• Teachers must abandon rote learning, says top neuropsychologist

    Teachers should use a “rich and complex” understanding of memory to improve how pupils learn – throwing out rote-learning in favour of testing immediately after they’ve digested new information. Dr Ashok Jansari, a cognitive neuropsychologist at Goldsmiths University, gave teachers tips for helping pupils consolidate their knowledge using memory research. First, he warned, memory is

    5.00 Dec. 11th, 2017 | News

  • School's success not possible without young staff, says head

    Having “very young members of staff” who are prepared to implement a new system of behaviour management has been crucial to a new school’s success. Peter Lee (pictured), the head at Q3 Academy Langley, an academy outside Birmingham, said his young staff were willing to employ methods drawn from other academies and free schools, which

    5.00 Dec. 10th, 2017 | News

  • Teach critical thought, says Hillsborough disaster academic

    Teaching pupils to think critically about “truth” is as important as ever, according a top academic who investigated corrupted evidence during the inquest into the Hillsborough football disaster. School leaders heard about the immediate aftermath of the tragedy in 1989, in which 96 people died at a football stadium in Sheffield, and the long-term lessons

    5.00 Dec. 9th, 2017 | News

  • Ofsted hopes to move away from safeguarding 'compliance' checks

    Ofsted wants its safeguarding procedures to have “impact”, rather than merely checking that schools are “compliant”, an inspector has said. Lee Northern (pictured), a specialist advisor on inspection policy, hopes his employer will do away with its “compliance-checking function” and move to “an impact-checking function” in future. Safeguarding, he told SSAT delegates, is like marking,

    5.00 Dec. 9th, 2017 | News

  • SSAT 2016: Numeracy and literacy focus narrowed the curriculum, says Sean Harford

    Science and modern languages are going to get a good look-in too, says Sean Harford. Ofsted will increasingly check that science and modern languages are not being pushed out of the curriculum because of a historical focus on numeracy and literacy – with the inspection body “putting its hands up” to playing a role in

    5.00 Dec. 12th, 2016 | News

  • SSAT 2016: Teaching to the test is stopping PISA progress, says Debra Kidd

    Debra Kidd says pupils are primed for national exams, which is why they struggle in tests such as PISA. An “atomised” curriculum that does not allow for transferable knowledge explains the country’s poor performance in international education league tables, said Dr Debra Kidd (pictured), an author and former teacher. She told delegates that English pupils

    5.00 Dec. 12th, 2016 | News

  • To become education secretary, you should be privately educated, child-free and summer-born

    If you want to be an education secretary you should be privately educated, have no children, and have a July or August birthday, writes Laura McInerney, whose presentation at SSAT gave an insight into what school leaders can learn from politicians. Politicians are forever visiting schools to “learn” from them, but how often do school

    16.00 Dec. 11th, 2016 | Opinion

  • SSAT 2016, day 1: Schools told cash reserves will face closer scrutiny as cuts bite

    Academies can expect auditors to look “increasingly closely” at dwindling levels of cash reserves with experts warning the new national funding formula will not be a “miracle cure” for financial worries, delegates at a major schools conference have been told. A capacity to build up capital will be a priority for assessors as upcoming formula

    16.32 Dec. 1st, 2016 | News