Latest Educational News

Start celebrating our contribution, elite schools urge

by BBC News, September 29, 2014

Private schools are being used as "lazy shorthand for the social ills of our country", a leading head has claimed.

"It is time to stop scapegoating and start celebrating our schools," Richard Harman told the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

Private schools are part of the solution to poor social mobility, said Mr Harman.

But the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said a small elite still dominates top jobs in the UK.

Meet the A* student who achieved against the odds

by Stratford Herald, September 29, 2014

A-LEVELS are about as stressful as it gets in the already-tumultuous life of an 18-year-old.

Marathon exams, testing topics – and the need to look ahead while saying goodbye to the past.

So imagine being lumbered with a dangerous health condition that you were too embarrassed to tell anyone about?

Cartmel primary school Sats void after papers 'changed'

by BBC News, September 29, 2014

Pupils who took exams at a Cumbria primary school have had their results annulled, after it was found papers were changed after tests had finished.

National curriculum tests, known as Sats, taken at Cartmel Church of England Primary School were examined by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

Some maths and spelling tests from the 2013-14 academic year were altered, the school said.

Heads want ‘injustices’ of bad examiners redressed

by Independent, September 29, 2014

Almost a million GCSE and A-level exam scripts will have been wrongly marked this summer, the leader of Britain’s top independent schools will warn today.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference which represents 250 of the UK’s leading independent schools, will tell an assembly of members today that the teaching profession “needs to jump up and down demanding higher standards.”

Russell Group universities threatened by marking boycott

by Telegraph, September 29, 2014

Academics from Britain’s top universities including Oxford and Cambridge could refuse to mark students’ work as part of a bitter row over pensions, it was announced today.
The University and College Union said it was balloting members over a proposed exams boycott amid claims professors risk seeing up to £230,000 stripped from their retirement funds.
It is believed the action would result in academics refusing to grade students’ coursework and exams later this academic year – causing chaos in universities and even preventing some students from graduating. Unions could also take full strike action.

Top private school headmaster attacks 'politics of envy'

by The Telegraph, September 29, 2014

Britain’s education system is being undermined by the “politics of envy” and a failure to celebrate academic excellence, according to a leading private school headmaster.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, says politicians and quangos need to spend more time curing the UK’s social mobility “disease” rather than engaging in “class war” against independent schools.

Girls’ school head casts doubt on the benefit of single-sex learning

by The Times, September 29, 2014

Single-sex teaching does not automatically benefit boys or girls, according to two leading education figures.
The headmistress of one of England’s highest-achieving schools, and the head of Ofsted, both said yesterday that the benefits of single-sex education had been overstated.

Children miss out on chance to mess about

by The Times, September 29, 2014

Parents would rather hand their children iPads than paintbrushes so that they do not have to clean up after them, a study has found.
More than half of parents encourage their children to avoid messy activities such as sports and baking, the research suggested.
A fifth of children aged seven to 11 did not know what a “mud pie” was and more than half had never made one, the poll by Persil found.

Lecturers vote on industrial action

by The Courier, September 29, 2014

Lecturers in scores of universities are to be balloted over industrial action, including a marking boycott and a refusal to set exams, in a row over pensions.

Members of the University and College Union in 67 universities will vote in the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of action in protest over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the pension scheme for staff at the UK's "old" universities and covers the most selective institutions, including those in the Russell Group.

Headteacher defends private schools

by The Courier, September 29, 2014

Private schools should be celebrated and not blamed for the "social ills" of the nation, a leading headteacher is warning.

There should be "collective pride" that Britain has created some of the best schools in the world, according to Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).

Students: read this before moving into a new house

by Guardian, September 29, 2014

Moving out of student halls, or the family home, and into rented accommodation for the first time can be exciting.

However if you're not clued up on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, problems may arise when you need to move again.

