Latest Educational News

Education spending ‘relatively protected’ – but for how much longer?

by TES, February 6, 2019

Education spending in Scottish local authorities has been “relatively protected” in recent years, according to a new report.

However, the level of services currently offered is "simply unsustainable", councils are warning. This is at a time when pupils' overall performance has been shown to improve over several years, albeit more slowly in the past two years.

Postgraduate degrees are more valuable than ever—so why are they also harder for poorer students to access?

by Prospect Magazine, February 5, 2019

Cast an eye across the headlines of any newspaper education section and you’ll see, in the recurring debates over grammar schools and Oxbridge admissions, that inequality is at the heart of the British education system. Thankfully, at last, British universities have begun to take action: An ever-growing number of institutions provide bursaries for low-income undergraduates, and elite institutions like Oxford and Cambridge have started schemes to attract working-class undergraduates.

Cambridge University gets record £100m donation from billionaire former student

by Evening Standard, February 5, 2019

Cambridge University has received an “extraordinary” £100 million donation from a charity co-founded by one of its graduates.

The David and Claudia Harding Foundation has made the largest ever donation to a university in the UK. David Harding, a billionaire hedge fund boss, attended Cambridge’s St Catharine’s College as a student.

Sutton Grammar School pupils to compete in UK-wide STEM final

by Your Local Guardian, February 5, 2019

Pupils from Sutton Grammar School are set to compete in the finals of a UK-wide science and engineering competition.

Chris Kalogroulis, Dario Kan and Kyo Yun will take part in The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition after their project impressed judges.

Peer review: a better alternative to Ofsted?

by TES, February 5, 2019

Ofsted’s “guiding principle” is to be a “force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focused inspection and regulation”. Yet, last year’s National Audit Office report revealed that less than half of headteachers felt that their latest inspection led to any improvement. That’s because our formal accountability system is geared more to shaming than support, competition than collaboration, intervention than improvement.

Concern over delay of reformed functional skills

by TES, February 5, 2019

The specifications for the new functional skills qualifications might not be ready until the May half-term, a Department for Education official has said.

A new suite of English, maths and digital functional skills qualifications is due to start being taught from September. The current functional skills qualifications will no longer be funded for new students from 31 August, with only continuing students or apprentices able to study these “legacy qualifications”.

New qualifications ‘will keep teachers in schools’

by Schools Week, February 5, 2019

Five new specialist qualifications aimed at opening up career opportunities outside the traditional school leadership route will keep experienced teachers in the classroom, say leading commentators.

One of the main criticisms of the government’s new recruitment and retention strategy, unveiled on Monday, is that it focuses on new teachers – with nothing to solve mid-career teacher retention.

Denying loans to students with weaker A-levels will ‘penalise poor families’

by Guardian Education , February 5, 2019

lans to deny student loans to those with lower A-level grades would hit poor families in regions where social mobility is already stalling, data obtained by Education Guardian shows. In the north-east a third of students who would be denied a university education come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

How tuition fees change real-life decisions

by BBC Education, February 5, 2019

Isabella is at a crossroads.

The sixth former from Suffolk has to decide between university or an apprenticeship.

But her choice is not about what she most wants to do - it is being narrowed by her financial fears and in particular her worry about debt from tuition fees.

Don’t underestimate the importance of school culture for retaining teachers!

by Schools Week, February 3, 2019

Support for new teachers needs something more intangible than a framework; the right environment is vital too, says Cat Scutt

The new Early Career Framework released this week has the potential to radically improve the experience of new teachers. It marks a step-change in the support that they will receive at the start of their career, when their learning curve is steepest and, as “teacher retention warrior” Jack Worth’s analysis of teacher workforce data reminds us, when they are also increasingly likely to decide that teaching isn’t for them.

Call for closer eye on home‑taught children

by The Times, February 3, 2019

The children’s commissioner will tomorrow call for a compulsory register of all youngsters who are being schooled at home amid concerns that as many as 80,000 are missing from official records.

The numbers have risen in the past year because pupils have been excluded from schools across the country.

