Scots secondary teachers vote to take industrial action

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 17:13
Secondary teachers in Scotland are set to take industrial action over their "excessive" workload following the results of a ballot.
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Secondary schools need 16,000 new spaces within seven years

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 15:28
More than 16,000 new secondary school spaces are needed within seven years to accommodate new pupils starting primary education, official figures reveal.
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A-level subject choice is strongly influenced by genes, scientists say

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 14:00

Up to 80% of subject choice could be down to genetic influence, making the argument for a more personalised approach to education, say scientists

Students choices when it comes to A-level subjects could largely be down to genetics, a new study suggests.

Scientists say that up to 80% of students’ choices of A-level subjects is down to genetic influence with environmental factors such as home life, accounting for 23% of the choice at most.

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Scottish students call for 'bold' support reform

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 13:15
NUS Scotland has called for "bold and ambitious" reform of student support, as figures showed an increase in debt.
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Two NI primaries form joint faith school

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 13:01
Two small County Londonderry primary schools are set to make history by becoming the first jointly-run church school in Northern Ireland.
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Dancing can bring people together, say researchers

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 13:00
Academics find doing the same dance moves can break down barriers between children within minutes.
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UK state school pupils for US Ivy League

BBC - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 12:33
A project helping disadvantaged UK pupils go to US universities sees undergraduates accepted for courses starting in September 2016 at all of the prestigious Ivy League colleges.
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Chinese university puts CCTV in dormitories to encourage 'good study habits'

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 16/06/2016 - 09:57

Every area of 73-hectare campus, including dormitories, is monitored at Wuchang University of Technology

A university in central China has reportedly been using surveillance cameras to monitor virtually every inch of its 73-hectare (181-acre) campus, including its classrooms and dormitories.

The Wuchang University of Technology in the city of Wuhan reportedly introduced the technology last year, paying 6 million yuan (about £645,000) in order to keep closer tabs on its 12,500 undergraduates.

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Few multi-academy trusts good enough to improve schools, says Wilshaw

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 17:36

Outgoing chief inspector of schools tells MPs: ‘There are a lot of mediocre trusts out there’

Only a handful of multi-academy trusts are up to the job of improving England’s schools, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has told MPs, before accusing the Department for Education of being too slow to intervene in struggling schools.

Speaking to the education select committee, the outgoing chief inspector of schools criticised the government’s flagship school improvement programme, which involves multi-academy trusts (Mats) taking over schools formerly maintained by local authorities.

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Shirley Hearn obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 16:51

In 1950, during a banned May Day workers’ march, a heavily pregnant young woman climbed out of a police van, declaring she was about to give birth and should go to the hospital, not the police station. My mother, Shirley Hearn, who has died aged 89, was no stranger to protest.

All through her life, whether politically aligned or not, she had something to say about the state of the world. A socialist and feminist, with a green heart and a keen sense of justice, she interested herself in education, believing this to be key to creating a better world.

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Independence, empowerment and the environment: school trips are more than jollies

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 16:28

School trips are a unique chance to educate students about green issues while teaching a host of curriculum subjects and life skills

Under the shadow of a colossal Buddhist monastery, nestled deep in a mountain valley in India’s remote Ladakh region, a row of greenhouses grows fresh fruit and vegetables. They are a lifeline for the villagers during the harsh winter months when heavy snow cuts off the area from the outside world, but they were not put there by a charity or non-governmental organisation (NGO). They were built by a group of 30 teenagers from Devon.

The 16- to 18-year-olds from Exeter school travelled to the country with maths teacher Will Daws in 2013. During the 29-day expedition, organised by the School Travel Consultancy, the students lived with families in the village and worked with local builders to clear the site and construct the greenhouses. Malnutrition is a common problem among children and pregnant women in the village, so the ability to grow fresh produce all year round has made a huge difference.

