Latest Educational News

Conservative minister claims UK students 'illiterate and innumerate'

by TES, September 30, 2014

Teacher leaders have criticised a Conservative minister for claiming the UK has some of the most "illiterate and innumerate" young people in the developed world.

Sam Gyimah (pictured), minister for childcare and education, told a meeting at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham yesterday that too many young people were leaving school without the basics of education.

Mr Gyimah claimed that when the coalition government came to power in 2010 figures from the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests showed that more than a third of young people were leaving school "unable to read, write or do maths".

Middle classes priced out of private schools: Cost of attracting foreign pupils forces fees up

by Daily Mail, September 30, 2014

Middle-class children face being priced out of private education as an influx of rich overseas pupils pushes fees up.
Independent schools are having to invest in staff and facilities to attract a ‘global middle-class’ and compete with schools in the US and Australia that are aiming for the same market.
But the trend means British families must meet the higher fees that those from China and other boom economies are prepared to pay, private school leaders warn.

Privilege is toxic, private head teachers told

by The Times, September 30, 2014

Private schools were warned last night that they risked alienating middle class families by being too closely associated with privilege.
Baroness Morgan of Huyton, outgoing chair of Ofsted, told heads of leading independent schools that they must do more to share their expertise and too often they represented a closed world of excellence not shared with others.
She also aimed a parting shot at Michael Gove, who sacked her before he was himself moved as education secretary.

School fees expected to soar in race to attract overseas pupils

by The Times, September 30, 2014

Fee rises at leading independent schools will continue to outpace inflation for years to come to fund improvements aimed at attracting overseas pupils, headmasters said yesterday.
Top private schools will continue to push up fees but also put more money aside to fund means-tested places for children from lower-income families, they said.
More private schools are competing in a global market for pupils as day schools increasingly target expatriate families and children from overseas.

QI could open a school to encourage playful learning

by The Times, September 30, 2014

The creator of QI, the hit BBC trivia show, has said that the show could one day open a school to spread its playful learning philosophy into education.
John Lloyd, the producer of Blackadder and Not the Nine O’Clock News, who has made QI since 2003, suggested the idea in the run-up to the show’s 12th series, which starts on Friday.

Wanted: pupils to campaign for education for all

by Guardian, September 30, 2014

The search is on for two sparky, committed year-10 pupils who can inspire young people in the UK to campaign for quality education for children around the world. The two students who are chosen will travel to Bangladesh to see progress towards the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) goals.

This a crucial year for GCE. Its campaigns include the UN millennium development goal of securing a primary education for every child by 2015. The organisation’s UK young ambassadors will travel to Bangladesh with the charity ActionAid to see the work that has been done and – with 57m children around the world still not in school – the barriers that remain.

'Glorious isolation’ for academy schools won’t work

by Guardian, September 30, 2014

Lately the government has been at pains to give the impression that it is taking an increasingly tough stance to make sure that free schools open only in places where there is true demand. So the news that a school in Brixton, south London, opened this month with just 17 students comes as a shock. Official figures from Lambeth, where the school is located, show the borough has a surplus of 200 year 7 places, so quite how the Department for Education allowed the school to open on a site that cost £18m is beyond belief. Questions should be asked about this to prevent such wastes of money in the future.

Tuition fees: a bonanza for the 1%

by Guardian, September 30, 2014

“During the past two and a half years every artifice has been employed to create the impression that public expenditure on education is recklessly extravagant”. So complained RH Tawney 80 years ago. The same impression was given more recently by politicians when they raised tuition fees. Public spending on higher education has been reduced to a minimum, save in medicine, a few of the sciences and some minimal maintenance grants. Whose idea was this? It was dreamed up among the 1%, the very richest in our society.

Tooth decay affects 12% of three-year-olds, says survey

by BBC News, September 30, 2014

More than one in 10 three-year-olds have tooth decay, the first survey of the age group shows.

Public Health England researchers checked the teeth of nearly 54,000 children at nurseries, children's centres and playgroups.

They found 12% of children had evidence of tooth decay. These youngsters had an average of three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled.

Nicky Morgan must tackle teachers' workload, says NUT

by BBC News, September 30, 2014

The National Union of Teachers has threatened more strike action unless the education secretary reduces teachers' workloads in England.

