England A-level downgrades hit pupils from disadvantaged areas hardest

Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds have been worst hit by the controversial standardisation process used to award A-level grades in England this year, while pupils at independent schools benefited the most. Private schools increased the proportion of students achieving top grades – A* and A – twice as much as pupils at comprehensives, official data showed. According to detailed analysis published […]

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Exam results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: Q&A

With A-level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be published on Thursday, and GCSE results to follow next week, pupils, teachers and parents will have a more anxious time than usual after Scotland’s experience last week. Where are we now? UK coronavirus live: teachers push back on minister’s claim there is ‘no confusion’ over A-level grades What will […]

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Academic freedom is precious – so why have UK universities sold out to China?

In February 1970, students occupying the registry at Warwick University discovered dozens of incriminating documents. The university, at the behest of the business interests that dominated its governing council, was apparently spying on its lecturers and students and keeping files on their political activities. Among the targets was Prof David Montgomery, one of America’s most distinguished labour historians, then a […]

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How are exam grades being decided in England this year?

What happened with exams this year? The government cancelled GCSE and A-level exams in England in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland did the same with their exams. How will grades be decided this year? Grades in England will be “standardised”, taking into account teachers’ assessments and class rankings, a student’s prior […]

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‘Improved’ schools in England can challenge grades

Schools in England can appeal if they can show this year’s GCSE and A-level results do not reflect recent improvements, the exams watchdog says. Ofqual’s announcement comes after concern that the way grades are calculated in the absence of exams could penalise some pupils. In Scotland there were claims that a similar system marked poorer pupils down more heavily. Individual […]

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Pay rise for teachers will halve school funding boost in England

School budgets will be less than 2% better off next year after it was revealed that the government’s pay increases for teachers will absorb more than half of the extra funding promised for state schools in England. Analysis by the House of Commons library for the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran calculated that the pay award announced by the government […]

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Annie Stewart obituary

My mother, Annie “Nan” Stewart, who has died aged 101, was a teacher, a pacifist, and a committed Quaker. She was born in Dewsbury during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Her parents, Thomas Fawkes, and his wife, Jane (nee Cornfoot), were millworkers who were frequently unemployed, and Annie was sent to live with an aunt in Dundee when, she […]

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In-person or remote learning? Colorado parents agonize over decision

Guilt awaits Ruth Barnett-Alvarez at the end of every path as she traverses the rocky terrain of figuring out how her family of five kids — with two working parents — will head back to school during the ongoing pandemic. The Colorado Springs mom feels guilty for wanting to send her 8-year-old and 9-year-old to in-person learning in Harrison School […]

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Kids and COVID-19: What experts do (and do not) know about how the virus affects children

As the debate about reopening schools rages at the local, state and national levels, infectious disease and engineering experts are trying to keep up with the ever-evolving situation with the coronavirus pandemic so they can advise administrators considering — and reconsidering — whether and when to open facilities for the year. On Friday, Denver Public Schools rolled back its plan […]

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