Latest Educational News

Morgan moves away from the legacy of Gove

by The Times, November 28, 2014

Nicky Morgan has distanced herself from the culture at the Department for Education under her predecessor, Michael Gove, saying that she is “no ideological warrior determined to impose my world view on schools and young people”.
In a clear bid to move away from the stance of Mr Gove, whose reforms were perceived as losing the trust of teaching leaders, the education secretary said she wanted to “tone down the rhetoric” and bring teachers to the table.

Teacher loses job over ban on ‘banter’

by The Times, November 28, 2014

A teacher who made headlines by banning the term “banter” in his classroom has been forced to leave his job.
Mike Stuchbery, who decided that banter had become a euphemism for bullying, said colleagues rounded on him in the staffroom afterwards, saying that he could have triggered an Ofsted inspection.
While pupils at Lynn Grove High School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, initially shouted “Banter!” wherever he went, many agreed once he had explained to them the difference between banter and misbehaviour.

Fewer teachers but the class is improving

by The Times, November 28, 2014

A growing number of teacher-training places were unfilled this year, with shortfalls in physics, languages and music.
Government figures published yesterday show that 93 per cent of places were filled, compared with 95 per cent last year. Almost three quarters of the postgraduate entrants had a first or 2:1 degree, an increase on last year.
The government is offering incentives worth up to £25,000 tax free to recruit graduates to schools in England.

Church education chief: Terror bill is 'step too far' for Ofsted

by BBC News, November 28, 2014

Plans that require schools to help prevent pupils becoming radicalised place too much of a burden on education regulator Ofsted, the chief Church of England education officer has said.

The Rev Nigel Genders said asking Ofsted to become a "schoolroom security service" was "a step too far".

He said the regulator would be acting out a remit it was never designed for.

The anti-radicalisation measures for schools were set out in the counter-terrorism bill on Wednesday.

Schools 'may look overseas for new teachers'

by BBC News, November 28, 2014

Schools could start to look overseas to fill teaching vacancies as a "ghastly" teacher training shortage in England starts to bite, expert say.

The latest figures on teacher trainee recruitment predict a 7% shortfall for next September - the third in a row.

Supply teacher agencies are now turning to Canada, Australia and the Irish Republic in search of trained teachers.

The government said it was confident it would meet demand, adding it offered £25,000 bursaries for top trainees.

Poor children in Home Counties are falling behind city peers, report finds

by TES, November 27, 2014

Poor children in small towns and rural areas are lagging behind in reading at the age of 11, according to a study.

Nationally, two in five children receiving free school meals were not reading well at the end of primary school last year, compared with one in five of their better-off classmates.

But research published by charity Save the Children reveals high levels of variation in reading ability in different parts of the country.

The new report, Reading England’s Future, shows that the South East and East of England have the highest proportion of areas where poor children do badly, but the authors point out that all types of area are affected.

Poor children 'struggling to read' in the Home Counties

by The Telegraph, November 27, 2014

Poor children living in wealthy parts of the Home Counties are falling behind their inner-city peers after being “forgotten” by schools, according to research.
Figures show deprived pupils in the south east – outside London – are more likely to struggle to read than those in almost every other part of the country.
In the worst areas, as few as 58 per cent of children eligible for free lunches can read properly by the age of 11 compared with almost nine-in-10 in the best performing boroughs.

Childhood obesity surges between ages of seven and 11, study shows

by The Telegraph, November 27, 2014

The number of children classed as overweight or obese surges by 40 per cent in the last four years of primary school, a major study has found.
New analysis of findings from a study charting the lifestyles of more than 13,000 British children has pinpointed a window between the ages of seven and 11 when the incidence of weight problems dramatically increases.
The study also highlights a powerful link between parents’ own weight and that of their children. Only a minority of children whose mothers are obese reach the age of 11 still within what is considered a healthy weight.

Clegg hints at loans for postgraduates

by The Times, November 27, 2014

New loans for postgraduate students are to be unveiled because “a lot of really bright people” are excluded by the cost, Nick Clegg said yesterday.
The scheme would make cash available to graduates who want to study for a master’s degree after they graduate, in a major offer to students six months before the election.
The deputy prime minister revealed the plan in answer to a question from a student at a university in Berlin.

Private college tries to win more students with comedy

by The Times, November 27, 2014

A private college that charges £18,000 a year is using comedy video bloggers to recruit potential students in a marketing strategy that borrows heavily from the realm of the coolest teenagers.
New College of the Humanities (NCH), which is run by the philosopher AC Grayling and boasts a number of celebrity lecturers, opened in 2012 and charges double the normal student fee. It claims to be the first university that uses vlogging, or video blogging, to promote itself to sixth-formers.

Parents say yes to more grammar schools

by The Times, November 27, 2014

Classified as 11 Plus.

