Edition 2, 2014 Parents flock to Free Schools. See p16 10 things we should tell you about fraudsters. See p22 Given the right circumstances every child can achieve incredible things. An interview with Mark Lehain, Principle of Bedford Free School. See p24 Keeping children safe. See p28 Should schools teach yoga? See p30 Government fires starting pistol to tackle physical activity. See p32
â€˜Strictly Come Teaching it is NOT! Talking to Peter Lee the Assistant Vice Principal at the Q3 Academy. See p12
www.education-magazine.co.uk - for ar ticles news and pr oducts
Education Magazine Edition 58 Annual Subscription £10
Design/Production Amanda Wesley
Tel: 01234 348878 Fax: 01223 790191
Editorial Sales Team: Tracy Johnson and Steve Mitchell Tel: 01234 348878
Published by Review Magazines Ltd, 53 Asgard Drive,BedfordMK41 0UR
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Education Magazine 2014
Contents 2 News 12
‘Strictly Come Teaching it is NOT! Talking to Peter Lee the Assistant Vice Principal at the Q3 Academy.
16 Parents flock to Free Schools
18 Don’t fear Big Brother
By Jon Valentine.
10 things we should tell you about fraudsters
24 Given the right circumstances every child can achieve incredible things An interview with Mark Lehain, Principle of Bedford Free School.
30 Should schools teach yoga?
By David Elliott.
32 Government fires starting pistol to tackle physical activity
34 Product Showcase
28 Keeping children safe
Updated statutory guidance for schools, Guidance on female genital mutilation.
If you are building, developing new ideas or have some excellent examples of ‘good practice’, spread the word about them and contact PIR Education Magazine on
01234 348878 or
The Magazine for Heads and Financial Directors of Academies, Independant and Free Schools
email email@example.com We are always looking for good news on Education issues. We approve all articles prior to press.
Look forward to hearing from you!
The Publisher holds all copyright and any items within may not be reproduced in any way, for any purpose, without the written permission of the Publisher. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the information contained within this publication is based on submissions to the Publishers who cannot be held responsible for errors and omissions. The publisher does not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors and cannot except responsibility for claims made by manufacturers and authors, nor do they accept any responsibility for any errors in the subject matter of this publication.
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News
Finalists announced for 2014 Ashden School Awards
Sir George Monoux College, Walthamstow, London This Sixth Form College is a fantastic example of how young people can be inspired in a short space of time to help save the planet. As well as switching to low-energy lighting and installing efficient boilers, Principal Paolo Ramella has inspired students to embrace his vision of a carbon-neutral college. Creative ways of getting the message across include an open-air ‘eco gym’ where students can use their own energy to charge their mobiles. Even more excitingly, the income from electricity generated from the college’s solar panels is annually financing scholarships for ten students. Put simply, the College is turning sunlight into education.
Schools going green: carbon-cutting schools save energy and money. The finalists for this year’s Ashden School Awards, the UK’s leading green energy awards, have been announced ahead of a prestigious awards ceremony in London on 22 May 2014. Ashton Vale Primary School in Bristol, Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow, London, and St Faith’s Independent School in Cambridge are all taking big strides towards cutting carbon emissions and lowering fuel bills by taking simple steps and inspiring their students to help save the planet.
St Faith’s Independent School, Cambridge The independent prep school is committed towards cutting energy use from the ‘very top’ - with solar panels on the school roofs the most obvious sign of its green credentials. But further low-cost steps are even more important, including pupils making simple heat reflectors for radiators out of cardboard and kitchen foil, and improving insulation. With its most recently built Passivhaus building hardly needing any heating, backing everything up a rigorous regime for monitoring energy use and incentives for all staff to change energy habits.
Now in their 14th year, the Ashden Awards champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives in the UK and developing world. Finalists for the 2014 Ashden School Awards are: Ashton Vale Primary School, Bristol Three years ago, senior staff at Ashton Vale Primary School in Bristol were disappointed to receive the lowest DEC rating of G. Grasping the nettle, they used available funding to invest in energy-saving measures like wall and roof insulation, converting the school’s old oil-fired boiler to gas and installing solar panels. Staff and students have embraced the energy-saving challenge, with classroom ‘eco warriors’ checking that lights and equipment are switched off, and that temperatures are no higher than needed. The efforts have paid off with a new DEC rating of ‘C’.
Two Ashden School Award winners will be announced at ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London, each to receive a prize of £5,000. Follow #Ashden14 and @AshdenAwards on twitter to keep up with information about this year’s Ashden Awards.
National insect week – Coming to a place near you soon have a huge impact on the natural world. We already have some fantastic events and initiatives planned for NIW 2014, and we are encouraging everyone to get involved and celebrate the little creatures that shape our environment.” National Insect Week will also feature its ever-popular photographic competition in which people are invited to submit their best shots of on the theme of ‘Little Things That Run the World’. This year’s competition – launched during Insect Week – is supported by the Environment Agency. Peacock Butterfly
The Male Bumblebee
Get ready to celebrate The Little Things That Run the World during National Insect Week 2014, from Monday 23 June – Sunday 29 June. Now in its sixth year and organised by the Royal Entomological Society, the week will see scores of events held across the UK, from bug hunts and bioblitzes to minibeast safaris and moth walks. Events planned at key locations which include:
An invertebrate bioblitz (a snapshot of insect activity) in the garden at Highgrove, the private residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, involving
schoolchildren and a team of entomologists
A launch, ‘Question Time’ style panel, photography exhibition and children’s bioblitz at London’s Natural History Museum
A Focus on Bugs at ZSL London Zoo Insect Hunt at Butterfly World, St Albans
National Insect Week coordinator Luke Tilley said: “Insects may be small, but they
NIW 2014 also supported by a raft of partners nationwide, including the National Trust, National History Museum, the RSPB, Wildlife Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society. Many of these will be holding their own events locally. To learn more about National Insect Week and the events taking place near you, visit www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk. You can also register your own National Insect Week event through the website: http://nationalinsectweek.co.uk/event_ submit.php And you can follow National Insect Week on Twitter at @insectweek or on Facebook at facebook.com/ nationalinsectweek.
Nora flooring - the perfect choice for new sustainable Sports Centre The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world, dating back to 1209. Steeped in history both academically and architecturally, the university continues to grow with the first of several new installations, a prestigious Sports Centre, now complete. This architecturally stunning building, designed by Arup Associates, was built with sustainability as a top priority and therefore only materials with excellent environmental properties were chosen, including rubber floor coverings from nora systems. noraplan® sentica sheets and tiles from the German rubber flooring specialist were selected for the gymnasium and circulation areas within the vast sports building, thanks to the highly durable material which is Reply No. extremely hard wearing and preserved for many years. 3 With pleasant warmth underfoot and excellent acoustic properties, nora floor coverings are devoid of any PVC or plasticizers and have been certified with the ‘Blue Angel’ eco-label. nora also benefits from low VOC’s, providing a superior indoor air quality. The extremely dense and closed surface allows easy and economic maintenance which can be cleaned and polished using no chemicals at all - just water. All these properties contribute to a positive, healthy environment for health conscious athletes.
As a result of the building’s excellent sustainability credentials it was only befitting that the university received an ‘Excellent‘ BREEAM rating for the new Sports Centre. With further refurbishment projects in the pipeline nora systems has established itself as a firm choice for flooring by the university. For more information contact nora flooring systems. Tel. 01788 513 160 email. firstname.lastname@example.org www.nora.com/uk
Adults only holidays
Teaching hand hygiene skills can stop infections Nurseries and pre-schools can prevent the spread of infection if they teach children good hand hygiene skills at an early age.
Children can ruin a holiday especially if they are not your own
“It is important that children learn this skill early as it is very difficult to get them into the habit once they go to school,” says Manty Stanley, managing director at TEAL. Reply No.
Holidays for adults only offer you the largest selection of online bookable couples & singles holidays in the world, where a casual swim can’t be spoilt by kids dive bombing into the pool. Our adult only hotels feature a broad range of services including gastronomic delights, leisure facilities designed for adults, specialised services and much more. All inclusive hotels for adults offer excellent value as you will spend very little money once in resort.
“Washing hands in warm running water with soap is the gold standard in hand hygiene care as alcohol rubs do not work on viruses such as the common cold.
Adult only holidays is part of the Linden Travel Group which isn’t anti kids and this website is just an extra service we can now provide to adults, couples and singles that have gone through the child rearing stage and just want a peaceful child free holiday. Our group has dedicated websites that cater for families and even offer free child places on many of our family holidays.
“To aid the learning process, we have developed a range of educational tools to make hand washing fun. These include certificates, colouring templates, guides and even songs,” says Manty. TEAL manufacture the Kiddiwash range, a selection of warm water hand wash units which require no access to mains water or drainage. Aimed at children aged 12 months and above, prices start from £158.40 (including VAT and UK mainland delivery).
For more information visit: W: www.kiddiwash.com T: 0121 770 0593 E: email@example.com Education Magazine
Telephone Sales & Reservations: 0845 430 2004 (Local call rate) or 01529 298117 5
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News
Academy goes from failing to outstanding in just 2 years
unusual activities such as rock music club and table-top fantasy game Warhammer, with the majority of pupils staying on to take part.
Outwood Academy Portland has taken advantage of academy freedoms and used extra-curricular activities to improve pupils’ attainment.
• • • • •
A school ranked among the worst in the country just over 2 years ago is now rated outstanding by Ofsted - one of the quickest turnarounds ever achieved. Outwood Academy Portland’s principal, Dr Phillip Smith, says that while a renewed focus on attainment in core subjects since the school became an academy has been crucial, the school’s success was only possible thanks to the numerous extracurricular activities now provided because they turned the school into a place where children wanted to be. Dr Smith added that high-quality extracurricular activities are a feature of all academies in the Outwood family of schools. When the school, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, was council run, only a handful of activities were available. But now the school uses its academy freedoms to offer pupils more than 100 after-school classes with everything from extra English and maths classes, to an orchestra, a choir, a debating club, Minecraft club and circus skills on offer. The school has seen sharp improvements in results and behaviour since they first started working with Outwood Academies Trust in May 2011, a year after being placed in special measures:
in 2011, while a council-run school, the proportion of pupils achieving five GCSEs at A* to C including English and maths was just 41% in 2013, that figure had jumped to 75% of pupils in the ‘value added’ league tables which measure pupils’ progress from the start of secondary school to their GCSE results - the school is ranked 39th out of all secondary schools across England
The school officially became an academy in June 2012, having been classed as ‘requires improvement’, and the change culminated in their outstanding rating from Ofsted this month. Since becoming an academy, the school has taken advantage of being able to change the length of its school day - starting lessons earlier than normal at 8.25am and finishing formal schooling at 2.30pm. That means pupils have extra time to take part in ‘enrichment’ - an extra hour after school which includes traditional catch-up classes in maths and English alongside more
Examples of enrichment classes offered by Portland include: building an electric car philosophy and ethics debating society astronomy film club cooking
Dr Smith praised the work of teachers and pupils for turning around the school so quickly. He added that the enrichment classes were a crucial part of their success. Dr Smith said: Extra-curricular classes are a key part of life at our school and they would not be possible if we weren’t an academy and had to follow a set school day. The classes give pupils the chance to learn a wide range of life skills and helps build the confidence they need to face challenges with enthusiasm. They have helped change the ethos at Outwood Academy Portland - pupils see the school as somewhere they want to be not somewhere they can’t wait to leave. Dr Smith says starting the school day earlier has helped improve pupils’ concentration and means they are more willing to get involved in activities once classes have ended.
Try the Legentas project for free Legentas is an award-winning speed reading online course that aims to increase people’s comprehension and identifying with the text. The lessons can provide a 2 times faster reading improvement. The Legentas speed reading course teaches how to read more characters in one fixation, makes the brain absorb the information better and also help readers predict what follows in the text to get to the core of it. This is an excellent way to train the brain and expand the eye span. After finishing the course, students get correct reading habits that can be applied both in formal and informal contexts. A partnership will enable the students of your school to access Legentas for Schools for free, through their own school interface, separately from our current 10,000 users. Teachers have their own administration interface to manage students and classes, monitor procedures, and perform other routine administrative 6
tasks. Statistics of each class, and the entire school, are also provided. The Legentas project stands out for its maximum efficiency, rigour and excellent feedback coming from their customers and partners.
