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News

UNIFORMS

SCIENCE

New law to make school uniform costs more affordable

Ofsted publishes first in a series of subject reviews

A new law has been passed which will require schools to follow new statutory guidance on uniform costs, instructing them to keep prices down. The cross-party support for the Bill recognised the costs parents face for school uniform, particularly for branded items, and the statutory guidance will tell schools to consider high street alternatives. It will also include measures on encouraging secondhand uniform, schools’ arrangements with suppliers, and ensuring parents have access to clear information about uniform policies. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “School uniforms are important in establishing the right ethos in a school. They also help to improve behaviour and a sense of belonging and identity. But we want to be sure they are affordable for parents. This new law will help to save families money and ensure the cost of a blazer or shirt is never a barrier to accessing the best possible education.” The new law, introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by Mike Amesbury MP and given Government backing, enables the Government to set statutory guidance for schools to consider about costs for uniforms. The Department will publish the statutory guidance in the autumn this year, which will focus on ensuring costs are reasonable for families of all backgrounds and giving parents the best value for money. It will also advise schools to make sure that when they take up contracts with uniform suppliers, they are competitive and transparent in order to keep costs down. Matt Easter, Co-Chair of the Schoolwear Association said: “As the leading schoolwear industry body, we welcome the Bill and the help it will provide for schools looking for further guidance on their uniform policies, to ensure the process of choosing a uniform supplier is as robust, competitive and easy as possible. “In particular, we welcome the Government’s recognition that the quality and longevity of garments should be considered alongside their cost. Whilst the vast majority of schools already work hard to keep their uniforms affordable, this Bill is an important step to help them continue to make the best decisions on their uniform policies and offer the best support to parents.”

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Ofsted has published the first review in a new series looking at what makes for a high-quality education in different subjects across the curriculum. The first review focuses on science. It explores a range of research and evidence to identify factors that can influence the quality of science education in schools in England. It also highlights some of the barriers that prevent their implementation. The review recognises that there is no one way of achieving a high-quality science education. Rather, it considers a number of key principles that can play a central role in shaping the quality of school science.

In the review, Ofsted identified a number of principles that literature suggests can contribute to high-quality science education. These principles include the importance of planning the science curriculum so that pupils build knowledge of key concepts and the relationships between them over many years; this prevents pupils from seeing science as a list of isolated facts. It highlights the importance of pupils remembering long-term the content that has been taught; this is because building domainspecific knowledge leads to expertise. Starting curriculum planning right from the early years by introducing pupils to wide-ranging vocabulary to describe the natural world is also recommended. Ofsted’s next step in this project will be to look at how science is being taught in schools and will publish a report in spring 2022. CLICK TO READ MORE

BEHAVIOUR

Survey to give parents termly ‘snapshot’ of behaviour The Department for Education has announced that a new National Behaviour Survey will be launched to give parents a termly snapshot of the state of behaviour in schools, including disruptive behaviour and bullying. The DfE has said it will not be an “accountability tool”, but will provide parents and stakeholders the data they need to build a picture of behaviour in schools over time and improve the

government’s ability to support schools with any challenges they are facing. The new National Behaviour Survey builds on the £10 million Behaviour Hubs programme, which pairs up the best multiacademy trust leaders and academy heads with partner schools and trusts to help improve behaviour policies and outcomes. CLICK TO READ MORE

BREAKFAST CLUBS

Labour calls for ‘catch-up’ breakfast clubs to support pandemic recovery Labour is calling on the Government to introduce ‘catch-up’ breakfast clubs, to give kids more time with friends and teachers to support their recovery from the pandemic. Kate Green MP will set out Labour’s plans for every primary and secondary child to be offered a free healthy breakfast at school to ensure they’re ready for learning, in a speech to the Confederation of School Trusts annual conference. Breakfast clubs would support children’s wellbeing with extra time to socialise, while also giving schools extra time to provide targeted tuition or catch up support. Evidence shows

breakfast clubs can boost children’s educational attainment with positive impacts on reading and writing. Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Labour wants children to be at the heart of an ambitious national recovery from this pandemic. Breakfast clubs would give every child a healthy meal to start their day, more time to play with their friends and extra time for teachers to provide targeted catch-up support, ensuring every child is supported to reach their potential.” CLICK TO READ MORE

Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Profile for PSI  Media

Education Business 26.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 26.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Profile for psi-media

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