Here’s my take on this recent story that appeared in the national media
Summer-born need exam score boost
Are there really people sitting around thinking up this nonsense? Can you imagine the arguments? When would the cut off date be? How would it be quantified? Some things in the world are not perfect; there are probably only a limited number of parents who think about the academic year when producing children!
There is no doubt that somebody born on September 1st is likely to be at an advantage in comparison to a child born on August 31st however grade inflation is a ridiculous, divisive answer.
It would be fair to cite birth dates as a mitigating circumstance but grade changing is an unworkable answer. If younger children are struggling they should be helped and encouraged by their teachers. Do we tell younger students they don’t have to try so hard and older ones that their hard work will be less well rewarded.
Does an argument based on such spurious evidence as this carry any weight?
“More than 60% of September-born pupils achieve five A* to C grades, compared with less than 54%”
Is it me or is that not virtually the same?
“August-born students are also around two percentage points less likely to go to university when they leave school, one percentage point less likely to attend a leading university and one percentage point less likely to complete a degree.”
We are also told younger children, “… are more likely to start smoking younger than their relatively older peers.”
Give me strength!!!.
FOLLOW NEVIL ON TWITTER @webtutornet / @kandctutors
Here’s my take on the following education story that appeared on the BBC website…
GCSE change unpredictable results
The government’s overhaul of GCSEs in England could see exam results varying more than normal for several years, the exams regulator Ofqual warns.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-22448963 >
I agree entirely that the current system allows schools to ‘play the system’
and any way of stopping this should be encouraged. I also believe that some weight should be given to English Language and Maths instead of them being lost in ‘the best eight’.
However, the whole system remains FLAWED. It needs to be simplified so that there is only one exam per subject at compulsory level without multiple boards setting exams. There also needs to be more focus on vocational qualifications for the less academically able. We are still stuck in a results driven culture; top grades mean top students, low grades mean lowly students. The focus should be teaching the right stuff not the grades!
I am pleased that the modular system is being phased out and that extending questions are coming back into the frame. A ‘test’ should be testing; only then can you differentiate between students. Not everybody can excel – many have talents that are beyond the academic. They should not be seen as failing if results are poor they just need to be steered in a different direction.
It will be interesting to see these changes unfold, but they go nowhere near far enough.
Here’s my views on an education news story on today’s BBC website…
Cambridge to tutor A-level physics
Academics from Cambridge University are to help tutor sixth-form physics students across the UK to prepare them better for university study.
Encouraging people to study physics can only be a good thing as we are being left behind by the rest of the world, especially Asia, in this field.
This is also a clear indication of a trend towards online learning. Here at Webtutornet we truly believe that online learning is the future of education.
This is very interesting for all of us at Kensington & Chelsea Tutors and Webtutornet. The article asks the question, “how reliable are tutors, and how do you find the best option while overseas?”.
We think we have the definitive answer to both questions. The only way to ensure the quality of tutors is to source them from a reliable agency that has interviewed and vetted them – that is after all by definition what an agency should do. Over the past 10+ years at K & C we have personally interviewed and vetted every single one of our 2500+ tutors. We continue to interview approximately 40 new candidates a month. This ensures that we are not only supplying high quality tutors but also that we can deliver an excellent service to an increasing quantity of clients.
From an overseas point of view Webtutornet enables students to have lessons from tutors who are located all over the world. As Webtutornet grows we are encouraging people to get in touch with us if they can’t find the tutor they are looking for at the site. Because of the connection with the two companies we can and do encourage those applying and tutoring for K & C to join the Webtutornet community. That means if an overseas student is looking for something specific we can almost certainly find the right tutor to fit the bill. Have a look at the sites:
- Easter is the time when demand for private tuition starts to increase with end of year exams on the horizon
- The number of parents enquiring about online face-to-face tuition is on the rise
- 60% of those taking private tuition are female
- Tuition requests for the 6-11 age group up 20% due to 7+ exam
- Tuition requests from pupils direct doubled in the last year
- Mothers continue to be the main drivers when it comes to opting for private tuition
The face of private tuition looks set to change forever according to education expert Nevil Chiles!
Despite the economic situation the demand for private tuition continues to rise with a growing number of enquiries from parents and pupils specifically requesting an online variation.
