Education news from the Guardian
• Schools reckon they’re making hundreds of thousands of pounds by becoming academies – even though the government repeatedly claims academies don’t get more funding than other schools. Warwick Mansell believes the extra cash is coming from a mysterious place called Lacseg:
“The explanation for the apparent windfall for converting schools lies with complicated government funding formulae for academies – specifically the funding allocated for additional services known as the local authority central spend equivalent grant (Lacseg).”
Some schools openly admit it’s the reason they’re becoming academies.
• Lucy Tobin sets out to discoverwhat impact the royal wedding is having on schools. She finds one year 6 class who’re staging a reconstruction of the entire day, with the local vicar there to “marry” two pupils. She finds songs being composed at other schools, letters of advice being written to Kate, wedding cakes being baked and dresses made. We’d love to know what other schools are doing too – send us links to your class blogs, or written work from pupils. Photos too – if you have parental consent. Emailjanet.firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet me @judyfriedbergor pop your bits in the comments below the article.
• It’s not surprising that many prisoners want to study law – it’s pretty much the subject most relevant to their lives. But will the Law Society ever let them become solicitors? Joanna Moorhead finds out.
Phil Beadle Why Cameron and Gove, frontmen of the educational status quo, want to see the English baccalaureate rocking all over the world.
Estelle Morris Ken Baker’s university technical colleges are being touted as the answer to pretty much everything. Nowit’s time we found out a little more about them– who’ll go there, will their qualifications be transferable, what effect will they have on other schools, that sort of thing.
Alan Tuckett The sad truth is that few employers are willing to pay for English lessons – so the government has to change its policy for the sake of building a skilled workforce
Jonathan Wolff Why should we have to defend arts and and humanitiesdepartments? Who’d want to live in a world without them?
Jeevan Vasagar Are we looking at a bubble in higher education?
• All the better to hear you with: everyone knows men’s ears get bigger as they get older. What do you think happens to women’s? The Improbable Researchers know.
• And a heated ethical debate about energy recycling: Is it okay to use the excess heat generated by crematoriums to warm up public buildings and homes?
On the Teacher Network
About democracy: A lesson plan explaining the revolutions in the Middle Eastdesigned to get children thinking about democracy and political freedom – with a special focus on Libya
And the monarchy: Want to stimulate a bit of debate on the royal wedding in class this week? Try this.
Education news from around the web
• White schoolchildren in Britain’s poorest communities lag behind peers who are black or of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, a Financial Times analysis of more than 3m sets of exam results reveals. Poor white children even achieve worse average results than deprived pupils for whom English is a second language, Chris Cook writes.
• Figures released for the first time show 700 senior staff in state schools earn more than £100,000, including 200 who are paid over £110,000, the Telegraph reports, pointing out that the true figure is likely to be much higher because hundreds of schools failed to disclose proper salary details.
“One day when I was feeling particularly self-satisfied about my natural talents as a charismatic teacher, one of the more troubled boys in the class, a well-known bully with a short fuse, was again involved in what I interpreted was his thuggish behaviour toward one of the girls.
I bore down on him in my well-rehearsed domineering masculine way that had served me effectively with boys like him many times before. I towered over him, fixed his gaze, gradually raised my voice in an increasingly threatening tone, wagged my finger and tore a strip off him in no uncertain terms. He visibly cowered and started to cry.”
• Interesting reflections on the value of internships – paid or unpaid – by two American academics.
“Five years ago, we were aware of the increasing student demand for internships but were uncertain as to how these internships should be conceptualised and compensated. Today, we firmly believe in the value of internships as opportunities to put our liberal-arts education into practice. We are attempting to connect more and more internships to the academic programme of the college.” Thanks to @VC_UELfor link.
Education seminars from Guardian Professional
The Guardian’s one-day seminar in association with Tact (the UK’s largest fostering and adoption charity) will provide an overview of the UK education system and strategies for dealing with the challenges faced by looked-after children and their carers.
26 May, London.
Whether it’s sharing good news or handling a crisis, headteachers and school management teams need to be able to handle the media in all of its forms. This one-day seminar in association with the NAHT is essential for new and aspiring heads as well as established school leaders who wish to update their knowledge. It includes a session on social media.
13 June, Birmingham and 20 September, London.
Higher education institutions will struggle in the marketplace unless they stand out from competitors and make sense to stakeholders. The Guardian’s half-day seminar in partnership with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education will explore what it takes to develop and maintain a distinctive brand that attracts students, staff and funders. Participants will hear from experts, examine case studies and have the opportunity to network with peers.