Damian Hinds

A child in a bedsit has more ‘character’ than a braying public schoolboy, Mr Hinds | Laura McInerney | Education

Years ago I taught a young girl who had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. At the age of 15, she knew that in her adult life she would be a wheelchair user. Yet, she continued working towards her dream of becoming a scriptwriter, a dream tough enough to achieve when growing up in one of the poorest parts of the country, even harder when faced with such physical limitations. Joyfully, that student, Matilda Ibini, has gone from strength to strength…

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4 Tips For Valuing Your Staff – Education Article

Reading Time: 4 minutes How can we truly value our staff? The official hours for teachers are 8.30am – 4.00pm, but I am yet to meet a teacher who sticks to those. Staff come in early to set up the outdoor areas, come rain or shine. They give up lunchtimes to run clubs, they stay late to ensure that pupils get home safely and they sacrifice a lay in on a Saturday to enable pupils to attend special events. Staff…

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Schools staff crisis looms as austerity hits teachers’ pay | Education

Ministers have conceded that teachers’ pay has fallen by thousands of pounds a year since the public spending austerity drive began, amid warnings of a “looming crisis” in attracting and retaining new staff. Classroom pay has fallen by more than £4,000 a year since 2010 in real terms, according to a government assessment. Damian Hinds, the education secretary, warned that only a 2% increase can be expected for the next academic year. The admission comes in the Department for Education’s…

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Time To Talk With Natasha Devon – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes Do you speak up about mental health? February 7th is Time to Talk Day, an annual event spearheaded by magnificent stigma-squashing charity Time to Change. It’s a day to speak our minds and talk about mental health related issues, writes Natasha Devon, campaigner and writer. In the education world we are way ahead of the curve when it comes to thinking progressively and compassionately about mental health. Indeed, as someone who has one foot in education…

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Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality | Suzanne Moore | Opinion

It really does take a special kind of inattention to observe public life today and conclude that what we need is more public school swagger. Our politics is currently dominated by men who are so convinced of their own swag it’s dangerous. We know where politics as a debating society with no real-world consequences leads: Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are exemplary only in their callous recklessness. Still, here we have the education secretary, Damian Hinds (I know no one…

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Ofsted asks government to look closely at Steiner schools in England | Education

Ofsted has asked the government to look closely at Steiner schools in England, after multiple inspections of schools operating under the Steiner banner revealed worries over pupil safety. The letter from the head of Ofsted throws into doubt the future of Steiner schools receiving state funding, after several opened as part of the free schools programme launched by Michael Gove in 2011. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, said in a letter to the education secretary, Damian…

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Minister rejects call for blanket ban on mobile phones in schools | Education

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has said the government should not introduce a ban on mobile phones in schools, saying the decision should be left to headteachers. Hinds’ remarks contrast with those of the schools minister, Nick Gibb, , who has told the BBC: “My own view is that schools should ban their pupils from bringing smartphones into school or the classroom.” But in a recent interview with the Guardian, Hinds said mobile phone use by pupils was a complex…

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Dear Damian Hinds: tree climbing, lifesaving classes … why this policy flurry? | Education

A phrase I learned some years ago working in schools is “busy-work” – work that keeps children busy but has little value in itself, as the dictionary puts it. It first cropped up in an education report in South Carolina in 1886. This old tradition has taken a hold on you and your department. Since late November, you’ve been issuing policy statements at least once a week covering tree-climbing, plastic waste, lifesaving, your “year-long battle” to reduce teachers’ workload, when…

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How to retain teachers in the current climate? | Letters | Education

Damian Hinds’ recognition of the need for a new teacher retention and recruitment strategy is to be welcomed (Fewer emails, more job shares: a new strategy to retain teachers, 26 January), but his proposals don’t get to the heart of the matter. As numerous studies have shown, it is not workload but what teachers perceive as the increase in unnecessary and unproductive tasks that is the main problem. The most burdensome of these tasks is recording, inputting, monitoring and analysing…

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The Guardian view on teacher shortages: the trouble with data | Editorial | Opinion

The government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy for England contains much that is sensible and desperately needed. Key recruitment targets have been missed for six years in a row. In some subjects, and some parts of the country, shortages are acute. In physics, for example, the number of trainees last year was just 47% of the number sought. Bursaries trialled on maths graduates appear not to have solved the problem. A third of new teachers give it up within five…

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Exam results will no longer be used to define ‘failing’ schools | Education

Schools in England will no longer be punished for failing to meet the government’s standards in national exams or tests, Damian Hinds will announce as part of a new strategy to attract and retain teachers in the profession. The proposals to be unveiled by the education secretary means schools will not be defined as failing or “coasting” based on results of national tests or GCSE exams, removing a burden of assessment that has been criticised for unfairly hitting schools with…

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Job sharing might solve a problem, but teachers need help with workloads | Richard Adams | Education

Damian Hinds may be right that cultural attitudes towards job sharing and flexible working are holding back their use within schools. But if the education secretary’s strategy is to succeed, then workload has to be tackled before teachers can see job sharing as an alternative to quitting. While pay should not be overlooked – and teachers, like others in the public sector, have suffered from years of minimal increases thanks to austerity – workload is reported to be the single…

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Teachers to be helped to job share to prevent classroom exodus | Education

Teachers will be given more help to job share and a lighter workload in an attempt to prevent experienced staff from leaving the profession, the education secretary has said. Speaking to the Guardian before the launch of a new teacher recruitment and retention strategy next week, Damian Hinds argued that outdated attitudes among school leaders, especially men, may be holding back the adoption of practices such as flexible working. The national strategy, which Hinds said is the first of its…

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Damian Hinds to lobby Treasury for multi-year education funds | Education – Education Article

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, is to lobby the Treasury for a multi-year funding settlement for education in England similar to the 10-year package announced for the NHS, MPs were told. Hinds, appearing before parliament’s education select committee, said he would make a “a very compelling case” for more funding in this year’s spending review, agreeing that something similar to the recent NHS long-term plan was needed. The cabinet minister’s pledge came as he was put under pressure by his…

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