Schools

UK public pays high price for private schools | Letter | Education

It is ridiculously inappropriate to compare “luxury homes, cars, exotic holidays” with the fees for private schools (Letters, 12 February). Good education is not a luxury but an essential provision that needs to be equally available to all children if we are ever to have a properly functioning society. Parents are not to be blamed for seeking the best for their children, but the private school system encourages the wealthiest to do this at the expense of the great majority.…

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What Will It Take to Get Equitable School Funding in Pennsylvania – a Statewide Teachers Strike!? – Education Article

What if every public school teacher in Pennsylvania refused to come to work on Monday? What if instead they took to the streets with signs and placards, bullhorns and chanted slogans. Maybe: “Hey! HEY! Ho! HO! This Unfair Funding Has to Go!”Or: “What do we want!? FAIR FUNDING! When do we want it? YESTERDAY!” The problem is that from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and all places in between, the Keystone state has the most unequal school funding system in the country.…

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Study English, and learn the ways of the world | Letters | Education

How I agree with Susanna Rustin (Why study English? We’re poorer in every sense without it, 11 February)! A retired teacher, I hear the arguments for studying Stem subjects frequently put forward as self-explanatory. But are science graduates necessarily more employable than someone who has spent her degree years reading widely, analysing language, developing sound aesthetic judgment, defending her opinions in seminars, and learning how to express them in lucid, cogent and elegant prose in weekly essays? Many ex-pupils I…

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Headteachers in a bind as pupils prepare to go on UK climate strike | Environment

School leaders are having to wrestle with their consciences over pupils joining the nationwide climate strike to be held on Friday afternoon, caught between their duties as teachers and instincts as educators. Thousands of the more than 8 million school pupils in the UK are expected to walk out of lessons to show their concern about the threat of escalating climate change. Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman and a former science teacher, said she will be joining a…

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Secret Teacher: I hated teaching – until I realised my school was the problem | Teacher Network

Not so long ago, I was ready to quit teaching. Now, I’ve got my sights on leadership. The difference is my headteacher. Under my previous head, I got the point where I couldn’t go on. I was signed off work with anxiety and stress. At school, we’d been under intense pressure to get more children to expected levels to show the school was improving – and were always on edge thanks to drop-in observations. As a member of the school…

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Two state Steiner schools face possible closure or takeover | Education

Two Steiner state schools in the west of England face possible closure or takeover after the Department for Education said it intended to cut off their funding later this year. The trusts running the free schools in Bristol and Frome have been issued termination warning notices by the DfE after the schools were rated as inadequate and placed in special measures by Ofsted. The inspections published in January reported a long list of serious safeguarding and teaching problems at the…

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School pupils issue fake parking tickets to tackle pollution | Education

Primary school pupils in Greater Manchester have started patrolling the streets outside their schools as uniformed “junior” police officers, issuing fake parking tickets to parents parked on the pavement or sitting with their engines running. The junior PCSOs (police community safety officers) were the brainchild of Steve Marsland, the headteacher of Russell Scott primary in Denton in Tameside, after he noticed a huge increase in the number of children with asthma. Eighteen months ago, he started to use an inhaler…

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Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Education Article

This podcast features an almost-complete recording of Dr. Wesley Fryer’s keynote, “Inspiring Creativity and Curiosity with Media,” on November 18, 2017, in Cairo, Egypt at the second annual EduForum Conference. The keynote description was: “As automation and the disruptive march of technology continues into virtually every aspect of our lives, it is vital we cultivate both creativity and curiosity in our students. Many jobs and vocations of the future will require teamwork, collaboration, project management, and independent work skills historically…

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‘It’s not about my school’: teacher’s TV drama depicts stress in class | Education

“ONOMATO PO E.I.A. BOOM!, ONOMATO PO E.I.A. BOOM!” bellows a teacher to a classroom of unimpressed teenagers. His enthusiasm for the written word is struggling to get much buy-in from the disengaged mass in front of him. This is the story of Shaun, a downtrodden English teacher who is eventually beaten by the system, as depicted in the TV drama Beaten, shown last week on BBC One (and now screening on BBC iPlayer) as part of a series compiled by…

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Mental health: the students who helped themselves when help was too slow coming | Education

