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BBC News: Education

New GCSEs 'hardest since O-levels'

Private school leader urges caution over interpretation of new grading system for exams in England.

Cambridge University Press reverses China censorship move

Cambridge University Press restores access to sensitive China stories after academics protest.

Clearing placements at five-year high, early figures show

New figures show record numbers placed through clearing as universities seek to fill places.

Boys help to raise A-level grades

Boys overtake girls in top A-level grades - but university entries are down, with many places available.

Former May adviser Nick Timothy calls student fees 'a Ponzi scheme'

Theresa May's former chief of staff says the system is 'unsustainable' and should be reformed.

Malala gets Oxford University place

The 20-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner will study philosophy, politics and economics.

Learndirect rated 'inadequate' in Ofsted report

Too few learners and apprentices achieve the skills and qualifications to progress, report says.

Manchester attack: Georgina Callander had won university place

Manchester attack victim Georgina Callander would have studied paediatrics, her mother says.

Top of the BBC news items

In order - the newest listed first

Department for Education

Transparency data: Open academies and academy projects in development

Updated: Updated spreadsheet shows open academies and academy projects in development in August 2017.

These spreadsheets show:

the total number of open academies in England details of schools that are in the process of getting academy status progress schools are making towards converting to academy status sponsored academy projects in development and the agreed sponsor

We update this spreadsheet monthly as more academies open. We aim to publish these updates in the first week of the month.

You can also read details of open free schools and free schools in the pre-opening stage.


Please tell us how useful you find the information on this page or suggest improvements by either:

using the ‘Is there anything wrong with this page?’ link near the bottom of this page emailing the academies data team Academies data team

Guidance: Atypical age admissions letters: funding for local authorities

Updated: Updated figures to show the 2017 to 2018 funding allocation.

Funding allocations are for 2017 to 2018 and are based on projected pupil data at a cost of 40p per pupil.

Atypical age admissions refers to school admissions outside of standard school transition points.

Decision: FE Commissioner intervention reports: June 2014 to May 2016

Updated: Removed Warrington Collegiate and Stanmore College assessment summaries and ministers' letters to add them to 'end of FE Commissioner intervention' pages.

Summary assessment reports of further education colleges and institutions from the FE Commissioner, giving findings and recommendations following an intervention visit.

These are published alongside copies of a minister’s letter to the college or institution calling for an improvement action plan.

These reports are produced in line with our commitments in ‘intervention in further education – the strengthened intervention process’.

News story: A level results day 2017

School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, said:

Congratulations to everyone receiving their results today, which are the culmination of 2 years of dedication and hard work. We want everyone, regardless of background, to be able to fulfil their potential and, for many, A levels are the pathway to a university degree.

The increase in entries to facilitating subjects, those that give students the greatest choice of options at university, mean even more young people will have access to all the opportunities higher education provides.

There has been a strong uptake in core subjects, such as maths, which continues to be the most popular A level with maths and further maths having nearly 25% more entries than in 2010. This and increasing entries to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects bodes well for the economic prosperity of our country. It will help to grow our workforce in these sectors, allowing young people to secure well-paid jobs and compete in the global jobs market of post Brexit Britain.

Increasing the number of girls studying STEM subjects has been an important objective of the government, so it is particularly pleasing to see that more young women are taking STEM subjects and that for the first time since 2004 there are more young women than young men studying chemistry. I hope everyone receiving their results will go on to successful careers.

Today’s (17 August, 2017) A level results show:

The overall UK pass rate (A* to E) has remained stable since 2009, and is 97.9% for 2017 The percentage of entries awarded the top A* or A is 26.3%, an increase on last year Mathematics remains the most popular A level subject, followed by combined English (literature and language) The proportion of all entries in science, technology, engineering and technology (STEM) has increased There are more female entries in chemistry than males for the first time since 2004 The number of entries to facilitating subjects has increased, including in mathematics, further mathematics, geography and physics The proportion of A* to A grades awarded in French, German and Spanish all increased The percentage of entries awarded the top grade at AS level has increased to 23.8% UCAS exam results helpline

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Statutory guidance: Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school

Updated: Extended the review date to autumn 2017.

This statutory guidance is for:

governing bodies of local-authority-maintained schools proprietors of academies management committees of pupil referral units (these are places that provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)

It’s also relevant for anyone supporting children with medical conditions.

