ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The week
News items from the week’s daily and education press, covering the major education news stories of the week.

Teachers losing their jobs.

Twelve days ago a 60-year-old woman sat in a toilet crying as she realised the career she had worked at for decades was crumbling in front of her. I wonder, as Theresa May wiped her eyes, if she glimpsed, just for a second, how the thousands of teachers and teaching assistants sacked over the past 12 months because of budget cuts felt. I wonder if her fear of becoming a pub quiz answer for the shortest-serving postwar prime minister equalled the fear felt by some of those people of losing their home because they couldn’t pay their mortgage.

Maybe, as she steadied herself, one of her advisers told her not to worry. “We’ve secured a record number of votes,” they said, in the same way that the government repeatedly told headteachers there was a “record amount of money” going into schools.

Read more.

Economics A-Level leak.

Students take to social media to voice fears that grade boundaries could rise following the 'leak'

Exam board Edexcel is investigating an alleged leak of the economics A-level exam taken yesterday afternoon. 

On Twitter, pupils claimed that two questions from the new A-level paper had been leaked on the Student Room website before the start of the exam.

Read more.


Colarado to arm teachers with guns.

Teachers are being trained to carry guns in classrooms in Colorado in order to protect children as part of a scheme motivated by a school massacre in 2012.

The three-day course, which consists of firearms and medical training, was launched on Tuesday in Weld County.

Seventeen members of staff who "would like to be considered armed first responders" have so far taken part.

The pilot programme will allow volunteers to enter schools with guns under US "concealed carry" laws.

Read more.

Queen's Birthday honours list - education.

Leaders, and Adrian Packer, chief executive of the Core Education Trust, among those honoured   

Four leaders of multi-academy trusts – and an executive head of a secondary school – have been awarded CBEs in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Ian Bauckham, CEO of the Tenax Schools Trust and former president of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), is among the five awarded for services to education.

On his CBE, Mr Bauckham, former headteacher of non-selective Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: "I am honoured personally and on behalf of those with whom I have had the privilege to work to be given this recognition. 

"I have been fortunate to have had many wonderful colleagues both at Bennett and in other organisations, and am profoundly grateful for their hard work and support.” 

Read more.

New Lib Dem education spokesperson.

The Liberal Democrats have appointed a former teacher as their new education spokesperson.

Layla Moran, who entered parliament last week after winning the Oxford West and Abingdon seat with a majority of 816, succeeds Sarah Olney, following her defeat in Richmond Park.

Ms Moran was a physics and maths teacher for more than 10 years, and according to her website was the youngest head of year in her school's history. She went on to lead curriculumn development.

Read more.

Sex offences in schools continue to rise.

Reports of sex offences in schools continue to rise, according to police figures obtained by a Tes investigation 

The annual number of sexual offences reported in schools has more than tripled in four years, a Tes investigation has found.

Police, teaching unions and children's charities have suggested that online pornography and sexualised videos – which are easier for pupils to access on mobile devices – are partly to blame.

Tes submitted freedom of information requests to all 39 of England’s police forces. Of the 32 that responded, 24 provided comparable data. It reveals that:

  • The annual number of sex crimes reported in schools rose by 255 per cent in four years;
  • In 2016, the number of alleged sex offences in schools increased by 18 per cent compared with 2015;
  • In one area the number nearly trebled with a 189 per cent rise;
  • Overall, the figures suggest that teachers as well as pupils have been victims, with about one in 10 of the crimes committed against adults.

Read more.

Michael Gove and climate change teaching.

Did Michael Gove really try to stop schools in England from teaching about climate change in geography?

His ministerial return, as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, has prompted a wave of claims that Mr Gove tried to remove the teaching of climate change when he was in charge of the education department.

"This is a man who tried to stop young people in our schools learning about climate change, who tried to take it out of the geography curriculum," said Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party.

Read more.

Ministers explore funding solutions for schools.

Sources say Justine Greening had wanted Tory manifesto to protect real terms per pupil funding but was overruled
Ministers are now considering “all the options” on increasing school funding, according to sources close to the Department for Education.

They have also revealed that Justine Greening – reappointed education secretary on Sunday – had always wanted the Conservative election manifesto to include a promise to protect real-terms per pupil school funding.

However, the sources say Ms Greening was overruled by the manifesto's authors, who said the money was not available.

Read more.

School Funding major issue in General Election Result.

Poll finds Labour benefited as school funding rose up the political agenda

Concerns about school funding caused more than 750,000 voters to change the party they intended to support during the general election campaign, a poll has suggested.

The survey, carried out by Survation over the weekend, underlined the importance of the issue during the campaign and how it contributed to the shock result.

The poll found that 22.6 per cent of voters switched the party they intended to back during the campaign.

Of these, 10.4 per cent cited school funding policy as the reason – ahead of the economy and tuition fees, and equal to terrorism. That equates to roughly three-quarters of a million voters.

Read more.

Teenager escapes Grenfell Tower with revision notes.

Brave teenage survivor of Grenfell Tower fire fled her home with revision notes and then went straight to GCSE chemistry exam

Brave Ines Alves and her family lived on the 13th floor of the North Kensington tower block, with her parents and brother Tiago, which has been destroyed in the devastating blaze.

Read more.


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