Education News

7th September 2020

Government’s school catch-up scheme criticised for starting too late


The government’s ‘catch-up’ scheme of personal tutoring promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June will not take place as proposed over the summer, but will start no earlier than the winter. The revelation has prompted teaching unions and school heads to warn that it will arrive too late to
4th September 2020

UK universities continue downward slide in global rankings


The University of Oxford has emerged as the top university in the world in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) global rankings list – but other UK universities have continued on a downward trajectory, slipping further down the table. The University of Cambridge tumbled from third to sixth, while Imperial
4th September 2020

Ofqual proposes online exams next year if COVID-19 strikes again


Ofqual’s chair Roger Taylor has suggested that students studying for A-level and GCSE exams next year may take their tests online. Taylor’s proposal comes in the aftermath of this year’s exam results fiasco. Now known to have been a trenchant opponent of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s decision to cancel this
3rd September 2020

Ofqual puts ministers in the frame for exams disaster


Leaders of the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) have told MPs that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson rejected advice not to cancel exams, thereby forcing the “impossible task” upon them of regulating grades estimated by teachers. Answering questions posed by the Education Select Committee, Ofqual’s chair Roger Taylor explained
3rd September 2020

Ministers warn against fake news about school return ‘risks’


The government is growing increasingly concerned about the impact of misleading information on social media, which it fears may undermine its efforts to get all school-aged children back into full-time education this week. The Telegraph reports that Department for Education (DfE) officials have been monitoring hundreds of online posts containing
2nd September 2020

Calls grow for a delay to 2021’s school exams


As hundreds of thousands of children in England return to their schools for the first time in six months today, a former chief inspector of education has urged the government to delay school examinations next year. Sir Michael Wilshaw, who served as Chief Inspector of Schools in England and head
2nd September 2020

DfE informed of Ofqual’s algorithm flaws a fortnight before results


The Guardian reports that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was informed of major defects in this year’s exam grading system a fortnight before A-level results for England were published. The newspaper has been told that Williamson and the Department for Education (DfE) were then quickly given assurances by England’s exam watchdog,
1st September 2020

Government considers delay to next year’s schools exams


Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that a proposed delay in next year’s GCSE and A-level exams is being considered by the government. Speaking to the Telegraph, Williamson said that he was exploring proposals for a “short delay” to next year’s public exams “with the aim of creating more teaching
1st September 2020

New study finds three-month learning shortfall after school closures


Children in England have fallen three months behind in their studies during the school closures, with boys and youngsters from poorer backgrounds being most seriously affected, a new study has found. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) conducted a survey of nearly 3,000 head teachers and teachers drawn from
31st August 2020

Teacher unions raise fears of ‘superspreader’ supply teacher risk


Following Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s assurance on Wednesday that strict adherence to social distancing measures between staff and pupils will prevent further COVID-19 transmission, teaching unions are warning that supply teachers may act as “superspreaders” by travelling from school to school. When asked by Sky News at Wednesday’s press conference

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