Research reviews

    A systematic mapping exercise to show how existing
    qualifications fit with the proposed career progression framework
    for school support staff

    Sylvia Johnson et al, Department for Education and Skills,
    2004

    Behaviour and guidance staff in schools may not be able to
    progress their careers because of the lack of recognised national
    qualifications, a research study for the Department for Education
    and Skills has warned.

    Gaps in accredited qualifications were found for all behaviour
    and guidance staff, although there is no shortage of local training
    schemes. Learning mentors, recently praised by Ofsted for
    succeeding in re-engaging pupils at risk of disaffection, have no
    national qualification.

    More than 600 national qualifications were identified as having
    relevance to school support staff, but fewer than 50 of them were
    targeted at such staff or developed with them in mind. Despite
    these gaps, there has been progress in developing qualifications
    frameworks and career progression routes for other school support
    staff, especially teaching assistants and early years support
    staff.

    New flexible and hybrid qualifications are needed which
    recognise that all school support staff need some common knowledge
    and skills. The report supports the proposal for a credit framework
    that allows individuals to build up a portfolio of units rather
    than undertake whole qualifications.

    www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RB518.pdf

    Explaining non-participation: towards a fuller
    understanding of the “political”

    David March, University of Birmingham

    Young people are far from politically apathetic and are often
    very articulate about the political issues that affect their lives.
    But they perceive little connection between these issues and
    mainstream politics, which they associate with authority
    relationships.

    A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham found
    that young people felt marginalised or excluded from the
    decision-making processes and had little sense that through
    political participation they would be able to help shape things
    they felt passionate about.

    Young people reported feeling that they were rarely genuinely
    consulted or listened to, even about issues which directly affected
    them such as the introduction of AS level exams, or decisions about
    local amenities.

    The research was based on focus groups and individual interviews
    with young people aged between 16 and 25 spanning a range of social
    backgrounds, ethnicity and levels of education. It was funded by
    the ESRC.

    Pride not prejudice: young lesbian and bisexual
    women

    YWCA, 2004

    Fewer than one school in seven recognises homophobic bullying in
    their anti-bullying policies, a new study has found.

    A survey by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
    has found that despite government guidelines that bullying related
    to sexuality should be addressed by schools, only 13 per cent of
    137 schools surveyed had done so.

    The YWCA has found in previous research that many young lesbian
    and bisexual women had experienced severe bullying at schools,
    particularly name-calling, ridicule and isolation. This put them at
    risk of truancy and leaving school earlier than they otherwise
    would have done.

    Their isolation was often reinforced, the report found, by sex
    education lessons which are exclusively oriented towards
    heterosexuality.

    www.ywca-gb.org.uk

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