Latest Educational News

Heads accused of prejudice in teacher test

by Guardian, August 3, 2005

Teachers from ethnic minority groups and those active in trade unions are being discriminated against by heads, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Documents seen by the Guardian show that union officials and teachers from some ethnic minority communities are less likely to pass the performance threshold, a key standard which is awarded by school principals and allows teachers to progress up the pay scale.

Secondary school places 'success'

by BBC, August 3, 2005

Education authorities say a new system of secondary school admissions in England has been a success, despite earlier reports of problems.
In London, the most complex area, organisers say all but 80 of the 80,000 children moving to secondary school this autumn have been offered a place

Pledge to fight grammar schools threat

by icCoventry, August 1, 2005

Council bosses have vowed to fight controversial plans to scrap Warwickshire’s top performing grammar schools.

Government bosses unveiled plans to abolish the schools, which select pupils on the basis of academic achievement, within three years.

The announcement provoked a storm of protest from Warwickshire County Council’s Conservative group.

We'Ve Got to Fight to Keep Good Schools

by BlackEnterprise - NY, August 1, 2005

This so-called 'progress' was highlighted last week when some teachers in England demanded the return of grammar schools.

Newcastle councillors approve academy plans

by Guardian, August 1, 2005

Newcastle city council has approved plans for a new academy after it was told to accept the proposals, or risk losing £200m in school building funds from the government.

Concern over inner-city truancy levels

by Guardian, August 1, 2005

Thousands of pupils in England's inner cities skip school for up to two weeks every year, government research has revealed.
And hundreds of students are truant for the equivalent of a whole term or more, according to a study conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Analysing figures for more than 100,000 pupils, researchers found that boys who skipped lessons fell further behind with their school grades than girls. The three-year study followed figures showing that more than 1,100 fines had been issued to parents for failing to send their children to school since September 2004

Parents sign up to 'flexi time' at schools

by Guardian, July 31, 2005

When Eden Sedman joins Westfield Primary School in September, she will sit neatly at a desk with all the other little boys and girls, ready to greet the teacher and learn her lessons.
But when the register is called on Thursdays and Fridays, Eden's name will be absent, her desk will be empty and the child herself will be nowhere to be seen.

Eden will be one of the first children in Britain to embark on a part-time schooling, a revolutionary new concept that is already popular in America and is taking off in this country.

The lesson of grammars is elitism benefits us all

by Times, July 31, 2005

While the armed struggle in Northern Ireland appeared to be coming to an end, it was clear last week that the class war in the province is entering a deadly new phase. The government (of the United Kingdom) announced that it would scrap the grammar schools there, even though they have been a great success and enjoy broad public support.
In Northern Ireland the proportion of pupils gaining five GCSEs at reasonable grades is 10 percentage points higher than in England, where grammar schools are now rare. A-level results in the province are substantially better.

Long live grammars

by Guardian, July 31, 2005

The unacceptable face of British elitism lies in a school system where money matters more than talent.

Radical slogans don't often stir the blood when delivered in a voice trained at a private school and polished at an elite university. But Sarah Montague (Blanchelande Girls' College and the University of Bristol) did her best when she confronted a teacher who was arguing for the restoration of the grammar schools. 'But,' spluttered the Today programme presenter, 'we don't want elitism.'
Heaven's forefend! Elitism? In England? All but a few of the grammar schools have gone. John Major (Rutlish Grammar School) declared Britain a 'classless society'. Tony Blair (Fettes and St John's College, Oxford) fought the 2005 election on behalf of 'hard-working families', while Michael Howard (Llanelli Grammar School and Peterhouse, Cambridge) spoke for the 'forgotten majority' - who responded by forgetting to vote for him. It's not only the BBC which has raised the scarlet banner high. All public cultural institutions from the Royal Opera House to the National Parks announce their distaste for the white middle class and their commitment to egalitarianism. A foreigner might be forgiven for thinking that Britain was in the grip of red revolution.

Can the education gap be bridged?

by BBC, July 30, 2005

As the last few schools closed their doors for the summer holidays this week, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly set herself some homework.

Her self-imposed summer task is to work out how the education system can deliver greater social mobility.

She will present her ideas in the education White Paper due after Parliament returns.

