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Harvard Business School Launching Online Learning Initiative Harvard Business School is quietly developing its first online learning initiative, which it hopes will make HBS the world’s top provider of high quality online business education. The move has the potential to shake up the nascent online education market and give the elite business school a toehold in the world of MOOCs, or massive open online courses. It’s a high-stakes gamble for HBS, which has one of the world’s best-known—and carefully burnished—educational brands. John Fernandes, the chief executive of the business school accreditation group Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, called Harvard’s move a “watershed” moment for the century-old business school, which will be adding a third delivery model to the MBA and executive education programs it now offers. “This is a lot bigger than meets the eye,” Fernandes says. “They’re going to get high visibility with students all over the world.

English pupil's maths scores improve under east Asian approach Schools in England experimenting with east Asian teaching methods have seen an improvement in children’s mathematics skills after just one year, according to a study. The research, published on Thursday, which represents the first hard evidence that introducing a Singaporean “maths mastery” approach into English classrooms can influence results, found a “relatively small but welcome improvement” in children’s performance. The report’s lead author warned however that the mastery programme should not be seen as “a silver bullet” and called for it to be tested over a longer period in a greater number of schools in order to build a fuller picture. Policymakers have been studying teaching methods in east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea, which dominate the Pisa international league tables measuring children’s academic achievement. Children there are on average more than one year ahead of their western peers in maths.

CBI wrong about GCSEs, Government wrong about exam boards – Group Chief Executive 12 October 2015 Simon Lebus gives evidence-based defence of GCSEs The Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment has rejected a claim by the Confederation of British Industry that England is an “oddball” nation because its young people take GCSEs. In a speech today to the Westminster Education Forum, Simon Lebus said that John Cridland, Director-General of the employers’ organisation, was wrong to claim that England’s exam system was out of step with rest of the world. He said that calls to abolish the GCSE were in fact a “proxy debate about the sort of curriculum we need and the sort of learning we want for our young people in a period of change”. Mr Lebus then went on to address remarks attributed to the Schools Minister Nick Gibb in which he appeared to suggest England’s multiple exam boards could be replaced by a single state-owned and run exam board. “It sounds like an improbably Corbynesque solution for a Conservative government to want to implement,” Mr Lebus said.

She's Doing An Elite MBA For Under $1,000 Singapore maths effect is small but potentially powerful, study finds A Singaporean "mastery" approach to maths improves children’s skills and could provide a long-term economic benefit, new research suggests. The improvement seen in schools using the Mathematics Mastery programme is equivalent to one month’s additional progress, but a new analysis of the potential economic benefits of the programme predicts that even an extra month of progress at age 10 could increase adults' average wages by around £150 to £200 a year. Interest in the way maths is taught in East Asia has been sparked by the success of Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea in the Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) rankings. The Mathematics Mastery programme, which is based on teaching methods from Singapore, has been adopted by the Ark academy chain and was evaluated by John Jerrim, reader in educational and social statistics at the UCL Institute of Education and Anna Vignoles, professor of education at the University of Cambridge.

Vocational and other qualifications quarterly: April to June 2015 The key findings for this release are: Just under 1.9 million certificates were issued, a decrease of 13% on the same quarter of 2014. The number of available qualifications this quarter increased slightly from 21,043 in the previous quarter to 21,214, the highest number recorded in the last five years. The number of certificates awarded for BTEC qualifications at Level 1 / Level 2 has increased greatly compared to the same quarter of 2014 (from 7,400 to 74,000), having been added to the performance tables for 2015. The number of certificates awarded for qualifications in construction, planning and the built environment has increased by 24% this quarter compared with the same quarter in 2014 (from 52,550 to 65,150), with most of the increase being for qualifications in health and safety in a construction environment. Survey We are running a series of surveys to find out how we can improve our statistical publications. Our survey only takes a few minutes to complete. Datasets

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Numeracy crisis threatens to hold back UK in global data race The government has been urged to tackle a numeracy crisis in the UK, which experts are warning threatens to hold the country back in the face of a global data revolution. There needs to be a dramatic improvement in the population’s grasp of basic numeracy and statistics if the UK is to keep up with its neighbours and make the most of the potential offered by “big data”, says a report by the British Academy published on Thursday. It calls for a transformation in the UK’s approach to building numeracy, statistics and data analysis skills to ensure that students, consumers and workers are as fluent with numbers as they are with words. The report, entitled Count Us In, focuses on the need for current workers and future generations to develop quantitative skills in order to understand and interpret the vast quantities of data being generated. It says the UK has the potential to become a world leader in big data, which would in turn lead to enormous economic benefits.

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