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Teacher shortages in England, spending watchdog confirms. Image copyright Thinkstock Teacher shortages in England are growing and the government has missed recruitment targets for four years, the official spending watchdog has said. It means 28% of secondary physics lessons are taught by teachers with no more than an A-level in the subject, the National Audit Office report says. Ministers have a "weak understanding" of local teacher shortages, it adds. The government said overall teacher numbers had risen and blamed unions for "talking down" the profession. While the overall number of teachers has kept pace with rising pupil numbers, teacher shortages are growing, particularly in poorer areas and at secondary level, according to the authors. 'Major problem' More than half (54%) of head teachers in schools with large proportions of disadvantaged pupils find attracting and keeping good teachers is "a major problem", compared with a third (33%) of those in other schools, they found.

How many teachers does a school need? Voice from the frontline. Spelling mistakes 'cost millions' in lost online sales. An online entrepreneur says that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses. Charles Duncombe says an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half. Mr Duncombe says when recruiting staff he has been "shocked at the poor quality of written English".

Sales figures suggest misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website's credibility, he says. The concerns were echoed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), whose head of education and skills warned that too many employers were having to invest in remedial literacy lessons for their staff. Mr Duncombe, who runs travel, mobile phones and clothing websites, says that poor spelling is a serious problem for the online economy.

"Often these cutting-edge companies depend upon old-fashioned skills," says Mr Duncombe. "This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet, 99% of the time it is done by the written word. " BBC Micro Bit mini-computer faces further delay. The BBC has again delayed its release plan for the Micro Bit. The tiny computer was originally supposed to have been given to one million schoolchildren last October. The corporation said it now planned to start giving teachers their own units just after the half-term holidays, to help them plan classes. It added it was "pushing to deliver as many as possible" to pupils before the term's end but could not be more specific about how many or when. The idea behind the project has been widely praised, but some teachers are concerned they will no longer have enough time to do it justice this school year.

Digital skills The Micro Bit is designed to run code written by children that will let them display text and patterns on its 25 LEDs and make use of its built-in sensors. The idea is that they will be able to create simple games they can play on the device. In addition, they can physically connect it to other hardware or link it up to a smartphone via Bluetooth to carry out more complex functions. St Michael's Academy: Parents told off over 'dirty, unkempt pupils' Image copyright Google A head teacher has used her weekly letter to tell off parents who allow their children to arrive at school in a "dirty and unkempt" state. Judith Barrett, principal of St Michael's Academy in Yeovil, said "an increasing number of children" come to school "in a pretty shocking state". The letter goes on to say some pupils "obviously haven't had a shower in readiness for Monday morning".

A spokesperson for the school said it would not comment on the letter. Image copyright St Michael's Academy The academy has about 220 pupils aged seven to 11. The principal's letter says many children are getting themselves up in the morning and into school "as their parents are still in bed". "In a country where there is plentiful running water and washing machines, and shops like Tesco offering entire school uniforms for £10, it is a pretty poor indictment of the parenting skills of some of our families.

" Commission on Inequality in Education | Social Market Foundation. Nick Clegg MP is a Liberal Democrat politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister in Britain’s first post war Coalition Government from 2010 to 2015 and as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2007 to 2015. He is the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, where he was first elected in 2005, and was previously a Member of the European Parliament. more Nick Clegg led his party into Government for the first time in its modern history in a coalition with the Conservatives. As Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg occupied the second highest office in the country at a time when the United Kingdom was recovering from a deep recession following the banking crisis of 2008. During that time, he was at the heart of decisions surrounding the conflict in Libya, new anti-terrorism measures, the referenda on electoral reform and Scottish independence, and extensive reforms to the education, health and pensions systems.

Nick Clegg launches new SMF Commission on Inequality in Education | Social Market Foundation. New research from the Social Market Foundation’s (SMF) Commission on Inequality in Education suggests that inequality in educational achievement between regions has grown over the past thirty years. The commission, launched this morning by its chair, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, is an independent, cross-party initiative which is examining the causes and effects of inequality in education at primary and secondary levels in England and Wales. It will report its full findings early next year. Initial research by the SMF for the commission examines inequalities in educational attainment at age 16 and age 11 and how these trends in inequality have evolved over time. The research reveals marked regional disparities in educational outcomes: Speaking at the launch of the Commission in Westminster, Nick Clegg said: “What is now becoming clear is that inequality in education comes in many shapes and sizes.

