We round-up the latest news affecting schools.
Update on Brazel case
Many schools were concerned to learn they weren’t giving term-time staff sufficient holiday following the ruling in
Brazel v The Harpur Trust.
Last month, we reported that the school had lodged an application asking for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. We now know that the Court of Appeal has rejected that application.
That’s not the end of the story, and the school has made an application to the Supreme Court asking for permission to appeal. We don’t yet know when that application will be considered, but we’ll keep you updated.
Survey shows teachers’ workloads have reduced by five hours
2019 Teacher Workload Survey conducted on behalf of the Department of Education was published in October. Compared with data collected three years ago, it claims teachers and middle leaders are:
Working fewer hours in total (on average around 49.5 hours per week – down five hours)
Working fewer hours at weekends and evenings (on average around 12.5 hours for primary school staff – down five hours, and 13.1 hours for secondary school staff – down 3.8 hours).
National Education Union has said teachers will view these figures with ‘incredulity,’ and that it’s too soon to say whether the government is winning the war on workload. It points to the fact that a third of newly qualified teachers leave within five years and that one in four teachers work 60 hour weeks. Charity warns that teachers are living in sheds and using food banks
The Education Support Partnership has warned that many teaching staff don’t earn enough to meet their basic living expenses.
The charity provides emergency grants to teaching staff and says that demand for cash handouts for housing has surged by
67% over the last two years. It also says that it’s noticed a rise in the number of teachers asking for help to pay for school uniforms for their own children and who use food banks.
The majority of applications are from teachers in the southeast of England where housing costs are particularly high.
Nearly one in five 16-24 year olds say there are unhappy
A report published by the Department of Education
State of the nation 2019: children and young people’s wellbeing investigates whether children, and those aged 16 to 24, are happy. It also provides an in-depth analysis of psychological wellbeing in teenage girls.
The report highlights that while the majority of children and young people report being relatively happy with their lives, nearly a fifth of young people aren’t. It indicates that wellbeing declines as children and young people get older.
The report also found that the emotional wellbeing of teenage girls was more likely to be negatively impacted by bullying, compared with teenage boys. It says that spending time with friends and getting enough sleep benefits teenage girls, and that social media doesn’t have a significant effect on their psychological health.
Think tank says career ambitions ‘already limited by age of seven’
An international think tank says that talent is “being wasted” because of ingrained stereotyping about social background, gender and race.
The OECD says that children begin
making assumptions about what type of people do certain jobs while they are still in primary school. It says there are only minimal changes in attitudes towards career options between the ages of seven and 17, and that young people generally only consider working in jobs they’re familiar with.
The organisation says that it will increase the number of people who go into schools to talk about their jobs and career paths to help children see what’s possible.
Cash strapped school with ‘super-size’ class of 67 children
research carried out by The Times, more than 559,000 primary pupils were taught in “super-size classes” averaging more than 30 children last year, compared with 501,000 five years earlier.
Broadclyst Community Primary school in Devon has the biggest class size with 67 children in year 6 who are taught in a special room, designed like a lecture theatre, for some of their lessons.
It’s illegal to teach children under the age of seven in classes of more than 30 pupils, but there are no similar rules for older children.
Read more – November 2019
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