All 5 entries tagged Education

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May 19, 2009

'Education, Education, Education': The Results

Figures released quietly on Friday reveal the success of some of the government’s education programmes.

Michael Gove, the Tories’ Education Spokesman, asked the government how children on free school meals (the widely used guide to childrens’ family wealth) had done at A-Level and in their Sats tests (soon to be abolished).

These are the answers he got:

Those on free school meals who sat Maths A-Level:
2004: 554 (13.8%)
2008: 705 (17.1%)

Those on free school meals who sat Further Maths A-Level:
2004: 31 (0.8%)
2008: 53 (1.3%)

Those on free school meals who achieved Level 7 in their KS3 Maths tests:
2002: 5,120
2006: 9,233

But it’s not all good news. While Maths has been a big success, English results have actually worsened.

Those on free school meals who achieved Level 7 in their KS3 English tests:
2002: 2,663
2006: 2,364

These figures only reflect successes (or otherwise) in English, Maths and Science. Many teachers say the focus on these three subjects came at the expense of other subjects, especially at primary school. Where maths figures appear to be good news, those for modern languages show the inverse. Those getting two language GCSEs at grades A* to C fell from 7.3% of pupils in 1996 to 4.7% in 2008.


December 18, 2008

That RAE analysis in full

Times: “Former polytechnics give Oxbridge a run for its money in rankings”

Guardian: ...”ex-polytechnics have failed to wrest a significant number of the stars awarded for research away from the research giants of the Russell Group of universities including Oxford and Cambridge.”


February 14, 2007

Kids aren't as stupid as we thought they were

University degrees with significant rises in applications (2007 v 2006):

  • Civil engineering 18,605 up 13%
  • Economics: 37,974 up 12.8%
  • Physics: 19,140 up 12.2%
  • Chemistry: 20,786 up 11.3%
  • Fine art: 9,703 up 10.5%
  • Maths: 33,790 up 10%
  • Music: 21,281 up 9.9%
  • History: 6,021 up 9.2%
  • English: 55,581 up 7.6%
  • Biology: 23,367 up 6%

They’ve obviously noticed that if you’re graduating with tens of thousands of pounds of debt, you may as well do something useful.


January 12, 2007

Kids should stay in school until they're 18

There’s been a strong reaction to the Government’s plans to raise the school leaving age to 18. Some of it’s been a bit misguided – Donal Blaney thinks the school leaving age should be lowered rather than raised, but he also thinks the plans mean forcing kids to be in the classroom (which they don’t.)

Praguetory says Labour wants you in shackles till 18 and then working until you’re dead. But he also seems to assume that 16-18 year olds know what’s best for themselves.

They don’t.

Very few of the people who leave school at 16 end up as millionaires thanks to their own entrepreneurship. They end up on the dole, living off the benefits which Tories despise. If they get jobs they’ll be low-paid ones.

The Tories are sticking to their tedious line of thinking the bottom rung of society should be left to drift. They then complain when they do just that. A lot of kids need another two years of schooling or training, even if they don’t know it. They shouldn’t be expected to learn geology, Latin or maths for another two years. But training them to do something useful, and give them the skills needed for a career can only be a good thing, especially if we’re so keen to get people off benefits.


November 20, 2006

How not to stop bullying

I’m normally a fan of Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary. But I can’t even stifle a laugh at his ridiculous suggestion today of fining the parents of school bullies up to £1,000.

The government seem to have a fascination with fining people for things, to the extent that you think it must all have been dreamt up by Gordon Brown in a bid to make more money.

But if there’s one way not to stop bullying, it’s by hitting people in the pocket. For one thing, it’s displacing the blame onto parents when the immediate issue is with their child. But it also breeds the idea that you can get away with bullying someone as long as you’re willing to stump up £1,000 afterwards.

A much better idea would be for community service for under-18s. Or to run courses for trouble-makers during school holidays.


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