Income Ethnicity Nick Clegg’s speech Available on request via Nick Clegg: 'Quality of teachers is important factor' Muslim boy, 10, probed for 'terrorist house' spelling error. A 10-year-old Muslim boy who mistakenly wrote that he lived in a "terrorist house" during an English lesson at school has been investigated by police.

The pupil, who attends a primary school in Lancashire, meant to say he lived in a "terraced house". The boy was interviewed by Lancashire Police at his home the next day and the family laptop was examined. Teachers have been legally obliged to report any suspected extremist behaviour to police since July. The boy's family said they were left shocked by the 7 December incident and want both the school and police to apologise. 'He's now scared' In order to protect the boy's identity, the BBC is not naming his cousin, who said she initially thought it was all a "joke". "You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child," she said. "They shouldn't be putting a child through this. "He's now scared of writing, using his imagination. " 'Natural consequence' What is the 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act and Prevent strategy?

Head’s pledge after another Ofsted setback. Blackpool’s final high school under local authority control has been labelled ‘at times an unsafe place’ for pupils. Inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted were so concerned about pupil’s behaviour at Highfield Humanities College they ordered senior teachers to write an action plan before their visit to the South Shore school was over. They saw students running through the school’s atrium, leaving scattered tables and chairs, were told by pupils fights regularly break out, and spoke to parents and teachers who also expressed concern about poor behaviour from a small group of unruly students.

In his report, inspector Patrick Geraghty said: “An unpredictable and over-boisterous atmosphere was evident. The behaviour of a significant minority of pupils is unacceptable. “This they duly did. The lead inspector also requested that the local authority work with school leaders to refine and implement this plan with immediate effect. He said: “Exam results plummeted. Birthday cakes banned by Blackpool primary school. Image copyright Thinkstock Birthday cakes have been banned by a primary school because teachers "do not have time" to check ingredients for pupils with allergies. The ruling was posted in a newsletter on the website of Norbreck Primary Academy in Blackpool. Parents were told cakes taken into school would be "sent home uneaten". Head teacher Karen McCarter wrote: "I hate to be a killjoy... there are many reasons for this, some of them serious.

" She added: "We are not able to account for the ingredients in the cake, we could therefore unknowingly give a product to a child to which they are allergic. "Even if we had a list of ingredients, in a busy school day, it is too much to expect teachers to read ingredient lists and then decide who can and who cannot eat the product. " Mrs McCarter also told parents: "In our modern society in which we are held accountable, we cannot take the risk. " Image copyright Google. Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads. Changes to the exam system, which come into force in six months, risk causing significant problems for schools, head teachers are warning. The National Association of Head Teachers says it fears an extended time of volatility, with students unsure which exams and subjects to take. The government hopes to make A-levels and GCSEs in England more rigorous. It wants pupils to achieve the levels met in high-performing countries such as Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.

In an attempt to achieve this, ministers have ordered the biggest shake-up of the exams system in three decades. This includes phasing in new, tougher GCSEs and A-levels with new content and examinations at the end. The biggest change introduced in the autumn term will be at AS-level. 'Not all bad' Currently taught in the first year of sixth form, the qualification will no longer count towards the final A-level result in many, but initially not all, subjects.

"Not all of these changes are bad," Mr Hobby said. 'Unnecessary pressure' Teacher shortage and pupil surge creating 'perfect storm' in UK schools. Schools face a “perfect storm” in the next five years, with a growing crisis in teacher recruitment and a surge in pupil numbers threatening to undermine children’s education, head teachers have warned.

Many schools across the country have reported difficulties finding teachers, particularly in core subjects such as maths, English and science, a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference in Manchester was told. But the situation looks set to deteriorate sharply as a population bulge, already putting huge pressure on primary schools, particularly in major cities, feeds through to secondary schools where head teachers are experiencing difficulties filling teaching vacancies. The warning was made by Allan Foulds, president of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and head teacher of Cheltenham Bournside school in Gloucestershire. When he recently advertised – twice – for a head of maths, there were only four applicants in total. Four in 10 new teachers quit within a year. Almost four out of 10 teachers quit within a year of qualifying, with 11,000 leaving the profession before they have really begun their career and record numbers of those who remain giving up mid-career, according to analysis of government figures.

The exodus of new recruits has almost tripled in six years, resulting in a crisis in teacher supply in a profession that has become “incompatible with normal life”, according to Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Denouncing the government’s record on schools, she said the education system was “being run on a wing and a prayer”, with teachers exhausted, stressed and burnt out in a profession that was being “monitored to within an inch of its life”. “This crisis is happening right at the very start of teachers’ careers. Teachers are leaving in their first year, or not starting teaching when they have completed their training.”

