Latest Educational News

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.

Teachers 'should give praise before telling off': New guidelines say educators should give parents good news first to make it easier to deliver criticism

by Daily Mail, June 27, 2016

Classified as General.

New guidelines suggest giving parents good news before criticising pupils
Government behaviour tsar Tom Bennett recommends measures
He made the claims in new booklet being published by Unison

Third Of Schools Falling Into The Red

by Teaching Times, June 27, 2016

Classified as General.

New research has found that one in seven schools are still not budgeting effectively, despite more than a third of schools and academies suffering from a budget deficit in the past three years.

A study by HCSS Education of 265 school leaders has found that 42% of academies and 32% of maintained schools went into the red in the last three years.

Yet, despite struggling to manage their finances, 13% of maintained schools and academies are still not planning ahead and do not have 3 to 5-year budget plans in place.

With a third of schools and academies admitting they lack th

Top universities send teachers to primary schools to 'raise aspirations of pupils'

by Telegraph, June 26, 2016

Classified as General.

Top universities are sending teachers to primary schools to educate children properly, it has emerged.

State school pupils as young as seven are being offered extra lessons to fill in the gaps in their knowledge before it is too late.

Brexit result: What does it mean for the UK’s higher education sector and students?

by BBC News, June 25, 2016

Classified as General.

UCL among first to confirm it will not change tuition fees for EU students next year, as European University Association says British institutions are - and remain - 'an essential part of the European family'

Figures within the higher education sector will have awoken with a bitter taste on Friday with the news the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

Secret Teacher: restraining pupils is humiliating – for everyone

by The Guardian, June 25, 2016

Classified as General.

Physical restraint is degrading and ineffective: the techniques are inept, and guidance on when to use them is ambiguous

I have been summoned from my classroom to relieve a colleague. When I come across the incident in the corridor, I see two teachers restraining a pupil on the floor. One of them is tiring and needs to be swapped, by me. We go through the procedure of disentangling limbs until I slide into the classic “figure four” restraint – my right arm threaded under the pupil’s, with my left hand clasping my own forearm and my right leg crossed over his at the ankle.

EU referendum result: The UK’s universities should be optimistic post-Brexit, 4 reasons why

by Independent, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

The head of the leading global provider of specialist higher education and careers information looks at the positives of the big result.

Research recently conducted by QS found UK students stood firmly against Brexit, with 56 per cent of those surveyed believing the UK leaving the European Union will have detrimental effects on their career prospects. Many educators in UK higher education also opposed Brexit, for fear of cuts in research funding and reduced access to talented EU faculty and students.

Whilst I think it is regrettable the UK could not renegotiate terms with the EU to enable our ongoing membership, I remain optimistic that UK universities will continue to thrive within the global higher education industry, as long as the UK Government provides the support they need.

Let me give you four reasons why I remain optimistic about the prospects of UK universities:

Firstly, UK universities have established standards of excellence in research which are recognised around the world. There are currently four UK universities within the top ten of the QS World University Rankings, and the UK is second only to the US in terms of numbers of universities within the top 200.

Although there will be reductions in European Union research funding (£687m annually - European Research Council), it is my belief a responsible UK Government will understand the importance of a world-class higher education system to the UK economy (worth approximately £40bn in GDP - Universities UK), and will make up much of this shortfall in research funding.

EU Referendum: Reassurance sought over EU students

by BBC, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

Universities have pledged to pressure ministers to ensure European staff and students can still work and study in the UK after the vote to leave the EU.
Vice-chancellors from the Universities UK umbrella group say the decision to leave will create "significant challenges" for higher education.
They are already in talks with EU commissioners, it is understood.
The Russell Group of top research universities says it will work with ministers to safeguard research funds.
These leading institutions get £500m a year in EU investment.

Teachers’ strike: NUT announce walk-out from schools on 5 July

by Independent, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

Teachers across England will strike on 5 July after members of the National Union of Teachers voted by more than nine to one in favour of industrial action.

