Tag Archives: teaching

19 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Almost 20,000 older people waited over four hours for an ambulance after falls last year
  • Half of places on secondary postgrad teaching courses unfilled
  • Almost a third of pupils missing school and decline in support for teachers and pupils

Almost 20,000 older people waited over four hours for an ambulance after falls last year

  • The Liberal Democrats launch their local election campaign unveiling shocking new figures of elderly patients waiting too long for an ambulance
  • Ed Davey to visit Hertfordshire where he will declare this May “the chance to send this out of touch Conservative government a message”
  • Number of older patients waiting over 4 hours for an ambulance after falling has almost doubled since 2019/20
  • One patient waited close to three days for an ambulance to arrive after a fall

Almost 20,000 older people in England waited more than four hours for an ambulance to arrive after having a fall last year, more than double the number in 2019/20, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will visit the Blue Wall battleground of Hertfordshire to launch his party’s local election campaign. Ed Davey will focus his party’s campaign on local health services.

The new data was uncovered by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests to ambulance trusts in England. It shows there were 19,904 incidents in 2022/23 where someone aged over 65 had a fall and had to wait more than four hours for an ambulance to arrive, or an average of 54 people a day.

This is a stark 96.5% rise since before the pandemic in 2019/20 for the trusts that provided data across the full four years.

Even more shockingly, 1,411 older patients waited over 12 hours for an ambulance to arrive after falling last year, a more than tenfold increase compared to 2019/20. The East of England Ambulance Trust had the worst record with nearly 8,000 incidents that took longer than four hours and 769 that took longer than 12 hours to respond last year.

The West Midlands had an average response time for elderly falls of one hour 54 minutes and in that region a patient waited close to three days after experiencing a fall.

Posted in News, Press releases and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

17 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up
  • Government Pushed to Vote on Banning New Coal Mines
  • Government reported for breaking purdah rules
  • Sunak investigation: Another accusation of a Conservative PM bending the rules
  • Government defeated as Lib Dems win vote to ban new coal mines

Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up

Responding to Gillian Keegan’s morning media round about the Government’s maths announcement, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Gillian Keegan’s empty words are an insult to millions of people who are looking to the Government for

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Soaring teaching vacancies show Conservatives failing children

Responding to a new report by the National Foundation for Educational Research showing that the number of teaching vacancies has risen by 93% since 2019, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

The soaring number of unfilled teaching posts is yet more proof that the Conservatives are failing our children badly.

Millions of children are being taught by someone who isn’t an expert in their subject, all because the Conservatives are missing their own recruitment targets and driving thousands of teachers out of the profession. It’s just not good enough.

Investing in schools and teachers is vital for giving every child the

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged | 1 Comment

STEM subjects lead the way

The number of entries for different A Level subjects in England makes for interesting reading. The top subject is Mathematics which is way ahead with 90k entries, followed by Psychology (76k), Biology (66k) and Chemistry (55k). In fact those four subjects have been the most popular from 2018 onwards.

STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have dominated A level teaching for many years. In fact, of the ten most popular subjects, seven (Mathematics, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Sociology, Physics and Economics)  are STEM subjects.

This is generally to be welcomed, but with a couple of caveats.

First, exam entries do vary by gender across subjects.  I can’t find the gender data for this year, but from Summer 2021 we can see that more girls took the following subject than boys:

  • Psychology: 75% of entries were by females
  • Biology: 63%
  • Chemistry: 55%
  • Sociology: 75%

But more boys took three of the top ten STEM subjects :

  • Mathematics: 39% female
  • Physics: 24%
  • Economics: 31%

The figure for Mathematics is particularly worrying because Mathematics is a basic requirement for so many STEM degrees. The gender imbalance in those degrees is still quite marked. Physics is also avoided by girls – again this is a significant requirement for further study in most Engineering subjects.

And if we look further down the popularity table at Computing, only 16% of entries are by girls. I find this puzzling, having run A Level and BTEC courses in Computing over many years in the 80s and 90s. I can certainly remember a much higher proportion of girls taking the subject each year, and indeed progressing to further studies or employment in the field.

The fact is that girls consistently outperform boys on most A Level subjects (in terms of A/A* grades) including Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computing. So why are so many girls still reluctant to take those subjects at A Level?

Second, with a preponderance of STEM subjects in the top ten, Humanities and Arts subjects are being squeezed out. This year English Literature has dropped to 12th position. We are all aware that Music and Drama are in serious decline in schools.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Teacher workload – a concern north and south of the border

Yesterday, Nick Clegg gave a speech to public sector workers. His specific focus was on teacher workload. Everyone thinks that teachers work short hours and have long holidays. Yet everyone who has a child actually at school will know how much effort goes in to preparing lessons. And everyone who knows a teacher knows that they spend a lot of their supposed “off-duty” time thinking of interesting lessons or, more likely these days, filling in interminable paperwork. We know that children need to be kept safe and their progress checked, but I get the feeling that the bureaucracy is overbearing and unnecessary. Let’s just give you a small example from my own experience. Every time my child sets foot outside the school we have to fill in a consent form. It’s A4. It has all sorts of medical info on it. It even asks how far they can swim unaided, a skill which is unlikely to be needed when representing the school in a maths competition or reading stories to 6 year olds in the local primary school. We can be filling in one of these forms twice a month. If it’s a mild inconvenience for us as parents, what’s it like for teachers who have maybe 30 of them to collect for each class? Why can parents not fill in a standing consent with all the info which covers the whole year?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: We need unqualified teachers and assistants to become qualified

Teacher In ClassroomWe’ve just launched our parent guarantee about ensuring that all state funded schools should only use qualified teaching staff. A great idea, of course we want all teachers to hold a subject related degree and their post-grad certificate in education (PGCE) and their QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). But what about those unqualified teachers already in a teaching role? What about the other staff which support and help educate our children?

I personally work in a secondary Academy (years 7-11) which has some non-QTS staff. Most are excellent educators of children …

Posted in Op-eds | 15 Comments

Education: 59% of Lib Dems say teachers should have formal teaching qualifications

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’ve been publishing the full results.

(There were a couple of results I ran out of time to publish during the Christmas holiday period – I’m publishing them this week.)

Yesterday I reported the results of what party members think about school structures. Today we look at your views on teachers and the curriculum…

59% of Lib Dems say teachers employed by state-funded

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Recent Comments

  • Martin Bennett
    It is likely to be the case that Labour will do less well than current polls and electoral calculus indicate and that Conservatives will do better, with Reform ...
  • David Allen
    We should support the ICC prosecutor, who rightly seeks to charge both Hamas and Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity. https://www.theguardian.c...
  • Geoff Reid
    We all speak as fools in guessing General Ellection results. That being said I can’t help thinking ththat one of the best outcomes might be a Labour small to...
  • Neil Hickman
    I’m not convinced about this supposed non-aggression pact with Labour. One of the few successes for the Tories this month was in a by election in a seat near ...
  • James Fowler
    Holding the balance of power after the forthcoming election would appear so improbable as to be absurd. However, if we do secure ca. 30+ MPs it's possible that ...