The Independent is reporting claims that that students face a tougher loan repayments regime to avoid a financial crisis over unpaid debts.
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute said: “Without stricter repayment terms, there could be cuts to other key departmental programmes – such as apprenticeships or science.” He was speaking at the publication of a report by HEPI warning ministers will have to decide whether to lower or freeze the threshold which triggers loan repayments from its current level of £21,000 a year and/or abolish the 30-year cut-off period after which debts are written off.
The TES is reporting that Ofqual has told all exam boards to tear up sample maths GCSE question papers because they have not been pitched at the required standard.
Many schools will have already been using the papers to prepare for reformed maths GCSEs, due to be taught from September.
The BBC is reporting that the flagship Conservative election pledge to open a further 500 free schools in England is being put into practice, with applications invited for new schools.
The government wants to create 270,000 extra places in free schools over the next five years.
The Mirror is reporting that a primary school in one of the UK’s most deprived areas is spending £10,000 on school uniforms for its pupils in order to “instil pride”. Highbank Primary – where almost two thirds of youngsters qualify for free school meals – wants to give them “a sense of belonging”.
The Telegraph is reporting that students are to learn about cyber-security and how to create the next Facebook or Snapchat in a new GCSE. Teenagers will be taught about the methods fraudsters use to access information illegally online and they will also learn about online viruses and firewalls.
The Harlow Star is reporting that parents protesting plans to lengthen the day and alter holidays at two Harlow primaries have been accused of making the schools into a “laughing stock”. The proposed reforms could also see the introduction of a new blue blazer for pupils at St Luke’s Catholic Academy in Pyenest Road, and St Alban’s Catholic Academy in First Avenue.
The Evening Standard is reporting that the head of an education consultancy has claimed London parents are employing tutors as “lifestyle accessories” even if their children are not struggling at school.
Ian Hunt, managing director of Gabbitas Education, warned that tutors are becoming “intellectual crutches” for some children, who then struggle without them.
Writing in the TES, ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman says we must not mistake political hyperbole for a real crisis in English education around funding and teacher recruitment.