Latest Educational News

Only Labour can finish Rab Butler’s education reforms

by Guardian, August 18, 2014

It was a concluding paragraph that sent the left into paroxysms of rage. “As that descent took its course the illusions and the dreams of 1945 would fade one by one – the imperial and Commonwealth role, the world power role, British industrial genius, and, at last, New Jerusalem itself, a dream turned to a dank reality of a segregated, subliterate, unskilled, unhealthy and institutionalised proletariat hanging on the nipple of state maternalism.”

Oversized classes up 200% since 2010 says Labour

by BBC News, August 18, 2014

The number of infant pupils taught in oversized classes has "spiralled by 200%" since 2010, says Labour.

The party says money that could be spent on more primary places is being used to pursue David Cameron's "pet project of expensive free schools".

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says data shows 93,000 pupils in England are in classes of more than 30, with 446 in classes of more than 70.

Children in care are getting ever better grades at school

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Ashley John-Baptiste's moving piece ("Foster children need more than cash", Comment) struck a real chord with me. Having grown up with more than 80 foster children, I saw many struggle with the same challenges that he describes. This is what led me into politics and why I have made it my priority to improve the prospects of children in care.

Paying extra for private school does not guarantee a better paying job out of university, new study found

by Daily Mail, August 17, 2014

Paying extra money for private school fees does not guarantee a better paying job out of university, new research has shown.
The study has found there is no long-term employment advantages for private school students, with public school graduates earning just as much in equally prominent jobs.
A Canberra University research fellow, Jenny Chesters, found that even though private school students were more likely to attend prestigious Australian universities, it would not lead to a higher income.

A-level results: Stortford school is top comprehensive in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

by Herts and Essex Observer, August 17, 2014

A BISHOP'S Stortford school is the top-performing comprehensive in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for A-level results, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Hockerill Anglo-European College was 15th in the list of 365 state schools, which were ranked in order of the percentage of students receiving an A*, A or B grade.

Since the Dunmow Road international boarding school offers its 800 pupils the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of A-levels, its IB results were translated into the equivalent A-level grades for the purposes table.

Numbers fall in separate sciences

by The Courier, August 17, 2014

A bid to encourage teenagers to study traditional academic subjects may have inadvertently resulted in fewer youngsters taking GCSEs in the separate sciences, it is suggested.

Figures show that exam entries for biology, chemistry and physics have fallen this year, after years of increases.

Does the passion of Michael Gove still burn bright?

by Telegraph, August 17, 2014

In his finest screen role, as the inspirational teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams urges his pupils to confront mortality and to squeeze the marrow out of their time on earth: “Carpe… Carpe diem… Seize the day, boys… Make your lives extraordinary.”

Free tablet computers and £900 cash on offer in scramble to woo students

by Independent, August 17, 2014

Students with A-level grades as low as three Es are being offered free tablet computers to sign up for courses, as competition to fill places hots up between universities.
The University of East London is offering would-be students a package worth £1,200, including a tablet computer and £900 to spend on books and travel. It is one of several universities offering inducements to this year's A-level candidates since the number of places on offer this autumn has risen to more than a million.

Shakespeare: The play's the thing for teaching children morality lessons

by TES, August 17, 2014

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so – according to Hamlet, at least. It may seem counter-intuitive to use the complex language of 17th-century England to introduce the already difficult topics of right and wrong, yet this is exactly what one teacher is advising schools to do.

Writing in the 15 August issue of TES, Karen Kelleher, a teacher at John Donne Primary School in Peckham, South London, advocates using the works of William Shakespeare to help pupils learn about morality.

Replacing Ofsted would improve the quality of provision in colleges

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Ofsted recently announced it's going to stop graded lesson observations in colleges as part of a pilot scheme from September 2014. The news follows a report by the University and College Union that raised serious questions on whether the practice of grading lessons was fit for purpose.

Although I welcome the decision, the problems with further education and Ofsted run much deeper than lesson observations. If we are going to truly improve the quality of provision in colleges, we need a complete overhaul of the system.

