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New rules on retaking GCSEs likely to bring down overall pass rate

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 18:15

For the first time 17-year-olds in England who gained a D grade in English or maths last year will have had to resit GCSEs in those subjects

Pass rates in GCSE exams could take a tumble this year because of new government rules that force older teenagers to retake core subjects if they fail to get good grades.

For the first time, 17-year-olds in England who gained a D grade in English or maths last year will have had to resit GCSEs in those subjects – and their performance is likely to pull down the average pass rate both for England and the UK.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Rosie Edwards obituary

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 18:12

My wife, Rosie Edwards, who has died suddenly of complications from colitis, aged 62, was a nationally recognised teacher in the field of outdoor learning. She dedicated her professional life to helping children understand the natural world.

Born in Shrewton, Wiltshire, to Leslie and Dorothy Williams, both farmworkers, Rosie attended South Wilts grammar school for girls in Salisbury before studying geography at Leeds University. In the late 1970s she was appointed head of geography at Bretton Woods community school, near Peterborough. Her twin passions of working with children and the environment came together when she became first deputy and later head of the Stibbington field studies centre in Cambridgeshire in 1984.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

John Heath obituary

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 15:35

My husband, John Heath, who has died aged 91, was professor of economics at London Business School from 1970 to 1986, running the MBA programme and the Sloan fellowship programme. He also claimed that he had brought some of the first Apple computers to the UK to be used at the school. Later, he organised a meditation group there.

Younger son of Thomas, a bank clerk, and Dorothy (nee Meallin), a gifted violinist who gave up public performance after her marriage, John was born in Esher, Surrey. His mother died when John was a baby, and he and his brother, Peter, were brought up by their father and grandparents. Both boys attended Merchant Taylors’ school in Hertfordshire as boarders.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Remains of Scottish soldiers who died 400 years ago to be reburied

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 15:14

Soldiers died of starvation and disease after brutal forced march when they were taken prisoner by Oliver Cromwell

The remains of Scottish soldiers who died of starvation and disease almost 400 years ago after a brutal forced march will be reburied with honour near the site where their bodies were tipped into a mass grave in the shadow of Durham Cathedral.

The discovery, after three years of research on bones found during building work within the Unesco world heritage site of Durham’s palace and cathedral, resolves a centuries-old puzzle about what happened to 6,000 prisoners taken by the English parliamentarian army under Oliver Cromwell after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How's your master's dissertation going? Any tips?

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 13:33

Dissertation hand-in time approaches so we’re asking readers to tell us how you’ve been coping with the summer in the library and share your advice for fellow sufferers

A master’s dissertation: your chance to take your creativity, know-how and essay-writing brilliance to a higher level. And for postgrad students the frenzy is reaching a peak as hand-in day approaches.

We want to know how you’ve been finding the last couple of months of the course. Do you have an unforeseen mountain to climb or do you have it all mapped out? How are you and your coursemates coping with the pressure and the long library stints? Do you have any stress-busting tips for other students?

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

If we want to improve peer review, we'll need to invest in training

Mér, 24/08/2016 - 12:30

New reviewers are anxious to get some formal coaching before they start commenting the work of fellow academics

You’ve just accepted your first invitation to peer review a journal article. The paper is the culmination of years of the author’s research and its publication is an important next step. You want to get it right; give constructive feedback, check whether it works for the journal, and generally improve the quality of the article. But how can you achieve those objectives without the right training and support?

Related: Peer review needs to expand so that more scientists are reviewing papers

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Free schools anxiously await first full set of GCSE results

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 19:33

As secondaries in England that opened in first wave of policy hope for above-average grades, free school model is evolving

The performance of a handful of free schools which were the first to open as part of Michael Gove’s flagship education policy will come in for scrutiny this week with the publication of their first GCSE results.

