Supporters of Michael Gove's education reforms have launched a movement to campaign for an alternative to Theresa May's plans to expand grammar schools. The nonpartisan group, called Parents and Teachers for Excellence, will champion high academic standards rather than expanding selection. Members will encourage more schools to embrace a rigorous curriculum, including regular testing, longer school days and a robust approach to behaviour. Mr Gove, the former education secretary, is not included in the group, which features founders and principals of several free schools and the leaders of some academy chains. They hope to build a network of campaigners including heads and teachers.
The Times, Page: 20
Plaid calls for Welsh language education boost
The teaching of Welsh needs to be boosted to help reach the Welsh government's target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, Plaid Cymru has said. The party wants more funding found to ensure more teachers and assistants can use the language in the classroom. Shadow Education Secretary Llyr Gruffydd claimed the number of children being taught in Welsh was "flatlining". In the motion for debate, Plaid called for a "clear timetable" for a new GCSE to replace the one for Welsh as a second language. Meanwhile, the Welsh language commissioner has said ministers should intervene to ensure local councils respond to demand for Welsh-medium education in their areas.
Swinney to launch digital skills strategy
A new Scottish Government strategy to increase the use of new technology in classrooms is aimed at helping more youngsters to develop the “digital skills that will be vital for life, learning and work in today’s increasingly digitised world”. The strategy also aims to develop the skills and confidence of teachers when using the latest technology, as well as making digital devices - such as computers and tablet devices - more accessible to all learners. Education Secretary John Swinney said strategy is a key part of the Scottish Government’s mission to raise the educational attainment. He will reveal more about the plans as he launches a new digital schools awards programme.
Learning outside the classroom
The Independent i explores schools that use extra-curricular activities to boost learning. Dalmain Primary School, in Forest Hill, south-east London, is one of the other 22 schools across the UK that let pupils swap a week in the classroom for five days at Naturesbase in Wales, which puts the teaching of subjects such as literacy, numeracy and art in a nature setting. At Sandown School in Deal, Kent, primary school pupils might compete in a mini Olympics, organised by Premier Sports, who run more than 25,000 sport sessions each week for schoolchildren throughout the country. Students at Trenance Learning Academy, in Newquay, Cornwall, spent one night this summer under canvas. Pupils at King Alfred School, an independent day school in Hampstead, spend months building themselves a village - on school grounds - to live in for five days.
Independent i, Page: 34-35
Free care extension could lead to nursery closures
Hundreds of nursery schools could be forced to close if the Government goes ahead with plans to offer parents 30 hours of free childcare. Pre-schools in England would "cease to be financially viable" after the planned two years of financial support from the taxpayer ends, because of the costs associated with the extra places, the NAHT warns. Eight areas across the country have piloted the scheme. The NAHT said analysis carried out with the charity Early Education showed nurseries in the local authority areas with the highest number of nurseries would see huge cuts in funding if the proposal went ahead.
The Sun, Page: 8 Yorkshire Post, Page: 8 Daily Mirror, Page: 23
More teachers resorting to alcohol and doctor’s help
Nearly half of school staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands admit seeking help from a doctor in the last 12 months as a result of work-related physical or mental symptoms. The 2016 Annual Big Question survey of teachers revealed that across the region one in five teachers had reported an increased use of alcohol, a 7% rise in the use of prescription drugs and 11% an increase in the use of anti-depressants to battle stress – 15% have undergone counselling and 6% had been admitted to hospital. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "Teaching has always been an intensively demanding job, but evidence collected annually by the NASUWT over the last five years demonstrates that teachers' health and wellbeing have deteriorated dramatically”.
The Birmingham Post, Page: 24
Teachers to strike over pay dispute
More than 50 teachers at a Crosby school are set to go on strike for three days in a dispute over pay. Staff at Chesterfield High School will walk out from Tuesday to Thursday next week. The NUT says staff were denied a pay rise last year despite hitting their targets, claiming the school’s headteacher and governors have broken previous promises about pay rises.
Union backs away from HE strikes
A union representing non-academic staff in higher education has decided against calling strikes after its members voted narrowly in favour of industrial action. A Unison spokesman said: "The ballot showed only a small majority in favour of a strike on a disappointing turnout. As we don't have a united union position across the higher education sector, a strike without all the key unions involved wouldn't have been enough to improve the derisory pay offer from employers."
