News at a glance

30th January 2015 at 00:00

Morgan ignored as she wades into science row

Ofqual and England's exam boards have shrugged off government criticism of their plan to stop practical science counting towards school exam grades, insisting that teachers are "enthusiastic" about the idea. Education secretary Nicky Morgan this week intervened in the row over the proposed removal of assessment of practical work from final GCSE and A-level science grades, which is partly intended to discourage cheating. Ms Morgan warned that Ofqual was "in danger of holding back the next generation of scientists". But the boards and their regulator insist that the plan, which will require testing before it is introduced, will reinvigorate practical work by discouraging teaching to the test.

Pupils lack basic Holocaust knowledge, study finds

Large numbers of schoolchildren have no idea how many people were killed during the Holocaust, who carried out the killings or where they took place, a report finds. One in 10 secondary pupils believe that fewer than 100,000 Jews were killed in the concentration camps and three-quarters think the Holocaust was exclusively carried out by Hitler and the Nazis, with no acknowledgment of the hundreds of thousands of European citizens complicit in the genocide, according to the report. The findings, which draw on a survey of 8,000 secondary pupils conducted by the Centre for Holocaust Education in London, were released to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Tuesday. Find out more at and download teaching resources at

Revealed: worst schools for Oxbridge admissions

Hundreds of schools and colleges in England are not sending any pupils to the UK's top universities, figures suggest. More than 1,600 institutions do not have any sixth-formers going on to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, according to statistics published by the Department for Education. The figures, for 2012-13, show the destinations of pupils at every state and fee-paying school and college in England. At about 185 institutions, no pupils went to a "top-third" university - those asking for the highest entry grades - while at 335 schools no students went to a Russell Group university.

Arizona students must pass US citizenship test

Students in the state of Arizona will soon have to pass the same test given to immigrants applying for US citizenship. A new law requires high school students to correctly answer at least 60 out of 100 multiple-choice questions before they will be allowed to graduate. Similar proposals have been tabled in other states, including North Dakota, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Utah. The exam includes questions on the US Constitution, the country's history and its system of government.

No evidence academies raise standards, MPs say

There is no evidence that academies and free schools - two central pillars of the coalition government's school reforms - have had any effect on raising standards across the system, according to a cross-party panel of MPs. A report, published this week by the Commons Education Select Committee, says it is too early to know whether academies and free schools will be a "positive force for change". Since coming to power, the coalition has overseen the creation of 4,200 academies and has claimed that academisation is a successful way of turning around underperforming institutions.


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