NEWS – Christians in Education


Christians in Education will be taking a break over Easter. The next NEWS update will be on Friday 10 April.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

As Durham Free School closes its doors for the last time and the news breaks that Nansen Primary School is now in an ‘extremely fragile’ position despite the immense support it has been given since Trojan Horse, a DFS parents ask why the injustice of Ofsted’s judgment against their school remains unaddressed. An open letter to Nicky Morgan points out the inequity of treatment. Read more

The lengths teachers go to in order to boost their schools’ exam grades by cheating has been exposed in a new report. Blatant cases include staff suggesting the correct answers to pupils during exams, scribbling them in pencil on completed coursework so that pupils can then write over them in pen, and whispering to candidates in spoken language tests. Some academics say such cheating is on the increase because schools are under huge pressure to improve their national league table positions. Read more  Blog

A Labour government would end Westminster’s education reform culture, the shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, promised. He aims to call time on the exam factory approach of recent years and offer in its place greater autonomy for teachers and school leaders.  Change, he says, must come from the bottom up. Read more

Children born in late summer can be almost a year younger than their classroom peers. Parents of summer-born babies should get more power to overturn decisions to place their children in class before compulsory school age, say MPs. The Education Committee wrote to schools minister Nick Gibb saying summer-borns often miss a year’s school when they opt for a later start. The government said it would review the committee’s recommendations. Read more The Committee has also told Ministers that they should give children born prematurely more flexbility to be entered in their first year at school according to their due date, as they are often bullied or place in low ability groups. Read more

Plans for a new Sikh ethos free school which was set to open this year have been shelved after the Department for Education failed to reach an agreement with the council over the planned site. The trust behind the Khalsa Engineering Academy, in Bradford, announced that the primary school would not be opening on the site of a former community centre, in September, as planned. Read more

For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy. Which makes it all the more remarkable that Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional ‘teaching by subject’ in favour of ‘teaching by topic’. Read more

The head teacher of London’s most improved school told today how his staff have turned it around by following the same philosophy as the British cycling team. They employed the strategy of ‘marginal gains’ — introducing a series of small changes which lead to a huge overall improvement. It helped Team GB achieve phenomenal success in the velodrome at the London Olympics, with stars including Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton helping the country win seven out of 10 gold cycling medals. Read more

The religious ethos of one of England’s oldest state-funded Catholic boys’ schools is at risk after an education watchdog attacked its admissions code, the high court has heard. The London Oratory, which has attracted the sons of top politicians, is challenging findings by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) that many aspects of its admission arrangements for 2014 and 2015 breached the schools admissions code. The OSA investigation was triggered by a complaint from the British Humanist Association. Read more The Tablet also reports that St Richard Reynolds Catholic College, the opening of which was opposed by the BHA, has just achieved an outstanding Ofsted inspection. Read more