Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

SGS College calls for rethink after a huge increase in students resitting GCSE exams

Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2015 at 11:21 am by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's WISE campus in Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

As GCSE maths and English exams across the country get underway, SGS College in South Gloucestershire and Stroud is calling on the Government to rethink the literacy and numeracy qualifications required to ensure young people are equipped with the right skills for the workplace.

SGS currently has 800 GCSE maths and English students resitting exams this June after not attaining an A*-C grade whilst at school. This is a rise of 50 percent. These students will all be taking their exams at the same time on the same day as required by the examining board. To cater for such huge numbers, the college has had to employ more teachers and invigilators, reduce vocational provision and cancel other classes.

Since 2014/15, all 16-year-olds who didn’t achieve an A*-C grade whilst at school are required to continue to re-sit these GCSEs or Functional Skills qualifications, alongside their further education or training. In September the situation is likely to get worse as the new GCSE maths and English syllabuses come in, which will be more academic, and all those who achieve a grade D must be entered onto GCSEs rather than the applied Functional Skills courses.

Kevin Hamblin, Principal of SGS College, said:

“We’ve worked extremely hard to ensure our students are motivated and well-equipped for re-sitting their GCSE exams. It is imperative that young people are ready with skills for the working world but we’d ask the government to re-consider whether forcing 16 to 18-year-olds to take academic qualifications alongside other technical and professional education and training is the right pathway for everyone.”

Gill Clipson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:

“There is no quick fix to the maths and English challenge facing the whole education system. GCSEs need to be rigorous qualifications but there are some young people who will never be able to achieve A*-C. The government should work with employers in the public and private sector and colleges to ensure maths and English qualifications are related to the world of work and everyday life.”

The college is a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC) which is making recommendations to the Government to ensure that further education and most importantly their students can thrive and succeed.

Source: South Gloucestershire and Stroud College


GCSE results at South Glos schools show “slight drop” in benchmark figure

Posted on Thursday 28th August 2014 at 10:43 am by SH (Editor)

GCSE high-achievers at Bradley Stoke Community School.

Provisional figures for GCSE results in South Gloucestershire have now been collated, and the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and mathematics is 55 per cent.

This is a slight drop compared to the 57 per cent achieved last year, however these results also reflect a national picture of great volatility following the changes to GCSE examinations.

The highest performing schools in the local authority are Castle School, Marlwood School, Winterbourne International Academy and John Cabot Academy.

The most improved schools from last year are Marlwood School, Brimsham Green School and Chipping Sodbury Secondary School.

Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Ian Blair, said:

“Many pupils across the authority are celebrating their GCSE results and we are delighted to be able to congratulate them on their achievements. Their results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of not only students, but also their teachers, non-teaching staff, school governors, parents, carers and all the other people who support them.”

Photo: GCSE high-achievers at Bradley Stoke Community School. [Credit: Bradley Stoke Journal]

Source: South Gloucestershire Council


Early years education scheme off to a flying start in South Glos

Posted on Monday 9th September 2013 at 10:12 am by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

A national scheme to extend free early years education to two-year-olds living in low-income households has got off to a flying start in South Gloucestershire.

Some 479 children have had places provided by the council under the scheme, a take-up rate of 87 per cent of all eligible children.

The government had originally allocated funding for 439 places in South Gloucestershire assuming a take-up rate of 80 per cent.

But close working between South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and local childcare providers means that more children than anticipated have been able to take part in the first wave of the scheme which began on 1st September.

Welcoming the news, chair of the council’s Children and Young People Committee Cllr Ian Blair said:

“This scheme has many benefits, both for children and their parents, and I am delighted to see that we have made such a positive start in South Gloucestershire.”

“By working with our partners in the private, voluntary and independent sectors we have been able to make an early success of the scheme and I look forward to further positive progress in the coming months.”

The early years education scheme aims to improve children’s learning while supporting their parents or carers to get training or a job.

Eligible families, such as those receiving income support or Jobseekers Allowance, can receive up to 15 hours of free early years education per week delivered flexibly to suit family circumstances.

The scheme is funded by national government, with local authorities responsible for engaging eligible families and arranging places with childcare providers.

The government estimated that 550 children would be eligible for a place in South Gloucestershire this year, with funding provided for 439 places based on a target of 80 per cent take-up.

Further funding will be provided to allow expansion to double the number of places available during the next year, with additional places provided each term starting in January, April and September 2014.

More information: Childcare (SGC)


Employers welcome plans for new engineering college

Posted on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 at 10:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Proposed Bristol Technology & Engineering Academy in Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Local engineering companies are getting involved in shaping the curriculum of Bristol and South Gloucestershire’s new University Technical College (UTC), planned to open on a site in Stoke Gifford in September 2013.

UTCs are a new concept in education, offering 14-19 year-olds a course of full time study that is very technically orientated.

Employers are key to the success of UTCs and are involved in shaping the curriculum from the start through real-world projects as well as offering industry days and work experience. The BTE Academy is sponsored by Rolls-Royce, Airbus and GKN Aerospace and other local and regional employers are being encouraged to get involved. The education sponsors are the University of the West of England (UWE) and City of Bristol College.

The Bristol Technology & Engineering Academy, as the local UTC will be known, will be open to young people from across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset who are interested in a career in the engineering or environmental technology sectors.

Initially, the intake will be made up of up to 220 students from age 14 (key stage 4) and up to 120 from 16-19 (key stage 5) with people able to apply from September 2012. When fully operational the academy will have 33 full time equivalent staff and recruitment is currently underway for a Principal.

The planning application for the new UTC is currently being considered by officers at South Gloucestershire Council and a decision is expected to be made at a meeting of the council’s Planning Committee in August.

More: Academy will mirror the ethos and culture of employment »