Teachers have no option but to quit | Letters | Education

At long last the government has recognised that an excessive workload is the cause of teachers exiting in their droves (Survey finds 40% of teachers want to quit in next five years, April 16). But ministers have refused to face up to the central problem – that this overbearing workload has been caused by the pressures of an unnecessary accountability regime they have imposed on schools. Preparing children for incessant statutory tests and ensuring there is an audit trail to…

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Fifth of teachers plan to leave profession within two years | Education

Around one in five teachers (18%) expect to leave the classroom in less than two years while two-fifths of teachers, school leaders and support staff want to quit in the next five years – blaming “out of control” workload pressures and “excessive” accountability, according to a poll by the country’s biggest teaching union. Despite recent government attempts to address teachers’ concerns, 40% who took part in the survey predict they will no longer be working in education by 2024. Ministers will…

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7 Ofsted Inspection Myths for Teachers – Education Article

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are you producing things in your school that you don’t need to be doing? Here are 7 common Ofsted myths busted for you. Wonderful. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and enjoy having a few gimmicks pushed into touch. 1. Teaching style ‘X’ is best Ofsted just wants to know that your teaching style impacts the progress of the students. There’s not a one teaching style fits all. Different things work for different teachers.…

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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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The Guardian view on school exclusions: the wrong answer | Editorial | Opinion

It has taken a few years, but awareness of the rising number of pupils being excluded from English schools has grown to the point where the problem has become impossible to ignore. In the process, observers have become wiser to the methods used by schools seeking to expel awkward children without resorting to the formal last resort of permanent exclusion. Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman has made “off-rolling”, as such informal transfers are known, one of the key themes of her…

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The Future of Ofsted Inspections – Education Article

Reading Time: 5 minutes Does vague terminology from Ofsted cause considerable frustration for [parents,] teachers and school leaders? EDSK (Education and Skills), a new think tank has published a new report on the validity of Ofsted grading schools reliably: Since it was created over 25 years ago, Ofsted has not published any research to support the notion that their judgements on schools accurately reflect the quality of education that a school provides. This is my quick-read summary of the report…

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The madness of flight paths – David Didau – Education Article

Schools are desperate to find ways to predict students’ progress from year to year and between key stages. Seemingly, the most common approach to solving this problem is to produce some sort of ‘flight path’. The internet is full of such misguided attempts to do the impossible. Predicting a students’ progress is a mug’s game. It can’t be done. At the level of nationally representative population sample we can estimate the likelihood of someone who is measured at performing at…

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Ofsted uncovers 500 suspected illegal schools in England | Education

More than 500 suspected illegal schools, educating thousands of pupils, have been identified in England over the past three years by the schools watchdog Ofsted, according to data published for the first time. Some of the schools were in an appalling condition with rat traps, exposed wires and open sewers, Ofsted inspectors said. In one, pupils were left to play computer games all day, while in another inspectors found children in every classroom repeating religious texts with no other apparent…

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The 6 Most Effective Study Habits – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes What are the best ways to study? It’s common to hear students say ‘You can’t really revise for English.’ This is, of course, incredibly frustrating for teachers to hear but, if we don’t model how best to revise, is it any wonder that students struggle or worse don’t bother? Higher-ability students may well find their own way but those who need it most: the middle-lower end students are likely to just give up. Keeping this in…

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System Leadership and School Improvement – Education Article

Reading Time: 1 minute How do we find the next generation of teachers to step up to leadership? In a high-stakes accountability system, how do we nurture the next generation of school leaders and reduce a football-manager-syndrome culture. This is a question I have been asking England’s inspection watchdog for a number of years … Macro accountability … Headteachers (at least that’s what they called themselves a decade ago) used to settle their disputes with the local authority, or with…

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Ofsted inspections find three Steiner schools to be inadequate | Education

The future of state-funded Steiner education has been thrown into doubt after a series of snap Ofsted inspections found that three of the four such schools set up under the Conservatives’ free schools programme were inadequate. The four have been inspected in recent weeks – alongside private Steiner schools, a number of which have also been found to be inadequate – following an intervention by the education secretary, Damian Hinds, over concerns about safeguarding. Ofsted reports for the Frome and…

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Visits to English Schools by Amanda Spielman – Education Article

Reading Time: 3 minutes Which schools has Amanda Spielman visited since her appointment as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector? On 11th December 2018, I made a Freedom of Information request to Ofsted. I wanted to know which schools Amanda Spielman had visited since her appointment, including what conferences and teacher-training events she has attended on a Saturday. Image credit: The Guardian. Freedom of Information “Dear Ofsted, Please could you advise of the number of visits to early years, primary, secondary state…

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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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The Good, The Bad and The Outstanding – The Girl On The Piccadilly Line – Education Article

Before Amanda Spielman took up the post of Chief Inspector, there were rumours she had plans to shake things up a bit. One example was her views about the “Oustanding” judgement. She told the Commons Education Select Committee, “I’m quite uncomfortable about some of the effects you see it [the grade] having in the system, I have to say.” However, since taking up post in January 2017 little more has been said about the matter of Ofsted grades – until now.…

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