summary.

The FE Commissioner assesses FE colleges and other institutions if they:

are rated inadequate by Ofsted receive a notice of concern from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) over their finances fail to meet SFA minimum standards

The commissioner carries out an assessment and reports to the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister setting out his recommendations for how the FE college or provider can improve.

The Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills then writes to the chair of governors of the college or provider, setting out the outcome of the intervention assessment and confirming the next steps.

Guidance: Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners

This guidance is for:

local authority chief executives directors of children’s services people leading local safeguarding arrangements people who work with children, including in social care, health, early years, education and the police

It replaces the 2009 guidance ‘Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation’.

See also:

Working together to safeguard children Definition of child sexual exploitation consultation

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My Year 12 Life: teens document their final school year in insightful new series

The ABC is pushing the innovation of handing cameras to teens in year 12 but the series’ real strength is the talent itself

“Vlogumentary” (vlog + documentary) is a peculiarly repellant neologism for video blog, but don’t let the ABC’s descriptor put you off its new series. My Year 12 Life, which premieres on Monday night, is a candid, even touch...

Council investigates Oldham headteacher's claims of threats

Department for Education says inquiry has nothing to do with extremism and should not be referred to as a ‘Trojan horse’ case

An investigation has been launched after a headteacher claimed she had been forced to work from home and that her position at an Oldham school had been made untenable by alleged threats and verbal abuse.

The Department for ...

The Guardian view on vocational education: choice at 14 is not working | Edit...

Few dispute the importance of better vocational education pathways. But the current system is failing and should be revisited

England’s beleaguered vocational education system has been subjected to wave after wave of reform. Yet improving the quality of technical education has eluded governments of all colours. University technical colleges (UTCs...

Campaigners hail school decision to let pupils choose gender identity

Private school St Paul’s Girls’ new protocol allows students to use boys’ names and wear boys’ clothes

Campaigners have welcomed a decision by a private girls’ school to allow students to use boys’ names and wear boys’ clothes should they wish under a new “gender identity protocol”.

St Paul’s girls’ school in west London, whose former pupils inclu...

Are Soas students right to ‘decolonise’ their minds from western philosophers?

Outraged headlines erupted when students launched a campaign to challenge the great western philosophers. We went to the source of dissent – London’s School of Oriental and African Studies – to investigate

“They Kant be serious!”, spluttered the Daily Mail headline in its most McEnroe-ish tone. “PC students demand white philosophers including Pla...

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