Latest Educational News

School CPR lessons 'could triple survival rate’

by TES, October 8, 2018

Charity calls for CPR to be taught in every school in Scotland, arguing it could dramatically cut cardiac-arrest deaths

Teaching CPR in every secondary school could triple the cardiac-arrest survival rate, a charity has said.

The British Heart Foundation Scotland said that training all secondary school pupils in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) had the potential to save thousands of lives.

The charity made the call at a fringe meeting of the SNP conference in Glasgow today, a day after the party backed a motion for schools to teach CPR to all pupils.

Some 10 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have committed to CPR training in schools, but today’s meeting heard that Scotland has the lowest survival rate in the UK for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Dr Andrew Lockey, honorary secretary of the Resuscitation Council (UK), said at the meeting that survival rates “rocketed” in Denmark after CPR was introduced into its curriculum in 2005.

Elite public schools drop common entrance exams

by TES, October 8, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Westminster and St Paul's say the aim is to reduce sustained pressure upon pupils, parents and teachers

Two elite public schools are dropping the 13-plus common entrance exam in a bid to reduce pressure on pupils, parents and teachers.

St Paul’s School and Westminster School, which are both located in London, said the decision will give preparatory schools more flexibility in determining their own curriculum and allow them more room to incorporate independent study into the school day.

Dropping the 13-plus in favour of "pre-tests" taken in Year 6 will also reduce "the sustained pressure upon pupils, parents and teachers between National Curriculum Year 5 and Year 8," they said in a joint press release.

“Not having to take the [common entrance] examination will relieve stress and create more time for the school,” said Professor Mark Bailey, High Master of St Paul’s School.

Head teachers protest at Downing Street funding rally

by BBC, September 28, 2018

Hundreds of head teachers from England and Wales are attending a rally in central London later, to demand extra funding for schools.

They met in Parliament Square before delivering a letter to No 11 Downing Street, amid concerns over work conditions and overcrowded classrooms.

The heads quote the Institute of Fiscal Studies' claim that per pupil funding has fallen 8% in real terms since 2010.

The government says school funds will rise to a record £43.5bn by 2020.

And ministers argue a new funding formula will bring more cash to schools.

But heads are warning of:

bigger class sizes
staffing cuts
reduced subject choices
loss of support for special needs and pastoral services

Head teachers explain funding protest to parents

by BBC, September 26, 2018

Head teachers representing schools across England are writing to parents to explain why they are going on a protest over funding shortages.

An "unprecedented" 1,000 head teachers are expected to march in Westminster on Friday, protesting about "unsustainable" budget shortfalls.

They say school budgets have been "slashed" and services are being cut.

But the Department for Education says: "There is more money going into schools than ever before."

The grassroots campaign by head teachers, from Cornwall to Cumbria, is sending a letter to parents on Wednesday, promising that the protest will be "relentlessly reasonable" and "without any political bias".

The letter tells parents all protesters at the rally in London will be head teachers.

It is not a union event - but Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union says such a gathering is unprecedented and "demonstrates the strength of feeling".

Four ways schools can improve their ICT

by TES, September 25, 2018

A detailed study of ICT in state-funded schools has pointed to four areas where they could make improvements.

The independent survey of a representative panel of UK schools, carried out by the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (Besa), received full responses from 794 primary schools and 510 secondary schools.

Here are some of the main points:

1. Give teachers more ICT training
Two-thirds of secondary schools believe that training teachers in how to use their ICT resources is the biggest ICT challenge facing them over the next year.

A total of 66 per cent of secondaries, and 54 per cent of primaries, picked this.

England comes last for teacher job satisfaction

by TES, September 19, 2018

Nowhere has worse teacher job satisfaction than England, according to new research from the UCL Institute of Education.

The researchers looked at job satisfaction among 22 countries which had data comparable to England – and found that only Latvia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic had similarly dissatisfied teachers – while those in Australia, New Zealand and the USA were much happier.

Primary teachers get ‘too much stick’ over maths

by TES, September 18, 2018

A maths education professor keen to transform the way the subject is taught in schools has dismissed the idea that primary teachers need to hold more advanced maths qualifications in order to improve pupil performance.

In the past it has been suggested that to help raise standards in maths, primary teachers in Scotland should be required to have a Higher in the subject, placing it on an equal footing with English.

However, ahead of delivering a keynote address to the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow tomorrow, Jo Boaler – professor of mathematics education at Stanford University in the US – has said she believes primary teachers are too often berated for their lack of subject knowledge, given that international evidence shows pupils’ performance in maths dipping in early secondary.

The issue was not about upping the qualifications of primary staff, rather it was about changing the way maths was taught in school, said Professor Boaler.