Three secondary schools, which opened their doors to pupils in September 2011 as part of the first wave of free schools, will receive their first full set of results on Thursday.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Exams, grammar schools, and the trouble with sorting the sheep from the goats | Letters

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 19:32

Your “Secret headteacher” deserves respect and support for calling into question the whole crazy system of judging pupils’ GCSE performance by the rigidly absurd premises of Progress 8 calibration, applied irrationally to measure schools’ achievements against each other (‘On Thursday morning, will I still have a job?’, 23 August). Like your contributor, I was a poor advertisement for my school at level 2. I failed physics O-level with (for my excellent school) a record low score that astounded my teacher; wisely, I was asked to give up chemistry a year before the exam; two years ahead of the test I was told biology was not for me (my dissecting skills were deficient); I was overwhelmed with joy at my grade D in what was then called elementary maths, albeit taking a year longer than most of my contemporaries who did it a year early and then passed advanced maths. I managed Latin at the second attempt. English, geography and history were successes, French a rather poor showing, and art was frankly dire.

There were no A* grades then, so I ended up with something well below a half-decent Ebacc by virtue of too few passes in not enough subjects to go into the right “buckets” to score as more than a very mediocre prospect. Then came three A-levels which set me free; I went to university, and from there into an academic career on the strength of my only degree. I think I did alright in 40 years of teaching, making it to department head and faculty dean, but at 16 I was pretty well a write-off by today’s standard, despite having none of the disadvantages so many of the pupils in the school described are contending with.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How to find accommodation after going through Clearing

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 17:08

Once you’ve found a place on a course, your very next task is to secure somewhere to live at a fair price

No matter which university you enrol at, you will find a range of accommodation at a variety of prices, from shared houses to studio flats.

Accommodation can be provided by the universities themselves or in partnership with private providers. And wherever you find a university, you will find a raft of private landlords and lettings agencies with houses available for students to share.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Rhys James: 'Why did I get into stand-up so young? Jack Whitehall'

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 14:05

Why be the audience at festivals when you could be on stage? Rhys James has been doing stand-up since he was 17 – here’s how he got started

Rhys James is a stand-up comedian, gag writer, and a prolific tweeter. The Guardian caught up with the 25-year-old during his Edinburgh Festival run to talk youth, food hang-ups, and his early start as a student comic.

Hello, Rhys. How’s Edinburgh treating you?

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Ofsted's David Hoare quits under pressure over Isle of Wight slur

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 13:06

Chair resigns after meeting with education secretary Justine Greening about his claim island is poor, inbred ghetto

The chair of Ofsted, David Hoare, who caused uproar when he described the Isle of Wight as a poor ghetto where there has been inbreeding, is to stand down.

The former City businessman agreed to resign with immediate effect from his £50,000-a-year role after a meeting with the education secretary, Justine Greening, on Monday.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

'My pay fell by thousands': stories of returning to work after childbirth

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 12:56

New research shows women earn 18% less than men on average, a gap that widens after childbirth. Here, women talk about their experiences

The pay gap between men and women widens markedly in the wake of maternity leave, according to new research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Women earn 18% less than men on average but 12 years after the birth of a first child that grows to 33%.

Related: UK women still far adrift on salary and promotion as gender pay gap remains a gulf

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

I was a child in care. We needed love, not chemicals | David Akinsanya

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 11:20

The news about drug trials on disruptive children sends shivers down my spine. At my home kids were on another planet due to medication – and I could have been one of them

Hearing the news that children in care and “special schools” were subjected to drug trials in the 1960s without their parents being consulted sent shivers down my spine. As a 10-year-old I was shipped off from my children’s home to a school for maladjusted children – a boarding school I knew had a lot of the bad boys from my area. I now know, 40 years later, that my problems were emotional and could have been solved with love and care. Instead, I was exposed to violence, bullying and abuse. My school was a very scary place where you had to be on guard all the time.

Related: Home Office approved drug trials on young offenders in 1960s

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Don't fancy Clearing? Save money, and do a degree at a college instead

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 09:52

If you think Clearing is high-risk, and you’re worried about university debt, you could opt for a degree through your local college

Lauren Allen is 21 and studying for a degree-level qualification. She has a salary (and a mortgage) and no student debt.

