A 'postcode lottery' for university entry
More than one in seven state schools and colleges is failing to send any pupils to the UK's leading Russell Group universities, figures released this week show. Almost two-thirds do not send any students to Oxford or Cambridge. The data on the numbers of pupils winning university places, which have been published for the first time, highlight significant regional variations in progression rates. They also show that regions with grammar schools are more likely to send sixth-formers to elite universities. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said the figures showed there was a "postcode lottery in the UK when it comes to education".
No extra cash for worst-funded regions
The poorest funded schools in the country have been dealt a blow after education secretary Michael Gove refused to provide them with extra cash. The f40 group, which campaigns for more equitable funding for schools, had applied for #163;99 million of additional money to offset the shortfall experienced by schools in the worst-funded regions of the country. The news comes after the Department for Education decided to postpone until the next Parliament plans to introduce a national funding formula that would provide fairer funding.
Villa and Michelin get a grip on studio schools
Aston Villa Football Club, Hilton Hotels and Michelin were among the names of employers backing 15 new studio schools approved by Michael Gove this week. The schools offer academic and vocational qualifications taught in a practical manner. Study is combined with work placements to help provide young people with the skills needed for the working world. The schools are due to open in 2013 and 2014. By September next year the Department for Education expects 30 studio schools to be open. On announcing the new schools, Mr Gove said: "(Studio schools) are a brilliant way for employers to become involved in helping to give young people what they need to get good jobs."
Concern over quality of Welsh language teaching
An expert panel is to review the teaching of Welsh as a second language in Wales's secondary schools amid concerns over poor standards and low attainment. Despite a major strategy to increase the number of Welsh speakers and raise the status of the subject, teaching standards are lower than in other subjects and too few pupils are making good progress at key stage 4, according to ministers and schools inspectorate Estyn.
Pupils to commemorate 911 on New York trip
Two pupils have been chosen from hundreds of entrants as winners of a trip to New York to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Georgina Hodgson, 15, from Chulmleigh Community College in Devon, took first prize in an essay-writing competition run by the 911 London Project. She will be joined on the visit by Charlotte Hampson from St Paul's Girls' School in west London, who won the short film category.