Latest Educational News

Schools told to go back to basics for reading

by Times, June 3, 2005

A full-scale review of the way in which reading is taught in England’s primary schools is to be announced today by the Government.
With one fifth of 11-year-olds unable to read properly, ministers have asked Jim Rose, a former director of inspection at Ofsted, to examine how more traditional reading methods may help to raise standards in the classroom. The inquiry comes after the success of the “synthetic phonics” approach in Scotland, which teaches children to blend the sound and shapes of individual letters for the first four months of schooling, instead of recognising whole words.

Pupils Devastated after Studying Wrong Book for Exam

by Scotsman, June 3, 2005

Pupils at a private school were left “devastated” after studying the wrong book for an English Literature GCSE, the school said today.
Boys at £2,500-a-term Birkenhead School, in Merseyside, spent months studying the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice And Men.

Primary reading lessons reviewed

by BBC, June 3, 2005

Literacy teaching in England's primary schools is to be reviewed following a critical report on standards by MPs

Students 'struggling with maths'

by BBC, June 2, 2005

More than half of all 16 to 18-year-olds in education have trouble with maths, a survey suggests.
The Times Higher Education Supplement spoke to 10,000 teenagers in England and Wales, of whom 57.5% said they did not have numerical skills.

Degree devaluation, from Lucky Jim to Average Joe

by Guardian, June 2, 2005

What's the point of university? After three summers of continual examination from GCSE through AS to A level, it's the question being asked by more and more school leavers. Why, they ask, is another three years of study in a mediocre mass-learning institution better for them than going off to work? It is a question also being asked, it seems, by employers, since the pay gap between graduates and non-graduates is disappearing faster than a pint of lager in the college bar.

'Find sanctuary to plan ahead'

by Watford, June 1, 2005

A Report into the leadership of schools has been produced by a local headteacher.
Entitled Far from the Madding Crowd?, the report has been sent to 23,000 heads across the country.
The author, headteacher at Northwood Preparatory School, Dr Trevor Lee, wrote it to address the question of how heads can find sanctuary to prepare for the future while coping with the daily pressures of running schools.
The report suggests that heads should think about the long-term future of their schools and share ideas with other school leaders

Boost for campaign to segregate black boys

by Times, June 1, 2005

The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality stepped up his campaign to segregate black schoolboys to raise their academic achievement.
Trevor Phillips brought the American academic who pioneered the technique to London for a one-day seminar hosted by Baroness Howells of St Davids, one of Britain’s few black peers.

Burgers Could Be Banned from Schools, Says Kelly

by Scotsman, June 1, 2005

Burgers and sausages could be banned from schools under moves to stop canteens serving up “cheap slop”, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said today.
The minister said schools would have “no excuses” for providing poor quality meals to children as the Government’s £280 million reforms begin to take effect.

'Low morale' in school kitchens

by BBC, June 1, 2005

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has announced a £280m overhaul of school catering.
Delegates at a school meals conference in London told the BBC News education reporter Alison Smith why they thought standards had fallen.

We can't afford to lose languages

by Telegraph, June 1, 2005

If current trends continue, it won't be long before modern languages are taught in only a tiny handful of universities. Falling numbers are forcing vice-chancellors to close what are seen as unprofitable departments.

Top tips to help you pass those exams

by Carlisle, May 31, 2005

Tips and tricks of the trade to make a difference.

£1,000 offer to attract students

by BBC, May 31, 2005

A further education college is to offer bursaries worth £1,000 to keep its brightest students.
Teenagers who gain at least five B grades at GCSE will be eligible for an award of £500 a year for courses run at Bedford College.

'Clever capsules' that boost young brains

by Daily Mail, May 31, 2005

Regular doses of fish oils can dramatically boost young children's grasp of the three Rs, a study has revealed.

Research suggests that so-called 'clever capsules' improve youngsters' brainpower and concentration levels. The performance of children across all ages and abilities has been raised in a series of high-profile trials across the country.

In the latest study, 34 pupils aged eight to nine at Newhall Park Primary School in Bradford received a daily dose of omega-3 oils. The pupils, representing a broad ability range, were given tests in reading, writing and numeracy before the study began and again nine months later.

Kelly hints at diplomas at A level after all

by Times, May 30, 2005

Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, has raised fresh doubts over the future of A levels by promising to reconsider a “general diploma” in 2008.

In February, she rejected proposals from Sir Mike Tomlinson, the former chief inspector of schools, to replace A levels and GCSEs with a continental-style exam system.

A flawed start

by Guardian, May 30, 2005

Difficult social reforms should not be judged on one poor-performing provider. But the first publication of a full detailed inspection of an academy school last Friday is not the first sign of trouble in the government's £5bn academy programme.

Single-sex classes are backed by academics

by Independent, May 30, 2005

Children should be taught some subjects in single-sex classes within mixed schools to help overcome the "laddish" culture that stops boys learning, a government research project has concluded.
Teaching boys and girls separately for some subjects can help them concentrate better and achieve higher exam results because they no longer need to show off in front of the opposite sex, the study by Cambridge University academics concluded.

Ruth Kelly hints at U-turn on future of A-levels and GCSEs

by Independent, May 30, 2005

Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Education, cast fresh doubt over the future of A-levels by promising to consider a diploma to replace traditional exams.
Ms Kelly angered the educational establishment when one of her first acts as Education Secretary was to reject plans from the former chief schools inspector Sir Mike Tomlinson to replace A-levels and GCSEs with a continental-style diploma.

University bias hits top state schools

by Times, May 29, 2005

A confidential list drawn up by a top university has identified for the first time high-performing state schools whose pupils face being denied places because of “positive discrimination”.

The document reveals that it is not only independent schools that have fallen victim to government-imposed targets to broaden the social mix of undergraduates.

Half A Million GCSE Papers Recalled

by Scotsman, May 29, 2005

Nearly half a million GCSE exams are being recalled after question papers were “spilled” from one delivery van and stolen from another, it emerged today.
The AQA board’s papers for science, history and French, due to be taken next month, are being replaced with new exams after the security breach, a spokesman said.

Single Sex Classes Needed to Help Boys Learn

by Scotsman, May 29, 2005

Schools should teach children in single-sex classes to overcome the “laddish” culture that stops boys learning, according to a major Government research project.
The study found teaching boys and girls separately for some subjects helped boys concentrate on their lessons and score better exam grades.