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Universities in the UK should stop using predicted grades when people are applying for places, say lecturers and head teachers.

20th June 2018

Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...  

Universities in the UK should stop using predicted grades when people are applying for places, say lecturers and head teachers.

A study from the University and College Union says no other developed country uses such a system of forecasts of results for university admissions.

Head teachers have backed calls for a change, saying the current approach is "no longer fit for purpose". The lecturers say most predicted grades turn out to be incorrect.

 

A study from the UCU lecturers' union has examined admissions systems from 30 major countries and found no others using the UK's approach of pupils applying on the basis of grades predicted by their teachers.

Ucas, which operates the admissions system, says the most recent figures suggest predicted grades are usually higher than the actual results - with 73% of applicants performing less well than forecast by their teachers.

The report from lecturers calls for an "urgent overhaul" of the application system, so that pupils would know their actual exam grades before making their final applications.

"We are alone in the world in using a system where students are offered university places based on highly inaccurate predicted grades," said UCU leader Sally Hunt.

The calls for a review of the application system - and ditching the reliance on predicted grades - was backed by the ASCL head teachers' union.

"Out of date and no longer fit for purpose, it is a historical quirk which is not mirrored in other countries and creates unnecessary problems," said Malcolm Trobe, the ASCL's deputy general secretary.

He said that there might be practical challenges - such as the timetable for applications - "but we do not believe these are insurmountable".

Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44525719

Culture secretary Matt Hancock says schools should ban mobile phones

Children should be banned from using their mobile phones at school, the culture secretary has said.

Not content with merely barring them from being used in the classroom, Matt Hancock has suggested that they be confiscated from children who carry them at the start of each school day.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he warned that mobiles could have a "real impact" on students' achievements and leave them exposed to increased amounts of bullying. He also questioned why youngsters needed to bring their phones to school in the first place.

Mr Hancock said that "setting boundaries" in relation to how much children were exposed to technology - and notably social media - was vital in protecting them from harm and encouraging them to use the internet safely.

"Studies have shown that mobile phones can have a real impact on working memory and fluid intelligence, even if the phone is on a table or in a bag," he added.

Read more at: https://news.sky.com/story/culture-secretary-matt-hancock-says-schools-should-ban-mobile-phones-11410459

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