“This is no threat – this is a crisis of your own making. Writers back call to ease teachers' workload. The Monty Python star Terry Jones and the bestselling authors Michael Holroyd and Michael Rosen are among the signatories of an open letter condemning teachers’ workload, which they say is being exacerbated by political interference and an “irrational and punitive system of inspection”. The letter to the Guardian, signed by hundreds of writers, teachers and education professionals, calls on the government to reform inspection and accountability in order to allow teachers to “devote their energies to teaching and learning”.

It was prompted by a recent YouGov poll that found that more than half of teachers are considering quitting the profession in the next two years because of the volume of work and the need to find a better life-work balance. The letter says: “We believe that enthusiastic, confident teachers, with a long-term commitment to education, are essential to children’s development, so these figures are deeply disturbing to us. Secret Teacher: WALT, WILF, EBI – we're awash with useless acronyms | Teacher Network. At my first ever interview for a teaching post in 1990, I was asked what I knew about the new GCSE qualification. “Ooh. Not much actually,” I admitted. As luck would have it, my future employer also had no idea about how the dependable Ordinary Level differed to the GCSE usurper – apart from the fact that more capital letters were involved. I like to think that this meeting of minds – possibly influenced by the fact that I was the only candidate for the job – got me where I am today.

And so my encounters with educational acronyms began. But these were simpler times when such phrases were not even in line to the throne, let alone king. Since then (GCSEs came out loud and proud in 1986), we have been drowning in letters, ranging from ALIS (A-Level Indicator System) to YELLIS (Year 11 Indicator System). The obsession with acronyms spreads far and wide: there is even a curriculum subject which, like a kindly foster carer, takes in abandoned topics with no place to go. Secret Teacher: why do some parents expect us to toilet train their children? | Teacher Network. Sitting in a family’s living room last September, I watched my school’s reception teacher force a smile. We were on a home visit for a soon-to-be student and the mother asked, “Is there anything I need to do before he starts?” A sensible question with an obvious answer as the child on her lap was wearing a nappy and drinking from a training cup.

This wasn’t the first home visit that had left us mentally replanning our early years curriculum. The day before, we’d helped one desperate mother rescue her child from climbing on top of the kitchen cupboards and conducted another meeting in whispers because the child was still having her afternoon nap. These represent part of a growing issue my primary school is contending with: an increasing number of children are not “school ready”. Not being school ready doesn’t mean the children are too young – let’s be clear about that. It’s not an issue limited to children just starting school either.

The vast majority of parents do a wonderful job. Secret Teacher: I've no option but to resign after disappointing GCSE results | Teacher Network. New Year resolutions made easy: tips for reducing your workload | Teacher Network. Five alternative careers for teachers | Teacher Network. Secret Teacher: let the government think I'm a failure, I've got my own success criteria | Teacher Network. More than 500,000 primary school pupils taught in 'super-size' classes. Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads. Morgan pledges to tackle 'poor' schools. Children in England 'among unhappiest in world'

More new teachers leaving profession says ATL leader. Lack of support puts young teachers off, Ofsted warns. What hours do teachers really work? Developing world-beating maths teachers 'to take a decade' Schools braced for 16% budget cuts, says teaching union. More unqualified teachers taking lessons, suggests research. Online chatting at work gets the thumbs up from bosses. More than 50% of teachers in England 'plan to quit in next two years' Teacher shortage 'costing millions in supply staff' Teacher shortage 'becoming a classroom crisis' Schools 'struggle to recruit teachers' Schools in England spend £1.3bn on supply teachers. Huge shortfall in teachers forces schools to look overseas for new recruits. Shortage of teachers set to spark new schools crisis. It will be 'harder' to become a teacher in Wales, says Lewis. 'National crisis' looming in teaching, unions warn. One in six new teachers in England 'qualified overseas'

Developing world-beating maths teachers 'to take a decade' Stressed teachers being 'reduced to tears' - BBC News. New curriculum set to be taught from 2021, says education minister - BBC News. Pupils often failed in early secondary school - BBC News. Stroke 'more likely' with long hours - BBC News. How many of our teachers stay in the classroom? | Teach First.

Six new statistics that suggest teacher shortages are increasing. Schools minister: 'There is no recruitment crisis' A third of teachers intend to quit in the next five years, survey finds. Teachers work more overtime than any other professionals, analysis finds. Ofsted chief: two-fifths of teachers quitting within five years is 'scandal'

More than 400,000 schoolchildren being taught by unqualified teachers. Four in 10 new teachers quit within a year.