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      Indoors at breaktime: the school in a London office block

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 14:00

    Group that runs Oasis Academy South Bank warns councils prioritise private housing over space for children to breathe

    Oasis Academy South Bank in Waterloo sits in a densely built-up corner of south London – so densely that the only space found for the school was in a recommissioned office block. There is no playground, no sports pitch, nowhere to play football at break time.

    Steve Chalke is the founder of Oasis Charitable Trust, the organisation that runs the school, one of 54 in their charge across England. He admits it is a challenging environment.

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      Children facing a ‘brutal’ loss of time and space for play at state schools

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 14:00 · 1 minute

    Shorter playtimes and shrinking outside space in England have serious implications for children’s wellbeing and mental health

    Children are facing a “brutal” loss of space and time for play in school, teachers, unions and academics have warned.

    A combination of factors is eating into the time children spend outside, and will have serious implications for their wellbeing and mental health.

    A Guardian analysis of the space available to state school children in England has revealed that thousands are attending schools with very little outside space, with government data showing that more than 300 schools have under 1,000 sq metres and at least 20 have no outside space. In nearly 1,000 schools, there is under 10 sq metres for each pupil.

    New and unpublished research from the UCL Institute of Education seen by the Guardian showed a continued downward trend in the amount of time children have for playtime in the wake of the Covid lockdowns, with the youngest losing the most time.

    The demands of the curriculum have increased, and continue to diminish time outside, while staffing shortages are reducing capacity to oversee playtime.

    Across England and Wales schools face difficult financial decisions, which are having an impact on the funding to care for grounds. Headteachers in the state sector have said they are in desperate need of funding to improve basic facilities for children.

    School buildings are crumbling, as many were built with Raac (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) that was not replaced within its usable lifetime, meaning in some cases playgrounds are being used to host temporary classrooms. This is squeezing out the little space some schools have for children to spend time outside.

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      Playing fields sold off, swimming pools closed down – state-school children don’t have a sporting chance | Robert Verkaik

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 10:00

    A Guardian report has revealed the huge areas of outdoor space owned by UK private schools. It’s time for this inequality to end

    Revealed: students at top private schools have 10 times more green space than state pupils

    It was during the worst months of Covid that the playing fields of Eton and the vast grounds owned by hundreds of other private schools first became a matter of serious public concern. Social-distancing rules meant many children attending state schools were corralled into concrete playgrounds or sent home while their wealthier counterparts were enjoying acres of spatial freedom in gated communities.

    It wasn’t long before the cry went out for private schools to open their gates to their state school neighbours. Very few schools answered that call. Today we learn the true extent of the inequality between the green-space premium enjoyed by fee-paying pupils over state-school children. A Guardian investigation has found that children at the top 250 English private schools have more than 10 times as much outdoor space as those who go to state schools.

    Robert Verkaik is an author and journalist specialising in extremism and education

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      Teachers and GPs ‘staggering’ under extra demands caused by poverty in Great Britain

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 04:00 · 1 minute

    Schools and health services forced to offer crisis help in the form of food, clothing, money and advice

    Britain’s schools and primary health services are “staggering” under the pressure of demand caused by an epidemic of extreme poverty, as desperate families unable to afford food, clothing or heating increasingly turn to them for crisis help.

    Teachers and GPs in England, Scotland and Wales are informally acting as emergency food providers, welfare advisers, housing officers and social workers alongside their day jobs, as they devote more and more time and resources to support struggling parents and children, new research has found.

    Primary school staff estimated 48% of their pupils, and primary care staff 57% of their patients, had experienced hardship at some point since the start of the school year or over the past 12 months.

    A third of schools, and nearly half of GP surgeries, had set up food banks to provide emergency food supplies to hungry pupils and families. Staff in schools in deprived areas estimated 44% of pupils had come to school hungry over the past year.

    Nearly a quarter of NHS primary care staff and 40% of teachers said they had dipped into their own pockets to help pupils and patients. In one case, a nurse gave new underpants, still in their packet and intended for her husband, to a desperate patient.

