Latest Educational News

To boost lifelong learning, we need a national strategy

by TES, July 12, 2019

Another week, another review. This time of the role of level 4 and 5 qualifications, described as the "missing middle" by another recent review (the Augar review).

Lecturers aren't to blame for university grade inflation – the government is

by Guardian, July 12, 2019

Yet again, universities have been blamed for grade inflation. Responding to findings by the universities regulator, the Office for Students, that there has been an “unexplained” 80% rise in first class degrees, the education secretary, Damian Hinds attributed this problem to “unfair practices” by universities. It follows his comments last year that universities “should be accountable for maintaining the value of the degrees they award”, with fines mooted for those which fail to comply.

Improving kids’ mental health with dogs, therapy and quiet classrooms

by BBC, July 12, 2019

Highgate Primary School in London has introduced a series of innovative measures to improve pupils' mental wellbeing.

It's got dogs, sound-proofed classrooms and one-to-one therapy on the premises.

Improving kids’ mental health with dogs, therapy and quiet classrooms

by BBC, July 12, 2019

Highgate Primary School in London has introduced a series of innovative measures to improve pupils' mental wellbeing.

It's got dogs, sound-proofed classrooms and one-to-one therapy on the premises.

'Grade inflation' means 80% more top degree grades

by BBC News, July 12, 2019

The proportion of students in England awarded first-class degrees continues to increase - rising by 80% since 2010-11, the university watchdog says.

The Office for Students, warning of grade inflation, says for almost three-quarters of universities such increases in top grades are "unexplained".

The University of Surrey increased its proportion awarded first-class degrees from 23% to 47% of students.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds warned against "unfair practices".

"Worries about grade inflation threaten to devalue a university education in the eyes of employers and potential students," said Susan Lapworth, director of competition for the Office for Students.

5 ways to make challenge-based learning work in primary

by TES, July 11, 2019

The aim of many teachers in primary is challenge-based learning, but how well do you think you manage to do it? It can be trickier than we imagine.

For the uninitiated, challenge-based learning is all about adding real and purposeful questions to thematic topics or themes to drive learning. It allows pupils to both apply acquired knowledge to a purpose and to connect it to the world around them.

England university applications hit record numbers

by BBC, July 11, 2019

Record numbers of 18-year-olds in England have applied for a place at university, figures from Ucas reveal.

The admissions service statistics show 236,350 school leavers - 40% in total - had applied by this year's deadline of 30 June - 3,970 more than in 2018.

This comes as a government review recommended cutting tuition fees in England from £9,250 to £7,500.

However, the number of 18-year-olds in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland applying for degree places has fallen.

In Northern Ireland, where 47% of 18-year-olds applied, there were 530 fewer applications from school leavers.

There were 610 fewer application in Scotland, where 33% of youngsters put in an application for university.

In Wales, where 33% of school leavers applied, there were 220 fewer applications than last year.

Money is biggest edtech barrier, say 40% of secondaries

by TES, July 10, 2019

The proportion of secondary schools saying a lack of money is the biggest barrier to using edtech has almost trebled over the past two years.

A survey for the British Educational Suppliers Association (Besa) also found that an increasing proportion of schools say that teachers’ unwillingness to use technology is the main obstacle to making more use of edtech.

When moving to secondary school is a step too far

by TES, July 10, 2019

The summer term is on the downward stretch now. Sats results are in, sports days dominate and perhaps an end-of-year concert lies in wait.

And every 11-year-old in the country is preoccupied with moving from their beloved primary to that large school in the distance. For some, these thoughts are exciting, but for many, they are terrifying.

One in five teachers say nothing would make them work in disadvantaged school, survey suggests

by Independent, July 10, 2019

One in five teachers said nothing would persuade them to apply for a job at a low-performing disadvantaged school, research says.

State schools in deprived areas are more likely to struggle to fill teacher vacancies which has a knock-on effect on the quality of teaching that pupils receive, a report from Sutton Trust suggests.

More than four in five (85 per cent) of teachers in the most disadvantaged state schools say recruitment issues are affecting the education quality in their school, compared to just 55 per cent of teachers in private secondary schools, according to report.

Thanks to Ofsted, FE research is coming to the fore

by TES, July 9, 2019

As Joel Petrie wrote for Tes last week, the recent attempt by Ofsted to learn about FE research by appointing a panel of HE-based advisers has galvanised an unprecedented, self-organised response.

