Primary schools

One in five teachers using own money for school supplies – report | Education

One in five teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies, while nearly half say they buy food, clothes and even soap for poor pupils, according to a report charting the effects of austerity on schools. Among the more than 4,300 teachers who responded to the NASUWT education union, 20% said they paid for resources such as paper or books used in their lessons at least once a week, with half of those saying they did so “several times…

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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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Families still struggle to find primary school places in English cities | Education

Families in major English cities are still struggling to find places in their preferred primary schools, with demand remaining high in local authorities including Manchester, Birmingham and several London boroughs. Despite a levelling off in the number of children enrolling for their first year of formal schooling aged four or five, many councils across England reported rising numbers of applications for about 700,000 primary school places this September. On national primary school offer day, London’s local authorities announced a one…

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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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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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Primary teachers to be balloted on boycotting Sats | Education

Primary schoolteachers are to be balloted on whether to boycott Sats next year because of concerns that high-stakes testing is harming children’s mental health. Delegates at the National Education Union (NEU) annual conference in Liverpool voted in favour of the action after a heated debate, seeing off an amendment from the executive which had argued that a ballot was not the most appropriate tactic. More than half of representatives (56%) voted in favour of the ballot to boycott the tests…

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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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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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School music report reveals cuts, inequality and demoralised teachers | Education

When the children at Barlby primary in west London got up to perform at the Royal Albert Hall last month it was, according to their headteacher, an overwhelming and aspirational event. The school, which is part of the local community around Grenfell Tower, is among the most diverse and disadvantaged in the country, with more than 25 languages spoken and high levels of pupil premium entitlement. Its pupils are still talking about the opportunity they had to perform a specially…

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LGBT classes ‘decision for school’ not parents, says Damian Hinds | Education

The education secretary has weighed into the row about LGBT lessons in primary schools, warning that parents should not be given a veto on what schools teach. Damian Hinds said it was right that parents were consulted and involved in developing how schools deliver relationships education, but insisted “what is taught, and how, is ultimately a decision for the school.” His intervention was welcomed by headteachers who have been calling for more support from the government in the face of…

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Ann Coffey: spending money isn’t always the answer to school funding | Education

It is hot and stuffy inside Ann Coffey’s Westminster office and the MP has been talking non-stop for 70 minutes without any sign of flagging. That’s quite surprising because Coffey, who recently quit Labour for the newly created Independent Group (which has applied to become a political party called Change UK) is not fizzing with vote-catching proposals. She is the spokeswoman for children and education, but if she were to become education secretary tomorrow, she would not change the system.…

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UK schools are turning to foreign governments to fund languages | Education

In Holly class, Matilda, aged six, calls the register. “Ciao, Tyler,” she says. “Presente,” he replies. “Ciao, Arthur,” she says next. “Ciao, Maestra Matilda,” he says. The class collapses into giggles: Matilda is taking the register as part of today’s Italian lesson. Her teacher, Stefania Cellini, helps the children count aloud to check everyone is there. Even though these year 1 pupils are only five or six, they easily count to 28 in Italian. “You are all bravissimi,” Cellini says.…

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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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