Ofsted figures indicate room for 'improvement'
Nearly a third of schools inspected by Ofsted in the last three months of 2011, the last period under the outgoing framework, were judged "satisfactory", the rating that will soon be renamed "requires improvement". A further 6 per cent were rated "inadequate". The latest figures show that just under half (46 per cent) were "good" and less than one in five (18 per cent) was "outstanding". Ofsted said there was a "strong relationship between the overall effectiveness judgement and the judgement on the quality of teaching", with the same judgement being made for both areas in 88 per cent of inspections. But the Association of School and College Leaders said the figures did not reflect the true strength of the school system because the watchdog inspects weaker schools more frequently.
Private tutors, take care of your taxes
Teachers working as private tutors have less than a month to pay any tax they owe, the taxman has warned. Under HM Revenue and Customs' Tax Catch-Up Plan, tutors must declare "any irregularities in their tax affairs" or face fines. Officials said that up to 100,000 tutors, including many teachers and retired teachers, could owe money after failing to declare cash-in-hand earnings. A recent campaign involving doctors and dentists ended with 10,500 of them handing over more than #163;10 million. Tutors have until 31 March to pay. For more information, visit www.hmrc.gov.ukristcupnotify.htm
Progression rates for EBac subjects revealed
Biology and history are the English Baccalaureate subjects pupils are most likely to go on to take at A level, Department for Education analysis of progression rates has found. The study found that, for all subjects, the higher the grade at GCSE, the more likely students were to carry on to A level. But there were marked differences between the subjects. In maths, 73 per cent of A* students at GCSE and none of those who had a C grade continued to study the subject. In geography, 35 per cent of A* students took A-level geography and so did 6 per cent of C-grade students. The study found that 29 per cent of pupils studying biology GCSE took it at A level and 28 per cent of those with A*-C in history GCSE took the A level.
Savvy with savings? Not us, say teachers
More than half of teachers believe their profession is less savvy with savings than the general population, and some 76 per cent claim not to have a good understanding of pensions, according to new research carried out by finance company Wesleyan Assurance Society. Lawyers (75 per cent) and doctors (67 per cent), on the other hand, consider themselves savvier than most. The financial mutual surveyed 200 teachers and found that 55 per cent think their profession is less savvy with savings than others.
Tune in to the Next Brit Thing
The winners of a version of the Brit Awards aimed at secondary-age pupils were picked this week. More than 36,000 11- to 19-year-olds entered the Next Brit Thing competition by uploading recordings of themselves to a website developed by educational social media network Radiowaves. A panel including boy band McFly and Columbia Records boss Mike Smith judged the 13 finalists at a live performance on Monday at IndigO2 in London. The band Floodliners (pictured) won the award for best songwriting, while 16-year-old Sarah Gardner won in the classical category for her piano playing. The general prize went to Paul Shevlin, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter who will now get to record at Abbey Road Studios.