A week in

8th April 2016 at 01:00

Poor pre-school education could set pupils back decades, according to a new report from Save the Children. The charity is calling for every nursery in the country to be led by a qualified early years’ teacher by 2020 to help children develop key skills such as speech and language. In its report, Lighting Up Young Brains, Save the Children warns that failure to develop adequate language skills by age 5 can leave children struggling to learn in class and unable to catch up with peers.

A primary teaching school alliance in Yorkshire has become a northern outpost of a network of schools offering Singapore-style maths teaching. The Learning Unlimited Teaching School Alliance, set up by St Thomas of Canterbury School in Sheffield, has been designated as a Mathematics Mastery training provider, so staff from regional schools that join the high-quality programme can be trained locally. Andrew Truby, director of the alliance, said: “Too often I hear school leaders making excuses about why children are not achieving in the primary curriculum because of context or background, which is why I was determined to make this programme accessible to schools in the North.” Mathematics Mastery is a maths teaching programme, which is based on the system developed by the Singapore Ministry for Education, based on deep early understanding of fewer concepts.

Primary school pupils are being driven to self-harm due to anxiety caused by the pressures at school and on social media, teachers have warned. A fifth of education professionals say that pupils have attempted suicide because of the immense pressure that they are under. The survey of more than 400 members of the ATL teaching union – released during the union’s annual conference in Liverpool – also revealed that 43 per cent of respondents said that they had students who suffered from eating disorders. In total, 81 members of education staff surveyed said that they were aware of pupils attempting suicide in an effort to combat stress. Of those, 18 worked in primary schools.

One of the first primary academies, Durand Academy in south London, is looking for a new executive headteacher. The pay would be between £150,000 and £200,000 a year. The executive headteacher will lead the primary school, a neighbouring ‘middle’ school and a Sussex-based secondary boarding school. Former headteacher Sir Greg Martin, who retired in September, was known for his entrepreneurial approach to the job, opening a sports centre on site to support the school. Sir Greg was questioned by MPs about his overall pay of £390,000 in 2012-13, which was made up of £229,000 in salary and pension contribution, and £161,000 from the business that oversaw the sports centre.


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