Category Archives: Articles

NEWS

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a faith school’s policy of segregating boys and girls is ‘unlawful’ sex discrimination, backing Ofsted inspectors who criticised it. The watchdog has won its appeal against a High Court ruling last November, which said the Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham had not broken the law by separating boys and girls because such segregation was ‘elected for by parents’. Read more

LGBT activist James Caspian, speaking about Bath Spa’s rejection of his research , observed: ‘It wasn’t so much that there seemed to be increasing numbers of younger people, particularly females, transitioning, but that there were so many of them who seemed to be later reversing the transition. Some of them were saying they felt they’d made a mistake, but had been influenced by a kind of social movement ramped up by the internet.’ Read more

Peace campaigners have been accused of ‘indoctrinating’ children, after Britain’s largest teaching union promoted a scheme to sell white poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday. The Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist organisation, will this week formally launch a new campaign for schools across the country to endorse white poppies. Read more

School girls at a Roman Catholic secondary school have been told they must refer to transsexual pupils by their chosen gender. In a letter sent out to parents last month, headteacher Marian Doyle claimed affirmation was needed as one of the ‘very basic gestures of welcoming respect’. But the directive has sparked alarm, with one critic describing it as ‘profoundly depressing’. Read more

Universities that use ‘no platforming’ and ‘safe spaces’ to shut down free speech could face action from the new higher education regulator, the Government has announced. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said young people and students need to ‘accept the legitimacy of healthy vigorous debate’ as he outlined plans for the Office for Students. Read more

 

VIEWS

Children should be encouraged to ‘love the bodies they have’, rather than try to medically alter them, an MP has warned. David Davies issued the caution in a riposte to Parliamentary support for making it easier to ‘change sex’. He has also challenged the Prime Minister to tighten transsexualism law after a doctor in his constituency reportedly prescribed powerful cross-sex hormones to children. Read more

Girls could be told to play rugby alongside boys in the wake of a landmark school segregation ruling, the head of the Independent Schools Association has warned.  Neil Roskilly, chief executive officer of the ISA, said that co-educational schools where boys and girls are separated for lessons, sports clubs or other activities could come under scrutiny following last week’s Court of Appeal decision that an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was being discriminatory by entirely separating boys and girls. Read more

Earlier this summer Justine Greening announced that gender could be legally changed without any medical diagnosis, promising publication of a consultation on her proposed Gender Recognition Act this autumn. Medics have already described her zeal in applying this thinking to policy as unscientific, dangerous and part of a wider social strategy. It is a strategy that is already having a disturbing effect. Read more

Ofsted’s chief inspector has defended single-sex education, just days after the watchdog won an appeal which found that a school’s segregation of boys from girls amounted to unlawful sex discrimination. Amanda Spielman has said that schools practicing ‘rigid gender segregation should now be on notice that they need to change.’ However, she argued that single-sex schools can be justified as they stop girls from ‘selecting themselves out of some areas of education’. Read more

The former education secretary has emphasised the importance of teaching character traits. Nicky Morgan has said schools that do not teach character are ‘only doing half the job we need them to do’. Ms Morgan said many employers were now putting an ever greater focus on character traits such as resilience, persistence, grit, leadership, self-awareness and self-efficacy, in addition to academic qualifications. Read more

 

KNOWLEDGE

Reported hate crimes against disabled children are rising, a BBC investigation has discovered. Figures from police forces across the UK show there were 450 incidents reported last year, up from 181 in 2014-15, 5 live Investigates found. Families with disabled children described being targeted online and verbally abused in the street. The Home Office said the rise was due to better reporting and more victims willing to come forward. Read more

Thousands of primary school pupils are to take part in trials designed to see if activities such as music and drama can help boost results in the classroom. The five trials will involve assessing the impact of five activities on academic achievement as well as skills such as creativity and self-confidence. The overall trial programme is being run and funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts . Read more

Unfortunately, the country’s once-excellent vocational education system was killed off by snobbery in the 1950s and has never quite recovered. This is despite numerous attempts by a number of governments to reform the system, but other priorities have always taken over. Now the EBacc curriculum is narrower than ever. Students are trained to pass exams, and schools are cutting vocational subjects in order to put more focus on the areas which will win them a higher position in national league tables. Read more

Children are suffering mental health problems because they feel that they have to conform, says NSPCC chief executive. Exam pressures have contributed to a near tripling in the proportion of Childline callers whose main concerns relate to their mental wellbeing. Counsellors report that children also feel isolated by social media . Read more

The pressures of school life can be tough for a lot of kids, but for a child who’s experienced abuse, neglect and years in care, the strain can be even greater. When Evelyn and Tony adopted Ryan at the age of seven, his special educational needs were not immediately apparent. Ryan is smart, bright and eager to please – every teacher’s dream. But the trauma of his early years meant the day-to-day expectations of mainstream school were too much for him. Read more