OFSTED piling on the pressure on ITT Institutions
Has OFSTED got it wrong? Well after the trouble OFSTED are in for insisting that future teacher-training should ONLY include synthetic phonics for the teaching of reading, OFSTED is now being critised for ITT accreditation.
This article says it all.
The Queens Platinum Jubilee book for children
The Queen's Platinum Jubillee celebration book for all children is arriving in primary schools in mid-May. 'Children in state-funded primary schools across the United Kingdom will, from mid-May, begin to receive a free commemorative book to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee'. More details in the DfE link above.
Bigger classes? Yes, but pupils have got bigger too, say UK teachers
Bigger classes? Yes, but pupils have got bigger too, say UK teachers. The article reflects delegates' views at the annual onference of the NASUWT teachers’ union that classes and the size of class furniture is not 'fit' for purpose.
Ukraine children starting school in the UK
Ukraine children starting school in the UK. Has your school started taking children from Ukraine? This article caught my attention about a mother's perspective of starting her children in an Oxfordshire primary school. How did the children get received? What support had to be put in place. Well, there are few ideas here.
Government failed to get a grip on the issues facing teachers
In an article in the Guardian, Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the NEU, said successive education secretaries had “failed to get a grip on the issues facing teachers”.
Issues relating to:
> High workload for teachers
> The pernicious effects of a punitive and deeply flawed inspection system
> The effect of real-terms cuts to pay over many years
44% intend to to leave the profession
An annual survey (of 1788 teachers) conducted by the National Education Union before their annual conference found that there was a rise of teachers wishing to leave the profession.
- 44% of England’s state-school teachers plan to quit by 2027, according to the latest NEU poll. Half of those (22%) intend to leave within two years.
- Schools are struggling to fill vacant posts, leading to a doubling up of roles. 73% of teachers say this has worsened since the start of the pandemic.
- Over half (52%) of teachers say their workload is either ‘unmanageable’ or ‘unmanageable most of the time’, up from 35% in 2021.
Two-thirds of teachers in state-funded schools in England feel stressed at least 60% of the time.
Ofsted's Head says 'Help pupils understand events in Ukraine'
Help pupils understand events in Ukraine, heads told by Amada Spielman at Association of School and College Leaders in Birmingham. I must admit, I find the war (yes war) in Ukraine; bewildering, heart-breaking, furious and powerless all at the same time.
Is it ministers who require improvement?
It is the ministers who do require improvement according to the Guardian. This is a hard-hitting, well researched and so supported article about long-term absence, covid and life-chances.
Art, Craft and Design Survey
SURVEY The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design (ACD) in Education are looking for educators of Art, Craft and Design, in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to complete a short survey about teaching the subject. The survey is open to educators from all phases, Early Years to College, who teach ACD. You do not need to be a specialist, e.g. you could be a generalist primary teacher who teaches ACD.
The survey builds on the NSEAD Survey 2015-16. The results will provide essential up-to-date data that will contribute to a report by the APPG to the government. The evidence we collect will help us advocate for the value and importance of our subject by identifying the impact of government policies on art and design provision; the value given to our subject; teacher wellbeing and workload and changes to continuing professional development (CPD).
Please follow the link to complete the survey: https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/appg-acd-in-education-survey . It will take around 5-10 minutes. The survey will close in one month and all data is anonymous.
Health or Education? The complex case of home-schooling for medically vulnerable children
In a Guardian article (12/2/2022), Nadhim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed that headteachers should exercise discretion regarding the abscence of medically vulnerable children during covid. This can be found in a letter to the Good Law project. “As usual, schools are able to grant leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances”. In reality, the DfE continues to insist that all children to return to the classroom or could well be prosecuted, if they do not. So schools, according to the Guardian, may not provide homework for these medically vulnerable children. This is because schools have been place in a dilemma of not wishing to be seen supporting a minority of unauthorised absent children whilst fully understanding why these children need to be given home-schooling.
As the Good Law project website page states 'This clarification is a good thing, but it’s pretty unsatisfactory for the Education Secretary to be saying one thing to Good Law Project – when threatened with judicial review – and another thing entirely to schools and councils'.
Focus on phonics to teach reading is ‘failing children’, says landmark study
Focus on phonics to teach reading is ‘failing children’, says landmark study - Today the Guardian has published an article on what they call a 'A landmark study'. The article goes on to say that the research has described the way primary school pupils are taught to read in England as “uninformed and failing children”. The researchers, is calling on the government to drop its narrow focus on phonics. 'The UCL researchers are among 250 signatories to a letter which has been sent to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi, calling on the government to allow for a wider range of approaches to teaching reading, which would allow teachers to use their own judgment about which is best for their pupils'.
