Latest Educational News

Students return to grammars with no decision on future

by The Impartial Reporter, August 29, 2014

STUDENTS at Collegiate Grammar and Portora Royal schools are set to return for a new term in a few days’ time not knowing whether it will be the last year both schools exist in their current form. Education Minister John O’Dowd has yet to announce his decision on a proposal to discontinue the two schools and amalgamate them by September 2015.

Cost of kitting out kids for school hits £240 per child – totalling £2.5bn

by Guardian, August 28, 2014

Parents will fork out an average of £240 to kit out each of their children with essentials such as clothes, books, stationery and other key items to equip them for the new school term in September – adding up to a staggering £2.5bn across the UK – research has claimed.

The investment doesn’t stop there, as the cost of keeping under-18s in school once term begins adds up to £50 per child per week. This regular expenditure includes everyday costs such as packed lunches, bus fares, school trips and after-school activities – comes to a total of £526m a week across the UK.

Declare the social mix of your staff, British companies told

by The Telegraph, August 28, 2014

Companies should be told to declare the social background of their workforce to combat a “deeply elitist” culture at the top of public life, the Government’s social mobility tsar has suggested.

Employers should effectively discriminate against applicants from private schools as part of a drive to stop the judiciary, Armed Forces, politics, media and the medical profession being turned into a “cosy club”, it is claimed in a report

Poorer children perform best in middle-class schools

by The Times, August 28, 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.

'The government must reverse the terrible decision of decoupling AS and A-levels'

by TES, August 28, 2014

Most teenagers will now have a good idea of what their next move will be after they opened their A-level results two weeks ago to learn their fate.

My own A-level results day actually wasn’t so long ago and I know first-hand how important it is to have flexibility when studying. As a victim of our country’s appalling careers advice service for young people, I had no idea what I wanted to do after college, let alone what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So, I took a mixture of AS levels: biology, chemistry, law and politics

Britain still 'deeply elitist' as privately educated dominate top jobs

by TES, August 28, 2014

Britain is still a “deeply elitist” society where the best-paid and most-powerful jobs are dominated by a narrow group educated at private schools and Oxbridge, according to an extensive new analysis.

The lack of diversity means that many of Britain's key institutions are not representative of the public they serve, the study of 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders claims.

Schools not ready for new national curriculum

by TES, August 28, 2014

Most schools are not ready for the new national curriculum, a union survey suggests.

More than six out of 10 teachers said their school was not “fully prepared to teach the new curriculum” – which is supposed to be introduced this term – in the poll of 618 primary and secondary teachers carried out by the the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Surge in pupils achieving 'three Rs', Sats show

by TES, August 28, 2014

National primary test results published today suggest standards are improving, with nearly four fifths of 11-year-olds achieving the expected level in reading, writing and maths.

Ministers have hailed the news, pointing out that 81,000 more children will start secondary school with a secure grounding in the basics than they did in 2009, despite the tests becoming tougher.

The figures also show that 24 per cent of the 557,400 pupils, who took the tests in May, exceeded the expected level in reading, writing and maths – up from 21 per cent last year.

Liam Byrne: ‘we need to put higher education at centre stage of policy’

by Guardian, August 28, 2014

Liam Byrne, shadow universities minister, has today outlined some options for reform of UK higher education. In the pamphlet, entitled Robbins Rebooted a reference to the Robbins report on university expansion in 1963, Byrne calls for drastic changes to be made to the sector.

He says we either watch the university system slowly go bust and lose its place as a global science leader, or choose a different path. “Unless we get smarter as a country, we will get poorer,” he adds. “But with big reform of our university system, not big spending, we can build a richer, fairer country.”

Sats results show primary school children improving in basic skills

by Guardian, August 28, 2014

More children are reaching the standards expected of them in the "three Rs" by the time they leave primary school, latest figures show, but tens of thousands of youngsters are still failing in reading, writing and maths.

