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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 2 December 2019

Almost 200 independent schools are leaving the Teachers' Pension Scheme

Independent sector

Financial Adviser reports 80 independent schools have left the Teachers' Pension Scheme, and a further 105 are in discussions with Aviva to join the Aviva Pension Trust. By Stephanie Hawthorne. The article quotes David Woodgate, chief executive of the Independent Schools' Bursars Association.

Pisa rankings: England's schools expected to show improvement in reading scores

General education

Andreas Schleicher, education director at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has suggested this year's Pisa results, which measure the progress of 15-year-olds in almost 80 countries, will reflect the improved performance of schools in England. By Sian Griffiths and Julie Henry, The Sunday Times.

Speaking to BBC Wales, Mr Schleicher referenced Wales' poor performance in previous Pisa league tables, saying "the gap between what the world requires from learners and what schools provide in Wales has not become smaller, it's become wider". By Bethan Lewis.

Academics from UCL's Institute of Education have said this year's Pisa results are likely to be used by politicians this general election "to support whatever agenda they wish to pursue". By Richard Adams, The Guardian.

Single-sex independent schools 'would consider admitting transgender pupils'

Independent sector

The Independent reports leaders of single-sex independent schools would consider altering their policies to admit children based on gender, rather than sex. By Eleanor Busby. The article quotes Sue Hincks, president of the Girls' Schools Association and head of Bolton School Girls' Division, and Dorothy MacGinty, head of Kilgraston School.

Primary school enrolments expected to fall by 100,000 by 2022

Primary education and early years

An analysis of Department for Education data suggests falling birth rates will lead to primary schools struggling to fill places, with some predicted to close entirely. By Sarah Harris, Daily Mail.

Campaign group calls for primary schools to 'teach about LGBT issues in all lessons'

Teaching and learning

Campaign group Stonewall has issued voluntary guidance to primary schools, in which it suggests children should be taught about LGBT issues in every subject. By Sian Griffiths and Joani Walsh, The Sunday Times.

School leaders criticise Conservative Ofsted proposals

Education policy

Education unions have expressed concern over Conservative plans to give Ofsted greater powers, with the leader of the Association of School and College Leaders describing proposals for "no-notice" school inspections as "completely impractical". By Chiara Giordano, The Independent.

Research finds book ownership improves children's reading skills

Teaching and learning

An analysis from the National Literacy Trust has found 22 per cent of children who own books read above the expected level for their age, compared to 3.6 per cent of pupils who do not own a book. The charity estimates more than 380,000 children in the UK do not have a book at home. By Eleanor Busby, The Independent.

'Can girls' superior reading skills explain the gender gap in STEM fields?'

Teaching and learning

Louisa Lyon writes in BBC Worklife discussing the idea that the gender gap in STEM fields persists because girls are pursuing careers where they can exercise their "superior" language skills.

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