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!?
Teacher training system is broken
The Schools Direct programme undermines teacher training at a time when we are desperate for new blood. The uncertainty of the present system means established higher education training providers will be less inclined to provide the training for which they have a proven record. More glossy political spin camouflaging cut backs that are short-termist and damaging.
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.
** Historians back Gove curriculum ** Some of the UKs leading historians endorse Education Secretary Michael Gove’s new history curriculum for schools in England.
For once I entirely agree with Mr Gove! As a History graduate myself I believe that a clear chronology is essential to understanding cause, effect and development. It seems to be creating opposition because it is difficult to achieve not because it is the wrong thing to do!
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.
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.
An international education league table puts the UK among a leading group of countries headed by Finland and South Korea.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-20498356 >
“We are driving forward the academies and free schools programmes with more than half of secondary schools now enjoying academy status.” So academy status is a good thing? Free schools are an excellent idea? There are many Juries and lots of them are still out.
“We have introduced the EBacc so more pupils are encouraged to study the core academic subjects that universities and employers demand and we will be introducing a new, far more rigorous examination system.” Will be introducing…? Do we want an EBacc system? All of this is still being vigorously debated; once again a D of E spokesperson comes up with what they do best. Words and waffle.
Global League tables are a useful indicator but we should be very careful about comparing systems from societies that are culturally disparate. Is it really possible to meaningfully compare the education system in Hong Kong with the UK?
The frustrating thing is that the answer should not be difficult. Hard compulsory exams at 16 containing information that school leavers might actually be glad they learned if they never open another book. Tandem vocational qualifications for those less inclined towards academics. A Levels should be kept but rolled back to when they were challenging. Hard exams for 18 year olds will give us a clear picture of abilities. Universities and employers will be able to trust the grades and know the calibre of candidate they are getting without having to re-check. Let’s get away from this ridiculous situation where the sole driver seems to be everybody passing and going to University. Pretending everybody is an academic could lead to a future with the potential to have generations of ill-educated, debt ridden ex-students.
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 >
Research suggests the poorest children are twice as likely to struggle at maths than their classmates.