Latest Educational News

Grammar head: ‘Don’t jump to conclusions over 11-plus’

by Bucks Herald, November 19, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

More detailed analysis is needed of the new 11-plus exam before people start claiming it disadvantages poorer children, according to the chairman of Bucks Grammar Schools.

Philip Wayne, who is also headteacher at Chesham Grammar School, will speak before the council’s education select committee at County Hall on Wednesday.

It comes after a breakdown of the supposedly more ‘coach-proof’ 11-plus was released.

It showed that Aylesbury Vale was the worst performing district in Bucks, with only 16% of children here passing the exam.

Grammars dominated by ethnic pupils seeking upward mobility

by The Times, November 18, 2014

England’s grammar schools have significantly higher proportions of children from ethnic minorities than nearby comprehensive schools, figures show.
Four of them have 80 per cent or more pupils from minority groups. Head teachers said that the figures reflected the high value placed on education in some ethnic communities and a greater prevalence of private tutoring to pass entrance exams.

Tuition fees force students to US in record numbers

by The Times, November 18, 2014

Record numbers of British students have opted to study at leading universities in the United States since the coalition’s decision to triple tuition fees.

Art school fees are too much for common people . . .

by The Times, November 18, 2014

Classified as The.

They were places of wild creativity that spawned some of the most successful British artists and musicians of recent decades.Yet the country’s art schools — which helped to produce the Brit Art movement and bands including Blur and Pulp — have lost their spark, according to some of their most distinguished alumni.

Graduates struggle to get mortgages as student loans soar

by The Times, November 18, 2014

Teachers and other low-earning graduates may struggle to get a mortgage in future because of higher university tuition fees, according to the Higher Education Commission.
It says that the much bigger student loans faced by graduates mean that the model introduced for university funding in 2012 is unsustainable and should be changed. The commission, an independent group of academics, politicians and educationalists, called the policy an experiment whose consequences would stretch for decades.

Call to revive school exchanges

by Courier, November 18, 2014

For many children, going to stay with foreign pen-pals on a school exchange used to be a rite of passage, but a new survey suggests that, now, the trip is often only for those who are privately educated.

Overall, less than two fifths (39%) of headteachers say that pupils at their school are able to take part in international exchanges which include staying with a host family, according to a poll by the British Council.

Student loan system 'worst of all worlds'

by Guardian, November 18, 2014

The long-term consequences of the government’s changes to funding of England’s universities have been called into question by an influential thinktank.

A report by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) out on Tuesday said measures taken by the coalition had put the sector on a long-term footing that was “far from clear”, and criticised politicians for failing to address how to safeguard higher education amid “significant and uncertain future liabilities”.

Labour seized on the report, condemning the coalition’s “experiment” with higher education, and accusing it of putting the system on “the road to ruin”.

This half-baked A-level reform is being rushed for the election

by Guardian, November 18, 2014

There’s a debacle going on in our schools that no one is talking about – especially not the government. That is wrong, because it will potentially mess up the lives of children turning 16 this academic year. So let’s talk about it.

For the past 14 years, if you sat A-levels, your final grade was based on a number of exams taken at different points across your two years of study. If you did badly at one, you could resit. Beyond giving more opportunities for improving grades, this process had two other advantages. First, universities could see the grades so far achieved by a student when they applied for a place. And second, students could drop subjects at the halfway point while still receiving a formal (AS) qualification.

Tuition fees and student loans: system must change, say experts

by Guardian, November 18, 2014

Loans that no one expects to be repaid. No limit to the number of students institutions can recruit. If radical changes over the past two years to financing UK higher education have sometimes appeared risky, that is because they are, according to a report published this week.

The report, compiled by the Higher Education Commission – a cross-party group of MPs and representatives from business and academia – warns that the current system of fees and loans is the worst of all worlds, and is unsustainable for the future: “An experiment is under way, with potential consequences for English HE stretching decades into the future.”

Thousands of students expected to march in London for free education

by Guardian, November 18, 2014

Thousands of students are expected to march through central London on Wednesday, to demand that politicians scrap tuition fees.

The demonstration, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) and the Student Assembly Against Austerity, is expected to be the biggest student protest for four years.

Students will travel to London from cities around the UK, including Aberdeen, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield.

A number of coaches have been organised by students or their university unions and will arrive in London throughout the morning. Many in the capital, including school students, are also expected to join the march.

Bring back overseas exchange trips, schools urged

by BBC News, November 18, 2014

Overseas exchange trips, once a rite of passage for teenagers, are now offered by a minority of schools, suggests research.

