News story: Primary school standards continue to rise

first_imgThe new national curriculum and assessments have set a higher standard in schools and today’s rising results show more pupils are meeting that standard, thanks to the hard work of teachers and pupils, and government reforms.Earlier this year, figures showed: Academies open for the longest have the highest results: At converter academies open for one year, 65% of pupils reach the expected standards in reading, writing and maths; this figure rises to 71% in converter academies open for seven years; and At sponsored academies that typically converted because of poor performance, those that have had academy status for one year saw 53% of pupils meet the expected standards in reading, writing and maths, rising to 62% after seven years; The gender gap between boys and girls has remained stable, with girls outperforming boys by 8%; and London is the best performing region with Richmond Upon Thames the best performing local authority in the country, followed by Trafford. The statistics, based on this year’s Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Assessments – commonly referred to as SATs and designed to measure school performance – show that schools that benefit from the freedoms academy status bring have had particular success in improving outcomes for pupils, with results improving the longer a school has been an academy.School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has welcomed the results and the improvements that have come from schools that became sponsored academies.Figures published today (Tuesday 4 September) show: This year’s results are the third to be released following the introduction of a more rigorous national curriculum assessments in Summer 2016, bringing primary education in line with the best in the world. The tests assess how well schools are equipping pupils to go on to secondary school, rather than as a measure of individual pupils’ performance.Standards are rising in primary schools. In 2017 the attainment gap between disadvantaged primary pupils and their more affluent peers had narrowed by 10.5% since 2011.School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: The government has invested in programmes to help raise standards in our primary schools, including a £26 million network of specialist English Hubs around the country to improve pupils’ literacy and £41 million to follow the same approach to teaching maths as world leading countries through the Shanghai Mastery for Maths programme. ‎This is on top of wider changes to the primary assessment system which will reduce unnecessary workload for teachers so they can focus on what really matters in the classroom.The introduction of phonics – where children learn to read by sounding out and blending letter – has played a significant part the improvement in primary school standards. Since the introduction of phonics in 2012 154,000 more six-year-olds are now on track to be fluent readers and in the latest PIRLS results – an international study of reading at primary school – England achieved its highest ever score.Today’s figures build on the record 1.9 million children now in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 – an increase from 66% of pupils to 86%. The government is continuing to ensure all parents have a good school place on their doorstep, with the recent announcement of £680million to create 40,000 more good school places in primary and secondary schools. Since 2010, 825,000 new school places have been created, with recent analysis showing 91% of those in 2016-17 were in good or outstanding schools. Today’s results show how well schools have adapted to the higher expectations and greater challenge of thenew primary curriculum. In the first SATs that tested pupils’ achievements in 2016, just 66% reached theexpected standard in reading. Today that figure is 75%. Standards are rising in our primary schools and pupils starting secondary school for the first time this week willbe better prepared for its new challenges than ever before. 64% of pupils met the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths. This figure was 61% in 2017; 75% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, compared to 71% last year and 66% in 2016 76% of pupils met the expected standard in maths, up by 1 percentage point; 78% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling, up by 1 percentage point; and 78% of pupils met the expected standard in writing. This figure was 76% in 2017.last_img read more


first_imgMiscellaneous incidentsAt 1:04 P.M. on April 11,  a faculty member reported to DPS that a student’s behavior was causing his classmates discomfort.At 12:15 A.M. on April 12,  the Sigma Nu fraternity was cited to Judicial Affairs for having an unauthorized party. Three students were also cited for alcohol. The following incidents were reported in the USC Department of Public Safety crime/incident summary between Friday, April 11 and Monday, April 14.Crimes against propertyAt 10:06 A.M. on April 11,  it was reported to DPS that a suspect stole a student’s cell phone from her purse at the 901 Bar and Grill on Figueroa Street.At 2:03 P.M. on April 11, DPS received a report that a suspect entered the Harlyne J. Norris Research Tower and stole a flash drive.At 3:38 P.M. on April 11, it was reported to DPS that a non-USC male damaged a parking bollard by crashing his delivery truck into it.At 6:23 P.M. on April 12, it was reported to DPS that someone smashed the front driver’s side window of a car and removed a GPS unit, a pair of sunglasses and a garage opener at City Park II Apartments.last_img read more

