Tes - The education podcast The Tes podcast brings you all the latest news, reviews and opinion from the world of education

April 20, 2018  

Schools minister Nick Gibb joined the Tes podcast to talk about school funding, hungry pupils, and the DfE's review of exclusions.

Join us as we unpick what his comments mean for schools that are suffering a funding squeeze, and for children whose hunger is affecting their behaviour and attainment.

April 18, 2018  

Rose Luckin, professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Institute of Education, is worried about the machines. Or more specifically, artificially intelligent machines seeping into education and the lack of response, thus far, from teachers as to what that might mean for their jobs.

“The computer can do the academic knowledge delivery in a very individualised way for each learner,” she explains on this week’s Tes Podagogy. “For academic knowledge, in well-designed subject areas, the evidence shows that these systems can be as effective – if they are well designed – as a human teacher, but not a human teacher acting 121.”

The implications of this have not been fully realised, she believes.

“If what you prize in your education system is academic knowledge and we can build systems that can teach it and learn it faster than we can, you put yourself in a tricky situation,” she says. “You can understand why someone in charge of the purse strings might think: why do I need these humans?

“That is an apocalyptic scenario, certainly dystopian, and I don’t think that is what we should do. But I think we need to recognise that if we don’t change our perceptions about what we should be valuing in our education system we do run the risk of handing over too much to artificially intelligent systems.”

In a wide-ranging podcast interview, professor Luckin explains how we build a system that guards against the slow creep of technology-led teaching into the classroom. She believes it is about better understanding intelligence and the difference between information and knowledge.

April 17, 2018  

In this week's Tes FE Podcast, columnist Sarah Simons is joined by winner of the Teacher of the Year category at this year's Tes FE Awards, Alison Scattergood. Alison, who teaches barbering and hairdressing skills at East Durham College, is herself a renowned competitor at national level. She was the first woman to be named a British Master Barber and last year, she was accepted as a member of the Fellowship of British Hairdressers.

In this episode Alison and Sarah discuss the ever-changing FE policy landscape, learner voice, the pros and cons of competitions and what it feels like to fail.  


April 13, 2018  

We discuss how workload seems to be trumping pay as the biggest concern of many teachers, including those at the last ever ATL annual conference.

We also ask what lies behind the success of pupils with English as an additional language - and whether the government's accountability system is unfair to schools serving white working class communities - and discuss some advice for teachers drowning in data.

Tune in and enjoy.

April 6, 2018  
We discuss worrying projections about the number of additional secondary teachers we need to recruit by 2024.
We also take the temperature at the two biggest teachers' union annual conferences, and discuss an academic who believes that play has no place in the classroom.
Tune in and enjoy! 
March 29, 2018  

We discuss the gender pay gap in schools that sees women working in schools earn on average a lot less than their male colleagues.

We also preview the teaching union conferences over Easter, and the fate of Toby Young.

Tune in and enjoy.

March 28, 2018  

In this week's episode of the the Tes FE Podcast Stephen Evans, CEO at Learning and Work Institute chats with TES columnist Sarah Simons about a better way to share students' exam arrangement information, how to get the best out of T levels and what an FE lecturer should be paid. All this week's FE news and views direct to your ears.

March 22, 2018  

We discuss concerns about the rise of smart drugs in our schools, and what to make of Damian Hinds' first appearance before the Commons Education Select Committee.

We also consider fears that science in primary schools is a "dying field".

Tune in and enjoy.

March 21, 2018  

In this week's TES FE Podcast Sarah Laszlo, Learner Voice programme coordinator at Derwen College joins TES columnist Sarah Simons to discuss this week's FE news and views. They look at how the UK apprenticeship model is being replicated around the world, explore the impact that Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) are having on specialist colleges and ask whether building relationships with students has a greater role in academic achievement than the quality of teaching. 

March 21, 2018  

“If we said, ‘On Monday, when you go back to school, there will be no teaching assistants (TAs)’, I doubt very much schools would make it to the end of the week,” says Rob Webster, an academic at the UCL Institute of Education (IoE). “TAs are the mortar in the brickwork.”

Webster heads up the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants initiative for the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education and is one of the country’s leading researchers into the role of TAs.

In this episode, he talks about how the role of TAs has been under appreciated and largely ignored by government.

“You would struggle to find a speech, or substantive bit of a speech, by an education minister that deals with support staff, or specifically teaching assistants,” he explains. “That is a curiosity when you consider the numbers: there are around 390,000 people working in schools as a teaching assistant or similar. It is a lot of people, and it is estimated it costs the system £5bn per year. So why would successive governments not have anything to say about them?”

He believes this “policy blackhole” from government about what a TA should be doing has given rise to bad practice in schools.

“As a teacher, it is easy to think that if I have someone to take those five or six children [with SEND] and they will give them the small group attention they need, then that must be a good thing, and I can concentrate on everyone else,” he says. “It is seen as a win win. But there are unintended consequences of that.

“You ask schools what TAs do, they tell you they support children with SEN, support learning, support the teacher. But what does good support look like? That gets very fuzzy. We need to pin down as a system what we think good support is. Without that, we will always get patchy practice, and a drift towards what looks like it is most helpful, but that is not.”

Do we know what good support looks like? Webster details the research that gives us a good idea on what works.

“When you have TAs delivering highly structured interventions, the outcomes are profoundly positive,” he says. “We know that when used properly, when they supplement teaching, delivering structured interventions, TAs are really effective.”


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