Education Policy

GCSE results day 2019: increase in top grades – live | Education

Amy Walker has been speaking to delighted pupils at a voluntary aided King David High School in Liverpool – a Jewish school that admits children from 11 to 18 of all faiths. Ben Franks, 16, is among those now in the queue to register for the school’s sixth form after receiving GCSE grades including an 8 (equivalent to an A*), two 7s (A) and three 6s (B). Revising “got really weird at one point,” he said. “I basically developed a…

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‘It’s dangerous’: full chaos of funding cuts in England’s schools revealed | Education

The impact of the funding crisis in England’s schools is laid bare in a Guardian investigation that reveals a system falling apart at the seams, with teachers covering for canteen staff and cleaners while essential funds are raised by parent donations and “charity” non-uniform days. Teachers and parents who responded to a Guardian callout complained there was not enough money even for basics such as textbooks, stationery and science equipment. They say children with special educational needs (SEN) are the…

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Populism has no place in education – so stop bashing Germans and private schools | Laura McInerney | Education

We live in complicated times. Prorogations. Constitutional crises. It is not surprising, therefore, that the government wants to talk to the public about simple things that “make sense”. Unfortunately, the education policies of the two main(ish) political parties may be feeding the anxious political climate. Take the battle cry of the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, who has set a target that vocational education in Britain will “overtake Germany” in the next decade. It is not clear what he means, but…

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School’s back – but some parents can’t keep up with cost of branded uniforms | Education

Charities and community groups aiming to lower the cost of buying school uniforms for low-income families say they cannot keep pace with rocketing demand, as parents struggle to afford essential items for their children in the run-up to the start of the new school year. The popularity of groups offering free donations and secondhand school uniforms for swap has risen sharply this year and organisers say they have been inundated with thousands of requests for items over the past six…

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Why are teachers miserable? Because they’re being held at gunpoint for meaningless data | Jeremy Hannay | Education

Everyone seems to be dancing around the elephant in the room. Jeremy Corbyn is talking about scrapping Sats. The DfE is on the workload warpath. Ofsted is myth-busting itself out of the dark ages into the 21st century, saying it doesn’t care about marking any more. Almost a third of teachers quit in the first five years, and those who stay are burning out in record numbers. Let me clear up this edu-mess for you. It’s not Sats. It’s not…

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Just imagine if your school had seen a 5% annual funding rise since 2010, like the Labour years | Fiona Millar | Education

Sick of the slogan, Get Brexit Done? The new Conservative party mantra will almost certainly infuriate or seduce, depending on your view about the EU referendum. It may also be time-limited, depending of the outcome of the next few weeks. The strapline, however, Invest in our hospitals, schools and police, is designed to live on into a fantasy post-Brexit world, where the Conservatives are reborn as the party of public spending and commitment to public services. So, let’s get real.…

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New teachers’ salary in England could reach £30,000, says DfE | Education

Starting salaries for new teachers in England could rise to £30,000 within four years, the government has confirmed, as part of its plans to increase recruitment and improve the status of the profession. The announcement by the Department for Education (DfE) that it will push for higher pay for newly-qualified teachers was revealed by the Guardian last week as part of the government’s “back to school” policy rollout, including increased funding for state schools. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary for…

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Support for children with special educational needs ‘in crisis’ | Education

Services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are in crisis, with families experiencing delays of up to 90 weeks and complaints at record levels, according to the local government and social care ombudsman. Ombudsman Michael King said the number of complaints from frustrated parents had gone up by 45% over a two-year period to 2019. Most concerning, he said, was that nine out of 10 complaints (87%) were upheld in the families’ favour, with councils criticised for…

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Education secretary announces plans for vocational training | Education

Vocational and technical training could become more popular than going to university, according to education secretary Gavin Williamson as he prepares to announce £120m in extra funding for a new wave of specialist institutes. Williamson will tell the Conservative party conference on Monday of plans to launch a further eight institutes of technology – a collaboration between further education (FE) colleges, universities and employers to offer higher level technical training – joining the 12 opening this year to rival higher…

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Abolishing private schools will make society fairer | Letters | Education

While Simon Henderson may argue correctly that abolishing independent schools would not directly improve the life chances of those left behind, it would take away the automatic life-privileging of those wealthy enough to attend them, thus creating a more level playing field (Eton College head says Labour plans for abolition make no financial sense, 24 September). Teachers’ jobs would not be lost as they would move from one paymaster to another when transferring to the state system, nor would this…

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UK work visas for foreign graduates to be extended to two years | Education

International students are to be offered a two-year work visa after graduating from a British university, the government will announce, overturning a key plank of Theresa May’s restrictive immigration policies. Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months. From next year all international graduates could qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying. The measure goes further than the Home…

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Private schools chief attacks ‘truly toxic’ portrayal of sector | Education

The head of a group of 600 private schools has hit out at the “truly toxic portrayal”, in the wake of Labour endorsing a series of measures that would effectively abolish them. Christopher King, the chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), was due to tell his organisation’s annual conference on Thursday that private schools offered a “premium product” for pupils, without the rote learning and changes inflicted by the previous education secretary Michael Gove on state…

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Head of Eton hits back at Labour plans to abolish private schools | Education

The headmaster of Eton College has hit back at Labour’s plans to abolish private schools, saying they make no financial sense and will not benefit children left behind by the education system. In an interview with the Guardian, Simon Henderson, who became head of the world-famous private school four years ago, acknowledged the public mood had shifted and a battle lay ahead for the future of private education. He said Eton, which was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI,…

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Labour delegates vote for plan that would abolish private schools | Education

Labour delegates have endorsed radical plans that would abolish private schools by removing their charitable status and redistributing their endowments, investments and properties to the state sector. Conference delegates approved a motion that said such a commitment should be included in the party’s next general election manifesto. The motion added universities would be limited to admitting the same proportion of private school students as in the wider population, currently 7%. The vote in favour of the motion came after the…

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25% of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week – study | Education

A quarter of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week, far in excess of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, research reveals. The study by the UCL Institute of Education said that five years of government initiatives to reduce excessive workload, introduced by three different education secretaries, have done nothing to cut the total number of hours worked by teachers which have remained high for two decades. Researchers found that teachers in England work 47 hours a…

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John McDonnell backs ‘Abolish Eton’ debate at Labour conference | Education

The shadow chancellor is to throw his weight behind an “Abolish Eton” debate at the Labour party conference this weekend, as he declares that “private schools don’t need to exist” in an equal society. John McDonnell said he supported a motion put forward by the campaign group Labour Against Private Schools calling for independent schools in England to be stripped of their charitable status, to have limits placed on their pupils’ entry to universities, and for their assets to be…

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