All posts tagged: pupils

The Knowledge. How MATs are supporting pupils with SEND

The Knowledge. How MATs are supporting pupils with SEND

More from this theme Recent articles When the secretary of state for education herself describes the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system as ‘lose, lose, lose’, no one can deny it is in a bad way. Concerns around attendance, behaviour and mental health in the wake of the pandemic coupled with a decline in real-terms funding have left schools facing an increasingly challenging context for supporting all pupils, especially those with SEND. Yet while the SEND and AP Improvement Plan published last year calls for a ‘united workforce’ around the child, it does not identify collaborative school groups such as multi-academy trusts (MATs) as among the key system stakeholders. Today, NFER publishes a new report that looks to address this gap by providing insights into how some MATs are looking to better support their pupils with SEND, and what lessons school groups of all kinds may draw from this. Over the recent autumn and spring terms, we interviewed 49 trust leaders and school SENCOs across 19 MATs that had been identified as demonstrating potential …

New government guidance for PE lets teachers and pupils down

New government guidance for PE lets teachers and pupils down

The UK government recently published guidance for physical education (PE) aimed at all schools in England. The guidance is non-statutory, meaning it is not compulsory by law for schools to follow. Instead, it is intended as inspiration to help schools change their PE provision to benefit all pupils. Initially, this document seems like a catalyst for positive change. Those, like us, who research and work in school PE have advocated for more high-level support and focus on the subject for years. But on closer inspection, the guidance seems like a missed opportunity. It shows that PE is still undervalued and misunderstood, particularly by the government. A key recommendation set out in the guidance is that every pupil should take part in a minimum of two hours of PE a week. This, however, falls considerably short of the target set by the UK’s chief medical officer of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for children. Not only is two hours a week not enough, it’s also nothing new. The Labour government set this as …

NSS alarmed at plan to let new schools select all pupils based on faith

NSS alarmed at plan to let new schools select all pupils based on faith

The National Secular Society has expressed alarm at government plans for a new wave of faith schools which can select 100% of their pupils based on religion. Senior officials at Downing Street are considering removing the ‘50% cap’ rule on pupil admissions at state-funded faith schools in England, according to The Times. Under the 50% cap, new academies and free schools with a religious character may only select up to 50% of pupils based on religion when they are oversubscribed. The NSS has warned that abolishing the cap would result in “a new wave of religiously exclusive, segregated schools” that disadvantage children most in need. Several recent reports reveal faith-based admissions are a barrier to children from low income families, children with special educational needs, and looked after children. The demand to remove the cap comes primarily from the Catholic Church, which stepped up its lobbying against the cap last year. The NSS is writing to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to oppose the plans. Sources: Cap could be scrapped before general election Downing Street may …

UK teachers: have you seen a rise in challenging behaviour from pupils? | Schools

UK teachers: have you seen a rise in challenging behaviour from pupils? | Schools

Teachers across the UK have been reporting a rise in challenging behaviour and violence from pupils in recent years. Nearly one in five teachers in England reported being hit by a student this year, according to a BBC survey, while a NASUWT survey showed nearly four in ten Scottish teachers reported experiencing violence or physical abuse in the previous 12 months, with similar levels in Wales and Northern Ireland. We would like to hear from teachers about how this is impacting them and other pupils. Have you seen a rise in abusive, disruptive or violent behaviour in your school? If so, has it been getting worse and what do you think is behind it? How are you and other pupils affected? Share your experience We want to speak with teachers in the UK about pupils’ behaviour. Has your school seen a rise in challenging or violent behaviour? Your responses, which can be anonymous, are secure as the form is encrypted and only the Guardian has access to your contributions. We will only use the data …

Track pupils’ outcomes, councils told

Track pupils’ outcomes, councils told

More from this theme Recent articles Councils should monitor outcomes for pupils who experience “managed moves” out of schools and involve an “independent” representative of children’s best interest in their administration. Education Policy Institute research found tens of thousands of pupils have “unexplained” moves out of school each year, with poorer pupils more likely to be involved. At least some of these “unexplained” exits are managed moves. These are allowed when agreed between heads, parents and pupils, but constitute off-rolling if not in a pupil’s best interests. No consistent data on managed moves is collected. So the EPI sought to identify “unexplained” moves – those that “do not appear” to be driven by family decisions or circumstances. Of pupils finishing year 11 in 2019, around 34,000, or 6 per cent, experienced around 37,000 moves between schools at some point during their five years of secondary school. These moves “did not occur due to any family reason we could detect in the data”. Among the 2,959,950 pupils registered in a secondary school, the report found around …

