Latest Educational News

Independent schools face Labour curb on tax break

by The Times, November 25, 2014

Private schools will be threatened with the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds in tax breaks by Labour today unless they do more to support state schools.
Every independent school will lose some of its tax advantages unless it runs summer schools, organises pupil exchanges or sponsors an academy, Labour will say.

Chinese academia to rival Oxbridge

by The Times, November 25, 2014

One of China’s fast-rising universities is on course to rival Oxford or Cambridge as a world-leading research institution, a vice-chancellor has predicted.
Five Chinese universities are likely to break into the world’s Top 20 within two decades, from which one will emerge pre-eminent, he said.
Ed Byrne, principal at King’s College London, said that Britain risked losing its position as the world’s second strongest university sector unless research funding was maintained.

Teachers swap chalk for aprons to serve up Clegg’s free lunch

by The Times, November 25, 2014

Teachers are helping to serve lunches as schools struggle to cope with the logistics of providing free school meals for all infants, a poll by The Times indicates.
Since the start of the autumn term, all children in the first three years of primary school have been entitled to free hot lunches under a £1 billion policy promoted by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister.

‘Use boarding schools to help teenagers’

by The Times, November 25, 2014

Teenagers on the fringes of gangs should be sent to boarding schools to steer them away from criminality, a minister said yesterday.
Children at risk of being taken into care should also be considered for boarding places more often, Lord Nash, the schools minister, told a conference of state-funded boarding schools.
He was speaking at Holyport College, a free school in Berkshire which opened this term.

The Leeds school teaching English as a foreign language

by The Times, November 25, 2014

When Georgiana Sale announced that she would be teaching English as a foreign language at her Leeds secondary school a vicious postbag was swift to follow. She was, asserted the hate-mailers, a “wog lover” who should be sacked. She should send the pupils and their parents away. There were racist phone calls, too, but no one had the guts to leave their name.

Ofsted to restrict ‘dawn-raid’ inspections on schools

by The Times, November 25, 2014

Schools will not face surprise inspections without notice after the head of Ofsted decided there were too many “logistical drawbacks” in doing so.
Instead, the power will be reserved for cases when inspectors will be sent without warning to schools, usually those suspected of teaching a narrow curriculum that fails to prepare pupils for modern Britain.

Academy spends pupil premium cash on taxis and buses

by Guardian, November 25, 2014

An academy spent £15,000 from its pupil premium money on ferrying students by taxi to school last academic year, Education Guardian has learned.

The same school, the Oldham Academy North spent a further £85,000 on free bus travel for pupils living around a mile away, also coming from its pupil premium money, which is designed to raise the test results of disadvantaged pupils. It plans to spend a further £75,000 on bus transport and £13,500 on taxis this academic year. The figures are revealed in documents on the school’s website.

‘Britain’s brightest student’ taking aim at teaching’s sacred cows

by Guardian, November 25, 2014

When Daisy Christodoulou’s Seven Myths About Education came out as an ebook last year, I didn’t read it. Just another rightwing moan, I thought, saying schools should get back to the 1950s, teaching nothing but facts, grammar and multiplication tables. I’d heard it all before. Like so many other such rants, it would go big in the Telegraph and Mail, and be largely ignored elsewhere.

But the book became one of the most talked-about in education in the past 20 years, prompting praise and anger in roughly equal measures. BBC Radio 4 gave her half an hour in its series The Educators. She was praised by the then education secretary, Michael Gove. A Sunday Times book reviewer reckoned she had aimed “a heat-seeking missile” at “the heart of the educational establishment”, and tipped her for head of Ofsted in 2021. This year, Routledge, publisher of scholarly education books, put Seven Myths into print.

Tristram Hunt warns private schools to help state pupils or lose £700m in tax breaks

by Guardian, November 25, 2014

Britain’s private schools will lose £700m in tax breaks unless they agree to break down the “corrosive divide of privilege” and do more to help children from state schools, Tristram Hunt, shadow education secretary, writes in the Guardian.

Labour, on winning the general election in May next year, would prevent private schools accessing business rate relief worth £700m over the next parliament unless they do more to improve the quality of education in state schools.

Private and state schools told to collaborate more or face penalties

by Guardian, November 25, 2014

Private schools should play state schools at competitive sport and participate in debating societies, the shadow education secretary has said in a speech urging private schools to end the “Berlin Wall” in the education system.

