Latest Educational News

Privilege: that’s the only area where private schools excel

by Guardian, October 2, 2014

While much of this week’s focus is on the Conservatives in Birmingham, over in Wales the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference is hosting its own small gathering of the (largely) male, pale and stale.

The HMC, an association of leaders from the country’s 243 independent schools, has attempted to shake things up a little, inviting the Labour peer and former Ofsted chief Lady Sally Morgan to Newport to address the gathering. This should have been an opportunity to put forward a progressive stance on private education in the UK. Sadly, what it turned into was a rehashing of a long-held misconception: that the private sector is inherently better.

St Andrews University up but Dundee down in world rankings

by The Courier, October 2, 2014

St Andrews University’s reputation as a world-class university is on the up, despite the latest international rankings suggesting that UK institutions could be losing ground amid continuing fierce competition from overseas.

St Andrews has risen from 117th to 111th in a new global league table.

Dundee University has fallen out of the list, with the nation’s key centres of excellence found in the “golden” triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge, it claims.

Fall in UK universities on top list

by The Courier, October 2, 2014

The UK's reputation for world-class universities could be losing ground amid continuing fierce competition from overseas, according to international rankings.

A number of Britain's institutions have fallen down a new global league table, with the nation's key centres of excellence now found in the "golden" triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge, it claims.

The latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2014/15 powered by Thomson Reuters, shows that overall, the UK is holding its position, with 29 institutions in the top 200, more than any other country except the United States.

London is world’s best city for universities

by The Times, October 2, 2014

Britain has lost three universities from the top 200 in new global rankings, but London has more first-class institutions than any city in the world.
The Times Higher Education(THE) magazine’s world university rankings recognised the capital as having the greatest concentration of elite institutions, with four in the leading 40 and seven in the top 200. This is the same as France and more than China, Japan, Sweden or Korea.

What good are three million more apprenticeships, if the quality of training suffers?

by Guardian, October 2, 2014

George Osborne used the start of the Conservative conference to announce the creation of three million apprenticeships during the next parliament. The pledge comes days after the Labour leader included a “massively expanded” apprenticeship programme as part of his six-point plan for a new government. Ed Miliband said he wanted to see as many young people doing an apprenticeship by 2025 as those going to university – a variation on David Cameron’s previous statement that all young people should have a choice between the two.

Westminster’s commitment to growing the apprenticeship programme is great, but it would be a mistake for politicians to promote apprenticeships and university as the only two options for young people, especially when there are other routes such as the traineeship scheme.

Four trends in tech that every trainee teacher should know about

by Guardian, October 2, 2014

There is more computing power in the average smartphone than the spacecraft that sent the first man to the moon, Gareth Ritter, head of creative arts at Willows high school, is fond of pointing out.

“That’s an incredible educational resource, and every student has one, but schools often try to ban them. It’s absolutely crazy,” says Ritter, who won the 2013 Pearson award for outstanding use of technology in the classroom.

UK universities slip down international rankings

by BBC News, October 2, 2014

Three UK universities have lost their place in the top 200 of a global higher education league table.

The universities of Reading, Dundee and Newcastle slipped out of the top 200 of the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings for 2014-15.

Five others - Heriot-Watt, Keele, Liverpool John Moores University, Loughborough and the University of Surrey - are no longer in the top 400.

However, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London remain in the top 10.

Holding on to the top spot for the fourth consecutive year is the California Institute of Technology in the United States.

Young people lack workplace skills, firms say in survey

by BBC News, October 2, 2014

Young people lack workplace skills such as communication and team working, a study among employers has suggested.

The British Chambers of Commerce survey of 3,000 firms found nine out of 10 thought school leavers were not ready for employment, and more than half said it was the same with graduates.

The chambers called for universal work experience in all secondary schools.

The Department for Education said it was looking at more ways to help schools and businesses co-operate.

Top 100 world universities 2014/15 - THE rankings

by Telegraph, October 1, 2014

The Times Higher Education (THE) magazine has today published its 2014/15 world university rankings, placing the California Institute of Technology in top place for the fourth consecutive year.
Harvard University has retained second place, while the University of Oxford has slipped one place from joint second to third, Stanford University holds fourth place and the University of Cambridge has moved up two places to fifth.

