Latest Educational News

£936 to send your child to school

by Daily Mail, September 5, 2005

Parents are spending nearly £1,000 a year just to send their child to a UK state school. Uniforms, food and transport are piling up the cost of going to school. Food is the greatest expense with some parents paying up to £441 a year just to feed their children in the most expensive parts of the country.

Shortage of heads as fed-up teachers shun promotion

by Guardian, September 5, 2005

A shortage of headteachers is harming educational standards. Schools are finding it almost impossible to recruit anyone suitable, as thousands of children across England and Wales prepare to return this week for the new academic year.
A new study has revealed that about a quarter of headships have to be re-advertised because there are too few candidates or those who do apply are not good enough. A decade ago, each advert attracted about 25 applicants.

Some schools receive none at all after initial adverts and have to advertise up to three times before appointing anyone, the study found.

'I have been doing this same survey for 20 years and the situation is worse now than ever, and is likely to get even more severe,' said Professor John Howson, of Educational Data Surveys, who conducted it for the Secondary Heads Association and the National Association of Head Teachers.

Start of a testing term

by Guardian, September 5, 2005

This summer, GCSE and A-level passes have risen again, but the public debates describe this as a problem rather than a cause for celebration. Ofsted inspectors will be coming into schools in England within days to begin shorter, sharper visits: 900 schools will be visited in the first half-term alone. And many headteachers are bracing themselves for difficulties as they implement the plans to give teachers half a day a week away from the classroom, for planning, preparation and assessment, in the final phase of the 2003 workload agreement.

School pioneers the all-age class

by Times, September 5, 2005

The first school in Britain to teach its pupils according to ability rather than age believes its new approach will double the number of students achieving top results in their GCSEs.
Bridgemary community school in Gosport, Hampshire, is conducting a bold educational experiment by dismantling the traditional division of classes by age. Some education experts warn that even though it may boost overall results, the scheme could cause social problems and damage the self-esteem of children who are held back.

Pupils will be forced to give up junk food

by Guardian, September 4, 2005

Children will be compelled to eat healthily under a new government blacklist banning fatty foods and phasing out the current cafeteria-style system that lets children ignore healthy options.
The infamous Turkey Twislers criticised by Jamie Oliver will be just one food banned from the school kitchen under rules outlawing anything carrying more than 10 per cent fat.

Universities fail to teach for real life, says tycoon

by Scotsman, September 4, 2005

Sir Tom Hunter, the multimillionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, has launched a scathing attack on Scotland's university system, accusing it of inherent weaknesses while failing to prepare graduates for the real world.

Writing today in Scotland on Sunday, Hunter argues that too much emphasis is being put on academic research and not enough effort on creating business leaders. He is also calling for an overhaul of the way universities are funded.

School pioneers the all-age class

by Sunday Times, September 4, 2005

THE first school in Britain to teach its pupils according to ability rather than age believes its new approach will double the number of students achieving top results in their GCSEs.
Bridgemary community school in Gosport, Hampshire, is conducting a bold educational experiment by dismantling the traditional division of classes by age.



Some education experts warn that even though it may boost overall results, the scheme could cause social problems and damage the self-esteem of children who are held back.

Wealthy families swindling grant system

by Daily Mail, September 4, 2005

Thousands of pupils at expensive private schools are claiming Government grants designed to keep poor students in further education, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. A survey by this newspaper suggests that nearly 4,000 sixthformers at independent schools - where fees can be as much as £22,000 a year - are receiving annual handouts of up to £1,500.

Wellington to go co-ed throughout

by Sunday Times, September 4, 2005

Wellington College, the public school opened in 1859 for the sons of army officers, is to become fully co-educational next year.
The 800-pupil school — a memorial to the ultra-conservative Iron Duke which has traditionally acted as a feeder for Sandhurst, the college for army officers — has admitted girls to the sixth form for 25 years.



Anthony Seldon, Tony Blair’s biographer who will take up the post of master in January, said: “Co-ed is the future. Schools are about much more than results. They are about helping people prepare for life and life is co-educational.”

The change was approved by the Duke of Kent, who is president of the school in Crowthorne, Berkshire, where fees are £21,900 a year plus a host of extras.

