30 January 2015 - UK school performances
Data on UK schools should assist parents and pupils
Staff (The Financial Times)
Britain’s parents are known to be a demanding lot, and how they keep schools on their toes is a longstanding feature of UK education. This explains the heightened attention shown to information about school performance; even the most insistent customer struggles if he cannot see what he is buying. So it is little surprise that every year school league tables attract even more interest than the football variety, as parents, educators and journalists search for winners and losers.
On Thursday the greatest noise was reserved for complaints about how performance is calculated. Last year the government announced that an international version of the GCSE taken by 15-16 year olds would no longer count. This has elicited outrage from a host of private schools that sat children for this exam and have seen their scores plummet. Other obvious means by which results can be bumped up have been deemed invalid. This has inevitably led to headlines about a shock rise in the number of schools judged to be failing.
Richard Adams (The Guardian)
The educational achievement gap between richer and poorer pupils has widened for the first time in recent years, as exam results showed just one in three disadvantaged students hit the government’s GCSE pass target, compared with more than 60% of their better-off peers.
Figures for last year’s exams in England show that changes to exam rules and league-table make-up affected the overall success rate, with 53% of pupils achieving the government’s measure of five GCSE grades of C or above including English and maths – a fall from 59% in 2013.
The changes meant the number of state schools that failed to reach the government’s target of 40% of pupils passing five good GCSEs more than doubled from the year before, to 330.
Sarah Cassidy (The Independent)
English-speaking pupils do not see their grades suffer if they attend a school where most of their classmates speak other languages, according to research by Oxford University academics published today.
The findings will reassure parents concerned that their children could lose out by being in classes with non-native English speakers, who can take up more teaching time.
Researchers found that pupils with English as their mother tongue who attended schools where many pupils spoke foreign languages did no worse in primary school tests and GCSEs than children who attended school where the majority spoke only English.
On average, English as an additional language (EAL) pupils were behind aged five but had caught up by the age of 16 and were ahead in some areas such as GCSE maths.
Staff (The BBC)
Changes to Scotland's school exam appeal system favour privately-educated youngsters over state school pupils, Labour has claimed.
State schools and local authorities now pay administrative charges of up to £30 for appeals which fail.
But Labour said private schools were giving parents the option to pay the fee themselves.
The charges were brought in to help deter schools from putting in purely speculative appeals.
There has since been a large drop in the number of appeals to the Scottish exams agency.
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"30 January 2015 - UK school performances", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), janvier 2015. Consulté le 02/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/30-january-2015-uk-school-performances