Latest Educational News

Comprehensives that beat their private competitors

by The Times, September 1, 2014

England’s top-performing comprehensive schools send more teenagers to leading universities than dozens of selective fee-charging schools.
About 100 all-ability state schools send at least a quarter of their pupils to the most sought-after British universities, and at some the proportion is much higher.

All pupils will be pushed to study science

by The Times, September 1, 2014

All pupils will be expected to take a range of traditional GCSEs including science and a foreign language, according to Nicky Morgan, the education secretary.
Schools are now measured on how many pupils pass the “English baccalaureate”, which incorporates English, maths, a foreign language, science and history or geography.

Biggest academy chain AET criticised by Ofsted

by The Times, September 1, 2014

England’s biggest academy chain has not supported schools well enough and may even have blocked improvements, Ofsted said today.
It said that the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), which sponsors 77 schools, had expanded too quickly and over-reached its capacity.
Ofsted made the criticisms as it published the results of inspections of 12 academies run by AET. It was the fourth time that the inspectorate had targeted an academy chain by mounting co-ordinated inspections.

Faith schools: Government urged to put cap on places for believers

by TES, September 1, 2014

No school should be allowed to select more than half of its pupils on faith grounds, according to an education manifesto launched today.

The move would bring all schools in line with the regulations governing free schools and has been put forward as a first step towards ending religious discrimination in school admissions altogether.

The proposal is contained in a manifesto unveiled by the Accord Coalition, which brings together faith and non-faith groups to promote inclusive education. Accord is urging the political parties to adopt the measures ahead of next year’s general election.

Ofsted criticises ‘low expectations’ at AET academy chain

by TES, September 1, 2014

The country’s largest academy chain, the Academies Enterprise Trust, is failing to give “too many pupils” a good enough education, the schools watchdog has said.

In a letter published today, Ofsted said it had “concerns” over the performance of individual academies within the chain and added the Trust had not provided effective support to many of its schools.

The letter comes just weeks after Ofsted announced that former AET trustee, David Hoare, had joined the inspectorate as its chair.

How to make friends at uni – before you even get there

by Guardian, September 1, 2014

Starting at a new university or beginning a new course can be daunting, especially if you don't know anyone before you arrive. Meeting new people at university is part of the experience, but you can give yourself a head-start by forming friendship groups online before you get there.

Joelle Owusu, a second-year student at the University of Aberdeen, says: "I managed to chat online to students who were doing the course I was interested in. Some were very kind and emailed me honest accounts of their university experience."

London parents want local councils to have more powers over schools

by Guardian, September 1, 2014

Pinch, punch, it’s the start of that month when the kids go back to school after the long summer break. There will be grumbling and trepidation but also many justified high hopes, thanks to so many London schools doing so well. But who do London parents turn to if and when they think something at their children’s place of learning is going wrong? And who do they think it ought to be?

Ofsted warns of academy chain 'low expectations'

by BBC News, September 1, 2014

Ofsted inspectors have accused one of the biggest academy chains in England of "low expectations".

Inspectors visited 12 schools run by the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and found too many pupils were "not receiving a good enough education".

A survey of the group's head teachers found doubts about the ability of the trust to support their schools.

A statement from AET said the findings did not give "the true picture" of the full range of the trust's 77 schools.

Pupils begin 'tough' new national curriculum

by BBC News, September 1, 2014

Millions of children in England will begin a "tough" new national curriculum when they return to school this week.

Five-year-olds will learn fractions and computer coding, while those in early secondary school will have to study at least two Shakespeare plays.

The curriculum is being implemented for most year groups simultaneously.

Teachers' leaders say the timetable is unrealistic, but the Department for Education said its aim was to prepare children for "life in modern Britain".

A spokesman said the government wanted "all children to learn the core knowledge in key subjects - the ones universities and employers value the most".

Top independent school puts lessons free on iTunes

by BBC News, September 1, 2014

A leading independent school is making dozens of its courses available free online, so lessons can be downloaded by pupils or teachers at other schools.

The ground-breaking initiative by Stephen Perse Foundation school in Cambridge will make A-level, IB and GCSE courses available online.

