My son’s new role: Labour witchfinder general | Tim Dowling

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 18:36
In enlisting my 17-year-old to ascertain the political allegiances of two boys at his school, the party may have hit upon a way to make politics appeal to young people

My middle son received an email from the local Labour party, regarding the scrutiny of new membership applications. It’s not about his application – he joined six months ago, and appears to be considered something of a senior figure in the party – but about those of two boys in his year at school. One, the party suspects, is actually a Conservative supporter, and therefore faces expulsion “under clause 2.I.4.B of the Labour party rules”. The other, well, they’re just suspicious. Could my son please confirm that his classmate is a secret Tory, or provide assurances that his other classmate is as Labour as he claims?

Let us put aside for a moment the fact that everyone concerned in this micro-witchhunt is 17 (I’ve got a feeling the sender of the email isn’t long out of school himself) – an age when your track record as a supporter of anything is liable to be brief or non-existent, and precisely the time of your life when you might experience a genuine change of heart. And let’s forget about the muddy nature of loyalty and how it might colour any answer to that email.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Northern Scotland suffering teacher shortage with 300 posts unfilled

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 18:26

Severest shortages are in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands where 20 primary schools are without head teachers, and nearly 190 teaching posts remain vacant

Council leaders across northern Scotland have called for urgent action to deal with a shortage of teachers after failing to fill nearly 300 teaching and head teacher posts.

The severest shortages are in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands where councils now have 20 primary schools without head teachers and nearly 190 teaching posts vacant in primary and secondary schools.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Recession teachers 'get better results'

BBC - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 18:24
A US study says that the recession saw more talented graduates coming into teaching and they are getting higher results.
Categories: Education news feeds

Councils unite on teacher shortages

BBC - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 17:06
Six councils in the north east and north of Scotland unite in a bid to tackle teacher shortages in schools.
Categories: Education news feeds

School pupils who suffer from hay fever do worse in their end of year exams, research shows

The Independent - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 16:49

School pupils who suffer from hay fever do worse in their end of year exams and may be less likely to go to a top university than classmates who do not suffer from the condition, according to new research.

Categories: Education news feeds

California home school interest surges as parents look to sidestep vaccine law

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 13:30

Home schooling in the US is steadily increasing and out west there’s now the added allure of being exempt from a law mandating vaccines for schoolkids

With the passage of a new law this summer mandating vaccines for schoolkids in California, home school advocates and organizations say they are seeing surging interest in off-campus education options that would exempt them from the requirement.

“The word on the streets is that, yes, people are coming to home schooling,” said Sarah Ford, membership director for Sonoma County Homeschoolers Nonprofit in northern California.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Hayfever 'has negative impact on grades', research finds

Telegraph - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 13:23
Hayfever sufferers who sat GCSEs and A-levels this summer could have dropped a grade due to 'very high' pollen count

Categories: Education news feeds

Hay fever 'bar to university places'

BBC - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 13:12
The impact of hay-fever at exam time could be harmful enough to mean that some students might miss out on a university place, say researchers.
Categories: Education news feeds

Ad watchdog rebukes Moshi Monsters

BBC - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 12:17
The ASA rule that both Moshi Monsters and Bin Weevils broke its advertising code by pressuring children into making in-game purchases.
Categories: Education news feeds

A gap year for shrewd students: don't travel – work and gain skills

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 10:16

If you missed out on a place at university and you’re taking a year out, use the time to gain valuable experience

Not every school leaver will have the confidence to chat about teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases to young people. But that’s exactly what Tegan Morgan did for a year as a volunteer before applying to university.

“Torfaen, where I’m from, has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Wales. A lot of my friends are now parents,” says Morgan, who worked for the organisation Volunteering Matters, which trains and accommodates volunteers to work in community projects in the UK and abroad.

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Categories: Education news feeds