Latest in Cassidy's Comments: A Former Head's Views on Current Educational Issues

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Cassidy's Comments: A Former Head's Views on Current Educational Issues

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General Election 2019 - New focus on Mental Health in Young People

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 13/11/2019 Mental Health in young people is suddenly right up there as a national priority in the election campaign as Jeremy Corbyn vows to deliver an £849 million boost for children battling mental health problems if elected. He has stated that the party will recruit a qualified counsellor for each of Engl...
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School Transport Consultation Flags Up Change

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 12/11/2019 One of the first major consultations in 20 years by the Department of Education (DE) into school transport has reported that there is "broad support" for parents to pay a charge for home to school transport. Frank Cassidy discusses the implications of a potential charge for rural communities in No...
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Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 08/10/2019 In this month’s Cassidy’s Comments, Frank discusses the impact that the ‘Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (Northern Ireland) 2016’ would have for schools, not least the administrative burden required by the (now paused) Act. He states that this Act and the accompanying comprehensive guidance are...
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The Times They are a Changing – for Examinations in Northern Ireland

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 03/09/2019 As Northern Ireland once again excels in this year’s A level and GCSE results, it is gratifying to see a realisation by the local examination authorities that our pupils must be able to compete on equal terms with their counterparts in England. The planned introduction of the C* grade at GCSE ens...
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Are School Inspections Changing?

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 20/05/2019 In a recent speech to the Schools North East summit, Chief Inspector of Schools in England and Wales Amanda Spielman, discussed the driving force behind the proposed Ofsted inspection changes in England and Wales due to come in September 2019. In his latest article Frank Cassidy, former principal ...
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Home-schooling in Northern Ireland. Who is in charge?

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 15/04/2019 In his latest article Frank Cassidy, former principal of St Louis Grammar School in Ballymena and Regional Officer of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) in Northern Ireland, considers arguments for and against home-schooling. A recent Channel 4 Dispatches documentary highlighted t...
Features

Coping Effectively with Autism in Schools

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 11/03/2019 BBC News NI recently reported a large increase in children receiving a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). In total 2,345 children under 18 were diagnosed as ASD last year, compared with 1,047 five years previously. Dr Alan Stout, the chair of the Northern Ireland GP Committee of the Briti...
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Growing Concern for School Principals Subjected to Social Media Abuse

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 15/02/2019 The Belfast Telegraph and BBC have reported on Geri Cameron, principal at Loughshore Education Centre in Newtownabbey and President of NAHT Northern Ireland, telling MPs at the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that head teachers were being offered no support in dealing with online abuse. Ms Camer...
Features

Mental Health in Young People: Are Schools Getting the Help They Need?

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 21/01/2019 Recent media reports reflect the fact that the mental health of young people is of increasing concern. How are we coping with this rising demand and are we addressing pupil pastoral needs as well as we did before budget cuts changed staffing profiles and timetable priorities? Equally in their effor...
Features

An Education System Under Stress

Posted in: Cassidy's Comments on 10/12/2018 In the context of Stress Awareness Week November 5th – 9th we need to revisit the situation in our schools with teachers and school leaders under ever increasing stress. In August 2017 I wrote in this column about the escalating problems of low teacher morale as a result of budget cuts, increasing ...