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Issue LB.42

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Information and Communication Technology in UK State Schools

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has released its annual research into the opinions and trends of ‘ICT in UK State Schools’. The research provides analysis into the likely provision of technology in UK state schools in the next year and gives extensive insight into teacher confidence, training and the level of ICT in schools.

Date:
01/10/2009
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The Real Level Of Science Skills At School And University

This Policy Exchange report claims that the rise in the numbers of pupils taking separate GCSEs in physics, chemistry and biology is accounted for by the growth in the number of 16-year-olds, and that the proportion studying science A-levels has actually dropped since 1997. At university level, big increases in the number of undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects are also a fiction, according to the study.

Date:
01/10/2009
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Parental Experience of Services for Disabled Children

BMRB was commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to undertake qualitative research with parents of disabled children aged 0-19 years. This research consisted of two phases exploring parents’ experiences and views of the range of services they use in relation to their disabled child. This research explored the service issues beyond the core offer; parents’ perceptions of difficulties accessing services; lack of service availability; poor communication and information about services; and, what constitutes a good service.

Date:
01/10/2009
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Assessments Of Parenting And Parenting Support Need

Supporting parents as a means of improving child outcomes is central to many wide-ranging government policy initiatives of recent years. However, despite enormous advances in policy and legislation, relatively little is known about what affects a key part of delivering services - the 'consultation' between parents and practitioners. This report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation set out to explore how practitioners ‘assess’ parenting and parenting support needs and how such assessment may be affected by the practitioner’s own experience, ethnicity, social class, disability, gender and family diversity.

Date:
01/10/2009
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Twenty Outstanding Primary Schools

This Ofsted research report examines a sample of primary schools, including infant and junior schools, which provide excellent service to highly disadvantaged communities in different parts of the country. The report examines the patterns which indicate how these consistently outstanding schools achieved success, how they sustain it, and the extent to which they share their expertise with other schools or with the system at large. This report is intended as a discussion document for leaders in all primary schools in England.

Date:
08/10/2009
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Spending On School Education

Research by the Centre for Public Policy for Regions suggests spending on education in Scotland could be cut by up to £680m without affecting standards. Good teachers were key to improving standards, not smaller class sizes or higher spending. The report warns that attainment had "flatlined" in Scotland since devolution and that Scottish pupils were falling behind UK counterparts.

Date:
08/10/2009
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The Educational Backgrounds of Scientists and Scholars

This report by the Sutton Trust suggests that 42% of the UK's top scientists and scholars were privately educated. It also found 51% of medics, 70% of judges, 54% of leading journalists and 32% of MPs went to independent schools. The report suggests that it should be a priority to provide bright students from poorer homes the same opportunities as more privileged young people, by giving them the opportunity to study core academic subjects at GCSE and A-level, as well as raising their aspirations towards the most highly-selective university courses. It also suggests inspirational teachers in shortage subjects like physics, maths and foreign languages must be encouraged to teach in schools serving less well off communities.

Date:
08/10/2009
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Collaborative Good Practice - LA's And Further Education

In 2010 planning and funding responsibilities for 16–19 year olds will be transferred from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) back to the local authorities (LAs). As a result, the Local Government Association (LGA) commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to undertake research in order to provide evidence of good practice in terms of collaborative partnerships between LAs and FE colleges where formal and informal relationships were perceived to have contributed to positive outcomes for young people in terms of progression and engagement in education. This NFER report presents the findings from nine case-study areas.

Date:
08/10/2009
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Learning Lessons From Serious Case Reviews: Year 2

This is Ofsted’s second report on serious case reviews. It covers the evaluations of 173 reviews carried out and completed between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009. As in the first report, Learning lessons, taking action, this one brings together findings in relation to the practice issues arising from the reviews, the process of conducting them and the emerging lessons. The latest evaluation of 173 serious case reviews (SCRs) has found that local areas are learning lessons from cases when a child dies or is seriously injured as a result of abuse or neglect. This report gives a full account of all 173 serious case reviews.

