Over 50% of NQTs forecast to leave the profession within 12 months by 2017

Supply teaching agency Randstad Education has forecast that by 2017, 52% of newly qualified teachers will leave the profession within 12 months. Randstad Education’s estimate is based on trends of current statistics – of those qualified in 2011, 62% were still in the education sector a year after qualifying. In 2005, 80% of NQTs stayed in the teaching profession for 12 months or more.

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Jenny Rollinson, managing director of Randstad Education, said of the forecast: ‘There are plenty of problems that newly qualified teachers face – from government bureaucracy and curriculum changes to the pressure of league tables and problematic students – but being panicked into ducking out of the profession or taking on the wrong role shouldn’t be one of them. Newly qualified teachers need to find the right job for them. They should keep calm and examine all the options available to them – not just those that work well for their university’s league table results.’

Randstand Education are holding nationwide ‘open days’ on 12 May  offering advice to newly qualified teachers on applying for jobs; more information can be found at www.randstad.co.uk/jobs/s-education.

Major changes to GCSE examinations confirmed by Ofqual

Exam regulator Ofqual has confirmed a set of radical changes to GCSE examinations taken in England, which will alter what is studied as part of the qualification, and how. Head of Ofqual Glenys Stacey has described the changes as ‘The biggest change in a generation.’ 

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Students due to take GCSE exams in 2017 will be the first to face the new changes

GCSE examinations will be studied for across the current two-year period, however all exams will be taken at the end of two-year study, abandoning the current modular system. It is speculated that coursework and controlled assessments will also be scrapped for most subjects.

The current GCSE grading system of A*-G is to be replaced with a numerical system, ranking achievement from one to nine – with nine being the highest grade. The lowest grade applicable will be U for unclassified.

The first phase of changes will be instigated with students due to take GCSE examinations in 2017, with English and maths being the first subjects affected. The two-tier paper option for students studying maths will remain in place, however will not do so for English – meaning one exam will be taken by students of all abilities. A further 20 GCSE subjects will face these changes for exams due to be taken in 2018.

New theatre to be built in heart of West End

Westminster City Council has approved plans for a new theatre to be built in central London. The yet- to-be-named venue will be the first new theatre to join the West End in 30 years.

The project is being undertaken by Nimax Theatres, owners of the Apollo, Duchess, Garrick, Lyric and Vaudeville Theatres. Nimax have also recently acquired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Chief executive of Nimax, Nica Burns, told the Finical Times about her excitement for the project: ‘I’m delighted that this beautiful theatre has gone on to the next stage of its development. It will add greatly to the potential of London theatre making. I didn’t want it to compete with other theatres. I wanted it to offer a different space for London in a fabulous location for actors and directors.’

The new state-of-the-art theatre venue will be constructed on top of Tottenham Court Road Station, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. Work on the theatre is expected to begin in 2017.

Plans for the interior of the building have also been revealed. The theatre’s design will allow for a variation of performance spaces to be created. There will be facilities for productions to perform in the round and in a horseshoe configuration. The theatre is expected to accommodate up to 500 visitors.