ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The job
Items relating to the work of schools and colleges, including resources and training opportunities.

What causes bad behaviour?

There's nothing pleasant about being on the end of a child's angry or aggressive outburst - whether you're a parent or a teacher.

And if that outburst happens in a classroom rather than the sitting room, the consequences for the child can be much more serious.

But how can we tell if the child is just "being naughty" or whether mental ill health is the root cause?

"Students don't generally arrive at school and say, 'Now I am going to behave poorly today,'" says Pepe Di'Iasio, executive head teacher at Wales High School in Sheffield.

About 80% of the issues schools have to deal, he says, can be traced directly back to some sort of situation in the child's life.

    

"I don't want to suggest all poor mental health morphs into poor behaviour but inevitably there's some connection.

"Where someone needs some support and they don't get it, it can adversely affect their behaviour."

Read more.


Most controversial school.

Barry Smith is proving a point. He leads me around the corridors of his school at a manic pace, bursting into classrooms seemingly at random. And once he has thrown himself in front of the pupils and their teacher, he begins to chant poetry – Invictus, Oziemandias or the like. Remarkably, the teenagers then all put their hands on their chests and bellow the words back in unison. 

Read more.


Ofsted Inspector sacked.

An Ofsted inspector has been sacked for speaking out about his concerns that a “treadmill” inspection regime has driven other senior inspectors out of the job.

Mark Williams had worked as an HMI and was still employed as an inspector by Ofsted when he talked to Tes about the high turnover at the watchdog.

Mr Williams said that the creation of the shorter inspections had made the HMI’s job “a treadmill” of inspection activity and was contributing to people leaving.

Read the detail.


Lots of vacancies in Scotland.

Almost 100 key leadership positions in Scotland‘s schools were still vacant at the start of the current school term, according to figures published on Sunday. A total of 92 headteacher or deputy headteacher jobs were still being advertised when pupils returned from the summer, the statistics gathered from 26 of Scotland’s 32 local councils show. “The Scottish Government say that they want to empower headteachers but in practice they are 

Read more.


36% of 16 year olds failed to secure a Grade 4 GCSE in English and Maths combined.

This year's GCSE results tell us that 36 per cent of 16-year olds failed to secure a standard pass (Grade 4) in English and maths combined. These students were awarded grades 1, 2 and 3 (the unfortunately dubbed "123ers") with disadvantaged youngsters disproportionately represented among them.

Read the detail.


"Off-rolling" of children.

Hundreds of children are being moved out or "off-rolled" from mainstream education without being officially excluded, according to research by Sky News.

 

Our study shows that the government's official exclusion figures are misleading and local authorities with the lowest "official" exclusion rates actually have high levels of "informal" exclusions.

Responding to our research, the children's commissioner has criticised schools for getting rid of children because they might bring down exam results and warns that the school system is funnelling some children towards gangs.

Anne Longfield expressed concern over a "messy" practice that appears to "incentivise" moving difficult children out of mainstream schools and warned it is making it easier for gangs to target vulnerable children, by placing them in what are called pupil referral units (PRUs), which are centres for excluded children.

Read more.


Slavery and the curriculum.

Teachers must stop devoting so much time to slavery because it puts black children off History, the Royal Historical Society has said. 

A new report by the society has found that the “seemingly relentless focus” on the exploitation and abolition of slavery can be “intellectually limiting and, at times, alienating” for black pupils.

Aside from slavery, the history of British black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are “often absent” from the classroom, the report said. In order to foster a more inclusive environment for black students, teachers must “go beyond these limited vantage points”, it added. 

“It is important that the history of race and ethnicity is integrated fully into the curriculum, rather than being relegated to a dedicated session or course,” it said.   

The report, titled Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History, seeks to identify why History students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds lag behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.

It also examines why BME students and staff are underrepresented in History departments across British universities.

Read more.


Can we get rid of exclusions?

Every morning, when Lucy and her fellow students arrive at Abbey Manor College in Lewisham, their school day starts with a full body search. They line up in front of a security guard who frisks them with a metal detector looking for knives and mobile phones. He then scours their bag for sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks and drugs. 

Once inside the building — a converted old people’s home at the back of a housing estate — pupil movement is strictly controlled.

 

 

Corridors are locked down and even visits to the toilet permitted.

Read more.


Non-stunned meat to schools.

At least 18 councils are supplying non-stunned meat to schools, new research has revealed, despite pressure from veterinary organisations to ban the practice.

 

Around one in 10 UK councils supply non-stunned halal meat to schools, research from the National Secular Society (NSS) shows.

 

Around 18 councils are supplying at least 140 schools with non-stunned meat – most of which are not Islamic faith schools.

 

At least on council is supplying non-stunned meat even though no schools have requested it.

 

Revelations come as Lancashire County Council considers ending the supply of non-stunned meat to schools.

Read more.

 

The veterinary industry has been critical of the practice. The British Veterinary Association (BVA), a trade body representing UK vets, has said that slaughter without stunning "unnecessarily compromises" the welfare of animals at the time of death, and has called for all livestock to be stunned before slaughter.


School cracks down on truancy.

How does a school go from having one of the worst truancy records in the country to having one of the best attendance records?

"No nonsense and no excuses."

That's the message that you keep hearing from staff at Co-op Academy Manchester.

There is also a very direct approach from the school's attendance team.

Even if a parent rings to say their child is poorly, there could still be a knock on the door to check out the story.

    

Jenny Robey, the school's attendance manager, says she might be halfway up the stairs of a house where a child is supposedly off sick when the parent will admit that "she's really in Tenerife".

Read more.


 

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