And a New School Year Begins

With the new school year under way, changes are afoot. Here is just a selection of the shiny new things on the education radar.

A change in OFSTED inspections will see ‘great leadership’ at the centre of major reforms being made to inspections from September 2015. Leaders’ vision and ambition for children and their learning will be scrutinised as OFSTED begin to look at how those at the top are setting the culture of their schools to ensure that all learners make strong progress. Particular emphasis will be paid to the most disadvantaged and the strength of progress from differing starting points.

Maths, maths and more maths! From 2015 a new maths GCSE will contain around a third more content requiring pupils to grasp important concepts in a much greater depth with the idea being that 14-16 year olds are able to answer “real world problems”. The new exam will include financial mathematics to make sure the youth of today are better prepared for the world of tomorrow. Follow the link above to see how your maths knowledge would stand up against the new style exam.

A new government online tool, gives schools and parents help and advice to prepare their children for adult life. Parent info provides key information to help find a way through the minefield that is adolescence; with issues such as spotting signs of self-harm to managing money (as tackled in the new style GCSE mentioned above). The aim of this new tool is to give parents the confidence to be able to support their children on sensitive issues whilst knowing help is on hand when things get complicated.

Education Secretary, Nikki Morgan, has called on UK business leaders to step forward and set up more academy trusts. This comes at the same time as claims that the government is currently facing a shortage of sponsors willing to take on schools that are struggling to drive up standards. The aim is also to pick up much needed support for the extension of its academies programme.

As teachers are the best placed in their field to make teaching better, they are being asked to give their views on how to raise the status of their profession developing a new professional standard to adhere to. The Department for Education has invited a group of experts to develop this new standard as part of a nationwide drive to help raise the status of teaching and ensure teachers continue to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. This new approach will help teachers to become better informed about the types of training that achieve the best outcomes for their pupils.

With a new school year comes a new set of news and views. Make sure you visit this page to stay in touch with what is going on in UK schools and education.

Emma WIlliams