Education News

12th October 2020

Fine warning issued – online university teaching must not compromise quality


The university regulator for England, the Office for Students, has warned higher education establishments that they must “honour their promises” to incoming students. The watchdog is, according to its chief executive Nicola Dandridge, “actively monitoring” the quality of online degrees, which must remain at a high standard whenever teaching moves
9th October 2020

Scrap GCSEs and adopt baccalaureate, says Conservative MPs’ group


A group of centrist Conservative MPs have called for a “radical” overhaul of England’s school exam system. In a new document, the One Nation group of moderate Conservative MPs make the case for using the coronavirus crisis to open up fresh thinking about the exam system. They advocate ditching GCSE
9th October 2020

Poorly designed education policies hit disadvantaged pupils hardest during lockdowns


An analysis by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) think-tank has found that differences in education policy between the four UK nations resulted in disadvantaged pupils being worst affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns. The EPI is critical of poor decisions over education policy during the height of the pandemic, which the
8th October 2020

Newcastle and Northumbria universities join pivot to online-only teaching


The universities of Newcastle and Northumbria have transferred all teaching online amid accusations that undergraduates were falsely led into believing that they would have access to a ‘full campus experience’. The shift to online-only teaching will start from today (8th October) for an initial period of three weeks. Only ‘essential’
8th October 2020

Scottish National 5s cancelled next year as COVID-19 restrictions tighten


National 5 exams, Scotland’s equivalent of GCSEs in England and Wales, are set to be cancelled next year, to be replaced with a blend of coursework attainment and teacher-estimated grades. The decision was announced yesterday (7th October) by the Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney, who said that proceeding with all
7th October 2020

Independent heads call for new era of collaboration with state schools


A top head teacher at an elite private school is calling for greater awareness of the role that private schools can play in helping to “heal” the “multiple wounds” inflicted on society by the coronavirus crisis. Sally-Anne Huang, the first female High Master of the prestigious St Paul’s School in
7th October 2020

Three universities switch to online teaching amid calls for strike action


The struggle to keep university campuses open appears to be unravelling, with three of the biggest higher education establishments in the UK calling for a suspension of face-to-face teaching. At least 5,000 students and staff from over 80 universities in Britain have now tested positive for COVID-19. The University of
6th October 2020

Plans to cut course content for 2021’s exams under review


Five education groups, including teaching unions, have urged the government to pare back the course content for next year’s GCSE and A-level exams, and prioritise coronavirus testing for youngsters preparing to sit them. The proposals, which are currently under review by ministers, include requiring exam boards to devise papers with
6th October 2020

Unions denounce Education Secretary’s calls for impartial teaching as right-wing


Efforts by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to emphasise the requirement for teachers to remain politically impartial in the classroom have met with furious reactions from teaching unions. During an interview with his former politics teacher at the virtual Conservative Party Conference, Williamson underlined the necessity for complying with new
5th October 2020

Children with special educational needs absent as COVID-19 restrictions deepen provision crisis


New official statistics reveal that nearly a fifth of children with special educational needs are not attending school, with parents complaining that their children are effectively being excluded by the government’s rigid COVID-19 containment measures. The latest data from the Department for Education (DfE) shows that 81% of pupils in

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