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School once at the centre of parent protests is now leading the way with new scheme

The Birmingham Mail is reporting on a local school, once at the centre of parent protests after introducing tough rules, that it says is now leading the way with a new scheme aimed at boosting children’s academic success. It was just over two years ago that the former Castle Vale Performing Arts College hit the headlines after furious parents protested outside the school’s gates when 40 pupils had been barred from lessons for wearing the wrong shoes. And now it has become the first secondary school in England to introduce a scheme called Families And Schools Together (FAST).

Only one bid for £13m contract to run controversial new GCSE tests

The TES is reporting that Ofqual only received one bid for the £13m contract to run the new pupil tests that will help set GCSE standards… In March, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) was awarded a seven-year deal to develop and deliver new National Reference Tests (NRT) – designed to be used as independent measures to be used in deciding whether GCSE grades can go up.

Social media ‘more stressful than exams’, claims headteacher

The Evening Standard is reporting warnings from a head teacher that teenagers feel more stress from having to keep up appearances on social media than they do from exams… Marion Gibbs, head of James Allen’s Girls School (JAGS) in Dulwich, said teenagers live in a goldfish bowl where they are under “horrendous” pressure to look good and be popular.

Help schools to hire unqualified teachers, says Eton head

The TES is reporting that the outgoing head of Eton College has described teacher training as “a mess” and said it should be easier for unqualified teachers to get into the classroom… Tony Little, who is preparing to leave the boarding school this summer, called for a national system that would open up teaching to people “without professional qualifications but with good subject knowledge”.

Ambition is the key to a long career in the classroom, research shows

The TES is reporting that new research shows a keen sense of ambition is far more likely to keep teachers in the classroom than to tempt them to look elsewhere for work… Teachers who set themselves difficult goals are more likely to stay within the profession long-term than their less goal-oriented colleagues, according to Brady Jones of Northwestern University in Chicago.

Academy praised by DfE before ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating

The BBC is reporting that an “inadequate” school, placed in special measures by Ofsted, was praised for its “vision” just weeks earlier by the DfE… In March Ofsted said leadership, pupil safety and pupil achievement at Ely College were all “inadequate”.

£4.5m free school deemed ‘not viable’

The BBC is reporting that a Cornwall free school that cost taxpayers £4.5m to open has been described as “not a viable proposition” by its sponsors and is to be taken over by a larger school. St Michael’s Catholic secondary school in Camborne is the only free school in Cornwall and opened with about 60 pupils in 2012.

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