750 not out | john howson

After celebrating its 5th birthday in January this year, this blog has now reached another landmark: the 750th post. The administrators tell me that means somewhere close to 450,000 words have appeared so far, with a word count averaging somewhere between 550-600 words per post: slightly shorter in recent years than in 2013 and 214.

Key themes in recent times have included, the place of local democracy in the school system and the recruitment scene for teachers, whether into teacher training or for the labour market for teachers and school leaders. This blog has published an analysis of the…

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More secondary age pupils, but fewer pre-school entrants | john howson

This is the time of year when the DfE publishes its annual look at pupil projections for the next few years. This year’s output can be found at https://ift.tt/2L9M1UM There isn’t a lot in the document to surprise those that follow the data about pupil numbers. Secondary school pupil numbers are on the increase, but the downturn in births in 2013 is starting to affect the primary sector and will continue to do so over the next few years.

These numbers are a key component of the Teacher Supply Model that helps determine the number of new…

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What’s happening to apprenticeships? | john howson

This blog doesn’t often venture into the world of further education and training. It is a specialist area that is generally best left to those that know more about it that myself. However, I was struck by the data on apprenticeships published by the DfE yesterday, amid a range of other statistics. https://ift.tt/2NLsSKw We are not, of course at the end of the statistical year for this dataset, but the fourth quarter is usually the quietist. As a result, the August to April data can be regarded as a relatively safe verdict on the…

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More or less local democracy in our school system: who cares? | john howson

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) at Westminster has published a short and interesting Report into ‘Converting Schools to Academies’. https://ift.tt/2meJiym

There is little to disagree with in the Report. The process has been expensive and has caused problems with the remaining statutory duties of local authorities. The Committee cited pupil place planning as an issue, but could have included SEND issues and the education of children taken into care. They could have also realised that Free Schools and the dalliance with the 14-18…

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Recruitment – an end of term report | john howson

As schools start winding down for the start of the summer break, it is a good time to assess the current recruitment round for teachers. There clearly isn’t just one market for teachers. Rather there is a complex web of interlocking markets based on geography; phase and specialism, both in terms of subject expertise and other knowledge and experience. House prices matter, as does the reputation of schools and the willingness of applicants to travel any distance outside either their current travel to work comfort zone or to move their location either for a first job or a promotion.

Then…

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Funding dilemma | john howson

There is an interesting story on the BBC web site today about a school with 300 holes in its roof. https://ift.tt/2u2iYLq Now this is not a crumbling Victorian pile that ought to be knocked, down but a modern building recently re-built – with shiny design features and a landscaped setting. Unfortunately there appears to be a substantial issue with the roof.

Under the regime initiated by Labour and continued by the Coalition and the recent Conservative governments, education budgets have been devolved to schools and increasingly taken away from democratically elected…

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Good news for Didcot | john howson

Well done to the Oxfordshire UTC. The 14-19 school received a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted this week, after its first ever inspection. In the same week the UTC in Derby was placed in special measures.

You can read the Ofsted report on the Oxfordshire UTC at  https://ift.tt/2N9inQS Schools week had some interesting statistics on UTCs recently. https://ift.tt/2yVHNON Apparently, according to the report by Schools Week

“almost a quarter of the 33 UTCs inspected so far have…

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