The last national teachers strike, in July 2014, over teachers' pay, pensions and working conditions were highly disruptive to both parents and children, as around a fifth of schools across England and Wales were forced to close.

NUT said the decision to strike was a response to funding concerns along with continuing issues over conditions for teachers.

The union is demanding an increase in funding for schools and education, and want to see guaranteed terms and conditions in all types of schools.

It also wants to resume negotiations on contracts that will allow teacher workloads to be addressed.

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary of the NUT, said: “The NUT is not taking action lightly.

“In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.

“The effects on children's education are also real and damaging.

“As a result of school funding cuts, class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave."

EU referendum result: What does Brexit mean for the UK’s higher education sector and students?

by The independant, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

UCL among first to confirm it will not change tuition fees for EU students for next year, as the European University Association says British institutions are - and remain - 'an essential part of the European family of universities'

Figures within the higher education sector will have awoken with a bitter taste on Friday with the news the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

On Monday, the heads of 103 universities had issued an impassioned open letter expressing how they were “gravely concerned” about the impact of a Leave vote on their universities and students, cautioning voters that the power of their universities on local communities and economy “should not be underestimated.”

The signatories added: “Every year, universities generate over £73 billion for the UK economy - £3.7bn of which is generated by students from EU countries, while supporting nearly 380,000 jobs. Strong universities benefit the British people - creating employable graduates and cutting-edge research discoveries that improve lives.”

Students, too, it seemed were on the side of Remain, and referendum results have shown some 75 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted Remain, compared to around 40 per cent of over 65s.

But how are reactions faring now that the arguably surprising results have been announced?

Poor pupils 'are still let down', warns Ofsted boss

by BBC News, June 23, 2016

Classified as General.

Poor pupils are still being let down by the English education system, Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned.
In a speech on Thursday, he will highlight the "appalling injustice" of children from poorer homes continuing to fall behind their wealthier peers.
Sir Michael will call for a tougher stance on "feckless parents" who allow children to break school rules.
The Department for Education said every child, no matter what their background, deserved a world-class education.
He will also defend testing in schools, saying this offers disadvantaged pupils the prospect of a better life.
In a speech at the Festival of Education, taking place at Wellington College, Sir Michael will say the failure to improve the educational chances of the poor "disfigures" England's school system.
"The needle has barely moved," he will say.
"In 2005, the attainment gap between free school meal [FSM] and non-FSM pupils in secondary schools was 28 percentage points - it is still 28 percentage points now."

What would Brexit mean for universities and would EU students still be able to study in the UK?

by Daily Telegraph, June 22, 2016

Classified as General.

How would Brexit impact higher education?

University leaders and some Conservative MPs have been warning for months over the potentially ‘damaging’ effects for higher education if the UK voted for Brexit.

They argue the move could mean the UK would lose out on research funding granted by the EU.

This could also mean academics struggle to cooperate on research projects.

Yes - some.

Demand for higher education is so high that even if fewer EU students came to study here, universities would be no worse off financially and would be able to offset the drop with home students.

In fact, those institutions with dwindling numbers of EU students could make up the numbers with UK students and even increase their numbers now that the quotas on the number of students they can take has been lifted, leaving them with more money in the bank.

A drop in EU students, who would be financially worse off as a result of a hike in fees, would mean UK students can increase their chances of getting into university.

Universities might also be able to avoid EU regulations on clinical trials, which some argue has a damaging effect on research and innovation.

Would EU students still be able to study in the UK?

'What should our son be doing to win a place at Cambridge university?'

by Daily Telegraph, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Question: What can our son do to make his application to Cambridge stand out?

My son is keen to study English literature at Cambridge with the intention of working in broadcasting as a writer.

At the moment he is in Year 11 at a state grammar school taking his GCSEs. He will take A-levels in English, history, maths and further maths. We are interested to know what extra curricular activities he could do through sixth form which would make his application stand out?

Currently, he teaches English at our local Kumon centre once a week; writes weekly for the school website and magazine, and also spends a lot of time writing fiction. He has published one of his radio plays online and won an accolade from Southampton University for writing a song for a musical.

