Latest Educational News

Government should sponsor private day schools to boost equality

by Guardian, July 3, 2014

The new Sutton Trust report out today shows, for the first time, the long-term financial rewards a private education can buy. We've all suspected that attending an independent school confers certain advantages, but today's research, which is based on an independent analysis of data by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), is the first time the value of that advantage has been calculated.

The report finds that children who attend private school will earn £194,000 more on average between the ages of 26 and 42 than their state-educated peers. Even when family background and early educational achievement are accounted for, the gap in earnings between someone who went to a private school and a state school counterpart persists at almost £60,000.

Mid-ranking universities will feel squeeze when student numbers cap ends

by Guardian, July 3, 2014

The surprise decision to remove the cap on the number of undergraduate students that universities may take was one of many steps towards the marketisation of university taken by the coalition government.

Announced in the 2013 autumn statement, the policy will take effect in 2015. It was preceded by raising of tuition fees to £9,000 in 2012 and the publication of the Students at the Heart of the System white paper in 2011.

This is still some way short of what would normally be called a market because of the continued fee cap and the unintended clustering of universities at the top end of the fee scale. Only 10 out of 120 institutions will charge maximum home fees of less than £9,000 in 2014/15.

Student satisfaction with university education on rise

by Guardian, July 3, 2014

Students are more satisfied with their university education despite the imposition of £9,000 in annual tuition fees – although some disabled and ethnic minority students are less happy than their peers, according to a new report.

The study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England used nine years of data collected from the national student survey of final year undergraduates, covering two million students.

Thinktank urges £200m subsidy for independent school fees

by Guardian, July 3, 2014

Privately educated workers earn around £57,000 more by the age of 42 than those who went to state schools, according to a report commissioned by the Sutton Trust that urges the government to subsidise independent school fees to the tune of £200m a year in order to widen access.

The report by the Social Market Foundation calculated that the higher educational achievement and university degrees accrued by private school pupils translated to £193,000 in higher earnings between the ages of 26 and 42. After adjusting for family background and social circumstances, which also affect employment prospects, the private school pay advantage was £57,000.

Student satisfaction 'is on the rise', survey shows

by BBC News, July 3, 2014

UK students have become more satisfied with their university experience over the past decade, a study finds.

It shows a rise in satisfaction levels since 2005, especially in areas such as academic support and assessment.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England analysed the results of the annual National Student Survey of more than 2m final-year UK students.

It shows overall satisfaction levels have risen by five percentage points, from 80.2% in 2005 to 85% in 2013.

Fulham Boys School will open a year later than planned

by BBC News, July 3, 2014

The opening of one of the government's flagship free schools in west London will be delayed due to doubts over where it will be permanently located.

The government has asked the Fulham Boys School (FBS) to defer its opening this autumn, placing almost 100 school places in doubt.

The secondary school has challenged the decision, saying it is not in the best interests of its pupils.

The school had aimed to have 800 boys attending by 2020.

Alex Wade, chairman of governors at the school, said prospective pupils have already attended "transition days" to help them settle in but that they now face a "frantic scramble" to find last-minute places elsewhere.

Grammar schools and technical schools would best serve all students

by Telegraph, July 3, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

SIR – Allison Pearson is right: we should bring back grammar schools, not least to increase social mobility for bright, working-class children. But we also need a network of well-funded, high-quality technical schools offering an alternative route to success.
The idea that there is only one kind of intelligence that is admirable has been damaging to our society and our economy.

'Salary premium' for private school pupils

by BBC News, July 3, 2014

UK children who are privately educated are likely to earn almost £200,000 more between the ages of 26 and 42 those in state schools, research finds.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) study suggests that a significant "wage premium" exists for those who attend fee-paying schools.

It says this may be because these pupils are more likely to get good exam results and to go to a top university.

Ministers say reforms are "closing the gap" between rich and poor.

About 7% of children in the UK are educated at independent schools.

Letters, July 3: Anti-grammar school bias; Ukip rudeness; and controls on Scottish border

by Western Daily Press, July 3, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

My 11-year-old daughter passed her 11-plus and has been awarded a place at Devonport Grammar School for Girls – that's the good bit.

Before embarking on extra tuition we checked the availability of transport to this school from our home in Kingsbridge. We were told by CityBus, which operates the service, there is always plenty of room on the bus. We have now been told the bus is full and our daughter will have to get the service bus which leaves at 6.30am, involves hanging around in Plymouth for a connection and a 15-minute walk. Obviously that's not an option. The council says it cannot help as the school is out of the Kingsbridge catchment area. There are no grammar schools in Kingsbridge. We have come up against anti-grammar school opinion at every juncture.

Is our daughter going to miss out on her education because of this negative attitude? I really don't know.

Comprehensive and grammar school segregation was damaging to pupils

by Derby Telegraph, July 3, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

PHIL GARNER lists a further three things that those who voted for UKIP signed up to "Are supporters aware of what they've voted for?" (June 20), but there's another: UKIP has vowed to bring back secondary modern schools.

In other words, they are in favour of de-selecting children for academic education at the age of 11, in a pernicious system which condemns them as "failures" long before their potential might fully have developed.

New secondary school plans unveiled

by Bucks Free Press, July 2, 2014

PLANS for a new secondary school in the Chiltern district are set to be submitted - paving the way for it to be open in two years' time.

