Latest Educational News

Tuition fees is causing working class students to quit uni

by Metro, July 21, 2017

Over eight per cent of working class students drop out of their first year of university, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal.

The majority blamed the cost of attending university – both the day-to-day costs and the prospect of £50,000 of debt when they graduate – for their decision to quit.

Nate Higgins, a 20-year-old from a working class background and who recently dropped out of university because he could not afford the fees, gave a stark warning for those hoping to get a degree.

He said: ‘According to many politicians, I simply don’t exist.

'Better pay, improved workload, more new teachers ... and five other things we won’t see next year'

by Times Educational Supplement, July 20, 2017

Thanks to the ignorance of politicians, we're stuck in education’s 'Land of Confusion' for the foreseeable, warns one veteran educationalist
As a man of a certain age, I remember fondly the classic rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, not least of all Genesis. One song, in particular, still resonates for me, Land of Confusion, especially from the perspective of a long-standing member of the teaching profession:

'There's too many men,

Too many people,

Making too many problems,

This is a Land of confusion.'

It could have been inspired by today's education system.

As we arrive at the end of another chaotic year, let's reflect on our land of confusion, in which the comprehension chasm between political thinking and teacher thinking grew ever wider.

Post-16 maths to get government cash boost

by BBC, July 20, 2017

Maths education for 16- to 19-year-olds in England will gain a £16m boost over two years, ministers have announced.
It comes as a government commissioned maths review found too many teenagers dropped maths after GCSE, harming their job prospects and the wider economy.
The cash, from existing budgets, will help more students take a maths A-level or core maths qualification, say ministers.
Better maths skills were "vital", said Education Minister Nick Gibb.
In most advanced countries, all young people continue to study maths beyond the age of 16 - but England "remains unusual" because this is not the case, says the review, by Prof Sir Adrian Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of London.
And among teenagers with good GCSE grades, almost three-quarters "choose not to study mathematics beyond this level".

University first-class degrees soaring

by BBC, July 20, 2017

The proportion of top degree grades being awarded by UK universities has soared - with some universities giving first-class degrees to more than a third of their students.
The University of Surrey awarded a first-class degree to 41% of students last year, more than doubling the proportion five years ago.
And firsts awarded at the University of East Anglia have almost trebled to 37%.
Professor of education Alan Smithers called it "chronic grade inflation".
Among the prestigious Russell Group of universities more than a quarter of students received a first-class degree.

Half of pupils expelled from school 'mentally ill'

by BBC, July 20, 2017

Half of pupils expelled from England's schools have a mental health issue, according to analysis of official data.
The Institute of Public Policy Research suggests if excluded students with undiagnosed problems were included, the rate would be much higher.
This figure compares with one in 50 pupils in the wider population who have a mental health condition.
The government said it would be publishing plans to improve mental health services later in the year.

Post-16 maths to get government cash boost

by BBC, July 20, 2017

Maths education for 16- to 19-year-olds in England will gain a £16m boost over two years, ministers have announced.
It comes as a government commissioned maths review found too many teenagers dropped maths after GCSE, harming their job prospects and the wider economy.
The cash, from existing budgets, will help more students take a maths A-level or core maths qualification, say ministers.
Better maths skills were "vital", said Education Minister Nick Gibb.
In most advanced countries, all young people continue to study maths beyond the age of 16 - but England "remains unusual" because this is not the case, says the review, by Prof Sir Adrian Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of London.

University first-class degrees soaring

by BBC, July 20, 2017

The proportion of top degree grades being awarded by UK universities has soared - with some universities giving first-class degrees to more than a third of their students.
The University of Surrey awarded a first-class degree to 41% of students last year, more than doubling the proportion five years ago.
And firsts awarded at the University of East Anglia have almost trebled to 37%.
Professor of education Alan Smithers called it "chronic grade inflation".
Among the prestigious Russell Group of universities more than a quarter of students received a first-class degree.
The Press Association survey, analysing figures for 2015-16 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), indicates it is now more common to graduate with a first-class degree than a lower second (2:2) grade - with 24% getting a first last year, compared with 21% getting a lower second. The most widely awarded degree was an upper second (2:1), received by about 51%.

