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University fees!!!

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suze
840141.  Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:14 am Reply with quote

Ah yes. My school doesn't play that game, but there's another school in town which does (by an amazing coincidence, it's the one where the head photographer at the local rag is a governor!).

Now OK, the guy from Badminton was right - a lot of 18 year old girls don't actually have to make too much of an effort to look nice for the cameras. But when our girls come in to school to get their results, a lot of them appear to have only just gotten out of bed, and are wearing t-shirts, half length jeans, and similar casual attire.

At the other place, the girls - especially the ones who are reasonably confident that they've done well* - all seem to make a point of dressing in nice clothes, spending an hour on hair and make up, and not looking hung over. It's almost as if they knew that there would be a chance to pose for the cameras. Fancy that!


* It would be very naughty indeed for a school to do this, and I do not believe that the school in question does. But there have occasionally been claims that certain schools have tipped girls off that they've done well the day before**, and that it might be in their interests to turn up looking presentable.

** Schools get the results a day before they are released to students. Breaking the embargo is a serious matter and arguably (not been tested) a criminal offence, but claims that it has happened are hard to prove.


Last edited by suze on Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Neotenic
840142.  Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:17 am Reply with quote

A colleague of mine was watching some of the live coverage of people receiving their results, and says that one girl opened her envelope on camera to find that she hadn't got the grades she needed. There were tears.

Unsurprisingly, this particular bit of footage didn't make it into subsequent edited reports.

 
suze
840145.  Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:20 am Reply with quote

Silly school! See the footnotes edited in above to find out why this doesn't happen as often as you might expect!

 
exnihilo
840242.  Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:12 pm Reply with quote

I don't know that I could explain the fee mess any better to be honest. There have been so many different versions in the last ten years and the situation now is hopelessly confused. The issue of RUK students has been rumbling on since the first days of fees. It all started with the fudge that capped fees for students at Scottish universities at 3,000 for four years, because three years was the norm in the rest of the UK.

When the first devolved Parliament came about the Liberal Democrats made scrapping fees for Scots non-negotiable and, as suze says, it turned out that that meant that EU students had to be treated the same way. The rules of the EU apply to relations between member states and have no force in respect of internal arrangements. So, a student from Umbria could study in Scotland for free, but a student from Northumbria could not.

Everything got further confused with the Graduate Endowment schemes under which Scots students were free at the point of use, but paid back fees on graduation and on earning a certain amount, but EU students were still free and RUK students paid up front. Nothing has become simpler since then, it's just an utter shambles, made more complex and more ridiculous with every ill-thought-out change that's made.

This latest chapter is particularly absurd as the fees are supposed to prevent "fee refugees" swamping Scots universities and provide funds to ensure they remain competitive. Bizarrely we're now at a situation where a four year degree at any Scottish university will cost far more than any three year degree at even the very best English ones.

It's insane, and I'm very glad to have graduated before it all kicked off and that I have absolutely nothing to do with the fee situation now.

 
Sadurian Mike
840243.  Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:33 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
A level Art ... I got a D so I have nothing to brag about there!

Me too.

Obviously the best people scrape by in A level Art.

 
dr.bob
840317.  Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:11 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
** Schools get the results a day before they are released to students. Breaking the embargo is a serious matter and arguably (not been tested) a criminal offence, but claims that it has happened are hard to prove.


Does that mean the SQA are criminals?

Scottish exam results sent early in text blunder

 
suze
840333.  Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:33 am Reply with quote

You never know!

When schools have been caught breaking the embargo, they have occasionally been "punished" by having their early access to the results withdrawn. Instead, a printout has been entrusted to a motorcycle courier for delivery at 6.00 on Results Morning.

It's not happened very often though. That's partly because the exam boards don't really want to pay for motorcycle couriers if they don't have to, and partly because it might disadvantage students at the schools who receive their results this way.

I suppose all that the SQA can really do in this instance is flagellate itself - and in fairness, it does seem to be doing that!

 
CB27
844104.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:23 am Reply with quote

A quick question for the teachers and those in the know.

A BBC COMRES survey showed that two thirds of schols don't have daily collective worship, and that the DoE requires all schools to provide a daily act of collective worship which must reflect the traditions of this country, which is Christian.

When I went to school a quarter of a century ago we already didn't have collective worship, and I'm glad of that, but I'm surprised that schools are actually required to provide this. Or am I missing something?

