Attainment gap widens between disadvantaged pupils and their peers | Education

Ministers have said more must be done to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils in England, after last summer’s exam results showed the gap between children from poor families and their better-off peers had widened further. A breakdown of GCSE results issued by the Department for Education (DfE) showed the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others increased for the second year in a row. The introduction of tougher exams appear to have halted the improvement seen in previous years. “The…

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Ofsted boss hits out at schools for continuing to ‘game’ league tables | Education

The head of Ofsted has issued a sharp rebuke to schools in England that continue to “off-roll” vulnerable pupils and force others to take “sham qualifications” in order to maximise results and improve league table positions. The schools watchdog introduced a new inspection framework last year aimed at encouraging schools to move away from a purely results-driven culture and focus instead on a broad, rich curriculum. However, according to the chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, a minority of schools…

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OECD and Pisa tests are damaging education worldwide – academics | Education

Dear Dr Schleicher, We write to you in your capacity as OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) director of the Programme of International Student Assessment (Pisa). Now in its 13th year, Pisa is known around the world as an instrument to rank OECD and non-OECD countries (60-plus at last count) according to a measure of academic achievement of 15-year-old students in mathematics, science, and reading. Administered every three years, Pisa results are anxiously awaited by governments, education ministers, and…

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