Latest Educational News

GCSE and A-level appeals up 42%

by TES, April 11, 2019

The number of appeals relating to GCSEs, AS and A levels increased 42 per cent in 2018, according to new figures from Ofqual.

And the number of appeals upheld has increased by 54 per cent.

Attainment falls and absence rises among looked-after pupils

by Schools Week, April 11, 2019

GCSE grades among looked-after pupils fell last year and absence rates rose, new data shows.

New statistics published this morning by the Department for Education shows the average Attainment 8 score of pupils in care was 18.8 in 2018, down from 19.3 the year before.

It also means the gap in attainment between looked-after and non-looked after children has widened slightly, from a gap of 25.2 two years ago to 25.6 last year.

4 UK-based EdTech start-ups that are transforming the way we learn

by Study International News, April 11, 2019

An ancient Hebrew proverb says: “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in a different time.”

In our tech-driven world, this ancient proverb is more relevant now than ever before. A survey conducted by MidAmerica Nazarene University found that technology’s place in the classroom is necessary, not just supplementary, in the digital age:

73 percent of students use a tablet or laptop in the classroom everyday
66 of schools supply smart devices, with 25 percent of students bringing their own devices into the classroom
86 percent of classrooms are equipped with WiFi

Audit Office criticises Education Authority overspend

by BBC News, April 11, 2019

The head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) has criticised the Education Authority (EA) for going over-budget by almost £17m in 2017/18.

The EA, which is responsible for allocating money to schools across Northern Ireland, overspent its budget in 2016/17 by £19m.

The comptroller and auditor general, Kieran Donnelly, said he was concerned by the continuing overspend.

He also said there was an urgent need for reform of the education sector.

The EA commissions and pays for things like support for children with special educational needs (SEN), school maintenance, meals and transport.

The school appeals system is cementing inequalities: it’s time for the government to rethink admissions

by Schools Week, April 11, 2019

The promised review of the school admissions system needs to materialise if the government wants to fulfil its social mobility ambitions, says Emily Hunt

Each year, thousands of families receive the news they hoped they would avoid: they have failed to secure their first choice of secondary school.

While the majority of families in England – 84 per cent – successfully secure their top choice of school for their child, a significant minority will miss out. The latest available figures show that as many as 86,000 received such correspondence on school offer day.

READERS’ LETTERS: Abolishing private schools is not the answer

by The Courier, April 11, 2019

Most of the main movers in the Brexit debacle were privately educated, thus justifying the proposal.

On that your correspondent is correct: too many in authority come from a privileged section of society.

They go from prep school to public school to Oxford or Cambridge and straight into politics.

Having said that, only 30% of MPs or cabinet ministers were privately educated. It still applies, however, that these privileged few are almost guaranteed posts in government or the civil service.

1,000 schools turn to online donations due to funding cuts

by Edexec, April 11, 2019

New research shows that over 1,000 schools have been forced to crowdfund money and use wish lists for school supplies, thanks to funding cuts
An investigation by The Guardian has discovered that over 1,000 schools in England have had to turn to crowdfunding and online wish lists in order to acquire school supplies.

Around 700 schools have crowdsourced for donations via JustGiving or Crowdfunder due to funding cuts.

A further 300 schools have been using Amazon wish lists to gather what they need.

'I was the only girl in A-level electronics'

by BBC Education, April 11, 2019

As a little girl Khadijah Ismail would spend hours watching aeroplanes through the window of the attic bedroom she shared with her sister near Manchester Airport.

She even wrote the airport a letter "on fancy paper and everything", giving her address and asking them to send more planes past her house.

The eldest of four children, Khadijah loved maths and got a scholarship to a highly academic private day school.

Poorest families half as likely to get top choice of school through appeals system, study finds

by Independent, April 11, 2019

Children from the poorest families are half as likely to get into their top choice of secondary school through the appeals system, as the requirement for written statements can be a barrier to parents, a study has found.

UK looks to tackle skills gap with 12 technology institutes

by Financial Times, April 10, 2019

The UK government is investing £170m in 12 Institutes of Technology to open from this autumn in partnership with business as it seeks to strengthen the provision of technical education in England.

Course and curriculum design: award winner and runners-up

by Guardian, April 10, 2019

Winner: Nottingham Trent University
Project: Scale-Up

Nottingham Trent University has significantly reduced the gaps between how well different groups of students do by making teaching a more collaborative process, inspired by a small-scale idea first tried in America.

