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BBC News: Education

Children in poorer countries have higher career aspirations than UK

Boys in the UK expect to work as YouTubers and gender stereotyping for jobs starts early, a careers survey suggests.

Muslim school challenges critical Ofsted report

The independent Olive Tree Primary School in Luton faced a series of criticisms from inspectors.

Parents shelling out for 'free' nursery scheme

The government's 30-hour 'free' nursery scheme is being subsidised by parents, a survey suggests.

University of Kent boss given extra £45,000 payout

University of Kent vice-chancellor Dame Julia Goodfellow receives an extra £45,000 in her final salary.

Kitty Perry and the copyright lessons for seven-year-olds

A new campaign aims to make lessons about intellectual property infringement fun.

Carillion apprentices among casualties as firm collapses

The future of about 1,400 apprentices at training centres in England and Scotland is in doubt.

'Staggering' trade in fake degrees revealed

Doctors and a defence contractor are among those buying bogus qualifications, a BBC probe finds.

Dealing with debt: The mini-bankers learning how to save

Schoolchildren from Kirton Primary in Boston run their own bank with its own currency to learn about saving money.

Top of the BBC news items

In order - the newest listed first

Department for Education

Policy paper: Social mobility and opportunity areas

Updated: Added 6 new opportunity area delivery plans.

The delivery plans for the 12 opportunity areas outline how we plan to build young people’s knowledge and skills and provide them with the best advice and opportunities.

The selection methodology explains how we decided which areas would be classified as ‘opportunity areas’.

The selection data spreadsheet presents the data which we originally considered when identifying the areas in greatest need.

The 12 opportunity areas are:

West Somerset Norwich Blackpool North Yorkshire coast Derby Oldham Bradford Doncaster Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Hastings Ipswich Stoke-on-Trent

We announced the first 6 opportunity areas in October 2016 and the second 6 in January 2017.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential

Opportunity areas are part of the government’s national plan for dealing with social mobility through education. The plan - Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential - is a policy paper which sets out how we will remove obstacles that could stop people from achieving their potential.

Collection: Improvement notices and directions

Updated: Moved 'direction issued to Norfolk county council' to closed directions.

These notices and directions are issued to councils due to ‘poor’ or ‘inadequate’ performance.

Decision: Direction issued to Norfolk county council

Updated: Updated status of the now-closed direction.

This statutory direction required the council to co-operate with an adviser appointed by the Secretary of State for Education.

It followed the publication of:

a report by Ofsted which judged the overall effectiveness of Norfolk’s children’s social care services as inadequate an independent report by Dave Hill, Norfolk Children’s Services Commissioner

The direction was lifted on 19 January 2018.

News story: Drive to raise education standards in areas most in need

Raising education standards by supporting underperforming schools and offering young people more opportunities to make the best of their lives are at the heart of a package of measures announced today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Aimed particularly at disadvantaged areas across the country, today’s moves include:

More than £45million awarded to successful multi-academy trusts to help tackle underperformance and improve schools in areas that lack capacity; 75 projects sharing £25million to provide more support for schools, many of which will increase pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills; and The publication of the next six Opportunity Area plans in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

The announcement builds on the government’s record of 1.9million more children now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, England’s pupils now amongst the world’s best readers and GCSE and A levels reformed to match the best education systems in the world.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

As Education Secretary, I want all children to get a truly world-class education that not only inspires them to make the most of their lives but also gives them the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, no matter where they live.

Standards are rising in schools across the country but there is more to do to make sure that every child benefits from the progress we’ve already made thanks to an incredibly talented generation of teachers.

By supporting good and outstanding schools to help others improve, and focusing on disadvantaged areas where our young people need extra help, we can continue to make a difference to people’s everyday lives and build a Britain that’s fit for the future.

As part of the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund (MDIF), announced in October 2017, over £45million will support multi-academy trusts to drive improvement. More than £30million of this will be targeted to around 300 academy trusts in areas facing the greatest challenges across England. The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed in recent years – by 7% at GCSE and 10.5% at KS2 since 2011.

The money will go to more than 400 multi-academy trusts (MATs) with a proven record to help them build their capacity so they can help drive further improvements and raise standards. Ofsted data shows that 450,000 children are studying in sponsored academies rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ that were typically previously underperforming.

Under the latest round of the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF), 75 largely school-led initiatives will share £25million to help more children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including many to support to help master the basics of reading and maths in primary school. Overall, the SSIF is worth up to £280million over two years. It targets resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance, support teacher development and drive up pupil attainment.

