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NEWS


New toolkit to improve care for children with asthma in London


A new asthma toolkit has been launched by Healthy London Partnership at the British Thoracic Society winter symposium to help health professionals, schools, parents and carers provide the best care for children and young people with asthma in London. More than 200,000 children and young


people have asthma in London – that’s three in every classroom – making it the most common long term condition in childhood, yet many do not understand how serious asthma can be. Dr. David Finch, Chair of Healthy London


Partnership Asthma Leadership Group and North West London’s Medical Director, commented: “The effects of asthma can be devastating and unbelievably children are still dying every year as a result of asthma attacks in London. No child should die of asthma. "Ninety per cent of these deaths are


preventable and more needs to be done across all areas – by all of us who care for children and young people with asthma – to improve care and minimise the risk of asthma attacks. “Small changes can make a big difference


and the online toolkit contains practical guidance and simple resources to help pharmacists, GPs, teachers, school nurses, commissioners and hospital staff to provide the best possible asthma care. “Especially now as the temperature is


dropping and asthma symptoms often worsen. Children with asthma start to feel the effects of the cold weather and are particularly vulnerable. Cold air can also increase the risk of chest infections.”


University awarded funding to boost language teaching in classrooms


Following a recent report which raises concerns about the decline of modern foreign languages in schools, Nottingham Trent University is to offer its undergraduate language students the chance to become qualified teachers as part of their degree. The University is one of only nine in the UK to


be awarded funding from the Department of Education to develop four-year courses for students studying French, German and Spanish which lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Ronan Fitzsimons, principal lecturer and course


leader for Modern Languages at Nottingham Trent University, said it is an exciting move in the ongoing development of the courses that are available to students. “We are very pleased to have won this


funding. Modern foreign languages are declining in schools and inspirational teachers are needed to encourage pupils to study languages beyond key stage three, which is when the majority will drop the subject. We hope that these courses will inspire more of our students to take their love of modern languages into the classroom.


“Many students will see this as an ideal way of


completing their degree, gaining the linguistic and cultural richness of a year abroad, but crucially attaining their QTS a year sooner than would be the case if they followed the BA and PGCE route,” he said. Chris Rolph, partnership manager for teacher


education at the Nottingham Institute of Education, said: “It is exciting to be part of a new initiative that can incorporate initial teacher education into an undergraduate degree course, maintaining high academic standards for both. We hope that students will see this as an attractive route into teaching modern foreign languages, and through it will discover an immensely rewarding career.”


uhttp://tscouncil.org.uk/modern-foreign- languages/


Why research has a crucial role in improving education for disadvantaged pupils


Policy attention must focus on the large numbers of disadvantaged pupils in poorer quality schools, according to research in a new publication highlighting breakthroughs that have improved student achievement, teaching and school quality.


Included in the booklet is research conducted uwww.healthylondon.org/asthmatoolkit


by Professor Becky Francis, Director of UCL Institute of Education. Her study looked at ways to narrow the socio-economic gap in educational attainment. She found that the 16% of schools graded “satisfactory” by Ofsted seemed to be “coasting”, with inconsistencies in efforts to improve standards and teaching practices. Professor Francis’ research led to the replacement of the “satisfactory” rating with “requires


Survey shows school budget concerns have reached crisis levels


T


he financial pressure facing school leaders has reached record levels as they struggle to


balance the books, according to the latest School Leaders’ Survey by Browne Jacobson and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL). The survey of over 900 school leaders showed


that 94% of school heads and senior managers are unhappy with the government’s funding of schools. Of these three quarters (74%) are very dissatisfied – a rise of 35% compared to 12 months ago and the highest it has been since 2013. As a result, managing a reduced or


stagnant budget will be a priority for 95% of all school leaders over the coming year. Nick Mackenzie, education partner at law firm


Browne Jacobson, said: “It is clear that school leaders up and down the country are facing a real cash crisis and the decision to delay implementation of the new funding formula means many schools are living on a financial knife-edge.” Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary of


the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The planned funding formula will hopefully make the funding system fairer and ease some of


6 www.education-today.co.uk


the pressure on the most poorly funded schools. “However, it is important to understand that it


will not address the fact that the overall level of education funding is not sufficient. “Education is a vital investment. It provides the


country’s intellectual infrastructure; the knowledge and skills which will enable us to remain globally competitive. We simply must improve funding for schools and colleges to achieve our aspirations for the future.”


uwww.ascl.org.uk December 2016


improvement”, while redirecting policy attention to address the disproportionate number of disadvantaged pupils in under-performing schools. Mike Kane MP, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale


East, and Shadow Minister for Schools said: “Education is fundamental to overcoming


inequality, improving attainment and promoting social mobility. This booklet illustrates the invaluable contribution of social science research in achieving these goals, both in responding to the challenges of the classroom, as well as in outlining strategies for equipping students both young and old with the tools they need to succeed at every stage in life.”


uwww.acss.org.uk/mtc-12-education


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