Who decides whether universities should be gold, silver or bronze?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 11:32

It’s the first time universities have been awarded medals for their teaching. But how did the government work it out?

The long-awaited teaching excellence framework results have arrived, both confirming and confounding expectations. Chris Millward, the director of policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which ran the exercise, explains how the results were calculated.

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Boys at Exeter academy wear skirts in uniform protest

BBC - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 10:35
They wanted to wear shorts, but were told that breached their school's uniform policy.
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Leading universities rated 'bronze' under new ranking system

BBC - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 09:22
Universities are now ranked bronze, silver or gold for their standard of undergraduate teaching.
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Which universities are top at teaching?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 00:02

The government has awarded universities gold, silver and bronze medals according to how well they performed in its new assessment of teaching quality, the Teaching excellence framework. Here’s the full list

The ratings in the controversial Tef exercise are based on six different metrics pulling together students’ views of their teaching and learning environment; dropout rates; and graduate outcomes, combined with a panel review process. Institutions which lacked the data to enter the exercise have been awarded provisional results.

Here’s the list of award-winners in alphabetical order.

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Tories signal they may back down on cuts to school funding

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 20:13

MPs from both main parties seek clarity about education funding after pledge not to cut budgets was left out of Queen’s speech

Theresa May has indicated she is prepared to go back to the drawing board over school funding changes that Tory MPs said had been toxic on the doorstep, given how many schools would have faced significant cuts and teacher redundancies.

The Queen’s speech commits to pressing ahead with changing the funding formula for schools, a controversial measure criticised by a number of Conservative MPs. In response to the criticism, the Conservative manifesto promised the government would “make sure no school has its budget cut as a result of the new formula” but that pledge was not repeated in the speech on Wednesday.

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Council drops plan to make teaching assistants reapply for jobs

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 17:45

Durham county council announces pay rise for 1,600 assistants after months of strikes and negotiations, but some will still see cut

More than 1,600 teaching assistants in the north-east will receive a pay rise after a council dropped plans to force them to reapply for their jobs on worse terms.

Following months of strikes and negotiations, Durham county council agreed on Wednesday to introduce a new grading structure, which it says will see pay increases for 78% of TAs employed by the local authority.

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Early years places 'must reach poorest'

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 15:06
Pre-school classes have long-term benefits, but they need to reach the poorest, says the OECD.
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Queen's Speech: Grammar school expansion abandoned

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 15:05
Grammar schools and scrapping free meals for infants disappear from the government's education plans.
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How can schools reduce teacher workload? – live chat

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 14:30

Join us on Thursday 6 July, 5.30-7pm, to discuss what school management and teachers can do to improve work/life balance

With budget cuts leading to redundancies, larger class sizes and longer hours with less help from support staff, teacher workloads are on the up. The number of hours teachers are working has increased significantly between 2013 and 2016, and it’s driving both teachers and school leadership to leave the profession.

A recent NUJ survey found that young teachers are leaving the job after only a few years because of the workload, with many saying it affects their mental health, and general secretary of NASUWT Chris Keates has said teachers and headteachers are dealing with “unsustainable workload demands on a daily basis”.

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US gun laws: Colorado to arm teachers in classrooms

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 11:53
Staff undergo training as "armed first responders" in the US state in order to protect children.
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Headteachers highlight continuing funding crisis in letter to parents

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 07:00

More than 4,000 schools are distributing the letter which aims to keep school funding at top of political agenda

Headteachers struggling with funding cuts are sending out letters to a million families this week to highlight the continuing crisis in schools and to urge parents to lobby their MPs for more money to be put into education.

More than 4,000 schools in 17 counties, from Cornwall to Cambridgeshire, are distributing the letter which aims to keep school funding at the top of the political agenda as the government prepares to outline its legislative plans in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday.

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Call to boost children's writing for pleasure

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 01:45
Children who write for pleasure are more likely to be working at above the expected level for their age, a study suggests.
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Heads warn parents of 'cash-starved schools'

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 00:40
Head teachers are sending letters to two million families in England warning of a funding crisis.
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UN warns 'no progress' on 260 million missing school places

BBC - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 00:39
Despite international pledges, many of the world's poorest children do not get a chance to go to school.
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Music education must be properly funded | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 20/06/2017 - 19:23
Teachers have seen their terms and conditions eroded over the past 10 years, meaning that many of them are leaving the profession, writes Horace Turbridge

We agree with Jeremy Corbyn’s aspiration that every child should have the opportunity to learn an instrument (Why not put music at the heart of education?, 19 June). It is important to remember, however, that music education needs to be properly funded. Instrumental tuition needs specialist teachers, and these teachers have been seeing their terms and conditions eroded over the past 10 years, meaning that many of them are leaving the profession.

Often the only way to make a living is through private tuition – which is not subsidised by the government. This means that instrumental music is fast becoming the domain of those with independent income, with the effect that young people from lower income families are being denied the chance of a career in music. In order for Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes to be realised, we need to get back to a properly funded system of instrumental tuition that is part of the curriculum and run by the Department for Education.
Horace Trubridge
General secretary-elect of the Musicians’ Union (MU)

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Paul Elms obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 20/06/2017 - 17:50

My friend and colleague Paul Elms, who has died aged 76, was an educationist and philosopher who influenced many organisations’ approaches to teaching and learning, from Surrey schools to British Gas and London Underground.

Paul was born in Bucklow, Cheshire. His father, Alfred, was a secondary headteacher in Manchester (Paul became a lifelong City supporter) then Colchester and finally Leeds, where Paul attended Roundhay school. His mother, Celia (nee Gray) was a primary school teacher. In 1959, he went to University College London to study philosophy.

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The geeks are inherent at birth: older men have geekier sons, study finds

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 20/06/2017 - 15:01

Researchers claim boys born to older fathers score higher on a scientifically devised ‘geek index’, which takes in non-verbal IQ and social aloofness

Older men tend to have “geekier” sons who are more aloof, have higher IQs and a more intense focus on their interests than those born to younger fathers, researchers claim.

The finding, which emerged from a study of nearly 8,000 British twins, suggests that having an older father may benefit children and boost their performance in technical subjects at secondary school.

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