Latest Educational News

Plans for an online school could change the way children are educated but is there really a future without classrooms?

by Get Bucks, October 22, 2014

There are many parents who feel the frustration of the school system from time to time with some opting for home schooling. But what about those who do not feel they can teach their child themselves? JO-ANNE ROWNEY speaks to Tom Scott from Wey Ecademy, an online free school, about why he feels that is the answer.

How to support pupils who stammer

by TES, October 22, 2014

Speaking is central to learning. It enables students to clarify and develop their understanding and reveals any misconceptions or gaps in their knowledge. So stammering can be a serious barrier to education. The British Stammering Association estimates that there is likely to be at least one stammerer in every school, but few teachers receive training on the condition or know how best to support learners who suffer from it. Here are some tips to help...

Foreign pupils 'treated like illegal immigrants', boarding schools warn

by TES, October 22, 2014

Tough immigration laws mean foreign children applying to be educated in UK boarding schools are subjected to “demeaning and humiliating” checks that treat them “like illegal immigrants”, boarding school leaders have said.

Headteachers also claimed that the huge administrative burden of overseeing applications from non-EU pupils now meant that schools were being treated “as a branch of the Home Office”.

Recent rule changes meant that some schools were at risk of losing their all-important “highly trusted sponsor" status – which allows them to receive overseas pupils and vital income, headteachers warned.

‘Our 10-point plan to reduce teacher workload

by TES, October 22, 2014

The Association of School and College Leaders has written to education secretary Nicky Morgan outlining 10 steps that would reduce teacher workload

Nicky Morgan told to clarify Ofsted’s powers to inspect academy chains

by Guardian, October 22, 2014

The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has been ordered by MPs to write to the chief inspector of schools after she publicly contradicted him over the watchdog’s powers to inspect academy chains.

Morgan came under fire over the government’s academies and free schools programme when she appeared before the House of Commons education select committee. She refused to back down from a direct clash with Sir Michael Wilshaw’s position, leaving baffled committee members to choose who to believe.

England’s free nursery places deliver no long-term benefits, say studies

by Guardian, October 22, 2014

The policy of providing free nursery places for three-year-olds in England has delivered no long-term educational benefits and helped only a small number of women into work, according to two studies.

Tony Blair’s Labour administration began offering free part-time pre-school education in England in 1998, and by 2007 88% of three-year-olds were benefiting. Labour has promised to extend the offer from 15 to 25 hours if it wins next year’s general election, while Liberal Democrats have pledged to make free places available for two-year-olds.

Nick Clegg says teachers should be free from ‘runaway train of bureaucracy’

by Guardian, October 22, 2014

he Liberal Democrat leader is to step up the coalition’s charm offensive with teachers when he announces a new initiative to free them from a bureaucracy that he says has left them feeling undervalued and overworked.

In a speech on Wednesday, in which he will hail the contribution of public sector workers, Nick Clegg will say that the government is to establish a “workload challenge”, to examine ways to ease the burden on teachers

Ofsted has power to inspect academy chains, say Morgan

by BBC News, October 22, 2014

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has publicly contradicted the head of Ofsted over whether the watchdog has the right to inspect academy chains.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has often called for his organisation to be given additional powers to inspect and grade the management of academy chains.

But Ms Morgan said inspectors already had the power to inspect these bodies.

More than half of secondary schools in England are now academies, operating outside local authority control.

Virtual lessons a boon for Birmingham school hit by fire

by BBC News, October 22, 2014

Pupils at a secondary school closed by a fire are learning online in what is being claimed as the UK's biggest virtual school experiment.

Yardleys School in Birmingham has been shut because of a fire in a nearby warehouse - but pupils are logging on to the Yardleys Virtual Academy.

It allows them to take part in lessons on video-conferencing systems and online messaging networks.

Deputy head David Pohl says the pupils have been quick to adapt.

Teachers asked to suggest ways to reduce workload

by BBC News, October 22, 2014

Teachers in England are being asked to examine how they spend their working day, in an attempt to stop a "runaway train of bureaucracy".

They are being urged to tell the government what administrative tasks should be cut or scrapped altogether.

Launching the workload challenge for teachers, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says teachers must be liberated from "burdensome workloads".

Mr Clegg says teachers should be freed to spend more time in the classroom.

Universities threatened by marking boycott

by The Courier, October 21, 2014

Courier country students could see their degrees thrown into disarray after a major union voted to press ahead with industrial action.