Top firms back new tranche of Tech Levels Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock announces 77 new Tech Levels backed by businesses. More than 200 gold-standard Tech Levels will now be available for young people to study from September this year. In a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research this morning, the minister said the new Tech Levels - high-quality qualifications that put vocational education on a par with A levels - would bridge the gap between education and employment. The new Tech Levels, including qualifications in agriculture, engineering and IT, are backed by a wide range of top employers including Siemens, BAE and Canon. Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: Tech Levels ensure young people are prepared to compete in the global jobs market, and give employers a crucial say in what skills they need. The previous system had become bloated with qualifications that were of no value. These have been stripped out of the league tables and now, under this government, young people can clearly see which courses will give them the vital skills they need to get on in life. These new Tech Levels come as the latest figures show too many young people have been leaving education without the knowledge or skills needed for further study and employment. The introduction of Tech Levels goes handin-hand with action to raise maths skills. As well as piloting new level 3 core maths qualifications from September this year, focusing on problem solving in real life situations, the government is requiring all young people who do not secure a C grade or higher in GCSE maths to carry on studying it after the age of 16. Experimental data from the Department for Education for the academic year 2011 to 2012 showed why this was necessary as just 17% of the 244,231 students who failed to secure a C in maths GCSE pre-16 went on to study it post-16 and only 7% subsequently passed.
Supply2Schools.co.uk School Decision Makers need to make choices with cost, safety and practicality in mind.
We at supply2schools send exclusive emails on behalf of our clients who wish to contact and supply schools with a variety of products and services at the best price, with quality and reliability at their heart.
Our clients send their emails to both supply and inform schools of their latest products. When schools receive an email sent from supply2schools, they can be confident that they are getting up to date information, from a reliable company, who have experience in supplying the education sector. For more information about supply2schools please visit
www.supply2schools.co.uk Education Magazine
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News
Commissioner appointed to investigate Birmingham schools On 15 April, The Department for Education, appointed Peter Clarke to review evidence in relation to serious allegations that schools in Birmingham are being targeted by individuals wishing to push an Islamist agenda. In his role as Education Commissioner, Peter Clarke will be accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. He will investigate the allegations to understand fully what has happened in the schools of concern, and work closely with Birmingham City Council to analyse evidence of extremist infiltration in both academies and council-run schools. He will report back to the department this summer. Mr Clarke’s appointment means allegations which have been the subject of intense speculation can be examined in a professional and dispassionate manner, based on established facts. He has substantial and much-respected experience in leading investigations at a high level. Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said: I am extremely concerned by the allegations made in connection to a number of schools in Birmingham. I have already asked Ofsted to inspect a number of schools of concern and these investigations are ongoing. But wider, more comprehensive action is needed. These allegations need either to be substantiated and firm action taken, or to be shown to be baseless. We cannot allow uncertainty for parents or pupils to persist. That is why I am appointing a commissioner to oversee this work. Peter Clarke brings a wealth of relevant skills and experience, and is very well placed to lead a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence, and report back to me. We expect he will work closely with Birmingham City Council. No pupils should be exposed to extremist views or radicalisation while at school. I have tasked Peter Clarke with getting to the bottom of these allegations, so schools in Birmingham can continue the excellent progress that so many have been making. The Department for Education has maintained close contact with a number of parties since the allegations were first received, including the police and Birmingham City Council.
All schools are subject to a tough inspection regime and the government has been clear that it will not hesitate to take firm and swift action if pupils are being let down or placed at risk.
ment. Of pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school, only 39% achieve at least 5 A* to C GCSEs including English and maths. This compares to 73% of pupils who miss less than 5% of school.
The Commissioner’s remit will cover both maintained schools and academies (including free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools). He will be supported by a small team of Department for Education officials, and will be able to seek expert opinion and advice as necessary, including from Ofsted. He is likely to be in place initially for 3 to 4 months before reporting back to the Secretary of State for Education.
The government has introduced a package of measures to help schools ensure more children attend class, and to give heads and teachers greater powers to tackle bad behaviour. These include:
This appointment, which is made under statutory powers, is separate to the Department for Education’s intervention in Birmingham’s children’s services. The department has already indicated its intention to appoint a statutory commissioner to oversee these services, which successive Ofsted inspections have found to be inadequate. Peter Clarke was an officer in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for 31 years and has held a number of executive and non-executive positions in the public and private sectors, including as a non-executive board member for the Serious Organised Crime Agency from 2009 to 2013. He rose to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner at the MPS, heading up the Counter Terrorism Command. He received the OBE in 2006 for his work on the 7/7 bombings the previous year. He is currently a board member at the Charity Commission.
130,000 fewer pupils regularly missing school
encouraging schools to tackle the problem of persistent absence earlier. The government reduced the threshold by which absence is defined as persistent from 20% to 15% from October 2011. This means schools are held to a higher standard in performance tables than previously
increasing fines for truancy from £50 to £60, and from £100 to £120 if not paid within 28 days from September 2012, and cutting the time for paying the penalties from 42 to 28 days from September 2013
making clear that teachers can use ‘reasonable force’ to maintain behaviour, extending searching powers and allowing teachers to impose sameday detentions from 2011 Education Secretary Michael Gove said:
There is no excuse for skipping school. We have taken action to reduce absence by increasing fines and encouraging schools to address the problem earlier. Today’s figures show we are making progress, with 130,000 fewer pupils regularly missing school under this government.
New figures published show that persistent absence is down by almost a third, thanks to the government’s reforms to boost attendance and improve classroom discipline.
Alongside our measures to give teachers powers to search pupils and impose sameday detentions, this demonstrates our determination to get tough on bad behaviour.
The figures for the 2012 to 2013 academic year show:
Separate figures also published today show a record number of truancy fines were issued in 2012 to 2013. The figures show:
300,895 were persistently absent in 2012 to 2013, down from 433,130 in 2009 to 2010 - a fall of almost a third
130,000 fewer pupils were missing 15% of school - equivalent to missing 18 months of a whole school career
7.7 million fewer school days were lost to overall absence - 49.3 million days in 2012 to 2013 compared to 57 million days in 2009 to 2010
overall absence is down from 6% of sessions in 2009 to 2010 to 5.2% of sessions in 2012 to 2013
The evidence shows absence from school has a significant negative effect on attain8
52,370 penalty notices were issued in 2012 to 2013, up from 41,224 the previous year 30,746 penalty notices were paid within the given timeframe, up from 24,269 the previous year
The figures on absence relate to the first 5 half terms of each academic year. This is the usual means of measuring absence as figures for the sixth half term are often distorted by young people taking time out of school in the period after public examinations in order to undertake activities such as work experience. Persistent absence is defined as missing at Education Magazine
News News NEWS News
News least 15% of school time. If a child missed 15% of their whole school career, that would mean 18 months of lost time in the classroom. The statistics relate to the period before the law was changed in September 2013 so that schools cannot grant a leave of absence during term time, including for holidays, unless in exceptional circumstances. About a tenth of recorded absence (11.4%) is accounted for by term-time holidays.
Copyright Licensing Agency, said: Schools were telling us that they wanted us to make licensing simpler and easier and we listened to them. The change will relieve local authorities and academies of the responsibility for administration of licensing. The Department for Education is committed to reducing the administrative burden on teachers to free them up to teach. The department has:
This government is giving all schools the autonomy to set their own term dates. The government wants to see more parents asking schools to consider changes to term and holiday dates that will work for pupils and their families.
cut the volume of unnecessary guidance issued to schools by 75%, equating to the removal of more than 21,000 website pages
scrapped the burdensome selfevaluation forms for school inspections
Copyright deals will cut red tape and save schools £6.5 million
simplified complex financial school budget restrictions
Schools across England will save more than £6.5 million after the government struck deals with licensing companies for shared rights to use films, newspapers and television shows in classrooms. The licences previously had to be bought individually by schools and local authorities, often resulting in expensive and timeconsuming negotiations. Now the Department for Education has reached agreements so that from next month all state schools in England will be automatically covered for these licences, potentially saving more than £6.5 million. The deals have been struck with:
the Educational Recording Agency (ERA), which allows schools to use programmes from BBC, ITV and other British television channels in lessons
Filmbank, which allows schools to show pupils top Hollywood, Bollywood and independent films
the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), which gives schools access to movies and programmes created by more than 400 film and television producers and distributers the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which allows schools to use newspaper and magazine cuttings in lessons Schools Minister David Laws said:
We are committed to reducing costs and unnecessary red tape for schools. These new licences will allow schools to focus their resources further on providing an excellent education for young people. Jo Warner-Howard, head of education at the Education Magazine
A streamlined inspection framework has also been introduced. Neither the department nor Ofsted now expect teachers to produce written lesson plans for every lesson. This announcement follows the government’s recommendations in the Hargreaves Review to simplify the licensing process for copyright users in the digital age. The licences apply to all state schools, including local authority maintained schools, academies, and other types of schools such as pupil referral units (PRUs) and special schools. The savings of moving to paying for the ERA, Filmbank and MPLC licenses centrally is estimated by the Department for Education to be £6.73 million in the 2014 to 2015 financial year. These savings are made up of the discounts negotiated on the cost of the licenses themselves and the savings in administrative costs of local authorities and schools, who previously negotiated deals themselves. The central licences that have been in existence since April 2013 are the Copyright Licensing Agency licence, which gives schools the right to photocopy books, magazines and journals, make digital copies by scanning or re-typing for distribution to pupils, parents, teachers or governors, and make copies of content from digital material including CD ROMs, electronic workbooks, online journals and included websites; and the School Printed Music Licence, which covers the copying of a school’s sheet music for curricular and extra-curricular school activities, making arrangements of musical works and distributing licensed copies to school members. The Hargreaves Review was an independent review commissioned by the Prime Minister in November 2010 to look at how the intellectual property framework supports growth and innovation. Chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves and assisted by a panel of experts, the review reported 9
NEWS NEWS News
to government in May 2011 making recommendations for government. This included a recommendation to simplify the licensing process for copyright users in the digital age. Further details about the review can be found on the Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth’s website.
Gove gives green light to teachers to use tough sanctions to tackle bad behaviour. Updated behaviour guidelines sent to schools. Litter picking in the playground, removing graffiti and cleaning the dining hall are all sanctions teachers should consider to clamp down on bad behaviour, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said. There has been significant progress since 2010 on improving behaviour, with persistent absence and exclusions for abuse and assault both down significantly. However, with 700,000 pupils still in schools where behaviour is not good enough, there is much still to do. Updated government guidelines were sent to all schools in England this week, making clear that tough but proportionate punishments, ranging from writing lines to asking pupils to report at the school gates early in the morning, are just as crucial to an effective education as praising and rewarding good behaviour. While the previous guidelines made clear the legal backing for setting punishments, they stopped short of outlining potential sanctions - leaving many heads and teachers unclear of the action they could take, particularly with regard to misplaced health and safety fears or concern about litigation. Almost 1 in 3 secondary teachers - tens of thousands of teachers in hundreds of schools across the country - don’t feel confident using the powers they have to discipline pupils. Potential punishments listed in the guidance now include:
school-based community service - such as picking up litter or weeding school grounds, tidying a classroom, helping clear up the dining hall after meal times, or removing graffiti
writing lines or an essay
loss of privileges - for instance the loss of a prized responsibility or not being able to participate in a non-uniform day
being ‘on report’ for early morning and other scheduled times
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News
Record number of teachers as 9,000 join schools in England
initial teacher training to improve quality and expand school-based training. It is also offering bursaries and scholarships worth up to £25,000 in priority subjects including maths, physics and modern languages.
New statistics show that the number of teachers in England is rising as teaching increasingly becomes the career choice for top graduates.
Homophobic bullying in schools project gets underway
The Department for Education figures reveal that, as of November 2013, there were 451,100 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England, 9,100 up on the previous year. This is the highest number of teachers ever recorded. The quality of the teaching workforce is also rising. A record 96% of teachers now have degrees or above, meaning there are an extra 43,000 teachers with degree level qualifications in classrooms since 2010. Previously released figures show that 74% of current teacher trainees now hold at least a 2.1 degree, up from 61% in 2010. The statistics also show that the teacher vacancy rate remains very low at just 0.2% of the overall workforce, with just 750 vacancies across the country. The government is reforming teacher training to attract more top performers. The Department for Education is reforming
The National Centre for Social Research has been awarded a contract to take forward the first stage of a project to help drive out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The project, announced in November 2013, seeks to understand the most effective ways to reduce this type of bullying and its impacts among school-age children and young people. The first phase of the project is a full review of all the available evidence and existing practices currently in place in schools to tackle this issue. Organisations were invited to bid for funding to conduct this work, and NatCen was the successful bidder. This work is now under way and NatCen will report back in the summer. A recent Youth Chances survey showed that:
Overall nearly half (49%) of LGBT young
people questioned reported that their time at school was affected by discrimination or fear of discrimination. Minister for Women and Equalities Jenny Willott, said: Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic taunts and teasing in the school playground may seem harmless but it can seriously affect children’s health and wellbeing, lead to poor educational performance and prevent them getting ahead in life. Young people should be able to go to school without fear of bullying or discrimination. We expect schools to take a strong stand against all forms of bullying and to deal with incidents quickly when they occur. This project will help us to understand all the issues, what works best in tackling this type of bullying, and to develop effective, evidence-based tools and best practice that will help schools and others to stamp out this harmful behaviour. The project builds on action the government has already taken to tackle bullying in schools including publishing updated advice and guidance for schools and governing bodies; and giving schools greater legal powers to tackle bad behaviour and cyber-bullying.