As late as the 1990s the "vast majority" of pupils were offered the chance to stay with a foreign pen-pal, says the British Council.

Now only 39% of 450 schools surveyed in Britain offer this type of exchange.

Reviving these trips is vital to "tackle a national language crisis", argues the organisation.

It has launched a campaign urging schools to bring back the trips, saying they not only boost language learning but give pupils a taste of life abroad.

University funding system 'worst of both worlds'

by BBC News, November 18, 2014

The funding system for England's universities of tuition fees and repayments is the "worst of both worlds", says an independent study.

The Higher Education Commission has cast doubt on the long-term financial sustainability of the current system.

It warns students are paying more but the government is still writing off high levels of student debt.

"We have created a system where everybody feels like they are getting a bad deal," says the study.

The Higher Education Commission was set up to create a better informed debate on the university sector, with representatives from education, business and political parties.

Eton headmaster moves to global school chain

by BBC News, November 17, 2014

The headmaster of Eton College, Tony Little, is to take up a new job with an international Dubai-based chain of independent schools.

Mr Little, head of the prestigious independent school in Berkshire, will become chief education officer of Gems schools next September.

There are more than 50 Gems schools in 19 countries with 140,000 pupils.

Mr Little said he was looking forward to working with "schools throughout the developed and developing world".

Private and state: the best school for each child

by The Telegraph, November 15, 2014

It’s a Monday morning in Monmouthshire and while 16-year-old Fergus Walsh dons his smart blazer before heading to his private school, sister Itsy, 14, throws on a blue New Look sweater ready to set off for the local comprehensive.
The decision their mother, Liz Walsh, took to educate one child in the state sector and the other privately has ramifications beyond a contrast in uniforms. Fergus gets to spend days amid impressive facilities, including a 19th-century, Jacobean-style pile and new classrooms more akin to plush corporate headquarters. Itsy’s comp has a strong reputation but infrastructure that is rough around the edges.

Oxford accused of delaying women’s access

by The Times, November 15, 2014

The head of one of the last all-male bastions at Oxford University has spoken of his struggle to turn the college into a mixed institution and accused the university of hindering equality.
St Benet’s Hall is one of six permanent private halls at the university, which are colleges in everything but name, but are managed by private trusts under the supervision of the university.

Teacher’s ban on the word ‘banter’ leaves bullies with nowhere to hide

by The Times, November 15, 2014

A teacher has banned the term “banter” from his classroom, saying that the term is being used to legitimise bullying.
Mike Stuchbery, an English teacher at Lynn Grove High School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said that boys often tried to shrug off such behaviour by explaining: “Sir, it’s just banter.”
This might include stealing another pupil’s pencil case, abusing another child with a derogatory term or thumping someone on the back.

Call to liven up language teaching

by The Courier, November 15, 2014

Teachers should challenge British insularity and reluctance to learn languages and teach pupils to speak more than just "functional" phrasebook expressions, according to a leading headmistress.

Good language lessons can help children to gain an "outward-looking perspective" on the world and an understanding of different cultures, Bernice McCabe, co-director of the Prince's Teaching Institute (PTI), suggests.

Language lessons 'should aim for more than phrasebook competence'

by BBC News, November 15, 2014

Language teachers should aim beyond "functional phrasebook competence" and encourage self-expression in pupils, a leading headmistress is to say.

Bernice McCabe, headmistress of North London Collegiate School, will say teachers should be "a thorn in the side of British insularity and reticence".

Her comments will be made at the start of a course for language teachers run by the Princes Teaching Institute.

The aim is to bring "new life" into language lessons, Mrs McCabe says.

In her remarks to be made on Saturday, Mrs McCabe, who is also co-director of the Princes Teaching Institute, acknowledges that the obstacles "are many".

Schools 'should scrap dedicated English lessons'

by The Telegraph, November 14, 2014

Traditional English lessons should be scrapped because dedicated classes in the subject are damaging pupils’ language skills, a private school teacher has warned.
Lessons covering disciplines such as reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar are creating “anxiety” among children and undermining their natural flair, it is claimed.
Heather Martin, head of languages at St Faith’s, a leading prep school in Cambridge, said English was “not something to be analysed and interrogated” because pupils can “learn it by accident”.

Nick Clegg: end apprenticeship 'snobbery'

by The Telegraph, November 14, 2014

The UK has been "held back for too long" by outdated perceptions about apprenticeships and vocational education, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister has said.
Speaking at the Skills Show - the nation’s largest skills and careers event - at the NEC in Birmingham, Mr Clegg highlighted the "barely concealed snobbery" about apprenticeships that has been present for a long time.

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