Latest Educational News

One year for charity helping struggling kids stay in education

by Lynn News, May 17, 2019

Dropping out of school may be the start of a downward spriral, but a Lynn-based charity is helping to ensure young people recover the education they need.

Hexagon Education, based at the Highgate Community Centre, works with those aged from 12 to 19-years-old who are not in education.

The charity has celebrated its first anniversary recently, taking on around 25 children in its inaugural year.

Manager Mary Harper, who set up the charity, said: “We are a charity so none of us take a wage so we are dependent on funding mainly to pay bills.

“The building was a community hall in 1920 but it is from the 1850s we think. It used to be a school for a church. It’s old and not pretty, but it’s functional.”

I want to drop out of university – what are my options?

by Guardian Education , May 17, 2019

On the morning of the most important exam of his second year, Harry Smith* woke up and realised he’d missed it. “I fell asleep revising,” he says.

With a series of poor grades and two failed units behind him, his degree at University College London ended up taking two years longer than expected. This included summer resits, which he kept secret from his family, and various retakes. He graduated with a 2:2.

“I handled uni really badly,” he says. “I did everything wrong. I went out too much, I didn’t work hard enough and I ignored all the warning signs.”

Primary schools urged not to waste £320million physical education funding opportunity

by Telegraph, May 17, 2019

Primary schools have been urged to maximise a collective £320 million opportunity to improve the provision of physical education and sport amid significant concerns that funding is not being universally used to create a long-term legacy.

Both the Youth Sports Trust and the Association for Physical Education welcomed recent communication from policy officials at the Department for Education that the Primary PE and Sport Premium will continue at its current doubled rate for the 2019/20 academic year, but there are also calls for the opportunity not to be wasted.

Decline in spending on children’s mental health services

by Edexec, May 17, 2019

A recent report finds that nearly 60% of local authorities in England have seen a real-terms fall in spending on low-level mental health services. Local authority spending on these services, meanwhile, ranges from £5.32 to £17.88 per child – experts warn this postcode lottery is leaving pupils at serious risk
The report Early access to mental health support was published last month by Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England. It looks at the amount spent on ‘low-level’ mental health support for children in England, including preventative and early intervention services for treating problems like anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Investigation: Number of pupils in private alternative provision soars

by Schools Week, May 17, 2019

Spend on private alternative provision (AP) has rocketed by almost £7 million in the past three years, with councils sending more vulnerable pupils to settings that are not inspected by Ofsted or registered with the government.

A Schools Week investigation has found 26 cash-strapped councils are now spending at least £23.8 million sending pupils to private AP, with the numbers of youngsters sent to such settings nearly doubling.

Careers talks 'boost GCSE results'

by TES, May 17, 2019

Encounters with the world of work have a positive impact on young people's GCSE results – with lower achievers and the less engaged benefiting the most, new research suggests.

A report from charity Education and Employers indicates that participation in career talks can change the attitudes of key stage 4 pupils to their education.

Careers lessons push up GCSE grades

by BBC, May 17, 2019

Teenagers taught about the world of work are more motivated to get higher GCSE results, say researchers.

A careers charity study found pupils who heard directly from employers about the realities of getting a job went on to get better grades.

It also seemed to provide the incentive for increased revision.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds says it shows the value of telling students how subjects taught in school are "relevant in later life".

College to axe A-level department at a time of quality and financial concerns

by FE Week, May 16, 2019

A college that crashed two grades from ‘outstanding’ last year is consulting on plans to close down its A-level provision – putting around 20 jobs at risk.

Highbury College, which is also in a precarious financial position partly because of an ongoing legal battle with a Nigerian state to recover a £1.4 million debt, informed staff of plans to shut its sixth form academy yesterday.

DfE launches consultation on fully-funded digital functional skills qualifications

by FE Week, May 16, 2019

The Department for Education is calling for views on the content for new digital functional skills qualifications that will become available for first teaching and free of charge from August 2021.

They will replace the existing functional skills qualifications (FSQs) in ICT, which will stop being available from July 2021.

The legacy ICT qualifications are currently available at entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. It is proposed by the DfE that the new digital FSQs will be made available at entry level 3 and level 1.

Tuition fees cut expected as Theresa May's legacy

by BBC, May 16, 2019

A review recommending a cut in university tuition fees in England is expected to be published in the next couple of weeks.

A lower fee of about £7,500 is expected to be part of Theresa May's "legacy" plans, ahead of her anticipated departure from No 10.

The review, headed by Philip Augar, will argue for better funding for vocational training, including wider access to student finance.

But universities fear a loss of income.

Is your teaching in line with your values?

by TES, May 16, 2019

In teaching, the arrival of the sun signals the turning point in the academic year.

