Latest Educational News

Bright A-level students shouldn't get extra cash from the government

by Guardian, August 6, 2014

When is good news not good news? This is the question the new skills minister Nick Boles must be asking himself after the reaction to his recent announcement. Before the briefing I imagine he thought his news had all the hallmarks of a good story: extra funding, encouraging high aspirations in young people and the backing of top performing educational institutions.

But more cash – £400 or £800 a year – for "bright" students (defined as those who get at least grade Bs) to do extra A-levels was met with outrage from the further education sector.

Half of university applicants 'have no back-up plan'

by BBC News, August 6, 2014

More than half of students in England and Wales have no back-up plan if they fail to get the grades they need, finds research for Which? University.

Some 54% of A-level candidates with conditional offers say they have not thought about what to do if their results are poorer than expected.

Almost three-quarters of applicants (70%) have not researched the clearing process for unfilled degree places.

Researchers questioned 1,012 17- and 18-year-olds in England and Wales.

Play 'boosts children's development and happiness'

by BBC News, August 6, 2014

Play helps boost children's language development, problem solving, risk management and independent learning skills, a study reaffirms.

The report, for the Children's Play Policy Forum, found play improved children's physical and mental health, as well as their emotional well-being.

It also found playtime in the school playground could enhance academic skills and attitudes and behaviour.

Eton head: Exam focus unimaginative

by The Courier, August 5, 2014

England's "Victorian" exams system is "unimaginative" and failing to prepare children for the modern working world, Eton's headmaster has warned.

England's "Victorian" exams system is "unimaginative" and failing to prepare children for the modern working world, Eton's headmaster has warned.

Thousands of pupils to learn exam results

by The Courier, August 5, 2014

Pupils and students throughout Courier Country will be among more than 146,000 people across Scotland to learn the results of their exams.

The Scottish Government is keen to trumpet a record number of Higher passes but much attention will focus on attainment in the National courses, which have replaced Standard Grades.

The pass rate at National 5 is 81.1%. These courses are broadly equivalent to the old Standard Grade credit level and rely on coursework and a final examination.

Record number of Highers awarded

by The Courier, August 5, 2014

School pupils have been awarded a record number of Highers - despite a slight drop in the overall pass rate for the exams.

School pupils have been awarded a record number of Highers - despite a slight drop in the overall pass rate for the exams.

More than 140,000 youngsters across the country are receiving their results today, the first time the new National 4 and 5 qualifications have been awarded.

Eton headmaster: 'Victorian' exam system is 'unimaginative'

by TES, August 5, 2014

England’s exam system is “Victorian” and “unimaginative”, failing to prepare children for the modern world, the headmaster of Eton College has claimed.

Tony Little also said that English politicians should be wary of copying the highly academic model of education systems in the Far East, describing them as "a straightjacket".

Mr Little, who will retire next year from the Eton headship, added that schools focusing excessively on exam performance risk prioritising results over the broader process of education.

Eton headmaster: England's exam system unimaginative and outdated

by Guardian, August 5, 2014

England's "unimaginative" exam system is little changed from Victorian times and fails to prepare young people for modern working life, Eton's headmaster has said.

Tony Little said there was a risk that "misleading" test scores may become more important than education itself, and warned against a narrow focus on topping rankings.

"There is a great deal more to an effective and good education than jostling for position in a league table," Little wrote in a Viewpoint article for the Radio Times.

Working at a free school put me off teaching

by Guardian, August 5, 2014

I had wanted to teach since I was 15. After getting a good degree in history and a year's internship, as well as voluntary work in primary schools, I applied to become a teaching assistant in a free school. I joined in its second year, with the understanding that the school would fund me on a teacher training programme. The chairman persuasively stated his aim, which was to give disadvantaged children a good education. I believed I was part of something new and exciting.

How Michael Gove's reforms drove me out of teaching

by Guardian, August 5, 2014

am an outstanding teacher. I'm one of those meant to be thoroughly able to weather the storm of constant change to the education system. If you believe much of the media, the 40% of teachers who leave the profession in their first five years are failing as the coalition's education policies pick off the weak and the lazy from the back of the herd. Yet, here I am, a 30-year-old outstanding teacher, and I've just left the profession.

First candidates receive new school qualifications

by BBC News, August 5, 2014

The first candidates to study for the qualifications that have replaced Standard Grades are receiving their results today.

The new qualifications - mostly studied for by fourth year students - represent the biggest shake-up to the exam system for a generation.

They are among 140,000 students across Scotland receiving their results.

Meanwhile, the number of Higher passes has reached a record level although the pass rate itself fell slightly.

Victorian exam system fails pupils, says Eton headmaster

by BBC News, August 5, 2014

Exams in England are "unimaginative, little changed from Victorian times" and fail to ready pupils for the modern workplace, warns Eton's headmaster.

Too much focus on grades means exams can eclipse an all-round education, argues Tony Little, in the Radio Times.

Mr Little says the pressure is on for England to emulate highly academic school systems in east Asia.

Labour slams after-school arts slump

by BBC News, August 4, 2014

The government is to blame for a slump in the number of primary pupils in England taking after-school arts classes, Labour says.

The numbers taking extra music, dance and drama classes have dropped by a third since 2010.

The fall is particularly marked among ethnic minority pupils, who have become less likely to participate since 2010.

Arts classes primary pupils 'down'

by Harborough Mail , August 4, 2014

Numbers of primary pupils taking part in artistic activities after school have fallen by a third since the general election, according to a new Labour analysis of official figures.

And the figures show a widening gap between the participation of white children and those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in after-school music, drama and dance classes.

Facebook helping tutors to reach students

by Yorkshire Post, August 4, 2014

THE NORTHERN College’s use of social media as a way of helping students to learn has been praised by inspectors.

It has taken part in a national research program to apply social media to learning supported by the Education Foundation.

As part of this, teachers at the Northern College have been using Facebook as a way of maintaining contact with students when they are not in the classroom.

The site has been used to share articles, journals and videos to help the Northern College students with their studies and also to build a community of people who have been to the college to help support current students.

Free School Meals: How to make them as palatable as possible for children

by Parentdish, August 4, 2014

This autumn millions of infant age school children in England will be tucking into school dinners that won't have cost their parents a penny – not a sausage. Free school meals will be provided for all reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils from September, with similar arrangements being introduced by the Scottish Government in January 2015. Those in Northern Ireland and Wales only qualify under certain circumstances so far – it will be up to education authorities there to decide whether to introduce an equivalent scheme in future.

Steep fall in primary school children taking part in arts' clubs since 2010

by Telegraph, August 4, 2014

The number of primary school children taking part in after-school arts classes has fallen by a third since the Coalition was formed.
Figures show that only in three primary school children now take part in music activities – compared to just over half in 2010.
Similarly, the proportion of children doing drama and dance classes has fallen from 49 per cent and 45 per cent respectively to just 33 per cent for both.

How to be A* parents when A-level results day arrives

by The Times, August 4, 2014

A-level results day is one of the most nerve-racking of a teenager’s life and guides abound on how school leavers can cope with the stress of what to do if results do not go as planned.
Now a psychology professor has taken pity on their poor parents. Harriet Gross, of Lincoln University, has published advice for parents, giving them tips for the build-up to the big day, on Thursday, August 14

Do athletes make better students?

by Guardian, August 4, 2014

Chasing deadlines and running late to lectures are the most strenuous forms of exercise many students engage in. Even the thought of balancing a sporting career with a degree is enough to make some of us sweat.

But evidence suggests that juggling the two can benefit both academic and sporting performance. Research published in The International Journal of the History of Sport last year found that having "dual careers" provides motivation for training and preparation, stimulating athletes intellectually and relieving stress.

What to do if your A-level grades are even better than you'd hoped

by Guardian, August 4, 2014

It's well known that if you're a school-leaver hoping to go to university and you miss out on your predicted grades, you can find an alternative place through Clearing - some 11% of students did so last year. But what if, come results day, you've done better than expected?

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