Latest Educational News

Should schools retain online parents' evenings?

by BBC, September 20, 2021

As the autumn term gets under way, parents will have their fingers crossed their little darlings will not have to return for another bout of home-schooling any time soon.

But the wish for a more normal school year is unlikely for most to include that forlorn gathering in the school hall or gym known as parents' evening.

Virtual versions were, in many people's books, one of the runaway successes of remote learning.

Gone was the mad dash to arrive on time, the confusion over where the maths teacher was sitting and the queues to speak to that particular teacher who never keeps to time.

‘Mental health pandemic looming’ for children in the UK, charity warns

by iNews, September 20, 2021

The proportion of support workers reporting mental health problems with children has increased by 10%

A “new mental health pandemic is looming” for children whose lives have been disrupted by Covid-19, a charity has warned.

The grant-giving charity Buttle UK surveyed nearly 700 frontline support workers whose services reach 36,000 children in total.

According to the poll, the proportion of support workers reporting mental health problems as a key difficulty with the children they work with has increased by 10 percentage points compared to last year.

Children’s maths learning threatened by ‘triple whammy’ of extra barriers

by iNews, September 20, 2021

EXCLUSIVEA report has called for pupils struggling with maths to receive extra tutoring support

Children’s maths learning is being threatened by a “triple whammy” of additional barriers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report.

The Centre for Education and Youth think-tank found that the link between maths performance at the end of primary school and pupils’ eventual results at GCSE is stronger than for other subjects.

Gloucestershire faces a £4.1m high needs education overspend

by Gloucestershire Live, September 20, 2021

The county is seeing the costs of post-16 education continue to rise

School leaders in Gloucestershire are expecting an overspend of more than £4.1m for high needs education during the current financial year.

Finance officers had budgeted for an overspend of £3,573,300 throughout 2021/22 but the latest forecast suggests they will need to spend an extra £532,000.

Philip Haslett, education strategy and development head at Gloucestershire County Council, explained the reasons for the expected increase at a school forum held last week (September 16).

Higher education regulator calls for students to have a say in online learning

by Hull Daily Mail, September 19, 2021

Experts have called for universities to look at student experience as face-to-face learning set to resume

Students must have a say in the future of online learning, the higher education regulator in England has said.

Face-to-face learning at universities is set to resume this year, after much of the teaching experience shifted online during the height of the pandemic.

Covid: Parents to 'risk truancy fines' if school cases rise

by BBC, September 19, 2021

Some parents have said they are willing to take their children out of class and risk truancy fines if Covid cases rise now pupils are back in schools.

The reintroduction of truancy fines for parents who repeatedly keep their children off school is being reviewed after it was suspended during Covid.

Welsh government guidelines currently state pupils can attend school if someone they live with has Covid-19.

The government said some measures were removed due to the Covid jab rollout.

Mother-of-two Charlotte Harding said she was so happy her children were back in school, after so many months of having to stay at home.

Students must have say over online learning - regulator

by BBC, September 19, 2021

England's universities must take student views into account when deciding how much to teach online, says regulator the Office for Students.

With Covid restrictions lifted, the majority of teaching is expected to be face-to-face this year, says chief executive Nicola Dandridge.

But larger group teaching sessions, such as lectures, are likely to be online in many institutions.

And numerous universities have told the BBC they are using a mixed approach.

In a snapshot survey of 47 universities, just 13 said they would be offering mostly face-to-face tuition. The others say they are adopting a more blended approach.

Lib Dems: Give parents Covid catch-up vouchers to spend

by BBC, September 19, 2021

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey says his party is the "gathering point" for everyone "fed up with the indecency and incompetence" of government.

Addressing the Lib Dem conference, he told delegates they can deprive Boris Johnson of a majority at the next election.

He announced a £5bn voucher scheme plan to help pupils catch up after the pandemic.

And he vowed to fight for a "fair deal" for carers, parents and businesses.

Lib Dems call for Covid laws to be scrapped
Lib Dems: Is Davey sticking to his promises?
Lib Dems seize Tory seat in by-election upset
Sir Ed's conference speech is the first to a live audience since becoming party leader last year.

Online classes 'would not justify high university fees'

by BBC, September 17, 2021

Students in England pay some of the highest tuition fees in the world - but that will not be sustainable if much of the teaching stays online, says an international education report.

Students will also expect the "social life of campus", says a report from the OECD group of industrialised countries.

The report also warned of huge regional differences in graduate numbers.

The proportion of graduates in London's working-age population is 79% higher than the north-east of England.

by BBC, September 15, 2021

Parent groups are warning of a "tsunami" of crippling school-anxiety cases leading to persistent and debilitating absence from education.

There is no official data on absence due to school anxiety and many affected pupils are labelled truants but support groups are being flooded with calls.

And an education lawyer in north-west England says the pandemic has made an "unprecedented crisis" even worse.

The education department said it was investing £17m in school mental health.

