NEWS – Christians in Education

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Immigrants should be allowed to ‘slap and hit’ their children because of a ‘different cultural context’ when they are new arrivals in Britain, a High Court judge has suggested. Mrs Justice Pauffley indicated police and social services should make allowances for immigrant groups, as she heard an application from an Indian man alleged to have beaten his wife and seven-year-old son. Read more But should we make allowances for cultural complexities when considering the wellbeing of children? Read more

After their complaint of indirect racial discrimination at a popular Church of England school was rejected by the admissions regulator last week, campaigners are now considering whether to mount a legal challenge of faith school admissions. Bury Church of England School in Greater Manchester was accused of indirectly selecting its pupils by race by The Accord Coalition, a campaign group seeking a radical overhaul of school admissions in order to open up faith schools to all youngsters, rather than just those of one faith. Read more

Teachers who face the prospect of working into their late sixties could be forgiven for planning to spend their retirement as far away from the classroom as possible. But educationalist and philosopher Baroness Warnock believes that bringing recent retirees from other professions into schools could raise the status of teaching and ease staff shortages.  Lady Warnock is proposing a new scheme called Teach Last, inspired by the Teach First programme that has brought thousands of young graduates into teaching. Read more

The Department for Education, trumpeting its controversial new bill, which aims to speed up academisation of schools deemed by Ofsted to be inadequate, last week lined up six heads of academy chains to comment. Unsurprisingly, they were all positive about the benefits of academy status in the DfE’s press release. The Guardian had a look at the records of the quoted chains. Read more

The majority of primary schools across England have opted to assess children as young as four using a method that focuses on observation as opposed to testing. Headteachers and local authorities flocked to adopt the test-free approach offered by Early Excellence, a small consultancy in Huddersfield, which emerged as the surprise winner of the competition to supply the Department for Education’s (DfE) controversial new baseline assessment. Read more

Schools in London, Manchester and Birmingham could see their funding cut and diverted to schools in rural and shire areas under proposals for a national funding formula supported by a group of backbench Conservative MPs. The group of MPs is calling for radical changes to the way that school funding is calculated, which currently sees inner city schools receiving £2,000 or £3,000 more per pupil each year than schools in more rural regions.  Read more

The expected deadlock in the pre-election polls led to speculation on how different permutations of a coalition government might affect education. Now that the electorate has delivered a simple Conservative majority, however, the Church of England Education Office wants to engage constructively and pro-actively with the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, and her team. Read more from Nigel Genders, writing in the Church Times.

Children are open to spirituality and have a ‘natural inclination for prayer’, regardless of whether their parents have an active or non-existent faith, according to new research.  The study, conducted by Christian Research on behalf of Scripture Union (England and Wales) maintains that children treated prayer as a conversation and expect real and immediate responses from God. Read more