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School admissions in England are becoming a wild west

It’s not often that I feel the need to reprise an earlier article, but the admissions arrangements of one particular academy school, covered here last summer, point to such a serious flaw at the heart of the education system that they justify a second look. To understand why, we need […]

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Primary school invites in elderly people to work with young pupils

A primary school in Essex is piloting a new project that brings elderly people suffering from isolation, depression and early dementia into the classroom to work with four- and five-year-old children, with the aim of mutually benefiting all. Previous projects have involved children visiting care homes, but Downshall primary school […]

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Stop expelling troublesome pupils to boost league table performance, Chief Inspector says

Stop expelling troublesome pupils to boost league table performance, the chief inspector will say, as she denounces the practise of “off rolling”. Headteachers who try to “game” the system by pushing out youngsters who they fear may drag down the school’s ranking have “lost sight of the purpose of education”, […]

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A teacher’s guide to surviving school until Christmas

Weary, bloodshot eyes gaze hopefully at the calendar. A sigh of resignation: still two weeks to go until the Christmas escape. The epic term continues and the to-do list doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. Students appear to be changing into manic creatures whose energy is in mocking contrast […]

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Academy trusts will appear in January’s league tables

Next year, the public will be able to see for themselves how well multi-academy trusts are doing in the school performance league tables for the first time. From January 25 next year, academy trusts will be included alongside individual schools on the Department for Education’s website, as it seeks to […]

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‘Drill and kill’? English schools turn to scripted lessons to raise standards

In a converted office block in an unprepossessing corner of west London, a year 10 class is working with intense concentration. The walls are grey and virtually bare; on the whiteboard is a cartoon-style story about a pilot marooned on a desert island. At all times eyes are either down […]

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Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds by focussing on playing and not being able to teach reading, writing or maths properly, a major Ofsted report has found. The school inspectorate found that newly qualified teachers had a “particularly weak” understanding of the three R’s which led to “poor […]

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Police investigate multi-academy trust accused of asset stripping

Police have confirmed they are looking at the conduct of a multi-academy trust accused of asset stripping its schools before collapsing. Wakefield City Academies Trust announced days into the new term in September that it would divest itself of its 21 schools because WCAT could not undertake the “rapid improvement” […]

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Reading standards in England are best in a generation, new international test results show

Reading standards in England are the best in a generation, new international test results show, after the push towards phonics led to a dramatic improvement in children’s attainment. A study of the reading ability of nine and 10 year-olds in 50 countries puts England in joint eighth place, the country’s highest ranking […]

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‘We help them flourish and bloom’: using nature to keep students in education

In a corner of south London, a group of young people are taking it in turns to smell the leaves of a rose geranium plant in the gardens of Roots and Shoots, an environmental education centre and biodiverse wildlife park. The charity is tucked away, just off a street that […]

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