Black Justice League also asks for university to publicly acknowledge former US and school president’s vocal support of racism and segregationist policies
Students at Princeton University have called for the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from the School of Public and International Affairs, the latest development in a growing trend across American campuses as students home in on historical figures and their past intolerance.
The Black Justice League, an African American civil rights group at Princeton, orchestrated a walkout by approximately 200 students and staged a sit-in last week at the office of the university president, Christopher L Eisgruber.Continue reading...
So Ofsted concludes that 500 school governing bodies need “urgent external reviews” (Report, 20 November). Is Sir Michael Wilshaw really so surprised? And what is his solution? Pay chairs and vice-chairs. Put aside that many very effective school governing bodies have other members working just as hard; where does Ofsted think this money is going to come from? “That,” Ofsted will say, “is not our problem,” which of course it isn’t. It will, however, be that of schools as yet another draw on monies meant for the essentials: high-calibre teachers and support staff. Sir Michael is reaching overly simple solutions to a problem that didn’t just appear with the “Trojan horse” scandal – a horse that bolted well before Ofsted slammed the door. The fact is that most governors, as volunteers, do a fantastic job. They are not helped by blanket accusations of incompetence and financial profligacy. Sir Michael would do better highlighting where excellence prevails, and in so doing illuminate for other talented individuals how being a governor can be one of the very best things anyone can do – and for which the rest of us, including Sir Michael, should be eternally grateful.
CEO, Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership
• England’s 300,000 school governors are the largest national group of volunteers. Undoubtedly, where quality is a problem we need to do more to encourage and support recruitment as well as collaboration with well-governed schools. Paying governors is not only no guarantee of quality but, in monetising one more aspect of our social relations, strips out another means of civic commitment based on community service. Not good for lessons on British values, Sir Michael.
My friend Ben Kerwood, who has died aged 77, taught history and was a housemaster for boarders at Lord Williams’s school in Thame, Oxfordshire, for many years; his head there described him as “a wonderful teacher, a vulnerable but brilliant Renaissance man”. On holiday in Cambodia in 1969, he contracted a virus that led to the gradual decline in the functioning of his legs but to no decline in his energy and enthusiasm.
In 1983-84 he had a year as deputy director of the Centre for the Study of Comprehensive Schools in York, where, according to his director, he was a fine working colleague with a challenging but powerful intellect and wide range of skills. After a time as deputy head at the John Mason school in Abingdon, he moved to Wiltshire, where he had 10 years as a secondary school adviser and later inspector for the county.Continue reading...
This seemingly supernatural event presents an opportunity for learning – both geological and beyond
This planet we live on can create amazing, breathtaking things like the Northern Lights, Machu Picchu and the Great Barrier Reef. But it’s also responsible for less lovely phenomenons, such as whacking great sinkholes that appear out of nowhere. And this isn’t just happening in wild, far-flung locations – in the last two months alone holes have appeared in Newcastle (20 foot across) and St Albans (20 metres across).
So what is behind these Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style hellmouth happenings? The BBC has a whistlestop explanation of how they are formed (spoiler: it’s not demons, but a combination of acidic groundwater and soluble rock). But as well as a hell of a shock, they present an opportunity for learning, both geological and beyond.Continue reading...
Here’s the solution to the self-enumerating crossword puzzle.
Earlier today I asked you to fill in the grid below with entries of the form
Boring and repetitive with one clear message – leading figures discuss how to boost FE’s reputation against a backdrop of austerity
“The question we’ve got to answer is why should the government be funding us?” asked Steve Logan, principal of City College Coventry. It might seem like a simple question, but how to define what makes the further education (FE) sector unique – and how to sell it nationally – was the source of much debate at a recent Guardian roundtable event, sponsored by Zurich Municipal.Continue reading...
A new university initiative encourages creative approaches to solving some of today’s hardest problems
There are increasing calls for cross-disciplinary research as a way to address society’s greatest challenges. This week’s Government spending review is likely to point towards more joined-up funding for research in the UK. Last week’s review of Research Council funding spoke about the benefits of interdisciplinary research. Realising those benefits will require more experiments in collaborating inside and outside universities.
The Wellcome Trust recently announced £75m for transdisciplinary research on public health and the environment. Last month, Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, wrote of the “invaluable insights” that anthropologists and other social scientists provided in tackling the Ebola crisis:Continue reading...
Proportion of senior judges who went to fee-paying schools has barely fallen since 1989, analysis by the Sutton Trust finds
Nearly three-quarters of senior judges and 71% of top QCs are privately educated, according to analysis by the Sutton Trust.
The proportion for judges has barely changed since the 1980s, despite the fact that only about 7% of the population attend fee-paying schools.Continue reading...
Young women find out the secrets to success at work: stay curious, walk tall and find your forte
The grim mismatch between the number of university leavers each year and the jobs appropriate to their skills means young people will do all they can to get one up on the competition.
For young women, there’s added pressure. Because once they get a decent job, they still have to contend with structural workplace discrimination, overtly sexist behaviour and a weight of social expectations.Continue reading...
Our expert judges ensure that the Guardian awards go to the very best entries submitted by UK universities
Shelly Asquith, vice-president (welfare), National Union of Students
It’s easy not to take no for an answerContinue reading...
Here’s a self-referential puzzle for our self-obsessed age.
First I’d like to introduce my friend Lee Sallows, who is a master at writing sentences that count the number of letters they contain. Like this classic:Continue reading...