Using a new national schools funding formula to shift money to primaries from secondaries is one suggestion from a collection of essays published by heads’ union NAHT today. A government consultation on a new formula is expected soon and Jonathan Clifton, associate director of the IPPR thinktank, says that ministers should “use the opportunity [of the new formula] to target more money towards primary schools”. Jonathan Simons, head of the education unit at the Policy Exchange thinktank, says that the change would “recognise the benefits of early intervention for all pupils, and the greater ability of secondaries to deliver economies of scale”.
A new scheme to bring apprentices into primary schools, which aims to broaden pupils’ horizons so they can talk about their career options, has launched this week. Primary Futures Apprenticeships is backed by the prime minister’s apprenticeship tsar, Nadhim Zahawi, who said: “Many of us develop our idea of a dream job while we’re at primary school, and apprenticeships are a great way of achieving these dreams.”
Celebrated scientist and television personality Lord Robert Winston has warned that Britain “fails to value” its primary teachers. He told TES at the Bett conference in London that more needs to be done to invest in children early in their experience of the education system. “[Young children’s] brains are plastic,” Lord Winston said. “They are losing and gaining synapses all the time. There is a failure in this country to value primary teachers. As a country, we don’t realise how important they are.”
A primary teacher who made £6,000 selling his lesson plans to other teachers has used the money to help pay the deposit for his daughter’s house. Paul Urry, deputy head at St James Primary School in Gorton, Manchester, made the cash by selling teaching resources through the TES website. Mr Urry said that his motivation for selling the lesson plans was not to make money, but that the extra cash was welcome.