Latest Educational News
by BBC, May 8, 2013
Sleep deprivation is a significant hidden factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils, according to researchers carrying out international education tests.
It is a particular problem in more affluent countries, with sleep experts linking it to the use of mobile phones and computers in bedrooms late at night.
Sleep deprivation is such a serious disruption that lessons have to be pitched at a lower level to accommodate sleep-starved learners, the study found.
by Guardian, May 7, 2013
Maths education adviser Steph King suggests some activities for key stage 2 students who are highly able in maths
In my role as a mathematics education adviser for a local authority I am frequently asked to provide training for schools focused on the more able mathematicians. In too many cases these pupils leave key stage 1 above or well above national expectation, then make insufficient progress at key stage 2 and fall short of their potential. Here are my key considerations when supporting more able students in mathematics at key stage 2.
by Scotsman, May 7, 2013
THE head of an Edinburgh private school has called for an end to the “outdated, indefensible and cruel” system of separating children by ability in primary classes.
Rod Grant, headmaster of Clifton Hall School, said many children failed to recover from being grouped at an early age for reading, spelling or maths.
And he said that teachers should be stopped from passing on information about pupils from one year to the next, allowing children to start each new stage of school afresh.
Often referred to as “setting”, the practice takes place in many secondary schools, where pupils are grouped within a class according to their ability in subjects such as maths and English.
by Yorkshire Post, May 7, 2013
Ofsted inspections should be axed in a bid to stop a “toxic” target-driven culture in schools, a study suggests.
Instead, parents, teachers and pupils, as well as inspectors, should be responsible for drawing up annual school reports, according to a paper by the Demos think tank.
Schools in England are currently held to account through inspections and league tables.
But the study argues that the current system is “profoundly toxic” and is failing to improve standards.
by BBC, May 7, 2013
A flagship government scheme to offer free nursery places to disadvantaged two-year-olds could be hit by shortages and delays, it is feared.
Nursery providers and local councils say some areas may not be ready for the national roll-out to 130,000 toddlers across England in September this year.
Some 75,000 places have been found. The government is working with councils and providers to find the remaining 55,000.
by Guardian, May 7, 2013
Demos report recommends schools collect views of teachers, students and parents instead of using Ofsted inspectors
School inspectors' reports should be scrapped and replaced with write-ups by parents, students and teachers, according to the thinktank Demos.
The way the government currently holds schools to account is "profoundly toxic", the thinktank argues in a report published on Tuesday.
by Guardian, May 7, 2013
As the exam season approaches Emily Drabble pulls together a selection of the best revision-related resources on the Guardian Teacher Network
Exam time can be very stressful for students, teachers and parents and the Guardian Teacher Network has resources and advice on how to cope. From general advice to neat interactives offering specific subject revision, the following resources should help make the process as productive and painfree as possible.
First of all find these fantastic exam tips which have been shared by Doctor Wellgood, a website dedicated to helping teenagers and young adults manage their health and wellbeing. From planning, knowledge and memory to dehydration, fitness and sleep - the list gives essential tips to help students through the next few weeks.
Colleges report 106,000 'bogus' foreign students... but we only deport 153: MPs call for crackdown on abuse of immigration system
by Daily Mail, May 6, 2013
.The UK Border Agency took action over just 658 individuals
.Of these, 153 cases - fewer than a quarter - ended in deportation
.Andrew Green said it showed the 'sheer scale' of the abuse of the British education system
MPs have called for an urgent crackdown on foreign students who abuse the immigration system as figures show barely one in 1,000 suspected cases ends in deportation.
Universities reported a record 106,000 cases of suspected abuse by foreign students last year, following pressure to clamp down on bogus applications from those looking to come to Britain to work.
But Home Office figures reveal the UK Border Agency took action over just 658 individuals. Of these, 153 cases – fewer than a quarter – ended in the suspect being deported.
by Telegraph, May 6, 2013
Tracy Beaker author Dame Jacqueline Wilson says her young overseas fans write more eloquent English than UK children.
Schoolchildren from overseas have better English language skills than their British counterparts, says Tracy Beaker author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
The best-selling author, who receives hundreds of fan letters each week, told The Independent that children from Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal all had better spelling and grammar than British children.
by Telegraph, May 6, 2013
Ofsted inspections should be stopped in an effort to stop a “toxic’’ target-driven culture in schools, a study has suggested.
Instead, parents, teachers and pupils, as well as inspectors, should be responsible for drawing up annual school reports, according to the think tank Demos.
Schools in England are currently held to account through inspections and league tables, but the study argued that the current system was failing to improve standards.
Hove vs Gove: Education Secretary Michael Gove accused of ignoring local wishes with plans to build new free school on playing fields
by Independent, May 6, 2013
A plan to build an academy on school playing fields in East Sussex has residents, teachers and even the local Tory MP up in arms. So has the education secretary finally bitten off more than he can chew?
