29th September 2017
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
Hike in fees has not put people off going to university, figures show
Ahike in fees has not put people off going to university, as official figures show that half of the country are likely to study for a degree.
Now 49.3 per cent of people are likely to go to university before they are 30, which is the highest on record, according to the most recent set of data released by the Department for Education (DfE).
A decade ago, 41.7 per cent of young people were likely to have gone to university, and the percentage has been steadily rising, apart from a dip when the tuition fees were increased three-fold in 2012.
Young people are even more likely to go to university now than they were before the fees were hiked, the figures show.
Sarah Stevens, head of policy at Russell Group, a body which represents elite UK universities, said that “higher education is a path to social mobility”.
She added: “The fact that young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are more likely than ever to attend university is good for students and good for the economy."
But critics say that too many young people are going on to higher education, as they are led to believe that this is the only respectable option.
The chair of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) has told The Daily Telegraph said that private school pupils are wrongly forced into university because other options are seen as a “disgrace” and a “failure”.
Barnaby Lenon last month launched a stinging critique of school leaders who signal to students that the only desirable option for them after A-levels is to enter higher education.
Are private schools 'shunning classic novels'?
Caroline Jordan, head at Headington School, responds to an article claiming private schools are 'shunning classic novels'. In addition to setting the record straight, she argues pupils should be inspired by reading and not force-fed set texts.
Having taught in the private sector for more than 20 years I am of course no stranger to controversial pieces taking a side swipe at our sector. However, it is rare that I read something so staggeringly inaccurate that it causes me to sigh out loud (much, I am sure, to the bewilderment of my fellow passengers) – such was the dubious honour bestowed on Amanda Foreman’s views on 'Schools shun classic novels’ this weekend. Not only are we apparently being ‘cruel’ to the children we teach by ‘shutting them out of their literary heritage’, apparently we are doing so simply to improve our standing in the league tables.
Surely our job as educators is to inspire our children and to encourage them to read? In a generation who think anything requiring them to scroll down the page is too long, are we really going to do that by force-feeding them the densest of the 19th century texts? And how do you measure difficulty – as our Head of English rightly pointed out, how is ‘A Christmas Carol’ (one of the GCSE texts) more ‘difficult’ than Steinbeck? Who is to say that Arthur Conan Doyle is more ‘difficult’ and therefore more desirable than some of the modern literary texts the girls read?
12th December 2018
10th December 2018
7th December 2018