Latest Educational News

Nervous teachers wait for revamped GCSE results

by The Times, August 18, 2014

Head teachers at hundreds of secondary schools are braced for volatile GCSE results this week after policy changes had a dramatic impact on the way pupils sat the exams.
Awarding bodies and policy-makers are nervous about the effect the changes will have in schools that have struggled to improve their exam results in recent years.

Voting Conservative would mean for-profit schools, Labour claims

by TES, August 18, 2014

A vote for the Conservatives in next year’s general election would mean a vote in favour of for-profit schools, Labour education spokesman Tristram Hunt claimed today.

Mr Hunt also said that the Conservatives staying in power would result in two unqualified teachers working in every school by 2020, as he set out his party’s differences on education in a keynote speech.

The shadow education secretary criticised the government’s free-schools policy, claiming prime minister David Cameron had created primary school classes of “more than 40, 50, 60, even 70 pupils” by diverting funds to his “pet project” rather than funding more primary places.

Over-full classrooms are Cameron's fault, says Tristram Hunt

by Guardian, August 18, 2014

David Cameron is to blame for a huge growth in the number of over-filled classrooms, with up to 70 pupils being taught together in some schools, after the government diverted scarce resources to its free schools "pet project", Labour will claim on Monday.

Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, will say that parents face a choice at the next election between the prospect of "ever more children crammed into large class sizes" under the Tories or a Labour government that would target resources on areas of need by ending the free schools programme.

Scottish independence: how would it affect university research funding?

by Guardian, August 18, 2014

Two senior academics debate whether independence would be good or bad for research funding in Scotland.

The referendum on Scottish independence is one month away. One of the key issues for higher education is the impact independence would have on research. We invited two senior academics to debate whether a vote for independence will jeopardise research funding in Scotland.

Only Labour can finish Rab Butler’s education reforms

by Guardian, August 18, 2014

It was a concluding paragraph that sent the left into paroxysms of rage. “As that descent took its course the illusions and the dreams of 1945 would fade one by one – the imperial and Commonwealth role, the world power role, British industrial genius, and, at last, New Jerusalem itself, a dream turned to a dank reality of a segregated, subliterate, unskilled, unhealthy and institutionalised proletariat hanging on the nipple of state maternalism.”

Oversized classes up 200% since 2010 says Labour

by BBC News, August 18, 2014

The number of infant pupils taught in oversized classes has "spiralled by 200%" since 2010, says Labour.

The party says money that could be spent on more primary places is being used to pursue David Cameron's "pet project of expensive free schools".

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says data shows 93,000 pupils in England are in classes of more than 30, with 446 in classes of more than 70.

Children in care are getting ever better grades at school

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Ashley John-Baptiste's moving piece ("Foster children need more than cash", Comment) struck a real chord with me. Having grown up with more than 80 foster children, I saw many struggle with the same challenges that he describes. This is what led me into politics and why I have made it my priority to improve the prospects of children in care.

Paying extra for private school does not guarantee a better paying job out of university, new study found

by Daily Mail, August 17, 2014

Paying extra money for private school fees does not guarantee a better paying job out of university, new research has shown.
The study has found there is no long-term employment advantages for private school students, with public school graduates earning just as much in equally prominent jobs.
A Canberra University research fellow, Jenny Chesters, found that even though private school students were more likely to attend prestigious Australian universities, it would not lead to a higher income.

A-level results: Stortford school is top comprehensive in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

by Herts and Essex Observer, August 17, 2014

A BISHOP'S Stortford school is the top-performing comprehensive in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for A-level results, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Hockerill Anglo-European College was 15th in the list of 365 state schools, which were ranked in order of the percentage of students receiving an A*, A or B grade.

Since the Dunmow Road international boarding school offers its 800 pupils the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of A-levels, its IB results were translated into the equivalent A-level grades for the purposes table.

Numbers fall in separate sciences

by The Courier, August 17, 2014

A bid to encourage teenagers to study traditional academic subjects may have inadvertently resulted in fewer youngsters taking GCSEs in the separate sciences, it is suggested.

