Which types of school are more likely to off-roll students?

One of the many problems with the current accountability system is that students who leaders can see are likely to get very low progress scores will contribute negatively to performance measures. Being under pressure to turn around a poor Ofsted judgment (particularly if there is a fight for pupils to fill places), creates a strong incentive to engage in a game of pupil pass-the-parcel.

We found that school type matters for off-rolled students. In sponsored academies – the schools forcibly taken over because of poor historic performance – one in five teachers said their school had excluded students to protect results. That is the highest across the state sector.

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Minister worried about schools ‘gaming’ the exclusions system

An education minister had admitted he is “worried” that schools are gaming the exclusion system because the way they are recorded is “labyrinthine”.

Lord Agnew told MPs today that he agreed that schools should not be able to exclude pupils under the reason of “other” after being told it accounted for one in five exclusions.

https://www.tes.com/news/minister-worried-about-schools-gaming-exclusions-system

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Council battles academy trust over £4 million unpaid bill

A cash-strapped council is trying to sue an academy trust for more than £4 million over alleged unpaid services.

Lambeth council in south London has been in an escalating legal battle with the Parallel Learning Trust (PLT) for more than three years. The government has stepped in in an attempt to resolve the long spat.

According to PLT’s accounts, the council has issued a claim of almost £3.38 million for unpaid payroll services, a pension contribution shortfall of £929,000, court fees of £10,000, and “other charges” for services totalling £28,779.

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In Whose Interest? The UK’s role in privatising education around the world

By Global Justice Now and National Education Union, based on initial research carried out by Mark Curtis

Today, 262 million children and young people worldwide are being denied a basic human right: the right to education. Despite the commitment made in 2015 by the international community through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to deliver this right for all children and young people, millions remain unable to access the “inclusive and equitable quality education and…lifelong learning opportunities” they were promised.1The gap between ambition and provision is being exploited by private actors in pursuit of profits, who see the estimated $5 trillion global education market as a business opportunity.2 Consequently, the private education sector has grown significantly in recent decades, a development that has perpetuated education inequality and is undermining attempts to “ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education,” as required by SDG 4.1 ……

This trend is being perpetuated by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Over the last decade in particular, DFID has been at the forefront of an international push to use public resources in order to leverage private capital into poorer parts of the world. This is based on the idea that there aren’t sufficient public resources to meet the SDGs, a rationale which has been used to channel huge sums of aid into financial markets and, directly and indirectly, into the private sector, including private education. However, this fixation with leveraging international capital risks embedding highly unequal, volatile and crisis-prone economic models into developing countries and crowding out domestic resources. In turn, the focus on private schools risks permanently undermining the attempts to build universally available public education systems.

https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/resources/in_whose_interest_-neu-_global_justice_now_0.pdf

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Delta DID ‘flatten the grass’, emails show

Emails seen by Schools Week reveal senior leaders at an academy trust arranged and encouraged support for a controversial approach to behaviour management – although it denied it had any such policy.

Delta Academies Trust insisted it did not have a “flattening the grass” behaviour policy, an approach that caused widespread concern earlier this year after reports of assemblies in which children were humiliated and screamed at. Some were excluded.

However, internal emails show senior leaders preparing for “flattening the grass” assemblies in June 2018, and calling on “strong” colleagues to “support” the process.

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