What should I consider when buying a laptop for university?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 15/06/2017 - 09:58

Mike and Joan are planning to buy their student granddaughter a laptop for university and would like some tips before they discuss it with her

Our granddaughter is off to university this year and we will be buying her a laptop. We will discuss this with her, but some advice from you would be welcome. Mike and Joan

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Categories: Education news feeds

Half of Britain’s prisoners are functionally illiterate. Can fellow inmates change that?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 15/06/2017 - 09:37

When prisoner Tom Shannon received a letter 25 years ago, it marked the start of a groundbreaking scheme that is now key to rehabilitation efforts – by helping inmates who can read to teach those who can’t

Inside the Shannon Trust’s cramped office in south London, chief-executive Angela Cairns tells me a startling statistic: 50% of prisoners in the UK are functionally illiterate. This means half of the 85,000 people currently incarcerated have a reading age of 11 or lower – with 20% falling well short of that mark. Many prisoners are completely illiterate.

“Some people start off with some basic reading but very little confidence, and other people can’t read at all,” Cairns explains. “That’s a massive problem in the outside world.”

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How can universities create a carer-friendly culture?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 15/06/2017 - 07:30

Universities need to keep carers in mind if they are to foster a truly supportive working environment for academic staff

There is a significant proportion of employees who combine paid work with caring responsibilities in all professions, and academia is no exception. Yet we tend to know very little about their experiences or what their needs are. National carers week is a reminder that they need not be invisible, and that universities can do more to support staff juggling dual roles.

There are several reasons why carers can be drawn to academic careers. It offers some flexibility and usually commands salaries that are above the national average. But the two are not as compatible as would seem at first sight. In my recent research on academic carers in UK universities, I found that this group experiences a range of difficulties, including time, emotional and health issues. Over the longer term, balancing their sometimes competing responsibilities can affect retention and career progression.

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Margaret Power obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 18:30

My friend Margaret Power, who has died at the age of 90, was a ceramicist and art teacher who made fantastical creatures, such as camels, birds and angels, out of clay. She inspired others to create with confidence even when there were few materials available. Her sense of humour, infectious laughter and empathy brought a wide circle of friends; we all loved the originality of her fold-out Christmas cards.

She was born and educated in Bath; her father, Frederick, was a tailor, while her mother, Muriel, (nee Noke), was a teacher. Margaret was taught painting by William Scott and sculpture by Kenneth Armitage at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court in Wiltshire, before going on to the University of London to qualify as an art teacher.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Don't wrap girls in cotton wool, says private school leader

BBC - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 16:49
Girls should be encouraged to take more risks, says Girls' Day School Trust chief.
Categories: Education news feeds

Ackley Bridge is the latest school TV show, but which is best?

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 11:40

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts

Ackley Bridge is the latest in the neverending roll call of school-based TV dramas/sitcoms and films, from St Trinian’s to Skins. But which one is the best (or maybe scariest) revision of the school experience?

Susan Lloyd, Manchester

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Categories: Education news feeds

What to expect when you're expecting at university

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 10:45

Having a baby at university can seem impossible – but help is available for pregnant students who know where to look

So you’ve done the test and it’s come back, not with a grade but two little blue lines: you’re pregnant. Having a baby while a student can leave you in doubt. If you can barely afford food for yourself, how will you feed another person? What about sitting through lectures with morning sickness? And is there such a thing as student parental leave?

NHS doctor and campaigner Rachel Clarke was the first pregnant medical student at her university. She recalls it was both determination and a fleet of willing babysitters in the form of her fellow students that helped get her through. Pregnancy at university doesn’t just have to be a choice between abortion or abandoning your studies. If you decide you want to keep the baby and keep studying, here is some advice on making it work:

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Categories: Education news feeds

School places pressure hits secondaries

BBC - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 10:40
Proportion of 11-year-olds with place at top choice school is lowest since 2010.
Categories: Education news feeds

How would Teach First work in Afghanistan?

BBC - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 10:12
Top graduates in Afghanistan are being urged to spend two years as school teachers.
Categories: Education news feeds

Labour's young voter surge was about issues, not just Jeremy Corbyn

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 06:06

People focused on the NHS, education and equality more than personalities, respondents to our callout tell us

The focus on Jeremy Corbyn may be overshadowing the real reason young people voted Labour. According to voters aged 18-34 who contacted the Guardian, they say they were convinced by Labour’s commitment to the NHS, education, welfare and a softer Brexit.

James Konopinski, 27, a support worker and music teacher who canvassed for Labour in Leeds, says that Corbyn’s character and personal voting record helped win votes but he echoed the majority of respondents in saying that people voted for the party’s progressive policies.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Women face pay gap just one year after graduation

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 14/06/2017 - 00:00

Government figures say men more likely to have higher pay than women who graduated in the same subjects in the same year

Women face a pay gap as early as their first year after university that widens as time passes, according to the first large-scale set of data on the careers of British graduates published by the government.

The figures showed that men were more likely to have higher pay than women who graduated in the same year with degrees in the same subjects, with the sole exception of English – the only subject where women graduates outdid their male peers five years after leaving university.

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The Guardian view on public sector staff shortages: losing the numbers | Editorial

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 19:43

Britain has not got enough teachers, nurses, clinicians and carers. Only bold policy changes will put this right

Shiny new buildings and cutting-edge technology make a difference. But ultimately schools and hospitals will only ever be as good as the people who work in them. The challenge facing stretched public services is often measured in pounds and pence for good reason: the NHS in England is facing its tightest financial settlement since its inception, and Theresa May took her party into the election pledging real-terms cuts to school budgets of 6.5% by 2020. Council funding for social care has fallen by more than 10% since 2010.

But a lack of cash is not the only immediate problem: we are not training enough doctors, nurses or teachers for the future. There is an overall shortage of 30,000 nurses in the English NHS and, according to the Royal College of Nursing, one in nine nursing posts are now unfilled. Despite the emphasis on shifting care from hospitals into the community, the number of GPs and district nurses has fallen. There were over 80,000 vacancies in social care in England in 2015.

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The election’s biggest losers? Not the Tories but the media, who missed the story | George Monbiot

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 19:43

Trapped in their hall of mirrors the broadcasters and press wrote off Jeremy Corbyn. They have to change and reflect the world they report on

The election was a crushing defeat – but not for either of the major parties. The faction that now retreats in utter disarray wasn’t technically standing, though in the past it has arguably wielded more power than the formal contestants. I’m talking about the media.

Related: The Sun and Mail tried to crush Corbyn. But their power over politics is broken | Suzanne Moore

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Categories: Education news feeds

Open University overhaul risks job cuts

BBC - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 19:29
Root-and-branch review aims to save a quarter of the university's annual budget.
Categories: Education news feeds

Biology A-level students mark down exam board after yet another error

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 18:40

OCR apologises again after third mistake in exam paper, with pupils uncertain they will reach grades needed for university places

One of England’s main examination boards has been forced to issue an apology for the third time in a little over a fortnight after students and teachers spotted yet another error on one of its papers.

The mistake occurred on OCR’s A-level biology paper, which was sat by almost 19,000 students on Monday. A question asked students to calculate a standard deviation but failed to provide the formula needed for the calculation, as required by the syllabus.

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Term 'genius' alienates women, says Cambridge lecturer

BBC - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 15:39
Terms like "brilliant", "genius" and "flair" should be avoided as they can alienate female students.
Categories: Education news feeds

Open University jobs at risk in £100m 'root and branch' overhaul

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 15:38

Institution plans to save 25% of annual budget to secure financial stability and reinvest in digital transformation

Staff at the Open University are preparing for job losses as part of a radical overhaul to try to secure the institution’s financial future.

The OU vice-chancellor, Peter Horrocks, told staff on Tuesday that a “root and branch review” of every aspect of the university’s operations was being launched to achieve savings of £100m from the annual budget of £420m, the bulk of which would be invested in a digital transformation programme.

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Categories: Education news feeds