Chelmsford school will cut teaching hours from autumn

by BBC, July 19, 2017

A secondary school will cut an hour of teaching a week from the autumn in a bid to save £100,000.
Joe Wincott of The Sandon School in Chelmsford, Essex said an extra £1.3bn promised by the government was too late to help it in the next academic year.
The head teacher said cutting lessons from 26 to 25 hours a week would allow him to balance the school budget.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said per pupil funding was set to go up from £4,100 to £4,800 in 2018.

Teachers more critical of Ofsted the longer they have been in the job, survey finds

by Times Educational Supplement, July 19, 2017

More than two-thirds of teachers agree that Ofsted exists primarily to help the government advance its education agenda
Teachers are increasingly likely to criticise Ofsted the longer they have been in the profession, according to a new survey.

The poll also found that over two-thirds of all teachers see Ofsted as existing primarily to help the government of the day advance its education agenda.

A poll for the inspectorate by YouGov found that as a teacher's length of service increases, they are less likely to agree that Ofsted acts as a reliable and trusted arbiter or a force of improvement.

Among NQTs and teachers in their first year, 30 per cent see Ofsted as a force for improvement in England’s education system, but the figure is just 15 per cent for teachers with 16 years’ experience or more.

Struggling schools do not need help from grammars, independents or universities, study finds

by Times Educational Supplement, July 19, 2017

The NFER research was sparked by government proposals published last year
England’s school system is capable of bringing about improvements without having to turn to universities, grammar or private schools, new research has concluded.

A report by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), published today, examines the capacity for high-performing schools to collaborate with nearby schools in need.

The research was prompted by last year’s government consultation on using selective schools, independent schools and universities to increase the number of good school places in England.

Teaching union calls for school lockdown plan

by BBC, July 19, 2017

Schools need a coherent strategy for lockdown procedures in case of a dangerous event taking place on their premises, a teaching union said.
The NASUWT said schools currently had ad hoc drills to deal with various threats and called on the government to put together a comprehensive plan.
More than 200 head teachers in West Yorkshire have attended council-run seminars providing advice on lockdowns.
The government said it "constantly reviewed" security guidance it issues.

New law is needed to stop segregation in state schools in diverse areas, says top headteacher

by Daily Mail, July 19, 2017

A leading headmaster has called for a new law to stop state schools in diverse areas being taken over by one faith or community.
Sir Nick Weller, the chief executive of Dixons Academies in Bradford, said legislation is needed to stop communities segregating themselves at school level.
He warned of the ‘unhealthy’ situation in Bradford, where the Muslim and the white communities ‘live separate lives’ and send their children to different schools.

Teaching union calls for school lockdown plan

by BBC, July 19, 2017

Schools need a coherent strategy for lockdown procedures in case of a dangerous event taking place on their premises, a teaching union said.
The NASUWT said schools currently had ad hoc drills to deal with various threats and called on the government to put together a comprehensive plan.
More than 200 head teachers in West Yorkshire have attended council-run seminars providing advice on lockdowns.
The government said it "constantly reviewed" security guidance it issues.

Tackling university drop-out rate 'is vital'

by BBC, July 19, 2017

More must be done to tackle a steady rise in the number of students dropping out of universities in England, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) says.
The national drop-out rate rose from 6.6% in 2011-12 to 7.4% in 2014-15, an SMF report finds, with each dropout representing "a loss of potential".
Out of all the regions in England, London performs the worst, with a drop-out rate of 9.3% in 2014-15.
The government said new laws would make universities publish drop-out rates.
The SMF study notes that many of the disadvantaged groups targeted through widening access programmes are also the groups most likely to drop out.
It says institutions with a higher in-take of black students, students whose parents work in lower level occupations or students who come from low university participation areas are more likely to have higher drop-out rates.