Was the Sats reading paper fair for children with Send?

by TES, July 9, 2019

The key stage 2 Sats reading paper contained more than 3,000 words across three extracts and 39 questions.

To pass the test, pupils needed to be able to read fluently, comprehending the text and make inferences.

Why your child's Sats matter – and why they don’t

by Telegraph, July 9, 2019

Sats results are published today. But with everyone from the National Education Union to the Labour Party campaigning against them, do they really matter?

What do they measure?
Sats, or Standard Assessment Tests, take place at the end of Key Stage 1 (aged 7; these are due to be scrapped by 2023) to measure each child’s progress in maths and English (reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar).

Proportion of poorer children falls in grammar schools receiving £50m expansion funding, data suggests

by Independent, July 9, 2019

The proportion of poorer children admitted to a group of grammar schools that will share £50m of government funding has fallen despite pressure from ministers to diversify their intakes, figures suggest.

Just over 7 per cent of places at grammar schools that will receive expansion funding were offered to disadvantaged pupils for September, freedom of information data shared with The Independent shows.

Overcoming barriers to digital transformation in the classroom

by Edtechnology, July 7, 2019

Digital transformation is about using technology across organisations and institutions to streamline processes, make staff more productive and improve the user experience.In the education sector, it’s about the teachers and the students. It could mean a move to the cloud, or updating school tablets, as well as implementing software and services which aid the day-to-day running of the school.

But, in all cases, it should be about enhancing the learning experience for all students.Therefore, it’s really encouraging that the government launched a policy paper earlier this year outlining a technology strategy for education. It aims to embed technology within the education system and cut workloads, foster efficiencies and improve educational outcomes for all.

What does the future hold for private schools?

by Stoke on Trent Live, July 7, 2019

Private schools attract emotive views on both sides of the independent-state divide.

They are often seen as bastions of privilege, giving students plum access to the most competitive universities and professions. You only have to look at the findings of a recent Sutton Trust report to see the critics have a point.

Its authors analysed the backgrounds of 5,000 influential people in the UK, including judges, Government ministers, Armed Forces officers, sports figures and pop stars.

You don't need a public school education to be a genius

by Watford Observer, July 7, 2019

In case your readers believe only former public school-ites mattter in the UK, know this: a partly-educated English commoner, Michael Faraday, revealed to the world how electricity could be generated.

Soon after that a young Irishman, Charles Parsons, preferred an English apprenticeship to an elite education and later exploited Faraday's invention to develop the steam turbine, still in use today in power stations throughout the world generating limitless power and, eventually, clean energy.

Clearing up misconceptions about the new inspection framework

by FE Week, July 7, 2019

The new EIF will be wholly fit for purpose when it comes into effect in September, says Paul Joyce

One of Ofsted’s core strategy promises is to improve the validity of inspection continually. As part of meeting that commitment, last autumn we carried out research on lesson visits and work scrutiny. Our aim was to test whether inspectors reliably assess the right things when they observe lessons and look at learners’ work.

These are the best state secondary schools in Wales in 2019

by Wales Online, July 7, 2019

WalesOnline's school rankings for 2019 are published today revealing which are the best schools in Wales.

Our exhaustive research of all the available data - from results to pupil-teacher ratio - finds these are the 10 best state-funded secondary schools in Wales now.

You can also find out how your school rated. The Real Schools Guide 2019, compiled by Reach’s data unit gives a far more comprehensive picture than traditional league tables.

Scotland and Wales have much to learn from England’s education reforms

by Spectator, July 7, 2019

The first challenge was finding a reliable way to measure the effect of these initiatives. The introduction of the National Curriculum coincided with the replacement of O-levels and CSEs with GCSEs, making it difficult to compare before and after. In addition, the steady, year-on-year improvement in GCSE grades between 1988 and 2012 has to be taken with a large dose of salt, with most of it due to grade inflation. The positive spin New Labour put on its own record in education was belied by a 2009 Sheffield University study which found that 22 per cent of school leavers were functionally innumerate and 17 per cent functionally illiterate.

The OECD’s Programme of International School Assessment (PISA) seemed like a better bet. Not only does it measure the performance of British 15-year-olds in science, reading and maths every three years according to an inflation-proof standard, it compares their performance with that of schoolchildren in about 80 countries. For a variety of reasons, Britain’s performance in the first PISA survey in 2000 has to be discounted and we didn’t participate in 2003, so the starting point is 2006. And this isn’t me cherry-picking the data. On the contrary, if you compare the UK average in 2006 with the average in 2015 it’s a story of national decline in all three subject areas.