Education Update – October 2012

Selected items from the National scene as reported by TES

 5th October

Labour’s Educational Plans

  • Shadow Education spokesman, Stephen Twigg, announced that the Labour government would create a National College for Teaching Excellence to guarantee quality teacher-training.
  • Externally assessed GCSEs would be scrapped at the age of 16 in every subject except English and Maths.  This is because of the rise of education up till 18 years of age.
  • The backing of a new Technical Baccalaureate and make available £1 billion to employers for apprenticeship funding.

Legal challenges to a Faith School

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and Richmond Inclusive Schools’ campaign are challenging the opening of two voluntary-aided Catholic schools.  This will be the first legal challenge to a faith on the basis of religious discrimination.

Phonics Test

Introduced in Summer Term of 2012 for pupils of Year 1.
592,000 children took the phonics test
58% of pupils reached the desired standard
44% of pupils who are eligible for school meals passed the test
Girls performed better than boys – 62% v 54%
58% of pupils who speak EAL passed the test

19th October

Possible new Advanced Baccalureate

A new ABac is being considered by the government as a league table measure.  However, no decisions have yet been made

Arts attack EBac

The National and Royal Shakespeare theatres  are calling for the arts to be given more prominence in the Key Stage 4 curriculum. They are concerned that the curriculum is too narrow and does not promote arts subjects like drama, dance and art.

Early years Success

According to the DfE the percentage of 5 yr olds at a ‘good level’ of development has risen to 64% from 59% this year, meaning these pupils have attained the expected standard in the 7 areas of language and social skills.

26th October

TES survey on pornography

The survey found that three quarters of the 555 teachers surveyed are deeply concerned at the damaging effect of hardcore pornography through Smart phones, the Internet and other media.  Campaigners are calling for PSHE to be made compulsory in England as it includes education in sex and relationships.

Rigorous tests for prospective teachers

The equivalent of a GCSE grade B in new English and Maths tests will be required for all prospective teachers from next September.

No homework for the French!

Francois Hollande intends to ban homework for all Primary school pupils in an attempt to make the system fairer for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.  In England 94.4% of Primary teachers set homework. Nearly a quarter of these set homework several times a week.  92.9% believe that lack of support at home is the reason for homework failure.