Education News Roundup

From government plans to make the biggest spending cuts in decades, to a head teacher who left his pupils digesting an assembly with a difference, and a former-model-turned-teacher who has been declared too attractive for the classroom, we take our regular delve in to the papers, to see what lessons are being learnt in the world of education. Take time out to join us, and have your say, over on our blog pages.

Financial pressure grows for teachers

Chancellor George Osborne this month outlined his much anticipated budget-cutting measures, proclaimed to be the toughest in decades. But what will they mean for the education sector?

While overall, education has fared better than other areas, and cash for pupils is set to rise by just £4billion over the next four years, in real terms this represents an increase of just 0.1% once inflation is taken into account, reports the Daily Mirror

According to the paper, schools will now face huge financial pressures with the tiny increase in classroom funding totally out-weighed by the dramatic cuts in spending on other areas of education.

Teaching unions have attacked the planned cuts, saying they will have a devastating impact for schools.

Morning Miss….World

Heads at a Catholic school in Milan are under pressure to fire a female teacher because of her good looks and former life as a model, reports The Metro

The paper quotes one worried parent who describes the former beauty queen as ‘too sexy’ and a distraction for pupils.  Ileana Tacconelli, a former Miss Abruzzo in Italy, gave up modelling to pursue a career in teaching. She is reported to have the support of the school’s head teacher and a father who has created a fan club in her honour.

Running wild in the ‘malls’

Teachers may soon be given the power to suspend, expel or give detentions to pupils who are caught misbehaving outside of school grounds, reports the Daily Telegraph

Education Secretary Michael Gove spelled out the plans at a recent party conference held in Birmingham, saying the move would give heads the freedom they need to keep pupils in line, even if the anti-social behaviour was taking place outside of schools and in town centres.

Teachers Face the Book over social networking

At least three teachers in New York have been fired for inappropriate dealings with pupils on social networking site Facebook, one of which led to a sexual relationship, reports Daniel Bates in the Daily Mail. While some American states have introduced guidelines on how teachers may use social networking in relation to pupils, New York currently has none. This article questions how social networking sites may fall in to a grey area in the relationship between teacher and pupil.

It figures for DoE

A recent Department of Education (DoE) report has been causing a stir across the media. According to their figures, one in six pupils are falling behind in maths and English and failing to make the progress they are expected to.

The report, highlighted by Graeme Paton in the Daily Telegraph, suggests boys are struggling more with English, and girls with maths.

But despite the doom and gloom, the report shows there has been a slight  improvement on the findings of previous years.

A series of reforms have been pledged to try and improve standards in primary education.  One measure being considered is a reading test introduced for all pupils aged six, to help to try and identify those struggling the most at a young age. And for readers, a bigger emphasis may be placed on phonics techniques, which break words down into individual sounds.

Picking up on the gender differences further, Laura Clark writing in the Daily Mail  reports that girls appear to be racing ahead in the early years. Sixteen per cent of boys are reportedly unable to write their name and simple words such as ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ by the time they reach the end of primary school reception classes at the age of five.

Boys are also apparently falling behind girls in matters of writing and concentration, two other key areas of development.

A lesson In classroom management

Shop assistants are given more training on how to deal with angry customers than teachers are on how to deal with unruly pupils, is a warning that has been made by educationalists, reports BBC News. 

The group, made of psychologists and unions, raised their concerns at the Commons education committee’s first session of an inquiry into behaviour and discipline in schools in England. They voiced worries that teacher training courses do not cover enough ground on classroom management, or child development.

And finally…..

Bitesized lesson comes with eight legs..

A head teacher from Orpington in Kent bit off more than he could chew, when he stunned pupils and teachers by eating a baked tarantula in front of a packed assembly.

Mr Onac, headteacher at St Olave’s Grammar School, bravely undertook the bitesized stunt to help raise money for a new sports and drama centre for the school. But sceptical parents remain divided over the appropriateness of the feat, according to the Press Association. 

Your view: how deep will the cuts into education really go? Can you be too attractive to teach? Can teachers control behaviour outside of school? What are the dangers of social networking sites? Are primary schools failing boys? Can lessons be learned from retailers on how to manage unruly pupils? And was eating a baked tarantula creative teaching at its best, or just too shocking for a young audience? Over to you…

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