RSS feed
Sean Coughlan

Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

Here are my ideas and insights on what’s making the news in education

Information gap for university applications

11 September 2014
What grades did students actually get to be admitted to courses?

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their families will have begun thinking about university for next year.

It's a big, anxiety-inducing decision, but there's a really key piece of information that never seems to be available.

What results do students really need to get into a course? Rather than the marketing pitch, what were the actual entry grades for students in previous years?

It's such basic consumer information that you would assume it must be published.

On the Ucas website there is information showing the grades for a "typical offer".

Read full article

Competing for the university vote

28 August 2014
Piggy bank with a mortar board

Like a monster re-awakening from a deep freeze, the debate about tuition fees in England and the future of universities seems to be coming back to life.

If there was a top 10 of education stories in the life of this Parliament, it would be hard to think of anything bigger than the ferocious dispute over raising tuition fees.

Read full article

Michael Gove: Radical, controversial, divisive

Michael Gove, July 15th
Michael Gove, in Downing Street on Tuesday, has been education's great divider

Last week Michael Gove was the headline act at an international education conference - where a former senior Labour adviser, Sir Michael Barber, hailed him as one of the four most influential education secretaries since the Second World War.

Looking at the reaction from teachers on Twitter, staffrooms across England might hear some other less flattering accolades.

Read full article

How did London become an education superpower?

London skyline
Graduate economy: 60% of London's working-age population has a degree

Inner city schools, high levels of deprivation, not speaking English as a first language, a large majority of pupils from ethnic minorities...

And what do you get? The most successful school system in the country.

Read full article

Why do white working class pupils fail in school?

Dock Workers statue, Royal Victoria Dock
Lost communities: Dock Workers statue in London's Royal Victoria Dock

Why do white working class children underachieve in schools?

MPs on the education select committee delivered the verdict that they are "consistently the lowest performing group in the country".

Read full article

What is the fall out from the Trojan Horse?

Trojan horse

The inspection reports into the so-called Trojan Horse allegations have finally been published.

After what must be an unprecedented amount of leaking, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has delivered his verdict.

Read full article

'Trojan Horse': Birmingham academy trust criticised

Park View School in Birmingham
A leaked report has been critical of Park View School in Birmingham

The Birmingham academy trust at the centre of the so-called Trojan Horse allegations has been accused of running schools which have "taken the Islamic focus too far".

A leaked draft report on Park View Educational Trust from the Education Funding Agency says some parts of the school curriculum are "restricted to a conservative Islamic perspective".

Read full article

Sean added analysis to:

Trojan Horse leaked report says pupils 'not protected from extremism'

Parents in Birmingham must be wondering how everyone else seems to have these "Trojan Horse" inspection reports when they are still kept in the dark.

This latest leak shows Golden Hillock school, part of the Park View academy chain, to be inadequate and failing to "keep students safe from the risks associated with extremist views".

Read full article

Birmingham schools to be run by trusts?

Birmingham City Council

How are Birmingham's schools going to be run after Ofsted delivers its inspection reports into the so-called Trojan Horse allegations?

The investigations following the allegations of extremism have raised major questions about the governance of schools in Birmingham - with the council having warned of "significant structural changes".

Read full article

What do young Harvard graduates believe?

Harvard's Class of 2014: 42% had sought mental health counselling

What are the views and experiences of the bright young things leaving Harvard University this summer?

These will be the movers and shakers in US society in the years ahead, many of them about to step into influential jobs in business and government.

Read full article

More Correspondents

  • Mark Easton, Home editor Mark Easton Home editor

    The way we live in the UK and the many ways it is changing

  • Dominic Casciani, Home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    Updates, insights and links on home affairs

  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics

About Sean

Sean Coughlan is an award-winning education correspondent for the BBC News website.

As well as covering news about schools and universities in the UK, he is editor of the BBC's international education online series, The Knowledge Economy, which looks at the impact of education from a global perspective and how it is shaping the economies of the future.

He is author of several books, including a cultural history of sleep.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.