Improbable sums? Cambridge graduates' tech firm raises $500m

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 14:59

British virtual simulation startup launched just five years ago is valued at more than $1bn after funding from Japan’s Softbank

A five-year old British virtual simulation startup, co-founded by Cambridge computer science graduates, has been valued at more than $1bn after raising $502m (£390m) from Japan’s SoftBank.

The investment in the London-based firm Improbable is thought to be the largest made in a fledgling European tech firm.

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GCSEs and A-levels: how are young people coping with exam stress?

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 14:33

Figures show a rise in calls to Childline about exams. We want to hear from teachers, counsellors, students and parents about how pupils are coping

A growing number of students are seeking counselling because of exam stress, according to the children’s charity Childline. The charity said that it had provided 3,135 counselling sessions over the last year, helping pupils to cope with exam pressure. That is the equivalent to almost nine a day.

The exam season is just about to begin, with younger pupils across England take their Sats this week. Teenagers are also prepare for upcoming GCSEs and A-levels.

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Willenhall school pupils threw food at Ofsted inspectors

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 14:12
Ofsted report finds its staff were also jostled in corridors during an inspection.
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Stayin' Alive: Bee Gees hit free to German first aiders

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 14:02
German schools are granted a fee waiver for playing Bee Gees hit Stayin' Alive in first aid classes.
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Mother of boy who died from allergic reaction to dinner criticises school

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 13:29

Family say staff at east London school failed 14-year-old Nasar Ahmed by not giving him an adrenaline shot

The mother of a boy who died from an allergic reaction to his school dinner has accused staff who failed to give him a potentially life-saving shot of adrenaline of failing in their duty of care.

Nasar Ahmed, 14, went into anaphylactic shock while in detention at Bow school in east London last November after suffering a reaction to milk in his tandoori chicken lunch. He had a history of severe asthma and food allergies, but staff did not administer his EpiPen, which was kept at school and could have saved him.

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Bow pupil Nasar Ahmed died from allergic reaction

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 13:20
Nasar Ahmed died from a reaction to his school dinner and his mother said school staff failed him.
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What does $1bn tech firm Improbable do? – video

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 12:59

Tech startup Improbable is now valued at more than $1bn after funding from Japan’s SoftBank. The British firm, started by Cambridge University graduates in 2012, creates complex virtual worlds to be used in everything from games to urban planning

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Children going 'days without seeing parents'

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 11:50
A charity is warning that many children are going for days without seeing their parents.
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DfE reprimands parents for tweeting Sats test questions

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 11:05
Parents have been giving away the questions in this year's end of primary tests, say officials
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Volunteers in Ukraine: 'If we want change, we have to inspire kids'

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 09:13

Our project teaching children to speak English is about cultural exchange and solidarity with our neighbours. This is how to reform a country

In February 2014, 100 people – now known as the “heavenly hundred” – were shot dead by riot police during protests in Independence Square, Kiev. The “revolution of dignity” began as an outcry against the then-president Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of a trade deal with the EU, but it quickly spiralled into violence. The revolution became symbolic of a shift that has turned Ukraine away from Russia and towards Europe.

The three years since then have been among the most difficult in the recent history of Ukraine, with Russian military aggression and enormous economic losses aggravated by corruption. The country needs reform – and it needs solidarity with its neighbours more than ever.

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Can peer-led teaching help improve sex education in schools?

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 07:15

With sexting and online abuse on the rise, UK schools are turning to young people to create an environment where pupils can speak candidly about sex

“Sexting is probably one of the biggest issues in my year,” says Elise*, a 14-year-old student from London. “Everyone has had issues with it. We’ve had girls leave my year because of nude photos [being shared] – it’s really damaging for people’s education.”

Sexting – where someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sexually explicit messages – is on the rise in schools according to teaching union NASUWT, the Labour party and the government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

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Campus politics get dirty: a security guard reveals all

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 07:00

The general election isn’t the only political battle that matters in universities – student union candidates resort to extra-judicial tactics to secure their votes

Election fever hit our campus a month before it started spreading to the rest of the country. A lot of student union officer posts open up in April, and every year the campus goes into overdrive. Maybe it’s something in the Easter eggs, but when the student union campaign trail is in full swing, we guards see things that would drive an ordinary person to superstition. The sanitary bin contractor finds a gram of coke on someone’s doormat. A first-year has gnomes thrown through his kitchen window. It seems devilry is afoot, and I’m not just talking about the spoof campaign posters that appear with horns photoshopped in.

The ways student candidates try to secure their nomination range from the laddish to the suicidal. The outgoing student union president motioned for the removal of the silent study pods and the bringing in of Time Crisis 3 arcade machines. He was successful: module averages dipped, but now everyone knows how to draw and shoot a pistol with a shower cable attached. And as nominations are secured, the squabbles and trash-talking begin. Cross-candidate tensions can boil over into attacks, which we try to mop up as best we can.

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Striking a chord

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 03:03
Fresh from his debut headline performance at London's Royal Albert Hall, Michael Kiwanuka offers advice to teenage musicians.
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More than 2,000 weapons seized from schools

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 02:39
Freedom of Information requests reveal 2,579 weapons were seized in schools in England and Wales over two years.
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The 'bus stop' for children who feel lonely

BBC - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 00:45
A school has introduced a special area in the playground for children who find themselves alone.
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Hundreds of knives seized in 18 months at UK schools, figures show

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 12/05/2017 - 00:01

Data from 32 police forces in England and Wales shows 2,579 weapons found between April 2015 and start of 2017

Hundreds of knives are among weapons seized from schools across the country, figures have revealed as police chiefs warn of a “worrying” spike in the number of young people carrying them.

The majority of seizures involved children, including some as young as five, according to police figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Reality Check: What's been the impact of tuition fees?

BBC - Thu, 11/05/2017 - 20:19
Labour's draft manifesto includes a pledge to scrap them. What do the numbers say?
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The Guardian view on Labour’s manifesto: a bold step | Editorial

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 11/05/2017 - 20:08
Jeremy Corbyn has outlined a striking agenda of state intervention for his party. But some of the big pledges are more symbolic than useful

In the UK there are broadly two types of leftwing person: those who think markets are a necessary evil and those who think they are an unnecessary one. Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto firmly places the Labour party in the latter bracket. The positioning has an understandable appeal. Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, confidence in institutions has been undermined, in part because they were considered to be on the side of the rich and powerful responsible for the economic disaster. The former Labour leader Ed Miliband was right to say the centre of gravity had shifted to the left and against free markets. The public were, and are, hostile to big bankers and furious about executive pay.

Mr Miliband lost the 2015 election because he was seen as a liability and Labour a tarnished brand. George Osborne, the Tory’s then chief strategist, was credited with winning for the wrong reason. He thought that it was the size of the deficit as a measure of economic competence that sealed the Tory victory; this allowed the myth of austerity’s success to persist. To see how irrelevant this was, consider that today the prime minister doesn’t mention the fiscal deficit, although it is higher now than before the 2008 crisis. Instead Theresa May has adopted Mr Miliband’s policies on housing, corporate governance and energy, despite Tories having branded them as “Marxist” when Labour offered them. Since the Conservative leadership appears to countenance much more intervention in the economy than the Thatcherites ever did, Labour should be congratulated for offering a bolder agenda.

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