Weekly education news roundup 27/10/17



Parents and teachers march on Westminster

As part of several teaching unions' organised ‘School funding still in crisis’ campaign, parents joined members of the teaching profession in London this week calling for the Chancellor (Philip Hammond) to find more funding for schools in the Autumn Budget, scheduled to be announced on 22nd November. Parents held meetings with MPs on the day to discuss their concerns. See our piece on Parents invited to make their voices heard on school funding for more.

Justine Greening took questions from the Education Committee

Education policy in England continues to provoke a lot of discussion, and Education Secretary Justine Greening was in the hot seat this week to answer questions about how successfully her department is implementing their policies, and what her plans are to address concerns. Read our roundup of the full event

Winners of the 2017 Pearson Teaching Awards announced

They include: 

  • Sue Jay, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham. Excellence in special needs education.
  • Rohit Naik, Hope School, Liverpool. Primary headteacher of the year.
  • Michelle Garton, Wyndham Primary Academy, Derby. Primary teacher of the year.
  • Sharon Downes, Puddletown First School, Dorset. Teaching assistant of the year.
  • Michael Grant, New Rickstones Academy, Essex. Outstanding new teacher.
  • Lynn Green, Fullwell Infant School Academy, Tyne and Wear. Lifetime achievement.

You can find out more about their inspiring work when the event is broadcast on Sunday 29th October as part of BBC Two's Britain's Classroom Heroes.


Betty Campbell's funeral takes place

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Cardiff to pay their respects to Betty Campbell, the first black head teacher in Wales, and an inspiration to many. The funeral service took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Butetown. Campbell, who was 82, had served as head teacher at Mount Stuart, the school she gave almost three decades of her career to.

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said, "Betty was a true pioneer and inspiration to other black and ethnic minority people pursuing careers in education and other fields in Wales."

Councils warn of shortage of school places

Cardiff and Pembrokeshire Councils are warning of impending oversubscriptions for schools in their areas. An upsurge in housing and local populations is thought to be the cause of the increased pressure on places. 
Other areas, such as Flintshire and Anglesey, have surplus places.

Pearson Teaching Awards winners

Two teachers in Wales, Luisa Martin-Thomas and Lisa Rees-Renshaw, were honoured at the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Luisa, senior assistant head teacher at Tonypandy Community College, won Secondary teacher of the year for setting up a mindfulness hub to help students with anxiety and depression. Lisa, from Ysgol Y Deri in Penarth, won Outstanding use of technology in education for giving disabled pupils a voice.

You can see the event on Sunday 29th October when it is broadcast as part of BBC Two's Britain's Classroom Heroes.

Northern Ireland

Education Authority publishes its Strategic Plan

The Education Authority (EA), which began overseeing education services in 2015, has published its first Strategic Plan, which sets out how it envisions education will be provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade.

EA Chairperson, Sharon O’Connor, said, "Our mission is to provide a high-quality education for every child.  The Plan sets out key strategic priorities and the values which will guide the way we work, how we develop as an organisation and our decision-making at all levels."

Parents can watch a video presentation about the Strategic Plan, or read it in full on the EA's website. Although it states the need for its plans to meet the expectations of parents, the Strategic Plan doesn't include any initiatives on parental engagement. The EA's "LEARN" priorities are summarised as:

  • L Meeting the LEARNING needs of our children and young people
  • E Providing EXCELLENT education support services
  • A Developing ALL OUR PEOPLE to carry out their jobs successfully
  • R Managing our RESOURCES effectively and efficiently
  • N NURTURING LEADERSHIP across the EA to give clear direction in a dynamic and complex environment

School principal named secondary head teacher of the year

Maire Thompson, the principal of Malone Integrated College in Belfast, became secondary head teacher of the year at the Pearson Teaching Awards after operating an open-door policy and introducing a Rainbow Project to support gay pupils.

You can see the event on Sunday 29th October when it is broadcast as part of BBC Two's Britain's Classroom Heroes.










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