Latest Educational News

Teenagers who don't have internet access at home are 'missing out educationally and socially'

by Telegraph, December 31, 2012

.300,000 British children do not have online access at home
.Majority of teenagers without access lived in poorer households
.Teens claimed coursework was far more difficult to complete, and they struggled to keep in touch with friends

Teenagers who do not have the internet are at a serious disadvantage in their education, a study shows.
Pupils whose families have a computer are likely to achieve higher grades because the benefits of such technology outweighs any perceived risks.
Hundreds of thousands of British kids are unable to access the internet at home either because parents cannot afford it or fear the disruptive affects of social networking websites.

Michael Gove faces rebellion over no-curves schools plan

by Guardian, December 31, 2012

Study claiming well-designed classrooms could improve pupil performance by 25% sparks calls for rethink of guidelines

The education secretary, Michael Gove, is facing a growing rebellion from teachers and architects over plans to simplify new school buildings after a study claimed well-designed classrooms could improve pupils' progress in lessons by as much as 25%.

Lord Rogers, the architect of buildings ranging from the Pompidou Centre in Paris to Mossbourne academy in Hackney, east London, has urged the government to rethink its policy for the procurement of £2.5bn worth of new schools and "for the sake of the next generation" heed evidence that school environments affect pupil performance.

Martin Rees: 'There is a dearth of good science teachers in our state schools'

by Independent, December 30, 2012

He's the Queen's astronomer who has clashed with Richard Dawkins. Now Martin Rees is planning a new battle – to make students more scientifically literate. Richard Garner reports

Martin Rees was content to be described as an "unbeliever" in the wake of the controversy over his acceptance of the richest scientific prize on the planet – the £1m Templeton prize awarded by a religious foundation. "I'm not myself religious but have no wish to insult or denigrate those who are," he says.

However, he now has bigger fish to fry as he dons the mantle of the president of the Association for Science Education from tomorrow as the organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Why don't more girls study physics?

by Guardian, December 30, 2012

Despite efforts to get more women into science labs almost half of Britain's co-ed schools have no female students taking A-level physics. Are sexist attitudes still to blame – or is it a fear of being thought uncool? One London school is showing how it is possible to buck the trend

Alice Williams is 16, and her eyes are gleaming. As she speaks, her face grows pink with excitement and her hands wave around expressively. You might expect her to be talking about the latest Twilight film or a teenage boy band. But no: Alice is talking about heat resistance. More specifically, a heat-resistance experiment in her A-level physics class.

Moves towards national pay system for college lecturers

by BBC, December 30, 2012

Scotland's further education colleges look set to return to national pay and conditions, ending more than 20 years of separate contracts.

Teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), said pay currently varies by as much as £5,000 for lecturers doing the same job.

It has written to ministers urging them to address the issue.

Qualifying for a profession without taking a degree – or running up debts

by Telegraph, December 29, 2012

SIR – Matthew Hancock, the skills minister, talks common sense about a subject which isn’t new (“An apprenticeship will soon match all a degree has to offer,” Comment, December 28).

Most of my generation went straight from school into work, which often meant leaving home and living in lodgings or hostels (and, at some point, the young men had to do their National Service).
Qualifications were obtained through night-school classes and on-the-job training. We were known as juniors, and did all the menial jobs. By the time we were the age of a new graduate today, we had far more life experiences and qualifications than the current pampered generation – and were not in debt either.

Fresh fears for school sports as crucial Ofsted probe is held up

by Guardian, December 29, 2012

Olympic organisers and Labour accuse the government of failing to deliver the sporting legacy it had promised

The government's commitment to a post-Olympics sports legacy for young people was called into fresh question as it emerged that the only official report into current levels of sport in schools has been delayed by at least six months after its author was made redundant.

As Britain's medal-winning Olympians – including cyclist Bradley Wiggins, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds – are showered with New Year honours, there is growing suspicion that the coalition is trying to conceal the fall-off in sports provision in schools since it came to power.

State school quotas for universities face axe following protests

by Telegraph, December 28, 2012

Controversial admissions rules intended to force leading universities to take more students from state schools are to be reviewed after protests.

Under rules introduced last year, universities wanting to charge higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year are expected to recruit more low-income students, with their attendance at state school being one of the major criteria.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, suggested that tutors should be willing to offer places to students from state schools on the basis of lower

Tory grandee attacks Gove's 'huge mistake' on new exams

by Independent, December 27, 2012

Former Education Secretary Lord Baker says plans for EBacc will not outlive the Government

Children should transfer schools at the age of 14 rather than 11, a former Education Secretary, Kenneth Baker, has proposed, in what would be the biggest shake-up to primary and secondary schooling for decades.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Lord Baker argued that his Conservative successor Michael Gove had made "a huge mistake" with his plans for an English Baccalaureate at 16, as it would lead to thousands of pupils switching off schooling in their last two years of compulsory education.