Pedestrian, vehicle overpass for East Bank Demerara highway

first_imgwith the number of road fatalities and traffic congestion still a major concern for Government, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has disclosed plans to create three pedestrian overpasses, as well as a fly-over at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.The Minister made the announcement at the unveiling of the Independence Arch at the city’s entrance, Agricola, Greater Georgetown, on Friday.Noting that the construction of the arch is an upgrade for the East Bank of Demerara, Patterson also elaborated on the ongoing projects by the Public Infrastructure Ministry for the access road as well as future plans to decrease traffic fatalities.One of the projects the Ministry will be embarking upon, he said, is the creation of the overpasses and a flyover, as part of its aim to ensure maximum security of pedestrians who are more than often, the victims of accidents.The Minister added that these overpasses will be constructed at three junctions, which research shows are the busiest.“Each month, the Guyana Police Force, through its traffic statistics, indicate that pedestrians are the most affected by fatal accidents on our roadways. Saving even a single life is important. The pedestrian overhead crossings will be located at the Harbour Bridge intersection at Peter’s Hall; Eccles and Houston. These sites were chosen following studies which showed that these three areas have the most pedestrian movement,” said Patterson.Referring to the proposed vehicular overhead crossing at Diamond, Patterson added that this will be constructed at the intersection of the East Bank road and Diamond, given that traffic congestion in this area is a constant inconvenience for commuters and drivers.This, he said, will also play a significant role in reducing the number of accidents.According to Patterson “The community is also one that suffers from serious traffic congestion, so the overhead crossing will bring relief. We expect that the overhead crossing will significantly reduce accidents; save on travel time for those from Diamond; and also precipitate a free flow of traffic at the proposed site.”Speaking about the Ministry’s current projects, Patterson updated that the East Bank Demerara four-lane expansion project is in its final stages, as works are being done between Providence and Herstelling. This project, he said, is set for completion by the end of August 2016.This expansion, he cited, will not only serve to provide additional space but also will significantly cut down on travel time, allow a smoother flow of vehicular traffic, and most importantly, reduce accidents seen along the East Bank Demerara corridor.Since the issue of traffic congestion continues to be high on the agenda for both the Ministry and drivers, Patterson revealed plans by the Government to commence its Sustainable Urban Transportation Study in the month of June.He explained that the study will focus primarily on analysing the public transport system so that possible solutions can be derived as to how mobility can be improved in and around Georgetown.“It is important that we look at ways to diagnose the urban transport situation. We all are aware of the problems and trends and the Government of Guyana believes that it is high time that we deal with matters of public transport infrastructure, operations, financing, and institutional organisation” the Public Infrastructure Minister posited.The Sustainable Urban Transportation Study will support the design of a public transport system to provide users with a safe, efficient, clean, and affordable service.Ongoing works on the East Bank Demerara corridorlast_img read more


first_imgThe two dogs left in squalid conditions at the house in Raphoe.A mother-of-two must contact the ISPCA if she is ever planning to get a pet dog after being found guilty of cruelty to animals.Louise Gallagher, 40, appeared at Letterkenny District Court today charged with two cases of cruelty to dogs. The boxer dogs, named Mitch and Samson, were found in their own excrement, were covered in sores and were drastically underweight at Ms Gallagher’s home in Raphoe on January 15th, 2013.Ms Gallagher claimed the two boxer dogs had belonged to her former partner Dean Kelly.MItch and Samson were close to death according to ISPCA staff.However Kelly moved out in September, 2013 and the dogs were found by ISPCA officers in horrific conditions four months later.ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley said had the dogs been left in the yard any longer, they may well have died.“The dogs were in horrific condition and had they had been left at this address any longer, they could have died from neglect,” he said.Ms Gallagher, of Meadow Hill, Raphoe pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty to dogs through her solicitor Frank Dorrian.Mr Dorrian said Ms Gallagher did not have the financial means to keep the dogs and had no plans to get any dogs in the future.Mitch was vastly underweight and covered in sores when found.A vet who inspected the dog revealed that in her 27 years of practice, she had rarely seen young dogs in such an emaciated state.There were dog bowls in the yard but there was no food in them.Mr Dorrian handed in €330 into the court from Ms Gallagher to partially compensate the expenses paid by the ISPCA.He said the situation was that she had been left with the dogs, had little means and that her two children came first.ISPCA Inspector McGinley appealed to people to contact animal welfare agencies if they cannot cope with the upkeep of dogs or any other animals.“We appreciate that with the current financial downturn some people are finding it difficult to look after animals.“We would appeal to those people to contact the relevant agencies at an early stage so we can assist them,” he said.He also asked Judge Paul Kelly to order Ms Gallagher to contact the ISPCA in the event of her getting a dog after her two year ban was up.Judge Kelly agreed and applied the probation act to Ms Gallagher.The court was told that Mitch and Samson have made a full recovery since their ordeal and have now been re-homed in Co. Meath.WOMAN CHARGED WITH CRUELTY MUST CONTACT ISPCA IF SHE WANTS TO OWN A DOG was last modified: June 10th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:boxer dogscrueltyDean KellydonegalJudge Paul KellyLouise GallagherRaphoelast_img read more

