9-1 GCSEs explained

Image copyright Getty Images As teachers express concerns about the way in which new GCSEs in England are being graded from 9-1 rather than A*-G, we answer some key questions about the changes. When do the new 1-9 grades come in? The new grades are being phased in, starting with some of this summer’s exams. New-style GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths will be taken by the current

Tories accused of ‘sleight of hand’ on manifesto grammar schools data

Image copyright Getty Images A senior academic has accused the Conservatives of a “sleight of hand” over the justification of its grammar schools policy in its manifesto. Prof Alice Sullivan challenges the party’s statement that selective schools have proportionately more pupils from “ordinary working class families” than non-selective schools. She says families in the bottom third for income have been excluded from the calculation supporting this data. The Tories stand

Feeling the squeeze

Image caption The NUT conference is being held in Cardiff There is no more familiar cry from a teaching union conference than “Stop Education Cuts Now”. So often has it been heard from your typical tub-thumping delegate, that it has begun to sound a little like white noise. But this year, as teacher delegates met in Manchester and Cardiff for their annual conferences, something had changed. As more information has

Comedy of errors

Image copyright Getty Images Hell hath no fury like a teenager scorned. No, that quote is not from Shakespeare but neither was the exam question about Romeo and Juliet that GCSE English Literature students were asked to answer on Friday morning. Teenagers sitting the OCR board exam today turned to a question worth a significant number of marks only to see a glaring error. “How does Shakespeare present the ways

English GCSE exam error admitted by board

One of the country’s biggest exam boards, OCR, has admitted to an error in Friday’s English Literature GCSE exam, taken by around 14,000 teenagers. The mistake related to a question on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in which the family background of a key character, Tybalt, was mixed up. The question suggested he is a Montague when in fact he is a Capulet. The board apologised and said no candidates would

Schools worse off under Conservatives, says IFS

Image copyright Getty Images A new Conservative government would leave schools in England worse off financially than they currently are, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The Tories have promised £4bn extra but this equates to a £1bn rise in real terms, the independent think tank says. When growing pupil numbers are taken into account, investment per pupil will fall 2.8% by 2022, the IFS says. Labour has pledged to

Cost of Tories’ free breakfasts ‘could treble’

Image copyright Getty Images Giving a free breakfast to every primary school child in England could cost more than treble the £60m the Tory party set aside for it, academics say. Experts analysing the plans re-costed them at between £180m and £400m, depending on how many pupils take them. A Conservative Party spokesman said the original £60m costing of its universal offer was based on a 25% take-up rate. Researchers

Nigerian wins award for tutor ap

Image copyright James Oatway Image caption Tuteria will take 15 to 30% commission for each paid lesson A tutoring app developed by a 27-year-old Nigerian has won an engineering award given by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering. Godwin Benson designed Tuteria, a platform that links qualified tutors to students in their area and within their budget. He developed the platform based on the experiences he had as a tutor.

IPads ‘help improve young pupils’ skills’

Image caption The study was carried out over two years and involved about 650 pupils Young children’s maths, English and communication skills improve if they use iPads in school on a regular basis. That is one of the key findings of the most in-depth research of its kind ever carried out in Northern Ireland. The study – Mobile Devices in Early Learning – was carried out over two years and

Are you ordinary?

Reality Check says: The government defines “ordinary working families” as those that are not eligible for pupil premium but have below average incomes. It believes that accounts for about one third of all pupils in England, but this calculation is a work in progress. Education Secretary Justine Greening on Thursday kicked off a consultation on plans for grammar schools in England, saying that they must do more to help “ordinary