Latest Educational News

Named and shamed, elite universities with second rate teaching: Findings raise questions over whether students are getting value for money

by Daily Mail, June 22, 2017

Some of the country's elite universities have been embarrassed in the Government's first official rankings of teaching standards.
Several received only the minimum benchmark, raising questions over whether their students are getting a good deal.
They include the London School of Economics and the Universities of Liverpool and Southampton, as well as the world-famous School of Oriental and African Studies.
Meanwhile, the University of Buckingham, a small private university, is thought to have got one of the highest marks in the country despite receiving no Whitehall grants.

Boys at Exeter academy wear skirts in uniform protest

by BBC, June 22, 2017

Some 30 boys have worn skirts to school in protest at being told they were not allowed to wear shorts.
The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter apparently asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather, Devon Live reports.
One of the boys who took part in the protest said: "We're not allowed to wear shorts, and I'm not sitting in trousers all day, it's a bit hot."
Head teacher Aimee Mitchell said shorts were "not part" of the school uniform.
For more on the school skirt protest, and other stories from across Devon and Cornwall.

Leading universities rated 'bronze' under new ranking system

by BBC, June 22, 2017

Several leading universities have failed to score highly in a new ranking of degree teaching standards.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has rated 295 institutions bronze, silver or gold according to their standard of undergraduate teaching.
Gold went to 59 and silver to 116.
The lowest score of bronze was awarded to 56 - including the London School of Economics (LSE), Southampton, Liverpool, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas).
The new teaching rankings aim to help students make informed choices about degree courses, but many universities rated as bronze have criticised the system as unfair and unreliable.

Job advice for children in poverty a 'national disgrace'

by BBC, June 22, 2017

A lack of careers advice is stopping young people getting out of poverty in Wales, an education expert has warned.
Just 1.3% of school leavers went into work place training programmes, such as apprenticeships, last year.
Prof David Egan, of Cardiff School of Education, said it was a "national disgrace" that children were not given the chance to get out of poverty.

Elite UK universities found to be second-rate in new Government rankings

by Independent, June 22, 2017

More than half of Russell Group institutions – traditionally considered to be the best in the country – did not score top marks

Britain's elite universities are failing to achieve teaching excellence, official rankings have revealed, as the Government publishes its first major assessment of teaching standards in higher education.

More than half of Russell Group institutions – traditionally considered to be the best in the country – did not score a gold rating after entering the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Instead, a number of newer universities, including former polytechnics, have been awarded the highest standard in terms of teaching, learning and potential employment outcomes for students.

US-style behaviour programme set for Scottish schools

by Scotsman.com, June 22, 2017

A groundbreaking US programme that aims to prevent conflict in young schoolchildren is to be rolled out across 14 Scottish primary schools.

The PATHS programme uses a variety of tools including puppets, manuals and activities to help pupils think before acting when upset or confronted with a conflict situation and lessons focus on teaching identification of problem situations through recognition of “upset” feelings. The pioneering health and wellbeing education programme begain in 1981 and was exclusively for deaf children, using sign language and speech. By 1986 it was being used in inner-city areas, having being tested in Seattle. Since then it has been translated in 10 languages and is used in an estimated 5,000 schools in 20 countries. A pilot programme involving 13 schools in Renfrewshire has taken place with a further 14 schools in the area set to join the scheme run in conjunction with children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland.

Live The Telegraph Festival of Education 2017: Brexit and grammar schools are the talk of the festival

by Telegraph, June 22, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Good morning and welcome to The Telegraph Festival of Education 2017.

This year's event promises to be another roaring success, with some of the UK's most prominent education leaders set to join a host of talks and debates on major issues including Brexit, new grammars and how schools should approach discipline in the classroom.

Festival-goers will hear from nearly 300 speakers during the course of the two-day festival, which begins at 9am with a keynote speech from comedian Hugh Dennis.

UK 'bottom of the league' for free early education

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

The government should prioritise disadvantaged children when it comes to extending the amount of free pre-school hours, urges Pisa boss
The UK is "bottom of the league" when it comes to the amount of free early education it provides, and government plans to double the hours available are unlikely to help disadvantaged children, OECD education director Andreas Schleicher has said.

Speaking at the London launch of two OECD reports on early years, Starting Strong 2017 and Transitions from Early Childhood Education and Care to Primary Education, Mr Schleicher highlighted that England offered less free early education to three-year-olds, at just 15 hours a week, than any other developed country.

Funding pressure increases: Schools need 'at least' £2 billion extra from September

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

Four unions say today's Queen's Speech missed a 'golden opportunity' to boost school spending
Teaching and headteacher unions have urged the government to boost the schools budget by 5 per cent in the 2017-18 academic year, after today's Queen's Speech failed to pledge additional funding.

The Queen's Speech, outlining the government's priorities for the next two years, said plans to make school funding "fairer" would go ahead, but did not set out any plans to increase planned spending overall.

The Conservative Party manifesto had pledged an extra £4 billion for schools by 2022. Background notes to today's speech appear to refer to this pledge, stating: "This government has committed to increase the school budget further, as well as continuing to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it."

