Careers Advice in Schools

A great article today on the BBC News Website about Careers in Schools. Check it out here.

I run a careers Advice programme at Aldridge School in Walsall. My way is to bring in a range of Industry specialists to talk to targeted groups of pupils.

It works very well and I’ve had some great feedback from an independent audit, which gauged young people’s responses and remarks.

Anyone delivering careers without involving the local business community should not be doing the job.

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Literacy tests a ‘Waste of Time’ – Yet another hopeless initiative

clrtestAn official evaluation of the assessment – taken by 600,000 children for the first time last summer – found that most schools believed it told them “nothing new” about pupils’ ability.

The study also revealed that more than half of teachers thought the test was “too difficult” and was largely unsuitable for high-ability pupils or those at the other end of the spectrum with special needs and English as a second language.

It also emerged that most schools were in favour of using a variety of different methods to teach reading – not an exclusive focus on the phonics system favoured by the Government.

The conclusions will be seen as a blow to the Coalition which has ordered state primaries across the country to introduce the new assessment.

As part of the reforms, pupils are supposed to accurately “decode” a list of 40 words using phonics – the back-to-basics method in which words are broken down into constituent parts.

The list includes a number of made-up words such as “voo”, “terg”, “bim”, “thazz” and “spron” to ensure pupils are properly employing the phonics system.

It is intended to mark out pupils struggling the most after a year of compulsory education – allowing teachers to target them with extra help.

The Department for Education insisted it had been used to identify some 235,000 pupils who were not up to the required standard in reading last summer.

But an evaluation of last year’s exam – based on interviews with 940 teachers and 844 literacy consultants – also found widespread apathy towards the tests.