Category Archives: Articles

NEWS

The Religious Education Council is warning that a shortage of RE teachers could contribute to religious stereotyping and discrimination, leaving pupils at risk of becoming ignorant, or bigoted. It says high quality specialist teaching is essential in a diverse society and is launching a campaign to try to attract more teachers into the profession. Read more

The parents of one of the child stars of the West End stage show Matilda are facing legal action in a row with their local council over their daughter’s home education. Lilian Hardy, 12, who played the title role for six months last year and hopes to study English at Oxford, has been educated at home throughout her life. Her parents now face a return to school order. Read more

Thousands of eight and nine-year-olds in England’s primary schools will take a new times tables check this spring. The five-minute test, taken by children in Year 4, will then be fully rolled out over the next two years. Supporters have argued that it will help to ensure all children know their tables up to 12 off by heart, but opponents say primary school children are already heavily tested. Read more

There can’t be many people with a doctorate from the University of Cambridge who never got a single school-age qualification. But Tara Westover’s story is more like something from another era, than a tale of modern America. Tara grew up in rural Idaho, in a family of survivalists who saw schools as part of a government brainwashing exercise to be avoided at all costs. Read more

VIEWS

Just imagine that somebody told you that men and women are biologically different and that people ought to take responsibility for their own lives. Imagine that this person went on to say that too many university courses have fallen victim to trendy dogmas, and free speech sometimes means telling people what they don’t want to hear. Would you shudder in horror, or nod in agreement at what seemed like plain common-sense? Read more

The Government is too politically correct to enforce rules on hijabs in schools, leaving teachers ‘alone, isolated and vulnerable’, the former head of Ofsted has warned. Sir Michael Wilshaw said a lack of formal policy from the Department for Education on whether children should be allowed to cover their heads in lessons has led to angry clashes. Read more

Every young person in England should be given state funding of £10,000 when they reach 18, a group of academics has suggested. They say that giving university undergraduates £5,000 a year over two years could be used to cut the cost of their tuition fees, while those who do not want to go to university could use the money to cover the cost of further education or an apprenticeship. Read more

One day, Calvin Robinson – a successful teacher – made a big decision: he was going to reveal his allegiance to the Conservative Party. His colleagues responded to him as if he’d revealed a criminal past or that he’d killed his own cat. But, in essence, all he had admitted to was membership of a moderate, centre-right party that has been in existence for the best part of two centuries. Read more

KNOWLEDGE

Transgender Trend has developed comprehensive guidance for schools, in consultation with teachers, child protection and welfare professionals and lawyers. The aim is to arm schools with all the relevant facts so that teachers feel more informed and confident in creating a safe school for all pupils, including non-conforming children and those who identify as ‘transgender.’ Read more

Campaigners are concerned that no funding has been allocated for staff training or resources of the new Relationships and Sex Education programme. Less than a third of teaching staff believe that their schools will be ready to deliver RSE. A survey of 590 teachers and heads reveals that just 29 per cent think their school will be ready to deliver the new curriculum. The remainder were either unconfident or unsure. Read more

With more than 45% of school leavers now attending university it would be easy to assume that we have a system that is meeting need and providing equity of opportunity for students of equal ability. Yet earlier in February figures were published showing that attempts to widen participation have stalled. Part of the problem lies in how uneven university participation is across the UK. Read more

A Scottish council plans to provide free meals to children who need them 365 days a year, in a scheme that will be the first of its kind in the UK if it is approved at a council meeting next Tuesday.
Labour-controlled North Lanarkshire council will pilot the ‘Food 365’ programme in Coatbridge during the Easter break, with the expectation of expanding it to cover the whole of the council area in time for the summer holidays. Read more