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  • The Mobile Phone in Schools Debate Rumbles On

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, has reignited a debate that continues to rumble on and on: the issue of whether mobile phones should be banned from schools. Gibb, whilst recognising that schools should be free to set their own behaviour policies, has made it clear that his personal view is that...

  • How can we improve Ofsted’s role in school improvement?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Ofsted has some very harsh critics, and not without good reason. Indeed, in answer to the question: How can we improve Ofsted’s role in school improvement? There will be many people who would simply say, ‘Abolish it.’ To be fair, there’s a pretty strong and compelling argument to support...

  • How to Teach Life Skills in School

    By Ryan Crawley, 24 Jan 2020

    With all the focus on academics and book learning in schools nowadays, there is a category that goes along with living life that often gets overlooked. No matter how smart you may be academically, if you don’t have the proper life skills to go along with it, you are doomed to face a painful...

  • Social Media Rules to Follow as a Teacher

    By Ryan Crawley, 24 Jan 2020

    Social media is a slippery slope to navigate when you are involved in education. You may believe what you post on social media is completely harmless so even if you have “friended” parents and past students, then it won’t be a big deal. However, if I have learned anything in today’s society, it is...

  • Knife Crime – What Can Schools Do?

    By Alan Peters, 24 Jan 2020

    We have all seen the appalling and, apparently ever growing, incidents of teenage knife crime reported in the media. Certain elements of the press seem to take a perverse joy in screaming headlines at their readers, predicting the collapse of society and laying the blame at whichever door is open...

  • Mental health services for pupils may not reach all schools for a decade

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The recently released NHS Long Term Plan for mental health services was broadly well-received by all stakeholders. However, it was not beyond criticism. Many NHS professionals raised doubts about how achievable some of the plan’s aims were in the context of funding and staffing pressures. One...

  • The Ofsted Inspection Framework - What’s changing?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Now a year into her role as Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman has frequently intimated that a change of direction in the way Ofsted carries out inspections was looming. Now the watchdog has made its intentions clear with the publication of its new Draft Inspection Framework. Subject to the usual...

  • School spending on CPD plummets – What does the future hold?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    New research has found that the amount of money that schools are spending on CPD (Continuing Professional Development) has fallen considerably as the pressures of funding cuts really begin to bite. In fact, the research shows that spending on CPD has plummeted by a massive £23.2million in just a...

  • Ofqual issues warning about higher tier GCSE grade boundaries

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    For teachers who have been in the profession for a while, the annual dilemma of deciding which GCSE tier the students they teach should be entered for has often caused a fair bit of anxiety and a few sleepless nights. Get the decision right, of course, and pupils have the opportunity to realise...

  • How to Encourage Students to Create What They Know

    By Ryan Crawley, 24 Jan 2020

    There are ways to allow the students to show what they know that does not include writing essays. Writing papers over and over in a class is something that has been done in education since the beginning of the time. But as we proceed further into the 21st century, it is time to look at other...