News at a glance

16th October 2015 at 00:00

Final-year students lack self-belief, study finds

Students in the final year of school are less likely to be happy than 14-year-olds, research reveals. The report from the Demos thinktank, based on a poll of more than 1,000 teenagers, shows a steady decline in children’s self-belief and resilience between the ages of 14 and 18. Final-year students are three times more likely to feel that their school is focused only on preparing them for exams rather than life in general, it finds. The report, Mind Over Matter, calls on the government, schools and charities to explore targeted interventions to instil “growth mindsets” that promote the self-belief young people need to succeed in education, work and society.

TES columnist Roger Pope to lead National College

Headteacher and long-standing TES columnist Roger Pope has been appointed chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). Former chief executive Charlie Taylor left the organisation two months ago and will not be replaced, TES has learned. His responsibilities will be split between Mr Pope and director of delivery Sinead O’Sullivan. Mr Pope, principal of Kingsbridge Community College in Devon, will advise ministers on the strategic development of the school-led teacher training system while Ms O’Sullivan oversees the organisation’s day-to-day management. Mr Pope (right) said: “I am very much looking forward to contributing to the NCTL’s vital work in developing teachers and leaders.”

Play a part in Huge History in the making

Primary and secondary pupils are being challenged to develop a history lesson about an object of their choice. The Huge History Lesson competition, launched this week, was conceived by television presenter Dan Snow, spoken-word artist George the Poet and Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. Backed by TES, the contest encourages pupils to find an object that fascinates them and produce a lesson plan that communicates what is interesting about it. For further details, visit

SEND provision is fragmented, thinktank warns

Ofsted should be given additional powers to check on how schools are helping pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the LKMco education thinktank warned this week. Its report Joining the Dots states that provision is becoming fragmented, despite reforms that aimed to provide a “simpler and more joined-up” system. Greater school autonomy has created a “risky” environment, according to the report commissioned by literacy charity the Driver Youth Trust. “In relation to SEND we find that while some schools have thrived, others are struggling to provide high-quality teaching and additional support for their learners,” the report warns. The trust wants Ofsted inspectors to be able to commission a review of how SEND funding is spent in individual schools, in the same way as for pupil premium funding.

Girls ahead as early years performance rises

There has been a sharp increase in the number of five-year-olds performing well at school, according to Department for Education statistics out this week. Two-thirds of children reached a good level of development by the end of Reception in 2015, compared with 60 per cent the previous year. Children are rated as having achieved a “good” level if they hit expectations in 12 of 17 early years foundation stage profile assessments carried out by teachers. These include being able to count to 20 and read simple sentences. Girls did better on all measures, with 74 per cent having a good level of development compared with 59 per cent of boys.

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