UK Education News

Research suggests little support among students for different fees for different courses.
Thu, Feb 22, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Lecturers at 64 universities walk out over changes they say could halve their retirement income.
Wed, Feb 21, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has met teachers, children, young people, parents and social workers in the Midlands and North of England. This was part of a three-day tour to see first-hand how high expectations and the right support can ensure all children and young people get the opportunities they deserve. With 1.9million more children now in good or outstanding schools across the country, standards are rising. In his first visit to the regions, the Education Secretary visited a range of organisations from across the education system – from childcare through to primary school, further education and support for unemployed adults. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: It has been fantastic to get out and meet so many inspiring teachers, young people, children and education leaders who are all working so hard to improve outcomes for children and young people in their area. We know that there is some really excellent teaching and learning going on up and down the country – and this trip has really highlighted to me how well it can be done and how we must work together to learn from the best and ensure it is happening across the board. From high quality childcare to achieving excellent results for disadvantaged pupils and training engineers of the future, I have seen some truly inspiring work. Further details on the Secretary of State's visits: On Monday, 12 February, the Education Secretary met teachers and pupils at Sandon Academy in Stoke-on-Trent – an outstanding primary school where progress for children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is well above average. The school, which has been praised for its innovative use of pupil premium funding to raise results for disadvantaged children, is home to a farm, mini village and on-site nursery. Also in the region, Mr Hinds met the North Staffordshire YMCA which offers skills training to young people to help them improve their employability skills and gain qualifications. The Secretary of State saw the youth campus, which offers accommodation to 16 – 25 year olds, and sports centre, and met some of the young people who have been supported into employment, education or training through the centre's work. He went on to meet apprentices at local data solutions business, Synectics Solutions, crowned Staffordshire Business of the Year and employer to over 350 staff, including local apprentices. On Tuesday, 13 February, the Education Secretary headed north to Blackpool to see some of the high quality technical and professional education and training available to young people and adults in the region. On a visit to Blackpool and The Fylde College's nautical campus in Fleetwood, he met apprentices and trainee nautical engineers while being shown round by Principal Bev Robinson and Head of Campus Captain Neil Atkinson. The college, rated outstanding by Ofsted, is the UK hub for the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas and is an Associate College of Lancaster University. The Secretary of State went on to visit the Build Up project, which uses the college's classroom facilities two days a week to offer vital construction skills training to unemployed adults – helping them get the skills they need to find employment. While in the region, Mr Hinds also visited Hawes Side Academy to see the half term activities being run in partnership with the Blackpool Football Club Community Trust – designed to offer extra-curricular activities to young people and aim to reduce the number of those not in education, employment or training in the area. This was followed by a meeting with a number of multi academy trust leaders from across Blackpool and Lancashire to discuss how schools can work together to raise education standards and increase opportunity for young people across the country. On Wednesday, 14 February, Mr Hinds' visit focused on how high quality early education and childcare is crucial to a child's future success at primary and secondary school. He travelled to the North East and North Yorkshire where he visited nurseries in Stockton-on-Tees and Bedale. Visiting Fairfield Day Care in Stockton on Tees and Incy Wincy nursery in Bedale, the Education Secretary heard from staff and parents about how the Government's 30 hours free childcare offer is being implemented in their area. This was followed by a visit to North East Lincolnshire's Children's Services to meet with council leaders, social workers and local organisations such as charities and the police, to understand the strengths and challenges associated with delivering a wide range of children's services.
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A select number of schools across the country will start trialling the multiplication tables check from next month, the Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb has announced today (Wednesday 14 February). The multiplication tables check is designed to help ensure children in primary school know their times tables up to 12 off by heart. As well as being critical for everyday life, knowledge of multiplication tables helps children to solve problems quickly and flexibly, and allows them to tackle more complex mathematics later on in school. In the primary assessment consultation run by the government last year, the majority of the sector said that Year 4 would be the best point to run a check on progress being made. The check follows the successful introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012. There are now 154,000 more six-year-olds on track to become fluent readers than in 2012 and England's recent rise up the international PIRLS rankings puts the success of the government's reforms on a global scale. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: Academic standards are rising in our schools thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, with 1.9 million more pupils in schools rated good or outstanding than in 2010. It is important to have an assessment system that continues to drive this improvement. Just as the phonics screening check helps children who are learning to read, the multiplication tables check will help teachers identify those pupils who require extra support. This will ensure that all pupils leave primary school knowing their times tables by heart and able to start secondary school with a secure grasp of fundamental arithmetic as a foundation for mathematics. The new on-screen check will last no longer than five minutes and is similar to the checks many schools use already. It will enable teachers to monitor a child's progress in a consistent and reliable way but has been carefully designed to avoid causing additional stress for children and teachers. It will be sat by 8 and 9 year olds in Year 4, after teachers and schools told the Government this was the best point for it to be introduced. Results from the check will not be published at school-level, and will not be used by Ofsted and others to force changes in schools. The system is being developed in active partnership with schools, with two trials already completed. This consolidation of basic mathematical knowledge is in line with the principle of the maths ‘mastery' pedagogy, which is successfully practised by world leaders in mathematics, Shanghai and Singapore and is now being introduced to schools in England. In the most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), England's mean score was 546, compared to Singapore which scored 618, topping the study for maths at both year 5 and 9. Approaches like this aim to close that gap and raise national standards in mathematics. The multiplication tables check was announced as part of the government's response to its primary assessment consultation last year. This consultation proposed a number of other changes to make assessment in primary schools more accurate and reduce the burden of tests on teachers and children. This trial comes ahead of the national voluntary roll out of the multiplication tables check for all Year 4 pupils from June 2019, before it becomes mandatory in June 2020. A national sample of schools has already been selected to participate in the trials and they will soon receive their invitation to participate. The trials will ensure the check is robust, accessible and minimises any additional burden on schools as a new assessment. The trials follow a recent commitment from the Education Secretary to continue to improve academic standards in order to deliver a truly world-class education that not only inspires young people to make the most of their lives but also gives them the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, no matter where they live. Multiplication tables trials will make a positive contribution to the government's commitment through the Industrial Strategy to drive up the study of maths, ensuring that more students leave education at age 18 with a basic level of numeracy, improving the take up of maths qualifications and tackling STEM skills shortages in the economy.
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, Continue reading at the source
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