Pornography 'desensitising young people'

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 02:38
Most children are exposed to online pornography by their early teenage years, leaving them at risk of becoming "desensitised", a study warns.
Categories: Education news feeds

Basques re-invent themselves as education superpower

BBC - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 00:15
The Basque region is investing heavily in education with high numbers of graduates and support for research.
Categories: Education news feeds

Most boys think online pornography is realistic, finds study

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 15/06/2016 - 00:01

Research reveals that 94% of children who have seen online pornography were exposed to it by age 14 and many saw images by accident in pop-up ads

The majority of boys who view online pornography believe it provides a realistic depiction of sex, according to the most extensive survey of British secondary school pupils undertaken.

Research published on Wednesday reveals that most children – 94% – who have seen online pornography have been exposed to it by the age of 14. But the study also found that almost half of the 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds questioned had never seen internet pornography – findings that are in contrast to many other studies.

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University chief rejects claim that Brexit would not deter EU students

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 14:11

Leave campaign claims universities would not lose out but head of UCL says UK may become unaffordable to many Europeans

Leading leave campaigners have claimed that universities and the science sector will not lose vital funding if Britain leaves the EU – but the head of the college with most EU students says it could cost the country tens of millions of pounds in lost fees.

Employment minister Priti Patel, who has been prominent in the leave campaign, argued that a Brexit vote would mean the government of the day would be able to take back control of the money currently sent to the EU and make choices on how to spend that money.

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One in six secondary pupils in England doesn't get first school choice

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 12:57

London children see greatest challenge in securing a place at their favoured school as local authorities struggle to meet demand

The demand for state school places in England went up again this year, resulting in one in six children missing out on their first choice at secondary level, according to official figures published on Tuesday.

Government statistics show that the number of applications for secondary school places this year jumped by 2.8% on 2015, as the recent baby boom that has put pressure on primary school numbers in the past few years moves up to secondary.

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The university gender pay gap is down to neoliberal orthodoxy

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 12:00

… and men who can’t see women as ‘global leaders’

Two facts of academic life: the students get younger each year, and the criteria of university promotion panels grow more fantastic. I’m in the midst of writing references for colleagues applying for professorships at several British universities, every one of which requires its chairs to be “global leaders”. My references won’t just make a difference to these colleagues’ applications but also to their pay – for most universities negotiate professorial salaries individually.

As I began writing this year’s round of references, the gender pay gap among UK professors hit the headlines. I’m not surprised. Women are less likely to be recognised as “global leaders” by our male colleagues, so less likely to get promotion – and likely to be paid less than men if we are promoted. Employers’ scant regard for women’s childcare responsibilities doesn’t help, but the sexism is more widespread.

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A blogger's guide to festival food on a budget

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 10:52

Festival food is generally good nowadays – but it doesn’t come cheap. Food blogger Niamh Shields gives her advice on alternative outdoor eating

Over the course of five days at Glastonbury festival, you could end up spending £100 or more on food and drink alone. Who would want to cough up £8 for some pasta or a mediocre falafel? No thanks. While it’s all well and good to indulge in the street food on offer, what if you can’t afford to eat out for every meal?

Cooking at a festival on a budget sounds like work, but it’s entirely worthwhile – and dare I say, more fun. A lull during the line-up is a great opportunity to knock up a tasty meal that won’t threaten your bank balance.

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Our public services depend on EU migrants | Alan Travis

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 09:00

The Brexiters are sending out mixed messages on what would happen to the 600,000 EU migrants who work in Britain’s public sector if the UK votes to leave

Alan Johnson, a leading Labour campaigner to stay in the EU, likes to tell a joke that “if you bump into an east European in A&E, it is more than likely that they’re there to treat you.”

With more than 40,000 EU migrants working in the NHS, it is a joke with more than a grain of truth. At the latest count more than 600,000 of the 2.1 million EU migrants working in Britain were working in public sector jobs.

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Could Steiner schools have a point on children, tablets and tech?

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 07:30

Studies have yet to show much benefit from technology in schools, leading some to wonder whether the offline life is better for children

It’s late morning and the children in Maria Woolley’s class at the Iona school in Nottingham are busy kneading dough. The dough is made from flour they saw ground at the local windmill using grains harvested from a nearby farm they had visited. During the morning lesson the children have sung songs, recited poetry and done rhythmic clapping and stomping.

There is no uniform here, and no headteacher – the school is run by staff and friends – and, unlike the vast majority of primary schools these days, here the students don’t work on tablets or computers. At the front of the class is an old-fashioned blackboard.

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Grimm & Co’s magical approach to helping children write stories

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 07:15

A scheme in Rotherham aims to boost Sats results and improve lives by harnessing children’s creativity

It’s no mean feat to inspire a group of 30 10- and 11-year-olds to run across a room and start writing. But run they do. Propped against plaster pillars, perched on a leather sofa, laid on ornamental grass, stories pour out of these children.

This morning they have entered a magical apothecary (to gasps of wonder), passed through a secret doorway (more gasps), climbed a winding staircase and ended in a room laid out like an enchanted garden. With the help of volunteer story mentors they’ve imagined an eagle-winged mouse that smells of cheese and a semi-invisible blue bird with a monkey’s head and clown’s shoes. The main action takes place in a regenerating block of cheese. Somehow a shark has been introduced for the cliffhanger. Now it’s up to each child to decide how their story will end.

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I use trigger warnings - but I'm not mollycoddling my students

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 07:15

Critics claim trigger warnings stifle debate, but they do the opposite. They give students a chance to pause, then focus on something tricky

I vividly remember switching on Monsters Inc, thinking it would entertain my two-year-old nephew. As the shadow of the monster loomed over a sleeping child, my nephew sat rooted to the spot, wide-eyed, barely breathing. I switched off the film and scrambled around for another form of amusement more appropriate for toddlers. Together, we exhaled.

