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.

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation addresses the Universities UK members’ conference.

I’m delighted to be here to address the UUK members’ conference and invited guests and am very grateful to Julia [Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of UUK] for her kind words of introduction.

Today I would like to talk about the next phase of our HE reforms, as the Higher Education and Research Bill approaches report stage in the House of Lords. Specifically, and having listened carefully to the debate in Parliament, I want to talk about the new amendments that we are today laying before the House, which seek to underpin and support values that sit at the heart of the UK’s HE system, in particular opportunity, autonomy, excellence and innovation.

Read the speech.


Encouragement to employers to take on apprentices.

Get In Go Far - the government’s flagship campaign to promote apprenticeships - launched a new wave of activity today (23 February 2017), focused on promoting apprenticeships to employers.

The campaign highlights the wide range of benefits that apprentices can bring to a business, with the aim of increasing the number of apprenticeships offered in England.

Advertising on the radio and LinkedIn will tell the stories of several businesses currently employing apprentices. This activity will also be supported by telemarketing activity carried out by the Skills Funding Agency.

New analysis in support of the campaign highlights that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to recruit 202,000 new apprentices in the next 12 months, helping more young people get their foot in the door at leading companies across the country.

Read more.


Asbestos in school buildings.

Asbestos in schools is a “serious” problem which could threaten the health of children, a Government report has found, as it concluded that thousands of schools are failing to follow safety guidelines.

One fifth of schools which responded to an official survey were found to be “not fully compliant” with asbestos procedures, leaving over a million children potentially exposed to dangerous fibres.

Of those, over 100 schools  were deemed a “significant cause for concern” and required government intervention. The Department for Education (DfE) said it emailed those schools and received “reassurances” the asbestos is now safe.

Read more.


Businesses snub government on academies.

Official figures also reveal that only three universities and private schools have applied to become sponsors since September 2013
 

Businesses have snubbed repeated government pleas to sponsor academies, figures obtained by TES reveal.

Read more.


£52 a week private school to open.

Private schools were once thought of as the preserve of the wealthy elites, with some building Olympic size swimming pools and elaborate theaters to justify their astronomical fees.  

Now Britain’s first “cut-price private school” is set to open this September will charge parents just £52 a week - but its founder says that parents should not expect any perks.  

The Independent Grammar School: Durham will charge parents £2,700-a-year for a “traditional private education without the frills”.

Read more.


President Trump takes away instructions about bathrooms and locker rooms for transgender students.

The Trump administration on Wednesday ended federal protections for transgender students that instructed schools to allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities.

Stepping into an emotional national debate, the administration came down on the side of states' rights, lifting federal guidelines that had been issued by the Obama administration and characterised by Republicans as a legal overreach.

Read more.


Prince Harry talks about teacher compassion.

Prince Harry says the best teachers should go beyond academic lessons and teach about "resilience and compassion".

His comments accompanied the announcement of the top 10 shortlist for this year's Global Teacher Prize.

"We will all face setbacks and challenges," said Prince Harry, but teachers could help to prepare people for the "ups and downs" of later life.

The top 10 includes Raymond Chambers, who teaches computing in Corby.

Read more.


Prince Harry talks about teacher compassion.

Prince Harry says the best teachers should go beyond academic lessons and teach about "resilience and compassion".

His comments accompanied the announcement of the top 10 shortlist for this year's Global Teacher Prize.

"We will all face setbacks and challenges," said Prince Harry, but teachers could help to prepare people for the "ups and downs" of later life.

The top 10 includes Raymond Chambers, who teaches computing in Corby.

Read more.


School buildings deteriorating fast.

The government has pledged billions for new free schools while existing school buildings in England are deteriorating, says the official spending watchdog.

Repairing all school buildings to a satisfactory standard will cost an estimated £6.7bn, according to a National Audit Office report.

Under government plans 833 free schools will open by 2021, costing £9.7bn.

The government said free schools were a vital part of meeting demand for new school places. 

Read more.


NUS in turmoil.

The National Union of Students is in turmoil after an internal report ruled its President should not be punished despite making comments found to be anti-Semitic.

Malia Bouattia was the subject of a two-month inquiry after she described a university as a "Zionist outpost" and refused to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

Read more.


 

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