Setting the standards for educational cleanliness
passes. The Self Leveling System (SLS) ensures constant brush pressure even in rougher surfaces. This machine is available in four models depending on the working environment.
Schools and colleges through their very nature, are high risk locations and it is extremely important to ensure that suitable precautions are taken to maintain and enhance safety. Nowhere is this more important than keeping floors clear of litter. Maintaining the cleanliness of floors and corridors is essential to ensure the areas are safe for both pupils and staff and as the demand for larger schools has increased there is a need for larger and more powerful cleaning machines.
To compliment the sweeper, the IPC Gansow CT100 BTi scrubber drier is one of the largest walk-behind scrubber driers available in the UK. With a 100 litre solution tank and 110 litre recovery the CT100 is ideal for cleaning gymnasiums and halls and is available in three scrubbing widths: 60, 70 and 85cm, being adaptable for any large cleaning environment. The brush pressure is fully adjustable, with an automatic brush deck to set the required cleaning force and all brushes and squeegee are removable without the need for tools. Even when fully loaded with 100kg of water the CT100 will still handle like the smaller models, allowing any operator to use the machine effectively.
Floor surfaces often need to be dustproof, chemically resistance or non-slip and can be made from a number of different substrates including concrete, painted concrete, polyurethane resin floor coatings, resin flooring or asphalt to name a few. Having the right machine to match the right surface is essential if the cleaning process is to be as efficient as possible. Hugh Crane (Cleaning Equipment) Ltd has a large range of commercial floor cleaning equipment including scrubber driers and ride on sweepers to meet the demands for all types of applications. One sweeper that is proving very popular is the IPC Gansow 1404 ride-on sweeper. It is one of the larger rear loading models in the range, with a 150 litre waste container, and automatic rear lifting hopper that empties at the push of a button. The 80cm main brush collects all debris from general waste to stones and leaf litter. The fine dust that is created during the sweeping process is then filtered through the large 6m² panel filter with automatic filter shaker to leave a dust free environment. The benefit of the No Dust in Curve (NDC) system moves the side brushes when turning to collect all the dirt that is left with most other machines reducing the number of
With branches in Norwich and Peterborough, Hugh Crane (Cleaning Equipment) LTd are ideally positioned to service clients in East Anglia and the Midlands although they supply equipment throughout the UK. Working alongside some of the largest manufacturers in the industry including IPC Gansow, Numatic and Soteco, it allows them to offer state of the art machines to meet any situation. With a comprehensive range of spares, parts and continued support from the network, Hugh Crane offers service that you would expect from a company established for over 30 years. Hugh Crane don’t just supply machines. They also hold a comprehensive range of floor cleaning chemicals and janitorial products supplying your business with everything from gloves to brushes and brooms specifically for the educational sector. For more information please call William Crane in Floor Sales or Chris Roll our Chemical Sales Manager on 01493 688302 or visit our website for our complete range at www.hughcrane.co.uk
Mobile phone tracking designed for school trips “Around the world and around own” Developed with schools for schools, Locuro provides cutting edge parental peace of mind and parental interaction by providing permissions based access to their children’s school trips.
Details available at www.locuro.com
Strictly Come Teaching it is NOT!
The Q3 Academy is situated in North West Birmingham. It was originally a Local Authority school called Dartmouth High. However after a complete rebuild the Academy opened in 2009. It has 1100 pupils, 75 teachers, 6 cover supervisors and this year they hosted 22 PGCE’s. It’s housed in an inspiring new building surrounded by playing fields and open space. The Academy runs a ‘Teacher teaching teachers’ programme that’s designed to spread best practice amongst the staff by staff teaching exemplar lessons to one another. It’s done in a constructive spirit of fun and without a sense of competition. The scheme has improved the education process and helped build an impressive team spirit amongst the staff. We wanted to know more and so we interviewed Peter Lee the Assistant Vice Principal Education Magazine You have a programme here where teachers run classes to teach their subjects to other teachers. Why, how and when do you do this? Peter Lee The project is about utilising the existing skills within the school in order to assist with the Continuous Professional Development of the teachers. It also helps create a team atmosphere and a tradition of sharing good practice. The scheme is carried out during the time we set aside for training which is usually on a Monday afternoon. In essence it consists of departments showcasing their lessons to one another. The idea came about after a brainstorming session when the idea of paring two completely different departments against one another to teach an exemplar lesson came to the fore.
‘Teach offs’ between the Religious Education EM How did you choose who was paired with vs Design Technology and Maths vs IT. The who? And what happened? lessons were themed to bring a relevance PL I was watching the FA cup draw one evening to the ‘pupils’. So Religious Education ran a class for the Design and Technology teachers and that seemed to be the most ideal way, it would also start the programme with an element by creating a virtual synagogue and running the lesson on the Jewish faith in this virtual of sportsmanship and fun. So one Monday we drew the balls from the sack and this resulted in building. In return DT taught RE how to make 12
religious symbols using their 3D printer so giving RE something tangible to take away. Business ran a lesson where PE had to rebrand Manchester United! I suspect there was some other motive involved in this decision besides the transfer of technique! MFL taught basic Spanish to the Geography teachers. English were paired with Performing Arts. Education Magazine
EM It sounds like a lot of fun, could you go into greater depth as to what is the serious purpose behind it? PL We operate a culture of continuous quality assurance however the nature of the teaching process still means that a person is in their own area and classroom with little opportunity to learn from a peer group. What we wanted to do was enable teachers to showcase the methods that they use, to demonstrate ways they make lessons exciting and interesting to the pupils. It also opens up different subjects so giving a greater appreciation and knowledge of the profession. It also creates a feeling of teamwork and spreads good practice, innovative techniques and ideas. All done whilst having an enjoyable time with their colleagues. EM What about the practicalities? Some departments will have more teachers than others, how do you allow for this?
Peter Lee is the Assistant Vice Principal and has responsibility for managing teaching and learning at the Academy. He is also the professional mentor and manages all the newly qualified teachers including those who have joined via the PGCE scheme. He is also responsible for appraisals and line manages 9 subject areas. His family background is teaching, all his close relatives were or are heads of schools and many other of his relatives are teachers. So after university it was perfectly natural for him to go into the Police force where he rose to the rank of Sergeant. However his regular family calling came to the fore when he began to train Police recruits in the areas of law. Whilst doing this he discovered that he was a better teacher than he was a cop. So in 2004 he bowed to the inevitable and applied for the fast track scheme into education. He did his PGCE at the University of Warwick and started teaching in2005 at a Birmingham school. In 2011 the Q3 Academy opportunity came up and he took the chance to join a school where he felt he could progress rapidly.
PL This is a problem; we drew Maths which has a staff of 8 against Art who only have 3. However they had a weeks’ notice and were able to adapt their lesson accordingly. We also allowed them to use their own space and facilities. All the teachers took part in the lesson and they also made it relevant where possible. For instance the Maths lesson to Art was ‘Which artist was most mathematically beautiful? PE were teaching the Business and IT team how to trampoline and they issued them with certificates! History taught medieval medicine to Science. English were paired with Drama, which I considered a less than ideal result. However Drama imparted some very valuable tips on how to add some drama to the literature to improve its interest. EM How much time did you allow for this programme to take place?
PL We allowed it three weeks, we had a 15 minute briefing the first week, there was additional research and prep done in the intervening time and the 2nd and 3rd week were the actual lessons which took 30 minutes each. This was another reason we liked the programme as it did intrude into teaching and it was not an open ended commitment. The lessons took place in the 4.30 to 5 pm Monday slot that has historically been a bit of a graveyard when people go back to their offices and get on with ‘admin’. Education Magazine
EM What is the future for this programme? PL Repeating exactly the same process would not be the best use of the concept so in the summer term I’m going to teach an exemplar lesson to all the teaching staff on the 1st world war. I’m a history buff and I was lucky enough to attend the recent WW1 event in Westminster Hall where the great and the good of the history world, people like Hislop and Paxman, spoke on the conflict. I will be including the best practice 13
I use in my classes with the latest thinking and research that’s been carried out on the conflict in light of the centenary. In addition we will be doing something that combines the wars anniversary with some more ‘Teach Offs’. This will be during the extra transition week we enjoy in the summer term when our new year 6’s join us. In this week we will be running the activities continues overleaf u
Strictly Come Teaching it is NOT! continued
around the theme of WW1. In that week there will be another ‘Teach Off’ between departments and this time it will include a theme of WW1 and this time the exemplar lesson must include a technique learnt from the last series. EM You speak of the flexibility of your timetable, what hours are the teachers working in an average week and would this programme be possible without the freedoms and flexibility that being an Academy brings? PL On a Monday our hours are until 5, Tuesday its 3.05, 4pm Wednesday and 3.05 on Thursday and Friday. This all fits into the requirements controlling what hours we must teach. It would be possible to carry
out this scheme whatever status the school has, it depends on how the teacher’s time is managed. We do get additional flexibility due to our Academy status, and we have moved one week from the winter term the summer. This gives us a week to introduce our new week 6’s and also a 3 week holiday over Xmas. EM What’s driving the enthusiasm for this type of development programme? PL There are a lot of factors that drive this on, however to name one we had an Ofsted inspection in March 2013 when we were given a ‘Good with outstanding features’ and one of the areas that was highlighted as outstanding was our in house Continuous Professional Development programmes. This was the spur that prompted us to decide 14
to use the time we could set aside to make our staff the very best they can be. I’m also very lucky here that I have a very generous funding allowance for CPD. I’m very keen to use this plus the expertise we have in the school in order to develop the talent we already have as I want us learning from each other rather than just sending people out on a course. This was part of my brief when I joined the Academy two years ago and I’m fortunate that the Principal ensures that other aspects and pressures within the school are not allowed to impinge on my core function of ensuring the teaching staff are the very best they can be. My time is calendared to the hour and it’s not allowed to wander into other responsibilities. EM What other CPD courses do you employ Education Magazine
to help improve the teachers’ techniques? PL We run other programmes, for instance on a Monday we have a Best Practice briefing, where one member of staff will share a technique they have found effective. I also bring in the very best speakers I can find to lecture staff, last year we had Paul Guinness who spoke on The Teacher Toolkit, Phil Beadle has lectured and Hywel Roberts spoke about his concepts and schemes about ‘children learning accidentally’. When I started this role we were sending people off on a lot of courses and when they returned they would have shared their increased knowledge with their own department. By bringing in people to talk to all the teaching staff we all learn and so all our knowledge and expertise grows, not just the individuals.
sessions we carry out an on line survey using a website called Survey Monkey. This is an anonymous system so that people can be completely candid in their opinions. We get a 75% response rate and the response is massively positive. Staff really enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside and with their colleagues as it’s something they do not often get the chance to do. It’s especially appreciated by the 7 NQT’s as it gives them a chance to work outside their usual groups. This has resulted in a couple of them asking to go and observe the History teachers working. We also had some interesting suggestions, one of which was that the Heads of Departments should go up against one another in their own ‘Teach Off’. One unanimous request was that there should not be any scoring or a league table.
EM What about staff morale and the teambuilding effect of the Teach Offs’?
EM If another school decided to follow your example what advice would you give them?
PL It certainly has had a positive influence and that was one of the objectives we sought when we put the scheme into effect. We already share good practice however this scheme is far more effective at spreading ideas around. Now that different departments have worked together we have found that the flow of ideas has increased dramatically.
PL I’d recommend that more time be allocated to it than we did and not to allow the pairing off of large against small departments. I would also recommend that departments were not just paired off once against each other, there should be more than two rounds of changes enabling the exemplar lessons to evolve as the programme rolls out so ensuring that the exchange of good practice can be more comprehensive. . I would not recommend any form of scoring and decisions on winners or losers. We didn’t have this and although it
EM What feedback did you get from the people who took part in the programme? PL After the majority of our training Education Magazine
was billed as a competition the real winners were those who took knowledge from the programme. It shouldn’t become a competition where there is just one winner who’s class is the most ‘perfect’ It wasn’t about creating a ‘Strictly come teaching’. It was about exchanging expertise and professionalism in a highly enjoyable way. EM Have you any measure on what effect this has had on your pupils? In purely accountant speak have you done a cost benefit analysis of this? PL Not yet, the scheme is still under development so to work out exactly the benefits that have flowed is not possible. And it may not be possible either as its impossible to view in isolation the effect it’s had. I do know that some of the techniques learned have been fed into other lessons and that one of the Business teachers remarked on how good a coach a PE tutor was so I know that there was a transfer of knowledge taking place. Usually one department only knows how good another is from the Ofsted rating. Well now they will also know why Ofsted rate them so highly. A real benefit of this is the teamwork it creates, getting good results is about the whole school performing to the best of its ability and that’s best done if all the staff pull together in the same direction. This is about helping that occur and it works. Thank you for talking to Education Magazine.
