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New school supplier search website launched January 28, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in Education, Independent Education, John Catt Educational news, Leading Schools of the 21st Century, Marketing, New releases, Special Educational Needs, Uncategorized.
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John Catt Educational has launched its new advanced search function Suppliers4Schools which allows you to search over 4,000 companies that offer services to schools.

We list the contact details of suppliers who offer goods ranging from uniforms to climbing frames and services such as architectural and building expertise.

Whatever your school’s needs, we have it all here in one search.

Mindfulness international conference January 27, 2014

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Education.
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We have been alerted to an interesting new conference being held in March at Loughborough University in the UK.

Mindfulness: An International Conference for Schools is being organised by Dr Anthony Seldon, the Master of Wellington College on Wednesday March 12th.

Further details below, from the conference organisers.

Mindfulness or meditation has been shown to be an invaluable tool which can be learnt by young people whilst still at school.  It boosts concentration, depth of thought, happiness and achievement.  It is the most simple and natural technique to learn – indeed it is not really a technique at all.   It is all about being yourself, making the most of yourself, and making the most of the opportunities that life present to you.  It promotes trusting relationships, healthy living and psychological and emotional security.  This conference will demonstrate the value and methodologies of mindfulness.

Dr Anthony Seldon, the Conference Director, describes the growth of depression and anxiety amongst young people as a looming crisis in our schools, affecting those in our classrooms, our common rooms and amongst the parent body.

Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to well-being that can help you change the way you think about experiences and reduce stress and anxiety. It involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings in a way that increases our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise decisions.

There is increasing research to show that mindfulness-based courses, particularly mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are effective interventions for a broad range of health problems. Mindfulness interventions have been shown as effective for recurrent depression, reducing relapse rates and anti-depressant usage and for reducing anxiety. Research also shows that perceived stress decreases following participation in a mindfulness intervention.

Speakers include: Dr Colin Wilson MBBS DPM MRC – Consultant Psychiatrist; Professor Tamsin Ford – Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Exeter University; Paul Jackson FPEA – Director of Education SATIPS; Christopher Cullen – Teacher at The Mindfulness Centre, University of Oxford and Co-founder of Mindfulness in Schools; Professor Katherine Weare  – Emeritus Professor, University of Southampton and Hon.Visiting Professor, Exeter University; Dr Mark Williamson – Director of Action for Happiness; Dr Anthony Seldon  – The Master, Wellington College and  Founder of Action for Happiness.

Contact Paul Jackson for further information: eajackson22@hotmail.com or 07932 111757

Spring Term Magazines – Out Now! January 22, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, Education, Independent Education, John Catt Educational news, Leading Schools of the 21st Century, Magazines, Marketing, New releases, Special Educational Needs, Uncategorized.
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The 2014 Spring Term magazines are out now! Prep School, Academy & Conference and Common Room are now available to download or purchase from our bookshop.  You can also purchase a subscription and stay up-to-date with the latest educational happenings.




Towards a College of Teaching, Jon Coles January 22, 2014

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Education.
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We featured an article in a recent issue of Academy magazine, by Jon Coles, who is leading the proposal in the UK to establish a Royal College of Teaching. The article can be read in the digital edition here: http://www.johncatt.com/downloads/pdf/magazines/academy/academy_issue3_1/

Since the publication of that article in September 2013, the proposal has further gathered momentum. A ‘blueprint’, summarising proposals for the new member-driven College, will now be published on 10 February 2014.

In the post below, Jon argues further that the teaching profession must now step up and take greater responsibility for itself, and that doing so means establishing a new College of Teaching.

A new professionalism and the Royal College of Teaching

Of all professions, the teaching profession is uniquely vulnerable to externally-imposed change.  While high-profile scandals in other professions lead to enquiries and incremental change, the practice of teaching has been the ever-increasing subject of prescriptive reform.

With a general election next year, the political parties will increasingly jockey for position in education policy.  Each will identify the major areas of reform that they see as a priority – curriculum, qualifications, teaching in the early years, teaching of literacy, school funding reform – and bring forward ideas for change.

Each will attack the record of the others and point out areas where fundamental change is needed to reverse the mistakes of the past.  Each will lay claim to the successes.  Each will assert that ‘the evidence’ supports their views.

Their arguments will have the potential to impact ultimately on everyone in the profession; primary and secondary, state-run and independent, NQTs, Middle Leaders, Heads and governors.

As ever, these arguments will focus on whose version of changing the system is the more compelling and will dominate the internal and external climate in which education is discussed.

But it is this relentless focus on systems that, to me, hides the real debate that needs to take place; on how we grow the value of the human capital in education.