Up to four children a day caught with weapons in schools

by Telegraph, December 26, 2012

Up to four children a day are caught with weapons including a ninja star, rifles, knives and knuckle dusters in Britain’s schools, figures showed today.

Almost 1,600 weapons were seized from schools over the last five years, figures from 20 of the 52 UK police forces showed, the equivalent of 4,150 weapons across the UK.
Many are being handed reprimands and warnings by police who have found a haul including axes, daggers, catapults and imitation guns.
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “If children are going into school and they feel threatened, then you can forget everything else.

Kent head teachers quizzed over plans for new 11-plus test

by Kent On Line, December 24, 2012

Classified as 11 Plus.

Thousands of pupils could be taking a changed 11-plus test if head teachers accept proposals for a shake-up designed to make it "tutor-proof".

Kent County Council, the largest selective education authority in the country, has asked head teachers for their views on a range of changes that could be implemented by 2014.

It follows a review carried out by a working party set up in response to growing concerns that the test favours those who can afford private tutors.

Competition for places, particularly at west Kent schools, has intensified in recent years and several have become "super-selective" - taking children who achieve the top marks.

Latin and Greek 'should be taught in every school' – report

by Independent, December 23, 2012

Latin and Greek GCSEs have lost much of their "intellectual force" and should be replaced by tougher new O-level-style exams, say campaigners.

Students who take the subjects at Oxford receive lessons in basic grammar and syntax because their school education has been so lacking, according to the Parliament Street report. Too often, the report argues, the school syllabus is closer to studying classical civilisation than the language.

New idea to help NEETs and overweight children

by Cambridge News, December 21, 2012

Ambitious entrepreneurs at Judge Business School have come with a social enterprise to help children lose weight, and young people find work and a future.
Coach First involves young people who are classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training) being employed in primary schools on a 12-month salaried contract to inspire pupils to be physically active and to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
The idea is not only will this help the children and the growing obesity problem among them, but will provide the NEETs with skills to make it more likely they will find further employment.

School banding system is here to stay, says Leighton Andrews

by Wales On Line, December 21, 2012

The Welsh Government’s school banding system is a “great success” and is here to stay, Education Minister Leighton Andrews has said.

Mr Andrews said there were no plans to scrap the controversial support system – which clusters Wales’ secondary schools into “bands” – despite growing criticism from teachers.

Parents and pupils were given fresh information on how their secondary schools are performing relative to others earlier this week.

Maths teaching scholarships offered

by Belfast Telegraph, December 21, 2012

Top graduates are to be offered £20,000 scholarships to train for a career teaching maths.
Around 150 of the scholarships are to be offered to graduates with first-class or 2.1 degrees, as part of a Government drive to improve standards of teaching in the classroom.

The new incentive is being offered by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) in collaboration with the London Mathematical Society (LMS) and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS).

Schools science project aims to boost foreign language take-up

by BBC, December 21, 2012

The National Centre for Languages in Wales has turned to the sciences to reverse the decline in pupils choosing a foreign language at GCSE.

The centre, also called Cilt Cymru, is working with 32 schools to encourage teenagers to study a language.

One project is with Stemnet, which promotes science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).

It wants pupils to consider career prospects from combining science subjects with a language.

School music tuition charges should end, EIS union urges

by BBC, December 21, 2012

Scotland's largest teaching union has called on local authorities to end music lesson charges for thousands of pupils sitting SQA music exams.

During a debate on the issue in Holyrood last month, it emerged that 24 of 32 councils were charging up to £340 a year for instrumental tuition.

The EIS union said some pupils were also being charged for sitting SQA music exams.

Read this before you press apply on your UCAS application

by Independent, December 20, 2012

One final year student looks back on what she wishes she had known before she applied for university.

With my final year of university looming and I was asked what I would tell someone who was about to leave school. I remembered what I was told university would be like, and the things school left out. Here are several points I wish I had been told before starting the tedious UCAS prelude to one of the most important chapters of your life.

Universities defend fee increases for Guernsey students

by BBC, December 20, 2012

Four UK universities which intend to charge Guernsey students overseas fees are defending their decisions.

Warwick, Cardiff, Cambridge and Imperial College will demand either increased rates or full international fees from next academic year.

Peter Dunn, a spokesman for Warwick University, said favouring Channel Island students over those from other jurisdictions would be discriminatory.

Guernsey's Education minister said he would work on the problem with Jersey.

Grade boundary move in GCSE English resits prompts fresh 'fix' fears

by Guardian, December 20, 2012

Teacher says pupils who were on D/C borderline in June got a D in November despite doing better in both units they retook

The biggest exam board in England has again raised the boundary for a C grade in last month's GCSEs English resits, prompting concerns of a repeat of the situation in June where many thousands of pupils received lower results than they expected.

A teacher contacted the Guardian to say a number of her pupils who had been on the D/C borderline in June got a D in the resit despite doing better in both units they took again.