More than half a century of sweeping educational reforms have done little to improve Britain’s social mobility, according to one of the country’s leading experts on equality. Instead, young people from less well-off families entering today’s labour market have far less favourable prospects than their parents or even their grandparents, despite having gained much better qualifications. Giving the British Academy Sociology Lectureon 15 March, Dr John Goldthorpe, a sociologist at the University of Oxford, whose work on class has proven widely influential, will claim that little has changed in British society since the second world war, largely because more advantaged families are using their economic,Read More →

England’s largest academy chains have “serious weaknesses” as bad as the local authorities they were intended to replace, Sir Michael Wilshaw has told the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, in strong criticism of the government’s flagship school improvement programme. In a memo to Morgan published on Thursday, the Ofsted chief inspector singled out seven of the worst-performing multi-academy trust (MAT) chains, citing weak leadership, poor performance and lack of oversight as among the concerns found by his inspectors. “Many of the trusts manifested the same weaknesses as the worst performing local authorities and offered the same excuses. Indeed, one chief executive blamed parents for pupils’ poorRead More →

Earlier this year, I applied for a job. I didn’t get it. This was hardly unexpected; I only attained my PhD recently and I hadn’t really expected to be successful. I had, however, expected to get an interview – the Russell Group university I’d applied to is a “Two Ticks” employer. This means that they are positive about employing people with disabilities and are committed to offering interviews to them when the minimum requirements are met. I met the requirements and have a disability, which I had declared on the application form. When I wasn’t offered an interview, I decided to email the human resourcesRead More →

The government’s “pedantic” new spelling tests for primary school children will stifle creativity and discriminate against pupils with dyslexia, teachers and campaigners have warned. The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) said it has been inundated with calls from primary headteachers who are alarmed about the new system, which will require 10- and 11-year-olds to correctly spell more than 100 key words before they are judged to have reach expected educational standards. The system will come into effect for exams taking place this summer. Following an outcry from teaching unions, the government attempted to clarify the new writing assessments this week by partially backtracking on the proposals.Read More →

Britain’s school children are experiencing a “sexting crisis”, according to a newspaper investigation. Tens of thousands of children have been caught sharing sexual imagery online over the last three years, leading the Government and child-protection groups to call for compulsory sex education classes at schools. The investigation, by The Times, included 50 schools and found that a third of all cases involved children aged 12 and 13. More than one in ten cases involved a “non-school adult”, the newspaper reported, undermining what it said was an argument that this is just a normal part of adolescence today. Maria Miller, the former culture secretary, who also chairsRead More →

The stranglehold former public-school pupils have on the UK’s top jobs has laid bare in a hard-hitting report out today. The study, by the Sutton Trust education charity, shows that virtually every key profession is dominated by privately educated pupils snaffling the senior jobs. Their grip on power is most noticeable in the judiciary, where 74 per cent of leading judges (those in the High Court or Court of Appeal) were privately educated. As a result of the research, an All-Party Parliamentary Group is to set up an inquiry into how to improve access for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to senior jobs. The charity, whichRead More →

A primary school supply teacher has been banned from the profession for two years after turning up drunk to work on her first day. Hannah Elizabeth Day slurred her words while reading a story and was “unsteady, confused” and “swaying” while teaching at Our Lady and St Philomena’s Catholic Primary School in Liverpool in October 2014. A disciplinary hearing also heard she was allegedly playing Pacman on her mobile phone during the lesson – a claim which Ms Day has denied –  and that a water fight broke out between the children when she left the room. The 27-year-old was banned from teaching for twoRead More →

More than 40,000 pre-school children are missing out on free childcare promised by the Government, and the problem is set to worsen with many local authorities unable to provide enough places, according to a new report. The number of local authorities in England with insufficient places for three and four year olds has more than doubled in the past year, from 23 to 59, states the report by the Family and Childcare Trust. Some 41,300 three year olds are not getting free early education in England, and more than a third of councils are struggling to meet demand, it says. The national shortage is jeopardisingRead More →

The University of Surrey is at the centre of a multi-billion pound research race to find a phone network which will deliver Internet speeds 100 times quicker than the fastest current services. The campus university’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) is working with telecoms giants and other companies to discover the “fifth generation” of wireless technology and usher in the “Internet of Things”, when smartphones are capable of operating home appliances and controlling driverless cars. The introduction of 5G technology could happen as early as 2018 and would offer mobile Internet speeds capable of downloading an entire film in five seconds. When UK phone users wereRead More →

Heading off into higher education is a major decision for many, and picking the best subject to study while at university can be an even bigger, and more important, choice – especially if the course you choose determines whether you will join one of the world’s rarest groups – the billionaire league. With less than 2,000 in the entire world today, the team at Gocompare, for the first time, has looked at the education of the top 100 billionaires – from the past 20 editions of Forbes’ 100 list – to see how things have evolved for the super-rich over the past two decades. TheRead More →