Because the aim of education reform is that more teachers should succeed with more children in the future than in the past.  And the key to improving educational standards is the growth in quality, knowledge and skills of teachers and leaders in schools.

Educational practice is too susceptible to political intervention…

Take the example of early reading.  The level of intervention has grown progressively over the last generation from the National Curriculum, national testing, the implementation of the National Literacy Strategy and its various revisions through to the current government’s phonics screening test and support programme.

At each stage, the public and media have tended to welcome government’s wise attempts to tackle illiteracy in the teeth of opposition from a recalcitrant teaching profession.

Now, each of these initiatives had, at the least, admirable elements and history would not be on my side if I argued that government should never intervene.  Arguing that only teachers should determine the curriculum is like saying that only doctors can decide what counts as illness.  We would soon want intervention in medicine if our ailments were ignored by doctors who claimed to know better.

But when it comes to professional practice – the ‘how’ of teaching – government has come routinely to make pronouncements of a sort it would never make about medical practice.  The willingness of politicians to debate the pros and cons of phonics on Newsnight is not matched by their enthusiasm to argue open versus laparoscopic surgery in an attempt to persuade swing voters.

Of course, you might say that this difference exists because medical practice is just too important to leave to the untrained.  People would die if clinical practice were determined by non-clinicians.

But if no-one doubts the importance of medicine, then surely the public doesn’t regard education as fundamentally unimportant?   Surveys over the last 30 years have consistently shown education to be one of the public’s top concerns.

No.  I don’t think that the public is relaxed about people lacking important expertise determining practice.  I think that the reason is deeper: whereas the public believes that there is such a thing as professional medical expertise, and that doctors have it, there is deep public scepticism that there is such a thing as professional educational expertise at all.

…and expectations of teachers’ training and ongoing professional development are low

Nothing has damaged the development of teaching more than the myth that teachers are ‘born not made’; yet it is easy to see how it arises.  The interpersonal skills, charisma and humour that characterise great teachers are not given to everyone.  But the deep subject knowledge and the skills that those teachers have in questioning technique, planning and preparing lessons, formative assessment, inspiring curiosity and creating diligent students are the hard-won product of training, study, observation and reflection, not a serendipitous outcome of good genes.

Yet in teaching where there is no requirement to maintain and develop professional knowledge and skill year on year.  In order to maintain good professional standing in law, accountancy, engineering and many other fields, a professional must undertake and provide evidence of further professional development each year. But it is possible that a teacher can go through an entire career without ever being required formally to update their knowledge of their subject or their skills as a teacher.

Nor is there (as there is for example in engineering or surgery) any requirement that to become a ‘fully fledged’ or senior member of the profession, a higher level of knowledge and skill must be achieved.  While all new engineers aspire to Chartered Engineer status and surgeons might aspire to Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, there is no equivalent goal for the new teacher to work towards.  In many other professions, achieving that senior professional status is a major motivator for new members of the profession to extend their levels of knowledge and skill.

A new Royal College of Teaching will be an important part of the solution

We badly need an authoritative, nationally-respected Royal College of Teaching.  It should set and monitor professional standards, promote professional development, oversee the development of the evidence base, require its use in practice, and speak with authority.

Government currently occupies much of this space, largely because nobody else does.  But the imperatives which can drive a government are often too short term, reactive to circumstances and dependent on political administration to be the basis for the development of a profession.  And no government body will ever command sufficient professional confidence to win over teachers.

Instead, we need an institution established by that large number of teachers who wish to establish and maintain excellence in their profession.  It should draw together schools and teachers of all sorts, employers, subject associations, learned societies and leading academics.  It should take responsibility for the teaching standards and for setting qualification standards for entry to the profession.  It should set standards for continuing professional development and promote high quality professional development programmes.

Of course, there are risks to this.  A body which was weakly governed or took poor decisions would be a liability.  But such a body would not win the confidence of teachers.  There should be no mandation of membership: the new Royal College must win the confidence of teachers through the quality of what it does.

The good news is that a large and growing coalition of people is now working together to bring the Royal College into existence.  A recent consultation on the proposals for a Royal College organised by the Princes’ Teaching Institute received more replies than many government consultations and a more overwhelmingly positive response than any government consultation is ever likely to do.  The task now is to refine the proposals in the light of the responses and then look to move into implementation.

It is an idea whose time has clearly come.  In ten years from now, as we contemplate the run-in to the 2025 general election, we can expect a more resilient teaching profession – in which the Royal College is a significant voice in setting the terms of political debate – or in which the politicians have the confidence to leave such discussions to the professionals.

Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning.

The IB World Schools Yearbook 2014 – Out Now! January 20, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, Effective International Schools Series, Independent Education, International education, John Catt Educational news, Marketing, Uncategorized.
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The IB World Schools Yearbook 2014 is now available.

