Latest Educational News

Shrinking break times in English schools 'impacting social skills'

by Guardian, May 10, 2019

School break times in England have got shorter over the last two decades, with older pupils losing more than an hour a week as lessons increasingly eat into lunch and play time, research has found.

Afternoon break times, once enjoyed by nearly all primary school children, have been “virtually eliminated”, the report found, while a quarter of secondary schools now have lunch breaks of 35 minutes or less.

Otley school in 'top two percent' for languages

by Ikley Gazette, May 9, 2019

AN OTLEY school has been ranked amongst the country’s top two per cent for the quality of its language teaching.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School had 89 per cent of its students entered for English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects - which include a language - last summer.

And 98 per cent of the students sat a language GCSE, with nearly a quarter achieving a top grade.

That accomplishment has now been recognised by the Government’s Minister of State for Education Standards, Nick Gibb MP.

Writing to congratulate Prince Henry’s, he said: “Your school is in the top two per cent of all state-funded, mainstream secondary schools in the country so far as language is concerned.

Durham children with special needs face cuts to educational funding

by Chronicle Live, May 9, 2019

Children with special needs in County Durham could face even deeper cuts to their funding.

Council bosses have admitted further cuts could be necessary to balance its books.

But they have also promised they will try to manage this without damaging the services vulnerable youngsters and their families rely on.

"There is obviously a lot of concern around the funding for SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] services," said Coun Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Council's (DCC) cabinet member for children and young people.

The school where parents take exams alongside their children

by TES, May 9, 2019

Parents at a school in Scotland are studying for and sitting the same exams as their children.

The move is part of attempts to get families more engaged in school and to boost the prospects of their children.

Some 23 parents of S4 pupils at Larbert High, in Falkirk, have been taking part in weekly two-hour evening classes with their child, either in English or maths.

Three-quarters of primary teachers say pupils anxious about school

by TES, May 9, 2019

Three-quarters of primary teachers say that their pupils have experienced anxiety about school life.

And three in 10 parents of primary-aged pupils feel that learning how to manage anxiety is more important than school work.

The Increasing Importance of Demonstrating #Impact in Education

by FE news, May 9, 2019

This April saw the launch of the first ever Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings – the only global performance table that assesses the impact of higher education institutions against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

'Quality education' attracts pupils of all faiths and none, says head of Catholic school

by Belfast Telegraph, May 9, 2019

The head of a religious school in Co Down has outlined the reasons why he believes "not only Catholics" go to Catholic seats of learning.

Liam Perry is principal of St Columbanus' College in Bangor, where 47% of the 700 pupils identify as Catholic.

Protestant children make up some 32% of the pupil population, with the remaining 21% identifying as either 'other' or non-religious.

"It (the school's make-up) hasn't been by design - it has been steady and organic growth," Mr Perry said.

"We are not a social construct. All we do is provide quality education, which is what parents want for their children."

Three-storey Calderdale care home plan on former grammar school site

by Halifax Courier, May 9, 2019

Plans have been revealed to demolish a former Calderdale grammar school to create a three-storey care home

Torsion Care has submitted proposals for a three storey, 66-bed new care home in Hipperholme.

The project would see the demolition of the former Hipperholme Grammar School building on Wakefield Road.

The school revealed in 2017 that it would be starting the new term under one roof as it merged its junior and senior school onto its existing site in Bramley Lane.

As a result of its ‘one site, one vision, one future’ mission, work took place to transform the school to accommodate three to 16-year-olds and welcome junior school pupils through its doors after unveiling its new look in October 2017.

Primary school Sats are necessary to show that taxpayer money is being well spent, Ofqual chair says

by Telegraph, May 9, 2019

Sats in primary school are necessary to show that taxpayer money is being well spent, the chair of Ofqual has said.

Roger Taylor said that the assessments are necessary so that the public can be “confident” that the education system is fir for purpose.

Currently children take Sats at the end of their final year of primary school, while the tests for seven-year-olds are being phased out in favour of “baseline assessments” for children at the end of Reception.

Harvey Grammar School could expand for Otterpool Park development

by Kent Online, May 8, 2019

A secondary school could be set to expand as a direct response to a new garden town proposal.

An outline planning application for the Otterpool Park development - which could see 10,000 new homes built on land near Folkestone Racecourse - was submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council in March.

It reveals that, due to the extra number of families that could move into the area, there are not enough spaces at the area’s existing secondary schools.

Private grammar school in Durham could expand into Sunderland

by Chronicle Live, May 8, 2019

A 'no frills' private school could expand into Sunderland one day.

The Independent Grammar School (IGS), in Durham, has had the results of its first Ofsted inspection , and just two terms in, the government watchdog thinks its standard so far has been 'Good'.

But, despite plans to one day outgrow the city, principal Chris Gray said he could not 'commit' on where the school might expand first.

