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Contents Dear Reader,


The ongoing controversy in Birmingham, about “hard-line” Islamists allegedly seeking to take control of some of that city’s schools, has now reached the corridors of Whitehall, and it has brought into sharp relief the issue of governance in our country’s schools. I’d be interested to hear from practitioners at all levels about the role governors play in modern schools, particularly now that the academies programme is reaching critical mass. How much power should governors have? Should we employ “professional” governors in our schools, or does the current system function as it should and is best left alone?


Do get in touch and let me know, I’d love to hear your views on this – I’ll be returning to this theme later in the year in the form of a feature article, so all views are welcome! Moving on to this issue of Education Today, our main feature this month comes from Dr Kate Reynolds, Dean of the School of Education at Bath Spa University. She looks at the ongoing debate about the respective benefits of academic over vocational learning in further education, and offers some views of her own on the relative merits of both forms of learning. I’m very pleased to be able to publish a piece by someone as respected as Kate and I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did. Our second feature examines the computing curriculum and, in particular, seeks to demystify computer science and its practical application in the classroom. The piece comes from Debbie Forster, the UK Managing Director of education charity Apps for Good, and it’s full of her usual common sense tips for practitioners looking to introduce computing to pupils come September. I’ll be meeting Debbie later this month when the Apps for Good finalists get together in London, and I can’t wait to see what innovative ideas the schoolchildren have come up with.


Our regular View from the Classroom feature this month comes from Neil McClements, vice principal of Rainey Endowed School in Belfast. I met Neil at Bett this year, and I’m delighted to share his views on pupil monitoring with you. As usual, the issue is full of education news from the UK, and also useful information from suppliers to the sector, which I hope you’ll find useful. I’m always glad to hear from you, so please get in touch via our Facebook page, Twitter @EdTodayMag, or by phone and email.


Enjoy the issue! Jonathan Swift – Managing Editor In this issue... 4 ASK CHARLOTTE!


Our regular column from Charlotte Beckhurst looking at technology in the classroom


4-17 NEWS


News, views and comment from the UK education sector


18


FURTHER EDUCATION FOCUS – ACADEMIC OR VOCATIONAL?


By Dr Kate Reynolds, Dean of the School of Education at Bath Spa University


20-21 VIEW FROM THE CLASSROOM


With Neil McClements, vice principal of Rainey Endowed School in Belfast


22-23 DEMYSTIFYING THE COMPUTING CURRICULUM


With Debbie Forster, UK Managing Director of Apps for Good


June 2014 24-26 COMPUTING Including news from Meru Education


27-29 BUILDINGS, MAINTENANCE, DESIGN & REFURBISHMENT Including news from interior specialists Innova


30 CATERING & HYGIENE


Including news of a new appointment at Food Dudes


31 WELLBEING


Including news from Birches Head Academy in Stoke-on-Trent


32 SAFETY & SECURITY


Including Brake’s new safety campaign in Scotland


33 RESOURCES


Useful resources for schools 34


ROUND UP


Including news from around the education sector


Sales Executive: Paul Dunn Publishing Director: Paul Ryder Managing Editor: Jonathan Swift Production Controller: Claire Noe Art Editor: Paul Forster Secretary: Jen York Published by:


Datateam Business Media Limited, London Road, Maidstone, Kent ME16 8LY Tel: 01622 699108 • Fax: 01622 757646 Email: education@datateam.co.uk Circulation: datateam@capsule-group.com Subscription Prices 2014 Number of editions per year: 11 UK: £45 Overseas: £115


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