Produced in cooperation with the International Baccalaureate, this is the official guide to schools authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma and Career-related Certificate Programmes.

There are currently more than 3700 IB World Schools and this number is growing annually. The IB World Schools Yearbook is the official guide to schools authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma and Career-related Certificate Programmes. It tells you where the schools are and what they offer, and provides up-to-date information about the IB programmes and the International Baccalaureate.

To order a copy of the IB World Schools Yearbook 2014, please visit our bookshop. For enquiries about advertising in the guide, please contact enquiries@johncatt.com

Freebie Friday January 17, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, John Catt Educational news, Magazines, Marketing, New releases, the gap-year guidebook, Uncategorized.
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You can download the Kindle version of the 2014 Gap-Year Guidebook absolutely FREE for today only!  As part of our on-going New Year offers for one day only you may download our  newly released guidebook to your kindle or other electronic smart device.  Great for saving space in your bag for those long trips away – you’ll have all the advice you need at your finger tips! gy14coverhr

Download the 2014 Gap-Year Guidebook now!

Great review of Taking Forward the Primary Curriculum January 17, 2014

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in John Catt Educational news.
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We are delighted that our October 2013 release Taking Forward the Primary Curriculum has been received with open arms in primary schools up and down the UK – so much so, in fact, that we have already had to order a reprint, the original print run having been quickly snapped up by teachers, Heads, governors and Local Authorities.

We have come across another great review of the book, by Professor Derek Bell, Professor of Education in The College of Teachers, and Visiting
Research Associate, Institute of Education, London:

Whether you read it in one or two sittings, as I did, or dip in and out of it, this book provides much food for thought and challenges preconceived ideas but, most of all, it reminds us of how exciting and stimulating the primary curriculum can and should be. So before you get bogged down in the detail of the National Curriculum statements, I would encourage anyone who has links with a primary school to take a step back as you plan your new curriculum and reflect on the values, ideas and approaches that underpin the education you are trying to provide for your pupils. A great way to start your preparation would be to get a copy of Taking forward the primary curriculum and read it, but don’t just put it to one side once your curriculum is planned keep returning to it to challenge and remind you and your colleagues of what you are trying to achieve – the best possible education for all your pupils.

Read the full review on the website of The National Education Trust: http://www.nationaleducationtrust.net/TakingForwardThePrimaryCurriculum.php

The 2014 Gap-Year Guidebook – Available on Kindle NOW January 13, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, John Catt Educational news, Marketing, New releases, the gap-year guidebook, Uncategorized.
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John Catt Educational is excited to announce that the 2014 Guidebook is now available on the Amazon Kindle! Download it to your Kindle or other generic digital reading device and take it wherever you go.


Throughout the new year we will be giving you opportunities to download the guidebook at a discounted price – or even for free!  Keep your eyes peeled for great offers for limited times only!

buy now

New year, new look January 7, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, John Catt Educational news, Marketing, New releases, the gap-year guidebook.
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The new year often prompts the desire for change, so we have decided to freshen up our look.  Gap-Year.com has undergone a make-over and is now sporting bright new colours and lots of fascinating photos sent to us by readers of the Guidebook.  Why don’t you have a look for yourself at www.gap-year.com


Gap-Year Guidebook 2014 Review January 6, 2014

Posted by lauracgreen in eBooks and digital publishing, Marketing, New releases, the gap-year guidebook.
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International Travel blogger & Twitter superstar, Dave of Dave’s Travel Corner, California USA has reviewed his copy of the 2014 Gap-Year Guidebook.  Here is what he thought;  GY14CoverHR

gap-year guidebook, editor Jonathan Barnes 
This is a must have guide for anyone considering a gap year – the largest group of gappers are in their late teens and early 20′s but these days those taking a gap year are from all walks of life – and ages including those taking career breaks as well as those who are retired.

This guidebook is resource rich and focuses on everything relating to taking a gap year from the preparation, how to fund it, working and volunteering abroad and extensive information about the logistics of the actual traveling. Quotes and stories from those who have first hand experience taking a variety of gap years are sprinkled throughout the book.

With more than 20 years publishing this book annually and covering gap year travel, you can be certain any questions you have relating to gap years are contained within.

Want to explore your passion for food and wine? Want to pick fruit in New Zealand? Want to work at a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Australia? Take a language course? Act? Ski? There are so many enriching experiences offered across the globe – and this book highlights how to and where to participate in many of these.

Sponsors who specialize in gap year trips offer related experiences and are listed throughout the guidebook. Need yet more resources? 160 pages at the end of the book are dedicated to specific resources organized by categories including contact information and website addresses.


To view the original review or follow more of Dave’s travel stories visit Dave’s Travel Corner.