On the day the government failed to provide more school funding, a comprehensive asks parents for £25 a term

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

South London secondary needs money from parents to cope with PFI costs and funding cuts, becoming the latest in a growing list of state schools sending out begging letters
A London comprehensive that has had to make £400,000 of cuts over the past three years has today sent parents a letter asking them to contribute £25 every term.

The letter from Rutlish School, in Merton, south London, comes on the day that the Queen's Speech failed to offer any extra money for schools over and above existing commitments.

Headteacher Alex Williamson wrote: "As you are aware, many schools are facing significant financial difficulties. Schools' budgets have not kept pace with costs and, consequentially, savings have had to be made."

UN warns 'no progress' on 260 million missing school places

by BBC, June 21, 2017

Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations.
There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco.
Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education.
The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security.
The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.

Tories' 30-hour free childcare plan fails to target poor families, says expert

by Guardian, June 21, 2017

OECD education director welcomes scheme but questions government’s decision to focus on working parents
The government’s plan to provide 30 hours’ free childcare has been criticised by a leading global education expert for failing to target the most disadvantaged families whose children stand to gain the most.

Andreas Schleicher, education director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), welcomed the doubling of the free childcare offer, which he said would bring England up from the bottom of the international league in terms of hours offered to an average position.

Coding the curriculum: new computer science GCSE fails to make the grade

by The Conversation , June 21, 2017

Despite computing education in UK schools going through a massive revolution over the past few years to try and make it more relevant to our increasingly technology driven lives, the new GCSE in computer science has failed to attract much interest from students.

Figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a small rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE. This is despite the course having been rebranded and the old GCSE in information and communication technology (ICT) being scrapped.

When the decision to replace the ICT GCSE with only a GCSE in computing was made back in 2015, many teachers and researchers warned this might happen – given that ICT and computer science are very different topics of study.

Teachers disagree with government over best year for baseline assessment

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

Survey shows teachers want progress to be measured from Year 1 – but the government would prefer assessments to take place in reception
Teachers would prefer a baseline assessment to be carried out in Year 1 rather than Reception, a survey from the National Foundation for Education Research has found.

In its response to the government’s primary assessment consultation, the NfER – which was one of the three approved providers of baseline assessments in 2015 – said that carrying out the assessment in reception, in line with government proposals, would “maximise the credit” given to schools for the value they add.

But its survey of 653 teachers and headteachers shows that 54 per cent of teachers would prefer a baseline assessment at the start of Year 1, while only 32 per cent opted for a baseline assessment in Reception year.

They did WHAT? Teachers reveal the funniest (and most ingenious) ways students have cheated on their exams

by Daily Mail, June 21, 2017

It can feel like the end of the world when there's an exam looming and we fear we haven't done enough revision to pass.
And it seems that some students have been so determined to get a good grade that they've resorted to some very questionable tactics to see them through.
Somebody has taken to Reddit to ask teachers to describe the most creative cheating methods their students have come up with in order to scrape through an exam.
From writing chemistry formulas faintly between calculator buttons, to disguising answers in henna hand tattoos, these innovative students all went to great lengths to get their grades - but were ultimately caught red handed.

Government gives no guarantee on extra school funding

by iNews, June 21, 2017

The Government will push ahead with a major overhaul of school funding but could give no guarantee that schools will be protected from any losses. Theresa May listed fairer funding for schools in the Queen’s Speech in a move that will aim to end the historic differences in funding schools receive. Headteachers fear that without substantial sums of additional cash the move will leave the vast majority of schools out of pocket.

'Unanswerable questions, leaked exam papers and missing formulas. Exam boards, you had one job'

by Times Educational Supplement, June 21, 2017

The summer of exam paper fiascos is only going to add to the stress levels being felt by students and will damage their futures, writes one teachers’ leader
Periodically doing the rounds on Facebook are photos of people doing something daft, like sticking election posters upside down on their car windows, with the caption, “You had one job.”

“You had one job” came to mind as news came in of the errors picked up by students in GCSE and A-level papers over the past few weeks. Questions that were, simply, unanswerable, such as the OCR’s English literature GCSE paper which required students to answer: “How does Shakespeare present the ways in which Tybalt’s hatred of the Capulets influences the outcome of the play?”

Queen's Speech: Theresa May's grammar school expansion plans scrapped

by Independent, June 21, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Widely-opposed plans to scrap universal free school meals for infants also omitted from Queen's Speech

Controversial plans to expand grammar schools in England have official been scrapped, after Theresa May’s flagship policy was omitted from the Queen’s Speech.

The Queen said the government would “look at all options” for new schools moving forward, but no action has been stated to remove the current ban on selective school expansion.

A national funding formula for schools was reaffirmed, along with a "major reform of technical education", as promised in the Tory election manifesto.

The 15 easiest universities in the UK to get into

by NewsNow, June 21, 2017

The 15 easiest universities in the UK to get into

UN warns 'no progress' on 260 million missing school places

by BBC, June 21, 2017

Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations.
There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco.
Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education.
The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security.
The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.

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