News at a glance

15th May 2015 at 01:00

School emails to be scanned in safeguarding bid

A new email security system to protect children from radicalisation and grooming is to be introduced across almost 1 million school accounts. The London Grid for Learning, also known as Trustnet, has decided to upgrade its system in response to concerns from school staff about safeguarding. The charity's chief executive, Brian Durrant, said: "We are going to build a system that checks email for bullying, grooming, self-harm and radicalisation. Schools will have the option of allowing such emails to be accessed by a suitable person so that appropriate interventions can be made." The new system will cover 180,000 staff emails and 700,000 pupil email accounts. It will be installed automatically on the existing systems at the beginning of next year.

Research will investigate how to help EAL pupils

A pound;2 million fund to test how best to support students who speak English as an additional language (EAL) has been announced by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). It comes after a report from academics at the University of Oxford, commissioned by the EEF and published in January, found that although some EAL pupils catch up with their peers by the age of 16, certain factors are linked to continued low achievement. These include arriving in England after the age of 7 and attending a school outside London. In addition, the attainment levels of native speakers of Romanian, Turkish and Portuguese were found to be lower than those of Russian and Spanish speakers. The EEF money is expected to fund up to five projects to address these issues.

New survey seeks opinions from school governors

A survey being conducted by the National Governors' Association in partnership with TES aims to lift the lid on the extent and impact of recruitment and funding pressures on schools. Governors at all English schools are invited to give their views about the state of the education system. Last year's survey, which received responses from more than 2,300 governors, revealed that one in three was finding it tough to attract headteachers and classroom teachers to their school. The survey can be completed at bit.lyGovernorsSurvey

`There's more to life than grades,' says Ofqual chair

Amanda Spielman, chair of exams regulator Ofqual, has cautioned against getting "too hung up" on exam grades, warning that they may be a "rather thin representation" of standards. "We need to keep hold of the idea that there is more to life than grades," she said this week. "Grades are just a reflection of outcomes; they are not the outcomes themselves." The comments were welcomed by school leaders. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "I absolutely agree with the points Ms Spielman is making. The focus has been entirely on grades as a measure of accountability." But Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL teaching union, accused Ms Spielman of being "disingenuous" and taking a "fundamentally dishonest position that ignores the reality of the way exam grades are regarded by society".

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