Schools 'teetering on the edge' over Covid absence
An article in the TES (7/1/2022) states that a survey found that Schools were 'teetering on the edge' over Covid absence for this new term. A survey by the NAHT states that 'More than a third of heads have over 10 per cent of staff off work this week'. The Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, agreed that, 'Teacher absences will see a bumpy two weeks for schools as pupils return' and that he is, 'working on contingency plans' (Evening Standard).
Masks-Primary Schools forgotten
BBC reported Beth Collins, assistant head teacher at Laurels Primary in Worthing, saying that she felt "once again primaries have been forgotten", saying that as primary pupils were unvaccinated "it has left us open to every danger going". This was taken from part of an article about 'Covid: Pupils to wear masks in class in England's secondary schools to tackle Omicron'. Dated 2/1/2022.
Do you think that staff and primary schools are not provided with sufficient safeguards such as air purifiers? Will we be in a situation where there will be again, insufficient staff in primary schools and children taught at home? Email the national office with your views.
BBC Article on schools struggling to stay open.
As a governor, I have witnessed the monumental task this term that our headteacher has to face in managing a school with too few a staff covering classes. Unfortunately next term looks bleak for schools as well.
Covid: Nativity plays could help virus spread further, warns expert
There seems to be some disquiet with the experts regarding Nativity plays, reported by the BBC
EDSK Rocking the government's assessment boat
EDSK the Education Think Tank, has produced a paper criticising the government's punishing regime of high-stakes testing of children in primary schools. Sky News interviewed Tom Richmond, the lead author and director of EDSK's paper. He states that these summative tests are not producing 'fair and accurate results'. Tom Richmond stressed that children and schools are under a lot of pressure to produce results in what he calls 'big bang testing' rather than online continuous testing. NAPE's paper by John Coe of 2015 stated that indeed, it also narrows the primary curriculum to only reflect of what is being tested. Tom also stressed that if that pressure was taken away then the schools could really concentrate on a 'broad and balanced curriculum' as recommended by Ofsted earlier in the year. For your information, NAPE's Conference this year concentrated on 'Towards a Balanced and Broadly-based Curriculum' with a lead lecture by Dr Tony Eaude, followed by a series of workshops on that theme. These were videoed at the time and can be viewed on our YouTube site playlist.
New publication: Identity, Culture and Belonging - Educating Young Children by Tony Eaude
The NAPE Natiopnal Office is moving!
Please send any post to: NAPE, PO Box 1679, Northhampton, NN2 1JW
The Phonics Screening Check 2012-2022: tracking and tracing changes in government policy
I find that Nick Gibb on 15 June 2021 responded to another written question with an answer more similar to his previous comments , both about synthetic phonics and the success of the policy. I have therefore attached that question and answer to my article.
A recent dramatic increase in the number of children now off school with Covid related symptoms has been reported. Should this continue into the autumn term it will make it even more difficult for schools to administer both baseline assessment in reception class and the phonics screening check to pupils in year 2. As each class forms a bubble one must question who will be teaching the other children while the assessments take place. The PSC, an individual assessment, is administered to each child by a teacher trained to administer it, out of the hearing of the other children and takes about 15 minutes per child.
The report of this research, the earlier research on the views of teachers and parents on the check and related articles can be read and downloaded from the Newman University website
Big Change Start Small - Royal Launch for the Early Years Centre
Big Change Start Small - Royal Launch for the Early Years Centre.
The Duchess of Cambridge will be launching The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. The Duchess is committed to elevating the importance of early childhood
Big Change Starts Small, brings together leading sector research in one place and underlines the critical lifelong impact of the early years on individuals, our economy and society at large. It also sets out recommendations on how all aspects of society can contribute positively and make a difference on this important issue. This report was written in collaboration with The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.
BERA Presidential Roundtable Seminar Series
15th July - BERA Presidential Roundtables provide compelling research reviews offering a state-of-the-art position on topics that are of interest to researchers, practitioners, policy makers and wider society. Each Presidential Roundtable results in a clear statement of the evidence in the field and implications for educational policy and practice. It is hoped that the statements will be a key reference point over several years, subject to periodic review and updating. The roundtables will also be used to promote engagement and dialogue across as many stakeholders as possible.
Substantial research evidence links good language and literacy development with long-term achievements in education, better social-emotional skills, good health, improved employment prospects and more opportunities for social mobility. Conversely, poor language skills and literacy are associated with poorer education, skills, health, employment and higher risks of offending.
Future employment trends, within the context of growing AI and less manual labour, mean children becoming young adults in the mid-2030s will encounter challenges which require even better communication and critical thinking skills.
