Big rise in teachers relying on handouts to pay rent | schoolsnortheast

Teachers are also applying for grants to cover their transport costs and utility bills.

Hundreds of teachers are asking for charitable handouts to keep them from homelessness, because they can no longer afford to pay their own housing and transport costs.

The number of teachers asking for help with these costs has risen by 40% in the last year, according to the Education Support Partnership.

Figures provided by the charity reveal that it received 494 applications for grants during the financial year 2016-17.

But, in the eight months between April and November 2017, 531…

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Flagship social mobility programme risked ‘overloading’ schools, DfE official reveals | schoolsnortheast

The government’s flagship scheme to improve social mobility in 12 ‘cold spots’ in England risked overloading schools, a Department for Education official has revealed.

The disclosure came as new education secretary Damian Hinds signalled his commitment to his predecessor Justine Greening’s Opportunity Area programme by approving the delivery plans for six of the areas.

The scheme, which targets £72 million at 12 areas, aims to bring together schools, colleges, universities, early years providers and employers to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children. It was first…

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Rocky start for Ofsted’s Bold Beginnings Report | schoolsnortheast

Ofsted’s Bold Beginnings report, published in November, upset many practitioners by calling the Reception Year a “false start” for many children. In recent weeks the debate has become heated, with critics and officials exchanging asides on social media.

The key points in the report for schools are:
Refocusing the Reception Year on reading, including systematic synthetic phonics.
Attaching greater importance to the use of numbers in building children’s fluency in counting, identifying small numbers of items, comparing numbers and solving problems.
Ensure that when children are learning to…

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New Education Secretary continues focus on Opportunity Areas | schoolsnortheast

The new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds MP, today released a statement on the Department’s social mobility policies.

The announcement shows continuity with the priorities of his predecessor, with an ongoing focus on the 12 Opportunity Areas and financial support for successful MATs.

No mention was made of any expansion of grammar schools, a policy the Prime Minister has previously suggested was about increasing social mobility. There have been suggestions that Justine Greening, the previous Education Secretary, fell out of favour with Number 10 due to her lack of enthusiasm about a…

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MPs urged to back holiday hunger bill | schoolsnortheast

The Head Teachers’ union NAHT wants MPs to back a draft law that would force councils to provide meals and activities for pupils in school holidays.

A private members bill proposed by Labour MP Frank Field will get its second reading in the House of Commons today.  If passed, the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill will give councils a legal duty to ensure free meals are provided to children who need them during the school holidays.

Field chairs the all-party parliamentary group on hunger, which revealed in April that giving just over £100,000 a year to every council would could…

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NCTL can’t be sure teacher training grants used correctly, warns auditor | schoolsnortheast

So many teacher training providers failed to produce accurate data about their trainees that the National Audit Office has said it cannot be sure funds are being used correctly and so has given a negative judgement of the National College for Teaching and Leadership accounts.

The NCTL, an executive agency of the Department for Education, provides £318 million in grants, mainly for training new teachers, and is responsible for recruiting and developing the school workforce.

After hearing concerns about the use of the grants, the NCTL sampled the student records held by training providers…

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