News story: Education Secretary urges more faith schools to consider academy conversion


first_imgThe meeting followed the news that more than 50% of children in state-funded schools in England are now taught in an academy or free school, with standards rising faster in many sponsored academies than in similar council-run schools.Standards in faith schools are also impressive, with last year’s GCSE data showing faith schools perform better than their non-faith counterparts, while over half of the top performing 5% of schools at Key Stage 2, are faith schools.Representatives from all major faiths attended the meeting, including individuals from the Church of England, Muslim, Catholic, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu faiths, and from the Methodist Church.They were joined by leaders of high performing faith multi-academy trusts – Hamid Patel of Star Academy Trust, Nitesh Gor of Avanti Schools Trust and Dr Brinder Mohan Singh of Nishkam School Trust.These trusts are just three examples of faith groups combining their own ethos and values with the freedom and autonomy that academies and free schools enjoy, to create thriving schools providing the education their pupils deserve.Director of the Catholic Education Service, Paul Barber, said: The Catholic Church has been a longstanding Government partner in the provision of education, and today’s meeting highlights the continued strong working relationship we enjoy with the Department. Nearly a quarter of all Catholic schools in England are academies and we welcome the continued support of the Secretary of State for Catholic dioceses and their academisation plans. As the country’s second largest provider of schools, we remain committed to providing high quality Catholic education centred around the formation of the whole child. Faith leaders are being encouraged to convert more of their schools to academies – joining hundreds of schools across the country already benefiting from higher standards after academy conversion and building on the leading role faith groups have played in delivering the Government’s education reforms.At a round-table of representatives from all major faiths held on 29 January, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds set out the benefits of becoming an academy school – placing freedom into the hands of school leaders and helping schools to work together to achieve more than they can alone.The Education Secretary also praised the role faith organisations have had in the Government’s education reforms since 2010, with more than a quarter of state-funded faith schools already having academy status and more than 100 faith free schools open or due to open soon. The figures reflect an upturn in the pace of academy conversion within faith groups, with more groups now also establishing their own multi academy trusts.The department would also like to see more people from faith groups choosing to join the thousands of volunteers already offering their time, energy, skills and expertise as school governors and trustees.Mr Hinds said:center_img The diversity of schools in this country is one our education system’s most valuable assets, and faith schools play a pivotal role in that. They have led the way in embracing our reforms, with innovative free schools and high performing academies, taking advantage of the freedom and autonomy those choices provide. Faith schools make up one-third of the schools in England. I want to see even more faith schools enjoying the benefits of academy conversion, with even more faith groups using the exciting opportunity the free schools route provides. In doing so, the leaders of these schools will ensure they are the ones making the right decisions for their pupils and for their communities, as I firmly believe they should be.last_img read more

Chiefs : Robinson honored 65 years after breaking color barrier


first_imgFor one day at Alliance Bank Stadium, the number 42 was encircled in the dirt behind home plate, taking the spot where an interlocking ‘SC’ would normally be. The tradeoff, though, was well worth it.The Syracuse Chiefs celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday before and during their game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, marking the 65th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball to break the color barrier. The Chiefs wore commemorative Negro League-themed jerseys and hats during the game, and The National Baseball Hall of Fame brought Robinson’s Hall of Fame plaque to the stadium and displayed it in the concourse for fans to view.Bradford Horn, the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of communications and education, said programs are held in the museum every year on April 15, but the Hall of Fame wanted to bring the plaque to enhance fans’ ability to understand Robinson’s legacy.‘Our presence here today is designed to give all of the Syracuse community, those who are out here today, the opportunity to see an original piece of baseball history,’ Horn said. ‘… This plaque, by bringing it to Syracuse today, we hope that it helps this community understand the importance of Jackie Robinson.’The Chiefs’ wore light blue jersey tops with navy blue sleeves featuring two light blue stripes. A white ‘S’ and ‘C’ were on the front of the jerseys, and the Chiefs wore gray pants.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTyler Moore, who honored the day further by drilling a pitch from Yankees starter Ramon Ortiz over the right-field wall in the second inning, said it’s a privilege to devote a day to the baseball pioneer.‘It was great,’ Moore said. ‘Jackie, the things he did for this game was unbelievable, and it’s always good to pay him tribute.’Robinson’s plaque on display Sunday is not the one that hangs in the Hall of Fame, as the museum chose to re-cast his plaque in 2008. Horn said the original plaque did not say Robinson was the first to break the color barrier because the humble Robinson was adamant about not calling attention to his accomplishment.In 2008, more than 40 years after his induction in 1962, the museum hung a new plaque that listed Robinson’s achievement because the Hall of Fame felt it was important to educate future generations, Horn said.Robinson’s No. 42 has been retired throughout baseball since 1997.Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be the last to wear the number. He was already wearing it when MLB made the decision to honor Robinson in that regard, and the number was grandfathered in.John Melnick, 57, of Syracuse, said he was glad to see the Chiefs recognize Robinson and that it’s important to remember the sacrifices he and the African-Americans who followed him into baseball made.‘I think it’s great. I think it’s important,’ Melnick said. ‘I think Jackie Robinson is a legend beyond belief and anyone that has stopped to look at baseball and its history and sacrifices African-Americans have made for his country and their perseverance. I don’t know how to describe something like that.’[email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on April 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemanlast_img read more

Tipp ladies score resounding victory


first_imgThey’ve picked up their first win of the Division 3 season in emphatic fashion against Fermanagh.Tipp defeated the Ulster county 6-14 to 0-1 in Bansha.The Premier County led 2-7 to 0-1 at the break.last_img