Tag Archives: education
Schools are being forced to axe breakfast clubs – with the result that poorer pupils are turning up for lessons hungry and unable to concentrate.
A survey of more than 500 teachers revealed that some schools had stopped providing breakfasts as the squeeze on public spending begins to bite.
Next week delegates to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference will urge the Government to provide the extra cash to keep them going.
Michael Gove’s flagship education project has been dealt an embarrassing blow after inspectors demanded that three of the new wave of “free schools” must improve their teaching, leadership and pupil performance. In the first official verdict on the Education Secretary’s free schools programme, Ofsted inspectors have ruled that three of the first nine institutions to be examined are “not good” schools.
The “requires improvements” judgement handed down to Batley Grammar School in Yorkshire, Sandbach School in Cheshire and Kings Science Academy in Bradford is the third-lowest of the four possible grades that Ofsted can give – one above the “inadequate” rating. Each school now faces another full-scale inspection within the next two years.
The government risks destabilising the entire school exam system by rushing through plans to replace GCSEs with the Ebacc, a change that may be unnecessary, a committee of MPs has warned in a damning report.
The investigation, by the education select committee, challenges almost every justification the education secretary, Michael Gove, has given for phasing out GCSEs in favour of the new qualification, saying there is particular worry the change could disadvantage less academic pupils.
It calls into question Gove’s wider programme of rapid change, warning of a “lack of overall coherence” in how the government is approaching several key elements of education.
10 January: The Daily Mail reports that budgets for training nursery staff and childminders is to be cut by 40% after David Cameron and Nick Clegg failed to agree a deal on funding.
Labour used Freedom of Information laws to reveal how much councils have spent on training for the early years workforce and supporting childcare providers to employ well-qualified staff.
In 2010-11 almost 140 councils in England spent £93.3million but a year later the budget had been cut by 40 per cent to £56million.
Mr Twigg adds: ‘The Government has slashed the budget for training for nursery staff, putting quality at risk. In four areas – Redcar, Enfield, Solihull and Lewisham, there is now no money available for councils to provide nursery staff training.’
Just 15 councils increased their spending year-on-year.
10 January: The Independent reports that Education Secretary Michael Gove has “no objections” to private companies running schools for a profit after the 2015 election.
The controversial idea has been vetoed by the Liberal Democrats, who fear it would be seen as back-door privatisation of the education system. It will not be implemented before the 2015 election, but is now seen as a front-runner for inclusion in the Tory manifesto.
Bright Blue, a modernising pressure group regarded as David Cameron’s natural ally, will propose the move in a book to be published next week calling for the Coalition’s public service reforms to be extended through an injection of market forces.
9th January: The Independent reports that the coalition’s flagship academy schools programme does not necessarily provide any better performance, and flouts rules on selection to artificially pick the best pupils.
The [Acadamies] commission, headed by the former chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert, says it was told of examples of academies “willing to take a ‘low road’ approach to school improvement by manipulating admissions”. The decision to give them control over their own admissions practices has, it adds, “fuelled concerns that the growth of academies may entrench rather than mitigate social inequalities”.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, warned: “This is a situation which will only get worse as the Government hands yet more schools over to unaccountable sponsors and allows more free schools to open.”
Stephen Twigg, Labour’s Education spokesman, said the report showed the school system was becoming “chaotic, impacting on standards and fairness”.