The Sprint Education edu-news roundup - the topics on teachers’ minds

The Sprint Education edu-news roundup - the topics on teachers’ minds

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Rebecca McGilvray
Published: 11th December 2019

Well, here we go; time to sit back and enjoy #dogsatpollingstations today- the pinnacle of twitter content. We covered the election in last month’s edu-news roundup though. So, other than an important reminder about our very favourite hashtag, that’s it on the election front from us!

Let’s crack on with everything else happening in edu-news at the moment.

PISA test results released

The latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released at the beginning of the month. The worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development evaluates educational systems every three years by measuring the performance of 15-year-olds in Maths, Science, and Reading.

The UK’s most recent results showed overall improvement with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson declaring that the results reflected the success of the changes made to education policy by recent Conservative governments including "more rigorous primary school assessments".

The tests also recorded results about wellbeing. The study found that just 53% of UK students claim they are satisfied with their lives, amongst the lowest recorded.

Debate amongst academics and educators about the value of the assessments from an organisation created to stimulate economic progress are set to continue, whilst the results of the tests continue to impact education policy around the world.

£388m a week - the cost of poor Maths skills

The independent UK charity National Numeracy released a report at the end of November drawing attention to the millions of adults who lack the basic numeracy skills required for everyday life. The economic cost of this skills gap has been estimated by the charity as £388m a week.

The chief executive of National Numeracy identified a lack of confidence with numbers as the number one barrier to improvement. Although the charity has not made any recommendations to tackle this skills gap in relation to schools and teaching, as the report relates to an adult skills gap, the report was publicised on and will likely be a talking point for Maths teachers.

Two in five small schools fear closure

Headteachers are warning that small schools in rural communities across the country are at risk. A survey of 365 small-school leaders and NAHT members concluded that two in five fear closure due to the DfE’s funding formula.

The bulk of school funding is awarded on a per-pupil basis. The costs associated with running a school before the volume of pupils is considered puts small schools at a serious disadvantage.

Without the provision of small rural schools, pupils could face travelling miles each day. Thomas Moore’s article on offers an excellent break down of the figures relating to his own school’s experience, demonstrating the realities of the funding crisis for small schools.

Survey finds nearly half of schools unfit for purpose

A recent survey conducted by the National Education Union found that 47% of members reported the educational institutes that they worked in were not fit for purpose.

Schools across the country continue to struggle with buildings that are disrupting learning due to disrepair. Without sufficient funds to resolve problems with buildings, schools are resorting to quick patch-up jobs to keep classrooms open, resulting in unsafe learning environments for both teachers and students.

The recent announcement by the Government of the Condition Improvement Fund, a £400 million fund for school and college buildings, has been roundly criticised for its application criteria. It has also been deemed by Dr Mary Bousted, joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, as “too little, too late”.

So, what does all this mean for your edu-marketing?

  • There is still a huge focus on improving results in core academic subjects. If you have statistics or case studies that prove the efficacy of your product or service, highlight them wherever possible.
  • Maths is high on the agenda. Solutions that apply Maths in a real-world context to engage and boost confidence will be of interest to teachers looking for new ways to engage students.
  • Funding issues continue to dominate school leaders’ minds. Consider your message carefully. How can your business improve their situation? An understanding of the issues schools are currently facing and how the funding formula impacts different schools will help you approach them in an appropriate and sensitive way.

Education News Marketing to Education Marketing to Schools Marketing to Teachers

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