Nicky Phillips

  • Council says it will back schools if they stagger return of year groups

    Lancashire County Council has promised to back schools if they choose to stagger the return of year groups this September – in defiance of ministers who say all pupils must return full-time from the start of the autumn term. But Conservative MP Robert Halfon, chair of the education select committee, said the council should be

    15.00 Jul. 10th, 2020 | News

  • New NLEs have to show high standards with 'knowledge-rich curriculum'

    Only leaders who achieve high standards “in the context of a knowledge-rich curriculum” can become national leaders of education (NLEs). In February, the NLE advisory group published its review to shake-up the system, including recommendations to allow “transformative” academy trust chief executives and improvement directors into the programme. NLEs are successful school leaders who work

    5.00 Jun. 29th, 2020 | News

  • Schools to keep copyright of Oak’s online lessons

    Schools will own the copyright of lessons produced for Oak National Academy under its £4.3 million government-funded expansion next year. Schools Week revealed on Monday that the online classroom and resource hub would be funded as part of the Department for Education’s plan B should schools have to close again. Creating 10,000 lessons, Oak will

    17.00 Jun. 26th, 2020 | News

  • All quiet on FSM voucher ‘safety mechanisms’

    There is no evidence that the national free school meals voucher scheme has built-in safety mechanisms that stop the cash going on booze and cigarettes, Schools Week has found. Last week, Ben Bradley, a Conservative MP, demanded safeguards be installed to stop parents spending vouchers on items other than food for children. “Parents aren’t necessarily

    13.00 Jun. 26th, 2020 | News

  • Schools turn to philanthropists for laptops as wait for DfE devices continues

    Schools and education charities are asking philanthropists and local businesses to provide devices for disadvantaged youngsters as the wait for Department for Education hardware continues. The government has pledged “over 200,000” devices for disadvantaged year 10 pupils, care leavers and children who have a social worker. But Schools Week revealed earlier this month that many

    5.00 May. 24th, 2020 | News

  • Free London travel for kids to be suspended but ‘special arrangements’ coming for school transport

    Free travel for children in London will be temporarily suspended as part of the government’s bailout deal for Transport for London. Of the six million journeys made each day by bus in the capital, around 1.5 million are for education purposes, and 200,000 tube journeys are made to school each day. Children in London are

    19.00 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • School kitchens’ ‘nightmare’ over planning for pupils’ return

    School kitchens face a planning “nightmare” for the return of pupils, with uncertainty and concern over numbers, food availability, rising prices and a lack of government guidance. The Department for Education has said school kitchens should provide meals for all pupils returning on June 1. Official guidance, however, is brief. Following the partial closure of

    5.00 May. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • Collapsed free school’s lack of records ‘hampered’ child abuse probe

    A lack of records from a collapsed free school hampered an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of a child with learning difficulties, a damning review has found. A Manchester Safeguarding Partnership report into allegations that the child was abused by their step-grandfather also said that an inability to contact former staff – alongside a

    17.00 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Long read: How are schools preparing to reopen?

    Many school leaders regard the government’s guidance on reopening schools as vague at best. So what are their plans as the June 1 deadline looms . . .   Schools are planning to make pupils walk through trays filled with disinfectant and check their temperatures with infra-red thermometers to ensure they can safely reopen from

    10.56 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Revealed: the school leaders advising DfE on coronavirus plans

    Guidance for how primary schools can reopen safely was published by the Department for Education last week.  The guidance stated it was “designed by school leaders for school leaders”. But who has a seat at the table? The DfE provided a full list of its advisers, who were approached individually by the department to sit on

    15.00 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Criticism of home-learning ‘unhelpful’, says Spielman

    Ofsted’s chief inspector has said it is “profoundly disappointing” to see commentators trying to “polarise” the back-to-school debate by “portraying teachers in a negative light”. Teachers’ safety concerns about returning to the classroom have prompted criticism from national newspaper columnists and some politicians. Writing for Schools Week, Amanda Spielman said it was “very clear to

    11.00 May. 22nd, 2020 | News