Friday Update – 18 September 2015

This week I highlight the publication of the final report from The Commission on Assessment Without Levels, the expansion of Tom Bennett’s review into poor behaviour in the classroom and the launch of a project offering free Human Rights lessons.

ASSESSMENT WITHOUT LEVELS
I know many of you received Headteacher’s updates last academic year on how the school was carrying out assessment after the removal of the national curriculum levels system. The Commission on Assessment Without Levels, set up by the Department for Education to help schools to develop and implement new approaches to pupil assessment, yesterday published its final report.

The advice gives schools information on how to develop new approaches based on the needs of the pupils, following the school’s curriculum and supporting effective teaching. The Government also published its formal response to the range of recommendations outlining how it would address the recommendations going forward.

HUMAN RIGHTS LESSONS TO BE OFFERED TO SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND
The BBC has reported that on Monday the Education Secretary and Ms Kennedy, a US human rights activist, will launch a new project designed to start debates about “democracy, respect and tolerance”.

The free project called Speak Truth to Power, teaches students about human rights activists who have challenged oppression and who have faced imprisonment and torture. Teachers will be able to access online material to present the lessons.

The Education Secretary has said she wants the project “to encourage young people to be active and engaged citizens and to leave school well-rounded, confident and resilient.”

IMPACT OF SMARTPHONES ON BEHAVIOUR IN LESSONS TO BE REVIEWED
On 13 September the Schools Minister Nick Gibb, announced Tom Bennett’s review into how initial teacher training prepared teachers for tackling low-level disruption in class would be expanded to look at all of the challenges of managing behaviour in 21st-century schools. The review will also now look at wider issues such as the use of mobile phones and other devices in schools.