Top Education News Stories of the Week – 30 June 2011

Education has been in the news lots this week, due to the teachers’ strike, the university white paper and Gove’s speech to the Royal Society.

Teachers’ Strike

The teachers’ strike has been covered in various ways. The Sun newspaper for example, had the heading ‘The Scargirls! Lefties lead strikes’ – referring to NUT general secretary Christine Blower and union president Nina Franklin.

Most other coverage was more measured. The week started with Michael Gove urging schools to stay open. In a letter to headteachers he said that schools had a moral duty to parents and pupils to stay open. He particularly annoyed many by suggesting that parents could be roped in to help keep schools open.

Some 70 teachers at Eton College are members of the ATL and are taking action today, the first time the college has been closed in its history.

Gove says pupils should study maths till 18

In a speech to the Royal Society, Education Secretary Michael Gove said he would like to see the “vast majority” of pupils in England studying maths to the age of 18 within a decade. He also suggested that pupils study calculus and algebra at younger ages.

Government to phase out modular GCSEs from 2012

Currently pupils can sit a modular exams as they study a subject. Pupils starting in September 2012 will sit the exams for all their modules at the end of two years. After that, non-modular courses will be brought in.

University white paper

Universities in England will have to compete against each other and private providers for a quarter of their student places. Universities Minister David Willetts has published plans to increase market forces in higher education in England.Promising to put “students in the driving seat”, he also announced there would be 20,000 places reserved for degrees with fees of less than £7,500.


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