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Teachers' e-News: August 2014

Dear ,

Whilst you’re likely to be recharging your batteries during your summer break, I just wanted to update you briefly on a few important developments that have been taking place recently with regard to the PSA’s schools’ activities:

The PSA: Championing Politics at Sixth Form

On 4th June, 2014, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) published a statement which set out its proposals for completing A-level reform.

Government and Politics will be among the final A-levels to be reformed, even though its popularity among students is currently greater than other subjects that will be reformed earlier. This means that there is a strong case to be made to the exam boards for drafting reformed course content for OFQUAL’s approval.

A PSA Briefing Paper, "Government and Politics A-level Reform", has been drafted by the Association and can be read online here.  

Additionally, the PSA's CEO, Helena Djurkovic, last week wrote to new Education Secretary Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, new Universities Minister Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, and OFQUAL’s Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey, outlining concerns regarding the ongoing A-level reforms.  You can read the letters and Helena's comments here.

New Chair of PSA's Education and Skills Sub-Committee

Dr Rose Gann has recently taken over from Dr Jacqui Briggs as the Chair of the PSA’s Education and Skills sub-committee.  

The Association is led by an Executive Committee of Trustees, which is responsible for overall policy and administration. Members of the Executive Committee also meet in Sub-Groups to deal with specific aspects of policy – for which Rose chairs the Education and Skills brief.

Rose and the other Education and Skills Sub-committee members will be working closely with myself and others to ensure we continue to develop our offering to schools.

Teaching Political Studies Teachers' Workshop

We are pleased to announce the hosting of the inaugural Teaching Political Studies Teachers' Workshop to be held at the University of Huddersfield on Friday 24th October 2014 from 9.30am to 4pm.

The workshop will bring together leading political education specialists to discuss the teaching of politics in secondary and further education schools and colleges.

It will feature a range of presentations alongside a keynote session by Dr Andrew Mycock, University of Huddersfield and co-editor of Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics.

The workshop will focus on the development of effective pedagogic practices and strategies to enhance political literacies, skills and participation amongst young people in the classroom and across their schools and communities.

Registration is now open online here.

Lunch and refreshments provided and you can view the provisional programme online here.

If you would like more information about attending the workshop on 24th October 2014, please contact James Ludley on:

Tel:  0207 330 9284
Email:  james.ludley@psa.ac.uk

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis - so register now to avoid disappointment!

Democracy in a Digital Age?

London-based social enterprise, Model Westminster and the Speaker's Commision on Digital Democracy are inviting Under 25s to a consultation event to feed into The Commission’s work during the summer.

Set up by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, the Commission is investigating the opportunities digital technology can bring for parliamentary democracy in the UK.

Date: Tuesday 12th August 2014
Time: 10:00-16:30

Full details and how to register can be viewed online here.

Euroscola - subsidised visit to European Parliament in Strasbourg

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration:

You can apply to take your politics class by visiting the Euroscola website.

University of Reading Sixth Form Politics Conference

The Politics and International Relations Department at the University of Reading are holding a conference for sixth form students and staff, with presentations and classes run by key members of the department.  A full programme can be downloaded here.

The conference is free but spaces are limited, so please do get in touch by 19th September to register.  For more details or to register contact Dr Brian Feltham.

Another Successful Series of Workshops on Applying to Study Politics at University

One of the main benefits of membership enjoyed by teacher members is the summer workshop campaign, where we put on a number of free half-day workshops across the country informing so many young people about the benefits of a political science degree and how to apply for courses in this area.

With an extended programme of 5 workshops for this year, it was a very busy but successful series reaching out to over 200 students from across 44 schools from around the UK. 

Don't forget though - as a PSA teacher member, you are invited to take advantage of our speakers programme for schools. Academics from across the politics discipline are available to visit your school free of charge to give lectures to your students on any subject of your choice related to the A level or Higher curriculum. The PSA will pay all travel costs, even where these exceed the costs of teacher membership.

Extend your PSA Membership by 12 months for only £15!

The Association is committed to developing our schools' network by growing the number of teacher members - as your students are the future of our discipline.

To this end, the PSA is offering Teacher Membership at £15 for a limited time only.

This promotional offer is open until the end of October, 2014, and any current Teacher Member renewing during the promotional period will automatically extend their membership by 12 months at the promotional price.

In other words - early renewal today for just £15 will mean saving £29 on the usual cost!*

For more information about your membership or to take up this offer of reduced Teacher Membership, call us today on 01207 529 391.  Or e-mail PSA Membership Secetary, Sandra Mcdonagh.

*Promotional price equates to a £29 saving on usual annual cost of £44 and applies for Renewals or New Membership between July 23 and October 31st, 2014.  Any current Teacher Member renewing during promotional period will automatically extend their membership by 12 months for promotional price.

Keeping in touch...

I’m always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch or let me know how we can serve you better. My contact details are as follows:

Email: james.ludley@psa.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7330 9284

If you feel any colleagues would be interested in this e-Newsletter, please forward them a copy.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

With very best wishes,

James Ludley
Programme Development Officer
PSA Head Office, 30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE