Latest Educational News

Adult education the loser in a game only young, full-time students win

by The Guardian, March 3, 2015

Classified as General.

Universities sometimes seem to have few political friends — unlike their debt-laden students. It is not hard to tell why. It is not only that individuals have the vote and institutions don’t. At times university leaders give the impression that all they care about is hanging on to the extra cash that higher fees have generated, even if this means their graduates face a lifetime of debt and the government has to pick up the bill for those who never repay their loans in full (and other public services have to suffer even greater cuts as a result).

The Lib Dems’ education policies: you ask the questions

by The Guardian, March 3, 2015

Classified as General.

The Liberal Democrats won only 8% of the seats in parliament – and both the larger parties were committed to tuition fees. In that scenario we couldn’t abolish fees, so we did everything we could to make the system fairer: no one pays a penny up front, or starts paying back their loan until they are earning more than £21,000. The most recent figures show more young people from poorer backgrounds applying to university than ever before, as well as a big rise in the number of people going into higher education.

Raising schools standards for all should be the goal, comment by the Western Morning News

by Western Morning News, March 3, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

Widening access to the most appropriate form of teaching for all children, whatever their ability, ought to be the aim of everyone involved in the education system. But there is a worrying trend in some quarters to view any kind of selection as promoting ‘elitism’ and to therefore call for an end to the practice altogether. That would be a mistake. Just because the current grammar school system, where it remains, does not always benefit every pupil – whatever their ability – is not a good reason to abandon it. Instead, it should be an incentive to raise standards across the board – not lower them.

One-third miss first school choice in London as numbers rise

by BBC News, March 2, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

Almost a third of families in London did not get their first choice of secondary school, as places are allocated on National Offer Day.

Admissions bodies say the population growth first seen at primary level has now reached secondary schools.

In London, 68% of applicants got their first preference, fewer than in the previous two years.

The Department for Education says it has invested "more than £5bn to create more than 445,000 new school places".

Claims school application system 'not working' as half a million 11-year-olds find out their future

by ITV News, March 2, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

Tens of thousands of 11-year-olds across the East Midlands found out where they'd be going to secondary school today.

So-called 'National Offer Day' is a tense time for pupils and parents, with children often wanting to go to the same school as their friends, while their parents want the best education possible.

Camerons among 555,000 families awaiting secondary school offer

by The Guardian, March 2, 2015

Classified as General.

More than half a million children, including the prime minister’s daughter Nancy, will find out on Monday whether they have got into the secondary school of their choice.

After the open days, the form filling and an agonising wait, parents in England will begin to receive email notifications on Monday afternoon, and letters later in the week, informing them which school their child will go to in September.

Bright children 'being denied grammar school places' by Government's failure to approve Kent extension

by The Telegraph, March 2, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

Bright children are being denied the opportunity of studying at grammar schools by the Government’s failure to approve an extension proposed in Kent, the county’s council leader has warned.

Paul Carter, a Tory councillor, said the delay was harming local children's education prospects and called on the Coalition to come to a decision before the election.

What next for the grammar school?

by BBC News, March 1, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

The issue of grammar schools remains a hardy perennial in the education debate and an increasing focus for parties in the run-up to the general election.

It is one which is very much alive in Kent, where 20% of pupils still go to grammar schools.

The growing population and rising demand for places has led many Kent grammar schools to expand.

This reflects the national picture. Although the number of grammar schools has remained stable for decades, the number of pupils has risen.

Private school bias: Britain to become ''permanently divided nation'' unless Government improves social mobility

by Mirror, February 28, 2015

Classified as General.

Britain could become a “permanently divided nation” unless political leaders cut poverty and improve social mobility, a major report says today.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission found there was already a postcode lottery, with some parts of the country faring far worse than others in offering educational and job opportunities.

And it warns of a “mistake of catastrophic proportions” if whoever is Prime Minister after the general election ducks the issue.

Only 7% of children attend private schools, yet 71% of top judges, 62% of military chiefs, 55% of Whitehall senior mandarins, half the House of Lords and 36% of the Cabinet are privately educated.

Forty years on, grammars are still flying the flag

by The Telegraph, February 28, 2015

Classified as Grammar Schools.

When is a grammar school not a grammar school? When it’s independent. There are some schools in this country that appear a little confused in their terminology. They are grammar schools in name, but independent in nature: they may be selective, but they are fee-paying and free from state control.

In the mid-Seventies, when the Labour government announced plans to abolish selective education in favour of the comprehensive system, one group of secondary schools faced a crossroads. These were “direct-grant” grammar schools, given this status as part of the 1944 Education Act. Unlike “maintained” grammars that were fully state-funded, the direct-grant schools were paid for partly by the state, and partly by students’ fees.

Proportion of female professors up, but still below a quarter

by Times Higher Education, February 28, 2015

Classified as General.

Professors are several percentage points more likely to be women than they were a decade ago, new figures show.
Some 22 per cent of professors – 4,415 out of 19,750 in total - were female in 2013-14 compared with just 15 per cent in 2003-04, according to a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The report, titled Staff in Higher Education 2013-14, which was published on 26 February, also says 45 per cent of the UK’s 194,245 academic staff are women.

Let great teaching ideas shine through to help disadvantaged students

by TES Connect, February 28, 2015

Across the country, teachers are doing innovative and exciting things to help students learn. The trouble is, teachers have a habit of being too modest to shout about the fantastic ideas they are implementing and as a result those ideas are never shared for the benefit of others

This is something education charity the Shine Trust aims to change. It is providing up to £150,000 in funding to ensure great teaching ideas do not remain hidden away.

Poll: Should primary school children be made to sit exams?

by Shropshire Star, February 28, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

Children are failing to develop important values like courage, fairness and gratitude at school due to a relentless focus on exams and results, according to a report.
It argues that "moral character" is being squeezed out of modern day education, leaving youngsters without key qualities they will need for the future.
Teachers need more time in the school day to teach youngsters the difference between right and wrong, the study argues.
The findings come amid growing calls from politicians and education experts for youngsters to be taught skills and abilities outside of the classroom, like character and grit, that would help them later in life.

Paying for education

by The Economist, February 28, 2015

Classified as General.

UNIVERSITY tuition fees separate politicians’ heads from their hearts. A broken pledge by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, not to raise them is widely credited with costing the Liberal Democrats legions of student voters. Both the Labour and Conservative parties have, in the past, reversed similar pledges. But as The Economist went to press, Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour Party, was set to promise to reduce the cap on annual fees from £9,000 ($14,000) to £6,000 if he becomes prime minister. This proposed cut is less good than it sounds.

'Apprenticeships are in the spotlight – let's make sure they remain there'

by The Telegraph, February 27, 2015

Classified as General.

While apprenticeships might be the topic du jour, it makes good business sense to put as much effort as possible into stimulating their growth, says Mark Farrar .

Disregard the latest fashions that you may have seen on the catwalk during London Fashion week. Apprenticeships are 'the new black'. Everyone who is anyone is fighting to prove their expertise on the topic.

Just this month there have been a plethora of announcements from political parties and organisations, including mine, on the positive benefits of apprenticeships.

D-Day for parents: does it pay to game the secondary school system?

by The Telegraph, February 27, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

More than half a million children are due to find out where they have a secondary school place. Some parents have gone to extreme lengths to get their children into the best schools.
Monday is not just a regular weekday for parents of 10- to 11-year-olds across the country. Anxious mothers have circled March 2 in red, are counting down the days, and plan to wake at 6am to finally receive an answer to their prayers. While those without children are blissfully unaware, D-Day is looming for those parents with an eye on the secondary school prize.

Grammar schools call for better funding

by Bucks Herald, February 27, 2015

Classified as 11 Plus.

An alliance of grammar schools is fighting formore funding to relieve pressure on their teachers.

Aylesbury High, Aylesbury Grammar, the Royal Latin and Sir Henry Floyd grammar schools have jointly written to the government’s Education Funding Agency and to parents of the four schools, pointing out that 19 of the lowest-funded schools in England are in Bucks.

It also says our schools are set to receive 15 per cent lower than the minimum funding level across the country – which is causing ‘equal pain’.

Guide for parents to help girls consider male-dominated careers

by The Guardian, February 27, 2015

Girls should be encouraged to embrace subjects that open doors to traditionally male-dominated sectors, according to a new guide from the Government Equalities Office.

Your Daughter’s Future, developed with the help of girls aged 12 to 16, sets out what support girls want from their parents as they weigh up exam and career options. It offers parents information on which GCSEs and A-levels to consider for different careers and contains tips on organising workplace visits to gain experience, managing exam stress and boosting confidence, with tailored information for different ages.

The guide encourages parents to inspire their daughters with role models and case studies. “The most effective role models are ordinary people who you know in your day-to-day life – who your daughter can talk to and may aspire to be like,” says the guide, directing parents to websites such as Sciencegrrl and organisations such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

'Significant' rise in Scottish school meals uptake

by BBC, February 27, 2015

About three quarters of children in the early years of primary school are now taking school dinners, according to figures seen by BBC Scotland.

Since January, all children in Primaries 1, 2 and 3 have been entitled to a free school lunch.

As expected, in most places the number of children eating a school meal has increased significantly.

But some councils are disappointed the rise has not been even greater.

BBC Scotland asked Scotland's 32 councils how many Primary 1, 2 and 3 pupils were now taking advantage of free school meals and how this compared to the situation beforehand when most parents had to pay.

Not all councils were able to provide information publicly or give direct comparisons with previous years.

But the replies indicate that the take-up of free school dinners varies widely from area to area.

Tougher inspections prompt a quarter of headteachers to leave academies in 2014

by The Independent, February 27, 2015

One in four academies have seen their headteachers depart during the past year – prompting fears of a leadership recruitment crisis, according to finance experts.

The research – by UHY Hacker Young, which is involved in auditing academy accounts – shows the figures are higher when it comes to secondary schools alone with nearly one in three heads leaving.

The survey of 100 academies showed that – while some of the departures were due to retirement – a tougher inspection regime had led governing bodies to remove existing heads.
A trial of “no-notice” inspections resulted in 23 of the 40 schools inspected by education standards watchdog Ofsted being downgraded.

UHY Hacker Young said the situation was putting potential heads off from applying for the top job – and could cause an imminent recruitment crisis.

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