Pupils ranked at 11..disappointing and destructive

Here’s my take on the recent news that 11-year-old pupils will be ranked against peers…

** Pupils face national rankings at 11 ** Primary school pupils in England could be ranked directly against their peers across the country, under plans to change performance measures.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-23334334

Disappointing and destructive is exactly how I see these proposals! Has this really been thought through? Raising the standard to an 85% pass mark of an assessment that hasn’t even been decided upon yet??

As a father of three children I feel strongly that to constantly label younger children is very damaging especially to those that are doing less well.
Surely this measure would mean a huge increase in workload for already overworked teaching staff. Why do politicians keep making new policies which are obviously just measures to try to demonstrate that they are doing something.

Please can we let teachers teach not pile them high with more bureaucracy.

 

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National curriculum changes

Here’s my take on the following UK education story…

** Curriculum to match world’s best **

A revised national curriculum for schools in England is to be published later, with the aim of catching up with the world’s best education systems.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-23222068 

I’m all for improvements in the curriculum but am also always wary of politicians making crowd pleasing statements. How can such changes realistically be implemented by 2014?

As for the content, politicians should leave well alone. Let the educational community decide on content; teachers are the people on the ground who best understand what is required and / or possible.
It also brings into question the whole system of academies. If academies are now the majority of secondary schools why on earth are they not expected to follow any new curriculum.

In the long term, with an increased number of academies, won’t changes in certain aspects of the curriculum be pointless?

 

Increase in university students seeking private tuition

RAPID GROWTH IN STUDENTS SEEKING HEADSTART

 

The number of university students across the South East of England requesting private tuition has risen by over 50% in the last three years according to London-based tutor agency Kensington & Chelsea Tutors and their nationwide online platform Webtutornet.

 

Prior to 2010 the amount of enquiries from university students had remained relatively static but, since then according to Kensington & Chelsea Tutors founder and MD Nevil Chiles, interest has significantly increased:

 

“We’ve seen a very clear increase, year on year since 2010, from both BA/BSc and Masters students looking for extra tuition to top up their university education and the trend is hard to ignore.

 

“Clearly the number of foreign students across the capital and Home Counties has increased over the past few years but only by around 2 to 5% per annum. The proportion of enquiries we’ve had coming from those from overseas has remained consistent at 25%.

 

“This suggests, if replicated with other agencies, that students across the board are recognising the importance of getting a head start within the context of an increasingly competitive graduate job market,” added Nevil who has seen student enquiries rise from around 700 in 2008-2009 to just under 1100 over the past 12 months.

 

Nevil went on “About 70% are studying for a BA or BSc with Business & Marketing, Economics and Law accounting for the lions share. The male to female split has remained consistent at 50:50.

 

“The vast majority of enquiries we get for private tuition are for GCSE and A Level subjects, predominantly Chemistry, Maths, History at GCSE level and Economics, Psychology and French at A-Level but the proportion of university students requesting our services has grown to 10% over the past 12 months.

 

“It’s intriguing to note that in the post 2008 Credit Crunch world that more and more students are realising that they need to gain an advantage in some way. Private tuition, whether face-to-face or online through our Webtutornet platform, offers a clear path for them to achieve that,” concluded Nevil.

 

Kensington and Chelsea Tutors was founded in 2002 by Nevil and has, since then, provided private tuition to over 20,000 school pupils and university students and personally vetted and interviewed over 2,000 tutors across London and the South East.

 

Webtutornet was founded in 2012 to provide safe and secure online private tuition to pupils and students globally.

ENDS

Tech levels a positive step forward

Tech-levels to have A-level status
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-23168781

 

I think this is a very positive step by the government. It’s about time that more vocational qualifications are given more credibility. It is vital that the standard of these qualifications is established and maintained at a high level but this a very positive step away from the ‘passing’ culture we have got used to in the past two decades. Hopefully this is an admission by the government that not all students are suited to mainstream academics and that proper vocational opportunities need to be opened up. That is not to say that lower achieving students should be pushed towards a more vocational route, there are those who might be academic high fliers who would prefer a different course. Giving vocational qualifications credibility will also help the economy as the training they receive has the potential to reassure trade and industry that those that have come down this route have acquired worthwhile skills to a high standard. The key is to make sure that standards are set at a high level and maintained.