Nicky Morgan makes her first Conservative Party conference speech as education secretary on Tuesday.

About 90% of 16,379 NUT members who responded to a survey said they had considered quitting in the past two years over excessive work.

A spokesman for Mrs Morgan said her speech would not disappoint the NUT.

The union sent out an email survey to its members in England and Wales last weekend.

How to teach teenagers: Independent schools to provide lessons for university lecturers

by The Independent, September 29, 2014

Britain's leading independent schools are to lay on lessons for university lecturers aimed at telling them how to teach today's teenagers.
The move follows complaints from students upon arrival at university about the standard of teaching they receive in their first year at university.

Too often lecturers are stuck in the past, the heads argue, and think they can get away with just setting essays and offering occasional one-to-one tutorials.

Start celebrating our contribution, elite schools urge

by BBC News, September 29, 2014

Private schools are being used as "lazy shorthand for the social ills of our country", a leading head has claimed.

"It is time to stop scapegoating and start celebrating our schools," Richard Harman told the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

Private schools are part of the solution to poor social mobility, said Mr Harman.

But the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said a small elite still dominates top jobs in the UK.

Meet the A* student who achieved against the odds

by Stratford Herald, September 29, 2014

A-LEVELS are about as stressful as it gets in the already-tumultuous life of an 18-year-old.

Marathon exams, testing topics – and the need to look ahead while saying goodbye to the past.

So imagine being lumbered with a dangerous health condition that you were too embarrassed to tell anyone about?

Cartmel primary school Sats void after papers 'changed'

by BBC News, September 29, 2014

Pupils who took exams at a Cumbria primary school have had their results annulled, after it was found papers were changed after tests had finished.

National curriculum tests, known as Sats, taken at Cartmel Church of England Primary School were examined by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

Some maths and spelling tests from the 2013-14 academic year were altered, the school said.

Heads want ‘injustices’ of bad examiners redressed

by Independent, September 29, 2014

Almost a million GCSE and A-level exam scripts will have been wrongly marked this summer, the leader of Britain’s top independent schools will warn today.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference which represents 250 of the UK’s leading independent schools, will tell an assembly of members today that the teaching profession “needs to jump up and down demanding higher standards.”

Russell Group universities threatened by marking boycott

by Telegraph, September 29, 2014

Academics from Britain’s top universities including Oxford and Cambridge could refuse to mark students’ work as part of a bitter row over pensions, it was announced today.
The University and College Union said it was balloting members over a proposed exams boycott amid claims professors risk seeing up to £230,000 stripped from their retirement funds.
It is believed the action would result in academics refusing to grade students’ coursework and exams later this academic year – causing chaos in universities and even preventing some students from graduating. Unions could also take full strike action.

Top private school headmaster attacks 'politics of envy'

by The Telegraph, September 29, 2014

Britain’s education system is being undermined by the “politics of envy” and a failure to celebrate academic excellence, according to a leading private school headmaster.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, says politicians and quangos need to spend more time curing the UK’s social mobility “disease” rather than engaging in “class war” against independent schools.

Girls’ school head casts doubt on the benefit of single-sex learning

by The Times, September 29, 2014

Single-sex teaching does not automatically benefit boys or girls, according to two leading education figures.
The headmistress of one of England’s highest-achieving schools, and the head of Ofsted, both said yesterday that the benefits of single-sex education had been overstated.

Children miss out on chance to mess about

by The Times, September 29, 2014

Parents would rather hand their children iPads than paintbrushes so that they do not have to clean up after them, a study has found.
More than half of parents encourage their children to avoid messy activities such as sports and baking, the research suggested.
A fifth of children aged seven to 11 did not know what a “mud pie” was and more than half had never made one, the poll by Persil found.

Lecturers vote on industrial action

by The Courier, September 29, 2014

Lecturers in scores of universities are to be balloted over industrial action, including a marking boycott and a refusal to set exams, in a row over pensions.

Members of the University and College Union in 67 universities will vote in the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of action in protest over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the pension scheme for staff at the UK's "old" universities and covers the most selective institutions, including those in the Russell Group.

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