Free school sites…plugging the dam with tissue paper!

** Free schools site rules to change **
Changes to planning rules in England will make it easier for new free schools to open in offices, hotels and shops from this summer, the government has confirmed.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21197489 >

Just another knee-jerk way of saving money with little or no thought for standards, facilities or conditions. Anybody with any sense knows that devolving the education system makes for a disparate, disorganised system lacking standards and standardisation. Free Schools ‘…cannot be run for profit.’ but charities (as many private schools are) do not make profit. 

However, profit is just the difference between income and expenditure. Salaries of staff in charities are not controlled, increase the salary, decrease the profit. We haven’t made any money again sir…

This is plugging holes in the dam with tissue paper. Cannot any government ever have a decent, sensible long-term plan?

 

 

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Make A Levels worthwhile not dumbed down nonsense!

My views in relation to this recent story on A Levels…

A-level plans challenged by school and university heads

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21156370

This is what I have been saying for years. Make A Levels linear and difficult! Universities are not fooled by candidates who relentlessly retake modules. Examinations are about assessing ability not staying power. I totally disagree with Brian Lightman quoted below.

ASCL’s general secretary Brian Lightman said: “The argument that A-levels are not preparing students adequately for university is contradicted by the fact that one in six achieve first class honours – a three fold increase over the last 13 years.”

Achieve first class honours in what subjects at what Universities? ‘University’ entry has exponentially increased over the past decade and not always to renowned establishments providing cutting edge courses. I wonder if Mr Lightman has looked at similar statistics for Oxbridge and the red brick Universities?

The O Levels and A Levels of the seventies are the standards we should be aspiring to.

Hard exams which identify ability across the whole spectrum are a much better reflection of achievement not dumbed-down nonsense pretending everybody is an academic.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A PRIVATE TUTOR

You can’t beat being a private tutor according to Edward Kiely!

 

There’s no well defined career path into private tuition however in Edward’s case it was a case of following the family tradition.

 

“I’d undertaken volunteer work while I was at university with an educational group for students with anxiety disorders and found working one-to-one with students really rewarding,” explained Edward who graduated from EmmanuelCollege, Cambridge, with a First Class Honours degree in Social and Political Sciences

 

He went on “My mother has been a tutor for a number of years in Suffolk and because I was interested she set me up with my first student. I spotted a previously undiagnosed learning difficulty and then helped to raise him three grades in his Maths GCSE at which point I started to consider tutoring as a career.

 

“Once I’d moved to London tutoring fitted my lifestyle perfectly as I use my daytimes to work on theatre and comedy projects. I really enjoy working with children and young people but the aspect that I enjoy most is the sense of achievement that comes from having a breakthrough with a student,” added Edward who has been a private tutor for just over a year specialising in Common Entrance English, Maths, Biology and Sociology A-Level.

 

Getting enough work in is a major consideration and to that end Edward has registered with six different agencies including Kensington and Chelsea (KC) Tutors who have been providing personalised private tuition across London and the South East since 2002 as well as, more recently, online face to face private tuition through their Webtutornet technology platform.

 

“I find that KC Tutors manage to be efficient and professional while remaining friendly and supportive. Their invoicing system is simple and they always pay on time, not always the case with some agencies, and they respond to any queries that one may have quickly and effectively.

‘At the same time I feel that they are genuinely concerned about my level of satisfaction in my work as a tutor. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they have found and offered me more work than any other agency in West London.

“KC Tutors e-mails a number of interested tutors with details of a potential student and invites them to apply. While this does mean that you have to be quick to respond your e-mail, it also means that you never feel forgotten and that, if your circumstances change, they are the most efficient at finding and offering you work,” added Edward.

 

It’s not all plain sailing and there have been negative experiences as Edward pointed out: “I had a bad experience recently with one agency who placed me with a very difficult client in full knowledge that they were unpleasant to work for and then offered me next to no support.

 

“When the client refused to pay me for an introductory session, for which I’d been assured that I would be paid, the agency merely said it was ‘out of their hands.’

 

“The support offered by KC Tutors contrasts with that experience. The one and only occasion that I had difficulties with a client that I’d been given through KC Tutors, the agency made clear that the client had broken their clearly-defined terms of service and that I would therefore be paid for all of my time,

 

“This made a world of difference in a potentially difficult situation,” added Edward.

 

Nevil Chiles, who established KC Tutors, has personally interviewed over 2,000 tutors in the past 11 years and with a background in education spanning over 20 years he’s well aware of what will and won’t work for a private tutor.

 

“From our perspective it’s not about simply referring on clients and then taking a fee. It’s about providing ongoing support and feedback on a tutor’s progress and giving them peace of mind.

 

“That approach means that tutors can focus on what they do best and deliver the best possible and most effective tutorials to students be that face to face or online through our fast growing Webtutornet service,” added Nevil.

