Latest Educational News

We need Red Cross protection for all our schools

by Guardian, December 17, 2014

I am in Kinshasa. I am in a college hall talking to a thousand young people about education. I am handed a note of what has happened just minutes before in Peshawar, Pakistan. The children stand as one. Silence. Faces fall. We are exactly 3,960 miles from London, 4,507 miles from Peshawar, but the vast distances mean little. An event – a terrorist attack, as almost always – has united the world in outrage again: 132 children dead, murdered by the Taliban in classrooms and corridors. This horrific attack, the worst school atrocity ever, was on boys and girls everywhere.

Student raises thousands of pounds for homeless man who offered her money

by Guardian, December 17, 2014

An art student living in Preston has raised over £21,000 for a homeless man, after he offered her his last £3 so that she could get a taxi home safely.

Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, who studies at the University of Central Lancashire, had lost her bank card and needed to get home after a night out when the homeless man, known only as Robbie, offered money to help.

The 22-year-old declined the offer, but was so moved by his gesture that she started a campaign to raise enough money to help him get a flat. She set up a donation page and asked people to each donate £3 for her fundraiser, which involved spending the night on the street, along with supporters who had heard about her story through social media.

‘Lots of secondaries have that palpable sense of threat, they’re safe here’

by The Times, December 16, 2014

To its mainly poor, black pupils, Sir Greg Martin’s new boarding school is Hogwarts, but locals are opposing his plans
“Where are we all from?” asks the teacher, a simple enough question with which to open her first lesson of the day, but we quickly get into difficult territory. Where are these children from? The whole class of 13-year-olds bar one boy is black, the teacher is black and yet here we are in a 19th-century stately home, and indeed a part of England, that has not seen such a collection of black people before.

A winter’s tale: don't overlook the value of drama in school

by Guardian, December 16, 2014

With the festive season underway, and work on the Bedales Christmas theatre production in full swing, it was something of a wrench for me to put things on hold for a meeting of independent school drama teachers in London a few weeks ago.

I found myself discussing the importance of drama and the reforms to GCSE and A-levels to be introduced next year. The government is stressing the need to prepare students for further and higher education, as well as employment, so they want to downgrade assessed coursework in favour of end-of-course exams.

Design and technology 'marginalised', teachers say

by BBC News, December 16, 2014

A puncture-proof bike tyre, light-up indicator gloves, a healthy energy drink and an app to find lost bikes - these were the winning designs in the Great British Make Off competition for 11- to 14-year olds.

The brief was to come up with innovations to improve cyclists' lives and develop them with sketches, models and prototypes.

Richard Green, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association, which represents the subject's teachers, said the competition aimed to boost D&T in schools "because it's the only place in the curriculum where practical problem-solving takes place".

Still one of the most popular GCSEs, it was being marginalised by government changes and, without intervention from ministers, may even cease to exist within five years, he added.

Roma pupils need more support, says Ofsted

by BBC News, December 16, 2014

Children from Roma backgrounds in England's schools must be better supported to learn and achieve, a report by the watchdog Ofsted says.

Ofsted surveyed three local councils and 11 schools with a large intake of Roma pupils from Eastern Europe.

The report says head teachers reported no adverse effect on the achievement of other pupils already in their schools.

But some schools had struggled to get pupils to follow school routines and behave appropriately.

‘Lots of secondaries have that palpable sense of threat, they’re safe here’

by The Times, December 16, 2014

To its mainly poor, black pupils, Sir Greg Martin’s new boarding school is Hogwarts, but locals are opposing his plans
“Where are we all from?” asks the teacher, a simple enough question with which to open her first lesson of the day, but we quickly get into difficult territory. Where are these children from?

100 dead in Pakistan school attack

by TES, December 16, 2014

At least 100 people, most of them children, have died in an attack by Taliban fighters on a military-run school in Peshawar in the northwest of Pakistan, according to reports.

Around half a dozen Taliban militants wearing military uniforms stormed the school this morning, with reports claiming that upwards of 80 students were among those killed.

Gunfire and helicopters were heard outside the school as Pakistani troops surrounded the building and ambulances carried the wounded to hospital.

Will teachers’ lists of what wastes their time be taken seriously?

by Guardian, December 16, 2014

What if 40,000 teachers had taken the time and trouble to tell the government, in a consultation, how to reduce their incessant workload and then … nothing happened? It would make them angry, right? Well, get your pitchforks ready – I’m calling it out.

The “workload challenge initiative” is one of the achingly earnest policies designed by Nicky Morgan to win over teachers just in time for the general election. Back in October, she asked teachers to send in their lists of what wastes time and what should be done to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

Councils 'turning homeless teenagers away'

by BBC News, December 16, 2014

Children are ending up sleeping on the streets or night buses as local authorities are failing in their duty to protect them, a charity boss says.

Coram Voice director Andrew Radford says councils sometimes fail to assess children at risk of homelessness.

