Director for Fair Access and Participation announced
The Department for Education has today (8 September 2017) announced the appointment of Chris Millward as the first Director for Fair Access and Participation of the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is a new public body, established by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. Once fully operational in April 2018 the OFS - which will replace the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) - will regulate the higher education sector and place students’ interests at its heart. Chris Millward is joining the OfS following over ten years at HEFCE as their Head of Policy. While at HEFCE, Chris led on refoms to ensure more peopleRead more ...
WHAT IS THE SIMPLEST WAY TO ENSURE THAT YOU MEET THE NEW 30 MINUTES A DAY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DIRECTIVE?
Like so many government directives, the new “30 minutes a day additional physical activity”, which is prescribed for all pupils from this term onwards, comes with a multitude of benefits but little guidance as to how such a programme may be fitted into the average school day. Certainly on the benefits side there can be little argument, for report after report has shown that children in engaging in this sort of activity are less likely to become obese. Furthermore they will show an improvement in behaviour and academic achievement and will have a lower chance of suffering from mental health issues. Indeed it is the sheer breadth of the benefits available to schools and pupils that has promptedRead more ...
Tutor of the future: Scientists develop algorithm to match pupils with tutors using artificial intelligence
Private tuition was this week labelled the “hidden secret” in the “arms race” of education. Now scientists have developed the latest weapon: an algorithm to match pupils with tutors, using artificial intelligence. University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education has partnered with the online tutoring platform My Tutor to harness technology to create the “tutor of the future”. Parents are asked a series of questions about their child’s personality: whether they are creative, logical, confidence, anxious and so on. The information is fed into an algorithm that matches them up with a series of tutors to choose from, who have similar characteristics to the child's. James Grant, the founder ofRead more ...
Government accused of breaking promise on school uniform cost
The government has been accused of reneging on a promise to make school uniform more affordable, nearly two years after it agreed that parents should be able to shop around and not be restricted to “extortionate” tie-ups with preferred suppliers. Backed by The Children’s Society and as the new school year begins, Labour MP Sarah Jones has launched a campaign calling on the government to ease the burden on parents and deliver on its pledge to lower school uniform costs. In a meeting with the schools minister, Nick Gibb, next month, the MP for Croydon Central will urge him to consider a price cap or ban on heavily branded uniforms as part of a fresh drive to make clothing affordableRead more ...
WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE WHEN BUYING HOODIES FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS?
Of course, when a hoodie, a tee-shirt, or anything else is chosen as part of the official leaving clothing for those now departing the school, the look of the items will be what attracts the students first of all. But hidden behind this is a second factor, and one that turns out to be much more important. Because it turns out that some items of leavers’ clothing are made on the basis that they are only going to be worn once or twice. After that, it is argued, it doesn’t matter if the clothing deteriorates, because the leaver won’t be wearing it any more.Read more ...
The row over VC pay is a distraction from the real issues blighting our universities today
After a summer of rumbling discontent, Thursday’s announcement that universities will be fined if they fail to justify high salaries for vice chancellors was evitable. Institutions will now have to publish details of all staff earning more than £100,000 alongside a written explanation to the new regulating body, the Office for Students, if anyone in the top job is to be paid more than the Prime Minister. Whether or not late-submitters will be kept back for detention remains uncertain. Lord Adonis, the former Labour cabinet minister and architect of the current fees regime, has been at the forefront of challenging the £234,000 average salary paid to university heads. In what began as a one-manRead more ...
Universities face fine if they fail to justify paying vice-Chancellors more than Prime Minister
Universities will be fined unless they can justify paying their vice-Chancellor more than the Prime Minister. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, will unveil plans today that will see institutions forced to demonstrate that vice-Chancellor salaries over £150,000 represent value for money. The minister’s announcement comes amid growing concern about the largesse of universities where vice chancellors now typically enjoy six-figure packages with grace and favour homes and gold plated pensions. In a speech at Brunel University, Mr Johnson will say that he aims to curb the “spiralling" growth of vice-Chancellor pay packets and that “exceptional pay can only be justified by exceptionalRead more ...
HOW CAN DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR BE REDUCED?
A new approach has been developed in the UK to minimise the disruption caused by pupils who have behaviour problems and for others whose learning is undermined by emotional problems. The solution is the Integrative Holistic model of Play Therapy. This now has a clinical evidence base of over 12,000 cases showing its effectiveness. It is being used in 45 countries and over 1500 primary schools in the UK. When therapy is delivered to the standards of Play Therapy UK, between 77% and 84% of the children show a positive change as observed by teachers and parents.Read more ...
Back to school for thousands of pupils as new free schools open
Thousands of children will start the term in 52 new schools as the next wave of free schools open their doors for the new academic year. Free schools are popular with parents, deliver choice, innovation and higher standards with 29% of those inspected rated outstanding by Ofsted. The new schools open just a few weeks after several existing free schools across the country reported exceptional results in GCSE and A levels. The 52 new openers take the total number of free schools opened since 2011 to over 500, meaning more than four in five of local authorities now have at least one free school in their area.Read more ...
How the British Sign Language alphabet gave a voice to millions
As Britain’s pupils return to school for the start of the new academic year, Google marks the occasion with a new Doodlepaying tribute to British Sign Language (BSL). BSL is a vital tool that has enabled generations of young deaf and speech-impaired students in the UK to communicate with their teachers and classmates, ensuring their disability does not have a negative impact on their opportunities in the classroom. But how was BSL first conceived and how has it developed? BSL traces its origins back to Thomas Braidwood (1715–1806), a maths teacher from Edinburgh who opened Britain's first school for the deaf in the Scottish capital in 1760 with the aim of helping speechlessRead more ...