Latest Educational News

Schools warn of ‘postcode lottery’ for fourth-year subject choice

by Scotsman, April 2, 2019

Most schools in Scotland are only offering six subjects to fourth-year pupils as teacher shortages and a lack of leadership take their toll, a formal survey undertaken by MSPs has revealed. There are even warnings of a “postcode lottery” from schools themselves, along with fears the “progression” of youngsters may be thwarted in many subject areas, with languages among those which are likely to suffer. But supporters say it increases pupil choice if they are allowed to study six subjects in fourth year, then six again in fifth and sixth year, which most youngsters now stay on to complete.

Children educated at home to be registered and monitored for first time amid fears over illegal schools, Education Secretary announces

by Telegraph, April 2, 2019

Children taught at home will be placed on a register and monitored for the first time amid fears that thousands are being educated at illegal schools, Damian Hinds has announced.

The Education Secretary has warned that while many home-schooled children benefit from parental supervision, others are being exposed to “dangerous influences” at unregistered centres or not “getting an education at all”.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hinds said the Government could no longer standby whilst “vulnerable children vanish under the radar”, warning that doing so would see many being “drawn into a spiral of underachievement or worse”.

New online apps launched to transform careers advice for students

by GOV UK, April 2, 2019

The next generation of students will be able to take greater control of their future career paths through new online apps being launched today, which empower them to make better choices about where and what to study (2 April).

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore unveiled two innovative apps, created by the winners of a Government competition receiving around £150,000 funding each, which set out simple and accessible information about graduate outcomes for prospective students.

From the magazine: How ‘cheap seats’ are impeding education

by Edexec, April 2, 2019

New research shows that ‘cheap seats’ in the classroom restrict screen visibility, hindering some pupils’ learning opportunities. Nell Walker explores the problem – and its solutions
School leaders and teachers alike are, generally, overstretched and under-supported when it comes to their everyday working lives; it’s no surprise, then, that ensuring all pupils have access to full screen visibility isn’t necessarily high on their priority list. However, new research shows that this may be proving problematic for the learning experiences of those pupils.

Exclusive: Teachers worry about academy chain growth, Ofsted study finds

by TES, April 2, 2019

Teachers working for multi-academy trusts worry that the growth of their organisation will reduce their influence and make management more remote, an Ofsted study has found.

The research – which is yet to be published – also found that people in some schools feel a sense of “grief” and that they have been “emasculated” by a loss of autonomy, according to one of the researchers behind the work.

Over 1,000 councillors urge government to increase school funding

by Edexec, April 2, 2019

A letter from the National Education Union (NEU) urging Education Secretary Damian Hinds to end the school funding crisis has been signed by 1,115 local councillors.
Locally-elected council members from across the country have backed the campaign by the NEU’s Councillors Network, which is supported by education fair funding campaign group f40, in expressing concern about the state of school funding in England and Wales.

They are urging the government to invest more money in schools in the Spending Review this year to help meet the huge funding crisis across education, which is resulting in growing budget deficits, cuts in teaching staff, a reduction in some subject areas and a poorer education for children.

School music report reveals cuts, inequality and demoralised teachers

by The Guardian, April 2, 2019

When the children at Barlby primary in west London got up to perform at the Royal Albert Hall last month it was, according to their headteacher, an overwhelming and aspirational event.

The school, which is part of the local community around Grenfell Tower, is among the most diverse and disadvantaged in the country, with more than 25 languages spoken and high levels of pupil premium entitlement.

Parents to be forced to spend more on childcare due to government cuts, charity says

by iNews, March 31, 2019

Government cuts will see parents hit by increasing fees for childcare this year, according to research. The Early Years Alliance (EYA), an organisation that represents nurseries and childminders, is accusing the government of overlooking the effect of real-term cuts on childminders and nurseries. The government froze rates it pays childcare providers in order to offer qualifying parents “free” subsidised care until 2020.

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Why public speaking is such an important life skill to teach children

by EADT.CO.UK, March 31, 2019

Speaking in front of an audience is something many adults find daunting, so how are Ipswich schools helping children ‘find their voice’?

Watching a 6 year old recite the complete “Owl and the Pussycat” poem on the stage at the Wolsey Theatre last week was a very special moment.

In front of an audience of proud parents, families and friends, children from 10 Ipswich schools came together to celebrate ‘finding their voices’, demonstrating their ability to speak aloud, to perform with their voice and to learn through talk.

