I woke up this week to the news that we were being urged to buy tampons for a worthy cause again. According to the charity Freedom4Girls, a school in Leeds has reported that girls are missing school because they can’t afford to buy menstrual products. In response, individuals and charities are donating disposable menstrual products, and calling for them to be provided free in all schools.
Donating free tampons for ever is a nice idea, but it’s a short-term solution that benefits multinational corporations as much as it helps kids, if not more so. Austerity and food poverty (including household toiletries poverty, which includes disposable menstrual products) have highlighted a bigger problem that was masked by the relative financial comfort in the UK a decade or so ago. The menstrual taboos were always there, though. It’s time to acknowledge that we need to start working on medium- and long-term solutions, such as improving menstruation education, removing branding from school resources and eradicating the period taboo for ever.Continue reading...
Institutions invested £4.3bn last year in upmarket halls of residence, where room rentals cost up to £650 a week
Forget multimillion-pound luxury flats on the Thames or gleaming towers overlooking Hyde Park, some of the most sought-after property investments are now student halls of residence.
While sipping champagne on superyachts at the world’s largest property conference in Cannes this week, investors have been competing with one another to snap up a particularly popular type of investment: posh student digs that cost up to £650 a week for a room.Continue reading...
Ministers want to distribute funding more fairly around England, but schools say there just isn’t enough cash overall
When Justine Greening outlined plans for a new national funding formula for schools last December, she chose to illustrate the unfairness of the current system by comparing schools in the south Yorkshire town of Barnsley with those in Hackney in east London.
Under this “unfair, untransparent and out of date system”, the education secretary said a school in Barnsley, one of the poorest-funded boroughs in the country, would receive 50% more money if it was simply transplanted wholesale from south Yorkshire to Hackney.Continue reading...
SQA, which runs state school examination system, faced pressure after it was accused of breaching the law and Scottish policy
Scotland’s examinations agency has promised it will now pay thousands of exam invigilators the living wage after repeated criticisms of its allegedly lax payments policy.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority, which runs the country’s state school exam system, has been under intense pressure after invigilators accused it of breaching minimum wage legislation and Scottish government living wage policy.Continue reading...
There’s been an increase in the number of students seeking counselling. We want to hear your stories on this and whether you got the help you needed
Last year studies found that there has been a huge increase in the number of students seeking counselling at university. Heads of university counselling services reported lots of students arriving with existing mental health conditions.
But, universities do not always have the best resources to help. Some counselling services are under-resourced, and getting help – while also trying to finish your degree – can be very challenging. Students face a great deal of pressure in order to secure a good job to pay off their debts from student loans.Continue reading...
Historic England also lists London monument to founders of Jamestown colony, where Native American woman met English settlers
A memorial to Pocahontas, who lost her original name and religion, and in 1617 her life, through encounters with English settlers, is to be relisted by Historic England to mark the 400th anniversary of her death.Continue reading...
LGA says welfare of 5 million pupils is at risk as grants covering criminal records and asbestos checks fall by £600m
Councils have said that funding cuts will leave many local authorities potentially unable to meet legal obligations to schools over issues such as checking staff for criminal records and ensuring buildings are free of asbestos.
The warning from the Local Government Association (LGA) comes amid a wider row about a planned new national funding formula for schools, which prompted concern from a series of backbench Conservative MPs.Continue reading...
Fiona Millar writes that the use of ballots in school admissions in Brighton has not necessarily made them fairer (School admissions: is a lottery a fairer system? 14 March). The system we favour is one where half the places in an inner catchment would go to those living nearest the school, using traditional distance criteria. The other half would be allocated by lottery. This would mean children living nearest a school didn’t lose out, while those living within travelling distance had a fair chance to get in. Lotteries are only a solution if they are used in conjunction with outreach work. This is so that low- and modest-income families know which schools they can apply to and where they are entitled to free transport.
Founder and chairman, The Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation
• Rafael Behr observes that in her public stance on Brexit, Theresa May seems to have absorbed the views of career rebels, ignoring the opinions of loyal Tory moderates (Opinion, 15 March). In her strong support for the creation of more grammar and free schools, she has done much the same. Heads of government in Europe and many Tory councillors at home must equally be dismayed.
St Albans, Hertfordshire