"Remember when you sign a tenancy agreement that it can be difficult to get out of it," says Nadeem Khan, helpline advisor at Shelter. "To avoid trouble there are some key things that students should be aware of when renting for the first time."

So what should students bear in mind as they unpack their bags?

Tories consider online app to target bullying in schools

by Guardian, September 29, 2014

An online app could be developed for children to safely report bullying in schools, under plans being considered by the education secretary, Nicky Morgan. Another phone app could be used to allow parents to sign permission slips for children’s school trips under the proposals, which Morgan said could make a “big difference for mums across the country”.

Morgan also indicated that teachers and parents should be given support to help keep children safe online, and encouraged the use of breakfast clubs and after-school activities to help maximise the use of school buildings.

Hundreds of children fail to reach minimum literacy standard

by Wigan Today, September 26, 2014

NEARLY 400 pupils left primary schools in Wigan borough last year with unacceptably poor reading abilities.

Literacy charity Beanstalk says a total of 383 youngsters headed to “big school” this month having not reached the minimum requirement of their age group: the Standard Attainment Test (SATs) level 4B - last year.

This poor grasp of the basics of the language will then inevitably have a negative impact on their remaining academic studies.

Drop in overseas students blamed on migrant rules

by The Times, September 26, 2014

Universities are facing a worrying drop in lucrative overseas students, vice-chancellors say in a report released today.
The number of Indian students has almost halved in the past two years, as students from the subcontinent head instead to institutions in America and Australia. The report, by Universities UK (UUK), which represents vice-chancellors, blames the coalition government’s stance on immigration for deterring students from abroad.

Bursaries raised to attract top graduates to teaching

by The Times, September 26, 2014

Top graduates who train to teach in understaffed areas could receive bursaries and scholarships worth £25,000 tax-free, the government said yesterday.
David Laws, the schools minister, said physics graduates with a 2:1 or first class degree would receive a £25,000 bursary — up from £20,000 this year — if they start teacher training in 2015.
This will also be awarded to graduates with first class degrees in maths, chemistry, computing or languages who train as teachers.

Ambitious parents duped over public school advice

by The Times, September 26, 2014

Foreign parents are paying a small fortune in futile attempts to secure places at leading independent schools, according to the head of a tutoring agency.
Agencies based in the UK are charging up to £50,000 for poor, irrelevant and outdated advice or services tantamount to “glorified form-filling”, it was claimed.

Hillary Clinton's education plans, exam marking woes and unruly pupils

by Guardian, September 26, 2014

Girls in education. Former US secretary Hillary Clinton has announced a $600m (£370m) plan to help girls around the world attend secondary school. The former US secretary of state revealed it at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Speaking out. We asked teachers to talk about their exam marking this summer. Many told of problems with GCSE and A-level papers saying that lots were sent back for remarking.

How solar power could help schools spend more on education

by Guardian, September 26, 2014

It’s happened. The long summer holidays are over and a new school year has begun – and not just for pupils and teachers. School governors and business managers around the country are meeting to review budgets, and a sizeable chunk of the annual spend will be going on electricity bills.

Households, businesses and the public sector have long felt the pinch thanks to the “big six” energy firms. Even with a government hell-bent on fracking, our bills are unlikely to fall. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Most Europeans can speak multiple languages. UK and Ireland not so much

by Guardian, September 26, 2014

Today is the European Day of Languages. Within the European Union, there are 23 officially recognised languages. There are also more than 60 indigenous regional and minority languages, and many non-indigenous languages spoken by migrant communities.

Did primary school teachers in England game the phonics check?

by Guardian, September 26, 2014

The phonics check, a simple test of reading given to five and six year-olds at the end of year one of primary school in England, comprises words and “pseudo-words” that children are expected to pronounce. In 2012 and 2013, the Department for Education announced in advance what the “pass” mark was to be. Looking at the chart below, with the yellow line for 2012 and blue line for 2013 results, can you guess what the pass mark out of 40 was?

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