It is now widely accepted that the early years of a child’s life lay the fundamental foundations for language competence: it is a period of rapid brain development. The language children hear, and the people with whom they engage, leaves a strong imprint on their speech, language skills and cognitive development. These can be improved later in life, but later means more expensive interventions.
If we are to address the main factors which promote or inhibit language development in young children, we must consider some key proximal factors. This means shining a light on best research evidence and practice, resources for home learning environments, parent support, the skills of the pre-school, primary and specialist language workforce, early identification and interventions.
Our paper will focus sharply on research evidence, policy and practice, and will engage with the most important matters for the early years — on what we know supports language and communication development and identify the key gaps and priorities.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (£15 for non-members)
Teach the future News
Sustainability, education and the government
We hope you are all enjoying the sunny weather which seems to have hit the UK this past week. A lot of our team had exams, so we haven't done too much in May, but we do still have a few updates...
We have an upcoming meeting with Ed Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where we hope to engage him in our Ask for more sustainable educational settings as well as how to inspire the next generation of innovators through vocational courses.
We are also currently in the process of planning a Spen and Batley hustings which will hopefully result in candidates promising to align plans with our campaigns main message of climate action, education and justice.
We have been supporting the wonderful team at Peers for Planet and SEEd on Jim Knight’s Private Members Bill (which is 6th in the ballot) on putting sustainability in the Education Act. The draft bill is similar to much of what we put on the first page of our own Climate EMergency Education Act that we drafted 18 months ago, so we hope you will all encourage peers and MPs and the Government to support the bill when it’s time comes. This bill will mean that a good chunk of what we are asking for is implemented this year!
We have also heard that, three weeks ago, the Department for Education established a new sustainability unit, with a remit for operational and educational sustainability, and that they are working on a strategy for consultation, so we are working hard to get a meeting with the staff so we can shape their work from the start.
Finally, many thanks to the Reta Lila Howard Foundation, who have granted us £10k so we can commission our own review of how the English education system is preparing young people for the climate emergency and ecological crisis. We are now working up plans to commission some academics to lead it for us, as well as looking for the other £15k we think we will need to do it properly. We hope that our review will have practical recommendations for educators, head teachers / principles / deans / governors, teacher educators, exam boards and regulators for the steps they should take to ensure that sustainability is integrated, mandatory and assessed across the education system.
As always, if you have any suggestions, comments or questions please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org (England Supporting Organisation Coordinator)
At the beginning of May, we were very excited to see the outcome of the Scottish Parliament election in which a majority of our volunteers voted in. Before the election, we ran a Twitter storm to bring awareness to climate education to voters and get MSP candidates to sign our pledge. Scotland also has a new education secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, who we are excited to get in touch with and work with in the future.
Last week, we had a meeting with NUS Scotland to discuss ideas for COP26. It was really productive and we are looking forward to working closely with them over the next few months
We are now looking towards working with councils to discuss our campaign, our tasks, and gain support. To kick this off, we had a meeting with North Ayrshire council on May 26th where we gained the council’s support for our campaign and discussed the phasing out of fossil fuels and their climate change strategy.
Finally, we have been busy preparing for a series of meetings with the Scottish Government where we are formally discussing implementing our asks! Our first meeting was on 01 June where we discussed our second ask; The inclusion of the climate emergency and ecological crisis in teacher education and a new professional teaching qualification. This went very well and we have more meetings throughout June to discuss the rest of our campaign asks.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact
email@example.com (Scottish Supporting Organisation Coordinator)
At the beginning of the month we were busy encouraging senedd candidates to sign our pledge in the run up to the election on 06 May. We ran a successful tweetstorm encouraging candidates to sign our pledge. Six of the elected Senedd members signed our pledge committing to improving climate education.
After the election we were very excited to find out who the new education minister was, as Kirsty Williams did not run for re-election. We were excited to find out we have already had a meeting with the newly appointed education minister Jeremy Miles back in March. Two members of our team are Jeremy’s constituents and we have already reached out to him asking for a meeting in his capacity as education minister, receiving a positive response. We hope to meet with him in the next few months to discuss our asks and how climate education can be improved in Wales. We were also very excited to see the new cabinet has not one but two climate change ministers Julie James and Lee Waters, we hope we will be able to work with them as well.
We have also contacted the Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe. As our asks are based on the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act we thought it would be useful to meet with her to discuss our campaign and the importance of climate education for future generations.
We have spent the majority of the month planning for future events. We have received some funding from the Waterloo Foundation to host a Senedd reception when COVID restrictions are lifted, we have been working to plan the aims of our reception and have secured LLyr Gruffydd as our sponsor, so over the next few months we will continue to plan for the reception.
We are also planning to hold a roundtable discussion with the leaders of the political parties in the Senedd. We are also preparing to write the Climate Education bill in Wales, we hope we can work on this over the next few months and complete it before the Senedd reception.
