News at a glance

Ucas calls for post A-level applications

Students should apply for university after receiving their A-level grades in the biggest shake-up of the system for 50 years, according to proposals from Ucas. Universities would no longer make offers based on predicted grades, the plans said. The changes have been put forward after a review by the admissions service found the current application process is complex, lacks transparency and is inefficient.

Study sheds light on summer-born pupils

Children who are born in August are more likely to study for vocational qualifications and less likely to go to high-status universities, according to a study released this week. Summer-born pupils are also more likely to be regarded as below-average ability by their teachers, the research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said. "This suggests that August-born children may end up doing worse ... throughout their working lives, simply because of the month in which they were born," said IFS programme director Claire Crawford.

Cricket comes into bat against bad behaviour

A national cricket scheme is helping to tackle poor pupil behaviour and improve learning, according to research published by Loughborough University. An evaluation of Chance to Shine, run by the Cricket Foundation, examined how "skills learnt in a competitive environment were transferred back into the classroom", with teachers reporting improved teamwork and better behaviour.

IT equipment claimed to increase carbon emissions

Carbon emissions from schools across England are rising because of the increased used of IT equipment, researchers believe. Cambridge University found that, despite reductions to school heating demands, emissions are continuing to rise because of dependence on IT facilities and other technology to support teaching. New-build academies also have significantly higher energy consumption than other secondary schools, the study suggested.

Ministers slap down MPs' concerns over EBac

The Department for Education has dismissed concerns raised by MPs over the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. The Commons education select committee said in July that the new performance measure was introduced too early, and should have been brought in only once the national curriculum review had been completed. But in its formal response to the committee, the DfE said this week that the EBac was "very different in purpose" to the curriculum review and that it was "not necessarily affected" by the review's decisions.

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