Bob the Builder - can he fix sex education for toddlers? Yes he can, says UN adviser

Telegraph - 10 hours 26 min ago
Parents should discuss Bob the Builder's sex life with their children, United Nations goodwill ambassador on sexual health suggests

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Construction-sector recovery at risk from skills shortage, say building firms

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 19:45

Federation of Master Builders says its poll of small and medium-sized firms reveals struggle to hire bricklayers, carpenters and joiners

A shortage of bricklayers, carpenters and site managers threatens to derail the construction sector’s recovery, an industry group has warned after fresh evidence of recruitment struggles at building companies.

The Federation of Master Builders said its latest poll of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms found employment picked up for the sixth quarter running and the growth was expected to continue over the coming three months, accompanied by rising pay for construction workers. But repeating concerns from other construction-sector reports, about half of the 400 or so companies surveyed said they were struggling to recruit bricklayers.

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Councils to be scored on school dropout rates

Telegraph - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 19:27
Government to publish annual 'scorecard' rating each local authority by the proportion of 16 to 18 year olds who are not in education, employment or training

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Spanish town set to spend subsidy on books instead of bullfights

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 16:49

Traditional bullfight which costs Villafranca de los Caballeros around €18,000 a year may end after council votes on using fund for school supplies

In the small Spanish town of Villafranca de los Caballeros, bulls are taking a back seat to books.

For more than a decade, the small town 80 miles south of Madrid has celebrated its local fiesta with a bullfight. But the tradition could end this year, after the council said it would direct its annual subsidy for the bullfight towards books and school supplies for the town’s students.

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Value of education: UK and US parents in top-ten countries that think university offers poor value for money, HSBC survey finds

The Independent - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 16:41

The value of further education is not just being thrust into the spotlight here in the UK, but across the globe too.

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In defence of the Research Excellence Framework

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 15:41

An as-yet-unannounced review of Business, Innovation and Skills-funded bodies raises a potential threat to the future of research funding. We need an intelligent, evidence-informed debate about the costs and benefits of assessment

In academic circles, it’s become fashionable to denounce the Research Excellence Framework (REF) as the sector’s very own spawn of satan. The REF, a six-yearly assessment of the qualities and impacts of UK research, is used to allocate around £1.6 billion of public funding on an annual basis. In these austere times, you might think that would be enough to win it a few friends. Instead, the critics are lining up.

The REF is “a bloated boondoggle”, a “Frankenstein monster” and “a Minotaur that must be appeased by bloody sacrifices”. It is responsible for a “blackmail culture”, a “fever” and a “toxic miasma” which hangs over our campuses, choking the dying gasps of creativity from academic life. Entire books have been devoted to its insidious “hypocrisies”. Sir Paul Nurse and Lord Stern, the presidents of our most eminent academies, query its “wasteful and distorting” influence. Even Jo Johnson, the science minister, is now trying to sell the virtues of teaching assessment on the basis that he has “no intention of replicating the individual and institutional burdens of the REF”.

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French correction: Henry V's Agincourt fleet was half as big, historian claims

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 13:59

Craig Lambert from Southampton University says contrary to reports of 1,500 ships, the king set sail for France with far fewer vessels

The fleet in which Henry V transported 12,000 soldiers and up to 20,000 horses across the Channel to a famous victory at Agincourt 600 years ago was considerably less spectacular than early historians claimed: not a stunning assembly of 1,500 ships, but less than half that, a fleet of mainly English ships with foreign vessels hired or commandeered to join the expedition.

Craig Lambert, a historian at the University of Southampton, has gone back to original sources, including English exchequer rolls in the National Archives at Kew, to work out how the king got his army across to France. The fleet sailed from Southampton on 11 August 1415, more than two months before the victory over a larger French army on 25 October – St Crispin’s Day – immortalised by Shakespeare.

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Is it worth sending your child to a private boarding school overseas?

