John Dickens

  • Surge in pupils with weapons sparks calls for more support

    Leading schools sector voices are warning that staff need more help to keep classrooms safe, following a surge in the numbers of pupils being found carrying weapons in some regions. Data obtained by Schools Week reveals a large increase in police call-outs to schools over the past five years after pupils as young as 10

    5.00 Mar. 15th, 2019 | News

  • UTCs told to join MATs after Lord Baker U-turn

    University technical colleges are being pressured to join multi-academy trusts after the programme’s architect Lord Baker U-turned on previous warnings that they will be “watered down” if they do. Schools Week can reveal that Baker and academies minister Lord Agnew wrote to principals and chairs of all UTCs last month, urging them to join a

    5.00 Mar. 15th, 2019 | News

  • Ofsted rules Parkfield's LGBT lessons are 'age-appropriate'

    Ofsted has backed a Birmingham primary school at the centre of a row with parents over whether its lessons on LGBT rights and homophobia are age-appropriate. The watchdog visited Parkfield Community School last month following protests by parents over the school’s “No Outsiders” programme, which teaches pupils about LGBT relationships and other issues. But in

    12.25 Mar. 12th, 2019 | News

  • Deloitte ‘gagged’ by DfE over WCAT chain closure

    A Big Four accountancy firm that was paid nearly £200,000 to help to close the multi-academy trust WCAT has a “gagging clause” that stops it from saying anything that would “embarrass” the Department for Education. A freedom of information request obtained by Schools Week shows that Deloitte was paid £198,570 to support the DfE for

    5.00 Mar. 11th, 2019 | News

  • DfE gave academy trust £500k despite serious concerns about finances

    Senior Department for Education officials were alerted to a string of concerns at a high-profile academy trust before it was handed more than £500,000 under a flagship government policy for “top performing” sponsors. In November 2015, Nicky Morgan, the then education secretary, announced Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) as one of five “outstanding” sponsors to

    7.00 Mar. 8th, 2019 | News

  • AET recruits Harris leader to turnaround its London secondaries

    The country’s largest academy trust has appointed a senior leader from Harris to turnaround its London secondary schools. David Moody will join the Academies Enterprise Trust this month, leaving his role as principal of the Harris Academy Battersea. It marks the second high-profile departure in recent months at Harris. It was announced in January that

    10.43 Mar. 5th, 2019 | News

  • ‘Flattening the grass’: what’s really going on at OGAT and Delta?

    Claims that a multi-academy trust runs “flattening the grass” assemblies in which children are humiliated swarmed on Twitter last week. The frenzy was prompted by an anonymous blog that relayed an account of the practice, claiming children were the “grass” to be “flattened”. Schools Week investigates… The term “flattening the grass” isn’t new. Schools Week

    13.26 Feb. 14th, 2019 | News

  • Eagerness to work 'unusual hours' is potential sign of fraud, says DfE guidance

    An eagerness to work “unusual hours” has been listed by the government as indicators for schools that staff may be committing fraud. New guidance published today also documents other warning signs of employee fraud, including aggressive responses to questions and “too much forgetfulness”. The checklist for education providers is split into several areas: personal motives

    17.33 Feb. 12th, 2019 | News

  • E-ACT insists it has 'zero-tolerance' approach to off-rolling after Ofsted findings

    The sponsor of one of only two schools identified by Ofsted as potentially having off-rolled pupils has insisted it’s “important a light is shone on these matters”. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, told MPs today that two inspection reports have flagged off-rolling issues, with a further report “in the pipeline”. It was revealed

    15.49 Feb. 5th, 2019 | News

  • Children’s commissioner to publish home education figures for every school

    The children’s commissioner will publish figures for every school in England showing how many of their pupils withdraw to be home educated amid huge rises in some parts of the country. New data from 11 local areas shows a 48 per cent rise in the number of children disappearing from schools to be educated at

    0.01 Feb. 4th, 2019 | News

  • No pay rise for highest-paid academy chief for the first time in six years

    Sir Dan Moynihan, the country’s highest-paid academy trust boss, has not been handed a pay rise for the first time in six years, amid an ongoing government crackdown on CEO salaries. It means the Harris Federation chief executive’s pay has remained in the £440,000 to £450,000 bracket, new annual accounts are due to confirm. Trusts

    15.41 Jan. 29th, 2019 | News