Department for Education

Schools using funds for poorer pupils to plug budget gaps – survey | Education

School budget cuts are “endangering” efforts to improve education for poor pupils, according to a survey that found two-thirds of headteachers say they have cut staff to make ends meet. The survey of 1,700 teachers and school leaders in England, published by the Sutton Trust educational charity, found that two out of every three secondary school heads said they had cut teacher numbers to save money, while primary school heads said they had also axed teaching assistant posts. The survey…

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Do We Test Children Too Much? – Education Article

Reading Time: 4 minutes Do our schools in England test children too much, particularly at primary level? I don’t have a problem with 4, 6 and 11 year olds being tested in our primary schools. Testing knowledge is good. The real issue is ‘how’ the data is used for school accountability. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has declared he would ‘scrap primary SATS if elected’ is a cheap publicity stunt. Meanwhile, Nick Gibb says ‘abolishing SATs would be [a] hugely retrograde…

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Parents plan legal action over new tests for four-year-olds | Education

On Thursday next week Kay Tart, from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, will help her daughter Isla dress in the uniform she will wear when she starts school in September. She will make sure the four-year-old’s favourite book and soft toy are in her backpack, but they won’t be heading to school. They will be joining other parents and children on the “march of the four-year-olds” to 10 Downing Street, where Isla will get her first taste of democracy. The children will…

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Children at risk as ‘most new schools built without sprinklers’ | Education

Fewer than one in six new schools have been built with sprinkler systems installed, ministers have admitted, in findings branded “absolutely terrifying” by union officials. Despite official government guidance that all new schools should have sprinklers “except in a few low-risk schools,” figures uncovered by the Labour party showed that, of the 673 schools built under the government’s flagship school building scheme and free school programmes, sprinklers were fitted in just 105. The official figures also suggested that just one…

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Parents protest at reception tests: ‘Four-year-olds should be making friends instead‘ | Education

Joanie Chapman will be visiting Downing Street next week, but not as a tourist. The little girl, who will turn four in May, will be part of a group marching on parliament on 25 April to deliver a 64,000-signature petition opposing the introduction of a statutory test for four- and five-year-olds to be taken within weeks of starting school. The results of the assessments, which gauge language, communication and early literacy and numeracy, will be used to track and measure…

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Mother sues over daughter’s suicide attempt in school isolation booth | Education

A woman whose daughter tried to kill herself while in an isolation booth at an academy school is to take legal action against the government. The child, who cannot be named, has autistic spectrum disorder and mental health problems, but was put in an isolation booth by her school in Kent for more than a month. Prior to the intervention of lawyers in mid-March, she had spent every day since mid-January in isolation, meaning she had to remain silent throughout…

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Department for Education’s pusillanimity on Parkfield school | Letters | Education

We were sad to read about the abuse faced by the staff of Parkfield school, and Andrew Moffat in particular (Why has Parkfield’s top teacher been silenced?, 2 April). He has done remarkable work, which until the recent protests had been accepted by Muslim parents because he worked closely with them and explained what he has been doing. It seems that a few parents have caused the situation to escalate beyond reason. The materials used are gentle and child-friendly, telling…

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Exam results ‘aren’t everything’ for future entrepreneurs, says Damian Hinds | Education

Good exam results are no guarantee of future success, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, has said, arguing that “drive and tenacity” and a greater tolerance for failure can encourage young people to be more entrepreneurial. Hinds’s comments came in an interview with the Guardian after he hosted a roundtable with young entrepreneurs, who told him students should be equipped with the basics of financial literacy to make it easier to start their own businesses. “Exams that come at the end…

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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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Scandalous increase in school exclusions | Letters | Education – Education Article

Last year I gave a paper based on my book Immoral Education: The Assault on Teachers’ Identities, Autonomy and Efficacy to academics in the Netherlands. When I told them that part of my argument was the rate at which young people were being excluded from schools and gave them the figures, the response was that “if that were happening here there would be national outrage”. The UK figures are now even worse (School exclusion rates in London double the national…

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