Parents flock to free schools
of 10 primary free schools received more applications than they had places. The West London Free School Primary, which opened this year, reported receiving more than 6 applications for each of its 60 places. Schools Minister Lord Nash said: These figures show that free schools remain hugely popular with parents. It goes to show that if you give local communities and exceptional school leaders the freedom to establish high-quality and innovative schools that raise standards, parents will want a place for their child. The free schools policy is just one part of our education reform package which is creating more good schools, and more good school places.
New figures released show that free schools are proving hugely popular with parents, a survey carried out by the Department for Education shows that they have attracted almost 3 applications for every place. The department surveyed all open free schools for data on admissions. Of the 110 schools that responded, 95 received more applications from parents than they have places available for the next academic year. Overall, these schools received 23,542 applications for 8,755 places - an average of 2.7 applications per place. The figures show that more than 9 out
Pupils to be advised by employers to pursue ambitious careers Pupils will be inspired and mentored by employers and business leaders to pursue ambitious careers under new guidance for schools published by Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock. The Department for Education guidance will ensure schools provide pupils with experience of the world of work to give them the confidence and skills to fulfil their potential. It will also highlight the importance of pupils gaining the skills that employers must look for when hiring, such as maths and science qualifications. The statutory guidance states a school’s careers and inspiration guidance strategy should:
offer mentoring and coaching, inspirational speakers, workplace and higher education visits, networking events and careers fairs use initiatives that help to forge links between schools and employers, such as Business in the Community, Career Academies and Inspiring the Future ensure pupils have information on the
Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network said: Free schools are proving increasingly popular with parents across the country, either because there simply aren’t enough local places or because they are not happy with what is currently on offer. This latest data shows how in a short space of time free schools have already become the first choice for many parents.
• • • • • • • •
The West London Free School in Hammersmith received more than 1,100 applications for its 120 places. The West London Free School Primary received 374 applications for its 60 reception places St Luke’s Church of England School in north west London received 103 applications for its 15 reception places The William Perkin C of E High School in Ealing received almost 900 applications for its 180 places Perry Beeches II in Birmingham received almost 500 applicants for 100 year 7 places Parents submitted 468 applications for the 108 places at Batley Grammar School in west Yorkshire Bradford Girls’ Grammar School received 500 applications for its 144 places across reception and year 7 The King’s Leadership Academy Warrington received 275 applications for 120 places The Reach Academy Feltham received 264 applications for 60 places ARK Atwood Primary Academy in North London received 227 applications for 60 places
Free schools are being set up by teachers, parents and charities where there is parental demand and the majority are in areas of deprivation. They are proving hugely popular with parents.
The Department for Education obtained figures for 110 of the 140 mainstream free schools which were open at the start of the academic year in 2013
full range of education and training options
It also encourages teachers and schools to forge links with universities.
measure the effectiveness of their careers and inspiration activity by using official data on the education, training and employment of previous pupils
According to UCAS figures more children from disadvantaged areas in England are applying to university than ever before: 20.7% in 2014 compared with 14.9% in 2009. Eighteen year olds living in the most disadvantaged areas of England are nearly twice as likely to apply as they were 10 years ago.
Scheme encouraging disadvantaged pupils to apply for leading universities opens Scheme invites English schools to send disadvantaged 13- and 14-year-olds to visit top universities for a day of lectures and workshops. Disadvantaged pupils will get a taste of studying at the UK’s leading universities thanks to a joint Department for Education and Russell Group scheme. The Future Scholar Awards scheme sees 13- and 14-year-olds in England invited to visit top universities for a day of lectures and workshops. Schools will in particular be encouraged to ensure that pupils eligible for pupil premium funding, in care or without a family history of higher education take part. The scheme aims to raise aspirations among these pupils so that they consider going on to leading universities.
But a 2012 Sutton Trust report showed that fewer than half of secondary state school teachers say they would advise their brightest pupils to apply to Oxford and Cambridge universities. Russell Group universities are spending more than £200 million on outreach and financial support, and working on outreach programmes with the Sutton Trust and others. Last year more than 1,400 young people from 764 schools participated in the awards. This year’s scheme builds on that by focusing on schools with no, or few, pupils progressing on to Russell Group universities and increasing the number of pupils who can participate from each school. Ministers and Russell Group universities are committed to ensuring more students from poorer backgrounds have the opportunity to go to leading universities. This requires more students to get good grades in the right subjects, but also for schools to encourage their students to apply.
Step-change in ambition will mean higher standards for all The government announces a new accountability system that will help ensure all children are literate and numerate.
An ambitious new accountability system will raise standards across the board because of its high expectations and its focus on the progress made by every child from age 4 to 19, the government announced.
Schools Minister David Laws said it was right that schools and colleges would be held accountable for ensuring every child is able to read and write well, and has good maths skills. This will mean all young people leave education with the skills needed to compete for apprenticeships, places at leading universities and good jobs, helping to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.
key element of the new system. This baseline will be a simple check of a child’s level of understanding - for instance, counting and picture or letter recognition - carried out by the child’s teacher in the first few weeks of reception secondary schools ensure all pupils study a broad curriculum and achieve a good set of qualifications at age 16, with an emphasis on English and maths, and subjects most valued by employers and universities. The focus on progress, with the C grade threshold scrapped, will mean all pupils will get the attention they deserve colleges and school sixth forms - following the recommendations made by Professor Alison Wolf in her groundbreaking review of vocational education - will be expected to ensure young people study stretching academic and vocational qualifications which equip them well for employment or further study. Where students have not achieved a C in GCSE English or maths at 16, they will continue studying English or maths as part of their 16 to 19 studies
All schools and colleges will also have to publish the essential information about their performance - giving parents an at-a-glance overview of the progress a school’s pupils make, and the grades they achieve.
He added that the new system of measuring performance was much fairer on schools and colleges, would expose both underperforming and coasting schools, and would mean all pupils received the attention they deserved to achieve to their full potential.
Primary schools will show pupils’ progress from age 4 to 11 (compared to others with similar starting points in reception); what proportion reach the demanding new standard at age 11; how well pupils do on average at age 11; and what proportion of their pupils are rated ‘high achieving’.
Across primary and secondary schools, and into post-16 education, the higher standards will be underpinned by more rigorous tests and qualifications, a high quality of teaching for all pupils, and a strong focus on the key subjects of English and maths.
Secondary schools will show pupils’ progress from age 11 to 16 (compared to others with the same results at age 11); what their pupils’ average grade is across 8 subjects; what proportion of their pupils achieve at least a C in English and maths; and what proportion of their pupils achieve the EBacc.
The new system will help: • primary schools ensure all children start secondary school able to read well, write well, and have a solid grounding in maths. There will be a new, more ambitious bar (set at 85% of a school’s pupils) while a reception baseline will mean that progress is a
Don’t fear Big Brother It’s unlikely that when George Orwell wrote 1984 he would have realised (though he may have hoped) the impact his words would have. The phrase “Big Brother is watching you” has become ingrained in the minds of society. Everyone knows its meaning, though not necessarily its origin. What is universally understood is that Big Brother is something to fear; a spy that monitors and controls lives. But is Big Brother always to be feared? Does it not also play a very important role in keeping those it watches safe and happy? As Orwell said, “the choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better”. The answer must be situation dependent. Within schools at the moment, there’s been a move towards the monitoring of student computers. Rather than blocking children from accessing dubious websites, or from using certain social media sites, schools have begun to use monitoring to track student behaviour online and to tackle violations of school policy as and when they arise. This tactic is a great improvement on blocking; it gives students the freedom to use the internet as they wish and doesn’t prevent them from accessing useful, educational sites that might otherwise be blocked by restrictive filters. Children should be aware of their school’s internet policy. If they break this by using prohibited words, monitoring equipment will collect real-time evidence and alert the school with screen recordings of the violation to provide context. Teachers then have the opportunity to deal with issues in real-time, helping them to educate students on e-safety or on acceptable online behaviour at an appropriate time. Monitoring also protects students from incidents of cyberbullying – picking up on terms associated with bullying so that victims can be identified and protected. According to the charity Beat Bullying as many as 25 per cent of students will experience cyberbullying, while, sadly, 20 young people who are bullied will commit suicide each year. If monitoring helps identify bullying so that it can be dealt with correctly, perhaps it can help reduce this figure. More than this, monitoring protects students from themselves. The best monitoring technology includes libraries of terms used by children, from the obvious to the lesser known. While the teacher might not know that GNOC is a phrase associated with sexting, monitoring software does. If a student looks up or uses any term associated with self-harm, anorexia, drugs,
suicide etc these will also be spotted; depression is one of the biggest dangers facing young people today and monitoring in this way has the potential to save lives. Of course it wouldn’t be a fair debate if the other side of the argument wasn’t put forward. Those against monitoring student computer use argue that it is an infringement of the human right to privacy. While there’s no free standing British law regarding the ‘right to privacy’, there is significant scope for using the law to protect personal liberties. Though students under the age of 18 are legally considered minors, they are still subject to the same basic rights as adults, and tracing their computer use does restrict their personal freedom. Another argument is ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Does every student deserve to be treated with suspicion and monitored? Many would argue that monitoring can and should be used, but only if an individual has given the school cause to suspect that they are abusing the school’s computer policy. Unless they have done this, or have a history of rule breaking, surely they should be given the benefit of the doubt? Only students that have already broken school rules should lose their right to privacy and be monitored. And what about students who type, or mistype, a word with good intentions? They may be looking up a term for an educational purpose, or may not even know that a word is banned. No matter the justification, its use will still alert the school and bring the student under suspicion, potentially causing them to be punished without cause. The word ‘sex’ is a prime example here. With so many meanings, how can a teacher be sure of the student’s purpose in typing it? This final argument can easily be broken apart. Top-of-the-range monitoring systems can take screenshots of violations as they happen, making false-accusations rare. Additionally, words such as ‘sex’ that can be taken out of context can be set to trigger videos, recording a few seconds of screen time in order to improve the teacher’s judgement. The other arguments against monitoring, i.e. the ‘right to privacy’, and ‘innocent until proven guilty’, deserve proper consideration. However, most would agree that the safety of students must come first; if monitoring can save one student from online crime, protect them from bullying or alert the school to a case of depression, surely it’s a worthwhile tactic? Students are unlikely to be happy about a monitoring policy, but their fears should be allayed by the understanding that their every move isn’t scrutinised. Monitoring software will 18
only notify teachers if they view sites or type words that flag concerns. For years schools have relied on blocking as an e-safety tactic, but this is no longer preventing students from abusing online policies. Many know how to bypass filters using basic computer programmes, rendering the blocks useless. Monitoring is the most effective tool schools have in the fight against online abuse. True, it doesn’t prevent students from violating school policy, but it provides an opportunity for teachers to protect and educate students, hopefully stopping them from doing so again in the future. Even Orwell would understand that.