The results of this year's national curriculum tests – known as Sats – show a four percentage point improvement in the proportion of 11-year-olds gaining at least a level 4 – the standard expected of the age group, in the basics.

Universities could get cash for every poor student, says Labour

by Guardian, August 28, 2014

Universities would receive £1,000 for every low-income student they recruit under a plan put forward by Labour intended to widen access to higher education.

Liam Byrne, the shadow universities minister, describes this as a possible option in a pamphlet on university reform published by the Social Market Foundation thinktank.

'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

by BBC News, August 28, 2014

he UK is "deeply elitist" according to an analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders.

Small elites, educated at independent schools and Oxbridge, still dominate top roles, suggests the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study.

It says key institutions do not represent the public they serve.

The Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference of top private heads called the study "unreasonable and unfair".

Labour urges technical universities for jobs boost

by BBC News, August 28, 2014

Labour is calling for technical universities to be created as part of a blueprint for reshaping the higher education system to support a hi-tech, high-income economy.

Shadow universities minister Liam Byrne says he wants more options for young people than traditional degree courses.

Technical universities would be partnerships with industry and would support local enterprise zones.

Sharp rise in 'Three Rs' primary results

by BBC News, August 28, 2014

There has been a sharp rise in the percentage of pupils in England's primary schools achieving the expected level in the "Three Rs", data shows.

Four out of five 11-year-olds (79%) achieved Level 4 in their Sats tests in reading, writing and arithmetic, up from 75% in 2013.

Results in the new grammar and spelling tests, first sat in 2013, rose three percentage points at Level 4 to 76%.

The government said thousands more pupils were secure in the basics.

‘No proof’ free schools improve performance

by Independent, August 27, 2014

There is no evidence that Government investment in new education structures such as academies and free schools has had any impact on pupil performance, according to a major study.The research by academics at London University’s Institute of Education concludes that effective teaching was a far more likely source for improving performance than school structure.

Good independent schools change lives. There's nothing 'irrelevant' about them

by Telegraph, August 27, 2014

I’ve just come fresh (if that’s quite the right word) from appearing on the Today programme on Radio 4 (from 2:54:30), talking about whether access to the UK’s independent schools should be broadened. I was up against a spokesman from the admirable "Teach First" organisation, who said that allowing more children to go to independent schools was "an irrelevance". An irrelevance? I wish I’d had time to tell the story of the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my professional life. I’d been speaking at an Oxford Union debate about public schools (we won), and was walking down The High with a group of students when I heard the sound of running footsteps behind me.

Cash diverted to fund school places

by The Courier, August 27, 2014

Councils have been forced to cut back on school repairs, building projects and to borrow money to plug a £1 billion black hole in funding for school places, it has been claimed.

More than three quarters of authorities in England say they have not received enough money from the Government to create the extra school places needed in their area in a five-year period to 2016/17, according to a poll by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Britain is 'deeply elitist society'

by The Courier, August 27, 2014

Britain is still "deeply elitist" with privately-educated pupils and Oxbridge graduates continuing to dominate top roles in society, a major new report warns.

Many of the nation's judges, politicians, armed forces chiefs, journalists, TV executives, public officials and sports stars attended fee-paying schools before going to to study at Oxford and Cambridge, it suggests.

EU students fill universities at record rate

by The Times, August 27, 2014

Universities are recruiting record numbers of students from Europe compared with last year after being given powers to expand, latest figures show.
Admissions from mainland Europe have increased more than those from the UK among universities with the highest entry requirements.
The number of students from EU member states is up by 13 per cent compared with the same time last year, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas).

Sixth-formers to start lessons at 1pm

by The Times, August 27, 2014

More than a dozen British schools could introduce a later start time for teenagers to accommodate their body clocks. From September next year, as part of a large-scale experiment, hundreds of pupils will begin at 1pm.
The plans follow a model set in the United States, which aims to introduce a later starting day for teenagers. Somnolent pupils in America have it even tougher than their British counterparts, with many high schools starting their day at 7.30 or 8am.

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