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New release: Governance and Governors January 30, 2012

Posted by millycotton in Independent Education, Leading Schools of the 21st Century, New releases.
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Governance and Governors

‘… governance is more demanding and more multi-faceted than in days gone by – the result of a mixture of political, legislative, financial and social pressures’.
Nigel Richardson, Governance and Governors

John Catt is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of Governance and Governors, the eighth and final volume in the Leading Schools in the 21st Century series organised by The Headmasters’ & Headmistresses Conference.

The new book, co-sponsored by the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS), draws on the experiences of Governors, Heads and Bursars and covers many of the challenges Governors face. The volume is edited by Dr Nigel Richardson, who has co-edited the other seven titles in the series, and Stuart Westley, General Secretary of AGBIS and a former Head.

Among the topics covered are legal responsibilities; health and safety; risk management; public benefit and charity legislation; child protection requirements; inspection; the role of the Chairman; committee structures; complaints and appeals; strategic planning; finding a new Head; and appraisal.

Other books in the series cover the roles of Heads; Senior Management Teams; Heads of Department; Newly Qualified Teachers; Pastoral Work; Public Relations, Marketing and Development; and Bursars. Full information on how to obtain the complete set will follow shortly.

Academy, spring issue January 25, 2012

Posted by millycotton in Magazines.
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January’s Academy magazine is now back from the printers and being sent to schools up and down the country. As mentioned in a previous post, this new issue contains a broad range of relevant information, provided by experienced professionals in, and around, this expanding education sector.

Subscriptions are available from the John Catt bookshop  and you can read and download a copy of the digital version via www.academymag.co.uk. Don’t miss your chance to find out more and be a part of this exciting publication.

The IB World Schools Yearbook 2012: available for pre-order January 11, 2012

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in International education, New releases.
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We have just received from our printers Wyndeham Grange the proof copies of the IB World Schools Yearbook 2012, the latest edition of our hugely popular guide to all 3300+ International Baccalaureate schools around the world.

It is another fantastic issue, truly an indispensable guide to one of the world’s leading curricula, featuring: information from the IB on their three programmes and their organisation, conferences, staff and facilities; directory information on every IB World School in almost 150 countries; and more detailed descriptions and photos of over 200 leading IB World Schools.

The book will be published next week and is available to pre-order here. In the meantime, here is a blog post written for us by Julie Booth, explaining why more and more schools are choosing to offer the International Baccalaureate and how technology can help manage the complexities of delivering it.

THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGING THE IB 

More and more schools are offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) alongside, or in some cases instead of, traditional GCSEs and A Levels as a way of attracting the best students. As the employment market becomes increasingly global, providing a qualification that is recognised across the world can be a decision-maker for many parents wanting to educate their child privately.

However, with a possible six different subject areas to be assessed, the breadth of study involved with the IB makes it more complicated for schools to manage than single subject courses.

Juggling timetables

The subjects covered in the IB include literature, one foreign language, a social science, an experimental science, mathematics and one arts course. Students can select the subjects they wish to study. This flexibility is one of the things that is boosting its popularity in many schools.

But creating individual timetables and ensuring the necessary staffing resources are available can be incredibly time consuming – particularly if the school is running the IB alongside GCSE and A Level courses.

The vast majority of schools use a management information system (MIS) to store school and pupil data electronically. Some systems offer powerful tools that use existing information on pupils and their subject choices to automate the timetabling process. The time this saves can be considerable but it also allows schools to match staff specialising in specific subject areas with the relevant pupils, whilst keeping class sizes to a minimum. This is essential to delivering the educational excellence that parents expect.

Raising attainment

Children who can study the subjects that interest them are more likely to achieve in school but they can be stronger in some subjects than in others. Tracking the learning progress of IB pupils in each area of study is key to raising their attainment across the curriculum.

By storing assessment results electronically, a broad range of data is available that can be analysed with minimum time and effort. This allows pupils’ achievement to be monitored more easily than it can when this information is held in paper files.

A child could be doing well in science but might be at risk of falling behind in German. With a clear picture of the progress pupils are making displayed on a classroom computer, teachers can quickly identify where action needs to be taken to ensure pupils have the best chance of achieving good grades in all their chosen subjects.

Simplifying the management of the IB is one thing. But what schools really want to ensure is that their pupils are benefiting from the highest standards of education – which in turn, will improve their chances of becoming parents’ first choice school. With the ability to track the impact of introducing the qualification on both achievement and pupil numbers through the MIS, the answer will surely be in the data.

Julie Booth is head of independent schools at Capita SIMS. www.capita-independent.co.uk

Academy magazine, issue two…on the way! January 10, 2012

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Magazines, New releases.
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A quick post to let you know that the second issue of Academy is just about to be sent off to the printers ahead of a publication later in the month.

Keen to build on the positive response to the launch issue, our editor Paul Strong has gathered together a fine collection of articles from a varied and experienced group of contributors, covering a wide range of topics relevant to the sector.

Tom Clark CBE, chairman of the board of FASNA (Foundation, Aided Schools and Academies National Association) writes about the national funding formula, expressing concerns and doubts about the proposed future role for Schools Forums, while John Dunford, formerly general secretary of ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders) says that the key to academy success is positive, not negative, liberty.

A collection of articles on governance includes contributions from Emma Franks of the National Governors’ Association; Joan Binder, vice-chair of FASNA; and Geoff Taylor, clerk to the governing body at two academies. Meanwhile, Bishop of Grimsby David Rossdale writes about the role of the church in academies and Martin Skelton, co-founder of Fieldwork Education, discusses the equal importance of knowledge, skills and understanding in the classroom.

Academy is published three times a year, at the start of each school term, in September, January and April. Subscriptions are available: visit the John Catt Bookshop for more information.

Critics continue to follow the game January 3, 2012

Posted by millycotton in Peridot Press.
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Executive editor at the Times, Roger Dalton, has included Jonathan Smith’s The Following Game within his column in The Spectator – as one of four ‘wonderful sporting books of this year’. An ‘exquisite volume that defies genre’, this is the latest praise of Mr Smith’s well-loved text. Still available to buy from the John Catt bookshop. Here is the link too, for the article in full.