Friday, October 14, 2016
British State teachers refuse to push poor, bright pupils to apply for Oxbridge because they believe they 'won't be happy there'
And that's not unreasonable. The British class system is vicious and students from poor backgrounds will be likely to feel excluded by students from elite backgrounds who dominate the social scene
State school teachers refuse to encourage bright, disadvantaged pupils to apply to Oxford and Cambridge because they assume most ‘won’t be happy there’.
Four in ten teachers said they would rarely or never advise their cleverest children to apply – despite the opportunities this could offer the students, a study found.
Of those admitting they did not encourage pupils, 19 per cent said it was because they felt the children were unlikely to get in and 13 per cent said they didn’t think they would be happy there.
The findings come amid a Government drive to increase the number of students from deprived backgrounds going to top universities.
In previous years, both Oxford and Cambridge have faced criticism for not doing enough to encourage children from state schools and disadvantaged backgrounds to apply for courses. Theresa May has highlighted the injustice of white working-class boys being the least likely group to attend university.
The Government hopes to reintroduce grammar schools to the poorest areas in the country to help more disadvantaged bright children get into Oxbridge.
Yesterday, experts said the findings showed many teachers in the comprehensive system were failing to help bright students fulfil their potential.
The study of 1,607 primary and secondary school teachers was carried out by the Sutton Trust, a charity providing educational opportunities for children from under-privileged backgrounds.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: ‘Many state school teachers don’t see Oxbridge as a realistic goal for their brightest pupils. It is vital that the universities step up their outreach activities to address teachers’ and students’ misconceptions.’
Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Lots of teachers, it seems, are actively damaging the future prospects of the children they teach.
‘If the Government seeks an extra argument in favour of grammar schools for helping raise the attainment and expectation of children from deprived backgrounds, this research finding provides it.’
The news comes ahead of the deadline this Saturday for applying to Oxford and Cambridge.
Just one-fifth of the polled teachers said they always advised their bright pupils to apply and a quarter said they usually did.
Researchers also found teachers’ common misconceptions extended to the proportion of state school students at Oxford and Cambridge. Just over a fifth thought less than 20 per cent of students came from the state sector when the actual figure is about 60 per cent.
Alan Smithers, professor of education at the University of Buckingham, said: ‘It is shameful that these teachers cut across the chances of bright, poor pupils by assuming they would not be happy there.’
China cracks down on Muslims
China has banned parents and guardians in its heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang from encouraging their children into religious activities.
The government unveiled new education rules on October 12 meaning that those who encourage or force their children into religious activities will be reported to the police.
Previous rules have already banned beards for men and head coverings for women in a province that is home to over ten million Muslims.
China claims that the legal, cultural and religious rights of Muslims in Xinjiang are fully protected.
However many Muslim Uigur people resent increasing restrictions on their culture and religion and complain they are denied economic opportunities amid an influx of Han Chinese into the province.
The new education rules come into effect on November 1 and forbid parents and guardians from forcing minors to attend religious activities, reports Xinjiang Daily.
The rules also ban religious activities in schools and state that if parents cannot guide their children away from harmful extremist ways then they can apply to have their children sent to specialist schools to receive 'rectification'.
The government has called for people to report the banned activities to the police.
In recent years, hundreds of people have died in unrest blamed by the Chinese government on Islamist militants.
Previous rules in the province ban men from growing beards and women from wearing a veil.
In April 2014, the Global Times reported that officials in Xinjiang offered rewards of up to 50,000 yuan (£6,066) for those who tipped police off with information on separatist activities which included growing facial hair.
While in 2015, Radio Free Asia reported that Uygur imams in Kashgar were forced to tell children that prayer was harmful for the soul and to declare that 'our income comes from the Chinese Communist Party, not from Allah.'
UK: Islamist girls' school which taught that gay people could be killed and men could beat women faces closure two years after pupil exposed its sharia-style regime
An Islamist girls' boarding school which taught that men could beat women and that gay men could be killed faces closure after a student whistleblower exposed its worrying practices.
Aliyah Saleem was expelled in front of the entire school in 2011 just for owning a disposable camera. Following her expulsion Ms Saleem spoke out about her treatment at Jamia Al Hudaa girls’ school in Nottingham, saying she was not taught geography, history, art or music.
Instead, she was taught that death sentence could be given to gay men; that Jews and Christians make Allah angry; and that men should be allowed to beat their wives.
Despite reporting the school's inadequacies to both Ofsted and doing an expose interview in a national newspaper, it is only now that the school finally faces closure.
Parents have now been told to pick up their daughters from the school on October 18 after an Ofsted inspection in April found that there were 'inadequacies' in safeguarding pupils, including insufficiently trained staff and bullying, and ordered the school close its residential operations.
The Times reports that since 85 per cent of pupils board at the school, this means it will effectively have to close.
The inspection also found that the school does not promote balanced views or British values, and pupils can access ‘books that have been written by controversial authors, for example by one who is not allowed to enter this country’.
An Ofsted spokesman said the balance of the curriculum was one of several areas that were assessed.
A school spokesman said: ‘The school takes all points relating to safeguarding as serious … and has policies and extensive risk assessments in place to promote British values.’
She claimed inspectors ‘did not show clarity of understanding and displayed lack of basic knowledge in regards to which books posed a risk … The school feels this is a very unfair judgment.’
Ms Saleem said until she left the school she ‘didn’t know about World War One or World War Two’. ‘The worst thing about the school was the national curriculum, it was restricted in every way possible,’ she told the Daily Mail last week.
‘We were taught English and science but we were not taught about evolution or sex education. I had to teach myself evolution at 20.’
Miss Saleem, now in her twenties, was at the school from 2006 to 2011. She was ‘publicly expelled in front of the entire school’ for owning a disposable camera, which was thought to be a sign of ‘narcissism’.
She wrote on her blog: ‘No regulatory body or authority ever found out about it and nobody ever confronted it, even though it caused me great humiliation and shame.’ The ex-pupil said she was pleased the school was judged ‘inadequate’ in 2015, having previously got good ratings.
Inspectors noted ‘disproportionate’ punishments, such as £20 fines for chewing gum and fixed-term expulsions for having a mobile phone.
But Miss Saleem thinks Ofsted did not go far enough. She said that in this inspection ‘very little was said’ on how ‘restrictive’ the curriculum is.
‘It is obvious that for too long the Government has stood by and ignored the utterly appalling imposition of conservative religious ideologies on British school children,’ she said.
Miss Saleem, who campaigns about the dangers of religious education, added: ‘Just because independent schools are funded by parents and charities, it’s not that those children do not matter.’
Posted by jonjayray at 1:45 AM