Schools are still out for summer, but it's time to count the cost of uniforms

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

With only a few weeks to go until the start of the next academic year, thousands of families are facing up to a school uniform bill that can, in some cases, be more than £500 per state school child.

While supermarkets have been steadily cutting the cost of uniforms (last month Aldi launched a basic uniform for £4), the rise of academies and free schools, which often require parents to buy pricey, branded garments from one agreed supplier, have increased the financial burden for many parents.

There is much more still to do to get poor students into higher education

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Believe the hype and Britain is on the verge of a great levelling. Of course it is good news to learn that 1,400 more students from disadvantaged homes will be going to university this year than last. But it is hardly the end of the class divide, as some reports have claimed; 1,400 represents a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of thousands from more advantaged homes. The gulf in expectation and life chances between rich and poor remains enormous.

Academies run by 'superhead' received advance notice of Ofsted checks

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Academies run by a superhead praised by the government for producing schools that "outperform the rest" of the state sector had secret advance notice of Ofsted inspection dates, the Observer can reveal.

Evidence uncovered by this newspaper suggests that three schools in Norfolk, all overseen by Dame Rachel de Souza, knew of impending visits by inspectors days, and sometimes weeks, before Ofsted arrived.

Average student has 9-mile commute to get to lectures

by The Times, August 16, 2014

The average student living off campus has to contend with an 18-mile round trip to lectures, research suggests.
Students spend on average £485 a year travelling to and from university, or an estimated £667 million in total, according to the study by Santander.

We don’t need no education, say pupils with business brain

by The Times, August 16, 2014

Record numbers of bright pupils are shunning university and opting for enticing apprenticeships that offer salaries of up to £30,000 on completion.
Soaring university fees, student debt and the uncertainty of finding a job when they graduate are pushing many A-level students away from higher education and into training programmes with big companies including PwC and National Grid.

Hundreds use clearing to grab top university places

by The Times, August 16, 2014

Hundreds of teenagers have secured places through clearing at Russell Group universities as some lowered their entry requirements in a scramble to fill course vacancies.
Places were offered with A-level entry grades of three Bs or even two Bs and a C in humanities subjects at prominent universities. Some disappeared fast but others remained available last night, while a wide range of vacancies was open to applicants with As and Bs.

Lucy Mangan: sitting exams is a game, and the game is rigged

by Guardian, August 16, 2014

I was good at exams, and so I bloody well should have been. The system was set up for people like me – thorough, plodding, uncreative, capable of taking in great mounds of received wisdom and regurgitating them, undigested, unquestioned, unprocessed in three-hour bursts of neat handwriting.

Parents worry their child won't make friends at school

by BBC News, August 16, 2014

Parents worry their children will not make friends when they start at school for the first time, says the charity Action for Children.In a survey of more than 2,200 British parents, 33% said their main worry was their child would not make friends. This compares with 11% who said their main concern was that their children would struggle with their school work. And one in ten said they were worried about their child not asking for help when they needed it.

UK university students set up to 'fail' by pricey digs

by BBC News, August 15, 2014

University students in the UK are being "set up to fail" as accommodation costs leave them with as little as £40 a week to live on, a charity has warned.

The Money Charity said many students were being forced into work just to afford housing, based on a survey of 150 universities.

It called for the government to set up an official body to ensure the allowance was "enough to live on".

Britain's students are facing a "cost of living crisis", agreed the NUS.

A-LEVELS: Lincolnshire schools above national average

by Spalding Today, August 15, 2014

University Academy Holbeach and Spalding High School are two of 12 schools in Lincolnshire to score an outstanding 100 per cent pass rate in today’s A-Level results.

Provisional results from 37 out of 38 sixth forms show an increase in higher level passes and, despite a first drop in the national pass rate for 32 years, indications from Lincolnshire schools are that there were 98.6% of A-levels passes, beating the national figure by 0.6%.


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