It’s the point where we can start looking back at the school year so far, tracking the overall learning arcs for students, and making changes.

It is time to review, reflect, modify and renew.

Sats: We're turning Year 6 pupils into 'robots'

by TES, May 16, 2019

Last Sunday night, I was perusing EduTwitter. I was hoping to find some light-hearted entertainment before Sats week, and I was faced with panic from fellow teachers. They were desperately rereading the administration guidance, double- and triple-checking that they had taught everything that must be covered (too late anyway, surely?), and most worryingly, they were discussing what they were going to be teaching/ testing/ working on during the afternoons.

GUIDANCE FOR GRADUATES: RECOMMENDED READING

by The Schools News Service, May 16, 2019

In the next couple of months, many will find themselves finishing up their degrees at university and bound for graduation. Even if you graduated last year, it may still feel like it’s just you and your trusty degree against the world? Feel reassured in the knowledge that you won’t be the first nor the last person to find yourself in this situation… feeling fairly daunted by the prospect of what’s on the horizon. It can be an emotional journey and so, we’re here to offer some guidance with our top five books for recent graduates. Find a title that works for you…

Pupils at £37,000-a-year private school sit English IGCSE exam only to find they have been taught wrong book

by Independent, May 16, 2019

A prestigious private girls’ school has apologised after a group of students taking the English Literature International GCSE exam opened their papers to discover they had been taught the wrong book.

Malvern St James Girls’ School, a boarding school in Worcestershire, has launched an investigation into the incident after students found out the text they had been studying for years was incorrect.

Helpline for teachers struggling with mental health problems receives record number of calls

by Independent, May 16, 2019

A record number of calls have been placed to a helpline for teachers and other education professionals with mental health problems in the last 12 months.

Counsellors at the Education Support Partnership, a charity that helps education staff with their mental health, dealt with 9,615 cases between April 2018 and March 2019 - a 28 per cent rise from two years ago.

The number of callers clinically assessed to be at risk of suicide also rose by 57 per cent in a year - from 357 in 2017-18 to 561 in 2018-19, the charity said.

Grammar school group expresses `overwhelming support' for single new 11-plus test

by The Irish News , May 15, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

A GROUP of grammar schools that runs its own 11-plus style exams has said there is now "overwhelming support" for the creation of a single new test.

There has been no state involvement in 11-plus exams for more than a decade.

Grammar schools remain split into two camps, using either the Common Entrance Assessment set by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) or multiple-choice papers set by GL Assessment.

The GL papers are used by 34, mostly Catholic grammar, schools that make up the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC).

Some children will take both, meaning they must sit five papers over four consecutive Saturdays.

Sats are a symptom of the surveillance culture that envelops schools

by TES, May 15, 2019

Accountability. It’s a loaded word in education. And within the Sats debate, it seems to have become conflated with what schools are doing on behalf of Ofsted/the Department for education, rather than for the greater good of the children and the communities within which they function.

But even in 2008, Mary Bousted, general secretary of what was then the ATL teaching union (now part of the NEU), pointed out that teachers don’t actually mind being held accountable; it was over-regulation that had led to the demise of key stage 3 Sats.

Pupils’ study choices expanding, not narrowing, say education bosses

by TES, May 15, 2019

Local authority education bosses have hit back at suggestions that pupils in secondary schools are seeing their options narrow.

In recent months there has been a high-profile debate about the number of subjects pupils are able to study in S4, but MSPs were told today that it can be misleading to look at this issue in isolation.

Mark Ratter, who heads up quality improvement and performance at East Renfrewshire Council’s education services, said that, thanks to partnerships with colleges, universities and employers, as well as the Developing the Young Workforce national policy, there was actually now “a far greater choice” in what pupils can study. In one East Renfrewshire secondary school, for example, S5-6 pupils “have a choice of over 130 different courses”.

Universities told to refund half of students' tuition fees for failing to make up missed lectures during strike

by Independent, May 15, 2019

Students should be refunded at least 50 per cent of their tuition fees for lost teaching time by universities that failed to minimise the disruption caused by last year’s lecturer strikes, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator has said.

The independent body which looks at complaints across higher education, said that was the “starting point” for those affected.

Poverty tightens grip on poorest children, research says

by BBC News, May 15, 2019

Child poverty is tightening its grip on Britain's poorest families, research suggests.

About two-thirds of children are living in poverty-hit families in pockets of some large cities, the study for End Child Poverty Coalition estimates.

More than half of children in over 200 wards are below the poverty line, statistical analysis of official indices of poverty shows.

The coalition of poverty charities says whole areas are abandoned to poverty.

The research, carried out by Prof Donald Hirsh at the University of Loughborough, found the situation was getting worse in places where child poverty was already at the highest level.