That’s the finding of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, a private tuition agency that’s operated across London and the South East for the past 11 years, and its associated pioneering online platform Webtutornet which allows pupils and tutors to connect for face-to-face private tuition over the internet.
Webtutornet, and other online tuition resources, represent the future of private tuition according to founder Nevil Chiles, MD of K&C Tutors: “Delivering private tutorials online will soon become the norm as today’s media savvy Facebook generation recognise the inherent advantages.
“The days of tutors travelling through rush hour traffic to deliver a lesson at a pupil’s home are numbered.
“Webtutornet is one of the solutions available that offer parents peace of mind with a safe, secure and closely monitored service.
“It costs £50 to register with everyone who signs up receiving a pack with webcam, microphone and smart pen and pad to allow for the online sharing of resources. No software is required.
“We are approaching the busy period for private tutors. Easter tends to be a watershed with many parents and a growing number of pupils themselves, recognising the importance of topping up their classroom education and preparing effectively for those all important exams in the summer.
“We’ve seen a very clear increase in the numbers requesting an online approach and that trend is sure to continue,” added Nevil who has worked within education as a teacher and academic for over 20 years.
That trend is one of a few that Nevil and his team have identified. There has been a 20% increase over the course of the last 12 months in 6-11 year-olds opting for extra curricular tuition due to the introduction of 7 plus tests and pupils themselves are increasingly taking the initiative and organising their own lessons.
“The number of students contacting us direct has doubled in the last year,” continued Nevil “from one in twenty to around one in ten but mothers continue to be the main driving force when it comes to extra education.
“From the start with K&C Tutors in 2002 we’ve seen a consistent 60%-40% split with more females opting for private tuition. Perhaps the girls are more conscientious?” added Nev.
One recent convert to online private tuition is mother-of-three Mrs Rifat from Oxfordshire but she had her initial concerns.
“The single most important consideration as a parent is that the system is safe and secure and that the tutor involved has been vetted by the tuition facilitator.
“You have to have peace of mind if you are to entrust your child’s education into the hands of a relative stranger online and I found it important personally to chat initially online with the tutor that we use. That puts your mind at rest.
“Secondly you must be confident that the information shared during the lesson remains confidential and secure and this is very much the case with solutions such as Webtutornet.
“Since then each and every lesson has gone very smoothly and it’s a simple and easy way of delivering private tuition,” added Mrs Rifat.
Each and every K & C tutor is personally vetted by the company. In fact Nevil himself has interviewed over 2,000 to date with every successful applicant undergoing strict checks and CRB accreditation.
There are significant advantages from the tutor’s perspective as Angad Rihal, a maths teacher engaged by Mrs Rifat, explained: “This is a truly bespoke solution that has been developed for the student with teaching in mind. The ease of use clearly shows it has been masterminded by people in the industry and is far superior to just using dabble board or Skype.
“This is finally bridging the gap between the internet and private teaching which is long overdue and fitting given the tech savvy zeitgeist.
“It also saves a lot of time on travelling to the homes of students which, with traffic the way it is, can be a priceless advantage!” added Angad.
Nevil summarised: “Systems such as Webtutornet allow tutors and pupils to be anywhere in the world when conducting lessons. It is inevitable that this approach will become the norm!”
The future is here and it’s clear that Webtutornet is in the vanguard of the changing face of private tuition!
For more details visit http://www.webtutornet.com
** Level sixth-form playing field call ** The government should level the playing field for post-16 education in England, the Sixth Form Colleges Association will tell MPs on Tuesday.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21579926 >
Shouldn’t funding decisions be dependent on what is being taught and the quality of the teaching however I agree with David Igoe. Why should sixth form colleges be treated differently to institutions providing equivalent qualifications?
The report states, ‘… that sixth-form colleges tend to attract students with lower GCSE grades and higher levels of deprivation than either academies or school sixth forms.’ I fail to see why that is relevant. Are they successful institutions providing quality courses? Surely that is the only reason to level this playing field?
** Historians back Gove curriculum ** Some of the UKs leading historians endorse Education Secretary Michael Gove’s new history curriculum for schools in England.
For once I entirely agree with Mr Gove! As a History graduate myself I believe that a clear chronology is essential to understanding cause, effect and development. It seems to be creating opposition because it is difficult to achieve not because it is the wrong thing to do!