Last year, Molly Robinson, 15, was struggling to cope with the symptoms caused by an undiagnosed health condition. The unexplained pain, plus the worry about what was wrong, caused her to feel increasingly anxious and distressed. She plucked up the courage to seek help. And what happened? “I was put on a waiting list.” Over the next three months things just got worse until she began to feel “completely overwhelmed”. “Everything snowballed,” says Molly. At crisis point, she couldn’t cope…

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The meaning of a good, well-rounded education | Letters | Education

Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison (Why it pays to be privileged, 2 February) illustrate some of the subtle ways in which talent can be showcased by privilege. For individuals without this supporting structure, the result can be a ceiling on progress and lower financial reward, even after their entry to an elite profession. The ceiling must be dismantled if the UK is ever to become a more equal society. This will require not only decisive action by government, but pro-social…

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Why School Father & Daughter Dances are Antiquated – Education Article

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Besides being bombarded with reminders to agree to bring an item for the Valentine’s Day class party on Sign-Up Genius, parents are also sent flyers about the father and daughter dance.  As our society continues to change, our schools remain stagnant and keep hanging onto antiquated ideas. I assert father and daughter dances are one of those ideas. I will admit, as a mother of twin sons, I have attended a mother and…

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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…

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All pupils have a right to LGBT education | Letters | Education

Shraga Stern accuses the National Secular Society of “see[ing] fit to dismiss basic religious freedoms” (Letters, 7 February). Secularism seeks to defend the absolute freedom of belief, and protect the right to manifest religious belief insofar as it does not impinge on the rights and freedoms of others. Parents’ rights to secure an education consistent with their religious beliefs are not absolute and must be balanced against society’s duty to safeguard children’s independent interests. All pupils should have the right…

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Rahm Emanuel’s Non-Apology Apology for Being a School Privatization Cheerleader – Education Article

    Rahm Emanuel’s recent op-ed in The Atlantic may be one of the dumbest things I have ever read.   The title “I Used to Preach the Gospel of Education Reform. Then I Became the Mayor” seems to imply Emanuel has finally seen the light.   The outgoing Chicago Mayor USED TO subscribe to the radical right view that public schools should be privatized, student success should be defined almost entirely by standardized testing, teachers should be stripped of…

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Sleep-deprived pupils need extra hour in bed, schools warned | Education

Sleep experts are warning of an epidemic of sleep deprivation among school-aged children, with some urging educational authorities to alter school hours to allow adolescents to stay in bed longer. Adequate sleep is the strongest factor in the wellbeing and mental health of teenagers, and a shortage is linked to poor educational results, anxiety and obesity, they say. The French education minister approved a proposal to push back by an hour the start of the school day to 9am for…

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Pupils’ climate change strike threat poses dilemma for heads | Education

Headteachers across the country will this week be faced with a tricky dilemma: should they allow their pupils to go on strike? Thousands of schoolchildren are expected to absent themselves from school on Friday to take part in a series of coordinated protests drawing attention to climate change. At a time when politicians fret that young people are failing to engage with the political process, a headteacher’s decision to take a hard line against the strikers could be counter-productive. But…

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Low-cost, no-frills Durham private school attacked by teachers | Education

A new private school offering a no-frills education for just £52 a week will open its doors to pupils in Durham this week, despite vociferous opposition from teaching unions, which say it is impossible to provide a quality education on such a low budget. The launch of the Independent Grammar School: Durham has been greeted with scepticism by many in the sector who accuse the school’s founders of using children as guinea pigs in an educational experiment and trading on…

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The Trouble with Test-Obsessed Principals – Education Article

    When I was a child, I couldn’t spell the word “principal.”   I kept getting confused with its homonym “principle.”   I remember Mr. Vay, the friendly head of our middle school, set me straight. He said, “You want to end the word with P-A-L because I’m not just your principal, I’m your pal!”   And somehow that corny little mnemonic device did the trick.   Today’s principals have come a long way since Mr. Vay.   Many…

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‘I will never return to teach in England’: the UK teachers finding refuge abroad | Education

