Disabled people are frustrated at being denied the chance to work

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 14:18

Around the world there are huge employment gaps between disabled and non-disabled people. How can this be addressed? What actually works?

The employment gap for disabled people around the world

Mexico city in a wheelchair: ‘There’s no second chance on these streets’

Why are so few disabled people employed, compared with non-disabled people? How should governments and employers close the so-called disability employment gap? These are thorny issues.

The gap remains wide globally – even in the US and Europe, where anti-discrimination policies have become law, the gap averages out at about 20%. This is an important issue: one billion people – some 15% of the world’s population - live with a disability.

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Including trans pupils doesn’t mean we’re failing our girls | Caroline Jordan

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 12:06
Girls’ schools have come under fire for suggesting we shouldn’t routinely address our pupils as ‘girls’. But we have a duty of care to all children

As the country approaches a huge moment in its history we, as exponents of single-sex education, have found ourselves in the midst of our own mini-media storm this week. “Don’t call girls girls”, “Girls can’t be girls”, “Stop referring to pupils as ‘girls’” screamed the headlines, while the phone has been ringing off the hook at Headington, of which I am headteacher, with radio stations trying to persuade me to go on air to discuss the issue.

Meanwhile I am left wondering quite how a positive and important closed session at the Girls’ Schools Association summer briefing has sparked this reaction.

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Alone and unsupported: why student carers need more help

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 09:30

Juggling university deadlines and caring for family members is not an easy task – and too many students are doing it alone

Becky Hammerton, a second-year college student, has been a carer since the age of nine. She looks after her mum, who was injured in a traffic accident, and her dad, who has mental health difficulties.

Living at home means she has a two-hour journey to college in Winchester, where she studies animal management and applied science. On her days off, she juggles university work with shopping, paying bills, cooking and providing emotional support for her parents.

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Don't feed the trolls: a survival guide for teen girl writers

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 08:21

Clementine Ford, Nakkiah Lui and other writers sit down with school-aged girls to share what they know about persevering, handling harrassment, and empathy

When my first piece was published in 1998, my stories appeared on paper that was the size of a pillow case. There was no button the reader could click on to tell me what they thought of me after they’d read the headline. If people didn’t like my stories, I may – a week later – have gotten a letter in the mail.

The letter would usually be written either in large CAPS or tiny spidery handwriting that slanted left and was hard to read. Sometimes a biblical bookmark would be included in the envelope. I wrote for the paper most days, on all sorts of topics. I would receive, on average, two letters a year.

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RIBA awards 2016: academic buildings dominate list of UK's best architecture

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 00:01

Universities loom large among the 46 winners, but Grayson Perry’s House for Essex and other deserving buildings are missing from architectural honours

A bucolic motorway service station fit for the Teletubbies is joined by a bulbous blue drawing studio and a crumbling Victorian music hall in this year’s diverse cohort of RIBA award winners for the UK’s best buildings. The 46 projects to win a national award, which range from a grass-roofed children’s hospital in Liverpool to a sinuous metallic library in Oxford, will be whittled down to a six-strong shortlist for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling prize later in the year.

In a departure from a 2015 emphasis on housing, almost a quarter of this year’s winners are made up of university and college buildings. They include a stately barrel-vaulted student centre for Nottingham Trent University by Evans Vettori architects, a timber-clad medical research facility for the University of East Anglia by Hawkins Brown and the glacial wedding cake of the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford by Herzog & de Meuron.

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Categories: Education news feeds

We are still letting down our poorest pupils, says Ofsted boss

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 00:00

Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw attacks government education policy, warning ‘schools will wither on the vine’

Children from Britain’s poorest families “pay the price” for failed experiments by politicians on both the left and right, according to Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, in a wide-ranging attack that cites “bleating” parents and weak teaching among the causes of educational blight.

“As I begin my last few months as chief inspector, it saddens me immeasurably to say frankly that we are still letting down our poorest children and that if things do not change fundamentally, we will continue to do so,” Wilshaw concludes, rubbishing government reforms since the 1960s.