Figures show that exam entries for biology, chemistry and physics have fallen this year, after years of increases.

Does the passion of Michael Gove still burn bright?

by Telegraph, August 17, 2014

In his finest screen role, as the inspirational teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams urges his pupils to confront mortality and to squeeze the marrow out of their time on earth: “Carpe… Carpe diem… Seize the day, boys… Make your lives extraordinary.”

Free tablet computers and £900 cash on offer in scramble to woo students

by Independent, August 17, 2014

Students with A-level grades as low as three Es are being offered free tablet computers to sign up for courses, as competition to fill places hots up between universities.
The University of East London is offering would-be students a package worth £1,200, including a tablet computer and £900 to spend on books and travel. It is one of several universities offering inducements to this year's A-level candidates since the number of places on offer this autumn has risen to more than a million.

Shakespeare: The play's the thing for teaching children morality lessons

by TES, August 17, 2014

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so – according to Hamlet, at least. It may seem counter-intuitive to use the complex language of 17th-century England to introduce the already difficult topics of right and wrong, yet this is exactly what one teacher is advising schools to do.

Writing in the 15 August issue of TES, Karen Kelleher, a teacher at John Donne Primary School in Peckham, South London, advocates using the works of William Shakespeare to help pupils learn about morality.

Replacing Ofsted would improve the quality of provision in colleges

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Ofsted recently announced it's going to stop graded lesson observations in colleges as part of a pilot scheme from September 2014. The news follows a report by the University and College Union that raised serious questions on whether the practice of grading lessons was fit for purpose.

Although I welcome the decision, the problems with further education and Ofsted run much deeper than lesson observations. If we are going to truly improve the quality of provision in colleges, we need a complete overhaul of the system.

Schools are still out for summer, but it's time to count the cost of uniforms

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

With only a few weeks to go until the start of the next academic year, thousands of families are facing up to a school uniform bill that can, in some cases, be more than £500 per state school child.

While supermarkets have been steadily cutting the cost of uniforms (last month Aldi launched a basic uniform for £4), the rise of academies and free schools, which often require parents to buy pricey, branded garments from one agreed supplier, have increased the financial burden for many parents.

There is much more still to do to get poor students into higher education

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Believe the hype and Britain is on the verge of a great levelling. Of course it is good news to learn that 1,400 more students from disadvantaged homes will be going to university this year than last. But it is hardly the end of the class divide, as some reports have claimed; 1,400 represents a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of thousands from more advantaged homes. The gulf in expectation and life chances between rich and poor remains enormous.

Academies run by 'superhead' received advance notice of Ofsted checks

by Guardian, August 17, 2014

Academies run by a superhead praised by the government for producing schools that "outperform the rest" of the state sector had secret advance notice of Ofsted inspection dates, the Observer can reveal.

Evidence uncovered by this newspaper suggests that three schools in Norfolk, all overseen by Dame Rachel de Souza, knew of impending visits by inspectors days, and sometimes weeks, before Ofsted arrived.

Average student has 9-mile commute to get to lectures

by The Times, August 16, 2014

The average student living off campus has to contend with an 18-mile round trip to lectures, research suggests.
Students spend on average £485 a year travelling to and from university, or an estimated £667 million in total, according to the study by Santander.

We don’t need no education, say pupils with business brain

by The Times, August 16, 2014

Record numbers of bright pupils are shunning university and opting for enticing apprenticeships that offer salaries of up to £30,000 on completion.
Soaring university fees, student debt and the uncertainty of finding a job when they graduate are pushing many A-level students away from higher education and into training programmes with big companies including PwC and National Grid.

Hundreds use clearing to grab top university places

by The Times, August 16, 2014

Hundreds of teenagers have secured places through clearing at Russell Group universities as some lowered their entry requirements in a scramble to fill course vacancies.
Places were offered with A-level entry grades of three Bs or even two Bs and a C in humanities subjects at prominent universities. Some disappeared fast but others remained available last night, while a wide range of vacancies was open to applicants with As and Bs.

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