Education News Roundup

Unruly pupils hidden from inspectors

A former member of the General Teaching Council for England has reportedly told MPs that some headteachers are employing a range of tactics to try and keep the most disruptive pupils out of the sight of Ofsted Inspectors.

The story, covered in the Guardian (, reports how Tom Trust outlined a range of tactics, including temporarily suspending certain children before the inspectors arrive and bringing in supply teachers to cover the worst behaved classes, as these are unlikely to be observed.

Move house for a good school?

Many parents find the school admissions procedure stressful, unfair and confusing according to an article in the Daily Telegraph. (

Reporting on findings of a poll by Netmums, the paper reveals that nearly one in four parents feel the whole application procedure is confusing and overwhelming and 60% of parents found, or are finding it, stressful not knowing if their youngster will get a place at their preferred school.

When asked what length they would go to in order to obtain a place at a good school, nearly 57 per cent said they would be willing to move house and nearly half simply said they would do ”whatever it takes”.

Ofsted snoop on lunchboxes

School inspectors have been lifting the lid on pupil lunchboxes and grading schools on the quality of snacks that they find, according to the Daily Mail.

They report that Ofsted inspectors are snooping in children’s lunchboxes and marking schools down if they find unhealthy snacks such as crisps and chocolate. Those schools where lunchboxes have been deemed too unhealthy, have subsequently lost marks under the ‘healthy lifestyles’ section of the inspection.

Parents have reportedly expressed amazement at the practice, while critics urge Ofsted to concentrate on teaching quality and discipline instead.

Unhappy pupils

Teenagers who do not like school are more likely to become involved in under-age sex and drinking, according to research by Liverpool John Moores University’s Centre for Public Health.

As reported by the Press Association, the study says that happiness at school and home can be key indicators of whether a child is likely to indulge in “risky” behaviour.

The study questioned 3,641 children aged 11 to 14 living in north-west England about sex and alcohol use, as well as asking about their general well-being.

And finally…

‘Batman’ teacher wins award

A creative teacher from West Yorkshire who employs a range of unusual techniques in her classroom has received top honours at a national award ceremony.

From transforming her classroom into an alien landscape, to dressing up as characters such as Batman and using Tai Chi techniques in her lessons to focus pupils, Kelly Steeples has been praised for her unique teaching style and voted ‘New Teacher of the Year’ at the national teaching awards, reports BBC News (

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