Education & schools work update
Headlines from the world of education and schools work:
- Four senior education mandarins resign: Four senior civil servants at the Department for Education have resigned their positions.
- Educational TV for under-twos has little benefit, says US report: There is little evidence to back up advertising claims that television and DVDs can improve social and language skills. Â TV programmes and films marketed as "educational" are of little value to children under two, according to US paediatricians. Â They say there is even some evidence that exposure to TV at this age has a "negative effect" on language development.
- Fifth of secondaries began last school year in deficit:Â A fifth of council-funded secondary schools finished the 2009-10 school year in deficit, raising fears about how they will cope with expected budget squeezes, an official National Audit Office report shows.
- Schools issued with discipline 'checklist' to boost behaviour: Teachers are being told to punish bad behaviour outside school and shop unruly children to their parents as part of a new crackdown on indiscipline.
- Truancy rate in England's schools rises by 2%: The truancy rate in England's schools has increased by two per cent, latest figures show. Â Warning as 'persistent truants' skip a month of school: More than 450,000 children missed the equivalent of a month of school last year amid rising truancy rates across England.
- More schoolchildren 'being diagnosed with special needs': The number of children diagnosed with special needs has soared by 10 per cent in just five years amid concerns schools are "playing the system" to disguise poor exam results.
- Ofsted: parents to 'rate children's happiness at school': Parents are being asked to rate schools on issues such as children's happiness, teaching standards, behaviour and levels of homework as part of a new inspection regime.
- 4.8% rise in five good GCSEs rate: Rising numbers of teenagers are scoring five good GCSEs including English and maths, official figures show.
- GCSEs: proportion of state school children doing English bacc falls: Just over one in five entered the English baccalaureate, taking English, maths, history or geography, sciences and a language. Â The proportion of state school pupils entering the English baccÂ of academic subjects at GCSE fell slightly in this summer's exams, figures from the Department for Education show.
- Boys falling dramatically behind girls by the age of five: Almost one-in-five boys are unable to write their own name after a year of school, figures show, as they fall behind girls at an early age.
- Basing A-level results on a year group's GCSEs is unfair: Exam boards should award grades based on the standard of work, and not limit the number of top grades awarded. Â 'Cohort referencing' was until recently an optional tool for exam boards. But from 2011 Ofqual have made it an essential part of their code of practice, to avoid so-called 'grade drift' and the usual public outcry about falling standards.
- Ofsted to target 'coasting' teachers: Incoming chief Sir Michael Wilshaw says schools inspectorate will drive up standards by singling out weaker teachers
- University of Wales abolished after visa scandal: Second-largest university in the country will be rebranded in a merger.
- Which? magazine to test value of degrees: The consumers' champion will look at university courses â€“ and academics say they are worried.