Latest Educational News

Nursery stops tears at bedtime — from parents

by The Times, September 24, 2014

A state-of-the-art nursery is offering to cosset parents as much as their children.
Clapham Village, in south London, has all the facilities required by today’s toddler, including a dedicated artist-in-residence, an urban beach, a science room and a dance studio.

Less than half of head teachers have faith in accurate marking of A levels

by The Times, September 24, 2014

Less than 50 per cent of head teachers have any confidence in the marking of GCSEs and A levels, according to research by the qualifications watchdog, as trust in the exams system plunges.
It raises concerns about the accuracy of results given to teenagers this summer, as 66 per cent of head teachers did not believe that all their A-level pupils were given the right grade last year and 80 per cent felt the same way about GCSEs.

Job-hunt stunts: how far would you go to get your dream graduate job?

by Guardian, September 24, 2014

How far would you go to get the job you want? With good graduate positions about as common as an actually-famous person in the Celebrity Big Brother house, it might be time to consider a fresh approach to getting noticed by employers.

Recently, cunning Coventry-graduate Alfred Ajani landed his dream job, following an inventive job search. He held up a sign and handed out his CVs at London’s Waterloo station.

My son’s education made him feel a failure - so I founded my own school

by Guardian, September 24, 2014

Kiran Sethi is a designer turned teacher who founded the Riverside school in Ahmedabad, India, in 2001 after dissatisfaction with her five-year-old son’s education. She built her own curriculum based on a collaborative child-centred approach to teaching, aiming to empower students to achieve academically, make a difference in the wider community and feel good about themselves. The school now enrols almost 300 children, aged two to 12, and has franchised its curriculum worldwide. Although she still teaches in the classroom, Sethi also campaigns to make Indian cities more child-friendly and launched Design for Change, a global movement which asks children to express their own ideas for a better world and put them into action.

Many teachers mistrust A-level grades, poll suggests

by BBC News, September 24, 2014

Nearly half of teachers lack confidence in A-level grades, research for England's exams watchdog Ofqual says.

A similar proportion believe A-level marking has got less accurate over the past two years, according to the poll, which also canvassed heads and pupils.

But the vast majority of heads (81%) and most teachers (74%) have confidence in the A-level system overall.

"Results showed a degree of reservation among head teachers about the grading and marking of GCSEs," says Ofqual.

Half of all five year olds are not ready for school, research shows

by Independent, September 23, 2014

Nearly half of all five-year-olds in England have not reached a high enough level of intellectual, emotional and physical development to prepare them for school, new figures reveal today.
Just 52 per cent of children have achieved a “good level of development” by the end of reception, according to updated figures compiled by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, one of the country’s leading authorities on public health and social inequalities.

Universities increasingly take on new students with vocational qualifications instead of A-levels

by Independent, September 23, 2014

Growing numbers of teenagers with top-class vocational qualifications are being recruited by UK universities while the number with A-levels dwindle, according to figures released today.
A report by UCAS, the university admissions service, show the number of pupils with top A-level passes (a minimum of one A grade and two Bs) has fallen by three per cent this year compared with 2013. Meanwhile, the number holding the BTEC equivalent in passes have risen by 16 per cent to 34,580.

Even excellent schools ‘don’t help poor kids to catch rich’

by Independent, September 23, 2014

The gap in performance between poor and better-off pupils is just as high in schools ranked “outstanding” as those labelled “inadequate”, researchers have found.
A study by an Oxford University academic reveals that children on free school meals (FSM) lag just as far behind their richer peers in good schools as in bad schools.

School’s quality does not affect gaps in attainment, research shows

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

Children on free school meals continue to underachieve in the classroom, regardless of whether the school they attend is rated highly by Ofsted or not, according to a paper by a leading education academic. Professor Steve Strand, of Oxford University, says the stubbornness of the attainment gap across all types of schools suggests that the quality of a school is not enough to overcome a disadvantaged background.

Half of children leave reception unready for school – report

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

Nearly half of all children in England are not ready for school when they finish reception at around age five, a failure by society that could impede their progress throughout life, a report by a health and social inequalities guru warns.

Children from more deprived areas are more likely than those from affluent families to fall short of the developmental and educational milestones set down by the Department for Education, according to an overview from Sir Michael Marmot’s Institute of Health Equity at University College London. These include being able to listen to stories, pay attention, use the toilet and dress themselves, and having started to read, write and do simple sums.

