The Importance of Teaching



Education Secretary Michael Gove has set out a radical reform programme  in the schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, published yesterday. It outlines the department’s plans, which amount to the biggest reforms for 20 years.

The DfE website has more information about the paper and the issues which it addresses.

This article in today’s Independent contains a useful summary of the key proposals.

School history gets the TV treatment

Michael Gove is bringing in celebrities to revamp school history teaching. That’s not what’s needed, says James Vernon.

Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, a sculpture by Yinka Shonibare installed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, reflects the importance of history to our identity. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Michael Gove’s appointment of Simon Schama to restructure history teaching in  schools offers a little reassurance that it is now acknowledged there is some public value to the teaching of history, despite the removal of funding for it at university level.

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Ministers urged to focus on quality of teaching

Ministers should focus more on improving the existing teaching workforce than on recruiting new teachers to the profession, research suggests today.

 A study by the think-tank Reform says ministers should do away with regulations which prevent schools from improving the quality of teaching themselves. It calls for workforce agreements to be scrapped, with heads given the right to set pay and conditions for staff, and reward those that perform well.

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SEN Review 2010

In light of Lorraine Peterson’s talk this morning, in which she referred to the review of SEN currently being undertaken by the Coalition government, I thought this would be of interest – Lorraine herself features toward the end of the article:

SEN review set to be most significant ‘since Warnock’

News | Published in The TES on 25 June, 2010 | By: Kerra Maddern

Sir Bob Balchin, who led last Tory overhaul of sector, says Teather investigation will have ‘serious consequences’

A review of special educational needs provision in England will result in the most radical changes to the system for 30 years, the educationalist who led the last Conservative overhaul has said.

The review, which was announced last week, will look at why one in five pupils is now officially labelled as having special needs, and how to pay for the costly extra support they need.

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Human rights teaching reduces bullying, study finds

This article in The Guardian, Tuesday 2 November 2010, makes for interesting reading and has some significant outcomes:

Unicef project in hundreds of UK schools helps to foster calmer classrooms and a reduction in bullying and truancy

Teaching children about their human rights can reduce bullying and exclusions, improve relations with teachers and create a calmer atmosphere for learning, according to an academic study published today.

A Unicef UK project running in more than 1,000 schools across Britain teaches pupils about their rights and responsibilities, and encourages them to draw up charters for classroom behaviour.

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Are parents to blame for bad behaviour in schools?

Education experts have told MPs that many parents set a bad example to their children, for example, by encouraging them to ‘hit back’.

Parents are undermining teachers’ efforts to improve children’s behaviour by setting a bad example, MPs heard today.

Education experts told the cross-party commons education select committee that parents were increasingly in conflict with teachers over what constitutes good behaviour.

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More about PSHE

The PSHE Association provides an excellent starting point for ideas and resources re. delivering effective PSHE in schools.

Some food for thought here from Maggie Walker, Deputy CEO and director of curriculum at Asdan (an educational charity and skills-based awarding body: – she advocates the need for PSHE to become statutory in schools if we are to educate and develop our pupils’ holistically

Future of many education quangos still under review

See today’s article in The Independent regarding which of the education quangos have been scrapped and which are still under review – one of these being the TDA.

These form part of the coalition governments attempts to cut bureacracy within public services such as education and health – 192 quangos are to be scrapped as things stand to date.