Latest Educational News

Who loves school? Celebrities recall their glorious days at grammar school in a fascinating new BBC documentary

by Daily Mail, December 30, 2011

Classified as 11 Plus.

Given we’re in an age of dumbed- down exams and increasingly disenfranchised and violent pupils, the decision to dispense with grammar schools 35 years ago seems to have been a spectacularly bad one.
Not only did the schools bring together fee-paying middleclass pupils and bright working-class children on scholarships, they enshrined values of competition, academic excellence, sporting achievement and a sense of public duty.

Some Scottish schools 'not excluding pupils'

by BBC, December 29, 2011

Discipline problems are going unchecked in some schools because head teachers refuse to exclude persistently disruptive pupils, a union has claimed.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association welcomed a fall in exclusions but highlighted "you shall not exclude" orders in some schools.

There were 26,844 exclusions in the past academic year, an 11% fall.

School canteens target takeaways with special meal deals

by Guardian, December 29, 2011

Government lifts restrictions on canteen prices, paving way for cut-price offers designed to lure pupils back to healthier lunches

Schools are being encouraged to offer special meal deals to lure pupils away from local takeaways and into dining halls for healthier lunches.

The Department for Education is lifting restrictions that force schools in England to charge the same price for the same item for every pupil, in order to allow them to offer price promotions.

Girls 'more resilient' than boys at school

by Guardian, December 29, 2011

Girls from single-parent families outperform boys in class because they are less affected by parental input, study shows

Girls appear to be more resilient than boys in preventing problems at home from affecting their behaviour in school, a study into the gender educational achievement gap has found.

Oxbridge entry 'still stubbornly linked to postcode'

by Telegraph, December 29, 2011

One county in the south-east sends more teenagers to Oxbridge than 47 deprived council areas put together, according to research.

Some 280 school-leavers from Surrey, which contains some of the country’s most affluent addresses, got into the two universities in a single year – as many as the combined total from almost a third of England’s local authorities.

Just 17 'incompetent' teachers barred from the classroom

by Telegraph, December 29, 2011

Just 17 teachers have been struck off for incompetence in the last decade, figures show, prompting claims that underperformance is being “swept under the carpet”.

Figures released by the General Teaching Council for England show that failing staff have been barred from the profession at the rate of around one in 30,000 since 2001. A further 14 have been suspended over the same period.

How spending cuts are hitting schools – despite coalition vow to protect them

by Guardian, December 28, 2011

David Cameron pledged to shelter education from the worst of the cuts, yet some heads are struggling to fund basic resources
At Richard Lee primary school, the building is in such dire condition that when teachers put up children's work they find the next day it has been ruined by sodden classroom walls.

The school in Coventry needs to spend £3.8m on urgent repairs over the next two years, according to official estimates by the city council. This academic year, Nicola Harwood, the headteacher, was given just £9,000 for the work and has been told not to expect much more next year.

Schools head hails 'magic' of learning via smartphone

by Independent, December 28, 2011

Traditional textbooks will disappear in the age of electronic devices, says Girls Schools' chief
The death of classroom textbooks is predicted today by the new leader of the country's top girls' schools. In future, pupils will access texts through smartphones and e-readers, Louise Robinson, the incoming president of the Girls' Schools Association, said in her first interview.

When parents move heaven and earth

by Telegraph, December 28, 2011

So, 420 parents have been cheating on their schools’ application forms, according to The Daily Telegraph’s front page report yesterday. Desperate mummies and daddies have been caught lying about their address and church attendance in order to get their children into the best state schools.

Textbooks 'being replaced by smartphones and e-readers'

by Telegraph, December 28, 2011

Traditional textbooks are dying out in schools as children increasingly rely on smartphones and e-readers to access information, according to a leading headmistress.
Handheld technology is changing the way education is delivered because it allows children to learn "anywhere, anytime, any place", it was claimed.
Louise Robinson, incoming president of the Girls' Schools Association, said pupils were more inspired by the “magic” of using hand Ipads and other tablet computers than reading a book.

