Latest Educational News

Secret ex-student: my teacher helped me talk about being abused - and saved my life

by The Guardian, July 2, 2016

I want to thank Mrs Smith. She was the only one who saw the scared child behind my bravado and didn’t just dismiss me as naughty and obnoxious

I’d been drawing faces in my exercise book for an entire double lesson. Mrs Smith had asked me to pay attention several times and kept me back after class. I was ready for the standard reprimands: “If only you made more of an effort. Don’t assume because you find it easy everyone else does.”

Shakespeare Schools Festival: Rough magic brewing in Sutton

by Telegraph, July 2, 2016

Classified as General.

The wind seems to be howling and there’s a lot of noise, shouting, atmospheric writhing and a sense of danger.

Then Marcus Ayim, his purple velvet cloak swirling, holds up a cane and suddenly there’s quiet as he frowns and takes control. This is Malmesbury Primary School, Morden, and its production of The Tempest.

The role of universities is changing - we can't just focus on academia

by Telegraph, July 2, 2016

Classified as General.

A new wave of students will be graduating over the next few weeks. They’ll be attending award ceremonies knowing they face a challenging future, entering the workplace at a time of turmoil and upheaval.

But, as the country struggles to resolve its relationship with the EU, one thing we know for sure is that improving UK productivity and competitiveness is now more important than ever. And that depends on graduates with the right skills and mindset to compete in the high-tech global knowledge economy.

Thousands of graduates working in jobs that don't require any qualifications

by Independent, July 1, 2016

Classified as General.

Record numbers of new graduates surveyed said they were in work or further study, but figures suggest the gender pay gap for first jobs is rising

Over 50,000 new graduates are in non-graduate jobs, including lollypop ladies, factory workers and hospital porters, new figures have revealed, leading experts to question the value of costly university degrees in the Brexit climate.

While the proportion of UK university leavers going on to work or further study hit a record high this year, employment data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) suggests that more graduates are finding work wherever possible to avoid unemployment – even if that means taking jobs unrelated to their course.

Non-professional industries listed by the HESA included jobs as secretaries and clerks, but close to 10,000 graduates were also involved in “elementary jobs” such as retail assistants, security guards and farm workers in the first six months after graduating.

Despite 75 per cent of graduates surveyed confirming they were in UK-based work, nearly 14,000 new graduates remained unemployed.

Why I'm glad corporal punishment is now only found in books

by The Guardian, July 1, 2016

It’s hard to believe that just 30 years ago teachers used to routinely hit children who got out of line. Author Jon Walter on what it was like to fear physical punishment at school when he was growing up

It’s 30 years since the use of corporal punishment was outlawed in British state schooling.

State school teachers overwhelmingly against selection system, according to government survey

by The Guardian, July 1, 2016

Teachers in states schools in Guernsey are overwhelmingly against the selection system, according to a new government survey.

72% of education professionals objected to the process in the survey issued by The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture.

Out of the 472 professionals who responded, only 28% were in favour of selection at aged 11.

The Committee said it will now review the results alongside the recent teacher-led survey, as part of its considerations of the future of secondary education.

Children at nearly 90 London secondary schools exposed to dangerous air pollution

by The Guardian, July 1, 2016

Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Southwark have highest number of secondaries in breach of legal limits of NO2, new research for the mayor reveals

Children at nearly 90 secondary schools in London breathe illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution, a report for the mayor reveals.

Thousands of graduates working in jobs that don't require any qualifications

by Independent, July 1, 2016

Classified as General.

Record numbers of new graduates surveyed said they were in work or further study, but figures suggest the gender pay gap for first jobs is rising

Over 50,000 new graduates are in non-graduate jobs, including lollypop ladies, factory workers and hospital porters, new figures have revealed, leading experts to question the value of costly university degrees in the Brexit climate.

Weyfield Primary: Inquiry call over 'unsafe' school

by BBC, July 1, 2016

A councillor has called for an investigation after Ofsted found a primary school was "unsafe and chaotic".
Its report rated Wayfield Primary School in Chatham, Kent, "inadequate" and warned the safety and well-being of the 230 pupils was "at risk".
Ofsted described leadership and management as "weak at all levels".

