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Daily News Summary
13 May 2019

image Debate around contextual admissions to Oxbridge
image BBC Radio 4 'Any Answers' programme: 'Is it time to abolish private schools?'
image Rise in number of SEND children at independent schools, government statistics show
image Financing an independent school education
image Tough exams 'killing off' modern languages, warn academics
image BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour': Ramadan during the school exam period
image Supporting transgender students
image 'The vital importance of studying history'

Debate around contextual admissions to Oxbridge

 

The Times on Saturday reported on comments made by the head of Stowe School, claiming some independent school parents believe “social engineering and positive discrimination” is evident in Oxbridge entrance policies. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. The article quotes Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), who outlines support for contextual admissions "as long as it is done intelligently".

Following publication of the article, independent schools have highlighted the cross-sector partnership work taking place to support state school Oxbridge applicants. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. The article references the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and quotes Philip Britton, head of Bolton School Boys' Division, and Chris Ramsey, head of Whitgift School.

Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, has written a letter to The Times arguing that "when applied properly, contextual admissions can be a good thing". Letter 1/3 of the way down the page. The Times gives its view on "Oxbridge discrimination" in a comment piece today.

The Telegraph reports the education secretary, Damian Hinds, has said 'Britain should celebrate more state school pupils going to Oxbridge'. Also on the subject of contextual admissions, The Telegraph features comments from the chief executive of IntoUniversity, who has said universities should introduce “privilege flags” to signpost to admissions tutors when students are from affluent backgrounds.

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The Times

BBC Radio 4 'Any Answers' programme: 'Is it time to abolish private schools?'

 

Mike Buchanan, executive director of the HMC, spoke on BBC Radio 4's 'Any Answers' programme on Saturday, arguing there are "plenty of better ways to improve social mobility than by tearing down excellent independent schools".

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BBC Radio 4

Rise in number of SEND children at independent schools, government statistics show

 

Analysis of government statistics has found the number of independent school pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has increased by more than 30 per cent, in contrast to the state sector where the figure has fallen by almost 40 per cent. By Oliver Wright, The Times.

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The Times

Financing an independent school education

 

The Telegraph's money section offers advice to prospective independent school parents on how to fund the fees. By Harry Brennan.

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The Telegraph

Tough exams 'killing off' modern languages, warn academics

 

Academics from 36 universities have written a letter to The Guardian expressing concern about the declining take-up of modern foreign languages in schools in the UK. By Anna Bawden.

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The Guardian

BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour': Ramadan during the school exam period

 

On BBC Radio 4's 'Woman's Hour' programme this morning, pupils from Bolton School Girls' Division contributed to a discussion about Ramadan, which is taking place this year during the school exam period.

Listen from 21:41.

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BBC Radio 4

Supporting transgender students

 

Debbie Hayton, a teacher in the West Midlands, details how schools can support young people to express their gender identity in school. Tes.

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Tes

'The vital importance of studying history'

 

Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the Girls' Day School Trust, writes in Tes why studying history "should be an imperative".

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Tes

 

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) monitors the national and educational press in order to keep independent schools up-to-date with relevant education news. The DNS is a service primarily for schools in membership of ISC associations, although other interested parties can choose to sign-up. We endeavour to include relevant news and commentary and, wherever possible, notable public letters. Where capacity allows, we may include links to ISC blogs, press statements and information about school or association events. News stories are selected based on their relevance to the independent sector as a whole. Editorial control of the DNS remains solely with the ISC.

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