University Awards 2017: how to write an entry that stands out

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 07/12/2016 - 11:51

You may have a great project, but if you don’t sell it well, it runs the risk of being overlooked. Here’s how to stand out among hundreds

You’re probably wondering what it takes to write an entry that leaps to the top of the judges’ pile. What exactly will the judges be looking for?

Well, the truth is, we want to see examples of work that goes beyond the mundane - something that demonstrates imagination, careful research, courage and stamina. And we want evidence to show that your project changed the lives of those who were affected by it.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Housing crisis 'creates in-work poverty'

BBC - Wed, 07/12/2016 - 09:11
Poverty among people who are working has risen despite a recovery in the UK economy, a study suggests.
Categories: Education news feeds

Can technology replace teachers? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Harpreet Purewal

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 07/12/2016 - 08:00
Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

Anxiety about losing your job to technology is both a rational and growing fear. Andy Haldane, the chief economist at the Bank of England, recently estimated that 15m jobs in the UK were threatened by automation. Technology is reaching such levels of sophistication that it is capable not only of manual tasks but cognitive ones too, putting a wide range of jobs are at risk. The areas most vulnerable include driving and administrative work. But according to a report from Oxford University that looked at over 700 areas of work, teaching at all levels across the educational spectrum is a safe bet.

Related: Stop blaming teachers for falling results and give them the trust and time to actually teach | Ned Manning

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Categories: Education news feeds

From American Dream to Asian ambition?

BBC - Wed, 07/12/2016 - 00:02
Why do Asian countries do so well in global education rankings? The OECD's education director says it reflects a belief that all pupils can succeed.
Categories: Education news feeds

The Guardian view on the Pisa tests: slicing them up | Editorial

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 18:43
The OECD’s pupil survey is full of facts but not much enlightenment

Tony Blair wanted to be remembered for his education reforms, and the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment – Pisa – the triennial survey of the skills of 15-year-olds suggest that if only he had concentrated on his domestic agenda, he probably would have been. The Pisa scores are notorious for revealing no consistent message, but it is striking that England’s 15-year-olds are performing about as well as three years ago, where Scotland and Wales, where reform was rebuffed, are in decline.

Overall, the UK’s performance is almost unchanged: a little above the OECD average, still a long way behind Singapore, Japan and Estonia, but well ahead of Italy, Israel and Iceland. There is a marginal improvement in the UK’s ranking, despite a slight decline in scores. It is unhappy reading for Tories who only last year pledged in their election manifesto to make Britain the best place to study by 2020; but when the individual countries of the UK are broken out from the overall UK result, it becomes clear that Mr Blair’s aggressive focus on English education appears to have paid off. Education specialists argue that it takes about a decade for changes to affect outcomes on a large scale. In science, reading and maths, England now outperforms the rest of the UK. Wales and Scotland both opted out of league tables and other Blairite reforms in the early 2000s. Now they are playing catch up. In particular Scotland, for so long the top performer in the UK, has suffered an unexpected fall in outcomes since 2012. No wonder the SNP now suggest the results “strongly reinforced” the case for change.

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Categories: Education news feeds

What does the future hold for integration and multiculturalism? | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 17:54

Louise Casey may be right that “huge progress” has been made in achieving social integration in recent years (Opinion, 5 December). But policies relating to integration have not improved much. In the early 1980s, the Commission for Racial Equality, of which I was chairman, defined integration in a multicultural society “as a way of describing how different people, with different religions, languages and attitudes, can establish sufficient common ground to enable them to live together (without trying to become the same as each other), in justice and peace”. Integration, so defined, is incompatible with multiculturalism, if that is thought to encourage separate development, separate schools, separate housing and – “surely not”, we wrote at the time – separate laws. The key words in that definition are “common ground” and “justice”. Values, British or other, are slippery things to instil in schools or elsewhere. Our laws are not. Political correctness, if it allows people to break the law, is itself unlawful. So are certain forms of discrimination.

What everyone needs to understand is that they are free to believe in actions that are unlawful but if they, or institutions such as schools, act in accordance with those unlawful beliefs, or incite others to do that, they may be prosecuted or closed down. What need to be avoided are policymakers who preach integration and then, as in England’s school system these days, practise disintegration by encouraging the creation of as many separate types of school as possible.
Sir Peter Newsam
Thornton le Dale, North Yorkshire

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Categories: Education news feeds

Time to invest in good reading for everyone | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 17:54

Wonderful news that Rob Wilson, the junior minister responsible for libraries, has recognised that libraries provide a vital public service to communities and has made an extra £4m available (Libraries to get £4m to diversify, 2 December).