Calls for increased Garda enforcement to protect Inishowen’s border communities

first_imgCalls have been made for further Gardai to be assigned to the North-West to protect border communities in Inishowen.The Donegal peninsula has been plagued with recent criminal activity following a recent break-in and robbery at the newly opened Treehouse Restaurant in Muff.Sinn Féin local election candidate for South Inishowen, Terry Crossan has reaffirmed the need for more Gardaí to protect Inishowen’s border communities from future criminality. Mr Crossan said: “Unfortunately we know from CCTV evidence that this is another incident where criminals have crossed the border to carry out a break-in and robbery and then crossed back again.“The Treehouse Restaurant is a good news story for Muff and Inishowen with serious capital investment by the owners.“I and the local community are devastated that they have been victims of these criminals but we stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” he added.“In every area with a large population like Derry City, sadly the likelihood of criminal gangs increases and homeowners and businesses in the border communities of Inishowen are vulnerable to these criminal gangs.” Calls for increased Garda enforcement to protect Inishowen’s border communities was last modified: March 24th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal-Derry BorderInishowenlast_img read more

Facebooks Zuckerberg got grilled but nothings really changed

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash testifying to Congress this week about the social network privacy scandal, but in the aftermath, not much changed. The big takeaway: Zuckerberg is still sorry, but no radical shift in business strategy was announced. Some senators are woefully ignorant about how the Internet works. The only real news was a hint of a possible paid version of Facebook. This would hypothetically reduce the privacy issues some critics have brought up.Let’s recap:Facebook has admitted that some 87 million of its 2.2 billion users had their e-mail addresses, phone numbers and/or other personal information hijacked by a rogue app developer that passed on the information to a research firm aligned with the Donald Trump presidential campaign.The social network apologized for the action, and said it would be stricter in how it allows data to be shared, and have clearer disclosures to the public about how Facebook uses our data, including by selling advertisers access to groups of people with certain profiles.Tuesday and Wednesday, the 33-year-old Facebook CEO appeared before Congress and repeated these points, as well as tried to educate some senators on how the Internet works.One of the more memorable exchanges featured 84-year-old retiring senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) ask, “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?””Senator,” Zuckerberg said, “We run ads.’The CEO dropped hints that perhaps Facebook could one day offer a paid, more private version of Facebook, and admitted that regulation of his service was “inevitable.”Meanwhile, Facebook is still sending us reminders of where we went in March (I just got mine this morning), who we ate with, what businesses we like and suggesting new friends to spend time with.Not much has changed, nor is it likely to—even after many of us went in and downloaded our data, to see just what Facebook had on us.Analyst Jeremiah Owyang of Kaleido Insights says the event was “political theater,” aimed at allowing Zuckerberg to make amends with the public and the media.”There is now greater awareness to the incredible influence Facebook has across the globe,” he says. “And now that the Congress has put forth their grievances, this will set them up to do regulation.” He expects to see some some sort of new laws that call for Facebook to be more public about it how is uses our data, and require the network to ask our permission to do so and often. This is as opposed to having a terms of service that nobody reads and simply clicks OK on.My own takeaway is a contrarian view. The average person doesn’t care about the privacy brouhaha and despite high profile celebrities like Cher and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak calling to delete Facebook, most won’t. They love it and have continued to use it everyday. As I asked on a Talking Tech podcast earlier this week: “Can we go back to loving Facebook again now?”Meanwhile, in other tech news this week:Gmail will be getting a new look. The desktop version of the world’s most popular e-mail program will add several new features, including the ability to put a time limit on the sent e-mail, like disappearing photos from Snapchat. The new features are expected to be unveiled in May at the Google I/O developer conference.Apple introduced new Red versions of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: The Red editions donate a portion of the proceeds to help combat AIDS. The phones are priced similarly to the standard models, starting at $699 and $799.Uber risks penalties: The Federal Trade Commission is strengthening its settlement with Uber over a 2016 breach in which tens of millions of Uber riders and drivers’ data was accessed. This new agreement adds tougher requirements to a settlement the agency and ride-hailing company reached in August 2017 over a 2014 breach involving bank information and Social Security numbers for more than 100,000 Uber drivers.Hulu and Spotify team up for a joint subscription: The TV and unlimited music subscription services can be picked up together now for $12.99 monthly, versus $7.99 for Hulu (with ads) and $9.99 for Spotify, a savings of $4.99 monthly.This week’s Talking Tech podcastsBest apps for making international calls: My friend Beth just visited Asia, and asked about how to make calls overseas. She’s the inspiration for this episode of Talking Tech.Can we go back to loving Facebook again? Our post Facebook comes to Capital Hill discussion.How to sort through vacation photos? Another listener inspired edition of the podcast, with the question from Ellen Kubo. How to edit those mountains of travel photos? (We snapped 3,000 in Hawaii last week—and got it down to 90.) Listen in to hear how we did it.What Amazon will do with Ring video doorbell. After spending $1 billion to purchase the scrappy doorbell maker, Amazon is set to boost the business. We tell how, on this edition of Talking Tech.HomePod making sour notes for Apple. The iPhone maker’s answer to Alexa costs more than three times the price of an Echo and yes, it works with Siri, but not 100%. We explain the issues.The Talking Tech newsletter was back on the island of Kauai earlier in the week. We say aloha to today’s edition with my collection of time-lapse footage of Hawaiian sunrises and sunsets.Thanks for visiting with us again for the weekend tech news roundup. Be sure to check out the daily #TalkingTech podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to podcasts. Explore further ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Apple co-founder protests Facebook by shutting down account Citation: Facebook’s Zuckerberg got grilled, but nothing’s really changed (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