Scale-Up (the acronym stands for Student-Centred Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies) was developed in the mid-00s by a North Carolina State University physics professor, who wanted to dissolve barriers between theory and practice and give students a deeper conceptual understanding of what they were learning.

Independent schools could have 'phased withdrawal' from Teachers’ Pension Scheme

by TES, April 10, 2019

Independent schools could be allowed to partially leave the Teachers’ Pension Scheme following warnings that a 43 per cent increase in employers' contributions could force some out of business.

The solution would see the Department for Education allowing private schools to deny new teachers the benefits of the scheme.

Schools and colleges in England will receive an extra £940 million for teachers’ pensions

by FE news, April 10, 2019

Schools and colleges in England will receive an extra £940 million to ensure teachers’ pensions remain among the most generous in the country.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds today (Wednesday 10 April) confirmed that the Department for Education will fully-fund increased pension contributions that state-funded schools and colleges will have to make in 2019/20, following a public consultation on funding changes set out in a review of public sector pension schemes that takes place every four years.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme is one of only eight guaranteed by the Government; provides additional benefits linked to salary; is inflation-proof to offer teachers a secure retirement; and offers the typical teacher around £7,000 in employer contributions every year.

Spalding born author releases his latest book - 'The Haunting'

by Spalding Today, April 10, 2019

Rex Merchant, who was born in Spalding, has released the fifth novel in a series of ‘modern thrillers set in a world of antique dealing’.

Former Spalding Grammar student Rex has published his most recent book called 'The Haunting', a fictitious novel based in Rutland, where he now lives.

It focuses on Christopher Doughty, an antique dealer and restorer who buys a desk at a Lincolnshire farm sale, only to find out that it is haunted...

Rex has written a range of books, including fantasy and historical fiction alongside a collection of non-fiction books, all based in Spalding, Rutland and centred around his interests.

How AI could change healthcare, education and security

by Standard, April 10, 2019

When you think about artificial intelligence (AI) you probably first think about self-driving cars and robots. However AI already plays a central part in our lives.

From film choices on Netflix to spam filters on Gmail, we already interact with AI on a daily basis. Over the coming years, the role of AI in our lives – particularly in healthcare, education and security – is likely to dramatically change.

"Many of these will save us time or allow us to do what we currently do more effectively," said Harry Rhys Davies, AI Programme Lead at entrepreneur network Tech Nation.

Concerns raised over pupils with additional support needs

by TES, April 10, 2019

MSPs have written to Scotland's education secretary John Swinney calling for action to be taken to address concerns around additional support needs (ASN) in schools.

The Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee has been scrutinising how much progress has been made by the Scottish government in addressing issues around ASN that were highlighted in its 2017 report on the matter.

'Institutes of Technology' to boost skills training

by BBC, April 10, 2019

The government has announced the locations of 12 "Institutes of Technology" in England, intended to provide high-quality skills training.

The aim is to offer young people a vocational alternative to universities.

Employers will support the institutes, most of which will be based around existing colleges and universities.

The dozen include three in London, two in the west Midlands and the other six in Milton Keynes, Swindon, Durham, Exeter, York and Somerset.

German overtakes French as the language most sought-after by employers

by Independent, April 10, 2019

German has overtaken French as the language most sought-after by employers, amid fears that companies face a shortfall of linguists, new research suggests.

Jobs site Indeed said vacancies specifying German language skills increased by more than a tenth over the past three years, compared with only a slight rise in demand for French speakers.

Chinese is now the third most popular language for companies seeking to recruit, the study indicated.

Grammar school parents in revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils

by Telegraph, April 9, 2019

Grammar school parents are in open revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils.

Over 3,000 people have signed an online petition warning that reducing the pass mark for the Eleven Plus will lead to standards dropping “dramatically”.

The King Edward VI Academy Trust, which runs six grammar schools in Birmingham, plans to introduce new catchment areas from next September that will give priority to disadvantaged pupils who live in those areas, even if they achieve slightly lower entry scores.

'Not preparing pupils for the 11-plus is irresponsible'

by TES, April 9, 2019

News that King Edward VI grammar schools may face a legal challenge – from parents unimpressed by their new policy to lower entrance scores for disadvantaged pupils living nearby – has opened the lid on a murky educational secret.