Latest Educational News

App lets students cheat on their homework, but parents needn’t be worried

by Independent, January 21, 2017

Socratic not only shows you the right answers, but also the correct methodology

Students across the world will be thrilled to hear that they can now outsource their homework to an app.

Socratic, which is available for free on the App Store, is designed to tackle a range of subject matter, but has just been updated with enhanced mathematical capabilities.

Students need only feed a picture of a question – printed or handwritten – to the app, which will then proceed to work it out.

Could tuition fees really cost £54,000?

by BBC, January 21, 2017

How much will it cost to get a degree in England when tuition fees increase to £9,250 in the autumn?
How about £54,000?
If that seems high for a three-year degree, that's how much a think tank has calculated a student could have to pay back with interest.
And that wouldn't be the full size of the debt. There could be another £40,000 still outstanding when fee loans are written off after 30 years.
When fees start increasing from this autumn, it will mean borrowing about £28,600 for three years, with the amount then rising with inflation each year.

Reconsider grammar plan, heads urge May

by BBC, January 21, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Secondary head teachers in North Somerset have written to Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to reconsider proposals for new grammar schools.
North Somerset is one of only six areas identified by one think tank recently as likely to benefit from selection.
But, in the letter, the heads of nine local comprehensives said selection would be a "retrograde step" which would "undermine" progress.
Downing Street said ministers would respond to the letter "in due course".

Secret Teacher: My uniform-mad school is putting style over substance

by Guardian, January 21, 2017

We have draconian guidelines and pupils are sent home for non-compliance. The message is clear: it’s not who you are that counts, but how you look

My school is in the middle of a big push on uniform. It’s always this way when the new year starts; we have a drive on lots of things, many of which are long-forgotten by the time we get to summer. We don’t seem to be letting go this year though. Uniform has really fired up our senior leadership team – so much so that there is always someone prowling the gates in the morning to check that the students are dressed appropriately.

London university tells students their emails may be monitored

by Guardian, January 20, 2017

King’s College London notice about its Prevent duty prompts criticism from student and staff unions

One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has warned students and staff that their emails may be retained and monitored as part of the government’s Prevent programme to stop radicalisation on campuses.

Campaigners have raised concern after King’s College London (KCL) introduced a warning on its email login page stating that by using the system students and staff were consenting to their emails being “monitored and recorded”.

A spokesperson for KCL’s students’ union said it was a violation of trust, adding: “Students who have not committed any crimes are being treated as suspects.”

The introduction of the Prevent duty within universities remains highly contentious, with both academic staff and students arguing that it risks creating a culture of mistrust and shutting down vital debate.

This year's exam results shows girls' schools are producing pupils who aim for the sky

by Telegraph, January 20, 2017

Secondary school league tables, published this week, show that single sex girls schools, both independent and state, are vastly over-represented in the upper ranks.

In the same week, an analysis of the 2015 results by the education website SchoolDash revealed that three quarters of pupils at mainstream girls schools achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths, compared with 55 percent at mixed schools.

But superior exam results are not the only reason students from single sex schools are winning places at top universities and going on to succeed in their chosen careers.

Cheshire East schools 'could face four-day week'

by BBC, January 20, 2017

Schoolchildren face the prospect of a four-day week because of a shortage in funding, a group of head teachers said.
Speaking to the BBC, five school principals from Cheshire also warned some subjects could be scrapped, while teaching assistants and mental health support workers could face redundancy.
In December, the government announced the biggest shake-up of the school funding formula for decades.
Ministers said it would resolve "unfair" and "inconsistent" funding.

One in five students regret their choice of university, new study shows

by Telegraph, January 20, 2017

More than a fifth of students enrolled at university would have chosen differently if they had been given a second chance, a new study has revealed.

According to a new survey published today by the website Student Room, 20 percent of students would have picked differently having sampled their choice firsthand.

The survey, which questioned 1,805 students currently enrolled at universities across the country, also found that 18 percent regret their choice of degree - with many citing a lack of initial research as the main cause of their disappointment.

Eton College seeks to hire clinical psychologist to toughen up boys with 'resilience' programme

by Telegraph, January 20, 2017

It was once thought that a strict ethos and long periods away from home were all that was needed to toughen up young men at boarding schools.

But now Eton College is advertising for a clinical psychologist deliver a “resilience programme” for students.

The public school in Berkshire, near Windsor, which has educated 19 British prime ministers, already has a Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist to provide “cognitive behavioural treatments” for its 1,300 male students.

Grammar schools lose top spots after league table shakeup

by Guardian, January 20, 2017

DfE’s latest tables, ranked using new Progress 8 measure, show schools that made greatest advances in pupils’ grades
The government’s new performance measure has upended the traditional pecking order of England’s secondary schools, knocking grammar schools out of the top spots and boosting schools that dramatically improved results among their pupils.

The Department for Education’s latest performance tables, published on Thursday — including 2016’s GCSE exams and ranked by its new Progress 8 measure — reveals that the best schools in England are those which make the greatest advances in their pupils’ grades.

Grammars profit from sales of ‘mock’ 11-plus exams

by Schools Week, January 20, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Grammar schools are pocketing tens of thousands of pounds from mock 11-plus tests, fuelling worries that reintroducing selective schools will “end up assessing wealth not ability”.
Sutton grammar school’s parent teacher association (PTA) openly advertises the sale of mock tests at £28 a pupil to help to prepare them for entrance exams.

