The education system is constantly evolving to cater to modern needs, new research findings and society. It is the government’s Department for Education that is responsible for educational policies and schools, as well as childcare and child protection.
There is always something in the news about the education system changing. The earliest form of schools began around 600-1100AD/BC, during the Roman era and it can be fair to say that the way in which teaching is run, has changed a lot since.
But what are the latest trends that teachers should know about? Here is an expert guide to the future of UK education.
Higher education funding
This has been the most significant change and has affected thousands of pupils across the UK. The funding reform resulted in university students being charged up to £9,000 per year from 2012, for higher education.
Increase in academies
The coalition government is expanding the Academies Programme. It is hoped that the number of schools with academy status will earn freedom from the lack of local authority control, and they will gain more independence with regards to their own budgeting. At the moment, 200 schools are being changed into academies, but there are plans for another 400 to do the same.
Focus on English Baccalaureate (EBacc)
Many teachers have, to date, been told to focus their teaching on numeracy and literacy but now there has been an increase in pupils taking English Baccalaureate subjects. It awards pupils that have secured a grade C grade or above in core academic subjects; English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language.
O-level style exams
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has told MPs that England’s exam system needs changing and he plans to replace GCSEs from autumn 2014, with O-level style exams. Mr Govesaid that the current system is letting children down and that the new simpler exam, will benefit less academic teenagers.
Teacher training reform
According to Prospects, the government is planning to put greater emphasis on schools-based training as opposed to university-level teacher training. What is more, there are proposals to fast-track ex-armed forces personnel into teaching. If any students want to become teachers themselves, they will need to know this.
Raise the age of participation
The number of pupils in secondary schools has been declining since 2004 and it is predicted that by the year 2017, the numbers in primary education will be at their highest level. Therefore, the government aims to raise the age of participation in education and training, to 18 by 2015.
Rethinking Education Strategy
The European Commission has said that Europe’s governments must improve their education systems to kick-start jobs and growth. A new ‘Rethinking Education’ strategy will be launched to reform education and training. Androulla Vassiliou, the Education and Culture Commissioner, told MEPS in Strasbourg that education systems need to modernise and be more flexible to cater to today’s society.
The UK education system is currently undergoing lots of changes but the key is to understand what these changes mean, how they affect teachers and ultimately how they will help students.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
This article was provided by www.lordwandsworth.org, a fully co-educational independent school in Hampshire, England.