Author: Rachel Andersson

Where Next after the Government’s U-Turn on Nursery Staff Qualifications?

There’s no doubt that the Government’s announcement of a U-turn on its requirement for newly recruited nursery staff to hold at least a C grade in GCSE English and Mathematics (first introduced in 2014) is very welcome news. From this coming April, equivalent functional skills qualifications will also be accepted. The requirement for staff counting towards a nursery’s qualified staff to children ratio to hold GCSE qualifications has undoubtedly contributed to recruitment problems in the nurseries sector. Although nurseries were still allowed to employ those who did not meet these minimum requirements, they did not count towards the ratios....

Read More

“Be Bold For Change”: Five Initiatives Widening Girls’ Educational Horizons

“Be Bold For Change” is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day (8 March), its aim to “forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world”. The news is full of stories about the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling and under-representation of women in key areas of the workforce, so this particular peon for change seems timely. Yet if change is really to happen – rather than just be talked about – it must be driven not just through the world of work but through our education and values systems, too. With this in...

Read More

Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Joining a Teachers’ Union

Media coverage of trade unions – teaching or otherwise – might seem off-putting, but there are several important reasons why all teachers should at least consider joining one. Forget portrayals of hectoring union chiefs urging strident teachers to take industrial action that affords them (yet another) day off from the classroom while hard-pressed parents struggle (yet again) to reconcile the conflicting demands of childcare and holding down a job. Union membership isn’t just about having the right to strike if the terms and conditions of the job become untenable. Arguably for many members the right to take industrial action...

Read More

Six Ways to Make Random Acts of Kindness Week Last the Whole Year

  It would be easy to dismiss International Random Acts of Kindness Week (9–15 February this year, leading up to Random Acts of Kindness Day on 17 February) as just another opportunity to share a few memes or schmaltzy videos on social media. After all, how can a fundamental quality like kindness seriously be given the treatment it deserves when it is squeezed in alongside days celebrating the gumdrop (15 February) and the battery (18 February)? Look around and you’ll find plenty of activities suggested for this week (inspirational posters, acrostics etc.). But what benefit can there be if...

Read More

Homework in Disguise : Everyday Activities that Reinforce Learning

There seems to be a growing trend towards questioning the value of homework, particularly at primary level, with some schools now going as far as abolishing it altogether. Yet it is hard to find consensus on the topic. While some educators believe it is essential to have a regime of structured homework to reinforce what is learnt in class, others take a minimalist approach. Equally, parents have widely divergent views on the subject, influenced not only by how well their child is doing in school but also by how hectic the child’s life is outside school. However, irrespective of...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest