Latest Educational News

Teachers warned over keeping in touch with students by e-mail

by News Scotsman, December 30, 2010

TEACHERS are being harassed and subjected to false allegations from pupils by e-mail, a leading education union has claimed.
The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA) warned some of its members had been suspended because of the false claims.

One teacher was suspended for months when a pupil made a fake claim against him after the teacher stopped e-mail communication because he felt it was becoming inappropriate.

School’s score is the highest in this county

by Biggleswade Today, December 29, 2010

A HEADTEACHER is delighted with his school’s superb result in the 2010 league tables.

Sandye Place Middle School in Sandy received the highest score in Central Bedfordshire in the Department for Education’s Primary School Performance Tables.

The score is based on the children’s examination results at the end of Key Stage 2. The average grade for the Year 6 children, aged 10 and 11, is level four. Of the 122 children who took the exams 93 per cent of children at the school attained at least level four in both English and mathematics.

Poor pupils' education 'hampered'

by Press Association, December 29, 2010

Poor children's education is being hampered because they are less likely to have access to computers and the internet at home, a charity has warned.

More than a million British schoolchildren do not have the use of a computer at home while almost two million are unable to go online, according to the Learning Foundation.

Hughes takes education access role

by Press Association, December 29, 2010

A senior Liberal Democrat MP who felt unable to vote for tuition fee increases has been recruited by David Cameron and Nick Clegg to lead efforts to persuade young people they can still afford to go to university.
The party's deputy leader Simon Hughes, who abstained in the crunch Commons vote, has agreed to become the Government's Advocate for Access to Education in a bid to dispel "myths" about the policy.

Burnley College receives Ofsted praise

by Burnley Express, December 28, 2010

BURNLEY College is good value for money – according to a recent inspection.

The multi-million pound college and university campus was awarded high praise after an Ofsted inspector met with senior managers, staff and students.

The report highlighted a strong ethos and the can-do attitude of staff who put the needs of students first while continuing to offer outstanding value for money.

Gove vows to boost A-levels status

by Press Association, December 28, 2010

Students could miss out on a place at university because A-levels do not sufficiently prepare them for degree courses, Michael Gove has warned.
The Education Secretary said even the brightest students often lack the knowledge of foreign undergraduates, putting them at a disadvantage for selection to the top institutions and jobs.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Gove said he would give universities more input into A-level syllabuses and exam questions and declared war on "soft" A-level subjects.

Closing date for primary school place applications approaches

by This is Local London, December 28, 2010

Parents have been reminded to get their children's primary school applications in on time this year.

Richmond Council said it was important for parents not to miss the January 15 deadline if they wanted to stand the best chance of getting their child into the school of their choice.

Councillor Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council's cabinet member for schools, said: "We know that finding the right school is an extremely important decision for parents and we will do everything we can to help people through the application process.

School subjects 'sidelined in drive to promote social justice'

by Telegraph, December 28, 2010

Successive governments have caused lasting damage to the education system by prioritising access and social inclusion over a decent grounding in the arts, science, languages and humanities, it was claimed.
David Perks, an author and physics teacher, said a series of “anti-elitist” reforms in recent years have undermined schools’ ability to deliver an old-fashioned liberal education.

Fears policy will be unfair to private school pupils

by Ikley Gazette, December 28, 2010

Proposed changes to admissions to Ilkley Grammar School would be “fundamentally unfair” and lead to “lunatic situations” for privately educated pupils.

That is the view of the chairman of governors at Ghyll Royd School, in Burley-in-Wharfedale, over plans that could see independently educated children shunted down the priority list.

John Mitchell says Ghyll Royd and other local independent schools will fight the Bradford Council proposals – to use a state-only ‘feeder’ primary schools system for oversubscribed IGS – “to the end”.

'Trivial' use of electronic ID in schools triggers row

by Scotsman, December 28, 2010

SCHOOL bosses have been condemned for using an "intrusive" fingerprinting system for "trivial matters" such as accessing libraries and paying for meals.
New figures reveal that ten primaries and secondaries in the Lothians are using the "worrying" ID systems as part of everyday school life. This makes up 15 per cent of the total usage in Scottish schools.

