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Primary Education News
News SWAT-style teams are heading to schools for the start of Clearing
Plus, expert advice for students on what to do on results day, and changes in schools ICT - what will they mean? All on our online networks this week
Clearing starts this week and if you think it is simply a game of telephone tennis, you'd be wrong. This year, Swat-style teams of admissions staff from Birmingham City University are heading out to local schools on results day to make on-the-spot offers to students still lacking a university place.
Not all students have the confidence to market themselves and in a passionate and deeply personal blog this week Pat Thompson, professor of education at the University of Nottingham, tells the story of Luigi, a shy and unassuming student she knew from her time working as a headteacher in her native Australia. Luigi had ambitions to be an architect, just no means of selling himself – but happily for him, Thompson and her staff were able to step in and lobby on his behalf.
"I'm pretty sure Luigi would have been passed over in the Clearing rush, a process in which those who know students well – teachers and headteachers – have no part," says Thompson. "I don't think Luigi would have impressed either on the phone or to a crack recruiting team."
Schools and universities need to forge closer and more meaningful links, she says. Amid the scrum of Clearing, let's not lose sight of the long game.
If you're waiting to pick up your A-level result envelopes this Thursday, don't miss the expert advice we have lined up for you.
If you're still not sure what to do next year, you will find top tips on how to pick a course, as well as a guide to the pros and cons of doing a foundation or vocational degree.
From 12-2 today we'll be joined by Ucas and university admissions officers to discuss how you can prepare for every eventuality – from unexpected results to cold feet about doing a degree.
If you don't get the results you'd hoped for, don't panic – there are still plenty of options, starting with Clearing. We've compiled a list of dos and don'ts for students who fail to meet the conditions of their Ucas offers and find themselves searching for an alternative university course.
Students who get a pleasant surprise this Thursday can also use our guide to Ucas Adjustment, a service that allows students who have done better than expected to secure a place at a university that has a higher entry tariff.
This week, Mike Britland, head of ICT at a secondary school in Bournemouth, will be guest-editing the Guardian Teacher Network. He will be looking at the huge changes that are happening in ICT teaching, at least in local authority schools, this September, when ICT becomes computing at the behest of Michael Gove, the education secretary.
Teachers Miles Berry and Chris Leach open the week with arguments for and against the ICT curriculum changes. Do you agree with Berry that computer science "provides a unique lens through which to understand the world"? Or do you stand with Leach, arguing that "changing the name of the subject from ICT to computing is limiting the subject and would narrow our curriculum"?
A head of computing takes us through his journey in delivering the subject and Britland will show how new teachers can train as specialists in computing.
Be sure to join us on Thursday, from 4pm to 6pm – we have an excellent panel lined up for a live chat on how to teach the new computing curriculum.
Also this week:
• Secret Teacher lifts the lid on the little lies teachers tell themselves every day
• How is your work-life balance? Teachers share their strategies and stories on how to have a life outside work.