Secret Teacher: I was treated like a naughty pupil for not wearing a tie

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 07:00

An insignificant choice of workwear led to diktats and thinly veiled threats. Schools might teach liberty but they don’t practise it

During my schooldays I was forever being told to tuck in my shirt. It bothered me – I couldn’t see the relationship between my shirt and my ability to learn. One day, when my history teacher barked his familiar request to “tuck that shirt in”, I asked why.

I was all but dragged to the deputy headteacher’s office and it was there I first heard about the “hidden curriculum”.

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What can my daughter buy her form tutor as a leaving gift?

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 07:00

We don’t even know if this is still the done thing

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

This week’s question:

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Student loans: the next big mis-selling scandal?

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 28/05/2016 - 06:59

A change to loan conditions, made after it’s taken out? A mortgage company can’t legally do that to borrowers, but it seems the government can

Many graduates have been shocked this week to see just how their debt is escalating, with interest charged at up to 3.9%. That’s more than the typical rate on a first-time buyer mortgage. Have they been mis-sold a dodgy loan?

University of Nottingham graduate Simon Crowther’s post on Facebook went viral this week, after he revealed how much interest is being added to his debt. He’s part of the first wave of graduates to have left university after paying £9,000-a-year fees. His total debt, a year after leaving college, jumped to £41,976 by the end of March, with the interest racking up by as much as £180 a month. Crowther claims he was mis-sold the loan and “cheated by a government who encouraged many of us to undertake higher education, despite trebling the cost of attending university”.

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Cambridge University to remain with NUS

BBC - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 18:16
Cambridge University will remain affiliated to the National Union of students after a referendum of students rejected a motion to leave.
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Have student loan interest rates really shot up?

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 17:22

A young graduate was in the news this week after posting his student loan statement online showing that he was accruing up to £180 a month in interest – or a rate of 6.6% – when he thought he had signed up to a rate of just 0.5%

A Facebook post by a recent graduate suggesting that interest rates on student loans have been hiked went viral this week – so have rates really gone up?

The post, by a graduate called Simon Crowther who finished a degree in civil engineering last year, suggested that he and other students had seen their interest rates hiked after the sale of the Student Loans Company to a private firm. Crowther seems to have struck a nerve with other students when he published his statement, showing he was racking up as much as £180 a month in interest on a £40,000 loan for tuition fees and maintenance. He said he had expected to pay just 0.5% when he signed up, but rates had been increased when the company was sold off. But Crowther is mistaken – the interest rates on the loans had been set before he and his contemporaries started university in 2012.

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‘It's like Florence Nightingale’s time’: South Sudan’s public services collapse

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 15:17

From candlelit births to a lack of power and basic supplies, the desperate plight of South Sudan’s largest public hospital is symptomatic of a countrywide crisis

Wednesday afternoon found Jeremiah Kuol pacing up and down the maternity ward of Juba teaching hospital, wondering whether his wife, Hannah Nyabok, would live or die.

She had suffered a severe haemorrhage after giving birth the day before but, with South Sudan’s largest public hospital facing a week-long power cut and a shortage of medicine, there seemed little hope of saving her life.

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Child death inquiries to be overhauled

BBC - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 14:35
The system of inquiries into child deaths in England where neglect or abuse is suspected will be overhauled, says the government
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World's scariest school run? Chinese children tackle 800-metre cliff

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 12:23

Children as young as six from Atuler village in Sichuan province have to scale a huge rockface using rickety ladders

Authorities in south-west China have vowed to come to the aid of an isolated mountain village after photographs emerged showing the petrifying journey its children are forced to make to get to school.

To attend class, backpack-carrying pupils from Atuler village in Sichuan province must take on an 800-metre rock face, scrambling down rickety ladders and clawing their way over bare rocks as they go.

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Students face 'shocking' access gap

BBC - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 11:35
Young Scots from disadvantaged areas are four times less likely to go to university than those from wealthy backgrounds, researchers find.
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How charity work breaks down the town v gown divide

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 10:31

For students moving to a new city, setting up a charity or volunteering can help them feel involved in the community beyond university – and locals benefit too

Student life is busy. It’s stressful to keep up with looming deadlines and maintain a social life, without thinking about the community that surrounds you.

But look around, and you will soon become aware that a town versus gown divide persists in many university towns.

