Ofsted warning over provision for school leavers

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29145874

We need PROPER vocational skills taught in schools alongside core subjects. Help the less academic gain vocational skills whilst still having the opportunity to study mainstream academic subjects.

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School playing fields NEED PROTECTING!!!

We need to protect ALL school playing fields from greedy government sponsored developers and two hours a week of sport should be an absolute minimum requirement. This is particularly important in our internet age where youngsters are becoming increasingly sedentary due to the internet, mobile devices and social media.
It is completely typical of the D of E to publish two totally contradictory statements. Firstly saying that they are “putting competitive sport at the heart of the new school curriculum” then stating that regarding a minimum requirement for school sport that “the two-hour target was never a rule. It was an unenforceable aspiration that schools were free to ignore.”
Why can’t it be enforced? Put it in the timetable twice a week!
In my day it was called ‘Games’ which it seems is what the Government is playing with our children’s health, wellbeing and sporting potential!

MUM’S THE WORD ON ONLINE TUITION GROWTH

The rapid growth in online private tuition over the past few years is no surprise to mother-of-three Erica Rifat from Oxford!

 

“This is the way the Facebook generation have got used to communicating and it’s a process they’ve become very comfortable with as opposed to the parents who are still, on the whole, coming to terms with this sort of technology,” explained Erica, one of whose daughters has been using Webtutornet to top up her knowledge of Maths.

 

“Whilst I’m not exactly a technophobe it still feels that this technology is like something out of Tomorrow’s World and I’m sure that’s the case for many parents. It’s a sign of the times and the way the web is becoming increasingly ingrained in our lives. For children today all of this is completely normal.

 

“I know there’s a lot of Skype style face-to-face tuition solutions out there for parents and pupils that might be too busy to arrange a home tutor visit so this offers a convenient way of adding to their classroom education.

 

“The single most important consideration as a parent is that the system is safe and secure and that the tutor involved has been vetted by the tuition facilitator and I know that Webtutornet, through Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, take this aspect very seriously.

 

“You have to have peace of mind if you are to entrust your child’s education into the hands of a relative stranger online and I found it important personally to chat initially online with the tutor that we use. That puts your mind at rest.

 

“Secondly you must be confident that the information shared during the lesson remains confidential and secure and this is very much the case with solutions such as Webtutornet.

 

“Since then each and every lesson has gone very smoothly and it’s a simple and easy way of delivering private tuition.

 

“Another great advantage of an approach like Webtutornet is that the lesson is at a fixed time mimicking the discipline required within a school environment or for a home tuition visit. Your child has to be ready to start or they may miss part of the lesson and this is crucial to structuring their understanding.

 

“Finally I no longer have to drive across town and drop my child off at a tutor’s house and be left to twiddle my thumbs for an hour or so. It cuts out all of that hassle,” added Erika who admitted to having test trialled other online systems.

 

There’s also significant advantages from the tutor’s perspective as Angad Rihal, the maths teacher engaged by Erika, explained: “Webtutornet is a truly bespoke solution that has been developed for the student with teaching in mind. The ease of use clearly shows it has been masterminded by people in the industry and is far superior to just using dabble board or Skype.

 

“This is finally bridging the gap between the internet and private teaching which is long overdue and fitting given the tech savvy zeitgeist.

 

“It also saves a lot of time on travelling to the homes of students which, with traffic the way it is, can be a priceless advantage,” added Angad

 

Each tutor and pupil who sign up to Webtutornet receive a special pack containing a webcam, earphones and microphone and a pen with mousemat that allows for tutor and pupil to share resources that are stored securely online.

 

The Webtutornet system has been two years in development according to the man behind it. Nevil Chiles, founder of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors a decade ago, has seen demand for private tuition sky rocket over the past ten years

 

“Online delivery is the natural next step in the evolution of private tuition and there’s a number of different businesses and websites that specialise in providing face to face education through the web.

 

“Coming from the perspective of a father of three it was very much my priority to design a system that countered all of the concerns that a parent might have and safety and security have always been my number one objective,” added Nev.

 

Erica concluded: “My daughter and I thought our tutor Angal was brilliant and by far the best Maths tutor she has had. The proof is in the pudding and she performed far better than expected in the exam for which she was preparing.

 

“Webtutornet is a fun way to learn for children and tutors, such as Angal,  create engaging lessons that really enhance the learning process. It couldn’t be more simple, or secure, and I would encourage parents everywhere to give it serious consideration.”

 

Nevil’s brother, ITV Sport presenter Adrian Chiles, is another convert to Webtutornet: “You can learn anything, anytime, anywhere and it’s so simple even I can understand it!”

 

Adrian presents a number of online videos that seek to explain the Webtutornet way in more detail. For more information visit www.webtutornet.com and follow @webtutornet on Twitter.

ENDS

Independent and state schools sharing sports facilities ….Excellent idea!!

BOA in private schools sport plea
All independent schools should share their sports facilities with state schools, the outgoing chairman of the British Olympic Association says.
Sharing facilities is an excellent idea and only fair for independent schools to retain their charity status. It is worth stating that many city-based independent schools have no facilities at all so the arrangement should be reciprocal. I worked at an independent school London that used Hyde Park for its games lessons.

SCHOOLS NEED SPACE TO PLAY!!!

New playing space rules opposed
Critics warn new rules on outdoor space for pupils in England to do PE will make it easier for schools to sell off playing fields.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-19263693
In a country with a growing population it is difficult to see that any selling off of school sports facilities is justified. Surely schools should be allowed to expand existing facilities through government funding? Obviously there will be some exceptions where schools are closed or moved to a different site but the whole concept of selling any sports fields seems to me to be absolute nonsense. Changing labels to talk of ‘outdoor space’ is just another way to make them fit for sale. If the statistics below are correct then this situation needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency:

  • ..an estimated 10,000 playing fields were disposed of between 1979 and 1997 when the Conservatives were in power.
  • 213 playing fields were approved for sale between 1999 and April 2010, under the last Labour government.
  • The education secretary had approved the sale of 21 school sports fields in the past two years.

UK teachers need more time and resources to produce gold medals

Teachers criticise PM on sport
Head teachers & leaders call the Prime Minister’s comments on school sport extremely unfair
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-19181990
In order for state schools to encourage pupil participation in sport there are two key elements that need to be in place; funding and teacher time. Since the withdrawal of the School Sport Partnership funding, finances are extremely tight.
The present structure of state education is so filled with red tape and bureaucracy it gives teachers precious little time during school hours to devote to extra-curricular activities like sports matches.
In essence teachers need more time and resources to produce future gold medallists!