Latest Educational News

Top UK independent school opens new Dubai campus

by Arabian Business, September 3, 2021

Royal Grammar School in Guildford sits on 40,000 square metre site in Dubai that will accommodate up to 2,100 pupils

One of the most prestigious independent schools in the UK has announced the official opening of its new campus in Dubai.

Exactly 512 years after the founding of the first Royal Grammar School in Guildford in the United Kingdom, the school’s UAE campus was officially opened with a plaque unveiling ceremony.

Wirral pupils can breathe easy with free air-quality education

by Wirral Globe, September 3, 2021

PRIMARY school children, teachers and parents across Liverpool City Region have been given free access to subscription-only online resources teaching about clean air as part of the Metro Mayor's Community Education Fund.

Young people will be taught the value of good air quality in their communities after being granted unlimited access to a free learning platform.

Teachers, parents and primary school pupils can now enjoy the subscription-only channels of the interactive website Clean Air Crew.

Lack of psychologists hits pupils with special educational needs

by Guardian, September 3, 2021

Councils are struggling to complete children’s education and care plans before the new school year because of a shortage of specialists

Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.

Education, health and care plans (EHCPs) set out the extra provision that children with high special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are legally entitled to. To decide whether to provide an EHCP, and what should go in it, councils must carry out an assessment, sourcing advice and information from an educational psychologist.

COVID-19: Children must return to 'normal pre-pandemic experience' in schools, education secretary says

by Sky News, September 3, 2021

The minister refuses to rule out a potential surge in cases as children and young adults return to classrooms, despite being asked repeatedly on Sky News.

The education secretary has insisted children must return to a "normal pre-pandemic" experience in schools, despite the risk of an increase in COVID cases.

Gavin Williamson said testing would be key to guarding against rising infection rates, but refused to outline what the government's "contingency plan" for other potential measures might involve.

Experts are predicting a surge in COVID-19 cases linked to classrooms reopening in England and Wales.

How to win the Maths Challenge

by Spectator, September 2, 2021

Simon Singh, founder of the Good Thinking Society and author of The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, believes that parents should ferociously ‘lobby their children’s schools’ if they still don’t run the annual Maths Challenge. For those not familiar with it, the Maths Challenge is a phenomenally well-organised competition run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT). It doesn’t cost much to enter — £13 for ten papers (for ten pupils) — and is a massive opportunity for children from all backgrounds.

Some children in NI still waiting for post-primary school place

by BBC, September 2, 2021

More than 40 children are still waiting for a post-primary school place to be confirmed for the start of the new 2021-22 school year.

That is according to figures from the Education Authority (EA).

The number of families appealing against post-primary schools who did not offer their children a year eight place rose significantly in 2021.

More than 800 appeals were submitted by families of which about 650 led to appeal tribunal hearings this summer.

The golden age of the grammar schools

by Spectator, September 2, 2021

Classified as 11 Plus.

Some lucky parents have already solved their school and university problems. They have managed to insert their young into state grammar schools. If all goes according to plan, they will need to pay no gigantic fees, their sons and daughters will be educated to what at least looks like a high standard, in orderly classrooms — and an increasingly anti-middle-class Oxbridge will not be prejudiced against them when they apply. I envy them, having myself spent the GDP of a small Latin American country on private education over the past three decades, with variable results. But I also increasingly wish it were not so.

School funding will remain below 2009 levels despite government’s spending boost

by Schools Week, September 2, 2021

School spending will still be lower per pupil by 2023 than more than a decade ago under the last Labour government, a new analysis has estimated.

Cash available for schools in England will be between 1 and 2 per cent lower in real terms – accounting for inflation – in 2022-23 than it was in 2009-10, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The figures indicate the Conservatives will have to turn up the spending taps if they want to head into the next general election with school budgets larger than when they took power in 2010. An election is due in 2024, but some expect an earlier poll in 2023.

£579m school-led tutoring: Non-teacher tutors can’t start until at least November

by Schools Week, September 2, 2021

The Department for Education has published guidance today for its £579 million school-led tutor fund.

It will form a third strand of catch-up support under the National Tutoring Programme, which opened for year two applications today. The other two routes are tuition partners and academic mentors.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. DfE wants tutoring to start ASAP …
Following feedback the government’s tutoring programme was not flexible enough, a new route has been set up to give cash straight to schools so they can source their own tutoring. All state-funded schools are eligible for the ring-fenced grant.

Pupils might not have been taught parts of autumn exams, says Ofqual

by Schools Week, September 2, 2021

Ofqual opted to make no adaptations to the majority of exams in the autumn series despite flagging it would mean “some students could be examined on aspects that they have not been taught”.

Board minutes from a March 17 meeting, published today, show that student preparedness was a “key concern” for the regulators following the proposal that exams in the autumn would be conducted as normal.

The minutes explain that a December consultation on potential adaptations for summer exams, prior to the government’s decision to scrap them, emphasised the need for student support to manage adaptations, and risks to disadvantaged and disabled students where support was not available.

Tutoring revolution builds as students return to class

by GOV UK, September 2, 2021

Huge expansion of tutoring will support up to six million pupils over the next three years

Schools will have greater flexibility to offer high-quality, 15-hour tutoring courses that meet the needs of their pupils, in a major expansion of the National Tutoring Programme backed by £1 billion.

One course of high-quality tutoring has been proven to boost attainment by three to five months, so tutoring will be vital for young people in recovering the teaching hours lost in the last year.

Covid: Schools aren't infection hubs, says public health boss

by BBC, September 2, 2021

Schools are not "drivers" or "hubs" of Covid infection, Public Health England's medical director has said.

Dr Yvonne Doyle said she understood parents' nervousness about schools returning after the summer in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

She stressed that lots of measures to cut Covid spread remained in place.

But Prof Calum Semple, a government scientific adviser, said with most adults vaccinated, schools were likely to be a "greater part of the problem".

Covid: Mixed emotions as pupils return to school across England

by BBC, September 2, 2021

Parents have been sharing their contrasting emotions as schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland welcome back pupils for the new term.

Measures to limit the spread of coronavirus - such as masks and social distancing - have been lifted in England, but regular testing remains.

We spoke to one mother who can't wait to send her children back to school, one who is conflicted about the return to the classroom, another who is vowing to keep her children away from school, and a father whose son fears things will never be the same again.

Teachers not at increased risk of severe Covid, study finds

by Schools Week, September 1, 2021

Teachers and their households were not at an increased risk of experiencing severe Covid or being hospitalised from the virus during the last academic year, a new study has found.

Researchers say findings from a Wellcome Trust study published by the British Medical Journal today should “reassure those who are engaged in face-to-face teaching”.

They used Scottish data from March 2020 to July 2021 to compare the risk of Covid-19 among teachers and their household compared with healthcare workers and adults in the general population.

First Day of School: When UK schools go back and the Covid testing guidance in place

by iNews, September 1, 2021

This school year will be far more normal than the last, with the vast majority of Covid restrictions dropped

A Google Doodle is celebrating pupils returning to school in the UK today, for the start of a new academic year.

Pupils in Scotland may be a bit miffed to see this, however, as they have already been back in the classroom for a couple of weeks.

This school year will be far more normal than the last, with the vast majority of Covid restrictions dropped.

Affordable uniforms law will miss new school year

by BBC, August 31, 2021

A new law aimed at making school uniforms cheaper in England will not be in place in time for the start of this school year.

Headteachers are waiting for the new statutory guidance on uniforms, which will make schools place affordability at the centre of their uniform policy.

The government says schools should expect full details in the autumn.

But that means parents will not benefit from the changes, as schools go back this September.

Lack of psychologists hits pupils with special educational needs

by The Guardian, August 29, 2021

Councils are struggling to complete children’s education and care plans before the new school year because of a shortage of specialists

Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.

Education, health and care plans (EHCPs) set out the extra provision that children with high special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are legally entitled to. To decide whether to provide an EHCP, and what should go in it, councils must carry out an assessment, sourcing advice and information from an educational psychologist.

Forever Free review: how education fails Black children – and how to put it right

by Guardian, August 28, 2021

Tracy Swinton Bailey has written an inspiring book about Freedom Readers and how to use literacy for good

As the school year begins, teachers and parents share common concerns about the education of young people, a concern greater than virus variants or mask mandates.
An entire school year was lost for millions of children, underscoring the limits of online teaching in the digital age. The fantasy of virtual school as the wave of the future has come face to face with a reality born of 18 months in quarantine.

Education secretary vows less Covid chaos when schools in England return

by Financial Times, August 28, 2021

End of mass self-isolation should reduce disruption but teachers still fear surge in cases

UK education secretary Gavin Williamson has promised that children preparing to return to school in England will face far less disruption this year due to Covid-19 vaccinations, mass testing and new guidance to reduce the number of pupils who are sent home.

Williamson told the Financial Times that the government also hoped to expand vaccinations beyond the 16 to 17 age group to younger children in an effort to further suppress coronavirus.

England’s schools in urgent need of repairs, say heads

by The Guardian, August 28, 2021

Teachers tell of leaking ceilings, broken heating, inadequate ventilation, as leaders say they have no money to fix problems

Teachers across England have complained of leaking ceilings, broken heating systems and ventilation too poor to deal with the threat of Covid, as the overwhelming majority of headteachers warned that they do not have the funds to repair their dilapidated school buildings.

The Observer has been contacted by teachers who say they have had to empty water out of their keyboards in the morning, move tables and chairs each day to avoid puddles and ask children to wear coats inside in winter as a result of unsuitable buildings in dire need of repair.