A primary school has denied financial mismanagement after trustees were flown to Ibiza for a board meeting. Langdale Free School in Blackpool, which has 125 pupils, was investigated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency following a tip-off. The school, which graded as 'Good' by Ofsted at its most recent inspection, was investigated following allegations about poor financial management and the misuse of public funds. The probe found the school's revenue deficit was about £226,000 larger than had been budgeted. It also found the school, owned by the education group Montague Place, was not 'transparent' about the cost of flying trustees to a meeting in Ibiza. Langdale Free School (pictured) in Blackpool, which has 125 pupils, was investigated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency following a tip-off Montague Place paid for the trip, but failed to report this in their audited accounts, according to a report by the ESFA. The chairman of the trustees has … [Read more...] about Primary school flew its trustees to IBIZA for board meeting, reveal inspectors after probe highlights £226,000 budget deficit
Classroom rules for primary school
Matt Pinkett grimaces as he repeats Charles Dickens’s description of a female character in A Christmas Carol. “She had a ‘ripe little mouth’,” he says. “Isn’t that a horrible way to describe women?” The woman in question, Scrooge’s nephew’s wife, is peripheral to the tale; Pinkett’s students aren’t going to get a GCSE question about her. But he draws their attention to it every time he teaches the text: “It only takes me five minutes to say, ‘Why is this man infantilising this woman? Why that word ripe? It suggests consumption, it’s horrible’.” The questions are part of what Pinkett, a shaven-headed, blokeish English teacher at King’s College Guildford, a comprehensive academy in Surrey, calls “militant tenderness” – his deliberate drive to combat what he sees as the “hyper-masculinisation” of boys by society, by modelling an alternative masculinity … [Read more...] about Militant tenderness: how teachers are rooting out sexism in school
A class of 10-year-olds are sitting on the carpet looking at their teacher with open mouths. Their faces say: outrage. Their teacher, Rosemary O’Brien, has put up a statement on the board – a real one, by the Football Association in 1921. Football is “quite unsuitable for females”, it says. Across the classroom, pupils are voicing their disagreement. “That’s completely untrue,” says one boy assertively. A girl speaks up too: “Women should be allowed to play. Like men, they should have football clubs and be famous and do whatever they want,” she says. An experiment in this school over the past year has conspicuously transformed the way pupils and teachers think about males and females and their roles, as documented in a report to be published this week. Children here at Torriano primary, and four other schools in Camden, north London, now have the confidence to speak out about gender inequality, the report – due for publication … [Read more...] about A year to clean five schools of sexism – shouldn’t others do the same?
The village of Benenden in Kent has a green nearly as big as a football pitch. At one end stands a charming stone church. On the western edge is a picturesque mid-19th century building out of which, at 9.15am on a Wednesday, a stream of children dash, wearing their blue and white PE kit. This is Benenden primary, a state school in one of the wealthiest areas of the country: just up the road, the famous Benenden School charges parents £12,650 a term. The little state school, though, with its cramped and crumbling building, and an intake of only 162, has sub-standard facilities and is constantly strapped for cash. If governors hadn’t slashed the budget at Easter by substantially reducing teaching assistant hours and asking the headteacher, Gill Knox, to reduce her working hours to four days a week, rising fixed costs would have taken the school into deficit. Even schools in well-heeled areas – this one has just 8% of pupils eligible for the pupil premium – are … [Read more...] about School cuts: ‘Children now raise money for their own education’
Sick of the slogan, Get Brexit Done? The new Conservative party mantra will almost certainly infuriate or seduce, depending on your view about the EU referendum. It may also be time-limited, depending of the outcome of the next few weeks. The strapline, however, Invest in our hospitals, schools and police, is designed to live on into a fantasy post-Brexit world, where the Conservatives are reborn as the party of public spending and commitment to public services. So, let’s get real. If you are a parent, teacher or governor in a school struggling with shrinking budgets and rising costs, do you break out the champagne now? Much has been made of the £14bn “boost” to school budgets over the next four years. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, that £14bn becomes £4.3bn in today’s money by 2023 once you strip out inflation and triple-counting of each year’s increase. That is not an insubstantial sum – a 7.4% increase on … [Read more...] about Tories ‘investing in our schools’? Get real – Labour raised their budgets by 5% a year