Tough tests are forced on state schools as data reveals benefit to independent sector
Tory education reforms are giving private school pupils a huge additional advantage in the hunt for university places and jobs by allowing them to sit easier GCSEs than the more rigorous exams that are being forced upon state schools, new official figures suggest.
Data released in parliamentary answers, and research into the exams chosen by private schools, shows the extent to which the independent sector is still opting for less demanding, internationally-recognised GCSEs (IGCSEs), which state schools are progressively being barred from using.Continue reading...
It’s no easy task for parents, but there are ways to start this crucial conversation
“If you had a question about sex, where would you go?” I ask my 12-year-old daughter, Orla. She doesn’t look up from her phone. “I’d ask online,” she deadpans. “then delete my browser history.”
“You wouldn’t come to me?” I venture, worried, hurt, amused and (a tiny part) relieved. “Mum, if I asked you about sex, I’d then have to imagine you having sex and that would be traumatic for me,” is the answer I get back.Continue reading...
Students are taught from a young age that women must look pretty and men must earn a lot of money
Finding the perfect life partner can be difficult, but South Korean students are taught from an early age the ideal method for attracting a spouse is really quite simple.
“Women have to work on their appearance and men have to work on improving their financial capabilities,” say the government guidelines for high school pupils.Continue reading...
Gus O’Donnell says Britain is ‘sleepwalking into a deepening crisis’ of mental health
An “addiction to exams” is fuelling stress, anxiety and failure in schools across the UK, the former head of the civil service has said.
Gus O’Donnell said the UK was “sleepwalking into a deepening crisis” and called for the current exam system to be overhauled.Continue reading...
Education secretary asks headteachers to consider using sustainable alternatives
Schools are being encouraged to set themselves the target of eliminating their reliance on single-use plastics by 2022.
The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has urged headteachers in England to consider using sustainable alternatives instead of non-recyclable plastic for items such as straws, bottles, bags and food packaging.Continue reading...
In seeking to explain the phenomenon of grade inflation in some of our higher education institutions (Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation, 19 December), the Office for Students might reflect on just how the “value” and meaning attaching to a first-class degree has been impacted by the incremental shift of emphasis imposed upon the HE sector by policymakers. There is a fundamental tension within the sector between market principles and scholarly values: a tension which will inevitably be handled differently by different institutions.
In an environment where students and teachers alike are ever more instrumentally driven by the dynamics of competition, judgments about how to differentiate between the results of hard work and intellectual competence (warranting a 2:1) and originality and intellectual agility (warranting a first) are ever more difficult to make. There is no easy balance to be struck between, on the one hand, the demand that we optimise the employment prospects of undergraduates and the “competitiveness” of our institutions, and, on the other, sustaining the ideal that HE is about promoting the inherent value of human understanding.
Professor of social policy, London School of Economics
Researchers explore whether genes and early eating habits may trigger disordered eating
Eating disorders, which often arise before adulthood, have been increasing in recent years and about a quarter of young people report having symptoms, according to MQ: Transforming Mental Health, a research charity.Continue reading...