Tablet killed the PC star... There’s no denying that the tablet computer is a fantastic thing. It’s easy to see why sales have rocketed and analysts like IDC are predicting they will outsell PCs by next year. They can be affordable, easy to use, portable, and offer sufficient computing power for the majority of owners. In fact, when was the last time you actually sat down at a PC outside of work? Ease of use wins out and families nationwide are the target of manufacturers like Tesco, who have cheaper tablet models such as the 7” Hudl suitable for the younger generation, and Apple who has its own dedicated ‘Kids’ category in the App Store. A research firm claimed last year that 8.8 per cent of British tablet users in 2013 were aged 0 to 11 and 7.2 per cent 12 to 17 – this means that 3.2 million children and teenagers are using tablets in the UK. This increased tablet usage is also reflected in UK classrooms. A couple of years ago it would have been unusual for a school to have access to tablet computers, but these days academia is increasingly reliant on tablet and mobile devices. If you attended Bett this year then you’d have found them on almost every stand as exhibitors used them to demonstrate the latest educational innovations. I’m sure you’ve all come across the Raspberry Pi and heard the rhetoric about instilling the younger generation with coding skills to secure the UK’s science and technology future, making children as employable as possible. It’s a sensible campaign and one which a lot of students will benefit from. However, what about the majority of children who don’t grow up to be the next Zuckerberg? What will they do? In all likelihood they’ll use a combination of IT in the workplace, but primarily they’ll continues overleaf u Education Magazine
Tablet killed the PC star...continued be expected to use basic office software packages and a PC. In fact when it comes down to productivity, tablets are limited. While good for media consumption or making basic edits to documents, they are not designed for heavy production. The touch screen keyboards are useful but not as easy to use as a standard keyboard, and by their very nature they have small screens that are not built for everyday, all day work. We also don’t envisage a future in which they’re the cost effective option for the workplace – monitors will always need to be big, keyboards will often need to be replaced, and the computing muscle powering most workplace machines is minimal, as employees use their browsers to access
applications in the cloud and combine them with basic desktop document software. Tablets have their place in education textbooks can be uploaded and automatically updated on tablets - research suggests children find them more ‘fun’ to learn on. Tablet manufacturers are now designing models specifically for schools, boasting features like toughened glass, sturdier cases, and they come loaded with the best academic apps on the market. Some are even kitted with keyboard docks, arguably making them the best of both worlds. But this doesn’t mean they should become the dominant computing force in schools. Ofcom claims that the proportion of UK households with a tablet had increased from 11 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 to 24 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 – we can reasonably expect this to increase again this year as prices drop and new, budget models
come out. Teachers need to make sure that in the face of this burgeoning tablet usage and the coding revolution, that the IT basics are not forgotten: touch typing, popular office software usage, and operating system maintenance are key skills employers will still be looking for in five years time and these will be what the majority of children rely on in the workplace. As such they should be as embedded a skill as reading, writing or arithmetic. Otherwise we face the prospect of a whole generation of children lacking the basic IT skills they need to get ahead in the workplace. By the same token employers should take note of changing technologies, adopting the tablet in the workplace where possible so that, when students reach the working environment, their skills will be transferable. By Jon Valentine, Managing Director of Impero Software
10 things we should tell you about fraudsters Criminals are entrepreneurial and are always finding new ways to steal your money and / or information. At the Business Crime Reduction Centre we are constantly looking for ways to raise awareness of what they are up to. Here are 10 things we thought you should know about fraudsters.
They want your identity Your personal information is more valuable than you realise. Fraudsters will scour the internet to collect your details – don’t make it easy for them. Your Facebook profile is a treasure trove of information – full name, date of birth, pets name, mother’s maiden name, favourite sports club…just think what they could do with that!
They’ll tell you it’s free even when it’s not It’s a cliché but always check the small print. They offer you ‘free’ listing in a business directory that will ‘raise the profile of your organisation to infinity and beyond’ but unfortunately there’s some small print at the bottom of the form. It says you owe them £250+VAT and you’ve signed it so you have to pay. Do read it – don’t sign it.
They can out smart your phone Have you ever downloaded an app on your smartphone from an unreliable source? This is all they need to hack into your phone and use it as they wish. Mobile malware – there’s an app for that!
They want to renew your web domain Another popular email scam is bogus domain name renewals. They know your domain; they know your contact details (it’s on your website) so they con you into renewing it. Don’t fall for it.
They want to be your friend Have you ever received a Facebook friend request from someone you don’t know? Did you accept it thinking ‘what harm could it do’? The answer is – a lot. They can spread malware amongst your friends, steal data and send malicious messages. Who needs friends like that?
They follow the latest trends Cybercrime boffins like to change the f’s to ph’s to describe the latest threats. Phreaking is the newest addition and this is when criminals hack into your phone system, call premium numbers and rack up your phone bill. You’ll find out when you receive the bill.
They’re on eBay as well The vast majority of eBay sellers are honest traders. Then there are those who will take your money and not deliver the goods. Always check a sellers review – a lot of positive feedback is hard to fake.
10) If it ain’t broke they still want to fix it
They’re not a full package Fake Royal Mail emails are doing the rounds. They state ‘Royal Mail has detained your package’ for whatever reason and you have to complete the attached form. The only thing this will deliver is a virus to your computer. Our advice? Delete the email.
The Business Crime Reduction Centre (BCRC) provides free and impartial crime reduction advice to small and medium sized businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region. The services available are varied and are adapted to suit business needs, covering physical security, fraud prevention and ICT security as well as free training events.
They will offer you the world Congratulations – you’ve won an iPad or a lottery you never entered! Alternatively they will tell you your bank account has been hacked or your tax return is overdue and you just have to click on a link…don’t click the link. These are phishing emails and you should never respond to them – even to unsubscribe.
For more information please visit: www.bcrc-uk.org
Your phone rings, it’s someone claiming to be from ‘Microsoft’ and they want to help you with your computer. They want you to grant them access to your PC. Hang up and don’t let them anywhere near it.
The Business Crime Reduction Centre is delivered in partnership with Yorkshire-based charity, People United Against Crime and South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside Police forces. BCRC is part financed by the European Union through the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013.
Locuro is the innovative mobile phone tracking solution that has been developed exclusively for schools. Designed to provide parental peace of mind, it allows authorised parents to follow school trips involving their children live online. They can follow the trip step by step including photos, video and audio blogs which are all shown on the map at the location they were uploaded. Parental peace of mind and indeed that of the school staff is further improved in the knowledge that all trips have Locuroâ€™s 24/7 Emergency Response Centre to hand.
If a trip hits a problem they use the emergency button which puts them straight through to a highly trained controller. The Controller is presented with the location of the trip and the relevant information and can then bring in the school SMT/ SLT, local authority, emergency services and if abroad the local Embassy or the FCO Global Response Team. The entire package including phone, all UK data, 2 weeks a year of roaming data and 40 minutes of calls per month costs just ÂŁ30.00 per month. For further details go to www.locuro.com
New arts GCSEs to be introduced in 2016 Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that a number of arts-based subjects are to be reformed as rigorous, demanding and worldclass new GCSEs and A levels for first teaching from September 2016. At GCSE level, they are art and design, music, drama, and dance. Five other subjects - citizenship, computer science, design and technology, PE, and religious studies - will also be reformed on this timetable. The announcement means students will be able to access high-quality, rigorous GCSEs in the arts at the same time as reformed GCSEs in languages, history, sciences and geography. Only GCSEs in English and maths will be reformed more quickly (for first teaching from September 2015). New GCSEs in the 9 subjects announced today will be re-designed to the same high standards as new GCSEs in the EBacc subjects, content for which is being published later today. The Department for Education has already announced content for rigorous new GCSEs in English and maths, which will be available a year earlier, from September 2015. These 9 GCSEs can be included within the new secondary accountability measure, which is based on a pupil’s progress in 8 subjects - English and maths; 3 EBacc subjects; and 3 other subjects (which can be EBacc subjects, but which can also be these new GCSEs, or high-quality vocational qualifications). The increase in the number of subjects that count in performance tables (from 5 to 8) will encourage more schools to ensure more students do well in the arts. At A level, music, drama, and dance, as well as design and technology, PE, and religious studies will be reformed. These new A levels will ensure that students have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in demanding undergraduate courses. They will be taught for the first time in September 2016, alongside new A levels in maths, further maths, languages and geography. It has already been announced that new A levels in art and design, business, computer science, economics, English literature, English language, English language and literature, history, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology will be taught from September 2015. Content for these subjects will be announced later today. The content of the more demanding content for the 9 GCSE subjects and 6 A level subjects will be developed by exam boards drawing
on the advice of subject experts such as Dyson, Arts Council England, the Design and Technology Association, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Music Education Council, British Computer Society and the Religious Education Council. A level content will also be based on the advice of respective subject experts from universities. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: I am passionate about great art, drama, dance, music and design, and I am determined to ensure every child enjoys access to the best in our culture. I also want all schools to be able to nurture creative talent in every child. That is why I am delighted that new high-quality qualifications in creative and cultural subjects will be made available to all students. They will now have the chance to take these new qualifications from September 2016. This is fantastic news for cultural education in England’s schools.
Gove welcomes reappointment of Amanda Spielman as Chair of Ofqual Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the reappointment of Amanda Spielman for a further 5 years. Amanda Spielman was first appointed as the Chair of Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) in 2011. Michael Gove said: Throughout her tenure, Amanda has proven to be a respected chair of the Ofqual board, ensuring that Ofqual has been a strong regulator, driving up standards in exams and increasing confidence in the system. Under her guidance Ofqual has retained its focus and rigour, making sure that our examinations push pupils to reach their full potential, and I am delighted she will be continuing as chair. Amanda Spielman said: I am delighted and honoured to be continuing my role as Ofqual Chair. Over the past 3 years we have seen Ofqual develop and grow as an organisation, while working hard to tackle important issues such as grade inflation and quality of marking, not to mention moving forward with the reforms to GCSEs and A levels. The next few years look set to be equally, if not even more, important for Ofqual. As we continue reform for GCSEs and A levels, Ofqual will play a vital role in ensuring that the qualifications we regulate are among
the best in the world and properly prepare people for their next steps in employment or education. The Education Secretary today also confirmed the reappointment of 3 Ofqual board members: Neil Watts and Tim Balcon, who will serve a further 3 years, and Ray Coughlin, who will serve 1 additional year on the board. Ofqual was established in 2010 following 2 years operating in an interim form. It regulates qualifications, exams and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. It ensures that children, young people and adult learners achieve the results their work deserves and that standards are safeguarded. Appointments to the Ofqual board are public appointments. All such appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for such appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public together with any other relevant information. No political activity has been declared. The Ofqual board now consists of: Chair Amanda Spielman, Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey, Julius Weinberg, Tim Balcon, Ray Coughlin, Philip Fletcher, Maggie Galliers, Neil Watts, Barnaby Lenon, Anne Heal, Roger Taylor, Tom Taylor, Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, and Mike Cresswell.
