More signs of funding woes for some | john howson

This week the DfE published the annual update on revenue balances and deficits for schools across England. Once again the data for 2017-18 shows a deteriorating position for many schools. It will also fuel the debate about how London schools are funded compared with those in the rest of the country.

Overall, the figures seem to show schools diverging between those with a surplus and a growing number with a deficit. The percentage deficit as a share of revenue budgets is also increasing, especially…

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Requiem for an Agency | john howson

This week saw the final rites for the National College of Teaching and Leadership with the publication on the 5TH December of their final annual report and accounts before the College disappeared from the scene and its functions were re-absorbed into the Department for Education. You can read the report at

Thus ends an era that started with the Teacher Training Agency in the mid-1990s, when QUANGOs were fashionable (Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisations for those that don’t remember the…

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Where teachers are prepared matters | john howson

The final post in my series looking at the ITT Census for 2018, published last Thursday, considers the relative fortunes of schools and higher education in recruiting trainees on to teacher preparation courses. When Michael Gove was Secretary of State for Education, the direction of travel was clear: away from higher education as the provider of courses and towards a school-led and based system. How well has that direction of travel survived some three Secretaries of State later?

In the 2018 census the increase in secondary trainees has been concentrated in the higher education and SCITT…

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I need convincing about this idea | john howson

As long-time readers of this blog will know, the education of children taken into care has long been a concern of mine. The problem of having to change school both mid-year and unexpectedly has sometimes been further exacerbated by the unwillingness of some academies to take such children when they apply for admission.

As a result, I view this story in the Sunday Telegraph that was brought to my attention by the LGiU cuts service I receive as a Councillor with somewhat missed emotions

Cared-for children to receive private school bursaries

Children in care will be given discounted places…

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Fewer younger trainee teachers? | john howson

Digging down into the details of yesterday’s DfE publication of the ITT census it seems as if the drift away from teaching as a career by young first time graduates has continued this year. The percentage change isn’t significant by itself, but if it forms part of a trend, then it will be worrying since new graduates have been in the past been a very important source of new entrants into the profession: those that remain also provide the bedrock of future leaders in ten to fifteen years.

This year, the percentage of postgraduate entrants under 25 fell to 50% of the total, while those over…

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Now for the bad news | john howson

In my previous post I highlighted how Ministers might be pleased with the overall figure in the ITT Census released this morning by the DfE. However, once the numbers are analysed in more detail, a picture of two worlds moving further apart beings to emerge.

First the good news: English, as a subject, passed its Teacher Supply Model figure and registered 110% recruitment against the ‘target’. Biology did even better, hitting 153% of target, and history managed 101%, virtually the same as…

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Phew, what a relief! | john howson

The ITT Census published by the DfE today, along with the accompanying set of notes – what used to be called Statistical Bulletins or First Releases in former times- will come as a welcome relief to Ministers, at least a the headline level.

The total number of trainee teachers, including Teach First, preparing for life in secondary schools in 2019 was measured by the census as 16,280. This is an increase of 1,285 or around nine per cent higher than last year. In primary, where recruitment…

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