East Surrey schools celebrate after SATs results

by This is Surrey Today, December 28, 2011

MANY schools across East Surrey achieved some top-class SATs results this year, according to the newly-published league tables.

But a few will have to make improvements after a decline in performance this time round.
In the Key Stage 2 tests which the county's 11-year-olds sat in state schools last summer, 85 per cent achieved at least the desired level 4 pass rate in English, compared to 81 per cent for England as a whole.

Shock as school faces closure

by North Devon Gazette, December 28, 2011

St Michael’s School goes into administration just days before the start of the new term.
Teachers and parents are coming to terms with the shock closure of St Michael’s School, which has gone into administration.
The school and nursery, based at Tawstock, near Barnstaple, will not reopen in January.
Parents were told of the news in an email sent by chairman of governors Mark Parkhouse, yesterday (Tuesday), just five days before the school was set to reopen.

Ofsted head calls for local school troubleshooters

by BBC, December 28, 2011

Local troubleshooters should be appointed to identify failing schools and sack incompetent heads, England's new chief education inspector has said.

Incoming Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said spotting failing schools should not be down to him alone.

Year of education belt-tightening

by BBC, December 27, 2011

Classified as 11 Plus.

Northern Ireland education gained a new Stormont minister this year, following assembly elections in May.

It was widely speculated that Sinn Fein would be replaced as the holder of the post, made controversial by that party's anti-academic selection stance.

Perhaps one of the political parties which had so opposed Sinn Fein might grab the role for itself, but no, Sinn Fein decided to continue the job it had started.

Grammar 'old boys' interviewed for TV documentaries

by This is Scunthorpe, December 27, 2011

Classified as 11 Plus.

Former grammar school pupils and staff from North Lincolnshire are waiting to see whether their memories feature in BBC documentaries in the New Year.

.Programme one will air on Thursday, January 5 - at 9pm
.Programme two will follow on Thursday, January 12 (same time).

A number of former grammar school boys and staff from North Lincolnshire were approached by researchers from Testimony Films for the two-part series.
They were asked for memories of grammar school life and their views on the sort of education provided.

When parents move heaven and earth

by Telegraph, December 26, 2011

A bad state school condemns children to think seven sevens are 68, says Cristina Odone.

So, 420 parents have been cheating on their schools’ application forms, according to The Daily Telegraph’s front page report yesterday. Desperate mummies and daddies have been caught lying about their address and church attendance in order to get their children into the best state schools.

One in five 'incompetent' teachers sacked

by Telegraph, December 25, 2011

Just one in five teachers accused of incompetence is being sacked, new figures suggest, amid fears too many are allowed to remain in the classroom where their low standards can "harm" pupils.
Some 740 teachers were accused of inadequacy over the past 18 months according to a survey of 82 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) – a figure that would equate to almost 1,600 if repeated across England and Wales.

School admissions fraud rises in race for best places

by Telegraph, December 25, 2011

Rising numbers of parents are committing suspected admissions fraud in an attempt to cheat children’s way into the most sought-after state schools, figures show.
Data obtained by The Daily Telegraph suggests that around 420 mothers and fathers entered false information on school application forms to secure access to the best primaries and secondaries this year

Chelmsford grammar schools consider catchment change

by BBC, December 23, 2011

Classified as 11 Plus.

Two Essex grammar schools may introduce a catchment area limit because some of its students travelling in from long distances were struggling to keep up.

King Edward VI Grammar School (Kegs) and Chelmsford County High School for Girls are proposing giving priority to pupils within a 12.5 mile (20km) radius

Kegs said it was consulting on the plan to ensure a minimum of 90 of its 112 intake came from within that area.

Christmas cards ban at Wallington primary school

by Your Local Guardian, December 23, 2011

A primary school has upset children by banning them from exchanging Christmas cards on school property.

One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, said children at Bandon Hill Primary in Wallington had been told off for bringing in Christmas cards to give to their friends.

He said the children had been told in an assembly that if they wished to trade Christmas cards they must do so away from school premises.