North East MPs grill Nicky Morgan over academy plans

The Education Secretary defended government plans for academisation to two North East MPs who challenged the Department’s decision to “inflict” it on all schools.

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Nicky Morgan faced the Education Select Committee on Wednesday, answering questions about the Department’s White Paper proposals.

Committee member and MP for Gateshead Ian Mearns pressed for an explanation as to why schools that are already Good or Outstanding, and that work collaboratively within the Local Authority area – such as those in his constituency – will be forced to become academies. Mrs Morgan argued: “I don’t think it’s a question of inflicting anything on anybody. I think it is a question of offering people the opportunity to be autonomous and run themselves.”

Mr Mearns added that in 2014 the Education Secretary said she was not a “forcing type of person” and asked what had changed in the meantime. Mrs Morgan reiterated her plans to build a consistent system, adding that parts of the country are still not good enough: “We will never sit back and say education is sorted!”.

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#OperationFriday in full force to boost attendance at Kenton School

Earaches, soar throats and even reactions to grass being cut in their garden are just some of the excuses Kenton School staff hear most Fridays, when attendance generally drops by approximately 2% compared to other days of the school week.

Kenton school has now launched #OperationFriday in a bid to overcome this trend, teaming up with Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle Falcons.

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Newcastle primary accredited as a ‘Mantle of the Expert’ training school

St John’s Primary School has just been Quality Marked as a Mantle of the Expert training school, one of only four in the country and the only one north of Birmingham.

Mantle of the Expert (MoE) was developed by Dr. Dorothy Heathcote in Newcastle, where she was an academic at Newcastle University until her retirement in 1986.

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Mental Health: Schools need more support from parents and the Government for pupils’ wellbeing

Dr Bernard Trafford, Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, opened his ReTHINK Conference speech yesterday by calling for more support for schools to tackle pupils’ mental health issues, which he argues are now heightened by modern age.

“Improving our pupils’ mental health is beyond what we do in schools, but we can tackle the issue. Thanks to digital technology it now follows them home too, so parents need to step in and help.”

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First Mental Health Champion for schools to speak at SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit 2015

SCHOOLS NorthEast is delighted to officially announce Natasha Devon MBE, the first ever Government appointed Mental Health Champion for schools, as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Summit taking place on 15 October.

This is part of our drive to explore these issues in depth and improve children’s mental health, and Natasha will be ranging over the different ways schools and teachers in the North East can tackle their widespread concerns.

A columnist for Cosmopolitan and former model who has battled bulimia, Natasha will be sharing her own manifesto and guidance with our audience at this year’s annual Summit.

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North East law firm calls for ‘robust school policies’ after indecent ‘selfie’ is recorded as crime

An indecent ‘selfie’ could mean a pupil’s details will be retained in police records for 10 years and even shared with potential employers in the future, the BBC reports.

A boy, aged 14, sent a naked image of himself to a girl at school, who later on distributed it to other pupils.

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Sharp rise in parent prosecutions for term-time holidays

THE number of parents prosecuted in 2014 for taking their children on family holidays during term-time rose by 25% on the previous year, Ministry of Justice figures revealed.

A total of 16,430 parents were taken to court, 3,000 more than were prosecuted in 2013.

The information comes after concerns were raised over Continue reading “Sharp rise in parent prosecutions for term-time holidays”