Friday update – 12 September 2014

This week we highlight the updated version of the Department for Education’s Myths and Facts document on running schools, information on how an IT industry led network could help you set up Code Clubs in your schools, and news on a new Department for Education fund paying for a series of teacher-led training programmes to help support the teaching of foreign languages.

DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION MYTHS AND FACTS 

The document addresses some common misconceptions about the activities
schools are required to undertake.  It seeks to tackle both recurring myths and
new myths on changes happening during the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

COMPUTING IS THE NEW ICT

One of the major changes in the new national curriculum to be implemented from this September is the shift from ICT to computing. Over the summer, the media reported concerns over the preparedness of schools and skills of teachers in relation to the new computing curriculum.

Industry leaders in the North East, have welcomed the change hoping that the introduction of coding this term and a focus on digital industries in the curriculum could help bridge this skills gap in the digital sector.

Dynamo North East, the IT industry led network, can help set up Code Clubs and link up schools with IT experts in the region who are keen to volunteer their time. The network reports that currently 32,000 people work in IT in the region with an estimated 2,000 vacancies needing to be filled.

DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION £1.8 MILLION TRAINING BOOST FOR LANGUAGE TEACHING

From this week schools across England will teach the new, more challenging languages curriculum – including a new requirement for languages to be compulsory for children aged 7 to 11 years.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced on 9 September that the DfE was providing £1.8 million of government money to fund a series of new school-led programmes to provide thousands of teachers with extra training and support to improve the teaching of foreign languages.

Nine projects will work with more than 2,000 primary and secondary schools over the next 2 years across England. The projects will be focused on supporting teachers with the elements of the new curriculum that may be more challenging.

The Association for Language Learning was successful in being awarded £300,000 for its project which will work with 500 schools across the north east, east of England and the north Midlands. In each area the project will set up one regional centre and 10 local centres in strategically-located teaching schools to provide training and share best practice.