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.

Leadership development Needs of Christian Milennials - take the survey.

Millennials: have your voice heard. Forge Leadership are carrying out exciting new research into the leadership development needs of Christian millennials in leadership. If you were born between 1984-2000, are a Christian and in a position of leadership in any sector, they would love for you to get involved by taking this 10 minute survey to get involved in this exciting new research. To take the survey click here:   Please share! 

There is more information about Forge Leadership and our research on our website, but please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions:

Funding for the arts.

New funding to support talented music, drama and dance pupils to realise their potential and kick-start a career in the arts has been announced by the School Standards Minister Nick Gibb today (Tuesday 10 April). This is a further boost to the arts, which has already seen substantial investment in music hubs for the next two years.

Music, art and design, drama and dance are included in the national curriculum and compulsory in all maintained schools from the age of 5 to 14. The additional £96m takes the total level of support for music and arts programmes to £496 million since 2016. Many recipients of these funds have moved on to successful careers in the arts.

Read more.

Primary school offer day 2018.

The annual scramble for places in reception is likely to become more intense this year, as top-rated schools across the country struggle to accommodate the growing number of applicants.

For the vast majority, relief will replace anxiety as they secure a place at the school of their choosing.

However, for the remainder, the only real option is to try and secure a place through the independent appeals process. For some, the waiting list may result in a place being offered following rejection by other parents.

The School Admission Appeals Code effective from February 2012 provides statutory guidance as to how such appeals are to be conducted.

Since 1999 admission authorities have been required to limit school places so that classes do not exceed a ratio of 30 to one except in very limited circumstances. But more importantly, at the same time the grounds on which an appeal can be successful were also limited.

Read more.

Modern playgrounds sanitised.


Modern playgrounds have become sanitised by “nanny state” and “snowflake” parents, the grandson of the father of modern playgrounds has warned.  

Oliver Wicksteed said that his grandfather Charles, who is credited with inventing swings and slides, would have disapproved of the current preoccupation with health and safety guidelines.

Mr Wicksteed, who is chairman of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, is attempting to track down old fashioned 1920s slides, merry-go-rounds and see-saws and then restore them to full working use.  The creation of a traditional playground is being funded by a grant of £1.89 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"Charles would have rebelled against the 'snowflake generation' and 'nanny state' which will mean that many of the playground attractions will have to be modified or fitted with extra safety measures,” Mr Wickstead said.

Read more.

Home Education Registration.

The Department for Education is raising the prospect of a compulsory register for an estimated 45,500 home-educated children in England.

Ministers have launched a "call for evidence" on ensuring children taught at home get a good quality education.

There is also £3m to check against "harmful practices" in "out-of-school settings", such as clubs and societies.

Education minister Lord Agnew said all children needed to have a "suitable and safe education".

But the Education Otherwise home education group says there is "no evidence" that registration would be an improvement.

Read more.

11,000 drop in UCAS applications for 2018.

The overall number of people who have applied to UK higher education courses for 2018 has dropped by around 11,000.

Ucas believes the 2% drop, bringing the total to 590,270 compared to the same point last year, is due to there being 18,000 fewer 18 year-olds in the UK population along with fewer applications, especially for nursing courses, from older UK-based students.

The figures are from the analysis of all full-time Ucas undergraduate applications made by March 24, the application deadline for some higher education courses in art and design.

Read more.

Seven hours a day revision for GCSE?

THIS will not make me popular with parents. And it certainly won’t gain much favour with my son who is about to take his GCSEs. In principle, I agree with former Harrow School headteacher Barnaby Lenon. He’s the one who says that youngsters should revise for seven hours a day over the Easter holidays, or aim for 100 hours in total.

 Read more.

London killings.

Another day, another death. Another headline about someone being killed in London.

On the first Monday of this month, Tanesha Melbourne, 17, died in her mother's arms after being shot in Tottenham. On the Tuesday, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor died after being shot in the face in Walthamstow. Wednesday saw Israel Ogunsola, 18, stabbed to death in Hackney. Three more names to add to the grim litany of fatalities in the capital. Three more bodies in the mortuary.

Why is it happening? The BBC asked those who are dealing with the consequences of the epidemic of violence for their insights.

Read more.

Closure of so many Childrens Centres.

As many as 1,000 Sure Start children's centres in England may have closed since August 2009, research for the Sutton Trust suggests.

In the remaining centres, services for families are "hollowed out" and no longer within "pram-pushing distance".

The report says there were 3,632 centres in 2009, with official data showing 509 of these have now closed - but it says this is an "underestimate".

The government says it is determined to improve early years provision.

Read more.

Student loan payment threshold rises.

Former students will be able to earn more before they have to start paying back their tuition fee loans.

English and Welsh students who took out loans from September 2012 onwards - when fees in England rose to up to £9,000 a year - will now start to pay back when they earn £25,000 a year instead of £21,000.

The government says the move could save graduates up to £360 a year.

The National Union of Students said the change was "welcome relief" for many.

Read more.


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