Category Archives: Education

Thoughts for 2013..

I haven’t posted for a while as I’ve been busy designing websites (a new venture) and working in a BESD residential school. For those of you unsure as to what that is – it is a school for students with behaviour, emotional and social disorders (my school is for boys only). It’s not an area of education I have extensive experience in but the last 4 months have been some of the most challenging yet rewarding times of my professional life. I have been reminded why I entered the teaching profession all those years ago and look forward to going to work EVERY day!!

As a ‘Teaching and Learning’ consultant from January I will be working with colleagues and students on embedding a culture of learning, supported with e-learning strategies and I can’t wait. The staff have have already been to see me with ideas they would like to develop further in January. Ok, so we have an impending Ofsted visit to contend with but still I can honestly say that I am excited about the challenges this new project will bring and will keep you all posted.

Best wishes for 2013

University graduates embark on earlier chase for jobs

By , education editor at The Guardian

” The graduate class of 2012 has made a record number of applications and begun looking for jobs earlier than ever, a survey of over 17,000 final-year students shows.

Applications for graduate jobs in investment banking have returned to their highest level since the start of the credit crunch in 2008, the High Fliers Research survey finds.

Desire to take time off or go for a gap year is at an all-time low – just 12% plan to do this. The survey, of students at 30 universities, estimates the volume of applications has risen by 40% in two years.

A record 42% of students made applications for a graduate job by the end of October in their final year, while 61% had applied by the end of February, compared with 59% last year.

More than a third of students started researching their career options in the first year of their studies.”

Is this the end of the infamous ‘gap year’? What about the choices students are making in relation to the course studied? It wasn’t so long ago that a gap year was seen as almost a right before settling down and getting a ‘real job’. More often than not nowadays depending on your career choice it would make more sense to focus on getting relevant industry experience or perhaps an apprenticeship to get ahead.

What are your thoughts on the taking a ‘gap year’ – important or not?

Schools prevented from becoming academies by bank fears over PFI deals


“Michael Gove may have to rewrite legislation for his education flagship policy after 16 schools have their plans put on hold

The government’s flagship programme to convert hundreds of schools to academies has been delayed after banks refused to sign private finance contracts.

At least 16 schools that were due to leave local authority control at the start of this term have been put on hold after banks questioned whether councils would still be liable for PFI repayments.

Councils have been forced to step in to run the schools while the problems are resolved. Teachers have been transferred back to local authority payrolls and the disbanded governing bodies reformed.

The delay could hit dozens more schools that were rebuilt under PFI schemes, and the government is calling in lawyers to reassure the banks. Ministers could be forced to rewrite legislation, which was fast-tracked in the weeks after the coalition was formed, to clarify the situation.”

Read the article by Polly Curtis and Jeevan Vasagar -> here




Teachers to be given protection against pupils’ false allegations

“Michael Gove’s measures to enforce school discipline will include giving heads power to press criminal charges. As well as having the power to press criminal charges, headteachers will be able to temporarily or permanently exclude pupils who make false allegations.

Teachers will also get added protection through an assumption that they have behaved reasonably until the contrary is proved, and confirmation that they can use reasonable force to control children. At present, they can be suspended on the word of a pupil.

Nearly 30% of school staff have been the subject of a false allegation of misconduct by a pupil, according to a 2009 survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, which said that false claims blighted careers and damaged private lives.”

To read the full article by Ben Quinn click here

Our View

Any changes which protect staff from allegations whilst investigations are taking place is surely a good thing, obviously not at the expense of students’ welfare though. We await the details in anticipation….

What is your view on this change – good, bad or indifferent? Post your thoughts here.

Is academy status being foisted on schools?

“Parents in Lincolnshire fear that their local schools are being railroaded into applying for academy status by a service provider

It makes an unlikely setting for a passionate outburst of frustration at the “big society”, the alleged privatisation of state education and claims of a deficit in democratic accountability. But the front room of a terraced house in Louth, Lincolnshire, seems central to that argument now, as members of a “Save our Schools” group discuss proposals – some of them not yet public – that raise the possibility of the bulk of the county’s schools leaving the local authority to become academies.

The four members of the group discussing the plans, who are all parents with children aged between three and 14, are incensed about the possibility of this happening at both primary and secondary level. It is the primary element that seems the more intensely contentious.”

Read the article by Warwick Mansell  in full here

Our View

The term ‘Academy’ appears to have recently changed under Mr Gove, previously it was schools deemed to be ‘failing’ that converted to academy status in  order to tackle the issues within the school. In 2010, ‘outstanding’ secondary schools were initially invited to apply for academy status, this invitation has since been extended to ‘very good’ schools and primary schools are also included in the mix. It seems to us that the word ‘academy’ will soon replace the word ‘school’ in no time at all, as other category rated schools are likely to be invited to apply to become academies in the future. How that impacts on the quality of the education received by the students will probably depend on the type of academy the school becomes, its leadership and ethos. But surely parents should be part of the consultation process too, as they and their children are the ‘customers’ so to speak?

What are your views and experiences? Are the ‘new-look’ academies the future of education in Britain?

Should schools be held accountable for student’s careers?

School’s to be held accountable for future careers.
Read the full article by clicking here

What your thoughts? Already schools collate their NEET figures but will this lead to ‘career tables’ for schools, another benchmark to be judged against?