Ark chain wants one-to-one coaching for teachers
Teachers should be given weekly one-to-one coaching sessions to improve the quality of their classroom practice, a new report by the Ark academy chain suggests. Published this week, Lessons Learned cites evidence showing that pupils taught by the best teachers progress four times more quickly than those taught by the least-effective. Writing in the report, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, managing director of US charter-school network Uncommon Schools Newark, advocates weekly classroom observations followed by coaching sessions on the basic elements of a great lesson.
Warning over `scattergun' pupil premium spending
Education secretary Nicky Morgan (left) has warned schools that they must not spend pupil premium funding in a "scattergun fashion". In a speech this week, Ms Morgan said it was not enough for schools "just to hope that the pupil premium reaches the right children". She cited a new report by the National Audit Office (see bit.lyNAOpremium), which shows that more than three-quarters of schools are diluting the benefits of pupil premium funding by using it to help all children rather than the most disadvantaged. A separate report from the Education Endowment Foundation and the Sutton Trust (bit.lySutton1) calls on the government to reward schools for using pupil premium cash effectively.
New rules on radicalisation come into force
Schools will be legally obliged to prevent pupils from becoming radicalised and potentially turning to terrorism under rules that came into effect this week. As well as looking out for signs of gang membership, abuse and drug use, teachers working under the Prevent guidelines will be expected to spot the early signs of radicalisation and extremism. The new safeguarding duties include assessing the risk of children being drawn into terrorism or extremism; being alert to changes in children's behaviour that could indicate they are at risk of radicalisation; and intervening where necessary and referring children to the appropriate authorities.
For more on preventing radicalisation, see page 34
Classroom support helps ADHD pupils, study finds
Extra support in the classroom can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to perform better without the need for drugs, a new study concludes (bit.lyADHDexeter). The review of 54 studies, led by academics at the University of Exeter, tested different ways of supporting children who have ADHD, including daily report cards from teachers and training in study or organisational skills. Overall, the academics found that such strategies helped to lessen hyperactive behaviour, increase attention and improve classroom performance.
Academy status has `no significant link' to results
There is no significant link between academy status and improvements in a school's overall GCSE results, the National Foundation for Educational Research has found. According to analysis by the organisation (bit.lyNFERstudy1), the differences in overall GCSE performance between converter or sponsored academies and similar maintained schools are not statistically significant. The report also finds very little evidence that pupils eligible for free school meals make greater progress at either type of academy than in similar maintained schools. But the report does find that the proportion of students achieving five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and maths, was 2.9 percentage points higher in 2014 in sponsored academies than in similar maintained schools.