Children with school anxiety may experience physical symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea and headaches before school or have immobilising anxiety, panic attacks or something that seems like a tantrum.

Heads threatened with legal action over Covid jabs

by BBC, September 15, 2021

Head teachers have been threatened with legal action if they take an active part in the Covid-vaccination programme.

Pressure group Lawyers for Liberty warned school staff could be held liable if families objections are not listened to.

Health workers - and not school staff - will vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds.

One in eight in are already vaccinated because they, or someone they live with, are clinically vulnerable.

Will children's Covid jabs be compulsory?
Vaccinating children - how the UK compares
Pupils in schools already receive jabs against other conditions every year, for which consent is gained from parents, guardians and carers, as part of national NHS-run immunisation programmes.

Five things to take to university - and one to avoid

by BBC, September 14, 2021

Students up and down the UK are currently cramming things into suitcases as they prepare to start an exciting new life at university.

But while it's important to make a good impression, does every person on your floor really need to bring their own kettle?

Here are some tips on what to take instead - and something that it's best to leave behind.

Top UK independent school opens new Dubai campus

by Arabian Business, September 3, 2021

Royal Grammar School in Guildford sits on 40,000 square metre site in Dubai that will accommodate up to 2,100 pupils

One of the most prestigious independent schools in the UK has announced the official opening of its new campus in Dubai.

Exactly 512 years after the founding of the first Royal Grammar School in Guildford in the United Kingdom, the school’s UAE campus was officially opened with a plaque unveiling ceremony.

Wirral pupils can breathe easy with free air-quality education

by Wirral Globe, September 3, 2021

PRIMARY school children, teachers and parents across Liverpool City Region have been given free access to subscription-only online resources teaching about clean air as part of the Metro Mayor's Community Education Fund.

Young people will be taught the value of good air quality in their communities after being granted unlimited access to a free learning platform.

Teachers, parents and primary school pupils can now enjoy the subscription-only channels of the interactive website Clean Air Crew.

Lack of psychologists hits pupils with special educational needs

by Guardian, September 3, 2021

Councils are struggling to complete children’s education and care plans before the new school year because of a shortage of specialists

Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.

Education, health and care plans (EHCPs) set out the extra provision that children with high special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are legally entitled to. To decide whether to provide an EHCP, and what should go in it, councils must carry out an assessment, sourcing advice and information from an educational psychologist.

COVID-19: Children must return to 'normal pre-pandemic experience' in schools, education secretary says

by Sky News, September 3, 2021

The minister refuses to rule out a potential surge in cases as children and young adults return to classrooms, despite being asked repeatedly on Sky News.

The education secretary has insisted children must return to a "normal pre-pandemic" experience in schools, despite the risk of an increase in COVID cases.

Gavin Williamson said testing would be key to guarding against rising infection rates, but refused to outline what the government's "contingency plan" for other potential measures might involve.

Experts are predicting a surge in COVID-19 cases linked to classrooms reopening in England and Wales.

How to win the Maths Challenge

by Spectator, September 2, 2021

Simon Singh, founder of the Good Thinking Society and author of The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, believes that parents should ferociously ‘lobby their children’s schools’ if they still don’t run the annual Maths Challenge. For those not familiar with it, the Maths Challenge is a phenomenally well-organised competition run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT). It doesn’t cost much to enter — £13 for ten papers (for ten pupils) — and is a massive opportunity for children from all backgrounds.

Some children in NI still waiting for post-primary school place

by BBC, September 2, 2021

More than 40 children are still waiting for a post-primary school place to be confirmed for the start of the new 2021-22 school year.

That is according to figures from the Education Authority (EA).

The number of families appealing against post-primary schools who did not offer their children a year eight place rose significantly in 2021.

More than 800 appeals were submitted by families of which about 650 led to appeal tribunal hearings this summer.

The golden age of the grammar schools

by Spectator, September 2, 2021

Classified as 11 Plus.

Some lucky parents have already solved their school and university problems. They have managed to insert their young into state grammar schools. If all goes according to plan, they will need to pay no gigantic fees, their sons and daughters will be educated to what at least looks like a high standard, in orderly classrooms — and an increasingly anti-middle-class Oxbridge will not be prejudiced against them when they apply. I envy them, having myself spent the GDP of a small Latin American country on private education over the past three decades, with variable results. But I also increasingly wish it were not so.

School funding will remain below 2009 levels despite government’s spending boost

by Schools Week, September 2, 2021

School spending will still be lower per pupil by 2023 than more than a decade ago under the last Labour government, a new analysis has estimated.

Cash available for schools in England will be between 1 and 2 per cent lower in real terms – accounting for inflation – in 2022-23 than it was in 2009-10, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The figures indicate the Conservatives will have to turn up the spending taps if they want to head into the next general election with school budgets larger than when they took power in 2010. An election is due in 2024, but some expect an earlier poll in 2023.