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Harry Lawton obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 22/06/2016 - 16:50

My father, Harry Lawton, who has died aged 97, was an inspirational teacher of woodwork, technical drawing and English.

He was born in Woolton, Liverpool, to Alfred, a signwriter, and his wife, Martha (nee Grace), who was a parlourmaid before she married. Harry left Lawrence Road school aged 14 to work in a grocery shop; in his later teens, he took evening classes for the City & Guilds examinations in cabinet-making. He was a conscientious objector during the second world war, and instead worked as a farm labourer and firefighter.

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'Simply inhumane' – the law firm that fights parents seeking help for children's special needs

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 22/06/2016 - 16:37

Baker Small was exposed last week for tweets celebrating victory in tribunals over special educational support for children. But while its director is nicknamed the Terminator, many parents see him as simply a local authority ‘hitman’ in a system stacked against them

In the first four years of Emma’s life, her parents had to deal with a diagnosis of autism and then leukaemia, but the most difficult challenge they faced was the battle with their local authority for special educational support, which saw them pitted against a specialist law firm. Their experience was long-drawn-out and bitter and, although they won, they were left feeling incredulous and angry that the process had been so adversarial.

Related: Fury as law firm boasts of 'great win' over parents of vulnerable children

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Eight ways school governors can prepare for an Ofsted inspection

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 22/06/2016 - 16:30

From getting the website in order to reading previous reports, researcher John Davies shares his tips for making sure you are inspection-ready

Ofsted’s common inspection framework, launched in September 2015, introduced a system of short inspections for “good” schools and changed how inspectors are employed.

A few months later, when The Key surveyed 979 governors for its annual State of Education report, nearly 40% of respondents said they had found preparing for inspection difficult to manage over the 12 months preceding the survey.

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Tess Robson obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 22/06/2016 - 11:07

Tess Robson, who has died of cancer aged 63, was an inspirational teacher of young children. For more than 20 years she was head of the state nursery school, Tachbrook, rated “outstanding”, in the heart of the Peabody Estate in Pimlico, west London.

The eldest of four children, and raised by her mother, Margaret Hodgkinson, after her parents divorced she was educated at the Ursuline high school in Wimbledon, south-west London, retaining strong friendships from her time there. Studying for a degree in medieval history at Manchester, she met the architect Dave Robson, and they married in 1976.

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Arts graduates rejoice: 'there's a lot to be said for creativity'

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 22/06/2016 - 07:00

A humanities degree should not limit your career. Make the most of your strengths and be proud of your accomplishment, advise the experts

Far from being less valuable than those with technical degrees, arts and humanities students develop key skills. Lydia Fairman, owner of HR and consulting firm Fairman Consulting says: “Don’t be constrained by your subjects – see them as a foundation. There’s a lot to be said for creativity, thought and consideration. Those with a more creative degree, particularly in a humanities/sociology direction, are likely to have a broader understanding of behaviour and self-awareness, which are valuable assets in the workplace.”

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Priti Patel warns of EU migration threat to UK class sizes

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 23:36

Vote Leave says its research shows that one in five primary schoolchildren has a first language other than English

Britain must leave the EU to stop immigration having a devastating impact on schools, Priti Patel, a Tory minister and leading Brexit campaigner, will say on Wednesday.

Patel, a member of the Vote Leave campaign, said class sizes were already overstretched with an 8% increase over the last year in the number of pupils in classes of more than 30.

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For the first time in 18 years, I don't feel welcome in Britain

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 16:54

I fell in love with this country on a university exchange and built my academic career here. Now I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay, or even if I’d want to

I am a migrant from the European Union. You have probably heard lots of things about people like me in the referendum campaign, but you may not have actually heard from any of us. We have got more to lose than anyone else – our livelihoods depend on the outcome – but we do not have a voice, or a vote.

I came to live in the UK in 1998, to study for a PhD. Before that, in 1993-94, I had been an exchange student here, partly funded by the EU’s Erasmus programme. It was on that occasion that I got to know and love Britain as an open-minded and welcoming country. My landlady was one of the kindest and warmest people I have ever met. My fellow students later came to visit me at my (then) home in Berlin, and I’m still friends with many of them. I returned to Britain as soon I could.