Deterred from going to university by the fees, she opted instead for a school leaver’s programme with Be Wiser Insurance, earning £18,000 a year to train and study for insurance qualifications at her local further education college in Basingstoke.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Anger at ‘Hunger Games’ battle for pupils as pioneering school closes

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 07:39

As one of England’s first purpose-built comprehensives, Woodlands in Coventry, falls victim to competition, parents and students reveal the human cost

Charlie Illsley, 15, is reducing the grownups to tears as he explains what his school, closing after 62 years, has meant to him. Sitting around a table in a Coventry pub not far from Woodlands academy, parents gathered last month to tell Education Guardian of their sadness are reaching for the tissues.

Charlie, whose uncle and older brother attended the school, one of England’s first purpose-built comprehensives, says: “It’s the history that is going with this school. I was walking to school and an old man asked me which house I was in at Woodlands, as he went there. As a student going through this, it’s been bloody difficult.”

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Secret headteacher: ‘After Thursday’s GCSE results, will I still have a job?’

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 07:25

This year I’ve no idea what my students will get in their GCSE exams. I am sick with worry and I fear for the future

Twenty-five years ago, when I started out as an English teacher, I was pretty much always spot on estimating my students’ exam results. I had no experience but I had good colleagues and some tatty past papers. All I had to do was check what the kids could do unaided, remedy any mistakes they were making and guide them through. I was working in a big urban comprehensive. There wasn’t much homework going on and I’d been in the middle of more than one lesson when the police had arrived to have a chat with someone. The kids were always there for their exams though. And they got what I expected.

Now I’m a headteacher. And this year I have absolutely no idea what my students will get in their GCSEs – neither as a teacher of a GCSE class nor the head of 180 children in that year. We have done four sets of mocks, compulsory after-school revision sessions, Easter school, Saturday school, parents’ revision evenings, and afternoons and mornings. There simply is nothing more my staff could have done – they have put on brilliant lessons, great teaching, lots of feedback, precision analysis.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Progress 8 and GCSEs: will the new way to judge schools be fairer?

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 07:25

The government’s aim is to focus on pupils’ progress rather than just exam results, but schools in poorer areas still face an uphill battle

This year’s GCSE results day will be more nerve-jangling than ever for school leaders in England, who have an anxious wait to see how their school and their careers will be judged under the government’s new performance measures.

Out goes the old measure, which ranked secondary schools on the proportion of pupils gaining C grades or higher in five GCSE subjects including English and maths. It has been replaced by a new value-added metric known as Progress 8 – applauded by many as a big improvement but which has problems of its own.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Got a good argument for the return of grammar schools? Bring it on … | Fiona Millar

Mar, 23/08/2016 - 07:10

Proponents of selective education have put forward their case many times over the years – and it remains as weak as ever

Before the 2015 election I wrote an article speculating on the possible impact of Tory MPs pushing for a return to selection. What interested me then was whether a change of policy might have unintended consequences by propelling powerful arguments against the 11-plus into the spotlight.

That certainly seems to have been the case in the past few weeks since government sources floated the return of a bipartite education system. Passionate arguments, personal stories and solid evidence about the negative effects of selection have been coming from all quarters, including influential figures on the right.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Third of Britain's Rio medallists went to private schools

Lun, 22/08/2016 - 16:11

Sutton Trust says proportion is down on 2012 Olympics, and some from state sector benefited from private school partnerships

Private schools remain over-represented among Team GB Olympic medal winners, with about a third of medallists in Rio educated at fee-paying schools, according to the Sutton Trust.

Although six out of 10 of this year’s British medallists – including the heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, gymnast Max Whitlock and boxer Nicola Adams – went to comprehensive schools, some sports including rowing and hockey are still dominated by the privately educated.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Clearing is a gamble for worried students – and I lost

Lun, 22/08/2016 - 10:57

The system works well for some, but the panic of finding a place can lead to bad choices. I wish I’d thought it through

Clearing offers a way out of the gloom for those who have missed the grades for their initial five university choices. It can catapult you from a feeling of failure to the excitement of knowing you’ve begun the next chapter of your life.

But the best places are likely to be snapped up by lunchtime on results day, which doesn’t allow much time for consideration. Unless the available options are a close match to your original choice, accepting a clearing offer is a gamble. And, in my experience, it’s a gamble that’s easy to lose.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade