Weekly Thursday Education News Round-Up – 26/09/2019

IFS: £1.1bn needed to reverse FE funding cuts – Even with an extra £400m for FE, per-student funding will be 7 per cent less in real terms than in 2010, finds IFS report.

Some £1.1 billion in additional funding is needed to fully reverse the cuts to further education since 2010, new research reveals today. A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Nuffield Foundation says that an additional £1.1 billion is needed by 2022-23 on top of the current spending plans. When T levels are factored in, the figure needed to maintain per-student spending rises to £1.4 billion.

Read more

Half of universities prepared for no-deal Brexit – UK universities may not be ready for a no-deal Brexit, with 48% only ‘slightly’ prepared for October 31.

A report from Universities UK (UUK) suggests only a half of its members are properly prepared for a no-deal Brexit. In response to the survey, 52% of universities said they were either ‘fully’ or ‘very’ prepared for the country to leave the European Union on October 31 without a deal. The remaining 48% of members said they were ‘slightly’ prepared for a no deal scenario. 75 UK member institutions responded to the survey which asked 136 UK universities to comment on their preparedness.

Read more

British Museum expands digital learning programme – The museum has updated its Digital Discovery Centre to create 35,000 more places available within its Virtual Visits programme.

The British Museum and Samsung have renewed their partnership and expanded the Virtual Visits programme, allowing 35,000 school children to experience the museum. The Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC) has undergone a significant upgrade, and has been reopened this week. The Virtual Visits programme expansion is part of the new SDDC, and schools that are unable to physically visit the museum can experience the collection and staff expertise through a learning session broadcast into their classroom.

Read more

Threaten research funding to make universities take ‘institutional racism’ seriously, says academic – Academia likes to think of itself as ‘liberal’ and ‘forward thinking’ but that is not the case, says a leading academic.

Higher education in the UK is pervaded by “institutional racism” and the only way to get universities to tackle it is to threaten their funding, a leading academic has said. Professor Kalwant Bhopal from the University of Birmingham said that academia liked to think of itself as “liberal”, “forward-thinking” and “interested in social justice and inclusion” when “in reality this is not evidenced”. “The idea that the white liberal academy is institutionally racist, and that white privilege exists, it’s very uncomfortable for some people,” she said.

Read more

Bradford University named most social inclusive in the UK – More than a half of students at Bradford University grew up in the least advantaged parts of the country and 70% are from BAME backgrounds

Bradford has been named the most social inclusive university in the country. The Times and Sunday Times award for social inclusion recognises success in widening participation. The university has a high proportion of students educated at non-selective state schools, from ethnic minority backgrounds and deprived areas.

Read more

Staying in primary longer ‘boosts reading results’ – School transition in early adolescence could take its toll on learning outcomes, according to a new study.

Changing schools at age 11 could put pupils at a disadvantage in the classroom, new research shows. A University of Virginia study reveals that grade 6 (Year 7) and grade 7 (Year 8) pupils tend to achieve better results in reading and maths in elementary school than in middle school. And the effect was more pronounced for the younger children. In the US state of Virginia, most pupils attend middle school for three years from age 11 to 14. But others move straight from elementary to high school at age 12 or 13 – skipping middle school altogether.

Read more

He said, she said: Online relationships education in schools – Online relationships education is vital for young people. So how should it be handled? Kevin O’Malley reports.

The effects of modern information technology on education are vast. The modern educator is empowered to over a vast range of different capabilities to their students. This variety of options and requirements, however, has similarly increased the sector’s complexity. With all the demands facing modern education, why care about online relationships?

Read more

Why getting ‘Pushy Parents’ to send their sick children to school seems short-sighted – In a bid to boost school attendance, parents are being told to be pushy about sick days. Susie Mesure’s not so sure.

Where do you stand on the issue of pushy parents? Not in the stereotypical “extra violin lessons for you” sense but the more literal one of pushing your children out of the door to get them to school, minor illnesses be damned. One local authority in southern England is urging parents to “be more pushy” and make sure their kids turn up for lessons even if they are suffering from a cough or a cold.

Read more

Industry reacts to Labour’s plans to integrate private schools into state sector – One independent school head said removing choice in education is “absolutely tragic”.

The Labour Party has agreed on a motion to integrate private schools into the state sector. The BBC said “the motion calls for funds and properties held by private schools to be ‘redistributed democratically and fairly’ to other schools”. Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said “tax loopholes” that benefit private schools would be scrapped by a Labour government in its first Budget. The independent school sector has responded with statements and tweets reflecting their viewpoint.

Read more

Plans for a national computing SCITT have crashed after the government failed to attract any “suitable bids” to run it.

Schools Week revealed in March that the Department for Education was seeking organisations with “national reach” to run the computing school-centred initial teacher training programme. The SCITT was expected to develop a national network of eight hubs by the end of summer next year, and suggested an annual recruitment target of 40. The contract was due to begin today with recruitment set to start this autumn.

Read more

Labour conference votes to end academies – Labour conference votes to ‘ensure all publicly funded schools are brought back under the control of local authorities’.

