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.

School pupil missing for an hour.

A primary school is investigating after a pupil walked out and was missing for an hour before being found two miles (3.2km) away.

The pupil left Doncaster's Mallard Primary School, at about 11:40 GMT on Tuesday and was found at the Frenchgate Interchange in the town centre.

Their age and sex has not been revealed by police, who were alerted, or the school, in Balby.

School bosses apologised and said pupil safety was taken "very seriously".

Read more.

School chosen for Prince George.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will send Prince George to a private south London primary school in September.

Thomas's Battersea is a preparatory school located a few miles from the family residence in Kensington Palace.

The duke and duchess said they were "delighted" to have found a school for their son - the third in line to the throne - who turns four in July.

The school's headmaster, Ben Thomas, said he was "honoured" to welcome the prince as a pupil.

He said: "We greatly look forward to welcoming him and all of our new pupils to the school in September."

Read more.

Truancy 'detectives' to be appointed in Essex.

Four schools in Essex will employ full-time truancy detectives in order to track down children believed to be absconding from school, it was announced yesterday.

Under the proposals, the schools will hire two full-time “attendance ambassadors” responsible for following up cases of truancy, with the new enforcers given licence to visit the homes of parents whose children are suspected of truancy.

An academy, two primaries and a junior school in Canvey Island have signed up to the trial scheme, which headteachers argue will help improve school attendance.

Read more.

Projects for vulnerable children.

Thirty-six million pounds is to be awarded to projects across the country that help improve the lives of vulnerable children, the Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson has announced today (Monday 20 March 2017).

The 11 ambitious plans will help children who have been exposed to domestic abuse, support young disabled people living in care, and back care leavers as they get ready to start their adult lives.

The projects are part of the children’s social care innovation programme, which is backed by £200 million of government funding. This programme has supported 59 projects to date, providing evidence of best practice that is helping to improve children’s services across the country.

It is a key part of the government’s work to explore and develop the best possible services for vulnerable children and their families.

Read more.

Funding cuts for all by 2020.

Every state school in England will see budget cuts before 2020, even after new funding plans are put into place, research suggests.

The Education Policy Institute analysis looks at the impact of the new national funding formula against the backdrop of financial pressures in schools.

It finds even schools benefiting from the funding shake-up will see their gains wiped out by budget pressures.

The government insists schools funding is at a record £40bn level.

Read more.

School funding protest.

Hundreds of parents have taken part in a protest march against what they claim are "unfair" school funding plans.

The government has announced a new national formula for schools to address "inconsistent" funding levels.

The march started at Sandbach School on Crewe Road at 11:00 and ended at Sandbach Cobbles in the town centre.

Organiser Laura Smith said the march allowed Cheshire parents to show their anger at changes they claim will leave their children worse off. 

Read more.

Gove says immigration has helped London's high achievement.

Immigration has been a key reason behind London's high achievement in school standards, the former education secretary Michael Gove has said.

Addressing an international education conference, Mr Gove highlighted the importance of immigrant and refugee families pushing up results.

He said migrant parents had "high expectations" for their children.

But Mr Gove, a leading campaigner for Brexit, said migration had also created "pressure on services".

Read more.

Work experience in schools report.

This study, commissioned by the Department for Education, follows the publication of updated guidance for 16-19 study programmes (2015), which built on the work done following recommendations made in the Wolf review. The guidance advocates a period of work experience, or a more extended work placement, as a core part of programmes for all post-16 students, whether following an academic or a technical curriculum, in order to support them in developing their work readiness. Alongside the guidance for post-16 programmes, the government also revised its statutory guidance for schools, expecting schools to offer high quality work experience and encouraging them to engage fully with their local employer and professional community. The overall aim of the study was to consider current provision and operational practice of work-related activities at schools and colleges in England.

Read the report.

More children in care.

More children are being taken into care, some unnecessarily, because councils in England cannot afford to intervene earlier, a report suggests.

Late interventions often meant problems had escalated before support could be put in place, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children heard.

Its report into children's social care found 90% of councils were struggling to fulfil legal duties to children.

The government said offering early help was the best way to keep children safe.

Read more.

Head Teachers write on funding.

Head teachers representing some 3,000 schools in England have written to their local MPs and ministers calling for a rethink on school finance plans.

They say a new national funding formula, which should give underfunded schools more cash, ignores inflationary cost pressures faced by all schools.

The heads come from 14 local council areas and represent 1.5 million pupils.

The letter comes as the government's consultation period for the new school funding formula closes on Thursday.

The letter has been signed by primary, secondary and special school heads from a number of counties in England including West Sussex, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon and Cornwall.

Read more.


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