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

School swings at GCSE.

While Ofqual’s "comparable outcomes" system pegs GCSE results at a national level to previous years’ performance, big swings – both negative and positive – can and do happen at school level.

Read the detail.


Schools to track happiness.

Schools will be asked to monitor children's happiness and mental health in a bid to tackle growing levels of anxiety among young people, the Prime Minister will announce today.

The new measures are part of a wider mental health strategy which will see thousands of therapists sent into classrooms, and annual publication of a ‘happiness index’ tracking the state of the nation’s youth.

Theresa May will also appoint the UK’s first minister for suicide prevention and £1.8m funding for the Samaritans, as she pledges to “end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence”.

Read more.


Music lessons in schools under threat.

Music lessons in schools could be under threat if the government refuses to step in and fund a pay rise for music teachers, councils have warned.

A pay rise for classroom teachers, announced in July, will not apply to staff employed directly by councils - of which the majority provide music tuition, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

 

 

Instead, councils would be forced to reduce the services of centrally employed teachers (CETs), such as music tutors, if they were asked to meet the cost of an additional pay rise of one to 2.5 per cent, it added.

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Understanding of Brain Injury in the classroom.

When 10-year-old Anson Mackay was left with a brain injury after being beaten over the head by one of his fellow primary school pupils, it was 10 months before he was well enough to return to a classroom.

Having already recovered from concussion and whiplash, Anson – now 12 – was left with a chronic 24-hour-a-day headache, as well as severe visual and sound sensitivities which make his pain worse.

Read more.


£5000 to exclude a child?

Schools which exclude pupils could be fined £5,000, a council has proposed.

Gloucestershire County Council came up with the idea after it found the number of permanent exclusions in the county was above the national average.

It said it hoped the plans could reduce the number of exclusions and the fine would be paid to the school that took in the excluded student.

A council spokesman said a decision would be made in December after a consultation on school funding.

During the 2016/17 academic year 141 pupils were permanently excluded in Gloucestershire. There were also more than 3,500 fixed period exclusions.

Read more.


Best Independent Schools for A'Level results.

St Mary's School Ascot is at the top of the tree when it comes to GCSE performance among independent schools this year.

The girls' school achieved a 97.5 per cent A*-A or 9-1 rate - one of four schools to surpass 97 per cent for the top grades, according to the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

Our interactive league table allows you to search these results by specific school and compare schools of your choice against one another.

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Some independent schools decline to release their results in this fashion so it may be possible that there is a better performing school out there. However,  St Mary's School Ascot is the best among the roughly 300 schools who entered at least 20 candidates and agreed to have their results published.

Read more.


DfE letter to Office for Statistics Regulation.

DFE USE OF STATISTICS
Thank you for your letter of 8 October. As you say, I take the matter of good and
proper use of statistics very seriously. Official statistics are a key public asset and
I fully agree that government departments must maintain their reputations as
trustworthy communicators of statistics.

Read the full response letter.


Northamptonshire Head Teachers criticise local cuts.

Two hundred head teachers and education leaders have signed an open letter to a county council criticising cuts that will hit child and education services.

Cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council is facing a potential budget shortfall of between £60m and £70m.

The letter from education leaders states the council savings plan "puts at risk the education and safeguarding of many vulnerable young people".

The county said it was still consulting over the proposed savings.

The Conservative-led council's leader Matt Golby said: "These are unprecedented times for us and as such we have a plan to address the financial challenges we now face."

Read more.


Schools need to do more to support apprenticeships.

As an MPs' report says too many youngsters are not getting the support they need to access an apprenticeship, BBC News apprentice Paige Neal-Holder tells us about her journey.

"Why an apprenticeship? I did not want to start my adult life in debt. It's as simple as that.

If I was to accumulate nearly £30,000 worth of student debt at the age of 21 simply through taking a degree, I feared my aspiration to buy my own house would be harder to achieve.

Not only that, but A-levels nearly broke me.

I realised that, after spending what felt like my entire life in education, I craved a change, but one that would bring new openings.

I decided that university simply wasn't for me.

Read more.


Call for greater diversity on governing bodies.

"When I was at school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I grew up," says Theresa Esan.

"I didn't have many role models that inspired me.

"There were big international figures like Nelson Mandela and Oprah, but none that I could relate to locally."

It was because of a lack of local black role models when she was a child that Theresa decided to become a governor at a sixth form college in the London borough of Havering.

Teresa, who has been a governor for nine months, is now helping to front a campaign by the charity Governors for Schools aimed at encouraging greater diversity on school governing boards across England.

Read more.


 

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