Month: January 2017

Tristram Hunt urges Corbyn to back scrapping GCSEs

Departing Labour MP, Tristram Hunt, has called on the leader of the Labour Party to support scrapping GCSEs. The former shadow education secretary implored Jeremy Corbyn to support academic and technical baccalaureates as an alternative qualification, the TES reports. Hunt, who is standing down from his parliamentary seat for Stoke-on-Trent Central, used his resignation to support scrapping GCSEs, and asked Corbyn to do the same, writing: “I would still urge you to adopt a programme of abolishing GCSEs; introduce academic and technical baccalaureates; offer universal, high-quality early-years provision; and invest in effective apprenticeships.” Mr. Hunt has been a long-time...

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School to fine parents for child’s lateness

One school in Essex has announced plans to fine parents for the child’s lateness, according to Schools Week. Catherine Stalham, headteacher at Winter Gardens primary academy in Essex, announced last week that parents would be fined if their child was consistently late to school. Parents have rebuffed the proposed fine, calling the plans “ridiculous”, while a teaching union called it a “worrying” and “inappropriate” policy. The Department for Education (DfE) have said that on issues of children’s lateness to school, the law allows for schools to take enact measures such as fines. The DfE said: “It is right that...

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Human rights group warn Heads over pupil nationality data

The human rights charity Liberty, is to write to every headteacher in England, demanding clarity for parents over the collection of pupil nationality data, Schools Week reports. This week, headteachers will order for the second time, that pupil nationality data and country of birth is recorded. The first data collection was carried out in September last year. The first data collection caused unease among parents, with some headteachers, wrongly demanding copies of passports, and focusing their enquiries on ‘non-white- children. Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty and a human rights lawyer, is to warn headteachers that they must ensure parents...

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Nearly 1 in 4 UK grads leaves with first class honours

The percentage of students leaving university with first class honours has risen in the last five years, reaching record levels, The Guardian reports. Nearly  1  in 4 (24%) graduates who gained a degree, graduated with a first class last year, compared with 17% in 2011-12, according to data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The statistics, which account for UK universities and colleges, are expected to open up fresh debate about whether the UK’s degree classification system is still fit for purpose. In recent years a number of employers have stopped asking for specific degree standards, with...

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Theresa May pledges free teacher mental health training

The prime minister Theresa May has announced free teacher mental health training, in every secondary school in England, Schools Week reports. Speaking at the Charity Commission earlier this week, Theresa May said a new approach to tackling mental health problems would begin to ensure children and young people “got the help and support the need and deserve”. The government has said that teacher mental health training will be offered by Mental Health First Aid UK, to teachers and other staff in a third of secondary schools this year alone. The remaining schools will see teacher mental health training implemented...

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