Michael Gove, as Education Secretary, has picked his fair share of fights. From Jamie Oliver to the National Union of Teachers, the Information Commissioner to the schoolchildren of Tottenham in north London, opponents of the Secretary of State for Education have variously described him as “arrogant”, “belligerent” and a “real life villain”.
by Guardian, May 6, 2013
English schools using funding for supporting disadvantaged students to pay as much as £1,400 a day to private tuition firms
Growing numbers of state primary and secondary schools in England are paying private tuition firms thousands of pounds for extra help with their pupils, using funding given to schools to support disadvantaged students.
One national tutoring agency, Exam Confidence, told the Guardian it charged schools up to £1,400 a day. Its tutors give several lessons in a day, and are very experienced. Another agency, the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Portsmouth, one of the country's leading tuition firms, said schools were paying at least £1,000 a year for its services. Both said the number of state schools registering for its services was growing.
by Telegraph, May 5, 2013
Classified as 11 Plus.
One of England’s top performing grammar schools is to scrap its entrance exam amid fears the 11-plus is being undermined by an “endemic” culture of tutoring.
Chelmsford County High School for Girls will introduce a new selection system from September to stop middle-class parents subjecting children to up to six years’ worth of coaching in preparation for the admissions test.
Nicole Chapman, the headmistress, said the existing 11-plus “discourages girls whose parents can't afford tutoring” from even applying to the school.
by BBC, May 4, 2013
Labour will reverse many of the coalition's changes to A-levels if it wins the next election, shadow schools minister Kevin Brennan has told England's exam regulator.
In a letter to Ofqual, Mr Brennan said Labour could not support "a policy that undermines both rigour and equity".
The current system, where AS-levels count towards full A-levels, is due to end in 2015 under government plans.
by Guardian, May 4, 2013
High proportion of teachers admit they lack confidence in GCSEs and distrust those who mark them, Ofqual poll shows
GCSE exams are in need of a complete overhaul, the head of England's qualifications watchdog has admitted, after finding that a quarter of headteachers do not expect their pupils' grades to be accurate this summer.
Confidence in the tests is at a new low after a chaotic shakeup to the way English GCSEs were marked last year, which meant that thousands of pupils failed to achieve their predicted grades.
by BBC, May 3, 2013
Many teachers, heads and parents lack confidence in GCSE grades, research into perceptions of secondary school exams in England suggests.
A detailed survey of 4,686 people for exams regulator Ofqual suggests fewer than two-thirds felt that at least 75% of GCSE students were graded correctly.
Overall faith in GCSE exams appears to have been significantly affected by last year's English GCSE grading row.
by Guardian, May 3, 2013
I won't sneer at a slightly twee list. Exploring the wild should be part of childhood for everyone, and it's up to schools to deliver
It would be easy to point and laugh at the National Trust's newly updated list of 50 things for children to do before they are 11¾. Indeed, when the list was first published a year ago, several hundred of you took the opportunity to do so here on Comment is free. The list is twee, safe and wholesome. It doesn't begin to touch on the timeless urban pleasures of burying a dead pigeon in the park, smashing the window of an empty building then fleeing from imagined shadows in giddy panic, or choking on a first stolen cigarette. It's all a bit Famous Five Go on a Risk Assessment Course.
by Telegraph, May 3, 2013
Children as young as 10 are already putting aside money for "key milestones", with 70 per cent understanding the point of a pension.
The economic crisis has helped forge a young generation of avid savers, it was claimed today.
Children as young as 10 are already putting aside money for "key milestones" in their lives such as university, buying their first home or starting a business, according to a study by insurance and investment company Scottish Widows.
by Birmingham Mail, May 3, 2013
Religious leaders reject Roshan Doug's comments arguing that teaching children RE gives pupils 'inquiring minds'.
A former Birmingham Poet Laureate has stirred an almighty row by calling for religious education lessons to be scrapped in schools.
Roshan Doug, who held the prestigious title in 2001, will outline his proposals during a lecture at Birmingham University next Tuesday.
But his comments have been rejected by the Birmingham Diocese of the Church of England who said teaching religion gave pupils “inquiring minds”.
by Herald Scotland, May 3, 2013
SCOTTISH primary school teachers should only be allowed into the profession if they have a maths Higher, an expert has said.
Educationalist Keir Bloomer believes the measure is a vital part of a wider drive to improve basic numeracy in the classroom.
Currently, students who enter primary school teacher training courses in Scotland only need the equivalent of a Standard Grade in maths. However, they must have a Higher in English.
Last year, a major report found around one-quarter of pupils were not classed as working either well or very well in primary school numeracy tests.