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John Singh obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 16:07

My friend and former colleague John Singh, who has died aged 79, was one of the youngest teachers to be appointed as Her Majesty’s Inspector of schools (HMI), at the age of 34, and was the first of minority ethnic descent. During his 25 years’ service for the inspectorate, he used his influence to improve the experience of pupils from minority backgrounds.

In the 1960s, the education system emphasised the assimilation of minorities and the teaching of English to immigrants to “help them fit in”. John held the view that while competence in English was vital, the country would have to broaden all notions of what it meant to be British to adapt to an increasingly diverse population.

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Children with disabilities need more educational support, not mockery | Lola Okolosie

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 15:30
Apparently progressive legislation is being undercut by slashed budgets, pitting councils against parents – and opening up a market for opportunistic lawyers

“Crikey, had a great ‘win’ last week which sent some parents into a storm! It is always a great win when the other side thinks they won!” So went a tweet from the law firm Baker Small that would cause enough anger and consternation to make this most flippant of messages national news.

Related: What would Brexit mean for the NHS, social care and disabled people? | Denis Campbell, David Brindle and Patrick Butler

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Sponsors lose control of 119 failing academies

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 15:27
More than 100 failing academies have been removed from their sponsors and placed in new trusts, MPs hear.
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Nepali grandfather of eight goes back to school

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 14:51

Durga Kami was unable to finish his studies as a child because of poverty. Now the 68-year-old widower puts on his uniform and studies six days a week

Nepalese grandfather Durga Kami brushes his bushy white beard, puts on his school uniform and, with the aid of his walking stick, trudges for over an hour to class for another day of learning.

Poverty prevented Kami from finishing his studies as a child and achieving his goal of becoming a teacher. Now 68, the father of six and grandfather of eight goes to school six days a week, to complete his studies and escape a lonely home life following the death of his wife.

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Too many girls 'held back by inner critic'

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 14:30
The head of a leading girls' school body says too many women are letting their "inner critic" stop them from succeeding in life.
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'Parents need lessons for children's mental health'

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 14:01
Parents should have lessons on how to raise their children provided by the government, Britain's leading public health expert has said.
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The proposed reforms to UK research are needlessly drastic. Here's why | Martin Rees

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 13:25

The government wants to overhaul the UK’s research system. But a persuasive case for change has not been made. We should shelve the Nurse review proposals

As we saw in debates on the Queen’s Speech, parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s higher education and research bill is likely to focus on student fees, the quality of university teaching, and the role and degree-giving powers of private providers. But as the bill approaches its second reading, and particularly when it reaches the House of Lords, it will be important that the proposed upheaval in the bodies that fund research receives equal scrutiny.

The continued success and vitality of UK research depends on the dual support funding system, which combines grants from the research councils with block funding allocated to universities on the basis of periodic assessment. For this system to operate, some kind of research excellence framework, or REF, is a necessary evil.

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Home schooling: Councils call for pupils' education register

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 11:43
Councils call for a change in the law to force parents to declare when their children are being educated at home.
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Eddie Izzard: 'My vision would make the entire world work'

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 11:30

He’s on a mission to enlist students in the campaign for Europe. Is Eddie Izzard the champion Remainers need to beat Brexit?

“I may look confusing, but I have a clear message,” says Eddie Izzard to an audience of around 200 people at Staffordshire University’s Leek Road assembly hall. The 54 year-old comedian and actor struts the stage in a pair of black stilettos, a “Stand up for Europe” T-shirt, and a shocking pink beret with matching lipstick. It’s Izzard’s chosen uniform for a whistle-stop tour of universities, on which he is imploring students across the UK to vote “remain” in this month’s referendum. The crowd gives a generous laugh. He’s on a roll today.

“It’s not a rosy, dreamy vision of Europe that I have; I am a realist,” he goes on. “I think I can prove that to you by saying, look at me.” Izzard came out as transgender 31 years ago and these days is as likely to be wearing a frock as a shirt and tie. “I thought, people in the UK will be OK about this. And generally, they have been,” he says. “We gradually move forwards, not backwards. That above all is my argument for remaining in Europe: is this not the story of humanity?”

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