News

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. 

Forest school outdoor learning

Forest school outdoor learning nature hut

The Hideout House Company have created a new range of outdoor classrooms and shelters to complement the forest school revolution

As the Forest Schools programme spreads to more and more UK schools and is becoming ever more popular within both rural and urban educational environments, the Hideout House Company is now offering a creative and comprehensive range of products which complement this theme. The principal theme or philosophy being to encourage and inspire individuals of any age range through an innovative and long term approach to outdoor learning in a woodland or outside environment.

UK students working with IceCube Neutrino Observatory to examine radiation in Antarctica

Students from Tapton School in Sheffield are now working with the University of Wisconsin and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica as part of the “IcePix” project, run by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS). Using real data, relayed back to the school from particle cameras, the students will be able to measure the presence of background radiation in the polar region, which will then be added to a dataset of readings from around the world (and beyond) for comparison studies. 

38 per cent of students ‘reaching their limit’ when it comes to exams

phone app

A recent survey of 15-17 year olds has revealed that 86 per cent of students feel some level of stress during revision season, with 36 per cent saying they’re reaching their limit or feel completely overwhelmed. 

Over 46 per cent of students also said they revise for five or more hours every week, yet one fifth of students said they don’t feel supported by their teachers. 

Learn to Code in 15 minutes?

child using code

The new computing curriculum requires schools to teach students how to code and understand a number of, to the layman, somewhat complex concepts.

 

But can you teach children to understand simple programming in 15 minutes? Here at FUZE we certainly know we can – and actually teach core coding skills in that short space of time. 

 

Coding has a number of very important fundamentals. An understanding of Loops, Variables and ‘If Then’ statements is required to code using any programming language. In fact, it’s safe to say this is applicable to all programming languages from Machine Code (the most advanced) to Scratch (one of the simplest).

 

5 Crucial Exam Revision tips

studying image

CEO Matthew Glotzbach of Quizlet, the world’s largest online learning platform, shares his top tips for exam revision:

• Spaced-out revision sessions

The way most of us do revision is actually pretty ineffective; all-nighters, re-reading notes, underlining. What is more effective is frequent self-quizzing, shorter spaced-out revision sessions, and presenting information to yourself in different ways throughout your study time. 

• Planning ahead

Regional schools commissioner to visit Oswestry at festival of education!

Ms Christine Quinn.

The Regional Schools Commissioner for the West Midlands, Christine Quinn, will be opening and speaking at The Marches Festival of Education on Thursday 29th June.

 

Before her appointment as Regional School Commissioner, she was the CEO and executive principle of the Ninestiles Academy Trust in Birmingham, where she had worked since 1991.

 

As part of her role, Ms Quinn is responsible for overseeing growth of academies across the region’s 16 local authorities and closely monitors their performance. Currently, there are over 700 academies in the West Midlands and Ms Quinn, advised by a board of headteachers of outstanding academies and experienced educational leaders, will shape the role and priorities of the growing number of academies.

 

Cashing in on procurement

tablets

Procurement is becoming more and more of a prominent issue in the education sector. However, there still appears to be uncertainty and concerns among schools when it comes to buying edtech. The Department for Education (DfE) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) have recognised this, and as such, there has been a greater focus on procurement guidelines and the promotion of frameworks to help schools save time and money. This is all well and good, but how do schools know which ones to choose and what can they do to ensure the process is as smooth as possible? Here, Neil Watkins, managing director of education sector procurement framework Think IT, offers his advice… 

£2.4bn fund announced to help create additional school places

£2.4bn fund announced to help create additional school places

Schools across England are set to benefit from a £2.4bn investment to help create more than half a million additional school places. 

The funding was announced yesterday by education secretary Justine Greening, and aims to support the government's mission to create more the 600,000 extra school places by 2021. 

It comes as new government figures reveal that almost 735,000 additional places have been created since 2010, with 92% of new primary places and 89% of new secondary places created in school rates as good or outstanding by Ofsted in 2015 to 2016. 

Lessons from the UAE

UAE Education children & teacher

Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently undergoing a period of remarkable systemic change and is now recognised by PISA as “one of the most rapidly improving education systems in the world”.  Here, we consider the role that teachers, both national and international, play in the reforms.

“[Teachers] are the most important individuals in the education sector. It is their hard work and efforts that result in a competent, well-equipped generation of youth” - Dr Ali Al Nuaimi

Teacher shortage crisis is now "critical"

Teacher shortage crisis reaches "critical level"

A leading recruitment agency has warned that the teacher shortage crisis is "reaching a critical level".

Latest figures from UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) have revealed that acceptances to teacher training courses have plummeted by seven per cent this year. 

This year is the fifth consecutive year where government targets for teacher training have been missed, with only 26,000 people being accepted on to teacher training courses for 2016 and 2017. 

Impending cuts mean schools are looking for new ways to raise extra funds

easyfundraising

Schools in the UK are facing a squeeze in funding. In fact, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has discovered that the spend on each pupil is set to fall 6.5% by 2019-20. This is the first-real term cuts in 20 years.

The pressure is on for head teachers, who must now make tough choices when it comes to deciding on how their limited funds should be spent on their school and pupils. Head teachers have even been driven to write to parents to inform them of the cuts. PTAs across the UK are now having to think of additional ways to raise money so that schools and pupils are not affected by the impending cuts.

Discovery Education to host digital storytelling day for schools

Digital Storytelling event

‘Day of Discovery’ on 18th April will mark the start of National Share a Story Month 

Teachers from schools across the UK will gather at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire next month for a day of digital storytelling.

Hosted by Discovery Education, the event will showcase the very latest ideas and tech tools for using digital media in literacy, highlighting the potential to engage and inspire young learners and nurture their love of stories.