At a glance headlines: May 1, 2014


A new website allowing supply teachers to rate supply agencies, a London Knowledge Quiz for pupils, and a new UK museums resource are among the At a glance headlines for May 1, 2014.

Supply concerns

A teaching union has set up a website to enable supply teachers to rate and review agencies. The NASUWT claims that its supply teachers members are “routinely exploited” by agencies and denied pay, training and other support. A survey by the union of more than 1,400 supply teachers finds that 65 per cent have been asked to sign a contract with an umbrella or offshore organisation allowing the agency to avoid their tax and National Insurance liabilities and deny teachers legal rights and entitlements. It also found that 61 per cent are paid just £100 to £149 per day. General secretary Chris Keates said that supply teachers were often “simply too frightened to speak out about their treatment” due to threats of “blacklisting”. The new website will allow supply teachers to find agencies in their area, rate agencies using a star system on levels of pay, quality of training, ease of finding work and support received, and write reviews, explaining their experiences of agencies. Visit

Bard celebration

A global celebration of William Shakespeare’s life and work is being planned to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. The British Council is preparing an international programme of arts and education events for 2016 aiming to celebrate the enduring influence of Shakespeare’s work across the world. The celebrations will include an international Shakespeare festival as well as the production of new education resources for teachers and those studying English. There will also be a “mass-participation global digital project”. More detailed plans will be announced in due course.

London challenge

What name did the Romans give to London? How many Underground stations can you name that begin with the letter “w”? These two questions are among those in an online quiz aimed at teaching London students more about the history, culture and geography of the capital. The London Knowledge Quiz is part of the London Curriculum teaching resource developed by the Greater London Authority. Schools in London can compete against one another in the quiz, with a live final taking place at the Museum of London on July 9. Schools must register to play by May 9. Visit: and

Museums resource

A new website is to be launched later this month offering teachers and students a glimpse inside museums, galleries and archives across the UK. Called Show Me, the website is aimed at students aged seven to 14 and brings a range of objects and artefacts to life via short films and interactive features. It will include games and resources, high-quality images of collections as well as guides and behind the scenes information. There is also a “homework help” section and supporting resources for teachers. Visit:


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