Telegraph - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 13:34
A new report from FXcompared Intelligence contrasts the notoriously high boarding school fees in the UK with those abroad

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Councils to be scored on Neet rates

BBC - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 12:25
Local councils are being scored annually on how well they reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training.
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My Asperger's makes living with other students a struggle

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 10:56

I can’t cope with my flatmates’ untidiness and I want to stick to my own routines

Starting university is a big step for everyone, but for me it was a little more daunting as I have Asperger’s syndrome. The National Autistic Society (NAS) describes the condition as a “hidden disability” because you can’t tell from someone’s appearance that they have it.

The main symptoms of the condition, which is a form of autism, are problems with social communication, interaction and imagination. Some common characteristics include a love of routines, having special interests and sensory difficulties.

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NUS finds ‘startling’ lack of sexual harassment policies on campuses

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 10:01

Report finds many universities and student unions put onus on victims to try to resolve matters informally by talking to perpetrators

An analysis by the National Union of Students of policies to address sexual violence, harassment and “lad culture” on campuses has found a “startling lack” of provision, training and support across institutions and student unions.

The audit of 35 institutions and student unions, published on Monday, found that while most had equality and diversity, bullying and harassment policies, “many were ill-defined, often not relevant to lad culture and at times unclear on what is meant by sexual harassment and assault”.

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Can you make schools integrate?

BBC - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 09:58
How do you make schools integrate?
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'It's time to make sure research is understandable to all'

Telegraph - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 09:41
In a world swamped with information, the public need access to both research results and the context to understand them, writes James Connington

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Wealthy parents give their less able children a 'glass floor' to prevent them from falling down the social ladder in Britain, says new research

The Independent - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 09:40

Wealthy parents are giving their less-able children a ‘glass floor’ to prevent them from falling down the social ladder in Britain, a new report claims, while bright but disadvantaged young people are failing to get the same opportunities.

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Four creative ways to keep children learning over the summer holidays

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 08:00

The arrival of the holidays doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Here are some fun ideas and resources for broadening young minds over the break

It’s time for students to kick off their school shoes and pack up their textbooks because school’s out for summer. But the arrival of the holidays doesn’t mean learning has to stop – in fact, it can provide many opportunities to broaden young minds.

From family trips to museums, new literature or fun experiments in the kitchen, it’s not about following a rigid curriculum but rather discovering ways to get young charges excited about learning.

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Radiography students in hospitals tell stories that make me want to weep

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 07:45

In the NHS, students are at the bottom of the pile with little voice. It’s time the health service acknowledged that they can help improve services

I am a diagnostic radiographer; one of the allied health professions often forgotten by the public and media in a world where the NHS seems to consist of only doctors and nurses. Diagnostic radiographers often see tens, if not hundreds, of new patients each day. We get very little time with our patients; it can take as little as two minutes to complete a chest x-ray. During this time, we are expected to build a relationship of trust with our patient to enable us to get the best possible image while ensuring that the patient is cared for. It is a difficult balance to achieve but one that is vitally important. That two minute x-ray could be a life changing event; something that is easy to forget when you are x-raying the chests of over 100 people each day.

Related: I loved being a midwife but bullying, stress and fear made me resign

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Morgan: Ban emails after 5pm to help teachers cope with workload

Telegraph - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 06:01
The Education Secretary said a school in her constituency is "getting the balance right" by banning emails after working hours and at the weekend as the country faces one of the worst recruitment crisis in recent history

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Universities throw weight behind case for keeping Britain in European Union

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/07/2015 - 00:01

EU membership ‘overwhelmingly positive’ for universities, say vice-chancellors at launch of pro-Europe campaign

University chiefs are to back Britain’s membership of the EU ahead of the in/out referendum. Vice-chancellors will hail the “overwhelmingly positive impact” of the union as they launch a campaign alongside the shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, and pro-European Conservative MP Damian Green. The move comes amid reports that David Cameron is planning to hold the decisive poll in June next year.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of the Universities UK group of more than 130 educational institutions, is expected to tell the event in London on Monday that they must “stand up and be counted”. “It is abundantly clear that the UK’s membership of the European Union has an overwhelmingly positive impact on our world-leading universities, enhancing university research and teaching,” Goodfellow will say.

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