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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2002): Education - UK - Schools

A- LEVEL REVIEW SET TO COST MILLIONS IN COMPENSATION

G. Owens

The Times, October 4th 2002, p. 4

Examination boards face compensation claims running into millions if a large number of students are upgraded. Lawyers claimed that if students were cheated out of their first choice university some could claim for lost earning power.

A-LEVEL STUDENT SUES FOR £100,000 OVER 'GRADE FIXING'

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 7th 2002, p. 5

A 19 year old student is seeking £100,000 in compensation from the exam board at the centre of the scandal over "grade fixing".

A-LEVEL UPGRADES FOR 1,200 STUDENTS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 15th 2002, p. 8

An independent inquiry is expected to confirm around 1,200 students have had their A-level results upgraded after the scandal over "grade fixing".

(See also The Times, October 15th 2002, p. 13)

ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO EDUCATION: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS

F. Carnie

London: Routledge Falmer, 2003

This book provides a list of alternative education options available in the UK. This includes options outside the state system, doing it yourself, and alternatives within the state system. It provides answers to common questions and useful sources of further information.

CALL TO PRIVATISE STATE SCHOOLS

T. Halpin

The Times, October 4th 2002, p. 4

State schools should be turned into private companies and parents given up to £5,000 a year to choose between them and fee-paying schools, according to a report published yesterday by the Centre for Policy Studies, a right wing think-tank.

A CLASS APART

P. Revell

Public Finance, Sept. 6th - 12th 2002, p. 18-20

Argues that government cannot focus on improving secondary schools secure in the knowledge that all is well in primary education. There is evidence that primary schools are still underfunded and that recent improvements in standards may be chimerical.

GIFTED CHILDREN: NATIONAL ACADEMY FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED YOUTH BEGINS SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAMME

E. Watt and L Paton

ChildRight, issue 189, 2002, p. 19-20

Describes the inaugural Summer School Programme of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick. Attended by 100 young people aged 11-16, the School was aimed at the top 5% of pupils nationally.

JUST HOW ARE WE MEANT TO DO THE BEST FOR CHILDREN NOW?

R. Johnson

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 28

Comments on a survey by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference which shows that elite universities are discriminating against candidates from independent schools with top A-level grades in order to award places to more state school applicants with poorer marks.

MORRIS OFFERS BLUEPRINT TO RELEASE MORE TEACHING TIME

J. Kelly

Financial Times, October 23rd 2002, p. 4

Children will spend more time in private school-style one-to-one lessons under plans put forward by ministers yesterday to transform state schools. The proposals aim to meet the prime minister's long-term aspiration of matching state and fee paying schools.

(See also The Guardian , October 23rd 2002, p. 10)

PARENTS GET 12 WEEK DEADLINE ON TRUANCY

R. Smithers

The Guardian, October 10th 2002, p. 16

Parents of regular truants are to be given just 12 weeks to improve their school attendance or face prosecution.

(See also The Independent, October 10th 2002, p. 8)

REORGANIZING PRIMARY CLASSROOM LEARNING

N. Hastings and K. C. Wood

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002.

This book illustrates how primary school classrooms are normally organised and how this makes learning unnecessarily difficult for most children. It demonstrates a variety of alternative classroom arrangements which show how children's attention and behaviour can benefit from creating a better match between working contexts and tasks.

REPORT ON OUTCOMES OF REVIEW OF A-LEVEL GRADING

M. Tomlinson

London: Dept. for Education and Skills, 2002

Final report on the 2002 A-level grade fixing scandal found that the Oxford Cambridge and RSA Board had arbitrarily and wrongfully lowered grades in 10,000 units in 10 subjects at A-level and four at AS-level. However only 168 students lost places at their preferred universities because of the fiasco. A total of 1089 students had their A-level results upgraded. The muddle occurred because the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority had failed to make clear to the examination board and teachers what standards it expected candidates to reach. It also required boards to maintain standards from one year to the next, leading to their interfering with grade boundaries in order to hold down the pass rate.

SCHEME TO BOOST ASPIRATIONS OF PUPILS IN DEPRIVED AREAS TO BE EXPANDED

R Smithers

The Guardian, October 14th 2002, p. 13

The government will today announce an expansion of its multi-million pound scheme to tackle under achievement in inner city schools. Over the next three years the government expects to have doubled resources for inner city schools to more than £700m a year.

SCHOOLED FOR SUCCESS

C. Ryan

Public Finance, Sept 20th-26th 2002, p. 22-23

Argues that the Labour government's tough interventionist approach is succeeding in raising standards in secondary schools. The Key Stage 3 strategy provides more structured lessons in English, mathematics, science and IT for 11-14-year-olds. Promotion of specialist schools and the Excellence in Cities programme are beginning to show results in improving performance and widening parental choice.

SECOND CHANCE FOR 100,000 IN A-LEVEL FIASCO

T. Halpin and D. Charter

Times, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 1+8

In the wake of the A-level "grade fixing" scandal, grades are to be reviewed in 27 subjects affecting all three examination boards. The review must be completed by October 15th 2002 so that students who have done well enough can switch to their preferred university.

(See also Financial Times, Oct. 3rd 2002, p.6; Daily Telegraph, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 1+2, 6; Independent, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 1+8; Guardian, Oct-3rd 2002, p.2+9)

UNIONS PROTEST AT NEW ROLE FOR CLASSROOM ASSISTANTS

R. Garner

The Independent, October 18th 2002, p. 4

A government plan to allow thousands of classroom assistants to take over lessons has prompted claims it will compromise teaching standards. The National Union of Teachers warned the proposals "would be a reversal of what we have campaigned for the best part of 30 years".

(See also The Guardian, October 18th 2002, p. 1; The Times, October 18th 2002, p. 1).

WIDESPREAD CHEATING DEVALUES SCHOOL TESTS

A. Chrisafis

The Guardian, October 28th 2002, p. 1

Cheating in national tests for 11-year-olds is so widespread that school league tables can no longer be trusted, according to a Guardian investigation. Parents fear SATs (Standard Assessment tests) results are worthless because pupils are being "helped" to gain the government's required level 4.

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