Fear of being branded 'wimps' leads pupils to play when injured

by Telegraph, October 1, 2014

Schoolchildren playing contact sports would rather play on when injured than run the risk of being branded a ‘wimp’, new research suggests.
According to the figures, nearly half of young players aged between 11 and 16 worry that they would be ridiculed if they left play due to injury, while 56 per cent would continue to play on.
The study suggests that the pitch behaviour of professional rugby and football players could be causing these teenagers to take more risks on the field, as more than half believe that playing on when injured should be admired.

Parents using mobile phone trackers for children put them 'in danger', spy chief warns

by Telegraph, October 1, 2014

The increasing use of mobile phone tracking devices is making children vulnerable to attacks... according to the former head of MI6.
Sir John Scarlett said parents had to be more vigilant about children's use of smartphones and tablet computers amid fears they could be hacked...

School leavers missing out on university in higher education 'cold spots'

by Telegraph, October 1, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers living in rural areas may be missing out on degree courses because of the existence of university "cold spots", according to research.
A study by England's Higher Education Funding Council found that school leavers in many areas - including those with large numbers of middle-class families - were failing to move on to university despite achieving good exam grades.
For the first time, researchers linked performance at school with progress towards degree courses identify areas that were sending disproportionally small numbers of pupils into higher education.

Graduates go back home to look for a job

by The Times, October 1, 2014

London’s gravitational pull is weaker for graduates who grew up hundreds of miles away, new research suggests.
Although the capital offers most of the best starting salaries, graduates tend to move back home to work — and the farther from London a student was brought up, the more likely he or she is to seek employment near home.

Essays for sale barely make the grade

by The Times, October 1, 2014

Teenagers who pay hundreds of pounds for work from essay-writing companies are being sent substandard work and risk being caught cheating, the exam regulator says.
Some essays are full of spelling mistakes or pompous language and others show little evidence of research and would barely scrape an E grade.

Public school cadet forces face closure as costs rise

by The Times, October 1, 2014

Cadet forces in independent schools risk being scaled back or even shut down because of charges planned by the Ministry of Defence, headmasters have warned.
Schools that run combined cadet forces (CCFs) have been told that they face charges of £150 per pupil for uniforms, ammunition and rations. They will also lose smaller grants and payments for teachers who run camps or courses.

Educate women and their community will prosper. Deny them education and the world will suffer

by Guardian, October 1, 2014

“If you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. It’s an often heard quote in development circles, and the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly is a good time to pause and consider what it really means.

We know that educating boys and girls, men and women, is morally right. But educating girls and women is especially effective because when we educate them, the benefits are felt throughout the whole community. It’s a magic multiplier in the development equation.

Nicky Morgan pledges to cut teachers' workload

by BBC News, October 1, 2014

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan held out an olive branch to the teaching profession in England with the promise to reduce their workload.

Speaking to the Conservative party conference, she said it would be her priority to "reduce the overall burden on teachers".

Mrs Morgan said parents did not want stressed and exhausted teachers.

The National Union of Teachers has threatened to strike over excessive workload.

Warning of university 'cold spots'

by BBC News, October 1, 2014

There are warnings that a lack of higher education in some parts of England could hamper the growth of local economies.

Maps produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) reveal "cold spots" in degree places and entry rates into university.

These include parts of south-west England and East Anglia.

Hefce chief Madeleine Atkins says universities play a "critical role" in creating a skilled workforce.

Ofqual: cheating pupils buying 'poor quality' A-level essays online

by Telegraph, September 30, 2014

Teenagers are cheating by paying essay writing companies up to £220 for A-level coursework that is "barely literate", the exams watchdog has warned.
In a major report, Ofqual said pupils were attempting to buy work billed as the equivalent of an A grade from online ghost writing services - only to see it awarded an E or even a U.
Essays were "riddled with typos and misspellings", used clumsy sentences, failed to answer the question and even employed "pompous" phrases that were clearly not written by an 18-year-old, it emerged.

Ofqual: online essays sold to A-level students 'littered with errors'

by Telegraph, September 30, 2014

Many essays sold to students online are packed with spelling mistakes, factual errors and poor grammar, according to Ofqual.
Some of the examples include a history essay supplied by UK Essay Writing Service. It was supposed to be of A grade standard but actually achieved an E.
A report published by the exams watchdog said it appeared to have been "written by someone outside England and Wales" because of the use of American spelling and phrases. This included "realized" instead of "realised".

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