All-through education soars by a third
The number of all-through schools in England has soared by more than a third in the past 18 months, according to official statistics. There are now 121 all-through schools - which take pupils from the age of 4 up to at least 16 - compared with 113 listed by the Department for Education in January and 88 in January 2014. The figures signal a shift among educators away from the traditional primary and secondary model towards one in which children attend the same institution throughout their school career. Supporters claim the system helps to mitigate against the "summer dip" between a child leaving primary school and starting Year 7.
`No surprise' as Chinese School boosts results
It is no surprise that the English children given Chinese-style lessons in Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School (pictured) outperformed their conventionally educated classmates, a leading professor of education has said. In the BBC Two documentary series, 50 Year 9 pupils from Bohunt School in Hampshire were taught for four weeks as though they were at school in China. In the final episode, the Chinese-school pupils scored approximately 10 per cent higher in science and maths tests than the rest of their year group. Lianghuo Fan, education professor at the University of Southampton and a former teacher in China, said: "Results are determined by your learning behaviour. And they were learning for 12 hours [a day]."
Fifth of new places are at struggling schools
One in five of the new school places created to meet rising demand are in struggling schools, according to an analysis by the New Schools Network. The charity, set up with government funds to support groups that want to open free schools, says local authorities have created more than 71,000 new primary places in schools that have been deemed by Ofsted to be "inadequate" or "below average" in the past five years. The network said its analysis of the Department for Education's primary school places scorecard showed that 20 councils had placed at least 1,000 pupils in underperforming schools. Local authorities have created 358,000 new places in existing schools to meet rising demand.
News Corp eyes sale of digital education business
Rupert Murdoch's attempts to return to the education sector appear to be over as it emerged that his company, News Corp is to sell off its digital education business Amplify. News Corp launched its education arm in 2010, along with a tablet computer preloaded with curriculum content, in the media tycoon's first major foray into education since selling TES in 2005. But Amplify has made substantial losses and News Corp's latest earnings report states that it has initiated a "strategic review of its digital education segment". A leaked internal email has confirmed that the conglomerate is looking for a buyer to take the education business off its hands.
England's pupils are among the unhappiest in the world, survey finds Children in England are unhappier with their school life than those in almost every other country, according to an international survey. The Good Childhood Report 2015 examines the happiness levels of 10- and 12-year-old children in 15 developed and developing countries (bit.lyChildHappiness). It finds that children in England are less content than their peers in 11 other countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia and Algeria. The only nations where children scored lower were Germany, South Korea and Estonia. Factors affecting happiness include whether children are bullied, what their relationship is like with their teachers and whether they feel excluded by their peers, the study says.