In addition he has Grade 8 distinction on the Violin and plays in the county youth orchestra. He also plays the piano and electric guitar to a high level and has worked as a volunteer at our local open air museum.

Steve Watts: Admissions tutors would all say 'read, read, read'

There is certainly no problem with the subjects your son will be taking at A-level. These will show his abilities not only in his chosen English literature, but history will give contextual breadth and maths will show admissions tutors such as me that he can think analytically.

When asked what else would make an applicant competitive for studying English, academics and admissions tutors would all chorus ‘read, read, read’. Reading beyond the syllabus is nearly always good advice anyway, but for students of literature it is crucial.

Oxford University students launch scholarship campaign to help get refugees back into education

by Independent, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Developments come as US government reveals refugees from across the world will be able to take more than 1,000 online university courses for free.

A student at Oxford University who started a campaign to fund scholarships for refugees has revealed that £240,000 has been pledged over a two-year period.

BBC News reports how biomedical engineering student, Thais Roque, launched the Oxford Students Refugee Campaign (OxSRC) in October last year, aiming to lobby the university and colleges to provide scholarships for refugee and asylum-seeking students.

From the, so far, 11,000 students who have joined the cause, supporters will donate £1 a month over the two years.

It is hoped that, starting in the academic year 2017/18, scholarships will be available at the institution for those whose education has been disrupted because of conflict or natural disaster, with applications opening this September.

Teacher or not, Ofsted’s new chief inspector passes the test

by The Guardian, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Amanda Spielman, banker-turned-academy chain adviser, will be the next Ofsted chief inspector, it has been announced. A few formalities are necessary, a cross-party coalition of MPs will talk to her next Wednesday before giving her the final nod, but presuming no funny business occurs Spielman is in.

Overstating the importance of the inspectorate is difficult. Even though the current chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, is forever telling school leaders to be mavericks and take their own path, most heads diligently, even slavishly, follow Ofsted pronouncements.

School’s results go from Bottom to top, thanks to Shakespeare

by The Guardian, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

nder bright spotlights in the drama room, students are getting into character as magical beings. The cast members of A Midsummer Night’s Dream grin and grimace as they skip, climb, leap and crawl through the plastic chairs that double as their enchanted forest.

This is a rehearsal at King Ethelbert school, in Thanet, east Kent, for a performance that will be the culmination of two years’ work during which the school has transformed from one of the worst in the country to one of the best of its type. And, says the headteacher, it’s thanks to Shakespeare.

Teaching assistants face violence at work, says union

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

More than half (53%) of UK teaching assistants (TAs) have experienced physical violence at school in the past year, a poll by Unison has found.
The survey of more than 8,000 TAs found three-quarters (76%) had witnessed some form of physical violence.
More than half (53%) had experienced, and 73% had witnessed, verbal threats at school.
Ministers say no-one should have to work in fear of violence or harassment, in or outside school or online.

Welsh universities firmly behind EU membership

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Welsh universities have nailed their colours firmly to the mast in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.
They have received millions from the EU for research and new buildings.
The representative body Universities Wales says this funding ultimately has huge benefits for the Welsh economy.
But the Leave campaign say that universities and science would continue to get at least the same level of investment after Brexit.

Teaching assistants face violence at work, says union

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

More than half (53%) of UK teaching assistants (TAs) have experienced physical violence at school in the past year, a poll by Unison has found.
The survey of more than 8,000 TAs found three-quarters (76%) had witnessed some form of physical violence.
More than half (53%) had experienced, and 73% had witnessed, verbal threats at school.
Ministers say no-one should have to work in fear of violence or harassment, in or outside school or online.

Increasing hostility towards private education is unjustified and ignores partnerships with state schools

by Telegraph, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Ask anyone associated with independent schools and they will tell you there has definitely been a bruising increase in hostility over the past few months.

Press headlines, esteemed commentators and the occasional chief inspector of schools have singled-out private schools for a smörgåsbord of blame and the result has been a creep towards a binary world of us and them, good and bad, privileged and poor, socially mobile and downtrodden.

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