The next six Opportunity Area plans – for Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent – have been developed with local educators, employers and voluntary and community organisations and set out how they will improve the life chances of young people in these communities.

They follow the publication of the government’s social mobility action plan Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential in December which focuses £800million of resources on those areas that can benefit the most. All 12 Opportunity Areas will benefit from a share of £22 million through a new Essential Life Skills programme, to help young people in these areas develop life skills in resilience, wellbeing and employability.

Among the initiatives confirmed today in the latest round of the Strategic School Improvement Fund is Cotgrave Candleby Lane School, a teaching school in Nottinghamshire. Funding will be used to improve reading outcomes across primary education by focusing on phonics and other reading practices in early years education, the teaching of comprehension at Key Stage 2, and measures to close or narrow the attainment gap between pupils.

Chris Wheatley, CEO of the Flying High Trust Partnership that runs the teaching school, said:

We are thrilled to be successful in securing our application. This project is testament to strong collaboration between Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Teaching Schools.

Drawing on the capacity of the school-led system; we aim to bring about sustainable improvement in reading across priority schools and a legacy of collaborative working to improve reading outcomes for all Nottinghamshire children.

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation and Evidence Champion for the Opportunity Areas, said:

We know that your chance of getting on in life is strongly linked to where you grew up and that low levels of social mobility are becoming entrenched in some parts of the UK. Improving outcomes for young people in these ‘coldspots’ needs a concerted effort from local partners, schools and other organisations across every stage of a young person’s life.

So it is welcome to see this evident in today’s six plans. The need now is to move swiftly from planning to action so that children and young people experience the benefit of this investment.

To really have an impact, change has to be informed by evidence. Our Research Schools will be crucial in doing this in each of the Opportunity Areas. They will help to break down barriers so that research does not stay in the pages of academic journals but has a real impact on classroom practice. Allowing teachers to use lessons from what’s worked to inform their practice can make all the difference to attainment.

Ahead of the announcement, the Secretary of State visited Curwen Primary School in London to meet with pupils and teachers. The school is part of The Tapscott Learning Trust, which has been awarded a share of the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund. Chief Executive Officer of The Tapscott Learning Trust and Executive Head of Curwen Primary School Paul Harris said:

It was a great honour and privilege to be able to show the new Secretary of State around our fantastic, outstanding school. As a school, and now as part of The Tapscott Learning Trust, it is our core mission to work in partnership with other providers to improve children’s life chances. We welcome the opportunity to be able to demonstrate to the Secretary of State some of the amazing work that we are doing and to also discuss wider educational issues, particularly the way in which we train and support teachers through the continued development of our Training Hub and also to improve primary sports provision from our new Sports Hub.

We are delighted to have been awarded this grant by the MAT Development and Improvement Fund to help and support our work, not just within The Tapscott Learning Trust, but for other schools. We are confident that having secured this funding this will now be achievable and enable us to achieve our vision. We also look forward to working in partnership as an accredited provider of courses for the Autism Education Trust.

Simon Bramwell OBE, chief executive of the SS Simon and Jude Church of England multi-academy trust, a small trust with four primary academies, has been awarded a share of the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund to take on and improve schools that need support raising attainment for disadvantaged pupils in Knowsley and Salford. He said:

We are delighted to have been awarded MDIF funding to help support school improvement in these areas. The funding will go a long way in enabling us to provide greater capacity and sustainability for delivering the school improvement model across the Trust.

News story: Top college principals to drive improvements in further education

Some of the country’s top college principals have been appointed to a new group which will work with underperforming colleges to help drive up standards and improve quality of teaching.

The seven National Leaders of Further Education (NLFE) will provide support to the further education sector, to help improve provision so that more people have access to high quality education and training.

All the NLFEs, confirmed today by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton, are college leaders from good or outstanding colleges who have a strong track record of delivering improvement – both in their own colleges and in working with others.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

We have a number of fantastic leaders across the FE sector, who have already achieved great results. Now we want them to use their expertise and experience to help other colleges to improve.

This is an exciting new programme that will provide colleges with practical advice and support from experts within the sector, who have a proven track record of delivering results, giving learners a greater chance of gaining the skills and knowledge they need in later life.

It has also been announced that seven new members have been appointed to the Principals’ Reference Group, made up of experienced principals from good or outstanding colleges, who will advise and challenge the FE Commissioner and help inform policy development affecting colleges.

Additionally, more Deputy FE Commissioners and Advisers have been selected to support the FE Commissioner in leading interventions to help struggling FE and sixth form colleges.

