Don't be 'complacent' on fees, access director warns
Britain cannot afford to be "complacent" about the impact of introducing #163;9,000-a-year fees for its university courses, according to the Office for Fair Access. Les Ebdon, the organisation's director, said that encouraging numbers of applications to university could be down to the fact that students had "made up their minds" to attend some time ago. The figures, he warned, "may not be indicative of longer-term trends". He said that this justified increased investment in outreach, focused on under-represented groups.
Kazakhstan teachers to train in UK
Hundreds of teachers from Kazakhstan are to be trained in the UK in a bid to improve their language skills and increase international collaboration. The Kazakhstan government will pay for 250 teachers to be trained in the UK each year, it was announced this week. The news comes as UK prime minister David Cameron visited the former Soviet state this week. "Kazakhstan has set out an ambitious and extremely well-funded education development programme from 2011 to 2020," said Simon Williams, director of the British Council in Kazakhstan. "This includes explicit targets for the increased internationalisation of the education system."
Legal battle forces Yale Academy to drop name
The owner of a chain of schools in the US has landed in legal hot water with one of the most prestigious universities in the world for using the name Yale Academy. The schools, which are based in suburban shopping malls, help students to cram for college entrance exams, while the university, based in Connecticut, counts three of the past four US presidents among its alumni. As of 31 August, the school group will be known as Y2 Academy, after lawyers acting on behalf of the better known Yale forced Terry Yang, founder of Yale Academy, to change its name.
Boss of beleaguered boarding scheme hits back
A leading headteacher behind controversial plans to bus teenagers from inner-city London to a state boarding school in the English countryside has hit back at the project's critics. This week, government spending watchdog the National Audit Office criticised the Department for Education's decision to hand #163;17 million to the Durand Academy for the scheme, arguing that it "lacked sufficient appreciation of the scale of financial and operating risk associated with the project". But in a letter to Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee of MPs, Durand's executive headteacher Sir Greg Martin said he was "disappointed that you have not made any effort to get behind this project, nor understand it".
Outstanding schools must show progress for poor
Schools in England will lose their "outstanding" rating from inspectors if they do not show that they are closing the gap between rich and poor students, under plans announced this week. Schools minister David Laws said that inspectorate Ofsted will penalise schools that fail to boost progress and attainment among their disadvantaged students, even if their overall results show improvement. Data on the performance of schools' poorest students will be held as three-year averages, and will be added to school league tables, allowing schools to be identified if they do not adequately support their most deprived students.