The national curriculum for England to be taught in all maintained primary and secondary schools from September 2014. The curriculum contains the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects, at all key stages, except key stage 4 English, mathematics and science, which will follow after a public consultation on the draft programmes of study. Teachers should note that in the 2014 to 2015 academic year, pupils in years 2 and 6 should be taught the current programmes of study in English, mathematics and science. These pupils will sit the current key stage 1 and 2 tests respectively. New tests will be available from 2016. Further information about the current primary and secondary curriculums is available on the National Archives. At www.gov.uk/government/collections/ national-curriculum
Education Secretary Michael Gove’s statement about the publication of reformed GCSE and A level content. The Government announced the next steps in the reform of GCSEs and A levels. We are introducing more rigorous content into reformed GCSEs and A levels to be taught from September 2016 and 2015 respectively. Our changes will make these qualifications more ambitious, with greater stretch for the most able; will prepare young people better for the demands of employment and further study; will address the pernicious damage caused by grade inflation and dumbing down, which have undermined students’ achievements for far too long; and will give pupils, parents, teachers, universities and employers greater confidence in the integrity and reliability of our qualifications system. GCSEs In November of last year, the Department for Education published details of revised content for GCSEs in English and mathematics, for first teaching from September 2015. Today, I am publishing revised content for GCSEs in science, history, geography and languages, which will be taught in schools from September 2016. These GCSEs set higher expectations. They demand more from all students and specifically provide further challenge to those aiming to achieve top grades. In science, the level of detail and scientific knowledge required has increased significantly, and there are clearer mathematical requirements for each topic. New content has been added, including the study of the human genome, gene technology, life cycle analysis, nanoparticles and space physics. In history, every student will be able to cover medieval, early modern and modern history - rather than focusing only on modern world history, as too many students do now. Greater emphasis has been placed on British history, which will account for 40% of GCSE rather than 25%, as now; balanced by an increase in the number of geographical areas studied, and an explicit expectation that students will study the wider world. The new GCSE will also be clearer about the range of historical knowledge and methods students will need to develop, from critical assessment of sources to an understanding of chronology, individuals, events and developments. In geography, the balance between physical and human geography has been improved developing students’ locational and contextual knowledge of the world’s continents, countries and regions and their physical, environmental and human features - alongside a requirement that all students study the geography of the UK in depth. Students will also need to use a wide Education Magazine
range of investigative skills and approaches, including mathematics and statistics, and we have introduced a requirement for at least 2 examples of fieldwork outside school. In modern languages, greater emphasis has been placed on speaking and writing in the foreign language, thorough understanding of grammar and translation of sentences and short texts from English into the language. Most exam questions will be set in the language itself, rather than in English; and there will be a sharper focus on using the language appropriately in different contexts, from personal travel to employment or study abroad. Finally, ancient languages have been given a separate set of criteria for the first time, reflecting their specific requirements. Students will now need to translate unseen passages into English, and will have the option to translate short English sentences into the ancient language. We have also provided greater detail about the range and type of literature and sources to be studied, without specifying particular set texts. A levels I am also publishing revised content for A levels in English literature, English language, English literature and language, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, history, economics, business, computer science, art and design and sociology, for first teaching from September 2015. The content for these A levels was reviewed and recommended by Professor Mark E. Smith, vice-chancellor of Lancaster University, drawing on advice from subject experts from higher education establishments and subject associations. By placing responsibility for the content of A levels in the hands of university academics, we hope that these new exams will be more rigorous and will provide students with the skills and knowledge needed for progression to undergraduate study. I thank Professor Smith and all of those involved for their conscientious work and thoughtful suggestions - and I have accepted all of their recommendations for A level content. In the sciences, computer science, economics and business, mathematical and quantitative content has been strengthened: for example, understanding standard deviation in biology and the concepts underlying calculus in physics. In computer science, basic ICT content has been removed and emphasis has been placed instead on programming and far more detailed content on algorithms. In the sciences, there will also be a new requirement that students must carry out a minimum of 12 practical activities, ensuring that they develop vital scientific techniques and become comfortable using key apparatus. This will make sure that all A level scientists develop the experimental and practical skills essential for further study. In history, as well as covering the history of more than one country or state beyond the British Isles, A level students will also now be required to study topics across a chronological range of at least 200 years - increasing breadth of focus. 23
In English literature, to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum, specified texts will include three works from before 1900 - including at least one play by Shakespeare - and at least one work from after 2000. In addition, we have reintroduced the requirement for A level students to be examined on an ‘unseen’ literary text, to encourage wide and critical reading. Finally, in economics, content has been updated to include the latest issues and topics - for example, financial regulation and the role of central banks. Copies of the content for these reformed GCSEs and reformed A levels are available. Alongside these announcements, Ofqual is today setting out its decisions on how these new GCSEs and A levels should be assessed - with linear assessment rather than modules, and a greater focus on exams rather than controlled assessment. All of these reformed A levels will be ready for first teaching in schools from September 2015, and reformed GCSEs from September 2016. Awarding organisations will publish their detailed specifications for these A levels this autumn, and for these GCSEs next autumn - giving schools plenty of time to prepare. New A levels and GCSEs from 2016 Based on the advice of the A level content advisory board established by the Russell Group of leading universities, I have also already announced that A levels in mathematics, languages and geography will be reformed for first teaching from September 2016. I can announce today that GCSEs and A levels in religious studies, design & technology, drama, dance, music and PE - and GCSEs in art & design, computer science and citizenship - will also be reformed and brought up to these new, higher standards for first teaching at the same time, in September 2016. Awarding organisations and subject experts will draft content for these new A levels and GCSEs over the coming months, and we will consult on their recommendations for content - while Ofqual consults on its recommendations for assessment later in the year. All our reforms to GCSEs and A levels complement the changes we have already made to technical and vocational qualifications, removing those which are not endorsed by businesses or employer bodies from league tables, and leaving only those which represent real achievement. Taken together, these changes mean that every young person in this country will have the opportunity to study high-quality, rigorous, demanding qualifications across the academic and vocational curriculum from September 2016 onwards. These changes will increase the rigour of qualifications, strengthening the respect in which they are held by employers and universities alike. Young people in England deserve world-class qualifications and a world-class education - and that is what our reforms will deliver.
Given the right circumstances every child can achieve incredible things Mark Lehain is a third generation teacher whose grandmother was born a cockney; taught in Cambridgeshire and whose Father taught in the same Maidenhead school for 40 years. However a career in teaching was one Mark was determined not to embark upon. After gaining a degree at Cambridge in 2000 he was enticed into a career at Lloyds TSB Bank where he spent 2 years on the management training scheme. It was in 2002 that his road to Damascus moment occurred and he realised that he wasn’t a banker and what he really wanted to do was teach. During a regular interview with the banks HR department he was asked what specialism he was interested in following, he informed them that it was teaching and then handed his notice in! He took his one year PGCE at Cambridge with maths as his chosen subject. His wife had a teaching job in Bedford and so it seemed like a sensible place to spend a few years whilst he studied. Mark then worked in a upper school in nearby Wotton for 7 years and rose to Assistant Head. Twelve years after moving to Bedford they have four daughters, the eldest is seven and they have put down permanent roots in the community. Mark has been instrumental in creating the first Free School in the UK and is its Principal. It was this process I wanted to discuss with Mark. Education Magazine You and a team of like-minded people have put together a Free school, how and why did you do it? Mark Lehain In 2009 a group of teacher friends and I were sitting around my kitchen table discussing education and what could be done to improve it. I’ve always practiced my teaching in the state system and I discovered that Bedfordshire’s education system had not produced outcomes for its pupils that were comparable with the norm elsewhere. The children are no less able, the teachers are as capable and as hard working as anywhere in the country and funding is as good as anywhere else. So whatever the reason for the outcomes not being as good the situation
needed to change as Bedford’s children deserved better. The usual conversations about how we would do things differently eventually led to the conclusion that we should put our money where our mouth was and open a Free school. The Collation had recently launched a new Education policy, although it was not known how the Free school policy would work in practice. Making my plans a reality would be a full time job so I left the teaching post in Wotton and we became pioneers in the Free school movement. We were fortunate that in September 2010 we were one of the first sixteen proposals to be signed off by the DfE. At that time we were planning to be up and running by September 2011 however we had some issues with planning permission and the date had to be pushed back to September 2012. This delay was disappointing at first however it worked out better in the long run as we had more time to prepare. EM So were you without an income for the period between leaving Wotton School and September 2012? ML For periods of it I was, we had anticipated this and we were living on savings for a while. I did have a period of employment in the Maths Department at Bedford Academy from January to November 2011 and I also did some work with the New Schools Network in this time all of which helped pay the household bills. EM Having negotiated the new policy and your proposal for a school having been signed off, how did you go from that position to one of having an attractive plan to propose to prospective parents? ML During the kitchen brainstorming sessions we put together our thoughts, this consisted of realising that there was no 24
point just offering what was already available locally. We sat down as a group of teachers and fleshed out the Bedford Free School Charter. This was created by asking ourselves the question,
‘By the age of 16 what do we want a child to be able to do and to have experienced?’ This led onto the creation of a long list of experiences and achievements we wanted our pupils to have had by the time they left our school. However the main two were that they must be numerate and literate and also that they must have a set of qualifications that let them get onto the next stage of their lives. The other experiences were things like: They must know how to cook a meal and have a dinner party for 6 people and spent only £10, have been to an opera, run a race, known success and failure. This isn’t so we can churn out members of the chattering classes. This is about making sure the pupils get what I would want for my own kids. For a long time we didn’t have a building, teachers or pupils! For a while it was just me, the project team and a car full of display panels that we used at the public meetings. However as soon as we had the campaign fully underway there was no doubt as to the insatiable thirst from the parents for what we were trying to achieve. With hindsight it seems quite incredible! My ethos about the school is built around the ‘Sophie test’. If you ask anyone here and they will know of this. Sophie is my eldest daughter and I consider that if something is not good enough for her then it’s not good enough for anybody else’s child either. So whatever happens here, whatever is said or done in class I ask myself ‘Would it be good Education Magazine
enough for my Sophie?’ If it isn’t then it doesn’t happen. This was one of my guiding principles when I was recruiting teachers and is also one of the promises I make to parents. We are not a perfect institution and we have a long way to go in improving things, however as a guiding principal it’s a good one. One day my daughters will come to school here and I want it to be the best it possibly can be. I tell staff that when I’m interviewing, it makes effective recruiting a lot more possible. EM What type of school are you, how do you and your staff operate and what age group? ML We are a secondary school and we operate in an area where there is a three tier school system in operation. This is a reason for the longer school day we have here as it’s not possible to cram all that we need to into a traditional school day. Being a small school it’s important that every child knows every teacher and that teachers can and will successfully go outside their specialism when it’s required. My thinking on this is that I’d rather have outstanding professionals teaching something that they do not specialise in than have a specialist teaching half-heartedly. Its early days and we do not have any outcomes however it seems to be working. A measure of that is the number of students that are joining us due to a reputation generated by word of mouth. EM What is the headcount here for both pupils and teachers and where and how do you draw your pupils from? ML Pupil head count is 390 spread over 4 year groups. We have 47 staff of which 29 are teaching staff. we do not have complicated oversubscription criteria, it being based almost entirely on proximity, so that it’s easy for parents to understand. As we haven’t yet had waiting lists at the start of academic years we haven’t had to use the oversubscription criteria yet. This is a deliberate policy that all the staff thought important. In the future should we become oversubscribed them we will resolve it by proximity. One criticism of Free schools is that they could end up as selective private schools that are paid for by the state, that is not going to happen here. We are located in one of the bottom poorest 10% of wards in England we have 31% of our pupils eligible for the pupil premium, which is above the borough average. 5% of our kids have come from the private school sector. In all we have kids coming to us from 25 different schools and from all parts of the town and the borough. We have a couple of children who come the twenty five miles from Luton. I’m hoping that in the near future we do get more applications than we have spaces as in that scenario then it will be the local children who get the places. EM You are a new school without a track record in an old College building in a town well served for schools, Bedford Academy has opened recently in a fantastic brand Education Magazine
new building and it’s no more than a mile from here. So why are parents sending their children to you? ML It’s a question I do ask parents and the answers vary. Some of the reasons given are that the size of this school was suitable as many people are keen their child should be taught in the small school model. Our bold and ambitious vision of what we expect all our children to achieve academically is also very attractive. By the time a child has reached the age of 16 it will have had ten to twelve thousand hours of school - EVERY child should get a great set of exam results after all that time & effort!. My attitude is that there is no such thing as a good or a bad school for children, there is the right school for a child and there is the wrong school for a child too. I am of the opinion that there is no child in this country that cannot become a world class learner in that time. There are some children that will find this challenging however if we have a child for 5 years and we do not give them the literacy and numeracy skills they need to get on in the world then we need to look at what we are doing and why. The pressure is on as we will be the first free school to have GCSE results! EM You need the right staff to produce results, how do you recruit people all of who are good enough to teach your Sophie? After all you don’t have a track record that makes teachers want to join you any more than you had a reputation that attracts pupils. ML Recruiting the right kind of staff, the ones with the sort of approach and ability I want, is hard. However anyone who starts something will find that’s true, whatever the organisation does. What I am after is people who will bind to the mission; they must believe our mission statement that says; ‘Given the right circumstances every child 25
can achieve incredible things’. Here we do not accept that a child must be handicapped by the environment it’s born into. It has a big impact but I believe that a good school can overcome almost anything.
So I go out and I make that ethos clear when I’m recruiting. I’m fanatical about it. I’ve interviewed lots and lots of people and I do not take them on if I’m at all in doubt about their ability to deliver our ethos. We are very fortunate in that people of the calibre and belief we wanted decided to join us and we had the staff to open with. One key part of that was made possible when the Deputy Principal, Jane Herron, decided to join us in February 2012. Potential teaching staff could then see that it wasn’t just one person being messianic; there was a pair of us! It was a lot of very hard work however as more people bought into the mission statement and our beliefs then it became less difficult to persuade the other people we really wanted to join us. EM Where is the school going over the next two years or so? ML 20th August 2015 is engraved on my mind because that’s the day our first set of GCSE results come out. So we are concentrating everything on making sure the students get a really good set of results and have a plan A, B and C about what they are then going to do after that. I’m determined that very child will have a plan of what to do after they leave here, plus a couple of backups. Because we are not going to have a sixth form. That also makes us a good proposition for local schools who do, we will have 100 pupils looking for somewhere to study, that gives us leverage! continues overleaf u
The other target is to fill the school up so that we will have 500 students so enabling us to deliver the broader balanced curriculum with all the bells and whistles added on that will make it special. EM What about the proposal to change the term structure about, some quarters have muted it could go to a four term year, would you consider that? ML We have looked at it; however we decided that as schools are there to serve the educational needs of parents and children so the parents are our customers. So we need to work with them and with their requirements. If we changed unilaterally then it would cause massive inconvenience and difficulty for parents. However I do think there is scope for terms to be altered, but only with the co-operation of parents and if it were something the whole area did at the same time. improved since we opened. This is partly as a result of our putting staff on the nearby crossings to keep the kids in order and prevent stupidity taking place. EM If asked to address a meeting of people who were thinking of opening a free school, what would you say to them?
EM When you were setting this school up there was much in the local papers about the difficulties the actions of the council were causing. One was to do with planning permission for this being a school, the other was problems its creation could cause with parking on nearby roads. The application was called in by the Secretary of State and passed by his office. Were the council being difficult because they didn’t want you to set up the school, or were the planning issues genuine?