Date:
15/10/2009
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Every Child Counts - 2008/09

This first annual report by the DCSF on the Every Child Counts programme shows that in the first year of the Every Child Counts programme, children have made an average of 13.5 months progress over three months with just 20 hours tuition. This means they are progressing at over four times the expected rate. On entry to the programme none of these children were predicted by their schools to reach nationally expected levels in their age seven (end of Key Stage 1) maths assessments, but nearly three quarters achieved or exceeded this level.

Date:
15/10/2009
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Neglect: Research Evidence To Inform Practice

Neglect has a wide-ranging impact on children and has a higher prevalence rate than other forms of childhood maltreatment such as physical or sexual abuse. This report by Action for Children shows that a fifth of front-line staff working with young children are not trained to combat child neglect and that neglected children will continue to slip through the net unless early stage signs are addressed.

Date:
15/10/2009
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PE And Sport Survey 2008/09

The PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP) is a Government funded initiative which aims to get more young people taking part in high-quality PE and sport, and was originally set up in 2003. The DCSF commissioned independent research company, TNS-BMRB, to conduct the sixth annual PE and Sport Survey to help understand what progress has been made within partnership schools across England, incorporating all 21,526 maintained schools and 356 FE colleges.

Date:
15/10/2009
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Independent Faith Schools

Independent faith schools give pupils a strong sense of personal worth and help them understand the importance of being a good citizen according to Independent faith schools. This Ofsted report asks whether the standards relating to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, together with the five regulations underpinning it, are fit for purpose. The report reveals that in all 51 independent faith schools visited there was no conflict between their aims and the regulations. The regulations enable schools to prepare their pupils appropriately, although clarification of the language is required in some instances.

Date:
23/10/2009
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Pupil Absence In Schools In England

The truancy rate in schools in England has reached its highest ever level, according to this new DCSF report. This Statistical First Release (SFR) reports on absence in primary and state funded secondary schools between autumn term 2008 and spring term 2009. These latest figures show the rate of unauthorised absences, although higher than any annual figure since 1994, may be due to a tougher line from schools in turning down parents' requests for time off for their children.

Date:
23/10/2009
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GCSE And Equivalent Results In England 2008/09

This Statistical First Release (SFR) from the DCSF shows that just under half of teenagers who took GCSEs this summer in England got five good passes, including maths and English. The government say the results put them ahead of their target for 53% of state school pupils to be at that level for GCSEs - or equivalent qualification - by 2011. The information is taken from data collated for the 2009 Secondary School Achievement and Attainment Tables.

Date:
23/10/2009
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Children of Prisoners

This publication reports on the poor outcomes of children with a parent in prison, and highlights findings from an audit of children's plans that too many local authorities are failing to address their needs. It calls for better identification of children affected, and more timely intervention.

Date:
23/10/2009
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How Young People Formulate Their Views About The Future

This new research by the Department for Children, Schools and Families shows that children at 11 have very high aspirations, with 75 per cent saying they want to go to university. As a result of this research, children as young as seven are to be offered careers guidance under a government scheme in England. The programme, which aims to broaden the horizons and raise the aspirations of children from deprived backgrounds, is to be piloted in seven local areas. The aim of this research is to enhance the understanding of how those in year 7 think about educational and career issues and what factors shape this thinking.

Date:
29/10/2009
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Equality In Higher Education

This ECU report reveals a growing gap in attainment between white, black and Asian students, where white students do better than their Asian and black peers. The widening gap is being seen between the proportion of black and minority ethnic students who achieve firsts and 2:1s and the proportion of white students who do. The report, based on more than 1.8 million students living in the UK, relates to the gender, ethnicity, disability status and age of all staff and students in higher education.

Date:
29/10/2009
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Delivering Evidence Based Policy

This DCSF strategy document describes the government's strategic objectives over the last year and sets out future priorities in relation to achieving its aspirations for children and families within a tight fiscal environment. The document demonstrates the range, and impact, of evidence in support of the Department’s Strategic Objectives (DSOs).

Date:
29/10/2009
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Improving Educational Outcomes for Gypsy & Traveller Pupils

This DCSF report considers the contextual Influences that may influence Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupil achievement. The report aims to help practitioners to look beyond specific interventions and strategies and consider wider attitudinal influences that may permeate the ethos of a school and help to raise outcomes generally. Key points for good school practice are included.

Date:
29/10/2009
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