The potentially crippling action, organised by the University and College Union, could see exams left unmarked and coursework not set.

The union called the vote after it emerged pension changes could cost members £20,000 per year.

Dust may cause peanut allergy

by The Courier, October 21, 2014

A new study has revealed that peanut allergy may be caused by exposure to peanut protein in household dust.

Around two per cent of schoolchildren in the UK are allergic to peanuts while severe eczema in early infancy has also been linked to food allergies, particularly peanut allergy.

Record number of exams re-graded

by The Courier, October 21, 2014

Record numbers of A-level and GCSE grades were changed this year, amid growing concerns among schools about marking.

New figures show that tens of thousands of results were altered after increasing numbers of papers were submitted to exam boards for rechecking and re-marking.

Headteachers said they were not surprised that there had been a significant rise in requests for re-marks this year, as many schools had seen "worrying" results which they did not believe reflected students' true abilities.

Record number of appeals over GCSE and A-level results

by The Telegraph, October 21, 2014

Record numbers of GCSEs and A-levels have been upgraded following complaints from schools over poor marking, according to the exams watchdog.
Figures show some 450,500 official appeals were lodged by schools following this summer’s exams – an increase of almost 50 per cent in just 12 months.
The total number of appeals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has now more than doubled in the last three years.

Christian school ‘must invite imams to lead its assemblies’

by The Times, October 21, 2014

A private Christian school has been threatened with closure unless it invites clerics from other faiths to lead assemblies, a pressure group has claimed.
The Christian Institute, an evangelical campaign group, says that Ofsted inspectors downgraded the school from a rating of “good” to “adequate”, saying that it was failing to promote respect for other faiths.

Who’ll tell the truth about the local comprehensives?

by The Times, October 21, 2014

“So, there was loads of mucking around, and the teacher wouldn’t do anything,” says Drew, a 13-year-old boy on the panel, unaware of how much his words are affecting his audience.
We’re in the hall of one of the more affluent state primary schools in the capital, but things are topsy-turvy this evening.

Are British students getting fitter or fatter?

by Guardian, October 21, 2014

They say you are what you eat. At no point in my freshers’ week do I recall eating a lazy fast-food addict, who drank heavily and thought exercising was something priests did to rid people of demons; but then I am an unreliable witness – I was mostly inebriated.

A recent survey showed that 46% of freshers miss their mum’s cooking more than anything else from home, and it’s not hard to imagine why. My attempts at cooking in my own student days would inevitably produce unsightly failures; inducing indigestion after I was forced to stuff them down at a lightning pace to hide the evidence.

Spot the difference: why do more men teach in independent schools?

by Guardian, October 21, 2014

There are plenty of misconceptions about the differences between state and private education in the UK. But when considering teaching employment options, there are some reassuringly solid facts – including statistics showing clear contrasts between the gender balance in maintained and independent school staffrooms.

While women dominate both sectors, the proportion of men teaching in private schools is significantly higher than in their state counterparts. According to a 2014 census by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which represents more than 1,200 independent schools in the UK and overseas, almost 40% of full-time equivalent teachers in its member schools are men. In state schools, in contrast, the latest Department for Education statistics show that in 2013 men accounted for just over a quarter of teaching staff.

Why the need for a gender divide in school uniforms? Or loos?

by Guardian, October 21, 2014

Hearing that the school would get a new uniform brought a new low. But the head and governors were worried about the arrival of a new academy down the road. So not only were our pupils’ perfectly adequate black blazers now to be replaced by expensively piped-and-pinstriped ones, lest we get “left behind” in the school fashion wars, but we were also informed there would be gender-specific ties – red for boys, orange for girls.

This was five years ago, but I still remember feeling bewildered. In a society that already puts too many arbitrary divisions between people, why create another by making our kids wear different-coloured strips of material?

GCSE and A-level results changed for 45,500 on appeal

by BBC News, October 21, 2014

More than 45,000 exam grades from this summer have been changed after schools challenged the results, up by 15%.

The number of inquiries questioning GCSE and A-level grades rose even more sharply, up by 48% to 450,500, according to exam watchdog Ofqual.

"Every such change has a big impact on the individuals affected," said education minister Nick Gibb.

"There is a growing lack of confidence in the exam system," said head teachers' leader Brian Lightman.

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