Surely this is a sensible policy? By reducing standards and allowing almost everybody to ‘pass’ their exams the government has entered into a world where the difference between students is being masked. Not everybody is an academic and that doesn’t matter. Every pupil should be given an equal chance. Gathering people of similar abilities together is surely going to make teaching easier and more efficient. It also introduces (DARE I say it) competition; something that we are surrounded by every day of our lives. Let’s not pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s hard enough taking my 8 year old son to football tournaments where everybody ‘takes part’ but nobody wins. God forbid that somebody should lose!?
** 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?
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.
Research suggests careers advice has been in reduced in eight out of 10 schools in England this academic year.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-20452398 >
Head teachers say they remain committed to legal action in the unresolved dispute over GCSE English grades.
The rapid growth in online private tuition over the past few years is no surprise to mother-of-three Erica Rifat from Oxford!
“This is the way the Facebook generation have got used to communicating and it’s a process they’ve become very comfortable with as opposed to the parents who are still, on the whole, coming to terms with this sort of technology,” explained Erica, one of whose daughters has been using Webtutornet to top up her knowledge of Maths.
“Whilst I’m not exactly a technophobe it still feels that this technology is like something out of Tomorrow’s World and I’m sure that’s the case for many parents. It’s a sign of the times and the way the web is becoming increasingly ingrained in our lives. For children today all of this is completely normal.
“I know there’s a lot of Skype style face-to-face tuition solutions out there for parents and pupils that might be too busy to arrange a home tutor visit so this offers a convenient way of adding to their classroom education.
“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 and I know that Webtutornet, through Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, take this aspect very seriously.
“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.
“Another great advantage of an approach like Webtutornet is that the lesson is at a fixed time mimicking the discipline required within a school environment or for a home tuition visit. Your child has to be ready to start or they may miss part of the lesson and this is crucial to structuring their understanding.
“Finally I no longer have to drive across town and drop my child off at a tutor’s house and be left to twiddle my thumbs for an hour or so. It cuts out all of that hassle,” added Erika who admitted to having test trialled other online systems.
There’s also significant advantages from the tutor’s perspective as Angad Rihal, the maths teacher engaged by Erika, explained: “Webtutornet 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
Each tutor and pupil who sign up to Webtutornet receive a special pack containing a webcam, earphones and microphone and a pen with mousemat that allows for tutor and pupil to share resources that are stored securely online.
The Webtutornet system has been two years in development according to the man behind it. Nevil Chiles, founder of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors a decade ago, has seen demand for private tuition sky rocket over the past ten years
“Online delivery is the natural next step in the evolution of private tuition and there’s a number of different businesses and websites that specialise in providing face to face education through the web.
“Coming from the perspective of a father of three it was very much my priority to design a system that countered all of the concerns that a parent might have and safety and security have always been my number one objective,” added Nev.
Erica concluded: “My daughter and I thought our tutor Angal was brilliant and by far the best Maths tutor she has had. The proof is in the pudding and she performed far better than expected in the exam for which she was preparing.
“Webtutornet is a fun way to learn for children and tutors, such as Angal, create engaging lessons that really enhance the learning process. It couldn’t be more simple, or secure, and I would encourage parents everywhere to give it serious consideration.”
Nevil’s brother, ITV Sport presenter Adrian Chiles, is another convert to Webtutornet: “You can learn anything, anytime, anywhere and it’s so simple even I can understand it!”
A teachers leader has criticised England’s chief inspector of schools after he said they must work extra hours if they want a pay rise.
Heads say exam watchdog failed
From the ridiculous to the back peddling. This whole situation with the grading of English GCSEs is a disgrace. How can there ever be any justification for changing grade boundaries for an identical exam in such a short space of time? This is just another symptom of the bankruptcy of the GCSE system; please let’s sweep it away to make way for worthwhile examinations.
** Heads call for regrading of GCSEs **
Head teachers are pressing for this summer’s English GCSEs to be regraded amid a row over grade boundaries.
So what we are saying here is that the fiasco over grade boundaries needs to be investigated in order that we make sure that results continue their year on year improvement?
I agree that the results should be re-graded because what has happened to this year’s cohort is clearly unfair as they are not being treated in the same way as their GCSE predecessors.
Will somebody in government (Michael Gove for instance) not just admit that these exams are not fit for purpose and introduce a new system where examinations are difficult and everybody sits the same ones. It is making us a laughing stock.