12 February 2018

Conservative MP Julian Sturdy has called for the introduction of a GCSE in agriculture to aid young people as Brexit goes ahead, reports the TES.

Mr Sturdy states: “Given the significance of agriculture for our economy, environment and society, I firmly believe that the education system should ensure that the younger generation are able to flourish in this sector.”

Read the TES report.

More routine testing required to alleviate exam stress

The Telegraph reports that Schools Minister Nick Gibb has suggested that routine testing of pupils from the age of 11 would lessen exam pressure and help them prepare for their GCSE exams. Labour MPs criticised his remarks claiming the current system was “fundamentally unbalanced”.

Read The Telegraph report.

Virtual A-level launch

The TES reveals that the education company Pearson will launch a virtual A-level in Spanish later this year. The company believes the introduction of virtual courses in the UK will help schools deal with pressures on time and budgets whilst allowing them to keep a broad curriculum. However, Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of National Education Union, stated she remains sceptical about virtual courses.

Read the TES report.

Call for more tech-based testing

A Westminster Education Forum seminar held last week raised comments about the need for more technology based testing for pupils in England, reports Schools Week. Ofqual and a speaker from exam board AQA both expressed concern about the introduction of tech-based tests and believe that, until there is confidence that computer based testing is “fair” to all students, caution should be applied.

Read the Schools Week report.

Sector views on T Level consultation

FE Week reports on the close of the T Level public consultation which ran for 10 weeks and sought answers to 45 questions. The new post-16 technical qualifications are due to begin in 2020. The article focuses on the responses to six key questions by the AoC, Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Learning and Work Institute, and the Federation of Small Businesses.

The questions and responses can be found on FE Week.