 

As for Edward he’d be the first to suggest a future in private tuition to any potential tutor: “If you’re looking for interesting and challenging work that is flexible and adapts to your lifestyle then I’d definitely recommend private tuition!”

 

For more details visit www.kctutors.co.uk and www.webtutornet.com.

ENDS

ONLINE PRIVATE TUITION PASSES CLOSE EXAMINATION!

With the January exams underway or in prospect for thousands of UK schoolchildren now is the time when a growing number of parents and students are recognising the measurable benefits of private tuition.

 

The growth in modern technology is making the process of delivering private tutorials much easier with platforms such as Webtutornet, part of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, pioneering face to face online tuition.

 

Established in 2012, Webtutornet is the brainchild of Nevil Chiles who established K&C Tutors back in 2002. Now recognised as one of the premier private tuition agencies in London and the South East, K&C Tutors has helped thousands of students of all ages, from 4 to 84, improve their academic performance.

 

Specifically designed for Webtutornet, the technology allows student and tutor to conduct safe and secure scheduled tutorials over the internet with webcam and microphone allowing for the delivery of a lesson without ever having to leave home.

 

Each tutor and student pays a fee of £50 to register with Webtutornet and they then receive a pack containing a webcam, microphone, mouse pad and pen that connects tutor and pupil allowing for the sharing of online resources, both safely and securely, during a tutorial with no software required.

 

“This is the time of the year when pupils face their first major challenges and parents get to judge where the strengths and weaknesses of their child’s education lie,” explained Nevil “and increasingly the option of topping up school lessons with in person or online private tuition is giving children a much better start in life.

 

“It’s estimated that one in four pupils within London use private tuition. Across the UK as a whole it’s reckoned that one in five state pupils have received personal tuition at some point in time. The increase in demand over the past decade has been considerable and there’s no sign of that reducing despite the economic climate.

 

“On the back of this growth there’s a burgeoning interest in how private tutorials can be delivered more flexibly using online technology and Webtutornet is one of a number of providers that can connect thousands of tutors across a wide range of subjects with students.

 

“We’ve already had pupils engaged in productive one hour and two hour online lessons with tutors who are based on the other side of the planet

 

“There are however inevitably major considerations for parents such as the quality and reputation of the tutor and the safety and security of the system that’s utilised.

 

“This is not some form of Skype style approach but a strictly controlled process in which personally delivered private tuition is mimicked online with defined lesson times and costs.

 

“Webtutornet and K&C Tutors take these concerns very seriously and that is why each and every tutor is interviewed, vetted and CRB checked,” added Nevil who has personally conducted interviews with over 2000 tutors over the past decade.

 

Mother of three Erica from Oxfordshire was one of the first to recognise the benefits of the Webtutornet approach: “When considering online tuition for your children it’s important that the process replicates the nature of a personal visit to or from a private tutor.

 

“Your child has to be ready to start at the preset time or they may miss part of the lesson. This is crucial to structuring their understanding.

 

“Children are frequently more technology savvy than their parents and an online approach to private tuition fits in perfectly with how the Facebook generation communicates.

 

“However, like every aspect of your child’s life, you have to exercise vigilance and common sense at every turn. When the major issues and concerns are taken care of, as is the case with Webtutornet, you can rest easy,” added Erica.

 

Nevil concluded: “We all want to give our children the best start in life. Private tuition is invariably a fun, engaging and productive process that contrasts with the, at times, impersonal nature of school education.

 

“Delivering tuition online is another option for parents to consider. It’s an easy and flexible alternative to the traditional home visit from a private tutor,” he added.

 

For more details visit www.kctutors.co.uk and www.webtutornet.com

ENDS

School playing fields NEED PROTECTING!!!

We need to protect ALL school playing fields from greedy government sponsored developers and two hours a week of sport should be an absolute minimum requirement. This is particularly important in our internet age where youngsters are becoming increasingly sedentary due to the internet, mobile devices and social media.
It is completely typical of the D of E to publish two totally contradictory statements. Firstly saying that they are “putting competitive sport at the heart of the new school curriculum” then stating that regarding a minimum requirement for school sport that “the two-hour target was never a rule. It was an unenforceable aspiration that schools were free to ignore.”
Why can’t it be enforced? Put it in the timetable twice a week!
In my day it was called ‘Games’ which it seems is what the Government is playing with our children’s health, wellbeing and sporting potential!

No surprise that teacher morale is low!

It is hardly surprising that teacher morale is low. Government  incompetence continually undermines the profession.

Free schools and academies complicate and dilute an already flawed system.

Poor exam quality does not adequately differentiate between student abilities.

The English Baccalaureate is a poorly researched political knee-jerk reaction. Constant criticism systematically undermines professional confidence.

Budget cuts further handcuff teachers. All that Mr Gove and the government have is the usual spin about what super things they’re doing.

Mr Gove behaves like a new factory manager implementing change to demonstrate action without actually having any idea about the product or how it is made.