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.

Centralise UK Compulsory Education NOW

Imagine if we had just one body setting examinations for 16 year olds in the UK. The government is constantly looking for ways to save money; printing costs alone would save millions. I don’t think parents and the public in general have any idea of the ludicrous work load put upon Examination Officers these days. At many schools it is a full time job! At many private schools children in the same class will be sitting different exams for the same qualification! Mistakes are often made because of the complexity of so many different papers for the same subjects. Results comparisons are meaningless and standardisation is virtually impossible.

We need ONE body setting the examinations for core subjects at 16 and EVERYBODY should sit identical examinations for each subject. This would save money, raise standards, avoid errors and make statistical comparison of results have some meaning.

Get rid of GCSEs now and standardise grading!

Hopefully the public at large realise that this is just statistics, although I fear they don’t. Rattling off comparisons with GCSEs’ twenty five year history is nonsense. Things have so often been muddled, confused and changed that making year on year comparisons is meaningless. It’s interesting that the proportion of differing grades is cited but how those grades are arrived at is not. What percentage did students have to achieve to gain those grades? With inflated results and relentless, year-on-year ‘improvement’ people began to grasp the impossibility of what was occurring. Politicians realised that with even a passing glance it was obvious to everybody that this could only reflect a deterioration in the quality of the qualifications set. Lo and behold fewer students are getting top grades to deflect from the real issue – GCSEs need to be swept away in favour of more challenging examinations with all students sitting the same examinations for all subjects.
 
 

PLEASE SPEND EDUCATION MONEY WISELY!

** Poorest pupils weaker at maths**
Research suggests the poorest children are twice as likely to struggle at maths than their classmates.
This shows just how effective one-to-one and small group tuition can be. At Kensington & Chelsea Tutors (www.kctutors.co.uk) we were involved with a similar scheme with Westminster Council called Making Good Progress. This involved ten one hour lessons of Maths and / or English for struggling students in mainstream education. They had great success but as with so many things the budget was cut and the service removed.
Why is it that money cannot be found for such schemes when so much public money seems to be constantly wasted? Take the recent rebranding of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). From December 1st 2012 it will be called the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). We as a registered body have received multitudinous letters and paperwork, they have issued (and we have had to order) new application forms, they have a splendid new logo but absolutely nothing about how we carry out checks has changed. We have also been told we have alter all of our paperwork and websites etc. to reflect these changes.What a monumental waste of everybody’s time and so much money.

Face to face online private tuition that’s NOT Skype!

A pioneering new online tuition service has recently launched in the UK that will revolutionise the delivery of private, personalised, home-based learning for English, Maths, French and many other subjects.

 

Webtutornet.com, established by Nevil Chiles of Kensington & Chelsea Tutors Ltdhas been in development for two years. It allows teachers and tutors to deliver personalised lessons to students using the internet.

 

Nevil, who has worked within education both in the UK and abroad for over two decades, explained: “This is the first online tutorial resource that has been specially designed to exactly mimic the experience of a one-to-one lesson without leaving home.

 

“This is not Skype! We have written the software specifically to do the job. It has all the facets of a live lesson but teacher and pupil could be on opposite sides of the planet! It is the result of two years of hard work,” added Nev.

 

Teacher and pupil can see and hear each other, share and annotate documents and ‘write’ on documents using a specialised mouse. There is a virtual notepad, Open Office to work with popular document formats and a number of other innovations and features.

 

The new site features a number of informative videos that clearly explain the process for both tutors and pupils.

 

Nev went on “Initial feedback from both students and tutors has been immensely positive. Home visits for private lessons will continue but I firmly believe that this offers an excellent alternative for the delivery of private learning.”

 

After registering, each tutor and student receives a set of equipment that includes a headset, a webcam and a mouse pad with specialised mouse that is used like a pen. There is no software to download as the system is entirely web based but files and documents can be safely and securely shared online between tutor and student.

 

Nev added: “The ethos behind webtutornet.com is more than just to provide a way of delivering lessons online, it is also to create a social network for learning.

 

“The tutors set their own rates of pay and you can study their profiles and availability to select the tutor that best fits your needs. It offers all the subjects you would expect but the sky really is the limit, both in subject matter and the location of teachers and students,” added Nevil who set up Kensington & Chelsea Tutors in 2002.

 

One of the first tutors to use the system gave it a definite thumbs up. Angad Rihal, who provides tuition in Maths, amongst other subjects, commented, “Webtutornet offers an innovative method for delivering lessons to students. As a tutor it provides me with unrivalled flexibility and helps to incorporate technology and IT into private teaching.”

 

As Adrian Chiles, who hosts the site’s video content, says, “Learn about anything, at anytime, anywhere. It’s just like having a personal tutor at home, virtually!”

 

For more details visit www.webtutornet.com or follow on Twitter @webtutornet.

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/detailed/Education/Online_Tuition_Moves_Forward_with_Webtutornet_958521.html

 

Learn from the past with new maths curriculum

A maths campaign group has attacked the new primary maths curriculum proposed for 2014 as undeliverable
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-19217813
Improving numeracy in the young is clearly a concept to be applauded. At least the government is trying to move forward by actively attempting to improve standards. Timestables and learning by rote will always be moot points; this type of learning will always be more beneficial to some than others. We need a balanced approach; looking at other country’s records and methods is just one way of approaching the issue. National Numeracy might feel that looking into our relatively recent educational past is a step backwards – would they argue that standards of mathematical understanding in an average sixteen year old are higher in 2012 than in (say) 1982? I think not. Perhaps we should consider past methods and learn from them? We do need to move forward but not everything that has gone before carries less credence in the present – surely that is what history teaches us.
As the article states, “National Numeracy was founded earlier this year with the intention of improving mathematical skills and attitudes to maths among the general public.” The founders and members are clearly people whose opinions are worth listening to but perhaps it is a little early for this kind of cage rattling?