Free meals and activities for 50,000 children over 2019 summer holidays

by UK GOV, May 8, 2019

Around 50,000 disadvantaged children will be offered free meals and activities over the upcoming summer holidays, funded by £9.1 million from the Department for Education.

The scheme follows a successful £2 million programme in the summer of 2018, which saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for more than 18,000 children across the country.

Careers education and knowledge of apprenticeships is on the rise, but there is still much work to do to fix youth unemployment #YouthVoicesCensus

by FE news, May 8, 2019

Youth Employment UK has today launched the results from the 2019 Youth Voice Census, a survey capturing the experiences of more than 3,000 14-24-year olds as they transition between education and employment.

Young People And Careers Education

Young people are benefitting from developments in careers education policy and knowledge of apprenticeships is on the rise; 83% of respondents reported that they had had apprenticeships discussed with them whilst in secondary school, up from 58% in 2018.

Further and Higher Education, it's time to deliver better value for money

by FE news, May 8, 2019

Further and Higher Education, focus on the basics - time to deliver better value for money.

In the past few years, particularly since tuition fees were introduced, the higher education sector in the UK has been working much harder to attract students.

This means that marketing budgets have increased and are in some cases as high as £3m per year.

Education experts welcome the government’s Online Harms White Paper

by Edexec, May 8, 2019

The government’s Online Harms White Paper proposes a series of measures designed to keep people safe online; the consultation period is open until 1 July. We look at what education experts have had to say about its publication and what the government hopes to find out during the consultation period
The government recently published its Online Harms White Paper, setting out its plans for a package of measures to keep UK users safe online.

Seeking to support of innovation and a thriving digital economy, th

5 reasons why plans for NQTs might make things worse

by TES, May 8, 2019

After more than 15 years working in initial teacher education, I continue to admire the positivity, energy and, above all, the commitment to making the world a better place that new recruits into teaching demonstrate. They make me proud of our profession.

We need to ensure that we keep them in classrooms, and this seems more vital than ever, with a recent survey undertaken by the NEU finding that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of those with less than five years’ experience plan to quit by 2024.

In recognition of the problem, and as part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy, support for early career teachers (ECTs) is being given higher priority by the Department for Education, a development that was widely welcomed by those of us working in initial teacher education.

NQT problems ahead?
I, alongside many others, attended as many consultation events as possible in order to feed into policy development.

GCSE maths: what you should be doing in the run-up to exams

by TES, May 8, 2019

As I write, the first GCSE maths exam is just two weeks away. Pupils up and down the land are juggling extra revision time with lesson time and enough free/social time to keep their sanity.

Some are doing this better than others.

What can we do with our lesson time to help put the finishing touches on the culmination of 11 years' worth of schooling?

My three wishes to transform the future of traineeships

by FE Week, May 7, 2019

There are practical steps we can take to get traineeships back into the limelight – where they fully deserve to be. By Ceara Roopchand

One of the dangers of sector reforms is the tendency for older programmes to be left languishing, often sidelined with the hope that they will continue to function without requiring too much intervention by policymakers.

With apprenticeships in the spotlight following the levy reforms in 2017, and increasing focus on the soon-to-be-introduced T-level programme, technical education has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. But in the case of traineeships, persistent barriers have impeded the programme from becoming the success originally envisaged.

Introduced by the government in 2013, traineeships are designed to enable young people who lack work experience to progress rapidly to employment, an apprenticeship or into further education. The latest available data paints a dismal picture, with starts declining year-on-year between Q1 2015-16 and Q1 2018-19, with only 17,700 starts last year, but these numbers haven’t attracted much attention against the massive slump in apprenticeship starts that occurred in the levy’s first year.

BPS establishes Expert Reference Group to deliver campaign on mental health of children and young people

by BPS, May 7, 2019

Following the Senate’s decision to choose the priority for 2019, the first meeting of the ERG has now been held, bringing together experts from a wide variety of fields, including clinical and educational psychology, counsellors, teachers and researchers.

Their four key objectives are:

The Department for Education and Ofsted should introduce new psychological and wellbeing measures into school inspections, accompanied by additional psychological support.
Examining bodies and Ofqual should commit to reviewing examinations to provide for psychological conditions and how to reduce stress.
The Office for Students should commit to review and standardise psychological provision in universities and consider new approaches.
All political parties should commit to developing a conception to age 5 strategy in their election manifestos.

Scottish pupils studying up to five different courses being taught in same class amid teacher shortages

by Telegraph, May 7, 2019

Pupils sitting up to five different qualifications are being taught in the same class amid budget cuts and teacher shortages, according to research conducted by a Holyrood inquiry into school subject choice.

Teachers interviewed in focus groups, on behalf of the education committee, highlighted "commonplace" examples of them simultaneously having to teach three or four different levels of pupils.