Delegates at the annual Labour Party conference in Brighton have today passed a motion that would bring about the end of academies and multi-academy trusts if Labour came to power. The motion proposes to bring all publically funded schools under the control of their local authority where they would be overseen by “a local education committee”. The motion cites “a series of failings, scandals and collapses” relating to academy schools and MATs, and says they could be “a charter for profiteering”.

Read more

Record number of disadvantaged students to start at university this year – Despite the increase, the gap between the most advantaged and least advantaged students only narrowed slightly.

More disadvantaged students will go to university this year than ever before, but inequality has only narrowed fractionally, latest statistics from Ucas show. The most recent figures from the 2019 admissions cycle show that, for the first time ever, more than 20% of 18-year-olds from low participation neighbourhoods (POLAR4 quintile 1 areas) will attend university this autumn. But despite the increase, the inequality between the most and least advantaged groups gaining a place at university only narrowed slightly. The rise in acceptance rates for both demographic groups was virtually the same, implying a negligible reduction in inequality. 18-year-olds from the most advantaged parts of the country were more than twice as likely to go to university as those from the least advantaged neighbours.

Read more

Parents, here’s what to look for on school visits – When you’re visiting a prospective school, don’t be swayed by advertising or architecture, and be sure to meet staff at all levels, says Douglas Wise.

Visiting prospective schools is an important process for parents and carers, but it can be an overwhelming one. How can you see through the spin, and read between the lines? What are the red flags to watch out for? Here’s an insider’s guide on getting the most from them.

Read more

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme statistics – In July 2019, students all over the world received their International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Career-related Programme (IBCP) results.

Dr Siva Kumari, the IB’s director-general, said: “They [IB students] have shown a thirst for knowledge, a determination to succeed and a conviction in their ability to take on their next best step equipped with high-quality preparation. “Higher education institutions and employers alike are telling us we need young people who can collaborate, communicate and think critically while creating new knowledge. Research suggests that an IB diploma prepares students with these skills. Our alumni are addressing the challenges humanity face with open-minds and creativity.

Read more

The government must take action to stem a “shameful” increase in pupils leaving education without basic qualifications, the children’s commissioner has said.

Analysis published by Anne Longfield’s office today shows growing numbers of pupils failing to achieve five GCSEs at a C or above by the age of 18, with pupils with special needs or receiving free school meals the most likely to miss the grades. The analysis shows that almost one in five (18 per cent) of all pupils who left education at 18 last year did so without five A*-C GCSEs. The number of pupils in this situation– 98,799 – is 24 per cent higher than it was in 2015.

Read more

Thomas’s introduce joint arts workshops with state school – The chain of private schools – which educate Prince George and Princess Charlotte – aim to bridge the gap between state and private school pupils.

The chain of private schools which educate Prince George and Princess Charlotte have introduced joint arts workshops between its pupils and children at its state-run, partner school Thomas’s Academy, The Times has reported. Thomas’s is a group of four private preparatory schools located in Battersea, Clapham, Fulham and Kensington, with a kindergarten in Battersea. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children attend Thomas’s Battersea. Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s, said the funding per pupil at its state partner school was a quarter of that at the group’s private schools.

Read more

‘Tech increases student engagement’ say 91% of uni lecturers – Research from D2L has revealed that a majority of university lecturers believe that adding more learning tech would increase student engagement.

Research released today by VLE provider D2L shows that 91% of university lecturers are in favour of learning technologies as tools for student engagement. The research surveyed over 500 UK-based lecturers in HE, asking about attitudes towards the use of technology in education. You might also like: The maker movement: A new way to engage young people in STEM (blog) Eighty per cent of respondents agreed that increased technology options would have a positive effect on the education system, and half of those asked (50%) stated that tech could alleviate administrative pressure.

Read more

Trainee teachers with bursaries less likely to teach – More than 20 per cent of trainees who got bursaries in 2017-18 were not teaching in the state sector 16 months later

More than one in five teaching trainees who received a bursary dropped out of the profession within 16 months of qualifying, new figures reveal. Provisional employment rate statistics released today by the Department for Education (DfE) show that 19 per cent of newly qualified teachers who trained during 2017-18 were not teaching in state schools 16 months later. And they also reveal that those teachers who were eligible for up to £30,000 in government bursary funding were less likely to be teaching than average –with 21 per cent not in a state classroom 16 months on.

Read more

New partnership offers boost to data science study – DJRFF, the computer education charity, is scaling up its work by introducing new courses at schools run by Astrea Academy Trust.

Last year, the David and Jane Richards Family Foundation (DJRFF) piloted a syllabus focusing strongly on data science, in a bid to “give young people the ability to understand and solve real-world challenges”. Claiming the pilot to have been a success, the charity has announced that it is scaling up its work by partnering with Astrea Academy Trust to introduce new courses at four secondary schools across South Yorkshire.

Read more

‘We are driving out creative teachers,’ says Pisa boss – Andreas Schleicher warns our systems are “not ready for the world of tomorrow” – calling for greater focus on creativity in the classroom.

A “focus on compliance” is driving innovative teachers from the profession, according to the official who runs the Pisa international education rankings. Speaking at an international conference in London, Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said education was “losing its relevance” in an increasingly digitised world with creative teachers often restricted by the curriculum they are expected to teach.

Read more

Posted in Education News, Weekly Blog.