Friday Update – 21 November 2014

This week we have an update on the Great North Maths hub and highlight the announcement of increased pupil premium funding in primary schools for 2015/16 and new action from the Department for Education on supporting pupils’ mental health.

UPDATE ON THE GREAT NORTH MATHS HUB
Back in July the Learning Trust was confirmed as one of 32 schools and academy trusts leading new Maths hubs across England funded by the Department for Education, and co-ordinated by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.

Two primary school teachers from Shanghai have now arrived in North Tyneside for a three week period teaching maths at Benton Dene Primary School. The exchange is part of a project to help English primary school teachers understand and implement some of the key elements of Shanghai maths teaching that have proved so effective in helping school pupils in Shanghai reach levels of attainment far ahead of their counterparts in England and the rest of the world.

INCREASE IN FUNDING FOR THE PUPIL PREMIUM IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS FOR 2015/16
Primary schools will receive £1,320 for every pupil who has been registered for free school meals at any time in the last six years.  Announcing the funding, Schools Minister David Laws said:

“We have already made significant progress towards closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. This additional funding will ensure teachers continue to have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start at school, regardless of their background.”

CHILDCARE AND EDUCATION MINISTER OUTLINES NEW ACTIONS TO SUPPORT PUPILS’ MENTAL HEALTH
On 20 November Childcare Education Minister Sam Gyimah indicated mental health was at the centre of a new vision for schools  as 1 in 10 children had a diagnosable mental health disorder, and the new plans aimed to help make sure young people got vital support when they needed it.

The Government will be working with the PSHE Association to help schools know how to teach pupils about mental health and banish the stigma which can leave young people with mental health problems feeling isolated.  Additionally, for the first time, it will set out a blueprint for schools to use when delivering their counselling services, which will be informed by young people and experts to make sure the advice will meet the needs of the people it is intended to support.