A new generation of grammar schools across Britain would be backed by more than half of voters, a poll for The Times has found.
A total of 54 per cent said that they would support opening new grammar schools in response to demand from local parents, with 23 per cent against and 23 per cent unsure.
Two thirds of parents would enter their child for an 11+ exam and send them to a grammar school if they passed, the poll indicated.

Labour’s tuition fee cut ‘would kill universities’

by The Times, November 27, 2014

Ed Miliband risks destroying the strength of Britain’s universities if he cuts tuition fees to £6,000 a year, a vice-chancellor has warned.
Labour would have to guarantee to replace £3,000 of lost income per student but, even if it did, universities would be vulnerable to a spending squeeze over time.
Ed Byrne, the principal of King’s College London, said that Labour must first produce evidence on whether fees of £9,000 were deterring poor students and how any defects could be remedied.

Weak academies need better supervision, says Laws

by BBC News, November 27, 2014

Hundreds of struggling academies in England are being kept under "close watch" by the Department for Education, says schools minister David Laws.

Mr Laws says local supervision of academies needs to be improved, such as by allowing Ofsted to inspect academy chains.

He also says "open warfare" between teachers and politicians is stopping people wanting to become teachers.

Such political conflict will "repel some of the best people", says Mr Laws.

In a speech to the Centre Forum think tank, the minister will emphasise some of the dividing lines on education within the Coalition government.

'Degree apprenticeships' launched to plug the digital skills gap

by TES, November 26, 2014

New "degree apprenticeships" will be launched to help young people gain a full degree while working with no tuition fees, the government will announce today.

The first of the new qualifications will be available in the digital sector to help provide the skills for a wide range of careers and to help fill the estimated 1 million digital job vacancies over the next decade.

The fully-integrated degrees, which will test both academic learning and on-the-job practical training, have been co-created by leading technology companies and top universities.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey will also announce details of new industry-designed short courses to enhance digital skills across the workforce.

These will have regularly-updated content and provide intensive, flexibly-delivered training.

Three-quarters of secondaries to slash budgets, survey reveals

by TES, November 26, 2014

Almost three-quarters of secondary school leaders say cost-cutting will be a major priority in the next 12 months, with almost a third of heads considering "staff restructuring", a new survey has revealed.

The research, carried out by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and law firm Browne Jacobson, found that 55 per cent of all school leaders felt balancing the books would be key in 2015, rising to 71 per cent in secondaries.

This comes despite the government protecting the schools budget for students up to the age of 16 in the face of significant cuts to other public services. ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman said schools were feeling the pinch as a result of government reforms, as well as changes to funding for special educational needs (SEN).

Projector 'ignited' art school fire

by The Courier, November 26, 2014

The blaze which tore through the Glasgow School of Art's (GSA) historic Mackintosh building began when a projector ignited gases from expanding foam used in a student project, a fire investigation has confirmed.

The flammable gases from a foam canister caught fire when they came into contact with the electrical equipment as work was being carried out on a nearby art installation.

The projector was not faulty but the presence of original ventilation ducts and a large number of timber-lined walls in the building contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, the report concluded.

Parents 'worry more about teenagers than newborns'

by The Telegraph, November 26, 2014

Helicopter parents they may not be, but it doesn’t stop six-in-10 parents worrying more about their child as a teenager than they did as newborn baby, according to new research.
Reportedly, seven-in-10 parents worry about the decisions that their teenage children make, despite 75 per cent of young people admitting that they are happy with their judgments to date.

Warning over rise of ambitious 'spreadsheet parents'

by The Telegraph, November 26, 2014

Too many children are being controlled by overambitious mothers and fathers with a “spreadsheet approach to parenting”, according to a leading psychologist.
Large numbers of pupils are being pushed into “something that bears no resemblance” to their own ambitions because of the demands of their families, said Prof Tanya Byron.
It is feared that children are put under pressure to gain top grades in academic subjects at school to boost their chances of securing good jobs in later life.

Put away the iPad: children are better learners when they focus

by The Times, November 26, 2014

Multi-tasking in the classroom creates a “shotgun” brain in children who become incapable of deep thoughts, an educational psychologist said yesterday.
JoAnn Deak, an expert on children’s brain development, said parents and teachers should not allow their children to mix tasks and leisure activities, such as doing homework, listening to music and checking their phones for social media updates.
She told the Girls’ Schools Association conference in central London that using a computer while interacting in a classroom was one of the worst forms of multi-tasking.

Degree apprenticeships launched to boost hi-tech skills

by BBC News, November 26, 2014

Young people will be able to gain a full honours degree while earning a wage and paying no fees, under a scheme backed by government and industry.

The new Degree Apprenticeship qualifications will be taught in England from next September, starting in the digital and software field.

The government will pay two-thirds of the costs and fees while employers pay trainees' wages and other costs.

The government says employers of any size can take part in the scheme.

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