What age can you leave kids home alone? Children's charity issues warning to parents

by Daily Record, July 18, 2017

The NSPCC received 1,294 calls and emails over concernes about children being left alone between July and September last year.

Parents are being urged to think carefully about whether their child can be left home alone, as figures suggest that more people are raising concerns about youngsters being left during the school holidays.

The NSPCC said it received more than 1,200 calls and emails last summer about children being left unattended - up around a third on the previous year.

By law, there is no minimum age at which a child can be left alone, but parents can be taken to court for neglect if a child is at risk of suffering or injury.

Childcare pressures can make the summer holidays a stressful time for parents and carers, the NSPCC said, and deciding whether a child can be left is a difficult decision.

School funding boost ‘still amounts to 4% cut to budgets’

by iNews, July 18, 2017

Justine Greening’s £1.3bn boost to school spending will still result in a real terms cut of more than 4 per cent to schools budgets, according to an analysis. The Education Secretary announced in the Commons yesterday that schools would receive the extra cash over 2018 and 2019. In an attempt to fend off angry Tory backbenchers who have seen school spending in their constituencies plummet, Ms Greening said the money would provide “significant extra investment” to the core schools budget.

Students find new English GCSE 'torturous' and may be deterred from continuing the subject, teaching unions warn

by Telegraph, July 18, 2017

Teachers are voicing concerns over the long-term impact of “torturous” new English GCSEs, amid fears that there will be a downturn in student uptake at A-Level.

Pupils have not enjoyed the “narrowed” curriculum, teaching unions claim, because the curriculum for English Language and Literature is now 100 per cent exam-based.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Kevin Courtney, the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “It is a cause for great concern that English, one of our most creative and culturally important subjects, is becoming for many GCSE students a tortuous and unrewarding experience.

'This extra £1.3bn isn't nearly enough – and it won't stop the school funding campaign'

by Times Educational Supplement, July 18, 2017

The money that Justine Greening has promised is welcome – but the demand on our schools has never been higher, warns one heads' leader
At the weekend, I spoke at a rally in Westminster where hundreds of parents had given up their Sunday afternoon to protest against the real-terms cuts being made to school budgets.

The event was the latest in a long series which have taken place all over the country since before the general election. Parent power has been instrumental in pushing school funding to the top of the political agenda.

As I said to parents on Sunday, we cannot allow the government to wriggle off the hook when it comes to funding. Yesterday’s announcement of £1.3 billion only amounts to just £400 million next year and £800 million the year after that. While we welcome any additional funding for schools, what’s on offer is well below the £2 billion a year extra that schools need to address real-terms cuts. It’s clear that the Department for Education has listened to our concerns, and is doing its bit to address the funding gap. However, the Treasury is not backing this up with new, additional funding.

Call to 'overhaul' bullying in schools across Wales

by BBC, July 18, 2017

A "radical overhaul" is needed to tackle school bullying, the children's commissioner for Wales has said.
Sally Holland said some schools were reluctant to address the issue, for fear of looking bad.
A report has warned that a lack of consistency in handling complaints leaves some children feeling isolated.
The Welsh Government said all forms of bullying should be tackled vigorously and a school behaviour policy should be in place by law.
But Dr Holland said in some cases, the anti-bullying guidance sits on shelves in schools and does not appear to have been read.

Most teachers believe maths mastery improves pupils' engagement, poll shows

by Times Educational Supplement, July 17, 2017

A Tes survey also reveals that half of teachers have seen attainment levels rise since they adopted the method
Six out of 10 teachers believe that using the maths mastery teaching approach will raise pupils’ engagement, research suggests.

And half say that they have seen attainment levels rise since they adopted the method.

A Tes survey of 1,100 teachers also reveals that more than 80 per cent feel confident in their ability to teach since adopting the method.

The government is investing £41 million in the mastery method of maths teaching in primary schools. This approach involves all pupils working on the same lesson content at the same time. The class does not move on to the next part of the curriculum until all members have grasped the concept being studied. The aim is for all children to believe that if they work hard enough, they can succeed at maths.

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