EU students free tuition to continue this year

by BBC, July 1, 2016

Classified as General.

Free tuition will continue for EU students who are enrolled or preparing to study in Scotland this year.
John Swinney, who is Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary for Scotland, reassured students in a joint statement.
He said there was no change in funding just now and anyone eligible would remain so during their course.

Single-sex sixth forms deprive teens of a vital opportunity to interact and collaborate with the opposite gender

by Independent, July 1, 2016

Classified as General.

I always wonder, when supporters of single-sex schools say men are from Mars and women from Venus, how we all got to Earth. Was it on a sort of giant spaceship? If archaeologists were to look hard enough, would they find its remains, deep underground beside the ancient aeroplanes and primeval motorbikes? It would be very convenient: you could negate the idea of nurture and perpetuate stereotypes at a single sitting.

Italian PM suggests UK students could have EU passports

by BBC News, June 30, 2016

Classified as General.

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has suggested that UK students wanting to study in Europe could receive passports from other European Union countries.
He was responding to concerns that UK students might find it more difficult to study at European universities after the referendum vote.
Mr Renzi said he wanted to find a way for UK students to gain passports while they studied for degree courses.
The UK universities minister has sought to reassure EU students in the UK.
Jo Johnson has told EU students already at UK universities and those starting in the autumn that their funding would be honoured for the duration of their courses.
The proposals from the Italian prime minister, in comments to the BBC's Nick Beake in Brussels, suggested there could be plans to lessen any disruption for UK students who wanted to study at European universities.

University of Law to offer out-of-work graduates half their tuition fees back in cash

by The independant, June 30, 2016

Classified as General.

Half price discount also on offer for postgraduate courses as university strives for 'student success'

A university has promised to offer graduates half their tuition fees back in cash if they don’t land a job nine months after completing their studies.

The University of Law (ULaw) says its new ‘100% for You’ initiative will also offer a half-price discount to its out-of-work graduate lawyers should they wish to pursue a postgraduate course.

ULaw has described its move as “market-changing” which puts students “firmly at the heart” as part of the university’s new vision for “student success.”

The tuition fees refund, however, applies only to graduates from the Legal Practice Course (LPC) course.

Depending on which one of the nine centres around the country students choose to attend, LPC fees can cost up to £15,200, meaning unemployed grads could potentially get back £7,600.

The full-time course lasts for just over ten months, and is assessed by a variety of methods including a combination of open and closed book assessments for core practice areas, deadline-driven research and writing assignments, oral presentations, and submission of a file of work for elective subjects.

NUT strike: why are teachers set to strike on July 5?

by Daily Telegraph, June 29, 2016

Classified as General.

On July 5, members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will walk out in what will be the union's first national day of action since 2014.

Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of action in order to address school funding and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts.

In the NUT’s ballot, 91.7 per cent voted in favour of strike action, with a 24.5 per cent turnout.

It will be the latest in a series of strikes that the union has called to tackle issues that have remained similar for many years.

But in a letter written to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, on June 28, the NUT highlighted further reasons for striking, stating that the note was a "last appeal" before action was taken.

With strike action set to affect thousands of children across the UK, what reasons have teachers given for the decision?

Haven't we been here before?

Yes and no. In July 2014, NUT members took part in a day of action alongside members of UNISON, UNITE, GMB, PCS and the FBU.

At the time, the NUT cited pay, pensions and workload as three key reasons for walking out. According to the union, pension contribution increases and pay restraint had meant that teachers had seen a 15 per cent fall in the value of their take home pay.

Performance related pay (PRP) was also a key issue, along with the oft-quoted 60 hour working week.

So what's new?

More English schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted

by BBC News, June 29, 2016

Classified as General.

There has been a slight increase in the proportion of schools and academies in England judged good or outstanding.
About 86% were ranked in these top two categories of school effectiveness by Ofsted, up from 84% in August.
Primary schools performed better, with 87% judged good or outstanding, compared with 76% of secondaries.
There are still big regional variations, with fewer good schools in large parts of northern England and the Midlands.
In these areas, there are 17 local authority areas where fewer than 60% of secondary schools are judged good or outstanding.
In the south and east of England, there are seven local authorities in this situation.