Related: US students request 'trigger warnings' on literature

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Government presses on with plan for all-academy England

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 06:45
In our diary: Commissioners still pushing all-academy system; free school postcode lottery; council thwarts plan for school in police station

The government is quietly pressing on with plans to force all English state schools into academy status by 2022, using its regional schools commissioners as behind-the-scenes arms-twisters, Education Guardian can reveal.

Ministers seemed to have placated restive Tory backbenchers at the time of the Queen’s speech last month by backing down on proposals for blanket conversions of all schools. Some even thought it was a U-turn. However, they still say they want England’s system to be all-academy in six years. And the powerful but shadowy RSCs seem intent on enforcing this vision, though away from parliamentary scrutiny.

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How did one of the worst paedophiles in history get away with his crimes? | Robert Booth

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 06:00

For more than 40 years, William James Vahey drugged and abused hundreds of pupils at international schools around the world. A Guardian investigation reveals that, despite numerous opportunities to stop him, nothing was done

On 21 March 2014, a 64-year-old teacher named William James Vahey checked into a cheap hotel in the tiny Minnesota town of Luverne. Vahey had spent the previous four decades teaching at international schools, from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, but he had decided to spend his final moments near his elderly mother and his brother, Chris, who both lived in Luverne.

The reservation was a decoy. At 5.20pm, Vahey crossed the road and checked in at a second hotel, a Quality Inn. He paid in cash for his room, telling the receptionist he didn’t have a credit card because he had just filed for bankruptcy. Upstairs in room 201, he undressed to his boxer shorts, folded his clothes neatly on to the coffee table and lowered himself into the bath tub, tucking a pillow behind his back.

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'Just tell us'

BBC - Tue, 14/06/2016 - 01:15
About one in five children in the UK has been exposed to domestic violence at home, often going to school the next day with little or no support, as Rebecca Wilcox and Louis Lee-Ray report.
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Fury as law firm boasts of 'great win' over parents of vulnerable children

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 19:08

Baker Small apologises after series of tweets appeared to gloat at parents who failed to win funding of their children’s special needs provision

A law firm that specialises in contesting claims for children with special educational needs (SEN) has apologised after publishing a series of tweets that appeared to gloat at parents.

Baker Small, a law firm that acts for local authorities, triggered widespread anger among parents of children with disabilities with the remarks made on social media on Saturday. The firm subsequently deleted them and made a donation to charity.

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Our education system is going down the pan – rage is my default setting

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 15:47
Governments have been making a hash of it for decades. And with the appointment of Ofsted’s new chief inspector, we can expect more of the same

When I walk past a school nowadays I tend to feel a bit queasy, remembering my years at the chalkface and how hard I found it: the huge classes, mountains of marking, hours of preparation, pugnacious parents, and on top of all that, the stultifying blanket of national-curriculum gobbledygook. But that was a breeze compared to nowadays, when the horror is peaking.

I don’t like to catastrophise, but it looks to me as if our education system is going right down the pan. The preparation, planning, note-taking, sudden irrational initiatives, testing and obligatory arse-covering are at teacher-crushing levels, the whole farrago ruled over by the troubled Ofqual, pitiless Ofsted, ever more desperate and ferocious parents, and plundered by academies. And now, chosen by Nicky “teacher baiter” Morgan, to be Ofsted’s chief inspector, here comes Amanda Spielman, ex-head of Ofqual. Has she ever taught, or been a headteacher? No. Has she had practical day-to-day experience of running schools? No. Has she been educated at a private boarding school with only 12 pupils in her year? Yes. Does she know all about merchant banking, mergers and acquisitions and strategy consulting? Yes. And did she help to set up the Ark “top academy chain”? Yes.

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UK state schools get gender-neutral uniforms

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 15:39

Gendered uniform rules are being scrapped by an increasing number of institutions. Is it time to rethink what kids can wear in the classroom?

Girls in skirts and boys in trousers. This has been the strictly gendered story of school uniform since long before the days of Tom Brown putting on a top hat and tails to learn his times tables or the girls of Hamlet of Radcliff school pitching up in starched aprons with gloves (seriously). Now the rules appear to be relaxing, as 80 state schools across the UK, including 40 primaries, have introduced gender-neutral policies allowing girls to wear trousers (which, beyond the school gate, many of us have been doing for at least a century) and boys to wear skirts.

“We introduced the policy more than a year ago,” Paula Weaver, headteacher at Allens Croft primary school in Birmingham, tells me. The school is thought to be the first state primary in the country to make their uniform policy explicitly gender-neutral, changing the wording and linking in staff, governors and parents.

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Mafia criminals' income 'boosted by education'

BBC - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 14:40
Education pays even for the criminally minded, research on the Italian-American mafia suggests.
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'Look at her hair' – I wish albinism didn't make people stare

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 12:36

Most students have no idea how tough university life can be if you have albinism. Awareness Day gives us the chance to tell our story and shift attitudes

Recently, while walking to the library, a fellow student loudly shouted “look at her hair!” as I passed by. When you have albinism – like me – university can be a challenge.

The condition affects one in 17,000 people in the UK, according to NHS statistics. I have type 1 oculocutaneous albinism, which means I have no pigment in my hair, skin, and eyes. It also affects my eyesight.

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How to teach ... Wimbledon 2016

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 13/06/2016 - 12:00

From tennis-inspired maths games to the science of exercise, there are many ways to inspire your students about rackets, serves and drop shots

Summer is here and that means the ice-cream vans are out, the sun is (sometimes) out and school will be out in just over a month. It also means the country is set for two weeks of tennis fever, as Wimbledon 2016 kicks off on Monday 27 June. So how can you get your students excited about this great British tradition?

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