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      Number of private school pupils rises despite claims families priced out by Labour’s VAT plan

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 4 days ago - 12:00

    Independent schools in England had warned plan to charge VAT on fees was putting parents off and had shut schools

    The number of children attending private schools in England has risen, new figures show, despite claims that families are being priced out by Labour’s plan to add VAT to school fees .


    The Independent Schools Council (ISC) said last month that pupil numbers had fallen – a sign, they said, that schools were already starting to see “the impact of VAT looming on the horizon”.

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      Mental health is main cause of rising absences in England, say headteachers

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 5 days ago - 13:21

    Nearly nine out of 10 report marked rise in pupils missing school due to mental health issues since Covid pandemic

    Children’s mental health and anxiety are the biggest drivers behind the sustained rise in school absences since the Covid pandemic, according to headteachers who said the government’s plan to raise fines for parents in England would make no difference.

    Nearly nine out of 10 secondary school leaders – including attendance officers tasked with tackling absences – said there had been a marked increase in pupils missing school over the past two years because of mental health issues.

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      You’re richer than the king but only ‘pass’ at being posh? That’s the British class system for you | Marina Hyde

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 5 days ago - 12:53 · 1 minute

    Like the characters in Ripley and Saltburn, the perfectly well-to-do PM longs to be even better-to-do

    Psychologically speaking, I feel I understood the last two prime ministers only as they were leaving us. With Liz Truss this might seem understandable, given she was in office for 10 minutes. Then again she had been around for years – yet it was only watching her final days, and then reading one illuminating political obituary , that I felt I got it. “I met Truss at university,” wrote Tanya Gold in Politico, “long before she entered real politics, and she mirrors and watches, as if trying to learn a new language. That is why she is stilted and ethereal: that is why she cannot speak easily or from the heart.”

    Ah, I see, I suddenly thought. Why had I not got it before? My surmises felt further confirmed reading Rory Stewart’s political memoir , when Truss asks how his weekend has been. “I explained that my father had died,” Stewart writes. “She paused for a moment, nodded, and asked when the 25-year environment plan would be ready.” Was Truss being deliberately heartless? Or did she, in the moment, forget the learned thing to do in the situation, which didn’t come to her reflexively, as it might to most? Perhaps the same thing happened when she beat Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership contest and didn’t shake his hand.

    Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist

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      ‘Absolute outrage’: arts in state schools must be a priority for next government, say theatre leaders

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 5 days ago - 12:20

    Sir Nicholas Hytner, Nancy Medina and Theresa Heskins stress importance of sidelined drama, dance and music studies and say the arts are a ‘necessity for all’

    Addressing the erosion and devaluation of the arts in state schools must be a priority for the next government, leading theatre figures in England have urged.

    Sir Nicholas Hytner, who ran the National Theatre in London for 12 years, said that state schools “have been robbed” and that restoring arts education was a matter of urgency to ensure that there is “not just a new generation of artists but a new generation of audiences”. Nancy Medina, the artistic director of Bristol Old Vic, said the arts should be a “necessity for all pupils” and not just the “preserve” of independent schools. Theresa Heskins, artistic director of Staffordshire’s New Vic, suggested that the next government commit to providing every schoolchild a theatre trip.

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      Jenga before lessons and dodgeball after: verdict on 12-hour school day

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 5 days ago - 07:02

    ‘You still get to do fun activities,’ says pupil as mobile-free pilot scheme in west London nears completion

    Two months ago a radical experiment in one London state school hit the headlines. All Saints Catholic College announced it was piloting a 12-hour school day in what was reported as a bold attempt to break students’ phone addictions.

    From 7am to 7pm on Monday to Thursday the youngest pupils, in years 7 and 8, could stay in school. For £10 a week, they would be served a cooked breakfast and “family” dinner, and offered activities from drama to ceramics and sports. The only catch: their phones had to remain in their bags, switched off, for the entire 12 hours. No peeking.

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