The templates give example text that schools can use to:

create and invite parents to contribute to a child’s individual healthcare plan ask for parental agreement for administering medicine keep a record of medicine administered to children keep a record of staff training in administration of medicines

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

Research and analysis: Small-scale research projects: summaries

Updated: Added 'Analytical associate pool: summary of projects, August 2017' report.

The analytical associate pool consists of more than 150 independent academics and researchers, who carry out small-scale data analysis, rapid literature reviews, primary research and peer review for DfE. Much of the analysis summarised is too small-scale for publishing on its own.

For further information on any of these projects contact:

Analytical associate pool

Guidance: School census 2017 to 2018: technical information

Updated: Updated validation rules. The document’s version history describes the update.

This is technical information about submitting data for the school census 2017 to 2018.

Use this if you’re a:

supplier of software for school management information systems (MIS) user of school MIS software

The specification contains:

changes to the previous year’s census collection what data schools should supply at school level and pupil level how to structure the data in XML how to check the data against the validation rules

Software suppliers should use the list of validation rules so that schools can validate the data they submit.

You should also read the common basic data set (CBDS). This defines common data items that schools use in MIS software and that we use in our data collections.

More guidance on submitting school census data is also available.

Collection: School census: closed collections

Updated: Added 2016 to 2017 documents to page: guide for schools and LAs, funding report guides, the business and technical specification, and the summary reports.

If you are looking for documents for the current school census collection, visit our guide to submitting data for the school census.

The documents on this page relate to recently closed school census collections, including:

the scope of the collection technical specifications what data needed to be submitted

You can find documents related to earlier school census collections on the National Archives website. Note: the search function is not available on archived content so please use the filters on the left of each page.

Top of the DFE news items

In order - the newest listed first

Education Guardian

Bringing literature to life: the new GCSE syllabus has reinvigorated my students

Moving to a closed-book, exam-only system filled me with dread – but my students have worked harder than ever

Every year, I find myself in the strangest of situations as students filter out of the exam hall. For their entire school careers, teachers have been the ones to impart knowledge, guide them through tricky questions, and set those tricky ...

New ‘Teach First’ to train teachers as mental health specialists

UK charity aims to recruit and develop teachers specially to help vulnerable pupils at risk of exclusion

Kiran Gill, a former teacher, became familiar with the stories of young people like Hope when she worked in inner-city London schools. Hope was a high-achieving teenager with a string of good GCSEs and an optimistic future.

She was determined t...

Teachers in elite universities not feeling benefit of £9k tuition fees

University teaching staff complain they are paid less than researchers and have inferior contracts, report shows

It took Susanna 10 years before she was promoted to senior teaching fellow, and she says she was one of the lucky ones. Many new teaching-only contracts awarded in her department at a leading research university are “non progressable” ...

Stop raising and lowering the GCSE high-jump bar | Michael Rosen

The reason everyone takes GCSEs is not so all can do well but so a certain number will fail. What’s that about?

Did you know that an outbreak of GCSE-itis is arriving in England in a few days’ time? Most seriously affected are likely to be commentators hoping to make cheap political points about standards.

One theory that has held sway for about a...

Exam boards told to expect surge in requests for GCSE re-marks

Pupils will find out on Thursday how they fared in reformed exams as teachers complain of working in the dark

Examination boards are being warned to expect a surge in the number of requests for re-marks following the publication later this week of GCSE results that are predicted to be the most volatile in years.

More than 600,000 pupils in England...

'La ayuda nunca dura': la historia de la 'revolución' educativa de México

La educación iba a ser el eje fundamental en la política del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto. Pero se siguen pagando salarios a ‘maestros fantasmas’ que jamás entran a un salón de clases, mientras que los niños no tienen las herramientas – y a veces ni siquiera la comida – que necesitan para aprender

Son casi las cuatro de la tarde, y una cuarta pa...

Cambridge University Press backs down over China censorship

Publisher will reinstate articles to which it blocked online access in China in the face of international protests by academics

Cambridge University Press has backed down and will immediately re-post journal articles to which it blocked online access in China at the request of the Beijing authorities.

The retraction was announced by Cambridge Uni...

'Sanctuary schools' across America defy Trump's immigration crackdown

From Los Angeles to Miami to New York, dozens of school districts are vowing to shield students and their families from immigration authoritiesThis article – the first of a three-part series – was reported by, a nonpartisan education news nonprofit, in partnership with the Guardian

It’s been an excruciating six months since 14-ye...

Top of The Guardian news items

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