A group of parents has unveiled proposals they intend to send to the Department for Education for the new Chiltern Ridgeway School, designed to improve the choice of secondary schools in the county.

Its catchment area will include Great Missenden, Prestwood, Wendover, Aston Clinton and Weston Turville.

A formal application to create the new school is due to be made in October and Chiltern Ridgeway could be open in time for the 2016/17 academic year if the plans are given approval.

PE specialists in primary schools to double

by TES, July 2, 2014

The number of primary school teachers with a specialism in PE is to be doubled after the government announced it will give extra cash to boost the take up of school sport.

Ministers will provide an extra £360,000 to expand a pilot programme which has seen 120 primary specialists placed into schools across the country.

The success of the initiative has led the Department for Education to increase the number of specialists to 240 in a bid to improve the quality of PE teaching in primary schools.

Children's minister Edward Timpson said the second round of funding would enable PE scpecialists to support other teachers in their schools.

“PE teaching is a specialist role and deserves bespoke support. PE specialists are vital to really embedding sporting expertise in schools, as well as giving children every chance of developing a sporting habit for life," Mr Timpson said.

Stem skills: colleges are failing to meet industry needs

by Guardian, July 2, 2014

Our report, published today, could make uncomfortable reading for further education institutions. Based on consultations with more than 100 Stem-based companies (organisations heavily reliant on science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills), we've found a growing disconnect between the types of competencies sought by industry and the learning focus of most further education colleges.

The three-year review of colleges found that in almost every case, the Stem curriculum was not fit-for-purpose. In the worst examples, up to 80% of the course was misaligned with industry needs.

The skills crisis is a well-aired issue, but forecasting the skills requirements tends to be based on immediate local or short-term priorities. There is no coherent vision and no national strategy.

Funding boost for primary school PE

by BBC News, July 2, 2014

Extra funding is to be made available to double the number of physical education (PE) specialists working in primary schools in England.

The Department for Education (DfE) said specialist staff were vital to ensure children developed "a sporting habit for life".

Funding worth £360,000 would be put towards training primary teachers with a specialism in PE, the DfE said.

It is hoped 240 primary PE specialists will take up posts by September 2015.

A pilot training programme was launched last year, with the first cohort of 120 PE specialists due to be working in primary schools from this autumn.

School transport cuts plan in Swansea sparks anger

by BBC News, July 2, 2014

Controversial plans to cut free school buses to faith schools in Swansea are being discussed later.

Opponents claim religious discrimination and that some parents maybe unable to afford transport to affected voluntary-aided schools.

The council, which is looking to take "radical action" over budget cuts, said it has yet to make any decision.

Under the plans pupils will no longer get free travel to a faith school if a mainstream school is nearer their home.

New schools report a useful exercise

by BBC News, July 2, 2014

Another week, another report on London schools. This time, it's by CentreForum, a Liberal Democrat-aligned think tank. This is the third investigation published in the past fortnight into the happy mystery of why the capital's schools are now so good.

Work from CentreForum is worth noting for two good reasons. First, whether or not one agrees with its conclusions, the think tank is particularly strong when it comes to analysing schools. It has an unusual strength in statistics.

Second, the body is closely linked with David Laws, the schools minister, and Tim Leunig, the Department for Education's chief analyst. The think tank, above all, has nurtured the government's secondary school league table reforms.

Report calls for 'urgent action' to address 'crumbling schools'

by BBC News, July 2, 2014

The UK’s school building programme is progressing at an “alarmingly slow pace”, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has warned today.
In a report that sets out a number of recommendations for the next government, the institution says that “urgent action” is needed to prevent “old, crumbling schools from falling into further disrepair” and to relieve those that are overcrowded.
Of the 29,000 schools in the country, 80 per cent are operating beyond their "shelf life”, according to the report, while more than 75 per cent reportedly contain asbestos. This, it is estimated, amounts to an £8.5 billion backlog of repairs.

Northern Ireland shared education: Three sets of schools selected

by BBC News, July 2, 2014

Three sets of schools have been selected by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland for new shared campuses.

They were chosen from 16 applications and it is expected that 10 campuses will be created over the next five years.

The three projects are Moy Primary School and St John's Catholic Primary in Moy; St Mary's High, Limavday, and Limavady High School and Ballycastle High and Cross and Passion college.

In January 2014, Education Minister John O'Dowd launched the Shared Education Campuses Programme, with a deadline of 31 March for a receipt for expressions of interest.

GCSE computing tasks withdrawn after answers appear online

by BBC News, July 1, 2014

Two controlled assessment units in a computing GCSE have been withdrawn by an exam board, after the answers appeared on the internet.

The exam board OCR has confirmed the units will be "replaced" to avoid the assessment being "compromised".

The board acknowledges some candidates may have begun or even completed the tasks but says students in this position can still submit their work.

OCR said its aim was "to avoid the slightest possibility" of unfairness.

Michael Gove's millionaire school sponsors could cost taxpayers a fortune

by Guardian, July 1, 2014

Michael Gove's adulation for Tory Peer Lord Harris and his academies reminded me of the time I asked Sir Cyril Taylor, then the government's top cheerleader for privatised schools, what Harris's contribution was. He told me that the carpet millionaire had once given him a lift to work in his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. "First he phones round his stores and asks for yesterday's trading figures. Then he phones his schools and asks for today's attendance figures. That," said Sir Cyril triumphantly, "is what he can bring to education."

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