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Issue LB.45

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The Secrets of Academies’ Success

Some academies are using Freedom of Information laws to hide evidence of 'dumbing down', according to this report from Civitas. The report claims some academies push pupils into taking exams that are less academically rigorous than GCSEs to boost their league table position. But because academies are exempt from Freedom of Information rules they are not obliged to release the breakdown of their results.

Date:
06/01/2010
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Disengagement From Education Among 14-16 Year Olds

It is estimated that between one fifth and one third of all young people aged 14-16 are disengaged from education. Disengagement can have different meanings for young people, and can subsequently have different consequences and solutions. The implications of disengagement lead to poor labour market opportunities and the risk of being “not in education, employment or training” (NEET), as well as other associated negative outcomes, including teenage pregnancy and drug use. This study is a quantitative analysis of disengagement from education among 14-16 year olds in England.

Date:
06/01/2010
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GCSE Attainment by Pupil Characteristics

This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides 2009 information on attainment at Key Stage 4 by different pupil characteristics, specifically gender, ethnicity, eligibility for free school meals (FSM), special educational needs (SEN) and English as a first language.

Date:
06/01/2010
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Enhancing Performance Through Employee Engagement

This YouGov research for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills report focuses on the potential benefits of employee engagement for companies, organisations and individual employees. In the education sector, fewer than 30% of employees understand management business objectives for 2010 and 40% don't think their organisation's senior managers have a clear vision for the future. This report sets out a compelling case for more organisations to adopt engagement approaches to improving performance.

Date:
06/01/2010
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GCSE And Equivalent Results In England 2008/09

This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides updated information on the overall achievements of young people in GCSE examinations and other approved and accredited qualifications in 2008/09. It shows that the number of National Challenge schools has dropped from 439 to 247, and that improvement in standards since 1997 means 600,000 more students have left school with five good GCSEs. The results shown in this SFR are based on pupils reaching the end of Key Stage 4. The information is taken from data collated for the 2009 Secondary School Achievement and Attainment Tables.

Date:
13/01/2010
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Educational Attainment in Rural Areas

This report, prepared for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), looks at rural attainment and the comparison of educational attainment between rural and urban areas. Data show that pupils living in rural areas tend to have higher secondary school attainment than those living in urban areas, suggesting that there may be intrinsic benefits of living in rural areas for young people. However, the same data also show that there is widespread regional variation in rural attainment, and that pupils living in some affluent rural areas do not have the high attainment that would be expected.

Date:
13/01/2010
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Post-16 Educational Choices in Rural Areas

This report, prepared for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, aims to document the difference in education staying-on rates between rural and urban areas, and determine the extent to which such differences can be explained by differences in the characteristics of the two types of areas and the people who live there.

Date:
13/01/2010
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Towards An Education For Sustainable Development

Schools are now asked to promote pupils' commitment to sustainable development through ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) in order to ensure that pupils are fully-equipped to be active citizens for the new millennium. In 2002, the QCA produced curriculum guidance for schools, identifying seven key concepts relating to ESD, which provide opportunities for pupils to learn and develop their understanding of ESD and apply it to their lives both within the school and the wider community. This survey looks at the factors which most strongly characterise the work of the most successful schools.

Date:
13/01/2010
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Tackling Child Poverty And Disadvantage In Schools

This report looks at how schools are tackling child poverty and disadvantage in Wales. It draws on evidence from previous reports and from inspection reports on schools and local authorities. It also comments on the performance of disadvantaged learners and identifies examples of effective practice as well as suggesting actions for improving the performance of disadvantaged pupils.

Date:
21/01/2010
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Relationship between Universities & Independent Schools

The proportion of former independent school pupils entering the UK’s leading universities significantly exceeds their representation of 9.0% of those in full-time education in England aged 17. This research report from The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) reviews a wide range of evidence concerning patterns of entry to UK institutions of higher education in the mid-2000s. It concludes that the close and strengthening relationship between independent schools and leading universities is a strategic one.

Date:
21/01/2010
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Creative Approaches That Raise Standards

This Ofsted survey evaluates and illustrates how schools use creative approaches to learning. The schools in the survey had aspirations for their pupils to ask questions independently, make connections between ideas, think creatively, challenge and participate effectively, and reflect on their learning. The report also evaluates the impact on pupils’ achievement and personal development.

Date:
21/01/2010
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Inspiring learners

Technology is now a central pillar of education and skills provision. Within the national curriculum, all learners must become familiar with a range of technologies and develop the necessary skills to use them safely and effectively in their everyday learning. This Becta publication discusses ways to inspire learners by using technology in practical, active and creative ways. It also presents a range of facts and figures for schools.

Date:
21/01/2010
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British Preteen Texters at School

Children who are heavy users of mobile phone text abbreviations such as LOL (laughing out loud), plz (please), l8ter (later) and xxx (kisses), are unlikely to be problem spellers and readers, this new study funded by the British Academy has found. The research, carried out on a sample of 8-12 year olds over an academic year, revealed that levels of “textism” use could even be used to predict reading ability and phonological awareness in each pupil by the end of the year.

Date:
28/01/2010
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Citizenship Established? (open access article)

This Ofsted report shows steady progress as citizenship becomes more widely understood and acquires depth in the light of experience, but also highlights what schools need to tackle if citizenship is to be firmly established. Some schools in England are struggling to cover citizenship properly. In some secondary schools, pupils have "important gaps" in their knowledge, or citizenship has been "misunderstood or ignored". The study adds that in schools where citizenship lessons were only "satisfactory", students were getting an uneven education.

Date:
28/01/2010
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Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board - Serious Case Review

Social services in Doncaster missed 31 opportunities to intervene in the lives of two young brothers who went on to torture and sexually assault a pair of boys in a Yorkshire quarry last year. This serious case review report from the Children’s Safety Board, which was ordered in wake of the attack, identified numerous failings by nine different agencies and said 31 chances to intervene were missed over a period of several years.

Date:
28/01/2010
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Engaging Families

The support and involvement of families can make a crucial difference to learners’ success. This Becta publication explains how technology at home or in a learning environment can help the whole family engage in learning and make a crucial difference to learners’ success.

Date:
28/01/2010
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