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EdTech news roundup – May 2018

A look at some of the most important UK education and edtech headline stories from May 2018.

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Here are 3 of the latest UK education and education technology news stories from May…

Three in 10 new school leaders quit in the first five years, figures reveal

‘Government needs to work with the teaching profession, not against them, if we are to give every child the best possible start in life.’

Three in 10 new school leaders quit within five years, new analysis of Government data shows. As a result Labour has warned that schools could face a leadership crisis if more action is not taken to retain headteachers, Government figures show that three in 10 new headteachers and deputies who took up leadership posts between 2011 and 2015 have not been retained.

The shortages are even more acute in secondary schools where more than one in three teachers in leadership posts have already moved on. And the situation is likely to get worse as the Government continues to miss its teacher recruitment targets and high workload is still driving many teachers out of the profession, Labour has argued.

Society asks more of schools than it did a generation ago, Education Secretary says

Teachers are now expected to be social workers, speech therapists and keep an eye on pupils’ health, the Education Secretary has suggested.

Damian Hinds said that “society asks more of schools than it did a generation ago”, as he recognised the scale of the demands placed on teachers.

Teachers are now expected to look after pupils’ mental health and check for signs of radicalisation, as well as monitor health and social issues such as domestic violence. Addressing primary school leaders at the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) annual conference, Mr Hinds was the first Tory Education Secretary for over two decades to avoid being heckled by delegates.

Offering an olive branch to teachers, he said: “I certainly don’t pretend that I can just stand up here at this podium and say a few words that will solve all the challenges that you face in your school today. “It is true that schools get more funding that they used to. But it is also true that society asks more of schools than it did a generation ago.”

Free schools boost for England’s worst-performing areas

The government’s free school programme is being redirected towards the worst-performing areas of England, particularly the North East.

Ministers are targeting the next wave of about 35 new schools in the bottom third of lowest-performing areas. It comes after criticism that the free school programme has focused on the wealthier South East.

The government will also give councils £50m to create about 740 new school places for children with special needs. The money could help to build facilities including sensory rooms and playgrounds with specialist equipment. It is part of £680m which the Department for Education (DfE) has allocated to help create 40,000 more good school places in primaries and secondaries by 2021.

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