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Students' end-of-year artwork 2016 - your entries so far

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 12:41

As part of our Students Express series, we asked you to share your end-of-year artwork. Here is a small selection of the hundreds of contributions we’ve received so far

  • You can view all the entries or submit your own art here by 28 June
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Categories: Education news feeds

Hold your tongues: why language learners fear a vote for Brexit

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 09:00

Leaving the EU could lead to an irreversible decline in foreign language learning, with Britain paying a high economic and cultural price

During the second world war, my late father-in-law was conscripted into the army and forced to fight for Nazi Germany. My mother was a young girl in London, running to air raid shelters and seeing local streets destroyed by the blitz.

A first meeting of the in-laws might have been awkward but Albert had been captured and taken as a prisoner of war to Scotland. Waiting to be repatriated, he had made friends with local people and acquired fluent English. When my mother came from Britain to meet him, he delighted in reminiscing and swapping stories from Scotland.

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Hidden homeless: the students ashamed to admit they’ve nowhere to sleep

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 07:29

A survey in London has shone a light on students who are couch-surfing or in emergency accommodation. Its authors fear it’s the tip of an iceberg

At 5am on the day of the eviction university student Mary Nadunga woke her three children, fed her baby and started packing their belongings into a hired van. At 10.45am the bailiffs arrived and handed her a paper declaring the family officially homeless.

“I was vacuuming because I wanted to leave the place clean and they told me to stop and give the keys to the landlord. It was at this moment it hit me that we were actually homeless. I cried but I told myself to stop and be strong,” she says.

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Teacher or not, Ofsted’s new chief inspector passes the test

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 07:15

Amanda Spielman has been lambasted for lacking classroom experience – but as her predecessor showed, time at the chalk face doesn’t guarantee empathy

Amanda Spielman, banker-turned-academy chain adviser, will be the next Ofsted chief inspector, it has been announced. A few formalities are necessary, a cross-party coalition of MPs will talk to her next Wednesday before giving her the final nod, but presuming no funny business occurs Spielman is in.

Overstating the importance of the inspectorate is difficult. Even though the current chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, is forever telling school leaders to be mavericks and take their own path, most heads diligently, even slavishly, follow Ofsted pronouncements.

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School’s results go from Bottom to top, thanks to Shakespeare

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 07:00

A school in Kent transformed its results in all subjects, from among the worst to one of the best, with help from Shakespeare

Under bright spotlights in the drama room, students are getting into character as magical beings. The cast members of A Midsummer Night’s Dream grin and grimace as they skip, climb, leap and crawl through the plastic chairs that double as their enchanted forest.

This is a rehearsal at King Ethelbert school, in Thanet, east Kent, for a performance that will be the culmination of two years’ work during which the school has transformed from one of the worst in the country to one of the best of its type. And, says the headteacher, it’s thanks to Shakespeare.

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Report: half of teaching assistants faced physical violence in past year

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 00:01

One respondent tells of being ‘kicked and punched’ and others fear being badly hurt in classroom, according to Unison study

More than half of teaching assistants say they have experienced physical violence in the classroom in the past year, according to a report published by trade union Unison.

One respondent claimed to have been “kicked, punched, slapped, headbutted and insulted verbally by children”. Another, a teaching assistant at a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, feared going to work in case they suffered a serious injury.

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Cambridge University is fully committed to the inquiry into Giulio Regeni’s death | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 20:20

I write to correct the false and distressing claims made by Italy’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and reported in your article about the tragic death of Giulio Regeni, our PhD student who was brutally killed in Egypt (Cambridge ‘is failing to cooperate’ over student murder investigation, 18 June).

We understand the frustration of Italian prosecutors with the conclusions that have been put forward so far by the Egyptian authorities. The university has pressed the Egyptian authorities to explain Giulio’s death. We have also called on the British government to bring pressure to bear and have backed the Italian government’s efforts to find the truth.

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