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Education software provider FFT rolls out new dashboard system

30 April 2015

Secondary school teachers can track the performance of their pupils online thanks to a new system from education software provider FFT.

FFT Aspire was launched at the beginning of this academic year and has since been phased in across the country, with the rollout completed last month.

The technology uses a set of interactive dashboards to help schools evaluate pupil performance, identify strengths and weaknesses and set targets for the future. Dashboards are currently available from KS1 to KS4, with KS5 to follow later this year. 

FFT’s data was previously available to only to one specialist per school and the information was not easily accessible to individual subject teachers.

The new dashboard system allows subject leaders to easily pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, helping them to predict future GCSE results and prepare for Ofsted inspections.

Teachers can access data on pupil progress and subject performance, as well as comparing the progress of their pupils to others across the country.

Paul Charman, managing director of FFT, said: ‘Our new subject dashboard means that subject leaders can really drill down and identify both underperforming children and pupil groups, as well as those doing well, all at the touch of a button.

‘Schools can use data to identify weaknesses in order to help the following year’s cohort get better grades as part of their department’s long-term improvement plan.’

Founded in 2001, FFT provides data to around 70 per cent of UK state schools. Teachers who are interested in using the new technology should contact their local education authority.


Arts Emergency to launch Newcastle centre

29 April 2015, Katy Wright

Arts Emergency is to establish a new centre in Newcastle on 1 May.

The London-based charity encourages young people to consider careers in the arts, and campaigns against rising tuition fees, government cuts and dwindling higher education resources.

It also helps disadvantaged young people, offering mentoring, networking, workshops and public events to provide them with the confidence to pursue a career in the arts.

Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson said: 'The mentoring scheme set up by Arts Emergency will offer those often excluded from our cultural world the chance to network and establish relevant contacts to achieve their aspirations of a career in the arts, and I hope those who work in our local cultural sectors here in the North-East will sign up and become mentors and advocates to support the next generation of thinkers, writers and artists.'

Arts Emergency's north-east branch will be based in Bamburgh House, on Newcastle's Market Street, in premises provided free by Breeze Creatives.

Arts Emergency website

Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund raises over £80k

29 April 2015

A fund for the teacher Ann Maguire, stabbed to death in April 2014, has raised over £80k in donations.

Coordinated by Leeds Community Foundation, the fund has distributed its first set of grants to a number of community projects and individuals in Leeds.

Mrs Maguire’s daughter, Kerry, said: 'We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people not only in Leeds but across the UK who have supported the fund.

'We hope that the grants will not only allow individuals to follow their dreams but create new and exciting opportunities for a range of young people to get involved with the arts.'

The fund provides support for projects involving music, dance, language and drama. helping and motivating children through arts education.

Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund

Manchester’s RNCM names Henning Kraggerud as international chair in violin

29 April 2015

© Robert Romik

Norwegian musician Henning Kraggerud has been appointed as international chair in violin at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester.
 
Born in 1973 in Oslo, Kraggerud is primarily a violinist and violist but also has a blossoming career as a composer. He performs regularly with many of the world’s top orchestras, as both soloist and leader.

He is also co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music, artistic director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and a professor at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.
 
Kraggerud, whose grandfather was born in Manchester, said: ‘When the RNCM asked me to be their international chair in violin, I felt very honoured.

‘I have, on several occasions, given masterclasses and most recently led an orchestral day there, and I find the atmosphere of this college absolutely splendid.’
 
Chris Hoyle, head of the school of strings at the RNCM, added: ‘I have observed Henning Kraggerud working with our students on several occasions: his vibrant artistry and boundless energy are a real source of inspiration.  
 
‘Henning clearly has a passion for education and for sharing his love of music. I am thrilled that he will continue to inspire our students in his role as international chair in violin.’


 

Ten Pieces executive producer dies aged 51

28 April 2015, Katy Wright

Katy Jones
Katy Jones

Katy Jones, executive producer for BBC Learning and head of the Ten Pieces project, has died aged 51 of a brain haemorrhage.

Jones was appointed to lead Ten Pieces in 2013. The initiative, the BBC’s biggest ever investment in music education, aims to introduce a generation of children to classical music.

Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning, said today: ‘Katy was a hugely talented programme maker and journalist – well known and respected across the industry. She was passionate about education and learning and her enthusiasm, energy and determination knew no bounds.

‘Katy was the driving force behind our award winning Ten Pieces campaign and was a key member of the BBC Learning and BBC Music Senior teams. Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.’

Before joining the BBC in 2011, Jones produced a number of factual dramas, including Jimmy McGovern’s Sunday (about the events at Hillsborough). Her work prompted fresh inquests into the disaster.

Over the course of her 25 years working in television, her programmes won more than 80 awards, including eight BAFTAs.


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