Academy regulation ‘too weak’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29219757

Unfortunately this is what can happen when you give these schools free reign with their budgets and accounting. The system for non academies where local authorities award funds after consultation creates checks and balances. That system is not perfect, but at least it is fair. In a local authority containing a mixture of academies and local authority run schools funding is not balanced, with academies getting greater sums of money. This system leads to the elitism that the original ethos of academies – to help struggling schools – was designed to prevent.

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Ofsted warning over provision for school leavers

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29145874

We need PROPER vocational skills taught in schools alongside core subjects. Help the less academic gain vocational skills whilst still having the opportunity to study mainstream academic subjects.

Improve Compulsory Education for Future Generations

We are being left behind by the rest of the world because our compulsory secondary education system is confused, complicated and not testing enough.

Standards have been dropping year upon year for decades, reflected in higher and higher ‘pass’ rates and a greater quantity of ‘top’ marks. Look at the attached Graph. O Level & GCSE Achievement 1953 -2009

(Source: House of Commons Library – Standard Note SN/SG/4252 – Social & General Statistics)

This lowering of standards has fed right through to Higher Education. Top Universities are finding that freshers do not possess the knowledge which their high marks should reflect. Mathematically heavy subjects are particularly badly effected. Engineering Undergraduates at top Universities often have to have extra lessons in Mathematics because their assumed and necessary knowledge of Mathematics is just not there.

This is because we have dumbed down our examinations.

There needs to be a revolution in the examination system and it needs to happen NOW.

Through Kensington & Chelsea Tutors I come across students from all over the world. I have been consistently shocked by how we are being left behind by other nations, particularly in the 11 – 16 age range. The difference is particularly noticable in Mathematics and Science where students abroad are tackling far more testing material than students of the same age in the UK.

Unless this changes the future looks bleak; we need reform to keep the UK competitive.

Independent and state schools sharing sports facilities ….Excellent idea!!

BOA in private schools sport plea
All independent schools should share their sports facilities with state schools, the outgoing chairman of the British Olympic Association says.
Sharing facilities is an excellent idea and only fair for independent schools to retain their charity status. It is worth stating that many city-based independent schools have no facilities at all so the arrangement should be reciprocal. I worked at an independent school London that used Hyde Park for its games lessons.

SCHOOLS NEED SPACE TO PLAY!!!

New playing space rules opposed
Critics warn new rules on outdoor space for pupils in England to do PE will make it easier for schools to sell off playing fields.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-19263693
In a country with a growing population it is difficult to see that any selling off of school sports facilities is justified. Surely schools should be allowed to expand existing facilities through government funding? Obviously there will be some exceptions where schools are closed or moved to a different site but the whole concept of selling any sports fields seems to me to be absolute nonsense. Changing labels to talk of ‘outdoor space’ is just another way to make them fit for sale. If the statistics below are correct then this situation needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency:

  • ..an estimated 10,000 playing fields were disposed of between 1979 and 1997 when the Conservatives were in power.
  • 213 playing fields were approved for sale between 1999 and April 2010, under the last Labour government.
  • The education secretary had approved the sale of 21 school sports fields in the past two years.

UK teachers need more time and resources to produce gold medals

Teachers criticise PM on sport
Head teachers & leaders call the Prime Minister’s comments on school sport extremely unfair
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-19181990
In order for state schools to encourage pupil participation in sport there are two key elements that need to be in place; funding and teacher time. Since the withdrawal of the School Sport Partnership funding, finances are extremely tight.
The present structure of state education is so filled with red tape and bureaucracy it gives teachers precious little time during school hours to devote to extra-curricular activities like sports matches.
In essence teachers need more time and resources to produce future gold medallists!