Latest Educational News

'Year 11, you will survive your GCSEs. Here's how'

by TES, May 14, 2018

Exam season is underway and Year 11s will be frantically revising. Here one teacher offers her survival guide

Dear Year 11,

You are about to enter one of the most significant phases of your life so far. This GCSE period will pave the way for so much of what comes next in your lives. You will be nervous and maybe a little bit excited, too, at this single chance to show off all you have learned.

'Schools can help Mental Health Awareness Week'

by TES, May 14, 2018

We can't let Mental Health Awareness Week be overshadowed by the royal wedding, says Tes' mental health columnist

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. This annual event usually generates a flurry of activity from press and campaigners around a specific theme (this year’s theme is stress). Whilst this undoubtedly has value, the week inevitably attracts criticism from those who say that mental health issues impact a significant proportion of the population for 52 weeks, not one week, of the year.

Sats: How hard was today’s Spag test?

by TES, May 14, 2018

More than 600,000 pupils aged 10-11 were tested on their spelling, punctuation and grammar today

Sats week began today with Year 6 children facing a "tough" spelling paper, as part of the spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) test.

The test consists of two papers: a 45-minute question-and-answer booklet and a 15-minute spelling test in which the teacher reads out 20 words that the pupils have to write in their answer booklet.

Rise in mental health referrals by schools

by TES, May 14, 2018

Number of children referred by schools for mental health treatment up by a third in three years

The number of referrals by schools seeking mental health treatment for pupils has shot up by over a third in the last three years, it was revealed today.

In total, schools made 123,713 requests for help for pupils from the NHS child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) between 2014-15 and 2017-18, said the NSPCC children’s charity.

'Dissatisfied' teachers moving overseas

by TES, May 14, 2018

Nearly half of teachers working in British international schools say their move was influenced by "dissatisfaction" with the education system at home, new survey findings reveal.

And nearly a third (32 per cent) of international school teachers were thinking about quitting the profession before moving abroad, according to the poll by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

Cuts put deaf children's education at 'breaking point'

by BBC, May 14, 2018

Tom Bishop is 11 and deaf. The specialist teacher he had was a "life-line", say his family.

But two years ago her post was cut, leaving his family "lost and worried," about their son's future

His mother Emma described impact of the cut as "appalling".

Thomas's story is not unusual, says The National Deaf Children's Society, with one in 10 teachers of the deaf having their jobs axed in the past four years.

And figures obtained by the charity under Freedom of Information laws suggests the cuts are about to get worse.

One in three councils in England are planning to cut deaf children's support services this year saving £4bn.

Newspaper headlines: 'Green light' for grammar schools

by BBC, May 11, 2018

The government's decision to put £50 million towards providing more grammar school places divides opinion.

For the Daily Mirror, it is a "scandal" that has been "blasted" by union leaders angry that selective education is getting more money while comprehensives face cuts.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds tells the Daily Telegraph it will enable grammars to "widen the net" to include more children from poorer backgrounds, possibly by lowering the pass marks they need to achieve in the entrance exam.

The Daily Mail hails the expansion scheme as a "new dawn" that is "making good on the Tories' pledge to increase choice for parents".

The Grammar School Heads Association tells the paper that many of its members have been "keenly awaiting" the announcement and have already begun prioritising applications from disadvantaged youngsters.

The school admissions campaign group Comprehensive Future complains to the Independent that the policy will allow grammars to get around the ban on building new selective schools by permitting them to create annexes - often on completely separate sites.

UK university staff offered 2 per cent pay rise

by Times Higher Education, May 11, 2018

UK university staff have been offered a pay increase of 2 per cent for 2018-19.

The final pay offer was made by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, which negotiates pay for 147 UK higher education institutions, in its third meeting with union representatives on 10 May.

The proposed deal includes higher pay uplift for the lower paid, with base pay for all staff increasing by between 2 and 2.8 per cent. This marks an increase on previous the 1.7 per cent pay rise proposed in Ucea’s second meeting with union representatives.

Overall, it would mean that the average pay increase received by the sector employees covered would be 3.5 per cent once additional incremental rises linked to seniority are considered, said Ucea.

10 colleges to be hit by strike action

by TES, May 11, 2018

A total of 10 further education colleges will be hit by strike action throughout May and June in a row over pay between members of the University and College Union and college management.

Staff at nine colleges in London, as well as Sandwell College in the West Midlands, will walk out for up to seven days. The move by union members follows what they said was an unacceptable pay offer of 1 per cent from the Association of Colleges in September last year. The UCU said FE staff have suffered years of pay suppression and have seen their pay drop by 25 per cent in real terms since 2009.

This is the third wave of strikes in the dispute, with staff at many at the affected colleges having taken strike action in February and March. While the dispute centres around pay, at some colleges it also includes concerns about working conditions, including holiday entitlement, workload and observation policies.

Most 14-year-olds do no homework on average weekday

by TES, May 11, 2018

The majority of 14-year-olds do no homework on a typical weekday evening, a new study has suggested.

The UCL Institute of Education has found that 60 per cent of the teenagers shun their schoolbooks on an average weekday evening – but about half spend time on social media.

More free schools set for the North and Midlands

by TES, May 11, 2018

The next wave of the free schools programme is set to be increasingly focused on the North and the Midlands as the Department for Education commits to opening schools in areas where it says there is a need to raise standards.

