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Sector News, 18 - 22 February 2008

Plugging the Gap - Education Guardian, 19 February

Discussion about the raising of the “learning leaving age” (to quote article) to 17 in 2013 and to 18 two years later as stated in the Education and Skills bill.

When modern life just doesn’t add up - Education Guardian, 19 February

“International experts gathered in Paris last week to share tips on improving adult literacy”. Major article looking at the impact of the Moser Report along with issues and comments made by other European countries on their own adult literacy position.

The kids aren’t all write: functionally illiterate and frankly not bothered - Times Higher Education, 21 February

“Orientation classes for first-years offer a chilling insight into an entire cohort’s lack of spelling and grammar skills, says a university lecturer”. One lecturer's view of the poor level of English possessed by (many?) university entrants. “When students have progressed through the UK education system to the first year of a degree course and still can’t make themselves understood in writing in their mother tongue, their is a problem”.    

Soft A-levels? Now that’s a hard one - TES, 22 February

Media studies may be easier than English, but we can’t prove it, says exams regulator”. Reference a study by QCA which shows little evidence that subjects sometimes described as soft were less demanding. 

Teenagers may be excused compulsory under-18 training - TES, 22 February

Despite Government comment that the new Education and Skills Bill would effectively create 100% participation’ a letter from the schools minister appears to accept that teenagers with difficult personal circumstances could exclude themselves from compulsory education and training. 

University links boost academies - TES, 22nd February

“Bristol’s sponsorship success story sees pupils from deprived area make higher education the norm, not the exception”. Report on links made by Bristol City Academy with universities and the apparent success that ensued.  

Say ch-ee-se, we’re going to learn toy talk - TES, 22 February

Article concerned with phonics and primary education.

Most community language teachers are unqualified - TES, 22 February

Discussion stating that less than a quarter of community language teachers, for example Urdu and Punjabi, are qualified to teach their subject.