These high quality appointments were made following a rigorous and open recruitment process.

Transparency data: New school proposals

Updated: Updated the format of the spreadsheets. Updated local authorities seeking proposers as the applications for a secondary school in Margate, Kent are under consideration. Updated section 6A approved/under consideration schools as Wintringham Park, Cambridgeshire; North West Horley, Surrey; Southam Road, Oxfordshire; Chestnut Avenue, Hampshire; Okehampton, Devon; and Alconbury Weald special school, Cambridgeshire have approval.

‘Local authorities seeking proposers’ contains details of all local authorities seeking proposers to establish a new academy or free school.

It includes the:

name of the local authority location of the new school phase of education capacity of the school sponsor application closing date link to the local authority specification and application form

‘Section 6A approved/under consideration schools’ contains details of:

academies and free schools that have approval free schools that don’t have approval yet under the ‘academies/free school presumption’ section of the Education and Inspections Act 2006

It includes the:

date of decision name of the local authority proposed location of the school at the time of approval phase of education proposed opening date at the time of approval (which can change)

Read the ‘Free school presumption’ document for guidance on the process for establishing new schools.

Guidance: Early years census 2018: technical specification

Updated: Updated the validation rules spreadsheet. The document's version history describes the updates.

This is technical information about submitting data for the early years census 2018.

It is for:

suppliers of software for local authority management information systems (MIS) users of local authority MIS software

It explains:

changes to the previous year’s census collection what data local authorities should supply at establishment level and child level how to structure the data in XML or CSV format how to check the data against the validation rules

The validation rules are available in Excel and OpenDocument formats.

Read more about submitting data for the early years census.

Guidance: Searching, screening and confiscation at school

Updated: Updated the advice to reflect changes made in the preventing and tackling bullying advice.

This is for:

school leaders school staff governing bodies local authorities

It applies to:

local-authority-maintained schools academies and free schools pupil referral units (these provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school) non-maintained special schools (for children with special educational needs that the Secretary of State for Education has approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996)

The guidance covers:

powers to search without consent prohibited items schools can search for powers to confiscate items found during searches

Top of the DFE news items

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Education Guardian

More than 17,000 UK students face university rent arrears

Figures show 16% rise in those facing housing debt and a doubling of evictions

More than 17,000 students living in university halls of residence fell behind with their rent payments in the last year, according to figures that suggest thousands more face financial hardship during their courses.

There has been a significant 16% rise in the numbers f...

The school cat - cartoon

Chris Riddell on asset stripping in academy trusts

Continue reading...

May I have a word... about nouns posing as verbs? | Jonathan Bouquet

A regular look at the pleasures – and pains – of the English language

This country has long, and rightly, welcomed immigrants. And not just people. Our language has been enriched in diverse ways by incomers. We would be a poorer place without a leavening of French, Spanish and Italian interlopers. Where would the erudite book review be without “b...

Observer picture archive: 24 January 1965

Jane Bown photographed life in British prep schools for a feature in the colour supplement at a time when state schools were denting pupil numbers

On the whole, the prep schools of England act cheerfully but sleep uneasily. All except the best and strongest of them feel vulnerable. They suspect that politicians see them as the soft underbelly of ...

The joys and benefits of bilingualism | Tobias Jones

More than half the world’s population is now bilingual. Now thought to encourage flexibility of mind and empathy, bilingualism is also transforming societies

Everyone knows that it’s moving and melancholic to watch your children change over the years. But to hear them alter their language, over the course of a few weeks and months, is almost surr...

No reds under beds, but the young are awake to the flaws in capitalism

The crash of 2008, not Stalinists in our universities, caused the sense of alienation among students

Are student Red Guards about to storm the quads of Oxbridge colleges? Do young people think that famines and purges and mass executions are good? Apparently so.

A ComRes poll last week showed that young people worry more about capitalism than commu...

Use of sand vests to calm children with ADHD sparks concern

Experts divided over heavy weights adopted by 200 schools in Germany to curb students’ restlessness

German schools are increasingly asking unruly and hyperactive children to wear heavy sand-filled vests in an effort to calm them and keep them on their seats, despite the misgivings of some parents and psychiatrists.

The controversial sand vests wei...

Secret Teacher: the UK has a complex racial history. Why aren’t we teaching it?​

A controversial advert sparked debate about race among my students. But the curriculum must do more to give these issues context

Read more from the Secret Teacher

Growing up as a person of colour, racism was an ever-present discussion in my circles. When you’re a minority it is, sadly, a part of life.

Race issues are increasingly being discussed m...

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