US to decide best site option for nuclear weapons production Update

At stake are hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in federal funding that would be needed to either revamp existing buildings or construct new factories to support the work.New Mexico’s U.S. senators have been pushing to keep the work at Los Alamos National Laboratory—the once-secret city in northern New Mexico where the atomic bomb was developed decades ago as part of the Manhattan Project. The other option would be to move it to it to the U.S. Energy Department’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina.The mission of producing the cores has been based at Los Alamos for years but none have been produced since 2011 as the lab has been dogged by a string of safety lapses and concerns about a lack of accountability.A team of engineering experts from within the National Nuclear Security Administration and outside professionals has been considering the two sites, which were identified as part of an earlier review that looked at the most efficient and cost effective means for making the plutonium cores.The federal government has been tightlipped about the findings but a summary obtained last year by a watchdog group suggests that it would be most costly—possibly as much as $7.5 billion—to continue making plutonium cores at Los Alamos and that the lab might not be able to meet production goals until 2038.The Energy Department wants to ramp up production to 80 plutonium cores a year by 2030.U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, all New Mexico Democrats, have suggested the nuclear agency’s evaluation process was flawed.”It’s hard to see how NNSA could justify uprooting and recreating the mission somewhere else will save time and money,” they said in a statement issued after Los Alamos and Savannah River were identified as the options.Greg Mello with the Los Alamos Study Group said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that Los Alamos’ track record should give the Trump administration pause as it considers how to move forward.Work at Los Alamos has been stalled by a series of mistakes, and criticism has mounted following mishandling of nuclear materials.”In terms of safety, Los Alamos is the worst site in the complex for its arrogance and scofflaw attitude,” Mello said.In an internal memo, the lab argued last year that operations at its plutonium facility and its safety programs have undergone more than a dozen independent external reviews and that it was close to being fully operational after safety problems forced work to be suspended in 2013.Internal government reports drafted earlier this year indicate serious and persistent safety issues still plague both Los Alamos and Savannah River, according to a recent report by the Center for Public Integrity.Before the mission of making plutonium cores came to Los Alamos in the 1990s, there were concerns by lab officials and elected officials at the time about shifting from research and development to manufacturing. The critics included former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, who opposed expanding the lab’s mission to include the production of parts for nuclear weapons.It’s only recently that the current generation of elected officials has been pushing for the work, Mello said.”In a way that encapsulates New Mexico’s whole problem—that we just haven’t focused properly on what the people need and we’re just slavishly devoted to these institutions that are basically colonial,” he said.If no decision is made by the National Nuclear Security Administration and senior officials don’t accept the analysis by Friday, plutonium operations will remain at Los Alamos. Citation: US to decide best site option for nuclear weapons production (Update) (2018, May 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from The federal agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile is expected this week to release a report on the best site option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear warheads. Explore further Report: US agency holding nuke bombs grapples with oversight (Update) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more