ML I get wheeled out every now and then by the DfE to talk to prospective free school groups and I always preface what I tell them with the phrase. ‘Do as I say, not as we did then!’ However the things that really are vital are: Be really clear about what you are trying to do and why. Be really distinctive and listen to the feedback you are receiving. This will tell you if you are on to something or not. I have seen a lot of Free School projects burst onto the scene and then fizzle out as they were not giving parents and families what was needed.
ML I think we have to take the word of the councillors on the planning committee who voted against us when they say their concerns were based on road safety rather than politics. However, the Planning Inspectorate did find in our favour when we appealed, and they awarded costs against the council at that point.
The biggest mistake we made was to be perhaps too specific at a very early stage about where we were going to locate the school. Our original plan was to open in Kempston as the facts and figures on educational outcomes showed that it was the best place to do it. We had pitched the prospective parents on the location and the support was forthcoming. So when we had to locate in the centre of Bedford (a mile and a half away from Kempston) we had a lot of work to do to retain the existing support. So I emphasise that its important tell people the area you are going to be in, not the specific postcode.
Having said that we now have a really good working relationship with the Local Authority and the new Chief Education Officer has proved to be fantastic and an enthusiastic supporter of what we are doing here. So there were issues with the local council however they are resolved and everyone is now working together splendidly. With regards to the parking issues the parking office is 2 doors down from here and the staff have said that the traffic situation has
Retaining and utilising the parents support is also vital, when we ran into difficulty over the councils objections it was the parents who were lobbying and persuading their neighbours to support us, they were even more supportive as they considered we were being unfairly treated, it created a blitz like spirit and made us all more determined to succeed. This made a huge difference to the outcome. Parental power also carries over into the day to day life of the school. When 26
Ofsted did the parental survey as part of their inspection they received more replies from our parents in twenty four hours than most schools three times the size have had since the survey section was created. Ofsted were getting letters as well as the survey being returned. It was amazing and I’m sure that support will continue as the school grows, and we can only benefit from it. EM You recently had an Ofsted inspection, is there a built in discrimination against new schools and how did it go generally? ML As of today I haven’t had the results, I’m due an outline report any day now. However the inspection went well and I could not have asked for a better group of people to come and do it. We were worked very hard and I’m glad of that, What I have realised is that the inspection process is very data driven and as we do not have 3 years of back data to show so the results we can achieve at first inspection are limited. On reflection, and before I have the interim report, I would say that the experience was a worthwhile on that was very constructive and left us feeling that it was worthwhile. I didn’t sleep well the night before the recent inspection, however if we get another one like it I will not be so apprehensive. EM You had a visit from Mr Gove a while ago, what did you do to deserve that? ML When you get a call from the office of Secretary of State or Education saying he would like to visit you say ‘Yes!’ And that would be for whoever was in that job. At the end of the day we are public servants and if the Secretary of State wants to visit then we make the arrangements. I have met Mr Gove on several occasions in the past and the present meeting went off just as well. He was brilliant with the students, charming to the parents and staff and the visit went by all too soon. Thank you for talking to Education Magazine.
Keeping children safe Updated statutory guidance for schools Education Secretary Michael Gove’s statement about the publication of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping children safe in education’. In a Written statement to Parliament Mr Gove stated. I am publishing updated statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges - ‘Keeping children safe in education’. Effective immediately, it has been sent to all schools and colleges and replaces ‘Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education (2006)’. ‘Keeping children safe in education’ provides guidance on:
safeguarding systems, including schools’ child protection policies and the appointment of a designated safeguarding lead
the checks necessary to carry out recruitment safely
dealing with allegations of abuse made against staff members
The guidance informs those working in schools and colleges about:
with confidence in keeping children safe. The new guidance will be available will be available on the government website www.gov.uk.
Guidance for schools on female genital mutilation In a statement after meeting with Fahma Mohamed, the Education Secretary confirms all schools will receive guidance on keeping children safe. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: I was very pleased to meet Fahma Mohamed She has been running an inspirational campaign. Fahma and her supporters have done fantastic work in raising awareness of female genital mutilation. It is a truly horrific crime. We must do everything we can to end it. I outlined to Fahma our plans to send every school in the country guidance on keeping children safe. The guidance will be sent out by Easter and it will specifically include material that will enable everyone working with young people to tackle female genital mutilation. That material will cover:
what we know about the prevalence of female genital mutilation, in the UK and abroad
factors which heighten the risk of a schoolchild in the UK becoming a victim of female genital mutilation
types of abuse and neglect
where to find further information about the signs that a child may be being abused
indications that a child may have been a victim of female genital mutilation
how to refer a child about whom they have concerns
statutory safeguarding duties of teachers and other school staff in relation to female genital mutilation
signposts them to further, detailed information on specific safeguarding issues including female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation, cyberbullying, mental health, and radicalisation
The publication of the new guidance follows a public consultation last year. I have also brought forward an amendment to the School Staffing Regulations (2009) to enable schools to choose the obligatory safe recruitment training that best suits their particular circumstances. These changes will ensure school and college staff are clear about their statutory responsibilities and able to exercise their professional judgement
It also carries links to external expert advice on specific safeguarding issues from the NSPCC. I will write to all headteachers to draw their attention to the updated schools safeguarding guidance and to reiterate that all teachers should familiarise themselves with it. I was interested to hear Fahma’s thoughts on training for teachers in this area and on how education about female genital mutilation can be made age appropriate. I have asked her to send me further evidence of good practice. I thank Fahma - and other courageous public campaigners against female genital mutilation - for their efforts. We all want to see this very serious form of child abuse consigned to history.
Teachers and SEN support staff will be able to apply for funds worth up to £1 million to develop specialist skill Teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff will be able to apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1 million to develop their specialist knowledge and skills. For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SEN support staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs. The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country. Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: We believe that a teaching profession that values continual professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools. These scholarships - alongside other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training - will help deliver our objective to raise the status of teachers. Donna Frost Phillips, a successful applicant from the third round of the fund, said: The fund has allowed me to undertake the specialist dyslexia training course, which I would not have been able to do without this funding. The course is having a direct impact on the literacy development of the learner that I am working with through my training. The school will have a specialist teacher on site, which means children and teachers will have access to specialist advice teaching, meaning they won’t have to buy in specialist support. The outcome of the fourth round will be announced in August 2014. The National Scholarship Fund is open to all qualified teachers and SEN support staff in eligible schools. Applications are assessed against stringent criteria and verified by a panel of experts. Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:
priority specialism of SEN support from school - teachers and support staff are required to demonstrate support from their school in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school The guidance National scholarships for teachers and SEND support staff has more information.
The bursaries will fund up to 50% of a training or development course, up to a maximum of £3,500 for teachers and £2,000 for SEN support staff.
Headteacher standards review Standards for headteachers will be updated for the first time in a decade.
outcomes for pupils. It is a decade since the headteacher standards were last reviewed, and it is right we establish new standards which consider the many different types of school leaders there now are. The review will consider best practice internationally, call for expert advice and evidence, and engage with teachers and leaders. It will aim to establish a set of standards for headteachers that:
New standards for headteachers to reflect the growing diversity of the school system will be drawn up under a review announced by the Department for Education.
are unequivocal, clear and easy to understand
Many governing bodies use the current standards - last reviewed in 2004 - to inform headteacher recruitment and performance assessment.
can be used to assess the performance of headteachers
steer the professional development of both existing and aspiring headteachers
are designed to inspire confidence in headteachers
focus primarily on the key elements of high-quality school and system leadership
The updated standards will be designed by a small group of respected professionals, including headteachers, middle leaders and a chair of governors, and will take into account the changing nature of school leadership, such as executive heads or those responsible for multiple schools under academy trusts. The review will be chaired by Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, executive headteacher of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and CEO of the Bright Futures Educational Trust. Schools Minister David Laws said: We know there is a strong link between school leadership, quality of teaching, and
The review, including draft revised standards, will report to the Secretary of State for Education in the summer, with the intention of publishing standards in the autumn. The focus of the review is the existing set of national standards for headteachers. It will take account of wider leadership reforms, including the revised National Professional Qualification for Headship (2012), and the revised Teachers’ Standards (2011).
New report demonstrates the significant impact of independent schools on the British economy ISC independent schools support a striking £9.5 billion gross value added contribution to Britain’s GDP – larger than the City of Liverpool, or the BBC. They support 227,000 jobs, one for every two pupils and generate £3.6 billion in tax revenues, according to analysis by Oxford Economics, the global economics consultancy. They also make annual savings for the tax payer of £3.0 billion – equivalent to building more than 460 new free schools every year. The high standards of academic achievement shown by ISC school pupils are estimated to contribute an additional annual £1.0 billion to GDP. This is the first time that the contribution of the independent schools’ sector to the British economy has been subject to objective analysis. ISC schools have long been recognised for their educational excellence, but this report demonstrates the extent of their support for and contribution to the British economy.
Protecting children from serious accidents
Child Safety Week 23-29 June 2014 The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is calling on professionals working with children and families to protect children from serious accidents this Child Safety Week (23-29 June 2014). A brand new website has been launched to support professionals to get involved in Child Safety Week. Here they can download a free booklet – brimming with safety facts and advice, links, activity ideas and tips on engaging families – and sign up to access a wealth of free downloadable resources. Downloads include: the Child Safety Week poster; quizzes and activities; pledge forms and certificates; safety cards; audio clips of dangers; lesson plans; evaluation forms; and a template press release to help local organisers promote their Child Safety Week event. Child Safety Week is CAPT’s annual community education campaign, raising awareness of serious childhood accidents and how to prevent them, in ways that engage families and help them to build safety into their daily lives. Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive at the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: “Accidental injury is a major cause of death and one of the most common causes of hospital admissions for children. Many serious accidents can be prevented. But families just aren’t aware of the simple things they can do to keep children safe from harm. “Child Safety Week offers a great platform for engaging families, without finger wagging or wrapping children in cotton wool. If you work with children and their parents, we’d urge you to sign up to Child Safety Week now to access a wealth of free resources.”
To get a free Child Safety Week toolkit, sign-up at www.childsafetyweek.org.uk. Education Magazine
Should schools teach yoga? `What schools should teach` is the subject of continual chatter and debate, from staff rooms to governing bodies, as well as among politicians. With an already crammed curriculum, what hope therefore for anything a little bit different or slightly off-beat? Well, there is some `hope` and increasingly it has been to look eastwards for inspiration, by adding Mandarin to the list of languages taught, or studying the Indian and Chinese economies to equip students for a global economy. But I would argue there’s another great export from the East that should definitely be taught, and it’s one that may not immediately spring to mind: should schools teach yoga? It’s a question I am often asked by my school teacher friends and not just the ones who organise physical education. The reason is that they are often in search of techniques and strategies to create a more productive learning environment. They say, “David, you know all about yoga and are a keen practitioner, as well as running a yoga equipment business, can it benefit the young people I teach? Does it really improve self-discipline and get students in the mood to learn?” The answer is a resounding yes. They are questions that come from a range of teachers, and not just those working with students with behavioural issues, but right through to the most gifted who might also benefit from a bit more calm in their lives, especially when faced with exam pressures and high expectations. Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. It focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. It is easily dismissed as a bit cranky but is actually one of the most popular exercises in the UK with around 500,000 practitioners, a figure that is growing 10 per cent each year. And, no, you don’t need to be a Hindu or Buddhist! India, though, is the home of yoga and back in January the benefits of yoga were brought sharply into focus when the state government of the Kochi region launched a lifestyle education and awareness programme in schools across the state. It put yoga at its heart, to tackle lifestyle diseases among the younger generation head-on. Sounds familiar? Here in the UK, a company has successfully been bringing the benefits of yoga to children for many years. Committed to inclusivity and
Children participating in a yoga class (photo courtesy of Adele Robertson at www.adeleyoga.co.uk)
they make it clear that children don’t need to be fast, have good hand to eye co-ordination or be physically fit to participate. The benefits, they claim, are increased confidence - children are encouraged to be vocal during a class and express their emotions physically. They also use creative visualisation techniques to allow children to believe they are unique and special. Concentration is also improved as yoga’s balancing postures help children focus their mind and keep it in `one place` instead of letting it wander. In fact, an American academic study from 1979 I recently re-read, reminded me how yoga helps with co-ordination, reaction time and memory. For the biologists amongst us, yoga also reduces cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone which can create anxiety. This was recently reported in a review of research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. And what’s good for children is also carried through into adulthood with many top sporting stars swearing by the benefits of yoga. Ryan Giggs is one of the most famous practitioners of yoga and continues to make appearances for Manchester United despite reaching 40. He happily states that yoga’s emphasis on flexibility has helped him prolong his career. Likewise, if faced by injury, yoga has excellent rehabilitative powers. Indeed, much of the equipment we supply at Yoga-Mad is for sports people, but also for the military to help with recovery and rehabilitation from injury. At another extreme, but demonstrating the versatility of yoga, we also supply the Phoenix Trust with yoga equipment, a charitable organisation which offers yoga in prisons to help inmates address anti-social and potentially disruptive behaviour. 30
Thankfully schools do not usually get involved in the extremes of sporting injury and institutional disruption but what yoga does bring to the school environment, and another reason to teach it, is its `female friendliness`. Often, girls in schools are put off by sport and games because of the dominance of young males and macho behaviour, but yoga is an activity they often excel in and one, interestingly, many young males find difficult to do well. So how should my school or academy get started? Firstly, I would suggest you bring in some peripatetic support from a yoga teacher, unless there is a member of staff who is already a practitioner and is able to lead sessions. The British Wheel of Yoga www.bwy.org. uk is the governing body for yoga in the UK and is recognised by Sport England. They can provide advice and they keep a list of approved yoga teachers who can be searched by simply supplying a postcode on their website. As yoga is an indoor activity, you don’t have to keep one eye on the weather, and the space required is your typical gymnasium area where you should be able to lay out sufficient mats to accommodate a whole class or group. Yoga equipment also stores particularly well if space is at a premium. It is easily stackable. Hopefully, I have inspired you to think about adding yoga to your curriculum and as you’ll see from the prices, it’s a very cost effective activity to teach and has the benefit of involving a lot of students at any one time. Yoga-Mad can be contacted at www.yoga-mad.com or by calling 01386 425920 / 01386 424535. By David Elliott, Managing Director of The-Mad-Group. Education Magazine
Government fires starting pistol to tackle physical activity ‘Moving More, Living More’ – The physical activity Olympic and Paralympic legacy for the nation The Government and Mayor of London have launched a team effort to promote physical activity across the country - ensuring it is a lasting legacy of London 2012 and part of a long term vision for a fitter nation. ‘Moving More, Living More’ builds on learning from the world’s most active countries, that action on physical activity needs to be a long term effort and is best tackled through a team approach across government and all sectors. By bringing together individuals and key organisations, like local authorities, businesses and employers, this approach will make sure the drive to tackle physical activity:
Has strong leadership – at national, local and community level;
Involves partners across all sectors and levels working together;
Shines a light on existing good practice, celebrating the work of local champions who drive a huge variety of local activities;
Provides opportunities which work for people. This is not just about telling people to do more exercise because it is good for them, it is about giving them the opportunity to be active in ways which fit into their everyday lives and which suits their interests and;
Recognises and tackles the barriers that prevent people being active.