Make all state schools academies, says report by rightwing thinktank

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

All maintained schools, both primary and secondary, should be converted into academies in the next five years, according to a report by an influential thinktank. More than half (56%) of secondary schools are now academies; among primary schools, the figure is just 11%, partly because many parents and staff have been fighting battles to stop the academisation of popular primaries.

Universities need scholarship that is more confusing – and more exciting

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

In 1866 the position of professor of mind and logic became vacant at my university. The two leading candidates were James Martineau, a Unitarian religious philosopher and brother of the writer and early social scientist Harriet Martineau, and the 24-year-old George Croom Robertson. Martineau was regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the day, while Robertson was barely known.

Choosing a primary school: a teacher's guide for parents

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

What makes a great primary? Let's deal with this one straight away – it isn't what Ofsted says. All the inspectorate has cared about in the past few years is data progression in maths and literacy. Simply put, children have become numbers in these subjects, and if the school's numbers don't reach a certain total, then it automatically "requires improvement", regardless of whether it is a happy school with an enriching wider curriculum. So if your prospective school is proudly displaying that "We Are Outstanding" banner on its perimeter fence, well, that is wonderful … but do bear in mind that in all likelihood it has been awarded for results in those two subjects, rather than for its delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum which brings out the best in every child. Which is, of course, what makes a great primary school. So "outstanding" schools aren't the only outstanding schools, if you ask most teachers.

Choosing a secondary school: a teacher's guide for parents

by Guardian, September 23, 2014

Choosing a secondary is something of an illusion. In much of the country, there aren't a huge number within a convenient distance of our homes, and when the various religious schools for whom your child is an inadmissible heretic are stripped out, there may be only one candidate left anyway. Even in urban areas, where there are more schools to choose from, that choice is not all it seems. Nearly all schools use proximity in their admissions policy, so whether you get the school you want rather depends on how many other people with children of the same age live between you and its front gates. Nevertheless, parents can certainly worry about the order in which to place their preferences when the dreaded form lands on the mat.

First Aid Kit harmonise with pupils at the Albert Hall

by BBC News, September 23, 2014

In a room lined with huge photographs of the greats who have filled the Royal Albert Hall in the past, the Soderberg sisters, also known as First Aid Kit, lead a singing workshop for girls from local schools.

"As a young woman there are so many things you are told you can't do," says Klara

"Our message is always to do it."

The folk duo, who grew up in a suburb of Stockholm, started writing and performing together just seven years ago, aged 14 and 16. On Wednesday they will be playing the Albert Hall themselves.

Children 'being failed in early years'

by BBC News, September 23, 2014

The future prospects of children in England are being hampered because society fails them in the early years, a leading health expert says.

Government adviser on health inequality Sir Michael Marmot highlighted data suggesting half of five-year-olds were not ready for school.

He said high levels of deprivation and a lack of quality services and support for parents were holding children back.

But ministers said investing in the early years was a priority.

Exchange students '40% go on to live and work abroad'

by BBC News, September 22, 2014

Going overseas to study as a university student seems to have a big impact on making people want to work abroad in later life, suggests research.

An analysis of the Erasmus overseas study programme in Europe indicates 40% of participants go on to live abroad during their working lives.

The research suggests that more than a quarter of students meet a long-term partner on study exchanges.

Ofsted: primary schools 'place too much focus on three-Rs'

by The Telegraph, September 19, 2014

Ofsted inspections in primary schools could be overhauled to place a lesser focus on English and maths amid fears pupils are missing out on a “broad and balanced” curriculum.
The education watchdog said it was considering reforming the inspections process because an overemphasis on the three-Rs often came at the expense of children’s understanding of other subjects.

Teachers considering more strikes before general election

by The Telegraph, September 19, 2014

Parents are facing fresh disruption after Britain’s biggest teaching union warned it was considering a new wave of national strike action.
The National Union of Teachers is proposing to stage up to two walkouts before the general election as part of a continuing protest over pay and working conditions.
It emerged today that the NUT was planning to consult members over the action following previous criticism from the government over the use of rolling strikes.

A foot on any job ladder will suit graduates

by The Times, September 19, 2014

More than half of students would take a job unrelated to their qualification in order to get a toe-hold in the job market, new research suggests.
Only one in 10 students is not worried about future career prospects, according to the survey by Mintel.
It found that more than two fifths of students said higher tuition fees, which rose to £9,000 a year in September 2012, had made them think more carefully about what subject to study at university.

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