These are some of the education stories we found interesting between the 26th April and 10th-17th May 2013.
Blow to Olympic legacy as ‘schools are forced to cut sport‘ (The Telegraph)
A study by the Smith Institute has found that schools across the country have reduced the amount of time dedicated to PE and extra-curricular exercise over the past two years. After speaking to teachers they found that only 11 percent of primary school teachers and eight percent of those working in secondary education said that participation in sport had increased before the Olympic games.
Schools ‘struggling to recruit headteachers’ (BBC Education News)
Primary schools in England are finding it more difficult to recruit head teachers according to a new report released this week. The Education Data Surveys’ analysis suggests that one-in-four primary school headships advertised in the UK were not filled within 60 days. The figures published in the Times Education Supplement reveal that out of the 261 primary schools advertising for a new head teacher, 26% were forced to re advertise the vacancy within 60 days.
Union sets up its own schools inspectorate as an alternative to Ofsted (The Telegraph)
The National Union of Head Teachers will pilot its new school inspection programme in September in a bid to eventually overthrow Ofsted. The new inspection scheme which they are calling ‘Instead’ will allow headteachers to visit other schools in their region of their own size to identify strengths and weaknesses. They will be able to analyse teaching standards by visiting the classroom and challenging headteachers to improve the quality of their school. This follows after members of the National Union of Headteachers called for the boycott of Ofsted inspections and for the resignation of chief inspector Michael Wilshaw.
Calls for teachers to be stronger in science (Herald Scotland)
Primary school teachers in Scotland should not be allowed to teach in schools without a science qualification according to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. They believe that entry requirements for trainee teachers should be changed to prevent any further damage to the subject. The suggestions have been put forward in a submission to the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GCTS) who have suggested that all primary school teachers should have a qualification in modern languages. However, the Royal Society of Edinburgh believes that this neglects other areas of the curriculum.
Rise in tuition fees brings 18 minutes’ extra teaching a week (The Guardian)
A survey conducted by Which? and the Higher Education Policy Institute has found that university students are being taught for just 18 minutes longer despite the rise in tuition fees.
The survey interviewed 26,000 students from institutions across the country who were asked about how much time they spend in university lectures and seminars as well as how much time they spend on independent study.
Michael Gove to make it harder to reach top grades in new-look GCSEs (The Times)
GCSE students will soon find it harder to get top grades in redesigned GCSEs the Education Secretary has said. Speaking to MPs at the Education Select Committee, Michael Gove said that the most likely new grading system will be based on numbers instead of the current A* to G grades. Teenagers will start studying for the new GCSEs in core subjects in autumn 2015 with the first new examinations being sat in summer 2017.
Hundreds of jobs for new Northern Ireland teachers (BBC Education News)
Unemployed new teachers in Northern Ireland will soon be able to apply for jobs after only 5% of those who graduated last year were able to find permanent teaching posts.
The applications are only open to teachers who graduated after 2010 and applicants must be registered with the General Teaching Council in Northern Ireland. Over 230 jobs have been created in primary and post-primary schools across the country to help boost numeracy and literacy schools in deprived areas.