Month: January 2018

University entry exams highlight ‘class divide’

A growing number of white working-class students in England are using vocational qualifications rather than A-levels to access university courses, says one think tank. The Social Market Foundation says this highlights a class divide with poor students being twice as likely to study a vocational course, such as BTEC’s, in comparison with their middle-class peers. The Foundation says it has examined data for students accepted onto a university degree course in 2016 and if they had BTEC’s or A-levels. The report says that BTECs are for sixth formers the most popular vocational qualification. The organisation says that the numbers...

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School league tables: 1 in 8 ‘below standard’

A new regime for GCSEs has seen one in eight schools falling below the government’s ‘floor standard’ in league tables published today. Last year’s figure was for one in 10 schools being below the standard. Now the goalposts have shifted and the GCES grades for pupils on which a school will be judged has been moved to grade 5. The government revamped GCSEs and A Levels with a claim that doing so would raise standards and also boost confidence in the system that many critics believed had fallen victim to grade inflation. This view came about because universities and...

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Schools are facing a ‘digital challenge’

Schools are being urged to help prepare young people for a fast-changing jobs market and the ‘digital revolution’ by England’s new education secretary, Damian Hinds. In his first speech since taking up the role, Mr Hinds says schools will need to build a sense of ‘resiliance’ and other skills including public speaking among students. He added that youngsters should also enjoy a mix of ‘traditional academic subjects’. He made the point that a large number of new jobs in future will require people with excellent digital skills and he also called for vocational training for adults to be improved....

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Schools should do more to warn about sharing sexual content

Schools could be do more when it comes to teaching children about the dangers of them sharing sexual content while online, a think tank says. In a report, Demos says that the problem is so big that law enforcement agencies and police should focus on those who make images and carry out abuse rather than chasing low-level offenders. The think tank also highlights that artificial intelligence technology could play an important role when it comes to tackling the issue of child sex abuse images. The report questioned a number of experts to highlight the growing issue of children under...

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Older people encouraged to become teachers by new minister

The new Secretary of State for Education is urging older people to train and become teachers. Damian Hinds told one national newspaper that the teaching profession will be opened up to people of all generations and not only to new graduates. He also vowed that he would ‘crack’ the problem of teachers having to deal with an excessive workloads to make the job more attractive and manageable. The move to encourage older people to become teachers has been welcomed after the latest official figures reveal that teacher recruitment is now in a freefall. Applications from university leavers last year...

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