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Tes 25 June 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

The dog jumped and the small girl in the wheelchair seemed to be responsible. The teachers kept watching. The dog jumped again and this time, the teachers were sure: Annabelle had meant to do it. She had pressed the small button clasped in her hand, and she had looked up to see if the toy dog backflipped. She had understood cause and effect. For the staff at the special school, it was cause for celebration. Their provision is for pupils with extremely severe learning difficulties and disabilities; children who have had little expected of them. But the teachers there have high expectations for every child, and the lives of pupils like Annabelle are transformed as a result. Annabelle’s story may seem like a solid case study to support the high-expectations narrative. This…

3 min
stressed-out staff? call in the school life coach

When pressured teachers ponder all the things that might improve their situation and help them regain control of their professional and personal life, it’s unlikely that having access to a life coach would come to mind for many. Life coaching’s association with the self-help movement – which has not always been scientifically robust – means there is often a great deal of cynicism around the effectiveness of employing someone to fine-tune your existence. And, anyway, surely workload reduction, more flexible working and a “thank you” now and again would have more impact? Yet an international school in Vietnam has argued that, actually, a life coach can have a substantial impact on workload, on working flexibly and on helping teachers get their lives back. A life coach, they argue, could be just the…

3 min
schools need to take some weight off the squeezed middle leader

Every role in a school requires the simultaneous spinning of multiple plates but, for a middle leader, things are particularly tough: they have to spin their own plates while also monitoring the plates of the senior leaders above them and the classroom teachers below them. Inevitably, that is very stressful. And, according to Mark Enser, research lead and head of geography at Heathfield Community College in East Sussex, it’s putting people off applying for these roles. “There is clearly a problem in middle leadership that needs addressing,” he says. “I notice that when a head of department position comes up in a school, there is often a real problem finding enough applicants, however great that school is. “At the other end, when a job is advertised for an assistant head role, there are…

2 min
pupils at heart of campaign for community defibrillator

Like millions of others across the globe, I watched live as Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed during a Euro 2020 group-stage match. Even in the early moments, as the shocking and distressing scenes unfolded, it became clear that something was very wrong. Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest. He owes his life to the decisive actions of teammates and medical staff, who treated and resuscitated him, and then shocked him back to life with a portable defibrillator. A defibrillator is an advanced medical tool that delivers a high-energy electric shock to the heart and is an essential life-saving tool for someone suffering from a cardiac arrest. Recent statistics suggest that only one in 10 people survives a cardiac arrest but that a defibrillator increases these odds by more than 90 per cent. What happened…

5 min
concerns mount over dfe’s decision to ditch effective phonics scheme

On the face of it, the government’s recently announced decision to remove the Letters and Sounds handbook from its list of “validated” phonics teaching programmes next year could be viewed as a minor policy tweak. After all, the Department for Education (DfE) has said schools can continue to use the 2007 handbook regardless of its official endorsement – or lack thereof – in perpetuity, unless they are part of an English hub. And the DfE has stressed that Ofsted does “not have a preferred programme or approach” when it comes to inspecting phonics teaching. But some experts fear there is far more to this move than meets the eye, with school budgets under threat and a rise in teacher workload on the horizon. The move has come as part of a DfE decision…

6 min
10 questions with… cressida cowell

Cressida Cowell is the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author of numerous hit children’s books, including How To Train Your Dragon – which was turned into a huge Hollywood movie franchise – and The Wizards of Once, among many others. She recently wrote an open letter to prime minister Boris Johnson – co-signed by numerous other high-profile children’s writers – calling for more ring-fenced funding for school libraries as part of her Life-changing Libraries project. She spoke to Tes about her school days, the great teachers she remembers – particularly how their lesson prompts may have helped inspire some of her greatest creations – and why her rallying call to properly fund school libraries matters so much. 1. Do you remember your time at primary school well? I went to an all-girls primary in…