The English education system is broken, says Freya Odell, a state secondary school teacher with 18 years’ experience. This month, she followed in the footsteps of thousands of other talented, fed-up teachers and moved abroad – in her case, to St George’s British International School in Rome. “It wasn’t a difficult decision. My job in England took over my life. Over the past year, I had stopped laughing and smiling. I had lost all sense of who I am.” Despite…

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State school pupils can race ahead | Letters | Education

I agree largely with Suzanne Moore (Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality, theguardian.com, 7 February) except for one thing. As a graduate recruitment manager for some years, state school kids, especially those from tough backgrounds, have far more resilience. What they don’t have is a level playing field. Give them that, and many perform outstandingly well. An accidental experiment when a teacher I know took a party of less well-off pupils skiing alongside privately…

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Rising trend of state school pupils going to university reverses | Education

The proportion of British state school pupils going to university has fallen for the first time in eight years, according to official figures, with the lowest-performing 15 UK institutions taking less than 70% of their first-year undergraduates from state schools. The data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the 2017-18 academic year showed that state-educated British students accounted for 89.8% of young entrants overall, below the previous year’s figure of 90%. For universities it marked the first reversal in…

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Private schooling at the public’s expense | Letters | Education

Robert Halfon, chairman of the House of Commons education select committee, is right to defend the principle of “continuity of education” for government staff serving overseas (which applies to the MoD, FCO, DfID and families from other departments). However, he is wrong to say that use of exclusive, eye-wateringly expensive “public” schools by government staff at taxpayers’ expense is due to the lack of availability of state boarding schools (Charitable status? Critics take aim at subsidies given to private schools,…

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Teaching all pupils to act more like Etonians won’t help solve inequality | Suzanne Moore | Opinion

It really does take a special kind of inattention to observe public life today and conclude that what we need is more public school swagger. Our politics is currently dominated by men who are so convinced of their own swag it’s dangerous. We know where politics as a debating society with no real-world consequences leads: Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson are exemplary only in their callous recklessness. Still, here we have the education secretary, Damian Hinds (I know no one…

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The NHS 10-year plan doesn’t do enough for children | Al Aynsley-Green | Education

The government’s NHS 10-year plan, which launched last month, has been broadly praised by children’s organisations. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, for one, celebrates that “it lays the foundations for an NHS with infants, children and young people at its core”. But does it? The plan, which aims to transform an overloaded health service, comes at an important time for children. The need is stark. We have some of the worst outcomes for children’s health, education, social…

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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…

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Sparking Joy: Marie Kondo in the Classroom – Education Article

If you haven’t had the absolute pleasure of watching Netflix’s latest phenomenon, you simply must find the time to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. One lazy morning during maternity leave last month, I happened to click on it, and immediately I was hooked. I binge watched all eight episodes in two days. If you aren’t familiar with Kondo or her organizational Konmari Method, you are missing out. On the show, she enters people’s homes and helps them declutter their…

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Critics take aim at subsidies given to private schools | Education

It is hard to imagine a more exclusive chain of prep schools than the one that has been entrusted with the education of the third-in-line to the throne. That privilege has been bestowed on Thomas’s, a group of four London public-school feeders, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to send Prince George. With annual fees of about £18,000, Thomas’s, Battersea, is reassuringly expensive and boasts fittingly palatial facilities, including the Grade II-listed Great Hall Theatre, a gymnasium,…

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Pittsburgh Christian Academy Tries to Become a Charter School to Cash in on Taxpayer Funding – Education Article

    The line between public and private school is getting awfully thin in Pittsburgh.   City public school directors received a request from Imani Christian Academy, a religious school in the East Hills, to be allowed to transform into Imani Academy Charter School for the Fall term of 2019.   Though parochial schools have metamorphosed into charter schools in Florida, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., this would be the first such transformation in Pennsylvania, according to Ana Meyers, executive director of…

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Secret Teacher: the emphasis on British history is depriving students of balance | Teacher Network

The wedding of two people who ostensibly have nothing to do with most people in the country has been the hot topic in playgrounds and classrooms over recent weeks. Despite Prince Harry and Meghan being wholly unrepresentative of the schoolchildren in my area of the UK, pupils have been transfixed by the details. They want to talk about the dress Meghan wore, the car Prince Harry drove to the reception. They’re proud this glamorous, confident American is becoming part of…

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