News DfE could lose ‘millions’ under faith academies plan

by Schools Week, February 3, 2019

The government could lose millions in contributions towards capital funding if religious groups convert their schools into academies en-masse.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, met with representatives from major faiths this week to encourage their schools to academise. The meeting follows the disclosure last week that half of all pupils now study in an academy.

Ofsted inspectors praise North Cambridge Academy for providing quality education

by Cambridge Independent , February 3, 2019

The Arbury Road secondary has been judged ‘good’ by Ofsted for the second consecutive inspection.

Principal Martin Campbell said: “North Cambridge Academy is a school that firmly believes every individual pupil can and will succeed in all areas of their learning, personal development and future career.

“I am delighted to see this recognised and celebrated in a second consecutive Ofsted inspection.”

Inspector Jennifer Carpenter said in a letter to the school: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection because the school’s leadership team has worked tirelessly to ensure a good quality of education for young people at the school.”

Smartphones in school: Ban, restrict or allow?

by BBC, February 3, 2019

Love them or hate them, smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. But should they be left outside the classroom?

Nick Gibb, the minister for school standards in England, told the BBC he believes schools should ban their pupils from bringing in smartphones.

Opinions are certainly divided, with many people saying that pupils should be taught how to use their phones responsibly.

Want pupils to remember your lesson? Get them to draw a picture

by TES, February 3, 2019

Taking notes and copying down definitions have traditionally formed the backbone of a great deal of learning, especially with older students.

For a time, teaching lurched away from this into a more child-centred, discovery form of pedagogy, but with the increased interest around cognitive science (and memory, in particular), traditional methods are once more at the forefront of many teachers’ repertoires.

Call for more regulation of home-schooled children in England

by Guardian Education , February 3, 2019

The children’s commissioner for England is calling for greater supervision for children being home-educated after their numbers have doubled in the past five years, driven by pupils being “off-rolled” or informally excluded by schools.

Anne Longfield wants the estimated 60,000 home-schooled children in England to be registered with local authorities as well as stronger measures to stop schools illegally pushing pupils off their books, often by persuading parents to home-school them.

Book clinic: what’s likely to impress an English literature admissions tutor?

by Guardian, February 3, 2019

Q: What books should my daughter read to impress English literature admissions tutors at interviews for university?
Anonymous policy officer, 48, Surrey

A: Philip Hensher, novelist, critic and professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University, writes:
Academics are literary professionals. They are going to value someone who engages with literature, even disagreeing with books while valuing them. The best sign of this is an exploratory, investigative, curious reader. If your daughter can show that she’s one of those, she’ll stand out. A candidate who turns up talking to prepared points about the set books for A-level isn’t going to excite anyone.

The class book review: The Haven

by TES, February 3, 2019

The Haven is Simon Lelic’s first venture into children’s literature. I gave this book to pupils in my creative writing group and it wasn’t long before I was hit by a stream of superlatives. This didn’t stop or change once they had finished the book. They all wanted to know if there was going to be a follow up.

Most felt it was very original but if you were looking for comparisons, some when I twisted their metaphysical arms said it was a bit like the Maze Runner. They emphasised that the characters were realistic; almost three dimensional; with one or two twists in the tale.

They all thought it was something that would appeal to upper KS2 and KS3 pupils. The female reviewers definitely didn’t think this was a boy’s book only!

Ban phones in schools, says minister Nick Gibb

by BBC, February 2, 2019

Pupils should be banned from taking smartphones into school, the minister for school standards in England has told the BBC.

Nick Gibb spoke out ahead of the government publishing new guidance for schools, expected to address internet safety, social media and online gaming.

It is expected to say children should be taught to limit the amount of time they spend online.

Schools have the power to ban phones from being taken on to the premises.

But government policy is that it is the responsibility of head teachers to determine whether this is appropriate.

The trade union that represents head teachers has expressed its scepticism about outright bans.

Best independent schools in the UK: Compare league table results for GCSEs

by Telegraph, February 1, 2019

St Mary's School Ascot is at the top of the tree when it comes to GCSE performance among independent schools this year.

The private girls' school achieved a 97.5 per cent A*-A or 9-1 rate - one of four schools to surpass 97 per cent for the top grades, according to the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

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