Introducing a new deal for teacher recruitment agencies by publishing a register that will set out agency mark ups so schools will know up-front what they are paying for. This will help schools avoid agencies which charge fees for making temporary staff permanent. These fees can be as much as 30% of an annual salary; A toolkit for schools to help reduce unnecessary workload. This provides free online training materials, audit tools, practical examples and model policies – developed and tested by school leaders and teachers; I want to help schools use their resources as effectively as possible. This strategy equips head teachers and school business professionals with the practical advice, resources and support they need so that they can focus on what they do so well – delivering high-quality education for their pupils. There can be no great schools without great teachers to inspire and motivate children, so it’s absolutely right that we help schools to maximise the money they have to spend in the classroom by working together, making sure they’re getting the best deals and are not being overcharged for services. Recommending deals to schools that could save money on things they buy regularly – including new deals on books, ICT solutions and software licenses; and Increasing the number of School Resource Management Advisers to provide support to more trusts and schools to help them ensure they are getting the best value for every pound they spend. This strategy is the latest in a series of steps taken by the department to help schools deliver the best value for money and ensure resources can be targeted at the frontline. It includes: Earlier this year, Mr Hinds unveiled plans to clamp down on agencies charging schools excessive fees to recruit staff and provide a free platform for schools to advertise vacancies, which costs on average £75 million a year.A national network of buying hubs which offer procurement support to schools, a register of recommended best value deals and an online utility bill comparison tool are among other steps which have already been taken by the department.The register of recommended deals has helped schools save £21 million since April 2018, with one school – Belmont Community School in Durham – £30,000 better off by simply switching to a better printing and photocopying deal. Another eight deals will be added to the register today.The strategy has been welcomed by The Institute of School Business Leadership.Stephen Morales, CEO of the Institute of School Business Leadership, said: A new toolkit to help schools save money to ensure every pound possible is being spent in the classroom has been published today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.The School Resource Management Strategy provides schools with practical advice on how to reduce the £10 billion non-staffing spend spent across England last year. It is estimated schools could save up to a billion pounds through better procurement and buying strategies.The strategy includes information on how to work collaboratively with other schools to drive down costs on things like stationery, energy and water bills, as well as supporting schools with staff recruitment and retention.Between 2014/15 and 2016/17 schools saved £106 million on non-staff spending and a nationwide network of Schools Resource Management Advisers, who work with schools to use every pound they spend effectively, is helping to build on that success.Today’s announcement follows a pledge by the Education Secretary to work with schools and bear down on cost pressures so every pound counts in the classroom.Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: ISBL welcomes the Department’s guidance on excellent school resource management. We believe that the effective review of the school’s resources by the whole leadership team across pedagogy, governance and business will help to ensure that schools reach appropriate recommendations for the effective use of their resources. We would recommend that school leaders use this guidance to help to steer and focus their discussions when considering how to reduce cost pressures and optimise the use of available resources. The strategy also underscores the Department for Education’s commitment to investing in the school estate, to work with schools and local authorities to reduce running costs, and to ensure school places are available in the areas that need them.Today’s announcement builds on the Education Secretary’s commitment to work with the profession, unions and Ofsted to strip away unnecessary workload and to champion the teaching profession.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band just came off an earth-shattering three-night run at Boston, MA’s Orpheum Theatre this past weekend, which witnessed the group continue to shine with plenty of that soul-blues rock that have made them one of the most powerful bands out there today. Led by the husband and wife duo of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, TTB is a sheer force to be reckoned with.The first night featured some choice covers, such as the George Harrison-penned Beatles track “Within You Without You” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, A majestic cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Bird On a Wire,” and show closer of Joe Cocker‘s “Space Captain.” The group also brought out special guest guitarist Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame on the blues standard “Key To The Highway.”On Friday night, the group continued to build on the night before. “Keep On Growing” brought the energy up early, as Tedeschi and backup singers Alecia Chakour and Mark Rivers beautifully complimented each other, while Trucks showcased those slide skills that have been handed down by a divine power. The Grateful Dead‘s “Sugaree” was placed in between an “Angel From Montgomery” sandwich, with Kofi Burbridge providing a little accent on the flute; he also showed a deft hand on organ and keys on a gospel-like “Bound For Glory.”For the Saturday night special, it was simply a culmination of the previous two nights. Tedeschi showed off those beautiful, gritty vocals on a cover of The Four Tops‘ “Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever,” and once again on “Midnight in Harlem” which came out of a spacey “Little Martha” interlude, which saw a nice lead from Kebbi Williams on sax. The group concluded the three-night stint with the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” but more akin to the Joe Cocker version.All in all, a perfectly executed run from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, a group clearly playing at the top of their game right now. Take a listen to all three shows below:Tedeschi Trucks Band | Orpheum Theatre | Boston, MA | 12/1/16:[courtesy of taper Jim Kelly]Tedeschi Trucks Band | Orpheum Theatre | Boston, MA | 12/2/16:[courtesy of taper Team Dirty South]Tedeschi Trucks Band | Orpheum Theatre | Boston, MA | 12/3/16:[courtesy of taper Jim Kelly]
When scrolling through the glorious annals of Phish.net, one might notice there are almost too many great Phish shows which took place on June 14th to keep count. Over the years, the band from Vermont debuted “Piper”, “Twist”, “Saw It Again”, “Dirt”, and more in the same show on June 14th, 1997, and even jammed with Bruce Springsteen during a performance at Bonnaroo on June 14th, 2009. There was even a stand-out performance on June 14th, 2000 which took place in Japan, which included a grooving four-song second set and featured some great instrumental work from the quartet.For the life-long Phish fans, perhaps no song in the band’s repertoire (with the exception of, say, “Runaway Jim”) is better suited for long-stretching improvisation than “Tweezer”, which infamously made Phish 3.0 history on this day 25 years ago in 1995, when Phish unleashed a 50-minute monster jam within the framework of the song for their fans in Memphis, TN.Related: Phish (a.k.a. ‘Third Ball’) Debuts “Character Zero” And “Waste”, On This Day In 1996 [Listen]Take a moment to let those words sink in: a 50-minute “Tweezer. That’s two full episodes of How I Met Your Mother with some time leftover to bash the show’s terrible series finale.According to Phish.net, “This 50+ minute Tweezer included a brief ‘Gypsy Queen’ jam, a ‘2001’ tease, a ‘Slave’-like jam, and a Digital Delay Loop Jam with whistling.” Sure, you can reduce a jam of this magnitude to a simple sentence, but the best way to experience it is, of course, to listen.Without further ado, here’s the full audio from Phish’s June 14th, 1995 performance at the Mud Island Amphitheater in Memphis, TN with the above-mentioned legendary “Tweezer” coming in at the tail end of the band’s three-song encore.Phish – Mud Island Amphitheater – 6/14/95 [Full-Show Audio][Video: fromtheaquarium]Setlist: Phish | Mud Island Amphitheater | Memphis, TN | 6/14/95Set One: Don’t You Want To Go?, Gumbo > NICU, Mound, Cavern > Possum, All Things Reconsidered, Amazing Grace, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Spock’s Brain > Split Open and MeltSet Two: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Poor Heart > Tweezer, Acoustic Army, While My Guitar Gently WeepsEncore: Simple, Rocky Top > Tweezer RepriseNotes: Without microphones. 50+ minutes; whistling. A cappella ending.Teases:· Gypsy Queen, Also Sprach Zarathustra, and Slave to the Traffic Light jams in Tweezer· Stairway to Heaven tease· Jump Monk tease in Simple· Jean Pierre tease in Possum