Primary School failings in the science curriculum.

Ben Tiffin 15th February 2019

Could Primary School failings in the science curriculum halt interest in Science for the future?

Ofsted warns this could be true; the inspectorate declares that some headteachers are ‘shocked’ by how limited their curriculum is within science. Many primary schools have outlined in their curriculum that science is being side-lined by English and Maths as the more superior subjects.

Before 2009, primary aged children would sit the Key Stage 2 test, however, after 2009 the government decided to scrap it, apparently, in some schools Science has clearly been downgraded as a subject after this date.
The study that shows this data comes just as Ofsted prepare to launch their new framework within schools for new inspections; this new framework will focus more on curriculum. Based on this science study and the new framework coming, it is predicted that schools will not do well under it initially, due to their curriculum not being incorrect capacity, which starts at foundation subjects.
At Rikama Education, we get a huge amount of science teaching positions throughout Kent and South-East London. We completely agree with this news and we believe that something needs to be done to combat the issues the government have. If science is not developed from a young age, students will not do well throughout school in science, therefore they will not want to pursue this in a career meaningless teachers causing a higher national recruitment shortage; even more so than
we are in.
More needs to be done at an earlier age to get students more interested in certain subjects, by increasing the knowledge and interest at a young age; it will increase the chances they will go into that subject as a profession.

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A new bid to retain teaching staff in the UK

Ben Tiffin 8th February 2019

A new strategy has been announced by the Education Secretary Damian Hinds MP to improve the retention and recruitment of teachers within the UK in all sectors. Teachers in England will, according to this strategy, receive early career support (to avoid teachers leaving the industry within the first few years) increasing amount of opportunities for flexible and part-time working along with, and most importantly, a reduction in their workload. After implementation, Damian Hinds hopes that this will boost the number of teachers applying and staying in the profession within the UK.

The Education Secretary hopes to build on the 30,000 classroom teachers the government wants to recruit each year, which would support the already 450,000 working teachers in England. To ensure that teachers stay within the profession in the first few years, new teachers will receive a two-year package of support and training including a reduced timetable; this will be backed by a minimum of £130 million a year in extra funding.

Bursaries and extra financial incentives will be offered to talented teachers so they stay in the classroom, schools will give teachers staggered additional payments throughout the first years of their teaching career. The government will also assist school leaders to help reduce workload for every teacher by observing their activities, then the unnecessary tasks will be stripped away to ensure that all educators are working efficiently.

With the help of this new strategy, this may assist with our countries education recruitment problem, however, only time will tell.

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A much needed cash boost for UK schools

Ben Tiffin 7th February 2019

In October 2018, Rikama Education reported on The Budget made to the public. Within the Budget, it was shown that an extra £400 million capital funding would be issued to schools in England. The establishments eligible for this funding is:

  • Special Post-16 institutions that have eligible state-funded pupils
  • Sixth Form Colleges
  • Non-Maintained Special Schools
  • Special Schools
  • Pupil Referral Units
  • Academies and Free Schools (including UTC’s, studio schools and alternative provision).
  • Maintained Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Maintained Nursery Schools

It is known that funding can be spent on projects to meet the individual school priorities including improvements to equipment, buildings or facilities.

What schools and headteachers need to know is that this funding will be filtered to appropriate parties from the beginning of February 2019; these payments will be made to local authorities, dioceses or multi-academy trusts who will then pass the money to the schools.

To all headteachers reading this news; think what you can start spending that extra money on. Apparently, primary schools in England will receive roughly £10,000 and secondary schools will receive £50,000.

Let’s hope that this little bit of cash will help out schools, even if it is a small amount of help.

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Rikama Christmas Colouring Competition

Ben Tiffin 28th January 2019

Schools In Kent

At Rikama Education, we aim to provide a working partnership with primary, secondary and special needs schools in Kent by delivering quality candidates instead of quantity. We pride ourselves on our core values: Family, Quality, Partnership and Trust.

We want to be able to give something back to the schools that we work with, prior to the Christmas break, Rikama Education ran a colouring competition for students to participate in. Schools that took part range from Bexleyheath all the way to Sittingbourne and a lot in between.

The prizes that were on offer were £25 Amazon vouchers for the winning students and Kindle Tablets for the winning schools. I can confirm that the following were the winner and runners-up:

Winner – Broomhill Bank School, Georgina, aged 14

Runner-Up – Parkwood School, Josh, aged 11

Runner-Up – Holy Trinity Primary School, Vladi, aged 5

Runner-Up – Twydall Primary School, Isla, aged 10

Overall, the colouring competition was a huge success, not only were the students amazed with their vouchers, but the winning schools get free Kindle Fires to assist with their reading/spelling/writing topics.

Rikama Education will be running a similar competition at Easter with prizes for students and schools again, please do get in touch if you would like to take part in this. We have dedicated consultants that cater to primary, secondary and special educational needs; if you have any requirements that you are struggling with please get in touch at your earliest convenience.

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DfE Funding – No Guarantee of staff pay rises

Ben Tiffin 24th January 2019

dfe funding

Whenever there is an article about schools in the U.K lately, it seems to be about funding. The DfE have given a grant of £508 million to schools throughout the country (£187 million this year) to give teachers a pay rise however due to reductions in funding, 12% of schools have told their teachers that if pay rises are given, these teachers could lose their jobs with a further 45% of schools yet to inform their teachers if they will be given anything.

According to NASUWT, some teachers were told they would be given a partial pay rise, others told that they would have a full pay rise but only backdated until January, not the start of the academic year and nearly all newly qualified teachers (1 in 10) would not get a penny more.

When money is given in any situation, it must clearly state what this money should be used for and in however many quantities; this was not done with this grant. The general secretary, Chris Keates, has condemned the government for not ‘ringfencing’ the money to ensure that it is only used for teacher’s pay increase on their main pay scale.

School Funding Surplus

Most recently, according to the NASUWT general secretary, the union has been gathering DfE information related to budgets of every school in the country; this data shows that more than 80% of schools had a budget surplus which once added up across the country, came to just shy of £4 billion.

The information gathered by NASUWT shows that perhaps schools are given the right amount of money however schools need to disclose these amounts to their staff. At this point in time, one-fifth of teachers are considering leaving their teaching jobs and the profession altogether because of pay; headteachers need to consider this otherwise they will risk losing their staff very soon.

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