It’s Never Too Late to Learn

Education has lots of options for everyone in the UK and the good news it, it’s never too late to become a mature student. If you are still interested in studying but you have been in the working world for a long time, read on. There are lots of reasons people might want to study. It might be to get further in your career, to get a new job, or just because you have a particular interest in something. Whatever your reasons might be, wanting to learn is the most important thing. This will get you much further than studying because you have to. If you want to try getting... Read More »

Justine Greening – new Education Secretary

In Theresa May’s first cabinet re-shuffle, Justine Greening, who is MP for Putney in South-west London was appointed as Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, posts which were previously held by Nicky Morgan. She is one of the few MPs who have been appointed to Cabinet positions to be educated at a non-selective state school, having attended Oakwood Comprehensive School in Rotherham in the early 1980s. Other notable alumni for the school include the former Schools Inspector, now author, Gervase Phinn and James May, one of the 3 presenters on the the BBC’s “Top Gear” programme. After school, Justine Greening read economics at Southampton University and she also... Read More »

Homework in Primary Schools

In 1998, the Education Secretary, David Blunkett, produced guidelines for homework for children of primary and secondary age. It was recommended that children in years 1 and 2 should have about 10 minutes of homework a night, rising to about 30 minutes for children in year 6. Homework guidelines were abolished by Michael Gove in March 2012. It was not that he was against the idea of children doing homework but that he felt the responsibility for homework should be placed on schools and headteachers, rather than being a government directive. However, with schools under pressure to achieve good Statutory Attainment Test (SATs) results for their pupils, the vast majority... Read More »

2016 Key Stage 1 SPAG tests cancelled

For many parents with school-age children, education can seem a quagmire of acronyms. Key Stage 1 refers to Year 1 and Year 2 in English and Welsh primary schools; in other words, children of 5-7 years of age. At the end of Key Stage 1, children are assessed in maths, reading and writing, speaking and listening. Some of these tests are official tests and all children will sit the same test across the country. However, although these tests are set externally, they are marked by the child’s teacher. Writing, speaking and listening are teacher-set and teacher assessed. New for this current year are the SPAG tests – Spelling, Punctuation And... Read More »

My child will have lessons in phonics. What does this mean?

If your eldest child is due to start to primary school in September, you should soon hear whether or not they have a place at one of your three choices of school. During the Summer term, most schools will then invite parents to at least one parents’ evening to talk about the school day, routines, the reception year curriculum, uniform and hot dinners, amongst other things. This may be the time when you find out that your child will start to learn about phonics. According to the Department for Education’s information leaflet, “Phonics is a way to teach children to read quickly and skilfully”. Children will start by learning the... Read More »