If this rule is still in place, should it not be stopped?

 
suze
844153.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:46 am Reply with quote

You're not missing anything. The current legislation which requires that worship in England is the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, but the requirement has existed since the passing of the Education Act 1944.

167 of the 1998 Act requires that "each pupil in attendance at a community, foundation or voluntary school shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship", and that it shall be "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character". (Non-Christian faith schools are exempt from this last part. Non-faith schools are allowed to explore other religions, but a majority of the acts of worship must be of the Christian kind.)

Further to that, there was a circular which defined "Christian character"; it noted that "some elements must accord a special status to Jesus Christ".

So yes, the two thirds of schools which do not do this are breaking the law, and word is that Ofsted is now taking the matter more seriously than it used.

Is it time that the law changed in this regard? If you ask me, it's well past that time - but the chances of it happening under a Conservative government are close to zero. There was a group in the north east of England a few years back who tried to set up a formally secular school as a "faith" school - so that it could have secular assemblies every day - but Tony Blair vetoed the plan, and had a circular put out to make clear that such was not allowed.

Parents of children up to Year 11 can exclude their children from the act of collective worship if they choose; in that case, the pupil is then not allowed to attend. Sixth formers and teachers can attend or not as they see fit. Teachers cannot be required to lead the act of worship unless they have been ordained by the Church of England.

At my school, it's held for ten minutes every morning, and always follows Church of England ways. For sixth form girls only, from time to time there is an act of worship of a different character; I lead one along Roman Catholic lines* once in a while.


* It's not a Mass, which I am not qualified to conduct. The only real difference is that we say the Lord's Prayer without the Doxology, and sometimes we say it in Latin.

 
samivel
844158.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:55 am Reply with quote

Can kids opt out of their own volition?

 
suze
844161.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:58 am Reply with quote

If they are sixth form, they don't need to opt out - they just turn up or don't.

Below that level, no they can't. If their parents opt them out, then they are not permitted to attend. Otherwise, they are required to attend.

 
Moosh
844162.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:58 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it time that the law changed in this regard? If you ask me, it's well past that time - but the chances of it happening under a Conservative government are close to zero. There was a group in the north east of England a few years back who tried to set up a formally secular school as a "faith" school - so that it could have secular assemblies every day - but Tony Blair vetoed the plan, and had a circular put out to make clear that such was not allowed.


I'm not usually the first to step up and defend the Conservative government, but I think you may have been too hasty there suze. Michael Gove has said that he wouldn't prevent an atheist Free School, specifically in response to the news that one Prof. R. Dawkins has expressed interest in setting one up. So an officially secular school could happen under this government.

(First link I came across about it, there are probably better ones: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/gove-welcomes-atheist-schools-2037990.html)

 
suze
844164.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:10 am Reply with quote

The whole point of free schools is that they are not under LEA control, and so they - just like independent schools - can within reason do as they please in this regard.

The requirement set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 applies to those schools which are under LEA control, and it was such a school which tried and failed to establish itself as formally secular.

Some within the previous government wanted the requirement to be scrapped, so that even schools under LEA control would not be obliged to hold acts of worship. Tony Blair did not support that idea, and the new government seems even less likely to. After all, the Church of England is the state religion in England, and Conservative governments have told us before that they will never disestablish it unless it itself asks to be disestablished.

As for Clint Dawkins and his prospective atheist free school, I'll believe it when I see it. Michael Gove has indeed said that he would be minded to allow it, but word in the staffrooms is that David Cameron might direct Mr Gove otherwise.

 
CB27
844181.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:59 pm Reply with quote

I find it hard to believe that it's still a requirement, and that it could become enforced by Ofsted. The fact that so many schools don't do it, and haven't done so for decades, shows that it's unnecessary.

I don't have kids ATM, but if I did I'd be inclined to take them out of any school which included worship, whether they were allowed to opt out or not. If you send your child to a faith school, that's your expectation, and I also expect that all children learn about different religions (hopefully better than the RE I was taught 25-30 years ago).

Enforcing worship as part of a daily routine in a state school creates an image that this is expected of everyone, and if kids are opted out it can feel like they're being ostracised, which can affect children of a certain age quite profoundly.

 
CB27
844184.  Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:18 pm Reply with quote

Seems to be getting few votes cos it's not as "sexy" as some other topics, but the fourth highest number of votes for Department of Education polls is this one:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2086

Duly signed.

 

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