Monthly Archives: May 2015

Fis-edsolutions ltd – blogs BBC report that Underperforming schools in England will face a more rapid intervention, under plans announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The government’s proposed legislation will mean that more schools are likely to become academies.

An education bill will target so-called “coasting” schools which have shown a “prolonged period of mediocre performance”.

Labour’s Tristram Hunt said a more pressing issue for school standards was “the quality of classroom teaching”.

Head teachers’ leaders warned that such “structural changes” would be irrelevant unless the government addressed a “looming crisis in both funding and recruitment”.

More academies

The next phase of the government’s plans for education will see an accelerated targeting of struggling schools in England and changing their leadership.

The Education and Adoption Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech will give extra powers to regional school commissioners to bring in “leadership support” from other high-achieving schools and to “speed up the process of turning schools into academies”.

For schools that are rated as “inadequate” by inspectors, “barriers would be removed” for a rapid conversion into an academy.

The emphasis has been on so-called “coasting schools”.

These are described as having “mediocre performance” and “insufficient pupil progress”, but a specific definition of what constitutes a coasting school has still be be published.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy head of the ASCL head teachers’ union, accused the Education Bill of remaining “silent” on the practical issues facing schools – such as a funding shortage and difficulties in recruiting staff.

“School and college leaders already do and will step up to the plate on raising standards, but they will need the staff and funding to do the job,” said Mr Trobe.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw backed plans for more interventions in weaker schools, saying that children should not have their chances limited because of where they lived.

“Why should a child in London, or parts of Liverpool or Newcastle have a better chance of going to a good school than a child in Suffolk or Norfolk?” said Sir Michael.

The Local Government Association says local authorities should be given a greater role in intervening when schools in their area are struggling.

David Simmonds, chair of the association’s children and young people board, said there was no evidence that turning school into an academy raised standards.

“Like-for-like comparisons of academies and maintained schools show that legal status on its own does not bring the improved performance we need to see,” said Cllr Simmonds.

The association, which represents councils, challenged whether a centralised system could oversee so many academies and said that decisions to convert schools into academies should not be “rushed through”.

Christine Blower, leader of the National Union of Teachers, accused the government of “claiming that it cares about standards” while really carrying out an “extended and accelerated

Fis-edsolutions ltd – blogs the BBC say Labour call for additional tax powers to fund education

The Scottish government has been urged to commit to increasing the top rate of tax in Scotland to 50p to fund education.

Labour education spokesman Iain Gray called on SNP ministers to make the pledge now.

Mr Gray said the additional money should be used for education in the poorest parts of the country.

He said the government could make “a signal of intent” that it would increase income tax on high earners.

It comes after both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Education Secretary Angela Constance conceded improvements are needed to Scotland’s education system.

Recent figures showed a decline in reading and writing skills.

At the education debate on Tuesday, Ms Constance said teacher training courses must spend “sufficient time and resource on these basic skills”.

She told MSPs: “We must ensure that new teachers have the skills and confidence they need to teach literacy and numeracy to the highest of standards.”

Liz Smith, the Conservative spokeswoman for young people, also criticised the Scottish government.

She said: “With a cutback in teacher numbers it is no surprise that pupil attainment is down.”

Ministers will today take the first steps towards meeting a manifesto pledge to open 500 free schools over five years as potential sponsors are invited to put forward their plans.

Another round of applications is expected in the autumn. The Department for Education previously averaged three bidding rounds a year.

The New Schools Network, which offers advice on the process, said that the applications were likely to include one from a federation of primary schools in Gipsy Hill, south London, and from Kingsmead primary school in Enfield, north London — both of which want to open secondary schools.

Fis-edsolutions ltd – THE new education secretary today warns teachers that she will continue to push ahead with Michael Gove’s radical school reforms despite his cabinet demotion to chief whip

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Nicky Morgan dismissed claims that she has been sent by David Cameron to call a halt to reforms, pledging instead to open new free schools and expand grammar schools where parents want them.

While Morgan said she would be “nice to teachers” — a move designed to distance her from Gove’s confrontational style — she insisted there would be no backsliding on Gove’s reforms simply to placate the unions.

 

Fis-edsolutions blog on report that suggests 12% cut in school funding

The Independent warns that strikes could result from the Conservatives’ spending plans for schools. It notes that there have been no promises to increase spending in line with inflation, and that this could effectively mean a 12% cut when increased pay and national insurance contributions are taken into account. This situation, plus plans to introduce new baseline tests for four-year-olds could result in strike action,

fis-edsolutions reports David Cameron has confirmed that Nicky Morgan will remain as education secretary in his new look cabinet. She will also remain as minister for equalities. t. Her main task will be to expand the number of academies and open hundreds more free schools.

David Cameron has confirmed that Nicky Morgan will remain as education secretary in his new look cabinet. She will also remain as minister for equalities. t. Her main task will be to expand the number of academies and open hundreds more free schools.

 

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs Schools struggling to recruit teachers

Two thirds of schools are struggling to recruit teachers, according to an NAHT survey. The survey found that 62% of schools were struggling to recruit teachers for the highest paid positions in their schools. In addition, 14% revealed they had failed to recruit deputy heads – while 20% had failed to recruit assistant headteachers. Among subject teachers, the biggest problem was recruiting maths teachers – 40% of schools had struggled to make an appointment – followed by English, in which 32% had experienced difficulty in finding staff.

 

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs -Use cash for poor pupils to aid mental health’

Schools should use extra funding for poor pupils to tackle mental health problems, the schools minister said yesterday.

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said that access to mental health services for children was not good enough. He told the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) conference in Birmingham that there was a “huge gap” between help for young people’s mental and physical health.

Fis-edsolutions ltd blogs- A London head teacher has written to parents warning them of a looming “financial crisis” in secondary schools in England.

John Kerr, the head of Enfield Grammar, an academy school, says the budget plans of major political parties will not be enough to cover rising costs.

Mr Kerr said difficult decisions would have to be made as a result.

He said his school was considering cuts to some subjects but warned this “would narrow the curriculum”.

‘Damaging cuts’

“The only way we can make this order of savings is to get rid of people’s jobs, or to increase class sizes, which is very difficult to do because rooms are a finite size, and you can’t squeeze more students in to a classroom that we’ve got at the moment, quite frankly.”

Mr Kerr told BBC Radio 4′s World at One programme the school had already considered cuts to what he termed “the minor subjects like music, art” – but he warned “that would really narrow the curriculum severely for our students”.

He has urged parents to challenge general election candidates about what he called “deep and damaging” cuts.