Yet what is social mobility? Some disparage attempts to influence social class as "social engineering".

Poor parents 'must be punished'

by BBC, July 29, 2005

Parents who fail to deal with their children's bad behaviour at school should be punished, teachers say.
Some could misuse government promises of "parent power" as an excuse to abuse staff, the Professional Association of Teachers' annual conference heard.

Inspectors break up school fights

by BBC, July 29, 2005

Inspectors had to break up classroom fights during a visit to a failing secondary school, the education watchdog Ofsted has reported.
The incidents happened when teachers "lost control" of pupils during lessons at Jeff Joseph Sale Moor technology college in Cheshire.

Situations sometimes became "highly dangerous", with inspectors having to intervene three times.

Grammar schools should be reintroduced: teachers

by Gulf Times, July 28, 2005

LONDON: Grammar schools must be reintroduced to stop the spiralling decline in standards, a teachers’ leader said yesterday.

Peter Morris, from the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT), said comprehensives and the Labour Party’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has failed to deliver high-quality education.

He called on the government to accept that standards have fallen since the introduction of comprehensive schools.

Speaking to the association’s annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, Morris said: “Children who are academically gifted should be given the same encouragement as those who are slow learners.”

Restore bog standards

by Guardian, July 28, 2005

Ruth Kelly, the education secretary, is at least focusing her attention in the right place: on how social mobility has declined in Britain over the past half-century, despite the welfare state, despite the higher school-leaving age, despite the expansion of universities, despite the decline of the "old-school tie" in the professions and the City. She returned to the subject again on Tuesday, in a speech to a thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). As she says, "social mobility matters to progressives because it underpins everything that we believe in". But I wonder if she has grasped the size of the challenge.

Pre-school education numbers fall

by BBC, July 28, 2005

The number of children attending pre-school nursery education fell by 6% last year, figures have revealed.
The Scottish Executive said it was puzzled by the drop, which showed 6,700 fewer three and four-year-olds taking up the free nursery place provision.

Teachers reject call to scrap 'failure'

by Guardian, July 28, 2005

Teachers today rejected calls to delete the word failure from the education vocabulary and replace it with the concept of "deferred success".
The Professional Association of Teachers' (PA) annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, discussed the move, which was widely criticised - including by the education secretary, Ruth Kelly - when it first emerged last week.

Liz Beattie, a retired teacher from Ipswich, Suffolk, put forward the motion, arguing that many children were put off learning for life after being labelled "failures".

Teachers reject call to scrap 'failure'

by Guardian, July 28, 2005

Teachers today rejected calls to delete the word failure from the education vocabulary and replace it with the concept of "deferred success".
The Professional Association of Teachers' (PA) annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, discussed the move, which was widely criticised - including by the education secretary, Ruth Kelly - when it first emerged last week.

Liz Beattie, a retired teacher from Ipswich, Suffolk, put forward the motion, arguing that many children were put off learning for life after being labelled "failures".

Boost for school athletics

by NGfL, July 28, 2005

UK Athletics has unveiled a new athletics teaching programme for schools across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The UK Athletics ‘Elevating athletics - a framework for teaching athletics in the UK’ resource is supported by the teaching union, National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).

HEADTEACHER TO PAY HIS PUPILS £100 FOR 5 GCSES

by Mirror, July 28, 2005

THE head of a failing school is offering pupils prizes of £100 each to shine in their GCSEs. Derek Davies will give the money to any boy or girl earning five A to C grades in this summer's exams. He was drafted in to turn around 737-pupil Stretford High in Greater Manchester after it was judged to be failing by Ofsted inspectors. Last year, just 17 per cent of his Year 11 pupils achieved five or more A to C grades at GCSE.

Teaching union calls for return of 11-plus

by Guardian, July 28, 2005

The comprehensive school system should be scrapped and replaced with academic selection for all pupils from the age of 11, a teachers' union said yesterday.
Delegates at the annual conference of the Professional Association of Teachers said generations of pupils had been failed by the "one-size-fits-all" approach, and called for grammar schools to be reintroduced across England and Wales.

Peter Morris, from Bishop Gore comprehensive school in Swansea, told the conference that grammar schools had been "the most successful type of school Britain has ever seen".