A newsletter put out by the association towards the end of last year said the group had generated £70,000 from the scheme. This year it aims to raise nearly £80,000 by selling 2,800 tests. Profits are donated back to the south London school.

In Orpington, Kent, St Olave’s grammar school’s PTA charges £60 for its mock exam, earning nearly £35,000 last year. It aims to make £55,000 this year.

The discovery of pupils coached at a premium to gain a place at selective schools has increased fears that Theresa May’s promise to reintroduce grammars will disadvantage poorer pupils.

Thousands could miss out on free childcare, warns lobby group

by BBC, January 20, 2017

The government has underestimated the number of children in England eligible for 30 hours of free childcare promised from September, warns a lobby group.
The government says 390,000 three and four-year-olds will be eligible.
But research for the Pre-school Learning Alliance suggests the figure will be nearer 500,000, meaning tens of thousands could miss out.
The government says it is spending more on childcare than any previous administration.

British universities have not appointed a single black academic in senior management roles in the past three years, study finds

by Daily Mail, January 20, 2017

.A study by the Higher Education Statistics Agency have published new figures
.Their research shows how not a single black person was in a senior role last year
.Out of 565 people in these roles - 510 were white (90 per cent) and 15 were Asian

British universities have not hired a single black academic in senior management roles in the last three years, according to a new study.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency published figures which highlight how no black academics were appointed in the 'managers, directors and senior officials' category throughout the year 2015-16.
Of the 565 people listed, 510 were 'white' - 90 per cent - while 15 people said they were 'Asian'.

More than 1,500 schools score negatively as new government league tables revealed

by Independent, January 20, 2017

The Government claims new progress and attainment measures used to compare schools present a clearer picture of how well they are performing

More than a third of schools are failing to meet new government targets at A-level, official league tables have revealed.

And of 6,235 schools measured under the Government’s new GCSE ranking system, 1,910 were given a negative rating, meaning they were performing below average.

This year is the first time schools have not been judged solely on how many pupils score at least 5 GCSE grades A*- C, but by the two new measures Progress 8 and Attainment 8.

Shortage of places warning over 30-hour free childcare scheme

by BT , January 20, 2017

The 30-hour free childcare scheme could face a shortage of tens of thousands of spaces, new figures suggest.

Early years organisation Pre-school Learning Alliance has warned that findings from an independent report indicate the Government has underestimated the number of families likely to be eligible for the scheme.

Britain World Editorial Features Sport Arts One In 10 Schools Failing Under New Tory Assessment

by Morning Star Online, January 20, 2017

NEARLY one in 10 secondary schools are underperforming, with those in north-west England doing worst, Department for Education data revealed yesterday. But teachers warned that the government stats were not to be trusted.
A total of nearly 300 secondaries failed to meet new government targets, one in six of them in the north-west. Knowsley North West had a 100 per cent rate of underperformance.
Darlington North East was named the second worst, with 42.9 per cent of its schools underperforming, and Oldham North West followed with 38.5 per cent.

Playing the odds to tackle pupils’ online gambling

by TES, January 20, 2017

With websites and apps making it easier than ever for young people to place bets, it’s time for teachers to tackle the subject in online safety lessons
When it comes to online safety, there are many considerations as we prepare pupils to navigate their way sensibly and safely: connecting with strangers, the risks of sexual exploitation and protecting their own online identity. One that has never really crossed my mind is online gambling. But looking at recent headlines, perhaps we’re missing a significant problem facing young people today.

It turns out that almost half a million children between 11 and 15 are gambling online each week in the UK, according to a recent study by the Gambling Commission. This astonishing figure is much higher than the equivalent for problems that usually get the limelight, such as smoking, drug and alcohol misuse.

Exclusive: Schools may try to 'lose' vulnerable pupils because of Progress 8

by TES, January 20, 2017

Heads' warning comes as study reveals a single pupil’s poor results can cancel out the achievements of many more classmates under new GCSE accountability measure
Schools could try to “lose” their most vulnerable pupils because their GCSE results could be particularly damaging to league table positions under Progress 8, heads have warned.

School leaders spoke out in the week that the Department for Education published the first official Progress 8 (P8) scores for England’s secondaries.

The system is designed to be fairer by taking into account the achievements of pupils of all abilities, not just those who achieve at least five A*-C grades under the previous performance measure.

However, the new measure means that lower-ability pupils can do far more damage to a school’s overall league table position, increasing the risk of them falling below floor standards.

Exclusive: New boss at England's biggest academy chain to consider converting schools to grammars

by TES, January 20, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Julian Drinkall, Academies Enterprise Trust chief executive, says selection decision will depend on his academies' 'markets'
The new head of the country’s largest multi-academy trust has told TES that he will consider introducing academic selection to his schools.

Julian Drinkall, chief executive of the Academies Enterprise Trust, said: “I think that as we look at each of those schools in the particular markets and catchment areas in which they exist, there might be arguments for selection in certain places."

Exclusive: At least 1,100 small rural schools facing cuts despite minsters' funding protection pledge

by TES, January 20, 2017

Warnings that funding changes could threaten viability of many of the schools
More than a thousand small rural schools face the prospect of cuts under the government’s proposals for a national funding formula, despite ministerial assurances that they would be protected, TES can reveal.

Critics are warning that the changes could threaten the viability of many of the schools.

A TES analysis of government figures illustrating the impact of the plans shows that at least 1,101 rural schools that meet the Department for Education’s official definition of “small” would have their budgets cut.

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