They can be downloaded free through Apple's iTunes U service.

Principal Tricia Kelleher says: "The digital world requires teachers, like everyone else, to work differently."

The Stephen Perse Foundation, one of the country's highest achieving schools, has been experimenting with digital learning, with every pupil having their own iPad.

Poorer children perform best in middle-class schools

by The Times, August 30, 2014

The number of middle-class children in a school has more impact on the achievement of pupils from poor families than the type of school they attend, research suggests.
A review published by the Institute of Education, University of London, said the performance of faith schools and academies was largely accounted for by the socio-economic backgrounds of their intake.

Parent army fights to build school in time for term

by The Times, August 30, 2014

When Fulham Boys School had its funding withdrawn at the eleventh hour, only for it to be reinstated after an outcry, its founders breathed a sigh of relief.
Now the new free school is facing another hurdle — it has only just taken ownership of its new site, two weeks before the start of term.

Boxing punches above its weight in schools

by The Times, August 30, 2014

Schools are turning to a form of non-contact boxing to meet the growing demand for high-aggression sports without the risk of injury.
Boxercise, for which children wear sparring gloves but punch against pads held by a partner, enjoyed a surge in popularity in secondary schools before cuts were made in sports funding.

GCSE results 2014: Independent schools table

by Telegraph, August 30, 2014

The Telegraph independent school league table is created using data supplied by the Independent Schools Council (ISC). Around 50 schools boycott the tables, which means that not every school is listed.
The GCSE and IGCSE results table ranks almost 400 fee-paying schools by the proportion of entries graded A*/A, schools with less than 25 candidates have not been included.

Private school GCSE table: pupils opting for alternative exams

by Telegraph, August 30, 2014

Record numbers of private schools are abandoning GCSEs amid concerns over exam standards and the quality of marking.
Figures show almost four-in-10 test papers sat by independent school pupils this summer were in the alternative “International GCSE” which was created for teenagers from overseas.

Bennett's tenets: My behaviour guides for going back to school

by TES, August 30, 2014

It’s back to school for many teachers next week- including me- and most of us are already walking like shades through the crepuscular hinterland, the limbo that joins Summer Time to School Time. And here time, defying all mastery, speeds up. It surges like a rising river and carries you into the future.

What to do when home rules trump the school rules

by TES, August 30, 2014

Jamie has a partially swollen left eye, but he is entirely unapologetic. His dad says if anybody upsets him, it’s okay to beat the crap out of them. Aidan is less coherent because of his bloody nose, but he concurs with his adversary and vows to sort this after school.

The teacher sighs. Yet again, the school rules have been trumped by the home rules.

Independent schools abandon GCSEs for international alternative

by TES, August 30, 2014

Independent schools’ desertion of the GCSE in favour of its international counterpart is continuing to snowball, figures released today reveal.

Nearly two-fifths of Year 11 exam entries from England’s major private schools are now for IGCSEs rather than the GCSEs, according to the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

The organisation, with members that include the elite schools of Eton, Wellington and Harrow, has released statistics for 552 of its secondaries, showing that their total IGCSE entries increased from 129,288 to 152,170 this year.

Not all knowledge is equal

by The Spectator, August 30, 2014

I first locked horns with Michael Rosen, the former children’s laureate, on Sky News about four years ago. We were debating the merits of trying to teach all children the best that’s been thought and said and quickly got on to the subject of whether the grammar school education we’d received would be appropriate for everyone, or just those who passed the eleven plus. My view, then and now, is that it would. His view, if I remember it correctly, is that grammar schools aren’t suitable for anyone, gifted or otherwise. He had only survived his by the skin of his teeth.

Top-performing private schools announced

by The Northern Echo, August 30, 2014

THE Royal Grammar School in Newcastle has topped GCSE independent school league tables’ for the North-East and North Yorkshire according to new figures.

With 83.4 per cent of candidates at RGS obtaining an A to A* at GCSE and 99 per cent getting an A* to C, the Tyneside school ran up the best points score per pupil among private schools in the region.

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