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About Schools Week

Schools Week

Schools Week is read widely by headteachers, governors, business managers and the education leaders of the future. Established in 2014, our weekly print newspaper is now read by around 22,000 education managers and sector stakeholders, and 1.4 million unique users visited our website in 2015-16. We have quickly become the “go-to” news source for reliable education journalism, with a formidable reputation for hard-hitting investigations, breaking news and expert analysis.

About FE Week

FE Week

FE Week is the premier news source for the further education, apprenticeships and skills sector, with a reputation for breaking news, investigations and expert analysis that is second to none. Our weekly newspaper is read by over 10,000 education managers and sector stakeholders and over 75,000 people access our website on a monthly basis. Trust is essential, and our readers know that FE Week provides an unrivalled platform for sharing accurate, timely information.

In the News

DfE orders fire safety checks to identify schools ‘at risk’ after Grenfell blaze

The government has instructed councils and academy trusts to carry out fire safety checks on school buildings to identify any that may need further investigation in light of the Grenfell Tower blaze. It comes after a Schools Week investigation on Monday found the proportion of new schools being built with fire-preventing sprinklers has halved to just 35 per cent since 2010. There have since been reports that schools could be fitted with the same cladding blamed for the Grenfell fire. Some school heads have started to carry out their own checks, specifically on cladding, to ensure they are safe to continue using. Now the government is instructing all councils and academy trusts to conduct similar investigations. “The government is taking the potential impact from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire very seriously,” a spokesperson said. “Building owners across the public sector estate are being contacted to ensure any risks are managed and dealt with appropriately and promptly.” He added that as part of this, the Department for Education (DfE) is contacting “all bodies responsible for safety in schools” and instructing them to carry out checks to identify any buildings “which may require further investigation”. More than 70 people died after a...

UK’s top language teachers recognised at annual German Teacher Awards

Educators from across the UK were invited to the German embassy in London this month for an awards ceremony recognising outstanding teachers of the language. The annual German Teacher Awards – now in its 14th year – was attended by over 220 people, including teachers and representatives from across business and media, and was hosted by ambassador Peter Ammon. Also in attendance at the event was renowned British novelist John le Carré – the celebrated author of many espionage novels – who delivered a keynote speech to guests and assisted in presenting the awards. The awards recognise teachers of German across primary and secondary schools, with five teachers receiving top prizes and a further 11 receiving special mentions. The lifetime achievement award was presented to Janine Alison Turner from Cheshire-based Beech Hall Preparatory School. Turner has taught German for 37 years, during which time she has authored three A-level textbooks (and is currently writing two more), run a German choir at a school in Durham and delivered talks in schools across the country on German film. Of her award, she said: “It has been the most wonderful culmination for me of what I love to do, which is German things....

Prison education reforms on hold for another year

Reforms to prison education seem to be back on hold, as existing offender learning contracts are being extended for another year, FE Week has learned. Currently, the offender learning and skills service (OLASS) is delivered by three colleges and one independent learning provider, whose contracts are managed by central government. This state of affairs had been due to change in August, when prison governors were to have been granted powers to hire their own education providers. However, according to Dr Paul Phillips, the principal of Weston College, which holds the OLASS contract for south-west England, these reforms have been tabled until at least 2018. Dr Phillips told FE Week that HM’s Prison and Probation Service had informed him “that the existing OLASS contracts are to be extended for a further year from August 2017 to end July 2018”. While this is “subject to formal post-election confirmation from the Cabinet Office and the Treasury”, Dr Phillips said, “the usual annual business planning process is underway”. Putting in place a new system for prison education cannot be done in a hurry A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, which manages the contracts, would not however confirm the extension. “We are currently in...

Achievement rates at Learndirect fall under minimum standards

The nation’s largest FE provider has been badly shaken by the changes in the way achievement rates are calculated, recording a 7.3 per cent drop that puts it below the government’s minimum standards. Learndirect’s achievement rate tumbled from 65.1 per cent in 2014/15 to just 57.8 per cent last academic year, according to national data released by the Department for Education on June 15. This brings it below the minimum standards threshold of 62 per cent, and should mean it will no longer be allowed to deliver apprenticeships until it improves. But in spite of its poor performance, Learndirect has still not been issued with a notice of concern for failing to meet the minimum standard – even though it is 4.2 points below the threshold. “We don’t make comments on individual companies, but the list of our notices of concern is regularly updated by the ESFA and will continue to be regularly updated,” said a spokesperson for the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Learndirect is a giant in the sector, with almost 200,000 learners logged in its latest available Ofsted report from 2013, but it has had a rocky time in recent months. In May, FE Week reported that...