Latest Educational News

Shanghai teachers flown in for maths

by BBC, March 12, 2014

Classified as Maths.

Up to 60 Shanghai maths teachers are to be brought to England to raise standards, in an exchange arranged by the Department for Education.

They will provide masterclasses in 30 "maths hubs", which are planned as a network of centres of excellence.

The Chinese city's maths pupils have the highest international test results.

The announcement comes as a campaign is launched to raise adult maths skills, with warnings that poor numeracy is costing the UK economy £20bn per year.

MPs warn over care homes 'far from home'

by BBC, March 12, 2014

Classified as Family.

Children in residential care in England are being sent too far away from their own communities and families, a committee of MPs has said.

The MPs called for a 20-mile limit on placements to encourage local authorities to develop more care homes.

They also suggested children in care should have a greater say in the selection of their own care workers.

A Department for Education spokesman said "the protection and well-being" of children in care had been strengthened

CBI call to cut tuition fees to end 'skills vacuum'

by BBC, March 12, 2014

Classified as Science.

The Confederation of British Industry says the government should make careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) more attractive.

It recommends cuts in tuition fees for some STEM subject courses and better training for existing workers.

The CBI argues that key economic sectors are facing a "skills crunch", especially for technicians.

The government says it is investing £385m in STEM university facilities and to support teaching.

The CBI employs a third of Britain's private-sector workforce - and a CBI/Pearson survey suggests that 42% of UK firms faced difficulties recruiting individuals with STEM skills and knowledge last year.

Teachers need 'clearer' social networking rules, unions say

by BBC, March 12, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Teachers using social media websites should receive clearer guidance, unions have said, in the wake of several high profile disciplinary cases.

The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) said five out of 21 cases last year involved teachers interacting with pupils on sites such as Facebook.

Its code of conduct says communication should be "appropriate".

But a host of unions, including the National Union of Teachers, have said guidance needs to be clearer.

High profile cases include one in 2012 when teacher Elizabeth Scarlett, 50, was given an official reprimand by the GTCW for Facebook comments about drinking and partying which were then seen by pupils at the school where she worked, Trinant Primary in Crumlin, Newport.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The guidelines are there, they could be a little bit more stringent”

Stuart Williams
NUT Cymru
Using the site, she told a former pupil: "You should pop up to see me or even better we can go out for a drink or clubbing. I'm a very different person outside school I like to party hard - life is for the living.

David Laws vs Dominic Cummings: Education Department goes to war with itself over free school meals

by The Independent, March 11, 2014

Classified as School Meals.

A bitter Coalition row broke out today as a former Conservative special adviser tore into Nick Clegg’s plans to serve free school meals to all five to seven-year-olds.

The outburst by Dominic Cummings, who was among Education Secretary Michael Gove’s closest allies until three months ago, shone a fresh spotlight on the tensions within his department.

It follows clashes between the Coalition parties over sacking Baroness Morgan as the head of Ofsted, over reforming the examination system and over changes to childcare rules.

Teachers condemned for being too scruffy

by The Telegraph, March 11, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Teachers at a secondary school have been criticised in an Ofsted report for dressing too scruffily, the first in Britain to be reprimanded in a drive to raise dress standards in the classroom.

Some teachers at Acland Burghley School in Camden, North London were singled out for wearing clothes that were "too casual" and risked undermining standards, the inspectors said.
After a visit to the comprehensive, which specialises in the arts, they warned that the teachers’ failure to dress smartly could have a negative effect upon pupils' work.

WJEC exam body launches results review for GCSE English

by BBC, March 11, 2014

Classified as GCSE.

The Welsh exams board WJEC has launched an internal review after concerns were raised over results for a new GCSE in English taken in January.

Heads at secondary schools across Wales said pupils had received "unexpectedly low" grades for the exam units.

The Welsh government has said it wanted officials to investigate the issue as a matter of urgency.

The WJEC will also give more support to schools ahead of the June GCSEs.

White British adults 'less qualified' than ethnic minorities

by The Telegraph, March 10, 2014

Classified as University.

Adults from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be educated to a high standard than their white British peers, according to research.

Figures show they are significantly more likely to hold a degree and less likely to have no qualifications at all than their white counterparts.

People from the best-qualified group – Chinese – were around 75 per cent more likely to be university educated than those identified as white British.

The study by Manchester University also found that many ethnic minorities had seen bigger overall improvements in education standards over the last 20 years.

Researchers suggested that the improvements were due to highly-skilled migrants entering the UK combined with an increase in the number of ethnic minorities – particularly women – entering higher education.

Many immigrants ‘are better qualified than white Britons’

by The Times, March 10, 2014

Classified as University.

Immigrants to Britain are better qualified than the existing population — and many of those who settled here generations ago are considerably outperforming their white neighbours in education, according to a new study.

It found that more than a third of people who were born outside the United Kingdom but are now living here have degrees, compared with just one in four of those born and bred in Britain.