Now that the election is over we are hoping to start council work and work with councillors to implement climate education on a local level. A climate education campaign in Blaenau Gwent called Generation Gwent, which we have been in communication with, has already started to work with the Blaenau Gwent council. They started an email campaign to Michelle Jones, their strategic education improvement manager, requesting a meeting to discuss their aims on climate justice education. Michelle Jones has responded to their request with a meeting invitation, which we hope is successful!
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Wales Supporting Organisation Coordinator)
Over the past month we have met with new people and groups in Canada, New Zealand and India this month and are growing connections. We have continued contact with groups we have existing connections with.
There have been some massive developments in climate education since we last updated you...
UNESCO released a report at their Berlin Conference on 17 May showing that most countries' education plans have no reference to climate change :-( It included the following statement: “UNESCO has therefore set a new target: to make environmental education a core curriculum component in all countries by 2025. The Organization is working with its 193 Member States to support curriculum reform and track progress to ensure everyone acquires the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to introduce positive change and protect our planet’s future.” This is a big shift and marks clear UN support for climate education.
Earth Day and other civil society groups, including the former Italian education minister, have produced a draft communique for the G20 Education Ministers meeting later this month, with the plan it will be agreed by them and hopefully ratified at the main G20 event in October 2021.
Argentina has passed a climate education law, joining Italy, New Zealand and a few states in India and the US in having committed to integrated, mandatory and assessed climate education.
We have had a bit of a line-up change in our student staff. We are excited to announce that Tess Corcoran and Finn Millwood will be job sharing our 4 day a week UK-wide role, replacing Joe Brindle, who has now left to enjoy some of his gap year. Our Scotland branch has also changed slightly with Tess moving to her new role, Frances Hobbs will be joining the staffing team in Scotland alongside Anna Brown and Lily Henderson.
We have been working with BBC Bitesize as they are planning to run a climate education campaign for about a year from November. They told us that our research had helped to shape it!
We have a lot of work planned for the summer and the rest of the year so if you know anyone young people that would be interested in joining our team of volunteers, anywhere in the UK, please direct them to https://www.teachthefuture.uk/an/volunteer.
And finally, we have been on Sky News in their climate programme this week! An article was also released which you can see here, and here is a great write-up on Teach the Future in Footprint Magazine.
As always, thanks for all your support and encouragement!
Lily (Scotland, 16), Bea (England,15), Sam (Wales, 16)
9th June_Learning more about essential tremor and supporting children
9th June_Learning more about essential tremor and supporting children.
Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.
There is a first introductory event on the 9th June at 6pm to discuss the very important and often unrecognized condition of essential tremor in children.
The online event will be hosted by our Children’s Liaison Officer and include:
· > An introduction to the National Tremor Foundation
· > What is essential tremor
· > A child’s experience of school life with essential tremor through the eyes of a parent
· > Question & Answer session
If you are interested in attending or would like further details, please contact email@example.com
To find out more about getting involved in the National Tremor Foundation go to https://tremor.org.uk/professionals
Early Years Non-Statutory Guidance
The Early Years Non-Statutory Guidance written by the Early Years Coalition, can now be ordered or downloaded. This was presented at the recent Primary Umbrella Group (PUG) meeting. We are grateful to all those who were instrumental in producing this milestone document for PUG. All those who were present warmly welcomed this essential and valuable guide for early years settings. What is significant about this document is that it was developed by teachers, carers and academics. We strongly urge you to at least dowbload this document, you will not be disappointed.
Let Children Play
Reduce 'schoolificatifon' of children. Experts are calling on the government to think afresh about childhood beyond the narrow lens of academic attainment and bring a halt to the increasing “schoolification” of young lives (The Guardian, 23rd April). This follows from the advice a group of experts on Twitter called #playfirstuk in a paper advising Gavin Williamson to allow schools to plan more time for play rather than 'catching-up' with academic work. The paper states that they 'make a number of evidence-based recommendations designed to support children’s social and emotional wellbeing'.
Independent Commision on how best to reform educational provision for a generation
Independent Commission on the future of Education - The Times is hence announcing the creation of an independent commission. If you want to sign in, Wendy says there are few Early Years and Primary representatives. Watch this space!
Putting Wellbeing first, infront of formal education
Wellbeing In Wellies? - An article from the Guardian newspaper has hi-lighted a primary school that has taken a different, but welcome approach for children getting to grips with school again. A Lancashire school has devoted a week for children. This included; 'non-uniform and wellies doing mainly outdoor activities such as gardening, treasure hunts and, weather permitting, building campfires'.
Birth to 5 Matters – Guidance by the sector