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Explainer: what is a ‘coasting’ school?

After all the publicity directed at Nicky Morgan’s recent comments, Professor Michael Joplin of Northumbria University asks what a coasting school actually is and what might make them coast.

School bans smart watches to prevent pupils using them to cheat in exams

The Mirror is reporting that a school has banned smart watches from exam halls so that students cannot use them to cheat. The move by Billericay School in Essex is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK. A letter sent to parents warned anyone caught with a smart watch during a test will be disqualified.

Parents’ fury after school publishes ranking of pupils by performance in reception for all to see

The Mail is reporting that parents have hit out at their children’s school after what they call a ‘bullies’ charter’ league table which ranks pupils by performance was hung up in the reception area for all to see. Pupils at Nova Hreod Academy in Swindon, Wiltshire, are ranked by their grades, whether they are wearing the correct uniform and whether they have had to re-take important exams in the chart which has been placed in the school’s atrium.

Teachers told to reassure students as language exams get tougher

The TES is reporting that teachers are being warned this summer’s A-level language exams will be more difficult than previous years’ papers, but the changes will not adversely affect students’ grades. A letter sent to schools by a group of headteachers’ organisations and language associations this week warns that students and teachers, “could become anxious that grades in modern languages generally will be lower” because of the more difficult tests.

School once at the centre of parent protests is now leading the way with new scheme

The Birmingham Mail is reporting on a local school, once at the centre of parent protests after introducing tough rules, that it says is now leading the way with a new scheme aimed at boosting children’s academic success. It was just over two years ago that the former Castle Vale Performing Arts College hit the headlines after furious parents protested outside the school’s gates when 40 pupils had been barred from lessons for wearing the wrong shoes. And now it has become the first secondary school in England to introduce a scheme called Families And Schools Together (FAST).

Twins offered places at two different primary schools

The Birmingham Mail is reporting that a mum has told how her family were left devastated when her four-year-old twin boys were offered places at different schools. Daawud and Ibrahim Rassool have never spent a day apart.

Only one bid for £13m contract to run controversial new GCSE tests

The TES is reporting that Ofqual only received one bid for the £13m contract to run the new pupil tests that will help set GCSE standards… In March, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) was awarded a seven-year deal to develop and deliver new National Reference Tests (NRT) – designed to be used as independent measures to be used in deciding whether GCSE grades can go up.

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