Latest Educational News

Apprentice levy 'will harm small council schools'

by BBC, January 6, 2017

Plans to boost apprenticeship funding in England will hit school budgets, with small council schools unfairly affected, say town hall bosses.
From May, all employers with wage bills over £3m a year must pay 0.5% of that into the new apprenticeship levy.
But council schools below that threshold must still pay as they come under the overall local authority wage bill, while small academies are exempt.
The LGA wants the rules changed to put all schools on an equal footing.

Teacher-training numbers plummet for shortage subjects

by TES, January 5, 2017

Applications to teach physics and design and technology have decreased significantly since 2015, new data reveals. And the numbers of undergraduates wanting to teach is also falling
Applications to train to teach in shortage subjects such as design and technology and physics have dropped significantly since last year, new data reveals.

Applications across all subject areas have decreased by 4.1 per cent – and particularly among undergraduates – according to figures published by the universities admissions service Ucas.

AQA boss Andrew Hall postpones retirement to help with major exam reforms

by TES, January 5, 2017

The exam board chief executive will stay in post until at least August when GCSE and A-level results are released
Exam board boss Andrew Hall has put his retirement plans on hold to help with this year’s significant qualification reforms.

Mr Hall (pictured), the chief executive of AQA, will stay in the role for eight more months while the exam board searches for a suitable successor.

New Year sees spike in interest in becoming a teacher

by TES, January 5, 2017

January busiest month for interest in becoming a teacher, according to National College for Teaching and Leadership
With the start of a new year, it is natural that people’s minds turn to the future.

And according to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), January is the month when people are most likely to consider becoming a teacher.

Data from the Get into Teaching campaign released today shows that January was the busiest month in the 2015-16 academic year, with just over 21,000 registrations of interest in teaching - including roughly 14,000 from people currently working in other fields.

Government reforms to higher education leave 'scam' universities unregulated, report warns

by Independent, January 5, 2017

‘As the higher education market continues to change shape, we must be vigilant in ensuring bad apples do not contaminate the sector as a whole’

New higher education legislation being put before Parliament could put students and the reputations of UK universities at risk, even encouraging “scam” universities, independent experts have warned.

An extensive report released by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) suggests nearly three quarters of new higher education providers opening in the next two years will remain unregulated after the Government’s controversial new Higher Education and Research Bill comes into effect.

Plans to fast-track higher education startups into universities 'a risk too far'

by Guardian, January 5, 2017

Report from Higher Education Policy Institute sounds caution on legislation to fast-track degree-awarding powers to startup institutions

Government plans to fast-track degree-awarding powers to new startup institutions as part of its controversial higher education proposals are “a risk too far”, experts in the sector are warning.

Ministers say the legislation, which returns to parliament for further scrutiny next week, will increase competition and choice in the higher education sector, and deliver value for money for students.

Nursery schools blame government for shocking staffing crisis

by Mirror.co.uk, January 5, 2017

Nursery schools struggle to fill vacancies as recruits find entry tests too hard

Nursery schools are facing a staffing crisis caused by the government’s “catastrophic” demand for new recruits to have good GCSEs in English and maths.

And 25 leading figures in the pressure group Save Our Early Years Campaign are calling for urgent action in an open letter to the government, published in the Mirror.

The letter comes from some of the leading early years organisations in the country, including the Pre-school Learning Alliance, the National Day Nurseries Association and PACEY (the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years)- who together represent 50,000 childcare places across the UK.

Private university expansion plans a 'risk too far'

by BBC, January 5, 2017

The government's plans to expand private providers in the UK's university sector are a "risk too far", a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute has warned.
The cost of student finance for these "alternative providers" quadrupled in four years to £382m, says the study.
The report warns against a "high-speed" process of allowing new providers to award their own degrees.

What will happen in higher education in 2017?

by Guardian, January 5, 2017

Just in case we thought higher education would enter the new year in an orderly fashion, 2016 ended with the news of the Lords’ revolt against the government’s proposed reforms. Hours later, 2017 started with Lord (Chris) Patten’s scathing op-ed on the subject, in which he opined: “It seems particularly ham-fisted to turn the academic world upside down when universities face so much turbulence and uncertainty after the Brexit vote and the rhetoric surrounding immigration.” Game on.

Primary schools 'should manage teacher absences better'

by BBC, January 5, 2017

Too many primary schools in Wales are failing to manage the effects of teachers being absent from work, education watchdog Estyn has said.
Only a minority of heads use Welsh Government guidance to help improve the management of teacher attendance.
In its report, Estyn says nearly all primary schools have experienced difficulties arranging suitable cover for absent class teachers.
It found Welsh medium schools in particular have staff-cover problems.