The practice has been criticised by the Scottish Liberal Democrats - despite Edinburgh's schools being run by a Lib Dem-led council.

Far Eastern schools shame our education system, claims Gove Read more:

by Daily Mail, December 28, 2010

Schools in the Far East are putting our education system to shame, Michael Gove claimed last night.
The Education Secretary said urgent improvements must be made if Britain’s schools were to compete with countries such as China and Singapore.
He suggested that bright students face missing out on the best universities because A-levels are failing to prepare them for degree courses.

No web access at home for 2m poor pupils, warns charity

by Guardian, December 28, 2010

E-learning Foundation fears gap between rich and poor at school will widen unless more get home internet access.

More than one million children in Britain live in homes without computers and a further two million have no internet connection at home, a charity said yesterday).

The e-Learning Foundation said it feared the gap between rich and poor pupils' performance at school would widen unless more was done to ensure that every child can use a computer at home.

The charity works with teachers and parents to enable children without home computers to borrow them, or their families to buy them.

A million UK children 'lack access to computers'

by BBC, December 28, 2010

More than a million school children in the UK still lack access to a computer at home, research suggests.

And almost 2m are unable to go online at home, according to leading digital education charity, the E-Learning Foundation.

It also claims those from the poorest families are two-and-a-half-times less likely to have the internet at home than children from the richest homes.

History teaching: 'A total disgrace'

by BBC, December 28, 2010

This morning's guest editor, Colin Firth, has asked the historian Tariq Ali and Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard University, to debate the importance of teaching history in schools.

21,000 teaching days lost to stress in Wales in 2009

by BBC, December 28, 2010

Tens of thousands of teaching days have been lost in Wales through teachers taking time off due to stress, new figures show.

Data supplied by two-thirds of Wales' councils showed 21,000 teaching days were lost for this reason last year.

The figures were released to BBC Wales through a Freedom of Information request.

Drop-outs concern NI universities

by BBC, December 28, 2010

Both of NI's universities have expressed concern about drop-out rates, especially among first year students.

The University of Ulster loses 12% of its first years, while almost 6% of students at Queens University Belfast do not make it to second year.

Queens pro-vice chancellor Tony Gallagher said measures had been put in place which had seen the student completion rate improve.

Universities staging admissions tests to identify the brightest students

by Telegraph, December 27, 2010

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that as many as one-in-five universities and higher education colleges are staging their own entrance exams to pick out the best candidates.
In many cases, students are being asked to sit aptitude tests to get into the most sought-after institutions.
The disclosure will fuel fears that universities are struggling to identify the most able applicants from a huge rise in school-leavers with straight As at A-level.

Our universities need urgent reform

by Telegraph, December 27, 2010

British universities are undergoing an identity crisis. They no longer know exactly what they are and what they are for, now that social engineering has stretched the definition of "university" to breaking point. They no longer relate comfortably to schools, parents, students, would-be students, the examination system, the education marketplace, the British government – or each other. Every week brings fresh evidence of the weakening of these bonds, even in the middle of the Christmas holidays.

GCSEs are outmoded, says headmistress

by Independent, December 27, 2010

GCSEs have "run their course" and should be scrapped, a leading headmistress has suggested.

With the school leaving age set to be raised to 18, when students sit qualifications such as A-levels, national exams at the age of 16 are no longer relevant, according to Dr Helen Wright, the new president of the Girls' Schools Association.
"We are raising the school leaving age to 18. Why do we need to focus on the age of 16?" said Dr Wright. "Why are we focusing on a very academic form of assessment at the age of 16 and then at 18?

Poor pupils 'fall further behind between seven and 16'

by Telegraph, December 27, 2010

The gap between rich and poor pupils widens throughout primary and secondary school, figures show, as middle-class children benefit the most from state education.
In a fresh blow to Labour’s education legacy, it emerged that children from deprived families fall dramatically behind wealthier classmates after just two years of school.
But the gulf in standards becomes more pronounced when children reach 11 and 16.
By the end of secondary school, teenagers from relatively affluent homes are almost twice as likely to gain good GCSEs as the very poorest pupils.