The Independent, Page: 23 Yorkshire Post, Page: 2
96% rise in children taken into care
More than 2,700 babies under the age of one were taken into local authority care last year, with 1,200 removed from their parents at less than a week old, new figures show. A further 6,070 children between the ages of one and four were also placed in council care in 2015 – and of those two-thirds were adopted. The total number of children taken into care has risen from 5,500 in 1995 to 10,790 in 2015, a 96% increase. Ex-MP John Hemming, who chairs the Justice for Families group, says the figures are a direct result of Government pressure on social workers to increase the number of adoptions.
Rising number of girls as victims and perpetrators of crime
Last year, there were 6,287 young victims of violence including stabbings and serious assaults in London. These included 1,509 girls and young women under the age of 19 – a rise of 4% on the year before but an increase of 58% compared with four years ago. The report, by the London Assembly's police and crime committee, says this rise is due to a greater awareness and reporting of domestic violence. But it also shows the number of young women facing prosecution for serious violence has doubled in recent years, adding that they are increasingly involved in "working with drugs and holding knives". Data from the Met shows a gang element was identified in just 5% of incidents of serious youth violence in 2015/16, and the report concludes that while there is some under-reporting of gang activity, youth violence is a broader issue.
Evening Standard, Page: 4
Digital skills: Apps making school work 'more fun'
Wales' education secretary Kirsty Williams has launched the Digital Competence Framework in order for pupils to be able to use technology effectively. Students need to learn digital skills in school to help them be more employable in the future, she said. The scheme, which includes learning on iPads, has been fast-tracked, but Ms Williams stopped short of saying the Welsh Government had been slow in rolling out such a programme.
Oxford tops world university rankings
Oxford University has come top of the Times Higher Education world university rankings - a first for a UK university, putting the California Institute of Technology, the top performer for the past five years, into second place. But there are warnings the vote to leave the European Union could destabilise UK higher education. Jo Johnson, universities and science minister, writes in the Times to welcome the news, but notes that the Government’s forthcoming Teaching Excellence Framework will, for the first time, make teaching as much of a priority for universities as research – generally used to compile rankings – to make sure that global rankings translate into worthwhile opportunities for every young person.
BBC News The Times, Page: 16 The Times, Page: 26 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 5 The Independent, Page: 18,23 Independent i, Page: 7 Evening Standard, Page: 12,14 The Sun, Page: 9 Daily Mail, Page: 37 Daily Mirror, Page: 25 The Scotsman, Page: 14 Yorkshire Post, Page: 10 Aberdeen Press & Journal, Page: 22
Council to allow term time holidays
Derbyshire County Council's parents have been given the green light to take their children on holiday during term time without the risk of being fined following Jon Platt's victory against levies imposed by Isle of Wight Council at The High Court last May. DCC has now introduced interim arrangements abolishing fines while awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling, as long as a pupil's total attendance over the previous year is 94% or above. A DCC spokesman said: "While we strongly recommend pupils should not be taken out of school during term time except in exceptional circumstances, we believe the interim arrangements provide a fair and proportionate approach using the average Derbyshire annual attendance rate".
More brawling …
Up to 100 schoolchildren were involved in a "mass brawl" in Manchester city centre, just a day after the huge fight which broke out among teenagers in Bexley, south-east London. Teenagers aged 13 to 17, some of whom were in uniform, took part in the violence in the city’s busy Northern Quarter district on Tuesday night, police said.
The Guardian, Page: 16 The Sun, Page: 17 Aberdeen Press & Journal, Page: 16
The Department for Education has confirmed that from 1 April 2017, the salary bands for member contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will cha...
Pension Payment Increases
March 10, 2017
The majority of young teachers are not convinced that they will still be in the profession in five years’ time, a conference organised by the NASUWT,...
TEACHING CAREER AN INCREASINGLY UNATTRACTIVE PROSPECT, SAY YOUNG TEACHERS
January 21, 2017
The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Northern Ireland, will “vigorously oppose” any further cuts to the education budget, representatives will h...