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

41 students from state school offered Oxbridge places.

A state school in east London is celebrating after 41 of its students – almost all of them from minority ethnic backgrounds – secured offers to study at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge later this year.

Brampton Manor academy in Newham opened its sixth form in September 2012 with the objective of increasing progression rates to Oxbridge and other elite Russell Group universities among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In 2014, one student received an offer; in 2018 it was 25, of whom 20 began their studies in the autumn. This year has broken all records and hopes are high that most of those holding offers will get the required A-level grades to secure their place. Two-thirds of the students would be the first in their family to attend university and half have been in receipt of free school meals.

Read more.

Nursery teachers poorly educated.

Children risk falling behind by age four because nursery teachers are poorly educated, report suggests 

Read the report.

GCHQ course for students trebles.

A GCHQ programme designed to encourage young people to develop their cyber-security skills has trebled its intake since it launched in 2016.                        


The CyberFirst programme is run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and offers a range of courses, competitions and student bursaries for 11-to-17-year-olds.

The scheme aims to train the next generation of cyber-security workers as well as reduce the gender imbalance that currently exists in the industry.

Teachers pay for own resources.

Four in five teachers are using their own money to support schoolchildren amid funding pressures, headteachers have said in a survey.

Almost three in four school leaders also said they rely on parents’ financial contributions to prop up school budgets


The poll of 2,000 headteachers showed that 72 per cent of heads are facing a deficit this school year, with nearly all saying they do not trust what the government says on budgets.   

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120 new places for pupils with additional needs in 2 free schools.

Pupils with additional and often complex needs are set to benefit from more than 120 new school places, as two special free schools have been given the green light to open.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has announced (9 January) that the two new specialist schools will be built in Essex and Hounslow, helping to meet the local need for school places for children with some of the most complex social, emotional and mental health needs.

It follows the publication of a significant package of support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in December, when the Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced an extra £350 million funding to provide them with specialist support and tailored facilities, and boosting the school choice available for parents.

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Independent school inspections.


Ahead of the launch of the education inspection framework (EIF) in September 2019, we will not be making changes to the Non-association independent school inspection handbook or the Handbook for additional inspections of independent schools.

This note informs schools and inspectors of changes coming into effect before the EIF.

Further information on the launch of the EIF and how we will carry out inspections from September 2019 is in Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector’s commentary.

Read the whole document.

Are teacher bursaries a waste of money?

Labour has accused the government of squandering taxpayers’ money on bursaries of up to £25,000 and beyond to attract top graduates into teaching, many of whom then fail to take up teaching posts.

According to Labour analysis of Department for Education (DfE) data, trainee teachers awarded the highest bursary of £25,000 and above were the least likely to end up in a teaching post, compared with those on smaller bursaries or no financial incentive at all.

Eighty per cent of postgraduate teacher trainees awarded the £25,000-plus bursary were teaching in state-funded schools in 2015-16 after qualification, compared with 89% of those who received no bursary. Of those awarded the lowest-value bursaries of less than £5,000, 90% were in a teaching post.

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Schools refuse to let colleges talk about apprenticeships.

Schools refusing to let colleges speak to students about apprenticeships and technical qualifications, think tank says

'Young people should be free to choose the course that best reflects their aspirations'

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US Murals to aid reading.

For many students, this week saw the end of the Christmas break and a return to school.

However, one school in Illinois, US, has taken a novel and eye-catching approach to motivating its students in the new year.

Students of Mundelein High returned to find six floor-to-ceiling book covers lining the corridor of the school's English department.

The vinyl prints, which wrap around sections of wall like the jackets of giant books, flank the doorways of three of the school's English classrooms.

The school explained in a post on Facebook that a "routine hallway has been transformed into a giant motivational tableau to encourage reading".

Read more.

Ethnic minority academics pay in UK universities.

More than a dozen ethnic minority academics from UK universities have come forward with allegations of unlawfully being paid less than white colleagues with similar or lesser jobs.

They have spoken out following BBC revelations that ethnic minority academics are losing out on pay.

And it is not only junior academics who are affected, says Pragya Agrawal.

She was on a grade just below professor when she discovered she was being paid about £8,000 less than white male lecturers on lower grades in the same department.

Read more.


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