School winners

by Independent, September 4, 2005

Masterclasses for budding Ramsays, a slew of family cookbooks, healthy school meals... Six months on, Bill Knott looks at the success of Jamie Oliver's carrot-waving assault on kids' food

Your university challenge: raise £41,200

by Guardian, September 4, 2005

Parents of young children no doubt have more on their minds than the future cost of higher education. Yet The Children's Mutual estimates that in 18 years' time it will cost £41,200 to put a child through a three-year university course - so it is worth thinking about the best investment strategy to reach that target sooner rather than later.
The government clearly thinks that planning for your child's further education is important: the Child Trust Fund (CTF), which gives £250 to every child born after 1 September 2002, is designed to pay out at the age of 18. The trouble is, £250 will go virtually nowhere.

Maths test scrapped for being too hard

by Telegraph, September 4, 2005

A leading university has scrapped a maths test that it set new undergraduates for more than 15 years because scores fell so low that it became meaningless. First-year electronics students at York University have taken the 50-question multiple-choice exam since the 1980s to assess their ability.

Mothers suffer 'divorce stress' as school starts

by Guardian, September 4, 2005

It's the new children who are supposed to be anxious but a survey shows their parents go through agonies

Many of us remember our first day of school with horror and excitement, but for the parent left behind in the school playground the experience is as stressful as going through a divorce.
As thousands of parents prepare to take their children to school for the first time this week, a new survey has found that parents, particularly mothers, dread the day their child starts school, with almost two thirds losing sleep and finding themselves tearful as the day approaches.

GCSEs under fire as Leeds school beats Eton

by Yorkshire, September 3, 2005

Independent schools criticised the GCSE exam yesterday as Leeds Grammar emerged with the best results among Yorkshire's fee-paying schools.
The 1,300 place all boys school was 38th in a national league table of fee-paying schools published by the Independent Schools Council, three places above Eton College.
St Peter's School and Bootham School, both in York, along with Sheffield High School and Hymers College, in Hull, also made it into the top 100.

When poor results means out in the cold

by Financial Times, September 3, 2005

When I was at school, kids were expelled for drink, drugs and sex. Nowadays, there is a new sackable offence - at least for children in private schools, where pupils often get kicked out for not reaching their performance targets. If GCSE, AS Levels or SAT results don't match a school's expectations, a student - even the best-behaved and most diligent child - can be asked to clear their desk. And school kids aren't protected by the legislation that safeguards employees

A very British blockbuster

by Telegraph, September 3, 2005

Over the summer, two adjacent grammar schools, Watford Boys and Watford Girls, played host to a delightful class reunion. But the schools' former pupils were not involved; instead, it was the cast of a National Theatre play, Alan Bennett's The History Boys, which has now been adapted for the screen. For five weeks, the two schools in effect became film sets.

Up to £5,000 a term but are the schools worth it?

by Wales, September 3, 2005

Private schools insisted they offer value for money yesterday when their GCSE results were paraded in league tables.

State-school rankings have been abandoned in Wales.

However with private schools charging fees of up to £5,000 a term, parents often want to know by how much they can expect their children's grades to improve in the independent sector.

Data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which awards points for GCSE grades, ranked Westbourne School, in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, as the best in Wales.

Students at the mixed school scored on average 72.2 points, with eight points for an A*-grade and one for a G-grade.

Top school set to replace GCSE exam

by Harrow, September 3, 2005

The school at the top of the independent school league tables is to abandon some GCSE exams because they fail to adequately prepare pupils for A-Levels.

St Paul's School in London, which took first place in the GCSE rankings for the second year in a row, has decided to ditch GCSE science and could do the same for maths.

Dr Martin Stephen, High Master of St Paul's, also attacked school league tables as "a cancerous growth on the face of education".

Dr Stephen was speaking as figures from the Independent Schools Council showed that boys at the £4,500-a-term school scored on average 10 A*s each at GCSE this year. He said pupils in future would study the international GCSE (iGCSE), which is often seen as more challenging.

"There has always been a big danger in a one-size fits all approach when it comes to examinations," he said.

Top independent school to ditch GCSE science

by Guardian, September 3, 2005

The independent boys' school at the top of this year's tables for GCSE results is to abandon some of the exams because they are not challenging enough and are failing to prepare pupils for A-levels.
St Paul's school in west London, which took first place in the private schools' GCSE rankings for the second year running, has decided to ditch GCSE science and could do the same for maths.

Martin Stephen, high master of St Paul's, also attacked school league tables as "a cancerous growth on the face of education".

GCSE has lost capacity to stretch able pupils, say independents

by Telegraph, September 3, 2005

More than half the 365,000 GCSEs taken by independent school pupils this year were graded A* or A, showing that the examination has lost the capacity to stretch able children, the Independent Schools Council said yesterday.

GCSE has not, however, lost the capacity to distinguish between children schooled in the independent sector and those educated in state schools.

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