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In the News

Highlights from 2017 WISE Summit

Introduction | Click here to download Schools Week senior reporter Alix Robertson was joined at WISE 2017 by Tom Sherrington, an author and former headteacher with nearly 30 years’ experience in schools. Tom became a reporter in his own right for the two-day conference, attending sessions and carrying out interviews with delegates from different countries and areas of education. You can read all about his encounters on pages four, six, 10 and 11, and find two insightful blogs he has written at the conference at www.schoolsweek.co.uk. And if you have any time left over, you can also check out his book, The Learning Rainforest.   Alix and Tom On November 15 and 16 Schools Week went global, flying out to Doha in Qatar, to cover the World Innovation Summit for Education 2017. The event was a departure from our usual UK stomping grounds, but yielded a wealth of interesting ideas and insights about teaching and learning from around the world. We kick off with our coverage on page three, where you can find out about the history of WISE and hear chief executive Stavros Yiannouka’s views on this year’s event. Page four introduces you to the first in a series of...
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Schools that engage with parents boost pupil progress, report reveals

Training school staff to help the parents of disadvantaged children to get more involved in their education helps learning at home and improves progress at school, a report from the Sutton Trust has found. The research from the Sutton Trust and the University of Oxford looked at the work of the Parental Engagement Network, a Manchester-based not-for-profit group specialising in supporting schools to better engage parents, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. Through the Engaging Parents Effectively Programme, the network trains teachers and teaching assistants to help parents “get positively involved” with their children’s learning and build good relationships with other parents and school staff. A small-scale randomised controlled trial was carried out through the network, involving 18 schools from Greater Manchester. It provided parents of three and four-year-olds with activities and resources to support their child’s learning at home, such as finger puppets, tambourines and books. The researchers found that taking part in the trial improved the learning activities parents took part in at home with their children, and most schools also reported a boost to academic progress. Previous research commissioned by the Sutton Trust found a 19 month gap in development between the most and least advantaged children at...
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NAHT: Senior leader recruitment getting even worse

Schools are increasingly struggling to recruit senior leaders, with the proportion of heads failing to hire a new assistant head or principal almost double what it was last year. The NAHT union’s annual recruitment survey has found that 19 per cent of leaders failed to fill one of these vacancies this year, up from 10 per cent in 2016. The percentage of heads who failed to recruit a new business manager has also increased to 13 per cent this year, up from 11 per cent last year and seven per cent in 2015. James Bowen, director of NAHT Edge, the union’s middle leadership section, said the trend was “extremely worrying” and would have “significant consequences” if not addressed. “We shouldn’t forget that the middle leaders of today are the senior leaders of tomorrow – we have a duty to encourage and support them,” he said. We shouldn’t forget that the middle leaders of today are the senior leaders of tomorrow “However too many being put off from stepping up or are leaving as the excessive workload, long hours and high pressure gets too much.” Overall, schools continue to struggle with recruitment for all roles. Of the more than 800 school...
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DfE reprimanded by stats watchdog for sharing protected data with unauthorised staff

The Department for Education has received its second reprimand from the UK Statistics Authority in two months, after it shared unreleased statistics with staff who are not authorised to see them, breaking so-called “pre-release access” rules. The department was criticised in late September for delaying data releases and providing unclear information to the public, and is now in trouble again over the way information is shared between staff in the department before being made public. According to the statistics watchdog, the DfE has made three recent breaches of a rule which prevents certain staff from seeing information like exam results before it published. Public opinion supports the idea that we should all see the numbers at the same time The department’s code of practice states that only certain members of staff are granted “pre-release access” that allows them to see this protected information. This rule has been broken three times since September, leading to a written reprimand from Ed Humpherson, the UK Stats Authority’s director general for regulation. The incidents involved the results of the phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments, released in September; the provisional outcomes of the key stage 2 national curriculum assessments from November; and a further education and...
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