smallYou can read about Ofsted’s proposed new inspection framework here.  This will be open for consultation in the New Year.  It proposes the introduction of a new judgement for quality of education which will replace the current outcomes for pupils / teaching, learning and assessment judgements.  The 3 other inspection judgements that Ofsted will consult on are personal development / behaviour and attitudes / schools’ leadership and management.  The Chief Inspector said recently that:

“The new framework will make it easier to recognise and reward the good work done by schools in areas of high disadvantage.  By shifting the focus away from outcomes, Ofsted hopes to reverse the incentive for schools to put overall results ahead of individual children’s needs.  These changes will empower schools to always put the child first and make teaching in high disadvantage schools even more rewarding.  In turn, this will encourage the best teachers to work in the schools that need them most, rather than those where their career may feel safest.”

Environmental educators will be hoping that this change encourages schools to have a greater focus on real-world issues.

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The DfE has published revised health and safety guidance for educational visits.  This links endorses the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom’s LOtC Quality Badge, the national accreditation which sets out to ensure that providers have appropriate standards and insurance in place.  You can read about what CLOtC says about it here.

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The latest update from the Development Education Research Centre, a leading centre for development education, global learning and citizenship can be read here.  It includes items on the recent Europe and North America Regional Global Citizenship Education Network Meeting in Lisbon, the GENE Conference: Building a world of justice and solidarity (also in Lisbon), details of part two of the 10th anniversary special issues of the International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning which “celebrates the differing ways in which development education and global learning have grown and had wider impact” – and much more.

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NUS has published research showing that that only 3% of UK environment professionals identify as non-white minorities, compared to 20% of all UK occupations.  Further, 9% of UK students in higher education studying direct feeder subjects to environment professions identify as non-white minorities compared, to 22% of all students in UK higher education.  You can read the report here.  NUS plans follow-up work on this.

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The public perceptions of the impacts of plastic on human health is a survey using Q-methodology carried out by one of the NAEE web team as part of her dissertation.   Please follow this link if you’d like to complete the (~10 minute) survey which has to be completed on a laptop/PC.  This is the background:

The current plastic crisis is heavily discussed and it centres around environmental concerns.  This is really positive, yet very unusual for an environmental problem to get so much media attention and for the campaign to spread so quickly.  The next stage of the discussion on plastic will undoubtedly be the impacts it can have on human health.  There is an increasing amount of scientific study into the impacts.  However, there is currently no research into what the public and specific stakeholders know and understand about the current research.  The aim of the study is to gather information on what people prioritise when thinking about the use of plastics and whether people are aware of the increasing research into the impacts of plastics on human health.  Q-Methodology asks the participant to sort a series of statements according to what is most and least like their opinion. It is a forced choice; meaning the participant has to put a certain number of statements within each column to force them to assess what really is most important to them.

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The Appleton Wildlife Diary has a number of recent posts about badgers.  The latest begins: “Badgers use a variety of materials as bedding, depending on the time of year.  Most commonly used is dry grass, leaves, bracken, hay, straw and moss. They use also Bluebells and other green material during the Spring, which as it decays produces heat which can help keep the cubs warm.  Garlic leaves are sometimes used which may help remove pests such as fleas, ticks and lice due to the strong smell.  …”

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Did you miss a Communicate 2018?  If so, you can now view sessions from the event by clicking here.  Included are:

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UKSSD has published a round up of the latest news about how the UK government is responding to meeting the SDGs.  You can read it here.  The quick summary is not very well.  NAEE’s next journal (Vol 120 – Spring 2019) is a special feature on the goals with contributions from schools, NGOs and universities.  You have to be a member to read this.  Join here.

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The Science Geek has a feature on this week’s solstice, and this link takes you to a graph which shows the sun’s maximum elevation over the coming days.  Oddly, as the Geek explains, sunrise continues to get later in the days after the 21st, even though the days are getting longer.

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Did you know that there are 1700 species of lichen in the UK?  But how many can you name?  Or recognise?  Could you tell Crottle from Old Man’s Beard or Oak Moss?

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The Natural History Museum has 19 things for you to do in Winter – but only of you are in London.  Details here.

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As this is the last update of 2018, we’d like to wish all readers an enjoyable Christmas and New Year break.  We’ll be back on January 7th.