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for Christians working in education

Leadership & Management
Items related to leadership and management in education.

Data sharing with Home Office axed.

Campaigners are claiming victory amid reports that the government is to back down on a controversial requirement that schools must collect data on their pupils’ nationality and country of birth.

The campaign group Against Borders for Children (ABC), which has fought against the policy since its introduction in September 2016, welcomed the apparent government U-turn as a “comprehensive victory”.

The Department for Education (DfE) is now expected to contact schools to explain there will no longer be any requirement to collect information from parents about the nationality and country of birth of their child as part of the school census.

Alan Munroe, a primary school teacher and ABC spokesperson, said: “This news is a massive victory for a small group of activists with no budget and no staff, just a determination that our schools should be a safe learning environment for every child.

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NI schools face restructure.

A new Irish language secondary school in Belfast has been mooted while 27 schools across Northern Ireland face the possibility of mergers due to sustainability issues, according to the Education Authority's latest annual plan.

 

The EA's 2018-19 Action Plan identifies challenges facing the entire education estate from nursery, primary, post-primary and special schools.

The report includes 70 work streams to be taken forward over the next year, including the expansion of some schools.

Ashfield Boys School in east Belfast, and Belfast Boys Model and Belfast Girls Model in the north of the city are to see an increase to their sixth form numbers.

There is also a proposal for the establishment of Autistic Spectrum Disorder Centres for children at Key Stage 1 and General Learning Support Centres for children at Key Stage 2.

Some of the other issues mentioned include the high demand for integrated education in the east Belfast and Castlereagh area, where Lagan College annually receives almost twice as many applications as it has available places.

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Ministers abandon plans to inspect Sunday Schools.

Ministers have abandoned plans to inspect Sunday schools following widespread public opposition, the education department announced on Tuesday.

The government received more than 18,000 responses to a consultation in 2015 on proposals to allow Ofsted to inspect 'out-of-school' settings, such as Sunday schools or Muslim madrassas, that taught children above 6-8 hours a week.

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Open University Vice Chancellor resigns.

Open University vice-chancellor Peter Horrocks has resigned after a vote of no confidence by academic staff.

He said he was "ready to move on" but added the OU faced "a scale of challenge that is unprecedented".

The university, which has suffered a collapse in student numbers, aims to save £100m from its £420m annual budget by cutting courses and staff.

Mr Horrocks had angered staff by saying academics "get away with not teaching" and the cuts were "reprioritising".

He later apologised, saying: "I sincerely regret that my careless language caused offence or hurt."

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University staff suspend strikes.

University staff have suspended strikes which were set to hit summer exams after agreeing to fresh pension plans.

Planned changes to staff pensions prompted 14 days of strike action at 64 universities in February and March, and more strikes were planned.

University employers withdrew plans which the University and College Union (UCU) said would have left members £10,000 a year worse off in retirement.

Both sides agreed a joint expert panel to re-evaluate the pension scheme.

UCU members backed the deal by two to one.

    

The dispute started after employers' group Universities UK (UUK) said it planned to remove the guaranteed "defined benefit" pension for members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Employers pointed to a large deficit ahead in the pensions scheme, but the scale of this was queried by academics.

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