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ISC Daily News Summary

Monday 22 September 2014

Independent sector

Sticks and stones: heads back true grit

As pressure to excel threatens pupils’ mental health, schools are trying to boost their resilience and help them cope in other ways, says Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times. Quotes Bernard Trafford, headmaster of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne. The article mentions King’s College School in Wimbledon. And in a separate article, boys are suffering anorexia as a result of the pressure to succeed academically, a leading head teacher has warned. Bernard Trafford, head of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne, said he was aware of a number of boys in northern private schools suffering from the stress-related condition. By Sian Griffiths, Education Editor, The Sunday Times.

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Independent sector

Public schools help state pupils get to Oxbridge

Uppingham, a leading independent boarding school, has sent a student to Oxford University this autumn. Hardly the stuff of headlines: the school’s reputation means it is the sort of the thing that happens every year. However, on this occasion the student was a pupil at a neighbouring state school academy. Quotes Richard Harman, headmaster of Uppingham and also chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Tonbridge in Kent and Dulwich College in south London are also mentioned for helping pupils draft application to the UK’s elite universities. By Richard Garner, Education Editor, The Independent on Sunday.

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Independent sector

Make sure you’re the cream of the admissions crop

Univiersities are now more competitive than ever, prompting a rise in the use of aptitude tests, says Nick Morrison. Quotes Andy Pulham, Head of Science at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle and Alex Frazer, deputy Head of Mill Hill School. Education feature in The Telegraph. Not yet available online.

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Independent sector

Private schools cry foul over medical courses

Medical schools have been accused of moving the goalposts by changing entry requirements after some candidates have applied for places. Head teachers of leading independent schools have commissioned an audit of published admissions criteria and demanded that these are honoured. Quotes Chris Ramsey, co-chairman of the HMC/GSA committee on higher education, and headmaster of the King’s School, Chester. By Greg Hurst, Education Editor, The Times.

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Independent sector

Public schools must learn the meaning of charity

To avoid the charge of elitism, private schools should do the right thing and share their facilities with the state sector. Opinion, Janice Turner, The Times. Reference is made to recent comments made by Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College. Followed up by a letter in today’s Times from Alfred Nicol of Benenden School.

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Independent sector

Teach children a lesson in good character

Bravo to the chief inspector for speaking out, but schools need more than discipline. By Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College, The Daily Telegraph.

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Independent sector

Posh Britain: Will they always lord it over us?

In new film The Riot Club, based loosely on the antics of the notorious Bullingdon boys, a gaggle of toffs trash restaurants for larks. Who are these people, how did they turn out like this – and what does it tell us about privilege today? By Stuart Jeffries, The Observer.

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Independent sector

The classical factor: bring real music to schools

A letter in The Daily Telegraph from Sue Freestone, Principal of King’s Ely School , Cambridgeshire.

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Education policy

Ofsted chief slams lax heads

The chief inspector of schools is to attack head teachers for “a culture of casual acceptance” of bad behaviour by pupils that is wrecking the education of children in thousands of schools. By Sian Griffiths, Education Editor, The Sunday Times. Also reported by The Sunday Telegraph and The Times.

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Education policy

Ofsted: primary schools 'place too much focus on three-Rs'

Ofsted says it may reform the primary school inspection system because too much emphasis is being placed on the teaching of English and maths over other subjects. By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, The Daily Telegraph.

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Teaching and learning

Teachers considering more strikes before general election

The National Union of Teachers raises the prospect of more strike action, despite the start of talks with the Education Secretary aimed at resolving the industrial dispute. By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, The Daily Telegraph.

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Academies and free schools

Academy chain accused of 'privatisation by stealth' over plan to outsource jobs

Academy Enterprise Trust wants for-profit body to take over non-teaching posts such as librarians and secretaries. By Daniel Boffey, The Observer.

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Academies and free schools

New London free school opens with just 17 pupils

One of the Government’s new free schools has opened up in premises bought for £18m with only 17 pupils, it has emerged. By Richard Garner, Education Editor, The Independent.

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General education

GCHQ employs more than 100 dyslexic and dyspraxic spies

GCHQ employs more than 100 dyslexic and dyspraxic 'neuro-diverse' spies to harness their analytical skills in the fight against terror. The British intelligence agency uses their ability to analyse complex information in a "dispassionate, logical and analytical" way to combat threats such as foreign espionage. By Alice Philipson, The Sunday Telegraph.

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General education

Religious education 'too weak' in Anglican primary schools

A study by the Church of England finds that RE is poorly taught in the majority of Anglican primary schools, even though most devote an hour a week to the subject. By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, The Daily Telegraph.

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General education

The £30,000 degrees that don’t net a job

Students graduating from Britain’s five worst universities have less than a one in two chance of getting a professional job or going into further studying, despite paying nearly £30,000 in fees. By Sian Griffiths and Alastair McCall, The Sunday Times.

In another article on graduate employability, The London School of Economics tops the polls for employment prospects. By Greg Hurst, Education Editor, The Times.

Also on this, going to university in the UK adds 55 per cent to the lifetime earnings of an average graduate, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is a reassuring figure, but it disguises big differences between subjects and universities. By John O’Leary, The Times.

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General education

Universities still recruiting students a month after A-levels

UCAS figures show most universities are still recruiting British students one month after A-level results were published, with some advertising vacancies on 700-plus courses. Quotes the head of careers at a private school in the south east. By Graeme Paton and Zachary Spiro, The Sunday Telegraph.

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General education

Oxford entry more transparent, says outgoing admissions head

Hundreds of thousands of young people are getting ready to start university. They will have negotiated the admissions process - exam grades, interviews and finding the right words of persuasion for their personal statements. Reference is made to the private education sector. By Sean Coughlan, BBC News education correspondent.

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General education

German universities scrap all tuition fees

All German universities will be free of charge when term starts next week after fees were abandoned in Lower Saxony, the last of seven states to charge. By David Charter, The Times, Berlin.

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And finally...

Judgment day: it’s time to meet the parents

For the new and uninitiated, parents' evenings can be daunting events. Our spy in the staff room, Boarding School Beak, shows how to avoid the pitfalls. The author teaches English at a top independent boarding school. The Daily Telegraph.

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Message from ISC

ISC Daily News Summary: Keeping you up to date with current events in education

All article headlines and first-line summaries are by the named journalists or news outlets unless otherwise stated. Wording of ‘private’ or ‘public’ schools may have been changed to ‘independent’ schools for consistency.You should read and comply with the terms and conditions of the websites to which we link in this news summary.

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Message from ISC

Omissions

ISC monitors daily the national press in order to keep independent schools up to date with current events in education by highlighting the significant media commentary on these events.

We endeavour to include all relevant news items and comment pieces and, wherever possible, notable public letters. However, due to the scope of education coverage – both in print and online – unfortunately, we do miss items from time to time.

If you are aware of national media coverage which you would like to see featured in the DNS please do not hesitate to contact the ISC who will be happy to include in the day’s summary.

If you believe a significant article has been omitted, or if you notice any factual errors in the DNS, please let us know so that we may make the correction on the following day. Many thanks.

ISC Press Office: Tracy.Cook@isc.co.uk

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