Ministers warned over 'risk too far' of private university expansion

by Politics Home, January 5, 2017

Government plans to expand private provision in the university sector are a “risk to far”, a top education thinktank has warned.

According to the Higher Education Policy Institute the cost of student finance for “alternative providers” quadrupled in four years to £382m.

In a new report the thinktank said the Government’s plans could attract “questionable business practices” and called for better protection of the public purse.

Private university expansion plans a 'risk too far'

by BBC, January 5, 2017

The government's plans to expand private providers in the UK's university sector are a "risk too far", a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute has warned.
The cost of student finance for these "alternative providers" quadrupled in four years to £382m, says the study.
The report warns against a "high-speed" process of allowing new providers to award their own degrees.
The Department for Education says the plans will give students "more choice".

Internet safety: Children 'fending for themselves online'

by BBC, January 5, 2017

Youngsters are being left to fend for themselves on the internet against dangers such as bullying and grooming, a report has said.
The Children's Commissioner for England said children did not know how to deal with common problems they found online.
Anne Longfield called for new laws to protect children's online privacy and data and for a digital ombudsman to be created to uphold their rights.
The government said children were taught about online safety in schools.

Grammar schools 'endanger social cohesion' without improving results, researchers argue

by TES, January 4, 2017

Classified as 11 Plus.

Success of selective schools is heavily influenced by their privileged intake, says Durham University report
Grammar schools take fewer “chronically poor” children than surrounding non-selective schools, according to new research.

Selective schools in England have a small proportion of pupils who are eligible for free school meals (FSM): 5.5 per cent of grammar school pupils have been eligible for FSM in any of the past six years, compared to 25.6 per cent in non-selective schools, the Durham University paper highlights.

The questions parents of children with special needs should be asking

by Telegraph, January 4, 2017

Dyslexia, Autism, Auditory Processing Difficulties and Dyspraxia to name a few: the range of what constitutes a ‘special educational need’ is wide and varied. There is one aspect however that they all have in common: when parents and teachers work well together a child’s needs will be best met.

Your child may recently have been identified as having special needs or they may have a long-standing diagnosis. Perhaps you or your child’s school have recently commissioned an educational psychologist’s report to find out more about your child’s needs and how to meet them. Whatever your situation, as the Spring term begins, it will be important for you to understand how your child’s school is meeting their needs.

Nursery inspections in Scotland fall by one-third

by Scotsman.com, January 4, 2017

The number of nursery inspections carried out by Scottish Government agency Education Scotland has fallen by one-third in the last five years, it has emerged.

Labour expressed alarm at the decline in the number of inspections, arguing they are essential to ensuring nurseries meet a high standard.

The reduction came to light in answer to a parliamentary question in which education secretary John Swinney admitted that the number of inspections fell from 201 in 2011 to 135 in the last year.

Anger at Shami Chakrabarti's £500,000 fund to help girls get into university - as boys lag behind

by Telegraph, January 4, 2017

Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti has been criticised for establishing a £500,000 bursary fund to help girls get into university despite it being boys who are lagging behind.

The baroness launch the bursary at Essex University, where she is the Chancellor, despite there already being more female than male students.

This year, 36.8 per cent of female 18-year-olds went to university – compared with 27.2 per cent of males of that age. This equates to 37,000 fewer men than if the entry rates were the same for both sexes.

Revealed: the most expensive universities to study at in the UK

by Telegraph, January 3, 2017

With the UCAS deadline for undergraduate applications fast approaching, students weighing up where to study may not be aware that the university of their choice could prove far more costly than expected.

Since the implementation of the new student loan system in 2012, students are now leaving university with debts averaging £44,000.

But according to new research compiled by the price comparison website Go.compare.com, the price tag attached to some degrees can vary enormously depending on both the institution and location.

'Just about managing' children hardest hit by proposed education funding cuts, warn unions

by TES, January 3, 2017

New analysis of government funding plans shows £658 per pupil cut for secondary schools with high numbers of JAM children
Those hardest hit by proposed changes in school funding will be children in families that are “just about managing”, say unions.

The NUT and ATL unions have carried out a new analysis of the proposed figures for 19,719 schools released by the government in its consultation on a national funding formula.

They calculate that primary schools with the least number of children from “just about managing” (JAM) families will lose £297 a year per pupil between 2015/16 and 2019/20, but schools with the highest number of JAM children will lose £447 a year per pupil.

Angela Rayner: 'The outlook for schools is bleak – but teachers are battling on, and we must salute them for it'

by TES, January 3, 2017

At the start of a new term, Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, has multiple concerns about funding cuts, teacher supply and the government’s commitment to new grammar schools
As teachers go back to work in the classroom this week, the future for our schools looks bleak.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the schools budget will not be protected in real terms nor will it rise over the course of this parliament.

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