Here in Suffolk, our Industrial Provident Society (IPS) has been incredibly successful in managing its reducing budget for the county libraries. However, this is likely to change in the light of proposed cuts. Suffolk Libraries IPS will have to save a further £230,000 in the next financial year (2017/2018). This is on top of the previous year’s cut of £350,000. Over the past five years the total budget will have shrunk from almost £9m to a little over £5m if these latest cuts go ahead.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Pisa tests: UK lags behind in global school rankings

BBC - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 17:20
The UK is still lagging behind at education, with little progress in international rankings.
Categories: Education news feeds

Postgrad students lose financial support after loan company mistake

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 14:18

‘A result of human error’ has left 108 students without their expected payment, leaving some in financial trouble

Mistakes by the Student Loans Company (SLC) have left more than 100 postgraduates struggling to fund their courses after they were promised loans that were later withdrawn.

Some students have had to leave their courses, others are facing financial hardship after paying out thousands of pounds in course and rental deposits that they had expected to recoup through the loans.

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Categories: Education news feeds

UK schools fail to climb international league table

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 10:44

Government wanted UK schools to be among best in OECD’s Pisa assessment, but Scotland and Wales rankings have fallen

The government’s ambition to make Britain’s schools among the best in the world in teaching core subjects by 2020 appears to have been foiled, after international comparisons published on Tuesday showed few signs of improvement.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s programme for international student assessment (Pisa) found a little-changed performance in reading, maths and science among 15- and 16-year-olds in England – but good enough to make it the best performing UK nation after a sharp decline in Scotland’s performance.

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The forgotten people in the grammar school debate? Disabled children | Mike Lambert

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 10:00

I’ve seen first-hand how much progress has been made in including disabled children in mainstream education. Expanding grammars would be a regressive move

This autumn’s green paper, proposing the expansion of grammar schools and selective education, has provoked much protest. And rightly so, given that we now have a government openly challenging the inclusive ideals that have guided our education system for the past 40 years. But amid the uproar, there’s one vulnerable group receiving very little attention.

As the close of the consultation period on 12 December fast approaches, I’ve been thinking about what these changes will mean for disabled children. Although the green paper is titled Schools that Work for Everyone, it doesn’t contain one word about how disabled children should be educated. And yet, if these changes go ahead, there is reason to believe that they’ll have a disproportionately negative impact on this marginalised group.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Can grammar schools really sprinkle fairy dust on struggling secondaries?

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 07:15

Theresa May expects selective schools to take over their neighbours and magically improve them. But the data tells a cautionary tale

“Further turmoil at troubled academy chain as Cedar Mount’s GCSE results plummet,” reported the Manchester Evening News in September. Under the headline was a striking story with a message for ministers as they seek, controversially, to encourage grammar schools to get involved in running non-selective institutions as part of Theresa May’s plan to expand selection.

The article was about an academy chain set up by the highly successful Altrincham grammar school for girls, which has faced a challenge in trying to turn around a comprehensive in a much tougher part of Manchester.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Lies, damned lies, statistics and university performance targets – Peter Scott

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 07:00

Performance indicators are all – whether universities are improving is besides the point

Pilate asked: “What is truth?” No, this is not just another attack on the “post-truth” brigade – Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, and the rest engaged in counter-revolution against liberal society. Every serious person knows that the consequences for universities of leaving the EU, and the wider Brexit-style tide of reaction, will be dire. Whatever social media trolls so aggressively believe, there is no upside.

There are other dubious “truths” – in particular, the cult of performance. As well as a knowledge society, the audit society, the network society, we have now have the performance society.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Dear Justine Greening, Michael Gove attacked school arts openly not on the QT – Michael Rosen

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 06:45

Your ‘knowledge based’ curriculum is squeezing out the arts and its way of interpreting the world to include everyone

Because you are the Secretary of State for Education, you have more power invested in your office than almost any other minister, so you could, say, decide all 11-year-olds must know what the subjunctive is, even though your own hired team of experts says there is no real subjunctive in English. “Such objections don’t matter,” you could say.

And because all the old checks and balances – local to balance national, professional to balance executive, research work to balance ministerial hunch – have been wiped out, your random thoughts can become policy.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Child regret

BBC - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 03:04
When Corinne Maier spoke to the BBC attacking baby mania, her honest account of parenting struck a chord around the world.
Categories: Education news feeds

Almost 1,500 school pupils in Aberdeen given anti-weapons lessons

BBC - Tue, 06/12/2016 - 00:37
Almost 1,500 secondary pupils across Aberdeen have been given anti-weapons lessons in the wake of the killing of schoolboy Bailey Gwynne.
Categories: Education news feeds

Why are so many digital assistants "female"?

BBC - Mon, 05/12/2016 - 23:00
Why do so many artificially intelligent chatbots have female names and avatars?
Categories: Education news feeds