Latest Educational News

Maths is nasty surprise for college pupils

by The Times, July 25, 2014

Students taking a wide range of degrees are struggling to cope with the maths required by their courses, research suggests.
Many undergraduates on chemistry, sociology, economics, geography, computing, psychology and business and management courses are surprised by the amount of mathematics involved, according to the Higher Education Academy.

Top degrees don’t improve job prospects

by The Times, July 25, 2014

Graduating with a first-class degree makes little difference to your prospects of securing a full-time job, official statistics suggest.
Similar proportions of last year’s graduates had full-time work or were interns regardless of their class of degree. Only two fifths of graduates had permanent or open-ended contracts six months after graduating, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed.

Poorer students apply to university in record numbers

by The Times, July 25, 2014

Record numbers of disadvantaged teenagers applied for a place at university this year, confounding critics who said that higher fees would deter less wealthy candidates.
An analysis of admissions figures showed that 17.9 per cent of 18-year-olds from low-income families applied to university, 1.3 percentage points higher than last year.
The application rate among teenagers entitled to free school meals has risen steadily since 2006, when fees were raised to £3,000.

School tables to exclude iGCSEs

by The Times, July 25, 2014

Schools that enter pupils for international GCSEs will not have their results recognised in performance tables when the first new GCSEs are awarded.
The decision, confirmed by the Department for Education yesterday, will be a blow to many independent schools and some state schools that switched to these exams. It may prompt some to abandon iGCSEs and to gamble by embracing the first generation of redesigned GCSEs.

Heather Wheeler: Exams are not the only way to be smart

by Derby Telegraph, July 25, 2014

SUMMER is a time of joy for our youngsters especially when the sun is shining. The school holidays are here and there's no more homework! For some, summer marks the end of their school or university life, when many goodbyes are said and new adventures begin.

Some of you may have seen the letter sent by a head teacher congratulating her pupils on their Key Stage 2 test results but pointing out that other things are important too and there are many ways of 'being smart'.

'Worries over boys' GCSE results come way too late'

by TES, July 25, 2014

Every summer when GCSE and A level results emerge, the debate about boys’ underachievement rages for about two days and then fades. In between, usually as a result of government policy or Ofsted, the issue re-emerges and once again fades.

What is surprising is that we think secondary is the time to address underachievement, with by far the majority of initiatives being delivered after Year 7, while many would argue that most of the damage has already been done.

School PE lessons putting girls off sport, MPs' report finds

by Guardian, July 25, 2014

Girls are being put off sport by PE lessons and must be offered more "imaginative" activities including dance and cycling, the Commons culture, media and sport watchdog has concluded. With 2 million fewer women than men playing regular sport, the cross-party group of MPs will call on the government to force schools into taking girls' exercise more seriously, especially in light of growing inactivity in children.

They said this could be done by amending the public sector equality duty for schools to make clear that an equal amount of attention must be given to sport for girls as boys.

Exam reform delayed by 'significant numbers' of schools

by BBC News, July 25, 2014

Dozens of schools across Scotland are delaying the introduction of new Highers in popular school subjects, according to BBC Scotland research.

New look Highers start in the new school year to tie in with the replacements for Standard Grades.

But a significant number of schools have chosen to delay them for a year in some popular subjects.

The Scottish government told councils the new Highers could be delayed if it was in the students' best interests.

However it said the expectation remained that S5 students would normally be sitting the new Higher exams next year.

Private education for two costs £500,000

by Herald Scotland, July 24, 2014

FAMILIES are paying more than £500,000 giving a private education to two children, according to a new survey.

The cost soars to more than £830,000 if parents want to send two children to boarding school from the age of 13. The Killik Private Education Index also shows the soaring cost of private education since 1990 with average fees across the UK having more than quadrupled.

The survey, using figures from 2013/14, found the annual fee in Scotland is £10,400 for day and £27,100 for boarding pupils - the second lowest in the country. However, school fees are expected to rise by 115 per cent in next 13 years with the average worker in Scotland needing to allocate 81 per cent of their income to educate one child.

Higher education to be made more accessible to all by North East institutions

by The Journal, July 24, 2014

North universities are making access to higher education more fair after figures showed that pupils from wealthy areas were more likely to be admitted to sought-after institutions than their poorer peers.

Newcastle University is sending its students into schools across the city to search out academic potential and create a better social mix on campus.

