Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 16/05/2019

Move work experience to sixth form and spread it throughout the year, says think tank – Work experience should take place in sixth form and beyond and be spread throughout the year, rather than happening through a “one off encounter” at age 14, according to a new report.

Research published today by think tank LKMco and Workfinder – a subsidiary of charity Founders4Schools – said schools, colleges and universities should set up “multiple, varied interactions” between young people and employers until the age of 24.

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OGAT under fire for plans to make misbehaving pupils repeat a year – An academy trust is under fire for its new behaviour policy that states poorly-behaved pupils will be kept behind a year until they improve.

One lawyer said Outwood Grange Academies Trust’s plans have “no lawful basis” and are an “effective way of getting [pupils] to leave”. – The trust’s new behaviour policy states pupils who don’t show “over time, good behaviour, attitude and effort in their lessons, will not graduate at the end of year 8 and may subsequently remain in year 8 until improvements are made”.

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Lowering bar for disadvantaged students has failed to redress imbalance in university admissions, regulator says – Dropping entry grades at elite universities further would ‘broaden the pool’ of applicants.

Lowering the bar for disadvantaged children has failed to redress a “stubbornly high” equality gap in university admissions, according to a new report from the higher education regulator. The Office for Students (OfS) is calling on universities to urgently adopt a “more radical” approach to contextual admissions in order to achieve fair access to higher education for poorer students.

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A global approach to qualification recognition – Peter Monteath, Regional Director, Europe at Cambridge Assessment International Education, explains how its qualifications are recognised globally.

At Cambridge International, we know that our students are often globally mobile and may wish to continue their studies anywhere around the world. This presents a challenge in terms of university recognition and schools frequently ask me how Cambridge qualifications are understood so widely, in so many popular study destinations worldwide.

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Contextual offers from elite universities too conservative, says OfS – The watchdog says ‘radical change’ is needed to address access at UK universities, particularly HEIs with high entry standards.

The use of university contextual offers has been too conservative, says the Office for Students (OfS). The report by the OfS says universities must do more to affect a “generational shift”. In its report on fair access, the regulator said: “The implementation of contextual admissions does not go far enough.

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Auditors ‘failed to spot problems’ at academy trusts – Governors say that some of the auditors who check academy accounts are not giving early warnings about problems.

Auditors have failed to spot problems at academy trusts that later triggered formal government action, a governors’ leader has warned. Academy trusts are legally required to publish their annual financial accounts, which the Department for Education argues means that they are subject to “higher levels of accountability and transparency than local authority schools”.

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Ofsted mulls creating school reviews website – Ofsted has refused to rule out creating a TripAdvisor-style reviews website for parents after more than three quarters of respondents to a survey backed the idea.

The watchdog is designing a replacement for Parent View, the service it uses to gather the views of parents about schools. Under the current system, feedback is recorded via a survey and published as data, with no function to take written comments.

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Childnet launches online relationships toolkit for secondary schools – The resource pack ‘Myth vs Reality’ addresses issues such as online pornography, healthy relationships, gender, and body image.

Children’s charity Childnet have released a toolkit to help give 11–14-year-olds reliable information about online pornography, healthy relationships, and body image online. The toolkit, entitled ‘Myth vs Reality’, was created following a series of focus groups conducted in five schools across the UK. Young people participating in the groups expressed the need for education about the portrayal of gender, bodies and relationships online, with a particular need for education about the reality of online pornography.

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Why T levels could be a ‘game-changer’ for catering – The supply of skilled individuals for restaurants just isn’t there. T levels could be the answer.

It’s long been accepted that the vocational education system in the UK is fundamentally broken. For years, consecutive governments have attempted to restructure and reform technical learning to no avail. T levels have been promised as the solution to the vocational education debate.

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UK teachers most tech-savvy in developed world – However OECD raises concern about relatively high numbers of young people lacking basic skills needed for the digital world.

