Britain’s private school problem: it’s time to talk | Education

The existence in Britain of a flourishing private-school sector not only limits the life chances of those who attend state schools but also damages society at large, and it should be possible to have a sustained and fully inclusive national conversation about the subject. Whether one has been privately educated, or has sent or is sending one’s children to private schools, or even if one teaches at a private school, there should be no barriers to taking part in that…

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‘Symbolically posh’ Bristol University expanding to wrong side of tracks | Education

In the well-heeled district of Clifton in Bristol, with its Georgian crescents and French brasseries, 100% of school leavers go to university. Yet in the southern suburb of Hartcliffe, the figures are the lowest in the country: only 8.6% make it there. This is the divided face of Brexit Britain. Bristol University, part of the Russell Group and a favourite among private school students, has long been at the privileged heart of Clifton. But it has radical plans to pull…

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Pupils being propelled out of school system ‘in space of a day’ | Education

Pupils in England are being propelled out of schools and into home education, sometimes in the space of a single day, with little or no discussion beforehand and often without consulting the child, according a report by the schools watchdog. In some cases pupils are moved so quickly they are not even able to say goodbye to their friends. In other cases, parents complained that schools refused to allow children who were leaving to be educated at home to take…

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Ofsted plan to inspect ‘cultural capital’ in schools attacked as elitist | Education

A two-word term, invented in the 1970s by a French sociologist heavily influenced by Karl Marx, makes an unlikely entrance in Ofsted’s new framework [pdf] for the inspection of schools in England this week. Each institution is now to be judged on the extent to which it builds pupils’ “cultural capital”. What exactly does that mean? Users of the term, including the schools minister Nick Gibb and the former education secretary Michael Gove, suggest it is about ensuring that disadvantaged…

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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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Minister orders summit with developers over student homes delay | Education

The universities minister has called a summit to address the problem of unfinished student accommodation, which has resulted in hundreds of undergraduates having to find last-minute temporary housing at the start of the new term. Chris Skidmore is to meet representatives from private developers providing student accommodation as well as universities after it emerged that freshers have had to be rehoused – some up to 30 miles away – because their promised accommodation was not ready. The minister said the…

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Secret Teacher: I hated teaching – until I realised my school was the problem | Teacher Network

Not so long ago, I was ready to quit teaching. Now, I’ve got my sights on leadership. The difference is my headteacher. Under my previous head, I got the point where I couldn’t go on. I was signed off work with anxiety and stress. At school, we’d been under intense pressure to get more children to expected levels to show the school was improving – and were always on edge thanks to drop-in observations. As a member of the school…

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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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Teach us how to look after our mental health, say university students | Education

Students want universities to teach them how to look after their mental health and wellbeing as anxiety and stress levels surge on UK campuses, according to a survey. Ninety-six per cent of the 1,500 students polled by emotional fitness app Fika think universities should offer “emotional education” on the curriculum to improve their resilience against mental health problems. This would replicate the Department for Education’s plans to roll out wellbeing modules in schools from September 2020. The modules could help…

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Secret Teacher: teaching children without play was soul-destroying | Teacher Network

One year, during Sats preparation, I watched as a number of my year 2 students cried because the paper was too difficult. I told them not to worry and to just try their best, but inside I felt dreadful. I knew that no matter how hard they cried, I would force them to continue. I’ve been a teacher for five years and I love working with children. But I’ve realised I don’t want to teach them any more. After spending…

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I returned to uni for freshers’ week 20 years after leaving. Here’s what has changed | Education

In the autumn of 1997, I was a fresher at the University of Glasgow. Months after the Labour landslide, weeks after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, I was an 18-year-old British-Indian made up of equal parts teenage kicks, terror and Topshop – and on my way to Scotland for the first time, to live and study in a city I had never even visited. I was a 90s Londoner in every sense: geographically ignorant, cocky, earnestly carrying a…

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‘We’re confused, angry and anxious over Brexit … and so are the children we teach’ | Education

Ed Finch, teacher, Larkrise primary school, OxfordThere’s another general election coming and I am sick to my stomach at the thought of how I’ll discuss that in class or in assembly. How can I present, in a balanced and non-judgmental way, the appalling invective that has been normalised these last few weeks? How can I suggest to pupils that adults who posture, threaten, lie and break the law are worthy of our respect? We are required to teach “British values”…

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Workers feel more stress and anxiety than ever before. We need to talk about this | Elliot Perlman | Books

In towns and cities across Australia, one gets the sense that many people are just barely hanging on. You see it on their faces, hear it in their voices, and sometimes even fear the consequences of it via spontaneous outbursts of public incivility over things that, decades ago, one would not have expected to cause any disturbance of the peace. You see it on the street in the menacing – or at least defensive – looks people give one another,…

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Top of the class: Labour seeks to emulate Finland’s school system | Education

It’s early afternoon in Lintulaakson school in Espoo, near Helsinki. The younger children are having a snack before starting their after-school activities. Upstairs a group of 12-year-olds are in a craft class, cutting patterns and making clothes on sewing machines. Outside, children play in an enormous outdoor space, equipped with a climbing frames, football pitches and basketball courts. “Hey, Petteri,” one boy yells casually at the principal, Petteri Kuusimäki. “Next year can we start school a bit later, at 10am?”…

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Quarter of secondary school pupils have private tuition | Education

More than one in four secondary school pupils have a private tutor, research shows. Young people from wealthier homes are significantly more likely to have additional help than their poorer peers, according to the Sutton Trust report. The social mobility charity is calling on the government to introduce means-tested vouchers to help lower-income families access private tuition for their children. In total, 27% of the 2,800 11- to 16-year-olds questioned said they have had private tuition. This proportion is up…

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