The DfE said today it will open a new wave of schools in areas where they are most needed – including in disadvantaged areas.

Gordon Brown launches global funding plan for schools

by BBC, May 11, 2018

Gordon Brown is launching a $10bn (£7.4bn) scheme to widen access to education in some of the world's poorest countries.

The UN global education envoy and ex-UK prime minister wants donor countries to act as guarantors on low-cost lending for projects.

The fund aims to tackle the problem of 260 million children without schools.

Mr Brown warned the UN in New York that such gaps would have "catastrophic consequences".

The International Finance Facility for Education, backed by the UN and World Bank, aims to provide $10bn worth of loans and grants to allow poorer countries to build schools and hire teachers.

Student loan rates absurd, say MPs

by BBC, May 11, 2018

The inflation measure used to set interest rates on student loans is "absurd", says a report from MPs.

The government uses RPI - the Retail Prices Index - which the Treasury Select Committee says is "flawed" and should be "abandoned".

The rise in that measure will push interest rates on student loans for tuition fees up to 6.3% in the autumn.

The Department for Education defended the continuing use of RPI, saying it provided "consistency over time".

Nicky Morgan, who chairs the committee, said the use of RPI for loan repayments, which "normally gives a higher rate of inflation", appears "grossly unfair".

'Punitive'

Grammar schools and faith schools get green light to expand

by BBC, May 11, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Grammar schools in England are being given the chance to create thousands of new places in a trimmed-down selective school expansion programme.

The expanded wholly selective schools will have to set out plans to admit disadvantaged pupils, perhaps by lowering the entrance requirements.

It comes after Theresa May's scheme for a new wave of grammars was abandoned due to lack of Parliamentary support.

Plans for new faith schools have also been announced.

But instead of making it easier for religious groups to open free schools, ministers will invite councils to open faith schools jointly with religious groups, as they have done in the past.

As with other faith schools in the state sector, they will be allowed to recruit 100% of pupils from particular faith groups.

Student loans boss Steve Lamey hired 'against advice'

by BBC, May 11, 2018

The man hired to run the Student Loans Company was appointed against officials' advice and without having his references checked, a report says.

Steve Lamey was made chief executive in June 2016 on a year's probation.

Within 18 months he was sacked for gross misconduct after whistleblowers made 69 allegations of wrongdoing.

A National Audit Office probe into the government's oversight of the firm said despite the reservations, it failed to properly monitor the appointment.

It is the first time the details of Mr Lamey's tenure and dismissal have been revealed.

The Student Loans Company oversees £100bn worth of debt to the public purse, processes 1.8 million applications a year and has more than eight million customers.

The appointment panel identified one suitable candidate for the job, Mr Lamey.

Schools focus on university, say young Scots

by TES, May 10, 2018

Almost two-thirds of young people feel that university is the main focus of schools, according to a survey carried out by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee.

In the survey of 900 15- to 24-year-olds, many said they felt that “university was prioritised at the expense of other options”. Comments from those who completed the survey suggested a number of them received no information on what options were available after school, and 21 per cent of school leavers taking the survey said they left school not knowing what they wanted to do.

Seven ways to get the best out of an author visit

by TES, May 10, 2018

When you watch a tent full of children listening, spellbound, to an author or illustrator talking about their books, it’s hard to believe that there are classroom struggles around reading, or that parents have to ration screen time.

A character evolves as the illustrator draws a picture in front of the audience; the imaginary world that readers can inhabit is recreated by the author who first conceived it; the madness and hilarity of favourite stories may be sung, acted or both. Live encounters through events such as Haydays, the children and families programme at Hay Festival, can transform the dynamic of reading.

Pupils' education 'damaged by lack of diversity in teaching'

by TES, May 9, 2018

A lack of diversity in Scotland’s teaching profession is damaging pupils’ attainment and life chances, an education union’s annual conference will hear.

Members are “shocked to note the limited progress made towards equality and diversity across the teaching profession”, according to a motion to the NASUWT Scotland gathering.

PM's portrait taken down after Oxford student protests

by BBC, May 9, 2018

A picture of Theresa May has been taken down at the University of Oxford to protect it from protests by students.

The picture of the prime minister, part of a celebration of women who had studied at the university, had been "obscured" by critical messages.

The portrait had been "plastered" with messages about issues including immigration, Windrush and Brexit.

A university spokesman said removing Theresa May's picture was "absolutely not done to make a political point".

Instead, the university authorities say, the picture had been taken down to keep it safe from "mainly humorous satirical messages".

Protesters had used Twitter to say that the university should not be putting up pictures of Mrs May - making reference to the Windrush scandal.

London ranked top city for students

by BBC, May 9, 2018

London has been ranked as the best city in the world for university students.

The top 30 rankings for student cities, produced by the QS higher education data analysts, has previously put Montreal and Paris in first place.

The ratings are based on factors such as the number of top universities in a city, the local jobs market, the diversity of the culture and the quality of life.

But London ranked poorly on one of the measures - affordability.

The ranking of university cities, rather than the quality of institutions, is produced by the QS higher education group, which publishes the annual World University Rankings.

The comparisons, which include a survey of the views of 50,000 students, are an attempt to quantify some of the attractions and disadvantages of cities for students.

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