Teachers in the United Kingdom are the most proficient in ICT in the developed world, according to a new report. The OECD Skills Outlook, published today, says that the UK has the lowest proportion of teachers who report being in need of training in ICT. It reveals that just under a third of teachers (32 per cent) need more training – which is the lowest level among the 36 member countries.

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Children with SEND are ‘real priority’ in spending review – Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, says that it is recognised that more funding is needed for special educational needs.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will be prioritised in the government ‘s forthcoming spending review, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury has said. Ms Truss, a former education minister, took part in a Local Government Association debate on the review last night.

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Universities risk ‘damaging’ students by giving them unnecessary counselling, report finds – The number of university students reaching out to mental health facilities is up by 50 per cent in five years.

Universities risk “damaging” students by giving them unnecessary counselling for mental health when they just need to join a society, the author of a new report has said. The Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) has urged institutions to distinguish between wellbeing issues and mental health conditions so that students are given the correct support.

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Schools must be held accountable for results of excluded children, Government review to say – The review was led by the former children’s minister Edward Timpson.

Schools must be held accountable for the results of excluded children, a Government review is to say. The inquiry, led by the former children’s minister Edward Timpson, will demand that headteachers continue to be responsible for pupils even when they have been expelled.

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‘Flexi-boarding’ on the rise as pupils stay overnight at school following after hours extra-curricular activities – Flexi-boarding is a particularly popular option for children are staying late at school for an extra-curricular pursuit.

“Flexi-boarding” is on the rise as children are now increasingly staying overnight at school following after-hours extra-curricular activities, a leading headmaster has said. Nick Wergan, headmaster at Steyning Grammar School in West Sussex and chair of the Boarding Schools Association (BSA), said that there has been a growth in the number of pupils opting to stay overnight at school from time to time.

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Why do students wedge open fire doors? – 80% of students admit to regularly taking part in activities that risk fire in their accommodation.

Universities and halls of residence have a higher than normal risk of fire. With 80% of students admitting to regularly taking part in activities that risk fire in their accommodation. One element of fire safety that often seems to be considered as more of a hindrance than help, are fire doors.

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How to prepare pupils for life after school – Lesley Franklin, principal of George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh, explains the importance of a school’s role in preparing pupils for the next chapter.

Not only do pupils in S5 and S6 have to contend with the pressure of exams, but they must also face the potentially daunting task of leaving the comfort of the school environment to embark on their next chapter. Whether that means going on to study at university, pursuing a vocational course or entering the world of work, it is our role as educators to prepare them for this leap.

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Digital skills pilot challenges students with real-life briefs – The Digital Skills Partnership has been developed to improve collaboration between industry and academia in Scotland.

A programme to develop the collaboration between tech industry and academia and address the digital skills gap in Scotland has completed a successful pilot. The Digital Skills Partnership programme was rolled out by tech trade association ScotlandIS and supported by Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

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Pupils ‘don’t get gravity’ of mobile phone exam ban, says Ofqual – Ofqual urges schools to warn pupils about the consequences of bringing phones and smart watches into GCSEs and A levels.

Some pupils still “do not understand the gravity” of bringing mobile phones and smart watches into their exams, Ofqual has said. In a letter sent to headteachers before GCSEs and A levels get underway, the exam regulator urged schools to be mindful of students bringing devices into their exams, as well as exam package security.

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Breaktimes cut by up to 65 minutes a week, and 6 other findings from a landmark study – A landmark study on school breaktimes show they are getting shorter, taking up more staff and are more likely to be withheld.

Ed Baines and Peter Blatchford from the Department of Psychology and Human Development at the UCL Institute of Education surveyed schools across England and compared their responses with previous studies in the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.

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GCSEs: the brain-boosting science of sleep – Research has confirmed that sleep improves retention – so tell GCSE and A-level pupils to get snoozing.

Who needs to sleep? Just try asking anyone who’s ever been deprived of it. Parents of newborns will be familiar with the mood swings, feelings of sickness and confusion. But that’s an extreme example of sleeplessness. So how important is sleeping in general? And how necessary is it for learning?

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Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.