Further education

Replace GCSEs with baccalaureate, says Conservative MP | Education

GCSE exams in England should be scrapped and replaced with a baccalaureate for school leavers that includes vocational skills and personal development, as part of a radical overhaul proposed by an influential Conservative MP. Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow who chairs the House of Commons education select committee, is the first Conservative policymaker to break ranks over the future of GCSE exams, after the government’s efforts to improve their status by making them more difficult. Halfon, who has campaigned…

Read More

Denying loans to students with weaker A-levels will ‘penalise poor families’ | Education

Plans to deny student loans to those with lower A-level grades would hit poor families in regions where social mobility is already stalling, data obtained by Education Guardian shows. In the north-east a third of students who would be denied a university education come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Four months ago, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, launched Opportunity North East, a £24m campaign to raise aspirations and stop children in the region feeling they’ve been “left behind”. But the…

Read More

Ofsted’s grade fixation fails pupils and teachers | Letters | Education

The chief inspector has launched a consultation on the new framework for the inspection of schools and colleges (Ofsted plans overhaul of inspections to look beyond exam results, 16 January). While we welcome most of Ofsted’s new inspection framework, it is doomed to fail unless Ofsted drops its flawed four-point grading system. Schools and colleges will remain fixated on fear-inspiring grades. Institutions labelled “outstanding” will obsess with keeping it, stifling innovation. Schools “requiring improvement” or dubbed “inadequate” will lose pupils,…

Read More

Ofsted plans overhaul of inspections to look beyond exam results | Education

The way nurseries, schools and colleges in England are inspected is to undergo its biggest overhaul in a decade, with proposals by Ofsted aiming to address concerns that education has been too narrowly focused on exam results. The new guidelines will be launched by Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, in a speech on Wednesday, with a consultation on revised inspection frameworks for state and independent schools as well as early years settings and further education colleges.…

Read More

The need to breathe new life into adult education | Letters | Education

As a former mature student who escaped a life of dead-end jobs thanks to Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) classes and Ruskin College, I welcome Laura McInerney’s case for revisiting adult education after 100 years and supporting mature students (A century of adult education tossed aside, 15 January). The concept of the “mature student” was largely invented in the immediate aftermath of the first world war via a groundbreaking report on adult education. For a few years, thousands of former soldiers…

Read More