Women's Library to reopen doors at London School of Economics

by Guardian, March 10, 2014

Classified as University.

The Women's Library, the oldest and most extensive collection on women's history in Europe, is about to open its doors again in what campaigners hope will be a permanent home, after almost a century of repeatedly having to pack up and move a unique archive of books, letters, diaries, magazines, protest banners, pamphlets and photographs

Plea after school punishes girl over wrong shoes

by BBC, March 10, 2014

Classified as School.

Families struggling to afford school uniforms should be treated better, an AM has said, after a teenager was punished for wearing the wrong shoes.

It follows the case of a Wrexham pupil who was made to study in a "cupboard" for wearing the wrong shoes while her mother was waiting to be paid.

AM Llyr Gruffydd said children should not be punished at school if families cannot afford the right clothes.

The Welsh government said uniform policy was a matter for the school.

The 3 Rs - ready, respectful and resilient: A school has put pupils' character formation before exam results

by The Independent, March 9, 2014

Classified as School.

For 14-year-old Laurentiu Filip, it has taught him how to channel his curiosity. He is brimming with enthusiasm as he tries to make an etching in his art lesson. Jasmin Smith, aged 13, thinks it has given her the self-control to persevere with tasks she has been set at school. Welcome to the Bedford Academy, which has become the UK pioneer for a learning programme from the United States aimed at building character among pupils.

Free school meals scheme will start on time, says minister

by BBC, March 9, 2014

Classified as School.

The government's plans to give free meals to all infant school pupils in England will happen on time, education minister David Laws has said.

He told BBC 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics that the September start date was "absolutely fine" and that most teachers were "incredibly supportive".

Last week, senior Conservative MP Graham Stuart said schools would struggle and more planning was needed.

Gove wants football clubs to help run state schools

by The Telegraph, March 9, 2014

Classified as Schools.

Football clubs should open their own state schools to “give something back” to the local neighbourhood, according to Michael Gove.

The Education Secretary said Premier League and Championship clubs were often the “heartbeat of a community” and were ideally placed to run a primary or secondary school.

Linking a school to a football side can inspire a “positive mindset” in local children, helping to boost exam results and improve behaviour standards, he said.

CBI: universities should set 'diversity targets' to get more women into science

by The Telegraph, March 9, 2014

Classified as University.

Universities should be required to set “diversity targets” to recruit more women into traditional subjects to address a gender divide at the heart of the education system, according to Britain’s biggest business group.

A major report from the Confederation of British Industry will call for drastic measures to boost the number of girls studying disciplines such as physics and maths to a high standard.

Teachers' exams wrongly marked, says schools minister

by BBC, March 8, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Hundreds of trainee teachers wrongly passed literacy and numeracy tests because of a series of marking errors.

More than 700 candidates were incorrectly awarded marks which meant that they passed papers they should have failed in the last academic year.

A further 27 students were judged to have failed tests they should have passed, and did not go on to pass in subsequent attempts.

Some of the mistakes date back at least as far as April 2010.

The errors were revealed in a written statement from Schools Minister David Laws, and relate only to England.

Oxbridge have a state school blind spot

by The Telegraph, March 8, 2014

Classified as University.

My 18-year-old has just been offered a place to read engineering at Cambridge in October. He’s delighted. It’s where he’s been determined to go since he was about 12. He’s worked his backside off to get the grades, and he can’t wait to get started.

I, on the other hand, feel little more than a worn-out sense of relief after battling with an admissions system that, over the past 12 months, has revealed itself to be unfit to serve the needs of the 90-plus per cent of students in this country who don’t go to fee-paying schools. Which, since this is a higher-education institution in receipt of public funds, whose graduates famously go on to fill the top jobs in the institutions that run the country, is precisely the group it should be serving.

Private school refuses to readmit anorexic pupil because her presence would be 'too disruptive to the rest of the year group,' mother claims

by The Independent, March 7, 2014

Classified as Schools.

A private school refused to allow a pupil treated for anorexia in a hospital for a year to return to class, the girl and her mother have reportedly claimed.

Ofsted to introduce new 'light touch' inspection regime

by The Guardian, March 7, 2014

Classified as Schools.

Ofsted is drawing up plans for the biggest shakeup to the way it inspects schools since it was founded, as the regulator seeks to demonstrate its independence before an anticipated onslaught by rightwing critics.

Senior staff at Ofsted say the greatly improved quality of state schools will allow the organisation to use shorter, more efficient monitoring visits rather than full evaluations for most schools, and give more timely information for parents

'Give heads more time' to improve failing schools

by BBC, March 7, 2014

Classified as Teachers.

Heads who take on failing schools should be given more time to turn them around, the Association of School and College Leaders says.

This would "lessen the threat of career suicide" that discourages good leaders from taking up posts in tough schools, its general secretary Brian Lightman says.

There should be a recognition that it takes time to improve schools, he adds.

Ofsted welcomed the contribution and said it would respond in due course.

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