Academia is now incompatible with family life, thanks to casual contracts

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:00

I want to be a good scientist but that means I can’t be anything else, as all my time is taken up trying to find contracts

I have just returned from my last conference of the season – half a dozen in total, across the UK and Europe. One theme kept cropping up in conversations with fellow attendees: job insecurity, and the impact it is having on our families and lives.

Related: Teaching at a university means constant pressure - for about £5 an hour

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Smart money

BBC - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:23
As global student loan debt reaches crisis levels, can tech start-ups help cut costs?
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Schools asbestos claims hit £10m

BBC - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:03
BBC News finds councils in England have paid out £10m due to people who became ill because of asbestos in school buildings.
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Tesco Bank cyber attack involved guesswork, study claims

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:01

Academics say working out card number, expiry date and security code of Visa card takes ‘as little as six seconds’

A team of academics claims an unsophisticated type of cyber attack that exploits “flaws” in the Visa card payment system was probably used to defraud Tesco Bank customers of £2.5m last month.

Related: Cyber attack: hackers 'weaponised' everyday devices with malware to mount assault

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Mucky work: The teacher who took island job

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 22:58
Earlier in the year the BBC brought you a story about the Isle of Muck having trouble finding a new teacher. A woman saw that report, and liked the look of island life.
Categories: Education news feeds

The Guardian view on Sir Michael Wilshaw: ruffling the right feathers | Editorial

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 18:49
The outgoing Ofsted chief has an appetite for controversy but his comments are underpinned by evidence

Recent political campaigns have shown beyond reasonable doubt that dry statistical claims that things are getting better don’t work when the public suspects that they are not. So the claim that the percentage of schools ranked good or outstanding has increased in the past five years is unlikely to be reassuring to anyone who frets about the condition of education in England. Technically, though, that is true. For primary schools, the rise is from 68% to 89%; for secondary schools it is from 66% to 78%. One person keener than most to advertise those numbers is Sir Michael Wilshaw, since they reflect his four-year tenure as chief inspector of schools. He is standing down at the end of the year.

It is easy to find fault with the inspection regime, to challenge the criteria on which judgments are made, to criticise the way data is collected, to lament the imprecision of verdicts expressed in crude categories and league tables. But it is also easy to forget that an imperfect system for upholding standards and giving parents a tool to monitor progress came into being because previously there was no system at all that allowed parents to judge how their child’s school was doing.

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National Teaching Service dropped, government confirms

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 18:43
A scheme to recruit top teachers to work in deprived areas has been dropped, the government confirms.
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Mind the Gap

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 18:11
Chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw says children in the northern England are missing out.
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Michael McGinty obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 18:04

My friend Michael McGinty, a soldier, teacher and remarkable man, who has died aged 73, was once asked at an interview if he wasn’t a little on the old side for a teaching job at a college in China. He was in his mid-60s at the time.

“See that running track out there,” he said to his youthful interviewer. “I’ll beat you comfortably over a couple of laps.” The interviewer agreed to the challenge. Michael proved his point and was given the job.

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Playing safe

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 17:29
A programme teaching primary school children about mental health through fun games is being rolled out in south London.
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Don’t help the state bully migrants – boycott the school census | Gracie Mae Bradley

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 17:03
Government plans to use parents and schools to police immigration are an attempt to blame children for problems created by its own austerity measures

Today brought confirmation of what we at the Against Borders for Children campaign have suspected for months: the government is trying to make schools part of its agenda to create a “hostile environment” for migrants accused of entering the country illegally.

The BBC revealed that Theresa May, as home secretary in 2015, had planned to use the last immigration bill to introduce a requirement on schools to check children’s immigration status, and to shunt the children of the migrants to the back of the queue for school places. The then education secretary, Nicky Morgan, intervened to block the proposals.

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What can state schools learn from Eton?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 16:58

Amanda Wray has spent two years collaborating with top private schools, developing strategies to help pupils in state schools excel

I thought we all knew why independent school students do better than those in the state sector. They have more money, more funding and better resources and they don’t have the more challenging students we get in the state sector.

Related: Is competition between schools restricting collaboration?

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Art history A-level saved at last minute

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 16:29
Art history A-level campaigners say they are "thrilled" by a last-minute decision to save it.
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The 'snooper's charter' is a threat to academic freedom

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 16:28

Increasing online surveillance has serious implications for researchers and study participants. Academics need to be more careful than ever

The UK Investigatory Powers Bill has passed into law. This bill legalises a variety of tools for intercepting and hacking by security services and was waved through without complaint by both houses. Academics should be concerned – and engage in some serious discussion about the (mis-)use of technological advances.

Related: 'Snooper's charter' bill becomes law, extending UK state surveillance

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Edward Murphy obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 15:13

My friend and colleague Edward Murphy, who has died aged 64 of cancer of the oesophagus, dedicated his life to the voluntary sector. From 1986 to 2001 he was the chief executive of Liverpool Council of Social Service (LCSS), the umbrella body for voluntary organisations in the city, after which, with Mandy Maloney, he founded and directed the Merseyside Network for Change, a community empowerment charity with a commitment “to stand by the poor”.

His administration and activism were steeped in practical wisdom. Within the voluntary sector, with trustees of charities often appointed for their expertise, Edward observed that “experts should be kept on tap and not on top”. Of charity trustees themselves, he observed that they should be “the keepers of the vision”.

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Want to know why young people are sexting? Try asking them | Iman Amrani

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 14:07
Jeremy Hunt, parents and teachers fail to understand how teenagers use technology to experiment sexually. Proposing a sexting ban is just puritanical

On hearing about the health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s suggestion that tech companies should prohibit young people from sexting, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Even at the best of times younger people feel that politicians don’t really understand them, and on the sticky subject of sexting, Hunt is way out of his depth.

At school I, like many of my peers, felt that sex education missed any kind of practical information regarding the kind of activity that some had already started engaging in. I can remember them getting us to put a condom on a banana, but nothing about consent, sexting or pornography.

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More than 250,000 are homeless in England - Shelter

BBC - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 13:25
More than a quarter of a million people in England are homeless, says housing charity Shelter.
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