This initiative, where undergraduate students essentially work as tutors in the region’s schools, has been highlighted by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) as a shining example of how universities can help to raise aspirations and attainment among those with the talent to benefit from higher education.

Blame academy: Even schools designed to be free from regulation need some oversight, as a Sutton Trust report shows

by Independent, July 24, 2014

If the Government’s educational policy is really as unideological and fact-based as ministers make out, then the latest study into the performance of England’s academy schools makes for uncomfortable reading, indicating that the facts do not fit official policy.
Some academy chains are “highly ineffective” at improving the prospects of disadvantaged pupils, according to the Sutton Trust, a charity dedicated to promoting social mobility, a commodity in short supply in contemporary Britain. The trust supplies ample empirical evidence that suggests reform of academies is urgently required to make them, in that other phrase so beloved of politicians, “fit for purpose”.

Academy chains 'worse for disadvantaged children' than local authority schools

by The Independent, July 24, 2014

Some academy chains are “highly ineffective” in improving the prospects of disadvantaged pupils, according to ground-breaking research published today.

The study, by the Sutton Trust education charity, finds that almost half the academy chains it surveyed failed to do better than mainstream local authority schools in getting their disadvantaged pupils to obtain five A* to C grade passes at GCSE including maths and English.

UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows

by The Independent, July 24, 2014

Britain’s leading universities have performed a U-turn over the methods they use to attract more disadvantaged students, says a report out today.
University access watchdog the Office for Fair Access reveals they are cutting spending on scholarships and bursaries and putting their efforts into sending students into their schools to raise their aspirations instead,

My university is better than yours - what students and graduates think

by Guardian, July 24, 2014

Manchester is the university which most students and graduates identify as being equal to their own, according to a Datablog survey.

Over 1,700 people told us the universities that they thought were of the same quality as where they are or were studying. Some of the results are surprising, some unrealistic and some simply play up to the stereotypes.

For the purposes of accuracy (although this is by no means scientific) we excluded institutions where fewer than five people answered. That means in total we had full answers from students and graduates of 49 different universities.

Early reading boosts health and intelligence later on

by The Times, July 24, 2014

Getting better at reading could make children more intelligent in later life, psychologists have claimed.
Reading may also lead children to be healthier and more creative when they grow up, as well as boosting non-verbal reasoning, according to the authors of the study.

Following almost 1,900 identical twins over nine years, researchers from the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London found that the children who did better in reading tests at an early age consistently outscored their peers in vocabulary and pattern recognition later on.

Universities spend millions to help poor students pass

by The Times, July 24, 2014

Universities are spending millions of pounds on “buddying” programmes to encourage students from poor backgrounds to complete their courses, a report shows today.
The 172 universities and colleges that charge tuition fees had to publish agreements proving that they would widen access in the academic year starting in autumn next year. In total, £735 million has been budgeted.

Academy chains outperform state schools

by The Times, July 24, 2014

Pupils in schools run by the best academy chains do significantly better than children at other state schools, research has shown. GCSE results were above average in schools run by nine academy sponsors, for poor children and other pupils, academics found.
The study, which looked at the performance of 31 academy chains, found a wide disparity, with children at several doing markedly worse. Some of these schools were offering a worse education to their poorest pupils, they said.

Degree costs set to rise to £26,000

by The Courier, July 24, 2014

Students heading off to university next year can expect to pay more than £26,000 for a three-year degree, as the cost of higher education rises.

New figures show that the average fee for those beginning courses next autumn will be around £8,700, up 1.2% on 2014/15.

More than three in four universities and colleges in England will charge the maximum £9,000 for at least one of their degree courses, while one in four will charge the top price as standard.

'Wide variation' for academy chains

by The Courier, July 24, 2014

England's best academy chains are raising standards for their poorest pupils and outperforming other state schools, but the weakest are lagging far behind, research suggests.

It concludes that there is "enormous variation" between chains, and the results and improvement of their disadvantaged pupils.

The research, commissioned by the Sutton Trust, analysed school performance figures to look at what disadvantaged pupils attending schools in an academy chain achieve based on five different measures.

University of Birmingham suspends two students for nine months after peaceful protest

by The Independent, July 23, 2014

The University of Birmingham has suspended two students for their involvement in a peaceful protest at the university last year.

Simon Furse and Kelly Rogers were among students who occupied rooms at the university as part of the Defend Education Birmingham campaign, calling for more democracy and student representation at their university, greater pay for staff, and for their senior management to “take back their position that fees should be increased”, among other demands.

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