On the launch of this new initiative the Prime Minister, David Cameron said: The country was captured by the spirit of the 2012 Games, inspired by our sporting heroes and their many achievements. We now need to build on this, creating a nation that’s physically active and improving their health for the long term. We need to provide communities with the encouragement to come together and realise the physical and social benefits of being more active. Government, Local Government, business and community groups must now join together to help make this ambition a reality. The Government has already put in place a wide range of measures to help people become more active:
£450 million over three years for PE and sport in our primary schools to help our children move more and live more;
The Department for Transport and Department of Health have given £78 million to fund cycling and walking projects and;
28.5 per cent of adults fail to achieve even 30 minutes of physical activity over seven days, and;
Only 21 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls aged 5 – 15 are achieving 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Nearly 300 businesses and organisations are signed up to the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal Physical Activity Network and are taking action to get their staff, customers and local communities more active.
But the Government and Mayor of London want to go further and encourage more initiatives like the one being led by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), who are working with the Swimathon Foundation to get children swimming. As part of the Responsibility Deal, the ASA, and its partner the Swimathon Foundation, have today pledged to recruit and provide tools for schools to inspire 10,000 youngsters who have acquired essential swimming skills to ‘Swim their Best’ - swim further and for longer. Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, said: Physical activity is an essential ingredient for a healthier nation, and can deliver so many other benefits for individuals and the wider community.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: My vision is for a healthier, fitter city and we are encouraging Londoners to be more active in their everyday lives. This might include cycling to work, using the stairs rather than the lift, getting off the bus a few stops early, or getting into social activities like dance. Our goal is to build on the legacy we are creating from the London 2012 Games, which is already getting hundreds of thousands of Londoners participating in grassroots sport, thanks to initiatives like our Make a Splash mobile pools scheme.
The Olympic and Paralympic legacy has already delivered good results with over 1.5 million more people doing sport once a week than when we won the bid to host the Games. By working together we can achieve more and make sure that getting more people moving is the biggest legacy of London 2012. The ASA’s Responsibility Deal pledge was launched today – helping to get 10,000 school children swimming. This exemplifies our commitment across government to this approach. The benefits of physical activity are clear:
People who do a lot of exercise reduce their risk of dying early by 30 per cent;
Physical activity can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by between 20 and 35 per cent;
People who get their recommended 150 active minutes a week can halve their chances of getting type 2 diabetes;
For children higher intensity activities are great for growing healthy bones and muscle and;
Greater footfall in our high streets, reduced pollution and congestion, and stronger communities
However a large proportion of the UK population is still inactive:
Only 56 per cent of adults meet the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week;
The Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, Lord Coe said: The legacy from the 2012 Games is a longterm project to deliver lasting change. But this initiative has the biggest potential impact for our nation’s health. A joined up approach to challenging inactivity and encouraging physical activity is key. Moving More, Living More” will bring together government, local government, business and above all the individuals and community groups - who know how to get people moving. The launch of “Moving More, Living More” will take place at Daubeney Primary School in Hackney, which has one of the lowest rates of children who can swim in the country. The school is already helping its pupils get active and is taking part in the type of initiative the Government and Mayor of London want to hear about. The school has recently taken delivery of a portable swimming pool, funded by the Mayor’s “Make a Splash” scheme
and arranged by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). This is helping to get more children active and swimming. The pool is even available for use by members of the wider community, after school hours – providing wider benefits and supporting members of the community to get more exercise.
and sport activities.
Training for sports teachers
PE and Sport Premium
The Prime Minister also confirmed today that a new pilot programme to produce a group of primary teachers who specialise in PE has seen 61 trainees complete the course and 59 more began last month.
The dedicated primary PE and Sport Premium, which was announced in March 2013 and began the following September, goes directly to primary school head teachers so that they can decide how best to use it to provide sporting activities for pupils. A typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils this year received £9,250, the equivalent of around 2 days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time – enough to make sure every pupil in the school can do sport with a specialist. Primary schools around England are already using the premium to:
Helen Grant, Minister for Sport said: Taking part in regular physical activity has so many positive benefits from improved well-being to having a healthier body and that’s why the “Moving More, Living More” campaign is so important. Getting more people to be more active is an essential focus for us, not only across Government, but for clubs and organisations around the country with whom we work. I want to thank the ASA for their commitment to this important campaign and would urge other organisations to do the same.
up-skill teachers to improve the quality of sport lessons
invest in quality coaching
• • •
offer more after-school clubs
improve sport teaching for children with special educational needs
deliver holiday and weekend activities
provide more opportunities for pupils to take part in inter-school competitions purchase better equipment introduce new and unusual sports like fencing, climbing, ultimate frisbee and Danish long-ball to encourage more children to enjoy sport
boost Change4Life clubs, helping children build a healthier lifestyle
Edward Timpson, Minister responsible for school sport, said: We want all children to develop a healthy lifestyle and a love of sport from a young age, which they’re then more likely to continue throughout their lives. That’s why this government, through the primary PE and sport premium, is giving more than £150m per year to primary schools to spend on improving sport and PE, and trusting headteachers to spend it on what they think will benefit their pupils most. This ring-fenced funding shows just how committed this government is to securing a lifetime habit of physical activity for young people: a truly lasting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Funding for primary school sports David Cameron highlighted the primary PE and Sport Premium and a fund for primary schools to improve outdoor spaces for PE
In addition, from this month primary schools across England will be able to apply for a share of an £18 million fund to improve outdoor spaces for PE and sporting activities. The Lottery-funded scheme will be run by Sport England and will prioritise schools with limited outside space and a strong commitment to PE and sport. The schools are expected to receive an average of £30,000 each to help them vastly improve their sports provision. The funding will make sure they have better equipment and facilities - eg turning a concrete playground into a quality space for PE and sporting activities. School Games David Cameron announced an additional £11 million investment for the School Games to help continue to inspire more young people to take up competitive sport. Organised by the Youth Sport Trust and supported by National Lottery and exchequer funding from Sport England, the School Games aims to enable every school and child to participate in competitive sport, including meaningful opportunities for young people with disabilities. Designed across 4 levels, for both primary and secondary pupils, it offers opportunities for young people to compete in intra-school, inter-school and regional competitions.
The total 120 specialist teachers, who will support other teachers to develop their skills and improve quality of PE teaching, will start in primary schools from September. The training schools are currently recruiting for a further 120 trainees to start training in September 2014, which will mean over 200 specialist primary PE/sport teachers in post by September 2015.
More volunteers to be recruited for the School Games The Department for Education announces a £490,000 grant extension to help recruit and train School Games volunteers More than 1,400 extra volunteers and coaches will be recruited and trained to help deliver the School Games, DfE announced today. Children’s Minister Edward Timpson announced the volunteer leaders and coaches grant will be extended for a further year at £490,000. The grant aims to increase the quantity and quality of the volunteer workforce supporting and developing the School Games. The Sainsbury’s School Games is a national programme that aims to motivate and inspire millions of young people across the country to take part in more competitive sport. More than half of primary and secondary schools took part in 2012. The money will be distributed through Sport England to county sports partnerships, with each receiving £10,000 to recruit, train and deploy 20 volunteer leaders and coaches to support the games - a total of 1,470 across the country. The majority of these volunteers will be young people between the ages of 16 and 25, as evidence suggests younger volunteers are more likely to continue to volunteer over time, and this gives young people the opportunity to be involved in sport once they leave school. The announcement comes after the launch of Moving More, Living More, a crossgovernment strategy to increase participation in physical activity to provide an Olympic and Paralympic legacy for the nation. Edward Timpson said: I have seen just how much of a difference the School Games can make to young people and I’m delighted to announce this extension to help the programme go from strength to strength. I’m proud of this government’s work to secure the Olympic legacy and I’m determined to ensure all children have the chance to play sport and keep fit at school.
NEWS News News News NEWS News NEWS News
Thousands more 16and 17-year-olds in education or training New figures reveal that 35,000 more 16- and 17-year-olds are in education or training. Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock hailed new figures revealing that 35,000 more 16- and 17-year-olds are in education or training. Local authority statistics show that:
89.8% of 16- and 17-year olds were in education or training, compared to 87.9% the year before, equivalent to 35,482 more young people
more than three-quarters of local authorities reported higher numbers of 16- and 17-year-olds in education or training than the previous year
These figures echo the Office for National Statistics’ latest Labour Force Survey, which also showed more 16- and 17-year-olds were in education or training at the end of 2013 than the previous year. Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: Tens of thousands more young people in education or training is welcome news. We
have introduced new traineeships, have reformed apprenticeships and have raised the participation age to help more young people into the world of work. This shows good progress. We have a clear programme of reforms to improve the quality of young people’s education to ensure, through traineeships and apprenticeships, that all have the chance to reach their potential. The government has a package of measures to help young people get the best possible start in life. This includes:
a programme of traineeships, including more than 500 training organisations such as Virgin Media and Siemens
radically reforming apprenticeships so that they are more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers
replacing the wasteful and inefficient Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) with targeted financial support through our £180million 16 to 19 bursary fund
requiring schools and colleges to provide independent careers guidance up to age 18
Young people leaving secondary school must now continue in education or training until age 17. From September 2015, this will rise
to 18. These figures, which are the first local authority figures to be released since the government made these changes, also show that 93.9% of 16-year-olds are participating, the first year group to be affected by the change in the law on participation.
Product Showcase School lunchtimes are child’s play thanks to Gopak Individual chairs were causing the preparation of lunchtime at St Andrew’s C of E School to be a Reply long and drawn No. out process. With 24 over 200 pupils to seat, feed and then leave the dining hall – valuable time was being taken up moving furniture ready for the next hall activity. It was decided that an alternative must be found. As a past Gopak customer St Andrew’s knew the quality and value for money to expect from their order of folding tables, stacking benches and table trolley. Both the benches and tables are lightweight, allowing them to be easily and quickly moved to their storage location once they are no longer in use. This makes them ideal for schools with multi-functional halls. Business Manager Clare Kightley said “the trolley system makes it a lot easier and quicker to clear the hall after lunchtime ready for other activities.” For further information on Gopak’s range of products visit www.gopak.co.uk