One in 10 parents make house purchase choice based on schools, study shows

Research by Nationwide demonstrates increasing desperation of parents scrambling to secure best education for their children

Nearly a quarter of UK parents of children of school age would be prepared to pay between 2% and 10% more for a new home – potentially thousands of pounds extra – in order to be in the catchment area of a good state school, according to research by Nationwide.

In a sign of the growing desperation of parents scrambling to secure the best education for their youngsters by living close to the top state schools, nearly one in ten (8%) admit they would shell out a premium of more than 10% extra for their house, while 8% would pay up to an additional 2%.

The research, published today by the UK’s largest building society, the Nationwide, and carried out by YouGov, also shows that parents are already making house purchase choices based on schools. Nearly one in five parents (18 %) admit that a school league table or school Ofsted rating has influenced where they chose to live. It comes as parents are currently doing the rounds of open days held at primary and secondary schools, for admission next year.

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Practical science experiments ‘squeezed out’ at schools

Practical science lessons are being squeezed out by exam pressures on schools, says a science advisory body.

The Council for Science and Technology is writing to the education secretary to warn about the loss of such laboratory experiments.

The advisory body wants experiments to be protected in a shake-up of GCSEs and A-levels in England.

The council says that without practical lessons, science is “like studying literature without reading books”.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “The Council for Science and Technology rightly notes that our reforms ‘will give teachers space and freedom’ to conduct more experiments and practicals.”

The council, which provides strategic advice to the prime minister, says that cramming for exams is restricting the opportunities for practical learning.

Revealed: 50% of British parents would not send their kids to private school – even if they didn’t have to pay fees

Half the nation’s parents still would not send their children to a private school even if they did not have to pay for it, according to a survey published today.

The survey of 2,210 parents, carried out by YouGov, revealed 50 per cent would still want their child to go to a state school.

Three out of five who wanted to remain with the state sector wanted to do so because they thought it was important for their child to mix with other pupils from all walks of life. In the case of 38 per cent, it was because they themselves had been happy to go to one. A total of 37 per cent said they felt it was the duty of the Government to provide good quality education for all the nation’s children.

A breakdown of the figures showed that parents in Scotland and Wales were most likely to remain with the state sector – 62 per cent in both cases.

Least likely to send their children to state schools were parents in London – where just 35 per cent were prepared to stay with state schools despite the fact that the area recorded the biggest improvement in state school performance in the entire country.

The survey asked parents whether they would be likely to send their children to private schools if fees were removed from the equation – and 32 per cent said they would compared to just under 10 per cent who actually d so despite an average cost estimated at £15,000 a year.

Of those who would send their children to private schools if money was no object. 81 per cent said they felt private schools offered the opportunity of a better education, 54 per cent said they had better teachers and 52 per cent said they offered their pupils better networking opportunities later on in life – the “old boys’ network”. In addition, 17 per cent said they would opt for the private sector because they thought there was less chance of their child being bullied at school.

Of those who do send their children to private schools, 24 per cent said they were able to afford it because their child had been offered a bursary or a scholarship.  Private schools have increased the amount of aid they offer less well-off parents in the wake of the demise of the former Conservative Government’s assisted places scheme under Labour.

A further 24 per cent acknowledged they could only afford the fees as a result of grandparents chipping in with the cost. The £15,000 average fee for private schools cited by the parents in the survey included a sum for extra-curricular activities (school trips) and uniforms. In addition, 17 per cent said they had been saving for years to meet the cost and 10 per cent said they had cashed in part of their pension schemes to help pay.

Richard Boyd, of  Duncan Lawrie private bank – which funded the survey, said: “The average price of sending a child to private school has seen a real term rise of almost 65 per cent since the early 90’s and – while many children might be lucky enough to benefit from scholarships and bursaries – there are still many parents having to pay significant amounts of money to keep their child in private school.”

The survey showed 46 per cent of those with children in private schools would be prepared to cut down on holidays to keep their children in the school and 21 per cent would downsize their home.

Money habits are ‘formed by age seven’

The government-backed Money Advice Service has warned parents “not to underestimate the effect of their own bad money habits”.

Most children’s financial habits are formed by the age of seven, it was claimed today by the government-backed Money Advice Service (MAS), as it urged parents not to “underestimate the effect their own good (and bad) money habits will have on their children”.

The organisation pointed to a Cambridge University study that suggested that most young children had grasped all the main aspects of how money works and formed “core behaviours which they will take into adulthood and which will affect financial decisions they make during the rest of their lives”.

Caroline Rookes, chief executive of the Money Advice Service, said: “This study really demonstrates the power of parental influences, and illustrates how much of what you learn and absorb when you are young, both consciously and subconsciously, affects the choices you make throughout the rest of your life.”

The MAS said it would establish a forum to create “world-class parenting and teaching resources” and has called for money education to be included in the primary school curriculum in England.

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, announced plans earlier this year to put personal finance education on the curriculum for secondary school pupils.

Schoolchildren ‘losing the power to concentrate in class’

student on computer

The influence of social media, games consoles and mobile phones on pupils’ lives is one of the biggest crises facing the modern education system, it is claimed.

David Boddy, chairman of The Society of Heads, which represents more than 100 independent schools, says the country is in the grip of a “national attention deficit syndrome” because children spend so much time plugged into screen-based entertainment.

In a speech today, he will warn that children are now unable to concentrate “for more than the shortest of periods”.

The decline is being fuelled by a breakdown in traditional family units, with children expending large amounts of energy being pulled between divorced parents, he says.

Mr Boddy, headmaster of St James Senior Boys’ School in Ashford, Surrey, also claims that pupils are losing the art of “proper concentrated conversation” because they are so used to communicating with friends via Facebook.

Three Primary Colours

 

Three Primary Colors is a collaboration between OK Go and Sesame Street explaining the basics of color theory in stop-motion. Made me smile.

MF, studio, dbda

A Free, Open, Curriculum for Web Education

 

 

WaSP InterACT is a community driven project that offers a free, open, curriculum for web education.

Schools that teach web design struggle to keep pace with our industry, and those just starting their curricula often set off in the wrong direction because the breadth and depth of our medium can be daunting. The WaSP InterACT curriculum project seeks to ease the challenges schools around the world face as they prepare their students for careers on the Web.

WaSP InterACT is a living curriculum designed to change and keep pace with the fast moving industry. Its courses are divided into several tracks that provide students with a well rounded foundation in the many facets of the web design craft.

Anyone can get involved and contribute!

(via swissmiss)

MF, studio, dbda

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