TIMSS League Tables point to teacher recruitment problems in England, says NAHT

Padworth College holds the keys to securing a bright future

Leading independent senior school Padworth College has taken the next step towards securing a bright future for the school and more importantly its students, having secured ownership of the school’s land and buildings from its former landlord Padworth Estates Limited. For the first time the institution has control over the property decisions it makes, which will

help to assure the College’s ongoing and future stability. Padworth College intends to take this opportunity to review the scope for developing the school building and grounds to match the style of the philosophy and its principles of celebrating individuality and internationalism. The school prides itself on offering a unique and highly differentiated approach to learning, and places great importance on embracing both the traditional English and varied international cultures contributed by the 30 different nationalities of its students. Jonathan Rawes,

Commenting on the Trends in Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released recently, Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The report highlights the achievements made

in maths and science education, with pupils in England performing significantly above international averages and increasing in performance since 2011 in both years 5 and 9. This is a testament to the work of our school leaders and their staff and it is particularly encouraging to see that English schoolchildren rate their maths and science education so highly compared to their peers in the highest- performing countries. They report that their teaching is engaging, that they like learning maths and science, that they are confident of their ability in these subjects, and that they value them. “Sadly however, this report makes it clear that

problems with teacher recruitment are holding England back from the premier division of international performance. Schools leaders in England are more likely to report that maths and science vacancies are difficult to fill than the other countries included in this report. Around two thirds of year 9 pupils were taught in schools where vacancies in both maths and science were either somewhat or very difficult to fill. “These findings are backed up by last week’s

Initial Teacher Training statistics, which showed a serious shortage in EBacc subjects – 84 per cent of the required Mathematics trainees were recruited and just 68 per cent for Computing. “The government must recognise the damage

it is doing to the teaching profession, and the ways in which it is holding back England’s performance. England has superb teachers who are achieving very highly for children. Pay them properly and treat them well.” December 2016

Chairman of Padworth College Trust Limited commented: “Purchasing the freehold means that we now have a property asset on the balance sheet. Therefore, we now have control of the property and freedom to make decisions in relation to it. Also by taking this action the trustees are demonstrating their confidence in the future stability of the College.”

Primary schools in Northern Ireland continue to rank among the best in the world in maths

A major international survey of pupil achievement in mathematics and science shows that pupils aged 9-10 in Northern Ireland continue to perform very well in maths. The National Foundation for Educational

Research (NFER) carried out the research for the Department of Education. Achievement in science was found to be not as high, but is still above the international average. Data from the 2015 Trends in International

Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) reveal that only five of the 50 countries taking part in the mathematics assessments outperformed Northern Ireland. Education Minister Peter Weir said: “The report

shows that primary schools here have maintained a strong performance in the subject as demonstrated in the previous TIMSS study in 2011. “It also highlights that primary schools in

Northern Ireland have highly qualified principals and teachers who are committed to continued professional development. The level of participation in professional development activities for mathematics was higher in Northern Ireland than that seen internationally.”

Carole Willis, Chief Executive of NFER,

commented: “TIMSS provides a valuable way for nations to benchmark the performance of their education systems, and Northern Ireland has continued to perform well in this latest round. NFER has been involved in running TIMSS since it first began in 1995, and brings a unique combination of expertise in education systems and robust research. The insights we provide through TIMSS on students, their teachers and schools will help policymakers and schools in Northern Ireland to build on their strengths and address areas where its performance could be improved further.” 5

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