Share test results with parents, says government

by TES, September 18, 2018

The Scottish government has revealed that it is advising schools to share the results of the new national tests in literacy and numeracy with parents.

Government officials said they did not dictate to schools how they should report back to parents but that the results of the national tests – sat for the first time in 2017-18 – were “part of the evidence schools have” and they should provide that to parents along with other information about how their child is progressing.

David Leng, the official in charge of the tests, said: “We don’t specify how schools report to parents, but we are suggesting this is information we have and it should be fed back.”

However, Mr Leng – whose official title is Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) product owner – warned that if schools were to provide national assessment results alone that would give a misleading picture, because they focused on a “small sample of ability”.

Colleges Week 2018: Everything you need to know

by TES, September 18, 2018

The inaugural Colleges Week will take place next month, with the aim of getting the government to boost FE funding.

Here is everything you need to know about the week of action.

What is Colleges Week?
Colleges Week will see colleges across the country, along with education unions and students, hosting events to showcase all they do and raise awareness of the funding challenges that colleges face.

It is part of the Love Our Colleges campaign, a link-up between college staff, students and supporters and the education unions to promote colleges on the national stage.

When does it take place?
Colleges Week runs from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October 2018.

The week is focused around a national lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October, which will involve principals lobbying MPs and education trade unionists marching and then rallying in Parliament Square.

School open days: Eight things to look for

by BBC, September 18, 2018

It's that time of the year when secondary schools freshen up their display boards, pick out their best-behaved kids and prepare for open evenings.

But how can parents get beyond the glossy prospectuses and slick presentations and decide whether this is the school for their child?

1. Quiz those hand-picked pupils who show you around
As Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, admits, schools will always wheel out their star pupils for the open evening: "They'll choose the pupils who are their ambassadors."

And who can blame them? It would be rather worrying if a school gave the responsibility of showing prospective parents around to the naughty, often-caught-having-a-smoke-behind-the-bike-sheds boys and girls.

'Should colleges be more like schools?'

by TES, September 7, 2018

As a teacher, I was always told that one of the biggest selling points when flogging the glittering highlights of college to 16-year-old students straight out of secondary, was that it is not like school. "College is a professional environment. You’re being prepared for work. Hey, you even get to call us by out first names!" Like many colleagues I dutifully took my role in this concept pyramid scheme and without question sold it to my students.

And it’s true that we are a bit different - campuses are often sprawling hamlets housing far more people than their old place, there’s a different type of timetable, often comparatively reduced and centred on a single subject or vocation. It’s also true that colleges have less funding than the place they’ve just come from and despite how hard we work and the effort we put in, the results of those cash shortfalls may occasionally peep through the razzle dazzle. But we won't tell ‘em that bit. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Drop in pupils who say they are bullied

by TES, September 7, 2018

The percentage of secondary school pupils reporting they are bullied each month has dropped – but parents say it is on the rise – the Department for Education’s annual omnibus survey has found.

The proportion of pupils who reported in the survey that they were bullied at school at least once a month was 20 per cent, down from the 33 per cent recorded in the survey during the winter of 2016-17.

But among parents, 16 per cent said their child had been a victim of bullying, up from 9 per cent in the earlier survey. Among college students, 12 per cent said they had been bullied.

Overall, 9 per cent of school pupils and 14 per cent of college students said another pupil or student had "said something sexist or sexual" to them at least once a month in the last year, while 2 per cent of school pupils and 1 per cent of college students complained of having been touched inappropriately and without permission at least once a month.

Both pupils and parents thought schools were likely to take action over inappropriate touching, but not over sexist or sexual remarks.

Top universities to face pressure over admissions

by BBC, September 7, 2018

The most competitive universities in England are to face greater scrutiny of their efforts to recruit disadvantaged students under a new draft plan.

Regulator the Office for Students plans to focus on institutions it thinks less likely to meet targets on attracting more students from poorer homes.

These are likely to be for courses with higher grade requirements, often leading to better jobs, OFS says.

The regulator wants to bring in new ways to open up opportunities for all.

The OFS intends to bring in tougher targets for the recruitment of disadvantaged students, their progress on courses and moving into work after they graduate.

Ofsted cuts leave parents guessing, say MPs

by BBC, September 7, 2018

Parents in England are not getting the assurance they need about the quality of education their children are receiving, a committee of MPs warns.

It is unacceptable that so many schools - previously rated outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted - are exempt from being reinspected, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says.

PAC says cuts to Ofsted's budget mean families cannot make informed choices.

Ofsted says it is confident inspections offer parents the assurance they need.

Ofsted's chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, said it was maintaining "excellent levels of assurance" despite its budget being more than halved.

"One might think that a parliamentary committee that was responsible for public money would be pleased that we had put so much effort into staying within our means. It would certainly be the first to roast us if we didn't," she said.

