School league tables a “nonsense”?

Much heated discussion today about the publication of the latest secondary school league tables, a compilation of data from the 2014 GCSE and A Level exams.

It has been noted that there has been a drop in performance across the board, with a fall in the average % of pupils achieving 5 or more A-C grades, though this in part reflects a stated intention to make the GCSE examinations more challenging.

There has also been moaning about how leading independent schools have sunk to the bottom of the tables because the International GCSE (IGCSE), which many independent schools have favoured, are not counted as legitimate qualifications.

However, this has been the case for a number of years for many schools, and it would be madness to believe that schools such as Westminster, St Paul’s or Eton see league tables as an important point of comparison or marketing tool for new pupils.

UK university tuition fees – where the political parties stand.

The higher rate of tuition fees for universities was introduced in England in 2012, with universities able to charge up to £9000 a year.

This figure was capped, though many universities would like this cap lifted to reflect what they see as the “true cost” of an undergraduate education.

The Labour Party is intimating that it would like to cut the tuition fees by a third, down to £6000 a year.  It would be a popular, high-profile gambit, though as yet un-costed.

The coalition parties both back the current level of tuition fees but their plans for the future could differ.  The Conservative Party does not rule out increasing these fees in a new parliament, whereas the Liberal Democrats are stressing that the figure will not be raised again.

Despite the fees, the number of applicants to UK universities increased last year.  For the first time more than half a million students were placed in higher education through UCAS the central application body.

Client feedback: “Time and effort.”

Feedback today from a family moving into the north of England and who Dean Associates sourced schooling options and helped prepare for the assessment process.

“both boys are so happy at school and have just slotted in and are adjusting so well.  So thank you! I know that you invested a lot of time and effort into this case.”

Client feedback: “Great job”

We have just helped a family moving from the USA, the mother working within the financial services.  They had a two children looking for immediate places (ie yesterday!) and we have worked with them sorting through the international and English school, state or private.

Dean Associates did a great job – we were panicked and stressed about the move, with schools the greatest headache.  They have helped us through the process and we are very happy with the solutions they have identified.