Month: February 2016

A-level maths standards down on 1960s but not on 1990s

Students who achieve a B in A-level maths today would only have secured an E in the 1960s, suggests research. However standards have been stable since the 1990s, with no evidence of any further fall since then, says the Loughborough University paper. The researchers compared the level of mathematical knowledge needed to tackle today’s maths A-level papers with those from the 1960s and 1990s. The government said its reforms would help tackle grade inflation in England. The authors say their work, published in the British Educational Research Journal amounts to one of the most comprehensive studies into A-level standards....

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Manchester and Liverpool schools failing pupils, says Ofsted chief

Failing schools risk causing plans for the government’s so-called Northern Powerhouse to “splutter and die”, the Ofsted chief has warned. Secondary schools in Liverpool and Manchester are “not firing on all cylinders” due to deteriorating GCSE performances, Sir Michael Wilshaw said. This could result in a “lack of skills” for the northern economic growth plan, a letter from the watchdog said. Manchester City Council said “measures are in place to overcome the dip”. Liverpool City Council said the Northern Powerhouse would be an “empty political slogan” unless it has “more powers to influence education” to deliver the skills businesses...

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Maths Teachers tuition fees – The maths project

Stoke-on-Trent is trying to radically improve maths standards in its schools, including by helping to pay off  maths teachers tuition fees who come to work in the city. The maths project is aimed at improving the chances for young people growing up in a city where many traditional industries have declined. Local MP Tristram Hunt is working with local schools, council and employers. Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw will launch the scheme on Wednesday. The £1m maths project, a form of educational urban regeneration, is aimed at attracting bright young maths graduates to a city struggling with industrial decline...

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Lily Cole challenges MPs on illiteracy

Model and actress Lily Cole is spearheading a campaign calling for a global drive to tackle illiteracy. Project Literacy, a coalition of campaign groups, says one in 10 people around the world is illiterate. Ms Cole, speaking in the Houses of Parliament, said too often the impact of the problem was overlooked because it lacked “raw emotional power”. But she said illiteracy was of fundamental importance to jobs, health and political engagement. Project Literacy is trying to raise the profile of the damage caused by illiteracy, which affects more than 750 million people around the world. But Ms Cole,...

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MSPs call on UK government to reinstate post-study work visa

  MSPs on Holyrood’s devolution committee have called on the UK government to bring back post-study work visa north of the border. The visas, allowing international students to stay in Scotland to work after graduating, were dropped in 2012. The Home Office has said there are “no plans” to bring them back, although Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he would listen to concerns. All of Holyrood’s parties support bringing back the visas. The committee took evidence from universities and graduates on the impact of the visas being withdrawn, and said more than £250m had been lost to the Scottish...

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