In a Guardian article, Tristam Hunt said he would consider withdrawing £700m of tax breaks over the next parliament if private schools did not do more to improve the quality of education in state schools. He said private schools had been asked politely to cooperate with the state sector, with limited effect.

Maths warning for younger children

by Courier, November 25, 2014

Too many children are falling behind in maths before they even start school, experts have warned.

More than one in four youngsters fail to achieve the level expected of them in the subject at the age of five, according to a report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for maths and numeracy.

The study argues that too many pre-schools and nurseries are not providing young children with a good start to their maths education.

Menzieshill High School closure plan: councillor says parents deserve more information

by Courier, November 25, 2014

A report into a proposal to close Menzieshill High School has been branded as “having the structure of a playground joke”.

Councillor Laurie Bidwell told the education committee it was akin to someone saying: “I have good news and bad news for parents and carers in Dundee.

“The good news is that we are proposing to build a new shared campus primary school in Whitfield ... and the bad news is that we will close Menzieshill High School and gamble that we have enough secondary school places for children in the combined catchment area.”

Hunt warns private schools over tax

by BBC News, November 25, 2014

A Labour government will strip private schools of valuable tax breaks worth hundreds of millions of pounds unless they do more to help the state sector, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt is warning.

In a keynote speech today, Mr Hunt will tell private schools in England they will lose business rates relief - worth an estimated £700 million over the course of a parliament - unless they are prepared to meet minimum standards of partnership with their state counterparts.

11 schools rapped after snap visits

by Courier, November 25, 2014

Eleven schools have been censured by inspectors after unannounced visits found that "pupils were not being well prepared for life in modern Britain", Ofsted said today.

The Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said the schools, among 35 which received "no-notice" visits in September, were failing to teach students respect for faiths and communities other than their own.

Private school business rate relief warning from Labour

by BBC News, November 25, 2014

Independent schools could lose millions in business rate relief under a Labour government unless they worked more closely with state schools.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says many private schools are not doing enough to earn this "subsidy".

Private schools would be asked to help state schools by lending teaching staff and helping with university admissions.

Ofsted rejects claims schools downgraded as 'too white'

by BBC News, November 25, 2014

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has said it is "nonsense" to claim that schools would be criticised by inspectors for being "too white".

It follows claims the demand for schools to promote "British values", in the wake of the Trojan Horse investigations, was punishing schools for a lack of multiculturalism.

"This is not about political correctness," said Sir Michael.

He was speaking as Ofsted published the findings of 35 no-warning inspections.

Ofsted's surprise inspections uncovered problems with poor teaching, inadequate governing bodies and failures to safeguard pupils against extremism in a wave of school inspections without warning.

Calling budding Olympians: state school to pick pupils on rowing ability

by Guardian, November 24, 2014

A renowned inner-city state school has further fuelled debate over pupil admissions by introducing selection according to students’ aptitude for rowing.

Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, east London, is inviting applications for up to 10 extra places in year nine based on pupils’ potential to become elite rowers. It is believed to be the first state school in Britain to use rowing as a selection criterion. Students will be chosen according to physical characteristics such as height and arm span as well as fitness, strength and “coachability”.

'No second chances' in England's schools

by BBC News, November 24, 2014

England's children are being taught in an "unforgiving system" with "no real second chances", says the president of the Girls' Schools Association.

Alice Phillips, said her "younger self" would have been "written off" by the education system being created today.

She described a lack of "wriggle room" and "an intensity of expectation" in the new GCSE grading structure "that is greater than ever" .

The government said it aimed to give pupils the time to study in depth.

Divorce 'damages children's GCSEs'

by BBC News, November 24, 2014

Family breakdown has a damaging impact on children's exam results and personal life, according to a study from family lawyers' association, Resolution.

The research found 65% of children of divorced parents thought their GCSE results had been adversely affected.

There were also health concerns, with an increased likelihood of experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Jo Edwards, Resolution chairwoman, said it showed the importance of managing separation to "minimise the stress".

Schools marked down over ‘ridiculous’ GSCE decision

by The Times, November 22, 2014

Schools face a large drop in their GCSE league table score because they have unwittingly breached an obscure and “ridiculous” government rule, school leaders have warned.
Good grades in key English GCSEs are not being counted in the schools’ scores because of the order in which pupils sat their exams this summer, according to TES magazine.
According to head teachers’ leaders, the league table scores of about 100 schools will fall, with up to 30 being “substantially” affected

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