Tes 15 October 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

In the running world, they talk a lot about “hitting the wall”: the moment in a race or a run when there is a sudden onset of extreme fatigue and a loss of motivation. There is no warning. One moment, you are heading for a personal best; the next, you are collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, confusion and desperation. It happens to experienced and novice runners alike. And the reason it happens is fuel: the body has used it all up and cannot find another drop in the system. As a result, that system stops working. Reading social media posts over the past week, “hitting the wall” seems a fitting description of what teachers are currently experiencing. They are suffering extreme tiredness, dissatisfaction and desperately need the “water stop” of half…

2 min
tight-lipped tories stay silent on directed time

How many hours does an average teacher work? The response from almost everyone in the profession would be: decidedly more than the supposed limit of 1,265 hours of directed time per academic year. They “work double the amount of other high-performing countries; around 55 hours a week”, argued Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, at the Conservative Party conference. “So we already work much longer hours than the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) average.” The Department for Education workload survey put the figure at slightly less than 55 hours but still decidedly more than the directed time limit. “The average total, self-reported working hours in the reference week for all teachers and middle leaders, in 2019, was 49.5 hours,” states the 2019 Teacher Workload Survey report. The…

3 min
delay in recognising overseas jabs leaves international staff stranded

Spare a thought for the international school teachers. While Covid wreaked havoc on educational institutions globally, some individual teachers far from home had a particularly tough time of it – and that pain is set to continue. Last week, Colin Bell, chief of the Council of British International Schools (Cobis), highlighted the fact that there are some international teachers who have not been back to the UK for two years. “When they flew out to start teaching for September 2019, no one knew that a pandemic was on the horizon and international travel would be heavily restricted,” he explained. “Many have since braved restrictions and quarantines to get back home – whether for good or just to see family and friends – but many have yet to touch down on home soil. “We…

5 min
10 questions with… simon farnaby

Simon Farnaby is an actor and writer who is best known for appearing in shows such as Ghosts, Detectorists and Horrible Histories, and for co-writing the smash-hit film Paddington 2. He has also written a series of children’s book, the latest instalment of which, The Warrior in My Wardrobe, is out now. He spoke to Tes about his memories of school, recalling the English teacher who helped him to pursue his love of writing, the art competition he won without being very good at art, and why he wasn’t the biggest fan of school trips. 1. Where did you go to primary school? I went to Croft CofE [Church of England], which is in a little village near Darlington, and the school is in the centre of the village and there’s only one…

6 min
new rba ‘doubles workload and eats into children’s settling-in time’

“A waste of time”, “exhausting”, “another difficult task to juggle”, “pointless”. These are some of the choice words used by a variety of early years teachers to describe the experience of running the new Reception baseline assessment (RBA). This is not how it was supposed to be. The RBA, delayed from its planned launch in September 2020 by the pandemic, has been championed by the Department for Education (DfE) as necessary to ensure that the full impact of a child’s time in primary education can be measured. To do this, a series of questions is put to pupils by teachers in a one-to-one set-up that is meant to be relaxed and informal. There is no pass or fail for pupils, or a score, and the data is instead held by the DfE…

2 min
fears rise around efficacy of nhs test and trace in schools

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has been warned of headteachers’ concerns that the tracing of Covid contacts is not happening among school pupils when cases arise. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said that heads have been concerned that NHS Test and Trace “appears to be doing very little, if any, contract tracing” of positive cases in schools. And a survey of the NAHT school leaders’ union members shows that just 6 per cent have confidence in the current Test and Trace system. Some 66 percent of NAHT members who responded to the survey said the Test and Trace system was ineffective or highly ineffective. Contact tracing in schools was previously done by the schools themselves but at the end of last term this responsibility was transferred to…