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

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.   

Read more.

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.

Funding crisis.

Almost a third of local authority secondary schools in England are unable to cover their costs, a study suggests.

The Education Policy Institute says its research shows the proportion of such schools with budgets in the red has almost quadrupled in four years.

And the average local authority secondary school debt is £483,000.

But the Department for Education says that across all types of state schools, more than 90% are in surplus.

Former Education Minister David Laws, who chairs the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said the latest school budget figures, for 2017-18, showed a "marked deterioration".

Read more.

Schools' spending on teacher training falls.

David Weston, CEO of the Teacher Development Trust said: “Schools are facing significant funding issues, which are forcing them to spend less on CPD for teachers. This is a great concern, particularly at a time when teacher retention and job satisfaction are big issues.

“We know that CPD is linked to improved results for pupils, plus better staff morale and retention.

“Funding pressures are clearly showing on schools – first they’ve been cutting glue sticks and computers and now headteachers are having to cut investment in staff.”

Read more.


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