Funding for EU students in UK to be honoured after Brexit, Universities Minister confirms

by Independent, June 28, 2016

Students from the European Union starting university in the UK this autumn will have their student loans funding honoured, University Minister Jo Johnson has confirmed.

The Student Loans Company said it has sought to reassure anxious student and applicants from home and abroad about how the EU referendum results might affect the funding of their courses.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “Current students and this autumn's applicants will continue to receive student finance for duration of their course”.

“[The] UK welcomes EU students,” he added.

University groups expressed their concerns over the implications of Brexit following Friday’s result, particularly for their EU students.

Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group said leaving the EU will create “significant uncertainty” for Britain’s leading universities.

Project Bloks: Google's latest effort to encourage kids to code

by Guardian Education , June 28, 2016

From scribbling robots to music-making devices, tech giant’s initiative hopes to spark a new wave of ‘tangible programming’ toys and kits for children.

“How many robots can I control with this? In theory, up to 255 at one time. That really is a robot army.”

I’m in a room at Google’s London headquarters listening to creative technologist Zebedee Pedersen show off the company’s latest research project. Despite how it sounds, world domination isn’t on the agenda.

There are only two robots in the room, and right now they’re more concerned with drawing neat triangles on pieces of paper, rather than enslaving humanity.

The pair of Mirobots are demonstrating Project Bloks, Google’s latest attempt to encourage children to learn programming skills. They’re being controlled by a series of plastic blocks, connected by Pederson in a sequence that instructs the robots when to draw, turn and move.

Project Bloks has emerged from a research discipline called “tangible programming” that has been around since the 1970s, aiming to make code physical so that more people – children included – can get to grips with it.

The system consists of three parts. First, a square “brain board” powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero computer, which can connect to other devices – from tablets and robots to speakers and lights – via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Second are the smaller square “base boards”, which connect to one another physically, and relay commands to the brain board from the third element of the system: “pucks”, which slot into the base boards.

Pucks can be flat icons – arrows telling something how to move, for example – or they can be on/off switches, dials or buttons. Each puck represents a single command.

“In the simplest sense, you get a bit of conductive ink and draw a pattern on them, and you’ve just created a new command, so you have to tell the system ‘this command means move’ or something. And the base boards are the conduit to get information from the puck into the brain block, as you assemble your sequences,” says Google creative technologist Joao Wilbert.

Pupils at Scottish schools skipped 641,380 days of lessons last year to go on holiday with cost of term-time breaks blamed

by Daily Mail, June 27, 2016

Classified as General.

The numbers were revealed in statistics from the Scottish government
Majority of these absences came from children of primary school age
Cost of term-time holidays is blamed for the growing trend in Scotland

Pupils at Scottish schools skipped 641,380 days of lessons last year to go on holiday according to statistics from the Scottish government.
It's a growing trend that's increased by 55 per cent in the last 10 years.
The majority of these absences were made by children in primary school but a significant number also came from those of secondary school age.

Living away can bring pupils even closer to their parents

by Telegraph, June 27, 2016

Classified as General.

Your mum and dad can’t win. They either do what Philip Larkin suggested they do, and mess you up, or else they farm you out to a boarding school so that teachers can mess you up on their behalf.

At least, that’s what we can take from the response to Mike Tindall’s recent suggestion that he doesn’t want to send his royal daughter away to board.

Universities will pay a high price now our future has been voted down

by The Guardian, June 27, 2016

Classified as General.

he unthinkable now has to be thought. The UK is abandoning Europe, which – let’s be honest – is what leaving the EU amounts to. That is going to be particularly tough for higher education. The overwhelming majority in colleges and universities, from overpaid vice-chancellors to debt-burdened students, was pro-Europe. The remain votes in Oxford and Cambridge, Brighton and Cardiff demonstrate that clearly enough. It was probably also the higher education vote that tipped the balance in cities like Leeds and Newcastle.