New GCSEs require teaching time that we do not have

by BBC, September 6, 2018

Ahead of results days, the blizzard of gloomy predictions was a bit like the media storm around the budget. Endless assertions by politicians that the exams were tougher would surely have led us to expect a dramatic fall in grades. Instead, though the hamster wheel whirled faster, the outcomes remained pretty much static.

On GCSE results day there were the usual happy smiles for the camera. It’s always uplifting to feel the sense of achievement from the teachers and students. They always put in a lot of extra effort over the year, but especially so last year as numerical grades became the dominant measure.

Some escalation of time and effort is only to be expected as revision sets in. But what was particularly striking was one interview on breakfast TV with a senior leader. The leader was proud of her school’s achievements and the extra work that had gone into them – to the tune of an extra 45 minutes a day.

Early years should get more music, says arts chief

by TES, September 6, 2018

Early years should no longer be overlooked when it comes to music education, arts chief Darren Henley said today.

Mr Henley, chief executive of the Arts Council, told teachers and music educators at an event in London that the more he looked into early years, the more he was convinced of its "vital importance".

He pointed out that some children were born into families that were culturally aware and were given opportunities to take part in the creative arts from the start, whereas other children were not – simply because their families did not know what opportunities were available.

And he said he would like to see the government recognise the value of music for very young children in its national plan.

“We’re currently talking to the government about the next iteration of the National Plan for Music Education, which will take us from 2020,” he said.

Quarter of new teachers surprised by workload

by TES, September 5, 2018

More than a quarter of newly qualified teachers were surprised by a larger-than-expected workload in their first year, despite efforts to prepare them.

About 65 per cent of NQTs had discussed workload with their training provider or school before their induction year, pollster Ipsos Mori revealed, but 28 per cent still reported a bigger workload than expected. The survey found that 62 per cent believed the workload was the same as they had anticipated.

When asked about the help they had received to cut down their workload, 52 per cent said they had been encouraged to eliminate unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources, while 47 per cent were encouraged to eliminate unnecessary workload related to marking.

The survey, which was commissioned by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, also found that NQTs were largely positive about their induction year with 76 per cent rating it between 7 and 10 out of 10.

Sats results: Gap between authorities widens

by TES, September 4, 2018

The local authority Sats results published today show that the difference between the lowest- and highest-performing areas has widened.

In the lowest-performing authority, 52 per cent of 10- and 11-year-olds reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths compared with 80 per cent in the highest-performing authority – a gap of 28 percentage points, up from 25 percentage points last year.

The provisional results also show the difference in reading scores has narrowed, with results ranging from 65 per cent of pupils reaching the expected standard to 87 per cent reaching the expected standard. This is a gap of 22 percentage points – down from 25 percentage points last year.

The percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in writing, which is teacher-assessed, ranged from 69 per cent to 87 per cent, a gap of 18 percentage points – the same as last year.

And in maths, the range was from 66 per cent to 88 per cent, a gap of 22 percentage points – slightly higher than 21 percentage points last year.

Why all pupils should learn migration history

by TES, September 4, 2018

"How is it possible we don’t have our own migration museum in the UK?" I asked, as I descended the steps of France’s immigration museum in Paris in 2012. "When we do, I want to run its education programme…"

Never before had I sent such a frank statement into the universe (or been listened to).

As a former citizenship teacher, I was struck by how relevant the exhibition's themes of migration and identity were to so many of the young people I was teaching, yet how few cultural spaces we had in the UK to explore themes at the heart of who we are – as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

Six years on and still sporting my citizenship-teacher’s hat – for when does a teacher ever really lose that hat? – I am part of a team establishing a national migration museum for Britain, with an active education programme at its core. We are also helping to shape the revised national curriculum, which, for all its challenges, is providing exciting opportunities for pupils to learn about how immigration and emigration have shaped the UK over time.

Independent schools shun KS2 Sats tests

by TES, September 4, 2018

The number of independent schools choosing to enter pupils for key stage 2 Sats has dropped by 25 per cent since the tests were reformed.

Department for Education provisional statistics, published today, show that 253 out of approximately 1,400 eligible independent schools took part in the assessments this summer – a drop of 25 per cent since 2015, when the total stood at 338.

It is compulsory for state-funded schools to administer the Sats at the end of both KS1 and KS2, but independent schools can choose whether to take part or not.

The Sats involve tests in reading, maths and spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag), and a writing assessment carried out by teachers, which follows nationally set criteria.

The test were reformed in 2016 to match the new “tougher” national curriculum. In their first year, 53 per cent of pupils reached the new expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths; in the previous year, 80 per cent achieved what was then the expected level 4 in the 3Rs.

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