This leaves children returning to abusive homes, sleeping rough or staying with strangers, he says.

The Local Government Association said children's social care was "one of the biggest challenges" facing councils.

Boarding schools ‘save children from lonely family life’

by The Times, December 15, 2014

oarding schools protect children from family homes where generations isolate themselves with social media, according to the headmistress of a leading independent school.
They also protect pupils from the “ruthless competition” prevalent at leading day schools and shield them from an obsession with perfectionism, Rhiannon Wilkinson told The Times.

Catholics demand apology after Ofsted makes 'unsubstantiated' extremism claim against school

by Telegraph, December 15, 2014

Ofsted has been accused of making “unsubstantiated” claims against faith schools after downgrading a Catholic comprehensive for allegedly leaving pupils vulnerable to extremism.
The Roman Catholic Church insisted the education watchdog was using new rules that require teachers to promote “British values” to make highly subjective judgments about schools with little evidence.

40% youth unemployment fall sought

by The Courier, December 15, 2014

Plans to cut youth unemployment by 40% over the next seven years have been unveiled by the Scottish Government.

The new youth employment strategy follows recommendations made earlier this year by a commission led by one of the country's top businessmen, Sir Ian Wood.

The "ambitious" strategy will look to forge closer links between schools, colleges and employers as ministers aim for a significant reduction in joblessness among young people by 2021.

Tories will cut education budgets by a quarter, Lib Dems claim

by TES, December 15, 2014

Education will be cut by more than a quarter – or £13bn a year – by 2020 should the Conservatives form a majority government after the general election, the Liberal Democrats have claimed.

According to an analysis by the party, school budgets will be cut by more than £9bn , the equivalent of scrapping the funding of more than two million pupils, while £640m will be slashed form the pupil premium.

Lib Dems say the figures are based on the spending, tax and borrowing commitment made by prime minister David Cameron and the chancellor George Osborne. They claim a Conservative majority would be a “serious risk” to the country’s education system.

Year-abroad students say universities don't offer enough support

by Guardian, December 15, 2014

Erasmus, the student exchange scheme for the EU, celebrated a record number of participants this year and launched its expanded Erasmus+ programme. But despite the popularity of international study, some students say universities are providing insufficient mental health support to those living abroad.

For many modern languages courses, the year abroad is obligatory – but it can come with little or no information on wellbeing or mental health services.

Year-abroad students say universities don't offer enough support

by Guardian, December 15, 2014

Erasmus, the student exchange scheme for the EU, celebrated a record number of participants this year and launched its expanded Erasmus+ programme. But despite the popularity of international study, some students say universities are providing insufficient mental health support to those living abroad.

For many modern languages courses, the year abroad is obligatory – but it can come with little or no information on wellbeing or mental health services.

How can schools support students who aren't facing a merry Christmas?

by Guardian, December 15, 2014

It’s Christmas: a school’s season of goodwill, staff in dubious jumpers and, if a recent survey is to be believed, festive plays featuring Elvis. While the run-up to Christmas is busy but merry in the classroom, for some students that excitement contrasts with apprehension. Whether as a result of tough financial times, family separation or illness, some students face an unhappy holiday.

A recent report from the Child Poverty Commission found that absolute child poverty increased by 300,000 in 2010-11 and 2012-13. Experts also expect it to “increase significantly” in the near future.

Poorer students to pursue interests outside school thanks to new scheme

by BBC News, December 15, 2014

Pupils from poorer backgrounds will get help to follow their interests outside school in a new scheme launched by the Welsh government.

The "Pupil Offer" will allow pupils to work with organisations in the arts, science, sport, culture and heritage.

Students in the first three years of secondary education will take part when it is launched in September.

Sports Wales, The Arts Council and the National Museum of Wales will all be involved among others.

Hague says UK universities deliver overseas influence

by BBC News, December 15, 2014

Universities are now a "crucial" part of the UK's "soft power" in projecting international influence, says former foreign secretary William Hague.

Their recruitment of overseas students "enriches and strengthens our universities and our future economy and our influence in the world", he said.

Mr Hague said foreign policy was being redefined by social media and the global reach of online communications.

Christmas 'cancelled' in bid to get children into top private schools

by Telegraph, December 14, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

Pushy parents are ruining Christmas by signing children up for “wall-to-wall cramming” over the festive season to get them into top private schools, according to a tutoring expert.
Some children are being enrolled in revision courses lasting up to six hours a day over the Christmas holidays in preparation for January entrance exams, it was claimed.
Will Orr-Ewing, director of Keystone Tutors, said the timing of tests for many schools – just after the New Year – was putting mounting pressure on children “at a time when everyone else is letting their hair down”.
He called for assessments for private day schools to be put back until February to give 10- and 11-year-olds a proper break.
It comes amid a surge in demand for places at the most sought after schools, particularly in London and the South East, with as many as 10 pupils chasing each place.

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