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The agony and the ecstasy of the US National Spelling Bee - in pictures

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 09:21

After an emotionally charged finish the Scripps US National Spelling Bee, held at National Harbor, Maryland, has ended in a tie, with Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga declared co-champions

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Chinese children climb 800m cliff to get home from school – video

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 08:56

Children as young as six from the small Atuler village in the Sichuan province of China have to scale a rock face using rickety ladders to get home from school. Images of their terrifying journey went viral this week on the Chinese internet

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University of East Anglia pioneers thatched roof campus

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 05:00

At UEA’s Enterprise Centre, local materials meet hi-tech carbon monitoring – all on a traditional budget

Visitors to The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia’s campus can smell the wood as soon as they arrive, although they may not know it comes from nearby Thetford Forest. And though most admire the building’s beautiful design, they may not realise all new materials were sustainably sourced with a minimum carbon footprint.

Related: Swedish city builds 'passive houses' as part of ambitious CO2 reduction targets

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Manchester University puts 2,400 local people back into work

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 05:00

The Works, an employment and training centre run by the University of Manchester, is helping Moss Side residents train up and find work

For many years, mention of Manchester’s Moss Side conjured up images of sink estates and social deprivation. While major rebuilding efforts are beginning to change the physical landscape of the inner-city borough, economic regeneration is proving more protracted.

As the city’s largest employer, the University of Manchester has the potential to speed things along. Four years ago the university set up The Works, an employment centre in the heart of Moss Side that helps local residents find job opportunities at the university and further afield.

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A million more 'to live with parents'

BBC - Fri, 27/05/2016 - 00:09
A million more young people are likely to find themselves living with their parents over the next decade, according to the insurance company Aviva.
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Baylor fires football coach Art Briles and re-assigns president Kenneth Starr

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 18:12
  • Baptist university in Texas rocked by sexual assault scandal
  • School shakes up leadership after report finds serious failures

Baylor University announced on Thursday that it has suspended football coach Art Briles with the intent to fire him, and has re-assigned president Kenneth Starr to a separate role, as America’s biggest Baptist school attempts to deal with a high-profile sexual assault scandal that has rocked campus.

Briles, 60, will be fired. Starr has been demoted from his role as university president, but will remain a professor at Baylor’s law school and has been given the position of chancellor. Athletic director Ian McCaw has been placed on probation.

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University examiners stage mass resignation over pay offer

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 18:12

More than 1,000 academics quit roles as external examiners following two-day strike over 1.1% pay offer

More than 1,000 academics have resigned from their roles as external examiners in universities across the UK, in an escalation of this week’s industrial action over pay.

The mass resignation threatens to disrupt exam marking in universities this summer when boards meet to discuss challenged marks, with more widespread disruption expected at the start of the next academic year.

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Why we are resigning as external examiners | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 17:22

We write as external examiners whose role is to assure the quality of higher education courses at universities and colleges across the UK, but who have decided to resign in order to support the campaign for fair pay in our sector. We have resigned because, while as senior academics we believe our role in underpinning the quality of education provided to students is vital, we are all too aware of the unfairness of the current pay policies of our universities and their impact on staff and their students.

We have watched with sadness the pay of academic and professional staff fall in real terms by 14.5% since 2009; we have seen the numbers of casual staff proliferate; and seen universities do little or nothing to reduce the shocking gender pay gap despite having a collective surplus of £1.85bn. Yet the final straw for many of us is the contention by our employers that the latest final pay offer of 1.1% is “at the limits of what can be afforded” when at the same time we discover that university leaders have themselves received an average pay increase of 6.1%. The blatant hypocrisy of this position is breathtaking.

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Exam regulator clamps down on re-marks

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 15:56
Exam regulator Ofqual is clamping down on the rules for re-marks to end the 'unfair advantage' gained by schools which want lots of tests reviewed.
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Exam appeals change could make it tougher to challenge results

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 14:36

GCSE, AS and A-level examiners will only act on clear marking errors after complaints too many students received boosted grades

Students sitting GCSEs, AS-levels and A-levels this summer could find it harder to successfully appeal against results following changes to the rules governing exam remarks and appeals.

The exam regulator Ofqual said too many students had been getting extra marks, and possibly a higher grade as a result, after requesting an exam remark when the original mark was “perfectly appropriate”.

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