Make ‘adjustments’ for disabled pupils

Make ‘adjustments’ for disabled pupils

More from this theme Recent articles Schools have been reminded they must make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure eligible disabled pupils can access their free school meals entitlement. The Department for Education has also updated guidance to set out an expectation that councils “consider making equivalent food provision” available to children in out-of-school provision, following threats of legal action. A group of families initiated judicial review proceedings after their children were denied free meals because they were too disabled to attend state schools. These children are deemed to be in “education other than at school”, meaning they are in provision paid-for by their local authority because it is inappropriate for them to be in school. In a letter to the claimants last November, DfE lawyers said it “may be a breach” of the European Convention on Human Rights” if children receiving state provided education but not in schools “are not provided with meals where such meals can be provided and consumed in conjunction with receiving the education”. LAs told to ‘consider’ equivalent food provision Today’s updated …

Record numbers of pupils in England absent for long periods, DfE data shows | School attendance and absence

Record numbers of pupils in England absent for long periods, DfE data shows | School attendance and absence

Record numbers of pupils in England were absent for long periods last year, with one in 50 missing at least half of their lessons, according to official data showing absences remain far higher than pre-Covid levels. The updated Department for Education figures show 150,000 children at state schools were classed as severely absent in 2022-23 – 30,000 more than the year before and 150% higher than the 60,000 who were severely absent in 2018-19, before the pandemic. The overall attendance figures showed small improvements compared with 2021-22 but school leaders and experts said much more needed to be done. Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Advertising slogans and attendance hubs are just not going to make a tangible difference to pupils who are missing days or weeks of school at a time. We have to be far more ambitious. “We need greater mental health support for children who are suffering from anxiety and depression. There needs to be a network of support available to allow all pupils …

Pupils consulted on how Ofsted can improve its work

Pupils consulted on how Ofsted can improve its work

‘Feedback will help us make sure we’re doing our job the best way we can,’ says watchdog chief ‘Feedback will help us make sure we’re doing our job the best way we can,’ says watchdog chief More from this theme Recent articles Ofsted has extended its Big Listen consultation so children can have their say on how to improve the watchdog. The online survey, for primary and secondary school pupils aged up to 18, asks what they think inspectors should look at when they visit their school or social care setting. The survey also seeks pupils’ views on how Ofsted can do its job better. The inspectorate launched its main 12-week “Big Listen” consultation for school staff, education organisations and parents on March 8. Views from schools, safeguarding, SEND, teacher training, social care and further education settings were sought. The children’s survey includes an introductory video which explains it is anonymous and asks youngsters not to share personal information such as their name, school, or address. It asks pupils what age bracket they fall into, …

Pupils in Wales perform only as well as disadvantaged children in England – IFS | Schools

Pupils in Wales perform only as well as disadvantaged children in England – IFS | Schools

Wales’s new first minister, Vaughan Gething, faces a major challenge in improving the country’s schools, after the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that pupils in Wales were performing only as well as disadvantaged children in England. The IFS study follows Wales’s weak performance in the OECD’s most recent Programme for international student assessment (Pisa) standings, in which results in Wales declined by more than in other UK nations and were well below the average across OECD countries. Wales’s lower attainment cannot be explained by higher levels of poverty, according to the IFS, as pupils in areas of England with higher or similar levels of deprivation such as Liverpool or Gateshead achieved “significantly higher” GCSE results than their counterparts in Wales. The IFS said the Pisa results showed the average pupil in Wales performed at the same level as the most disadvantaged children in England, despite education spending per pupil being similar. Luke Sibieta, the author of the IFS study, said: “Faced with this gloomy picture, policymakers should have the courage to make reforms based on …

Advanced British standard risks ‘blunt choice’ for pupils

Advanced British standard risks ‘blunt choice’ for pupils

More from this theme Recent articles Government plans for a new advanced British standard qualification will create a “blunt choice” between academic and vocational routes for pupils and add to uncertainty over post-16 options, leaders have warned. School leaders’ unions the NAHT and ASCL have published responses to the government’s consultation on proposals, as has the Sixth Form Colleges Association. The consultation closes today. Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced last year that the ABS will replace A-levels and T­-levels in around 10 years, though an anticipated Labour election win means the policy is unlikely to ever come to fruition. The government initially announced it would create a single qualification for post-16 study. But the consultation, published last December, set out plans for two – the ABS and the ABS (occupational). Paul Whiteman, the NAHT’s general secretart, warned the “unimaginative qualification repackages A-levels and T-levels together but still forces students down one route or the other”. In the NAHT’s full response, head of policy Sarah Hannafin warned the proposals hold “tightly to the traditional system in …