Education Secretary Michael Gove has outlined his plans to break down the "Berlin Wall" between private and state schools in education.
The shadow education secretary has weighed into the row between the Department for Education and the chief inspector of schools.
Boys are about half as likely to enjoy writing as girls, with many saying that they find it embarrassing, according to new research.
As teachers announce plans that could result in strike action there seems to be little support for any walk outs with parents reacting angrily to the plans.
- Helen Nellie Chadwick: Surprise surprise think parents should unite as one to stop the fines for taking kids out as its prejudice as it doesn't apply to the disruption that strikes cause let alone the poor pupils about to do their exams.
- Gypsy Bluebell: Outrageous. Parents can't take children out of school because of disruption to the rest of the class... I have no sympathy with them, whatsoever.
- Ron Lock: Why don't they have their strikes in August, as a nurse I am getting fed up with this... Maybe we should refuse to treat teachers when they go on strike!
- Tracy Trotter: Find a different way than walking out. It not only hurts the gov it hurts every parent and costs [them] to find childcare.
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The Department for Education has hit out at the National Union of Teachers over proposed strike action in June, saying it will "damage the reputation of the profession".
A spokesperson added that it was up to headteachers to ensure their staff have manageable workloads.
Ministers have met frequently with the NUT and other unions and will continue to do so. Further strike action will only disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.
It is important that teachers work closely with school leaders to ensure that their workload is manageable. We trust the professionalism of our headteachers to monitor their staff's workload and address any issues.
Teachers have taken to Twitter in support of the news that summer strike action has been approved by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
#NUT2014 so pleased that we have passed the stand up for education motion. Loved the fact that everyone stood up and clapped at the end!
#NUT2014 Strike action isn't certain, it is an OPTION, to be taken if the Govt won't negotiate. The Govt can prevent it, if they want to.
The National Union of Teachers has voted for a series of fresh strikes, starting with a national walkout in June.
The action relates to a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.
Teachers should not be subjected to the stress and pressure of being watched constantly, the NASUWT's general secretary said, after a new survey claimed that schools were using CCTV to monitor staff. Chris Keates said:
Teachers are already wrestling with excessive monitoring, masquerading as classroom observation, carried out by senior management and a host of other people regularly visiting their classrooms.
Now, in some schools, they are being subjected to permanent surveillance through CCTV cameras. Lab rats have more professional privacy.
Around one in 12 schools say they have CCTV in their classrooms, according to a NASUWT survey, which claimed that CCTV camera were being used to spy on teachers. Out of the 7,500 members questioned:
- Two thirds (66%) say the cameras were introduced for pupil safety.
- A further 58% say CCTV was brought in for the safety of staff.
- Under a third (31%) said that the cameras are there to monitor pupil behaviour, with 15% saying that they are designed to help teachers' professional development.
- Almost nine in ten (89%) said that they cannot switch the cameras off, with a similar proportion (87%) saying that the CCTV was constantly recording.
- Around 17% said that they see the CCTV as there just to spy on teachers, with 31% arguing it is an invasion of their professional privacy.
- Over half of teachers (55%) claim the recordings are monitored by their school leaders.
- Two fifths (41%) saying the footage has been used to make judgments about staff.
Schools are using CCTV cameras designed to keep pupils safe to spy on teachers, it has been claimed.
Teachers are being subjected to "permanent surveillance", with school leaders monitoring the footage and using it to make judgments about the performance of their staff, according to the NASUWT teaching union.
In many cases, teachers say they cannot turn off the cameras in their classroom, which are constantly recording lessons, a poll conducted by the union found.
The survey comes as delegates attending the NASUWT's annual conference in Birmingham debate a resolution warning that monitoring of teachers is becoming excessive.
The Department for Education has defended the practice of schools schools asking parents to pay for textbooks, computers and trips away but has insisted that it does not put poorer students at a disadvantage.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "While schools can ask for voluntary contributions for textbooks, musical instruments or other equipment, it must be made clear to parents that there is absolutely no obligation to donate.
"If a parent is unable or unwilling to pay, their child must be given an equal chance to take part in school life.
"We have protected the schools budget and just last month announced that we are giving an extra £350m to schools in historically under-funded areas".
Schools are requesting donations from parents which could lead to pupils from poor families being disadvantaged, a poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) suggests.
ATL member Jo Inglis said the survey found just 7% of teachers felt that asking parents for donations had no impact on disadvantaged pupils.
The survey also claimed that:
- 43% of parents have contributed up to £50 a year per pupil in voluntary contributions for activities or goods that are not linked to their child's schoolwork
- 70% have donated up to £50 a year per pupil to help pay for items and trips that are related to the school curriculum.
Parents are being asked for donations by schools towards stationery, textbooks, trips and computers, a survey has suggested.
The findings show that 70% of parents have contributed up to £50 a year per pupil to help pay for items and trips related to the school curriculum.
The poll, by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, indicates staff are worried that pupils could be put at a disadvantage if their parents are unable to donate money.