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  INVESTING IN THE EARLY YEARS The effects of the covid pandemic and events in Ukraine mean that care and education in the early years have never been more important.  As this starts within each family, the welfare of parents in these demanding times is also crucial.  With so many families facing stress and hardship because of rising costs of food and fuel, many children are suffering to a degree that we have not seen in this country since the second world war. Cuts in funding to the public sector has led to the weakening of much of the support for children predicated in the Children Act which became law in 1989.  These cuts have resulted in the loss of almost all Sure Start Centres, where parents could access multi-professional advice and help, while their children played and learned with support from well-qualified staff. Research in the UK shows the ben...

By: Wendy Scott, National Council Member
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So, after waiting 6 years for a new education white paper, we get the startling news that we all want good schools. Something which cannot be achieved by this government apparently as “Government does not have all the answers, “ but can only be achieved by “parents, teachers, community leaders, social workers, local authorities, professionals and children themselves to come together as one to make it succeed.”   This seems to me to be passing the buck, but then when we read on we find that we are getting a rehash of the message from 2016, that all schools should become academies and this will make it all better. I wonder why things haven't improved by going down this route so far? It's good to see that the DfE hasn't lost its sense of humour regarding sending out messages, with a bank holiday seen as the best time to let schools...

By: Ed Case
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Ten years ago NAPE ran very successful face-to-face events in schools with multiple workshops which were of use to hard-working class teachers. However, with lockdown and large-group restrictions over the last two odd years our Association was stuck. It was desperate to reach out to its members by providing conferences and workshops on a face to face basis...but could not. Teachers over that time have became used to administering (was it teaching?) lessons across the internet to their classes. Last year when NAPE  ran an 'online only event' with 'break out rooms'  we saw a good number of participants such as teachers, parents, governors and University staff, signing in! Yesterday (Monday 14th March) we held our yearly Schiller lecture in an Oxford primary school. We gave participants the choice of joining on Zoom or attending in person. It was a brillian...

By: Plug yourself in?
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A Response to a DFE Blog, The Education Hub, 16 February 2022: We are told that The Education Hub is a site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. What an extraordinary claim regarding the omnipotence of this particular site which encompasses everything you need to know about the education system! How can any site do justice to the breadth, the contradictions and the complexities of our educational world? Surely, in place of such blatant missionary zeal, there should be a touch of realism, honesty and humility? In reality The Education Hub is a mouthpiece for the government, focussing on what it perceives to be its priorities and policies. Of course, it is entitled to do just that, but that is very different from the communication of all you need to know about the education system. This week the b...

By: RY
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Shivering with cold. In the Science programme for Key Stages 1 & 2 (2013) there are some notes and guidance (non-statutory) about properties and changes of materials. The latest government guidance reported by the BBC is that schools need to keep the windows open in classes in order to ‘help stop the spread’ of Covid. So, this means that teachers do not have to take children outside to observe icy puddles or conduct a science experiment by the ‘wrapping of ice-cream to stop it melting’ mainly because it would take too long to melt inside…As a comment by a frustrated teacher said on BBC’s Twitter Feed, ‘I’m wearing thermals + kids are shivering in their coats, what a glorious way to learn’. Years ago, pre-national curriculum (<1988), children’s experience of cold would be exploited by the teacher by teaching genres of ...

By: Edman
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