learning

New wave of free schools given the green light

The Department for Education has approved 131 new schools

Thousands of schools places will be created after plans for more than 100 new free schools are given the green light. 

Plans for 131 new schools have been approved by the Department for Education today, creating more than 69,000 school places up and down the country. 

The majority of these schools (111) will become free schools, which can be run by parents, community or faith groups. 

A large proportion of these schools will be based in the East (18) and South East of England (27), with the fewest in the North West (5) and the North East (2) of the country. 

Apprenticeship levy signals new age for skills training

New levy doubles annual investment in apprenticeships

Today welcomes in the biggest shake-up of skills in a generation as the apprenticeship levy comes into force. 

The levy will require all employers in the UK with an annual wage bill of at least £3 million to pay 0.5% of it to go towards funding apprenticeships. 

This money will be invested to provide quality training opportunities for apprentices and double the annual investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5bn by 2019 to 2020, compared to investment from 2010 to 2011. 

Employers in England can set up an online account to manage their funds and invest in training for apprentices that are working for them. There are around 100 accounts being set up every day. 

Schools called go dotty for vital sight-loss charity

Children across the UK invited to go dotty for charity

Schools across the nation are being called to go dotty this spring to raise money for a valuable sight-loss charity. 

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is asking schools up and down the UK to "Wear dots and raise lots" in support of its vital work. 

"Wear dots...raise lots" is an annual fundraiser, which will be taking place in May. It  is inspired by Louis Braille's system which features raised dots and revolutionised reading and writing for people with sight problems. 

The UK is currently home to more than two million people who are affected by sight loss, with one person beginning to lose their sight every 15 minutes. 

SGOSS Governors for Schools appoints new chief executive

An educational charity has welcomed on board a new chief executive who is set to oversee a period of growth and development. 

Louise Cooper takes up the position of chief executive of SGOSS Governors for Schools, which supplies a free governor search and selection service for schools looking to recruit candidates with commercial experience to boost the skill sets of the existing Board of Governors. 

In her new role, Louise will be required to lead the business through its next stage of growth, and to more than double the number of placements it makes each year, expanding its footprint into cold spot areas and increasing the impact it makes on the education system. 

Half of school-leavers are considering taking on an apprenticeship after school

Most employers hire someone with the right attitude and relevant work experience

Half of school students aged between 16 and 18 say they will consider an apprenticeship after leaving school, a new report claims. 

The study was commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) ahead of National Apprenticeship Week next week to find out more about what it is young people are after. 

Results from the study showed that 37% of young people wanted to start earning money straight away, while 35% wanted to get valuable work experience, and 30% wanted to learn valuable work skills as soon as possible. 

The study also revealed that two thirds of 16-30 year olds (that's eight million young Britons) think an apprenticeship could fast track their careers over going to university. 

Research reveals a rise in smartphone use to boost studies

group of students

The education sector is seeing a shift towards the digital age after a recent report revealed that more than 80% of students are using their smartphone to boost their studies. 

A report from YMCA awards revealed that 82% of students valued a mix of both traditional offline resources and digital tools to get the most out of their schooling. 

The research examined the learning techniques of 250 students and found that 78% of students use websites, 70% use online quizzes and 62% use online videos, and 25% use online games to support their studies. 

These findings coincide with recent news that smartphones have overtaken desktop devices for web browsing. 

New schemes announced across the UK to boost learning through football

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Worlds are colliding after sporting legends team up with young people to boost education.

Arsenal Football Club played host to education secretary Justine Greening yesterday to celebrate the launch of a joint reading initiative between Arsenal in the Community and the University College London’s Institute of Education (IOE.)

Institute for Apprenticeships reveals operational plan

Details on how millions of top-quality apprenticeships will be delivered over the next three years have been revealed today as the Institute for Apprenticeships sets out its operationas300_k1e8325edit.jpgl plan. 

The government announcement to create three million apprenticeships by 2020 has been supported by the creation of the Institute, which will begin work in April this year to make that bid a reality. 

This plan also announces the names of the eight board members appointed to run the institute, who will largely be made up of employers, business leaders and their representatives. 

Schools across the nation take part in special wildlife challenge

Schools across the nation have been taking part in a special activity to find out a little more about the wildlife on their doorstep. gratnells-bird-feeder-trays.gif

The RSPB's (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Schools' Birdwatch is rolling out in schools up and down the country, encouraging children to become part of the world's biggest wildlife survey.

Running until 17 February, the initiative aims to bring children closer to nature by involving them an hour-long activity that is suitable for students of all ages and abilities. 

Winners of Bett Awards 2017 are announced

bett-awards-2017-all-winners.gifLeaders of innovation within the education sector battled it out to be crowned the winners at a prestigious awards ceremony last night. 

The winners of this year’s Bett Awards were announced last night in a glittering awards dinner held at The Tobacco Dock in London. 

The annual awards encourage and recognise outstanding education sector resources, learning solutions and companies.

New app developed to accelerate early-years literacy

Schools can find out more about an innovative app to accelerate early reading. 

Edtech startup Zaprendo is announcing the launch of its learn-to-read-app, Sounds English Phonetics, at this year’s technology-education show, Bett.

The app is designed to boost reading achievement and early-stage literacy by teaching pupils with a reading age of between six and nine years to utilise 92 commonly occurring grapho-phonemes (written sounds).

Children learn by watching a video that demonstrates how to say the written sounds through video, in either British or American English, with learning consolidated through the in-app formative assessment. 

New partnership announced to inspire young writers

roalddahl.gifTwo major organisations have joined forces to inspire the next generation of writers. 

YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, is working with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to create specialist lesson plans on each of the world-famous author’s best-known stories. 

The plan include Roald Dahl favourites such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvellous Medicine and Fantastic Mr Fox, to deliver engaging and creative lessons on writing and reading as well as introducing ideas around friendship, behaviour, identity and reward. 

Music and memory: Education app debuts at Bett

Schools can find out more about an innovative app designed to help young people with their studies at the education event of the year.

The biggest education technology show on the calendar, Bett, will begin tomorrow and will feature some of the sector’s newest products.

Among them will be Studytracks, a new app that merges music with study materials to help jog students’s memories. 

Brexit and Trump spark new wave of political teaching

Schools across the UK are taking advantage of a new wave of teaching after two political shocks rocked the world last year.

Brexit and the election of Donald Trump of the United States of America are just two of the astonishing political events that shocked people across the world in 2016, leaving many people feeling misinformed or confused. 

In a bid to clear the muddy waters of politics, independent youth news network Shout Out UK is rolling out a series of educational programmes to encourage a new generation to engage in politics through a number of informative courses. 

The political literacy courses, certified by AQA, began in London but have grown in popularity and are now seeing schools up and down the country signing up to the programme. 

New website launched to help schools link up with parents

A new website designed to boost communication between parents and teachers has been released.

EES for Schools has announced the launch of its new website, Target Tracker Link. 

The site will work alongside existing Target Tracker software that is already being used by a quarter of UK schools. 

This new site will enable teachers to create pupil observation reports while in the classroom or by using the app while on the go. 

Once the reports have been completed, they will be quality checked before being made available to parents. 

Other family members can also be granted access to the reports.

Schools can also customise the way in which parents see observations by including school branding or logos.