These children need more than a system of escalating consequences

by Schools Week, March 31, 2019

Ofsted’s new framework must recognise the enormous hurdles that some children have to overcome – and inspectors must make sure that funding to support them is used in the right way, says Becky White

At three years old, Jade* often ate until she was sick. In between meals, she sneaked other people’s leftovers out of the bin. The neglect she had experienced meant that her survival instinct was overwhelming. Even after six months in foster care in my home, with regular meals and snacks and cupboards always full, her fear of going hungry did not leave her.

GCSEs: how to tackle the tricky topic of surds

by TES, March 31, 2019

The concept of the “irrational number” is probably one of the trickier ideas we introduce in GCSE maths.

The idea of the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 1 having an immeasurable length is strange enough when you think about it. But the idea of a square with an area as simple as 2 having a length that cannot be measured is so far removed from our experience as to be seemingly absurd.

Teachers volunteer to take £7,000 pay cut to save colleagues’ jobs after school funding is slashed

by iNews, March 31, 2019

Teachers at a primary school struggling to make ends meet because of funding shortfalls have volunteered to take a £7,000-a-year pay cut in order to save the jobs of their colleagues. Headteachers at schools across the UK are facing drastic decisions on spending, and Furzedown primary school in Wandsworth, south London, is no different.

University diversity drive has led to more students feeling under pressure to cheat, watchdog chair says

by Telegraph, March 31, 2019

Universities’ efforts to boost their intake of disadvantaged students has led to more feeling under “psychological pressure” to cheat due to financial woes, the new chair of higher education quality watchdog has said.

Prof Simon Gaskell, chair of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), said that the temptation to “cut corners” is linked to how stressed students feel and this is now “significantly higher” than it used to be.

Kate Clanchy: ‘Poetry makes children feel important, that they’re heard’

by The Guardian, March 31, 2019

Kate Clanchy is an award-winning poet, novelist, non-fiction writer and teacher. She is writer-in-residence at Oxford Spires Academy, a small comprehensive where the children speak 30 languages. Her recent anthology, England: Poems from a School, showcased the work of her students to great acclaim. Her new book, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me (Picador) looks back over her 30-year career in teaching.

Meet Grimsby's wonderkids who are so clever they've skipped a school year AND passed their 11+ exams

by Grimsby Telegraph, March 29, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

Two Grimsby students have passed their grammar school 11+ entrance a year early at just 10 years old.

The two pupils, Pranav Karmani and Becky Mathews, are pupils at St James' School, Grimsby.

Becky said she will miss her first school when she joins Caistor Grammar School in September.

Pranav has also secured a place at the grammar school in Caistor.

School pupils go head to head to solve global challenges

by Imperial, March 29, 2019

Electricity from footsteps, nanorobots for wastewater treatment and zinc-air batteries were some ideas from this year’s Schools Science Competition.

The competition, run by Imperial College London’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, is open to teams of pupils of secondary school age from around the world. It encourages pupils to come up with new and innovative scientific solutions to specific issues.

Tory leadership race: What does it mean for education?

by Schools Week, March 29, 2019

Following Theresa May’s announcement that she will quit as prime minister before the next stage of Brexit negotiations, speculation has been rife about who will succeed her.

Here, Schools Week looks at the favourites to take the reins and what they might mean for education.

All odds correct at the time of going to press, courtesy of OddsChecker.

Graduate gender pay gap is widening, official figures reveal

by Guardian, March 29, 2019

The pay gap between male and female graduates in the UK has widened over three consecutive years, according to new data that suggests a student’s future earnings are strongly linked to their family background and school.

The figures from the government’s database of graduate employment and earnings reveal that pay for men continues to outstrip that of women after finishing their undergraduate degrees, and widened each year between 2014 and 2017.

This much-needed focus on colleges must be capitalised on

by FE Week, March 29, 2019

The chair of the new Independent Commission into the College of the Future sets out his agenda

Colleges for far too long haven’t received the recognition that they deserve. Happily, amongst policy wonks at least, this is starting to change.

The post-18 education review led by Philip Augar is yet to publish its recommendations, but it has been tasked with looking at developing a better-balanced post-18 system and has had significant discussions over the past year of the role of colleges. Damian Hinds’ speech in December set out plans to develop a new quality level 4/5 pathway to run parallel to undergraduate degree options – with much of this anticipated to be delivered through our colleges.

Education cuts: Half day on Friday for some schools

by BBC, March 29, 2019

One head teacher has said she will have to cut school hours from next term to save money.

Politics Live reporter Elizabeth Glinka visited a primary school in Birmingham where Shirley Hanson told her there was nothing left to cut.