How crackdown on industrial action will hit schools
The government's plan to place major restrictions on industrial action will put more pressure on individual schools, predicts Russell Hobby. The general secretary of the NAHT headteachers' union said the move would force teachers to take action within their own schools, "where it is much easier to obtain the required turnout levels". This would result in "fragmentation of industrial relations", he said, hampering individual schools that did not have the resources to cope with industrial action. Under government proposals announced this week, teaching unions will need 40 per cent of those eligible to vote to back any action.
Pupils to embrace the arts at Latitude Festival
Hundreds of pupils will visit the Latitude Festival in Suffolk today. In what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind, the arts and music festival is opening its gates - and its stages - to school visits. About 350 primary and 50 secondary pupils will take part in a range of specially developed activities at the festival, which has a line-up that includes Noel Gallagher (pictured) and the Manic Street Preachers. As part of the schools programme, pupils can participate in musical theatre workshops and visit a "jam hub" where they can perform on electric guitars, keyboards and drums or learn how to beatbox. Other activities include a Shakespeare workshop, an astronomy lab and an event called Geology Rocks.
A third of teachers want out, survey finds
One in three teachers plans to leave the profession in the next five years, a poll reveals. Most are being driven out by excessive workloads and unreasonable managers, according to a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of the Teacher Support Network, which questioned a representative sample of 796 teachers in all stages of their careers. The poll finds that 34 per cent of teachers plan to leave the profession by 2020. According to Professor John Howson from the University of Oxford, the situation is critical because of the 800,000 additional pupils due to enter the education system over the next decade. "We can't afford to lose people," he said.
Read our recruitment crisis Qamp;A on pages 14-15
`High numbers' of pupils at risk of exploitation
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned that "potentially high numbers" of pupils in Birmingham and Tower Hamlets, East London, could be at risk of harm because they have been allowed to leave a school without the local authority knowing where they have gone. In a letter to education secretary Nicky Morgan, the head of Ofsted says that schools have been removing pupils' names from their admission registers and recording "only very generic" reasons for doing so. These include "gone to live with grandparents", "moved to Manchester" and "gone back to Libya". Sir Michael warns that some of these children may have been "exposed to harm, exploitation or the influence of extremist ideologies".
Phonics `top performers' to share expertise
Eight groups of schools will share a pound;10,000 government grant enabling them to spread their phonics teaching expertise. The "top performers" on phonics will use the money to develop models that other schools can employ to improve their teaching. The Department for Education said "too many pupils" were not confident in phonics by the end of Year 1. "We are serious about eliminating illiteracy in this country, which means we need to reach a position where every primary school is teaching reading using phonics as well as the best [ones] are," schools minister Nick Gibb said.