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PSA Teachers' e-News: January 2016

FAO:   , 13th January

Dear ,

I hope that you are well and enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year period.

It's been a busy start to 2016! There are three very noteworthy items in this month's e-Newsletter:

  • The PSA is convening a meeting of PSA teacher members and the Department for Education A level Reform Team.

Full details of these items are below, alongside all other usual e-Newsletter updates and resources.

PSA Teachers' Meeting with DfE on A level Reform

The PSA is convening a meeting of PSA teacher members and the Department for Education A level Reform Team.

The meeting is taking place on Friday 29th January 2016, 4pm – 5.30pm, in central London.  

We are delighted to be joined by Rebecca Viney, GCSE and A level reform Qualifications Division, Department for Education. Rebecca will present some early consultation analysis and offer the Department's thoughts on what the ‘next steps’ are, as well as outlining what the Department is doing in terms of the responses received and the views put forward. There will also be the opportunity for Q&As from members.

To register for this meeting, please e-mail James Ludley by 4pm Friday 22nd JanuaryThe venue is in central London and full details will be given to members as they register. 

Capacity is limited and places are allocated on a first come first served basis. A waiting list will be held if numbers exceed the venue's capacity, therefore please only register if you are sure you can attend.

OCR will not redevelop Politics A level

Following a review of qualifications available for redevelopment for first teaching in 2017, OCR has made the decision not to redevelop AS and A levels in Politics.

A full statement from OCR can be found on their website here.

From a subject point of view, as has been noted by some members, it is frustrating if Politics is not offered by all the main examination boards as it gives the impression it is not a ‘mainstream’ subject.  However, the PSA has been liaising with both Pearson Edexcel and AQA and both are still very much on board to offer Politics A level from 2017.

PSA responds to DfE's Politics A level subject content consultation

In case you missed this in last month's e-Newsletter, the Political Studies Association made a formal submission to the DfE’s consultation on the draft Politics AS and A-level Politics subject content.

You can forward this e-mail to colleagues here.

NEW PSA Teachers' Topic Guides

The PSA has commissioned a suite of Teachers’ Topic Guides which aim to pitch resources for A-level and Scottish Higher Curriculum teachers looking to keep up with modern developments, and/or provide material to more advanced students who may be able to go beyond the basics and either grasp more difficult concepts or read further on the topic.

We're delighted to add to the series with the following guides:

  1. UK Parliament - Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Dr Louise Thompson
  2. The United States Supreme Court - Professor Robert McKeever  (available 18/01/15)

As part of your membership, you can download PSA Teachers' Topic Guides for free from the PSA website here: www.psa.ac.uk/psa-teachers'-topic-guides (login required)

PSA to publish Chair's Commissions Reports

The PSA will be publishing the PSA's Chair's Commissions Reports in February.

The Chair’s Commission on Reaching Out, which has partly looked at the strategic approach the PSA takes in supporting the teaching of Politics in schools, will be of great interest to teacher members. 

Once the final Report is published we look forward to your comments – there are some very interesting and exciting recommendations concerning schools.

Please keep an eye on the PSA website over the coming weeks for full details and for the final reports.

A particular note of thanks to Carl Gladwell (St Catherine’s School, Guildford), David Wendelken (Harrow School), Richard Kelly (Manchester Grammar School), and Peter Shipston (Hill House School, Doncaster) who served on the Commission.

The 2016 Yale Young Global Scholars

The Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS) is offering a financial need-based scholarship for a high school student from the United Kingdom (UK) to attend YYGS this summer at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

The scholarship will cover tuition, airfare and travel expenses to the program. The application deadline is February 11, 2016 and applications are available online here.

New Programme Development and Outreach Officer at PSA

Finally, for those who may be unaware, I will be moving on from the PSA later this month to take up a new job elsewhere. 

I just wanted to take this opportunity to offer my thanks for your support during my time in the role and to wish you all the very best for the future!

I'll certainly be keeping one eye on the A level developments and I am sure the outcomes of the Chair's Commissions will help stregthen the PSA's offerings to schools and sixth form colleges.

Keeping up-to-date with the PSA schools' initiatives

Follow the PSA on Twitter or search for the #PSAschools hashtag for real time updates for all our schools' activities, news and campaigns.

As a PSA Teacher Member you have full access to the Schools’ Area of the PSA website.  Here you can find all the latest information about the following initiatives we offer to schools:

•         Free Speakers Programmes for Schools sessions
•         Free professional development resources
•         Free subscriptions to leading publications, including Political Insight
•         Priority registration to PSA schools' events
•         Priority registration for student career workshops

Keeping In Touch...

Don't forget, members can access the Teachers' e-News archive online here.

We're always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch or let the PSA know how we can serve you better. If you feel any colleagues would be interested in this e-Newsletter, please forward them a copy.

With very best wishes,

James Ludley
Programme Development Officer

020 7321 2545
PSA Head Office, 113a Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6HJ.