UK Education News

Thousands of parents are having problems using the Childcare Services website.
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, Continue reading at the source
GCSE grades need to rise in England to catch up with high-achieving education systems, researchers say.
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Education Policy Institute study says government is "right to be refocusing our education system on students achieving the new 'strong pass' of a grade 5" Tens of thousands more teenagers need to score good grades in GCSE English and maths to put the nation on a par with the best performing countries in the world, according to research. In maths particularly, England has work to do to match the average performance of youngsters in places such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) study found. The findings, which come in the week that teenagers receive their GCSE results, show that England's pupils should be aiming to get new grade 5s in English and maths, the EPI said, rather than 4s – which are broadly equivalent to C grades under the traditional grading system. Researchers used data from international tests in maths and reading and last year's GCSE results to compare performance between nations. It concludes that in maths, students in England need to score around two-thirds of a grade higher on average to match the performance of youngsters in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Japan. It means that under the traditional A*-G grading system, which is being phased out, an extra 96,000 pupils would have to score the equivalent of at least a B grade, with the number of low-performing pupils (those failing to get a C) falling by 60,000. In English language, the average grade would also have to increase slightly, with an extra 42,000 youngsters scoring the equivalent of A*-B grades in the subject, in order to match the highest performing countries in native language reading - Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Finland and Ireland. The numbers failing to get a C in English language would need to drop by 42,000. GCSE Results Day 2017: All you need to know How does Progress 8 work? Under the biggest shake-up of exams in England for a generation, traditional A* to G grades have been replaced with a 9 to 1 system, with 9 the highest mark. English and maths – key GCSEs for all teenagers – are the first to move over this summer, with other subjects following over the next two years. The grading switch, part of wider reforms designed to make GCSEs more rigorous and challenging, has been introduced in a bid to allow more differentiation between students, particularly among the brightest. The government has said that a grade 4 will be considered a standard pass, and a 5 a "strong" pass. Students who score at 4 will not have to continue studying maths and English after age 16, but schools will be judged against the proportion of pupils scoring at least a 5. Overall, the study concludes that in order to match the highest performing countries in the world, England's pupils must, on average, gain a 5 in English and maths in the future. This is broadly equivalent to a high C or low B under the old grading system. David Laws, EPI executive chairman and former Lib Dem schools minister, said: "This analysis highlights the gulf between education outcomes in England and the performance of the world's best education nations. In certain subjects, such as maths, England needs both to significantly raise the number of top performers and almost halve the number of low performers if it is to compete with the world's best." He added: "Our analysis suggests that the Department for Education is right to be refocusing our education system on students achieving the new "strong pass" of a grade 5. "The old "C" grade is not an adequate national aspiration if England wants to compete with top education nations." Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers' union said: “This report shows that England's obsession with structural change, under a succession of governments, has had little impact on either standards or equity. Policy makers have routinely pursued the wrong priorities. “The highest performing school systems are those that invest in their teachers and that respect and value education." Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, Continue reading at the source
The charity is receiving an average of 53 phone calls a day about neglected children, and has urged the government to conduct a national study of the problem More adults than ever before are contacting the NSPCC with concerns about neglected children, new figures reveal. A report, published today, shows that the children's charity receives an average of 53 phone calls a day – a total of 19,448 over 2016-17. This is the highest number that the charity has ever had to deal with, and represents an increase of 61 per cent over the past five years. The majority – 87 per cent – of these phone calls involved cases that were serious enough to be referred to social services or the police. A growing number of callers to the NSPCC helpline also refer to parents with alcohol or drug problems, or who leave their children unsupervised so that they can go out with friends. One caller told the charity: “The child is filthy. Her hair is greasy, she smells, her clothes and hands are dirty, and she's always hungry. I spoke to the mother about this, and she told me that this is what children are like. But I know that's not true.” Long-lasting consequences The NSPCC believes that the increase in the number of neglect-related calls to its helpline simply indicates a rise in the number of people willing to speak up about the issue. It suggests that the full scale of the problem could be much greater than that being currently reported. And it is urging the government to conduct a national study into the extent of child neglect and abuse. Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “Neglect can have severe and long-lasting consequences for children, and can also be an indicator of other forms of abuse. “It is vital we understand the true nature and scale of child neglect in the UK, so we can collectively tackle the fundamental causes.” Signs of neglect According to the NSPCC, common signs that children are being neglected include: Poor appearance and hygiene, including smelly or unwashed clothes Untreated injuries, or medical and dental issues Skin sores, rashes, flea bites, scabies or ringworm Poor language, communication or social skills Hunger: they may turn up for school not having eaten breakfast, or without any lunch money Cold: they may have been left at home without any heating Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Today's Daily Telegraph (22 Aug) contains both inaccurate and misleading statements in relation to new GCSEs. The assessment of new GCSEs has been designed to support 9 to 1 grading and we have not ‘warned' about their use as suggested. The Ofqual report cited is not a commentary on the new grades and the selected excerpts within the story are taken completely out of context. Dr Michelle Meadows, Executive Director, Strategy, Risk and Research said: “New GCSEs have been designed from first principles to deliver better differentiation on the new 9 to 1 grading scale. The new GCSE exams and mark schemes have been created to support the increase in the number of grades, with better spread of grade boundaries and reliable assessment.”
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, Continue reading at the source
School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, said: Congratulations to everyone receiving their results today, which are the culmination of two years of dedication and hard work. We want everyone, regardless of background, to be able to fulfil their potential and, for many, A levels are the pathway to a university degree. The increase in entries to facilitating subjects, those that give students the greatest choice of options at university, mean even more young people will have access to all the opportunities higher education provides. There has been a strong uptake in core subjects, such as maths, which continues to be the most popular A level with maths and further maths having nearly 25 per cent more entries than in 2010. This and increasing entries to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects bodes well for the economic prosperity of our country. It will help to grow our workforce in these sectors, allowing young people to secure well-paid jobs and compete in the global jobs market of post Brexit Britain. Increasing the number of girls studying STEM subjects has been an important objective of the Government, so it is particularly pleasing to see that more young women are taking STEM subjects and that for the first time since 2004 there are more young women than young men studying chemistry. I hope everyone receiving their results will go on to successful careers. Today's (17 August, 2017) A level results show: The overall UK pass rate (A* to E) has remained stable since 2009, and is 97.9% for 2017 The percentage of entries awarded the top A* or A is 26.3%, an increase on last year Mathematics remains the most popular A level subject, followed by combined English (literature and language) The proportion of all entries in science, technology, engineering and technology (STEM) has increased There are more female entries in chemistry than males for the first time since 2004 The number of entries to facilitating subjects has increased, including in mathematics, further mathematics, geography and physics The proportion of A* to A grades awarded in French, German and Spanish all increased The percentage of entries awarded the top grade at AS level has increased to 23.8%
Thu, Aug 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source
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