Campaigner says inspectors should be trained to check that pupils are being safeguarded
The founder of a charity that offers helplines and refuge to women escaping from forced marriages has called on Ofsted inspectors to focus on the issue when visiting schools where girls may be at risk.
Last week, an inquest heard how model Nadia Menaz, 24, was found hanged in her home in Oldham. The mother of a three-year-old, she had feared being forced into an arranged marriage by her devout Muslim parents and had taken out a forced marriage protection order against them.Continue reading...
Japanese universities are cutting humanities and social sciences in favour of ‘practical’ subjects, sparking global concern
More than 50 Japanese universities are to close or downsize their humanities and social science departments after education minister Hakuban Shimomura urged the country’s higher education institutions to offer a “more practical, vocational education that better anticipates the needs of society”.
The move has caught the attention of academics across the world, prompting many to speak out in opposition.Continue reading...
He has been through an anxious time after a results-day shock. But as I drop him off at his new university, I can see his mood lifting
It’s hard to be on the receiving end of a Ucas bombshell. Having studied for years to achieve the correct grades and done the right thing by visiting several universities and revising hard since Christmas, my son was looking forward to telling friends and family of his success.
Then, with the opening of an envelope, his expectations were crushed. On results day, as I sat waiting in the car, he exited the school, his face a shade of grey. It was obvious all was not well. Instead of elation it turned into a day of shock and disappointment. Not achieving the grades expected also led him to miss out on his first choice of university.Continue reading...
As a new literacy drive is launched, authors including David Walliams and Michael Rosen warn of threat to storytelling from screens and busy lives
The childhood tradition of a bedtime story is in serious peril, as experts warn that parents are not making the time to read to their children at the end of the working day and stop reading to them at too young an age.
“Parents lead very, very busy lives,” said Diana Gerald, chief executive of the Book Trust, which encourages children and families to enjoy books and develop their reading skills. “We live in a world where parents are juggling work and home life. Lots of parents are working shifts and there’s a lot of pressure on families. People are increasing their hours.”Continue reading...
Warwick University union says Maryam Namazie could incite hatred on campus if allowed to take up secularist society invitation
A human rights campaigner has been barred from speaking at Warwick University after organisers were told she was “highly inflammatory and could incite hatred”.
Maryam Namazie, an Iranian-born campaigner against religious laws, had been invited to speak to the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists Society next month. But the student union blocked the event, telling the society that Namazie’s appearance could violate its external speaker policy.Continue reading...
They may not play by Ofsted’s rules, but we should cherish maverick teachers – they can change students’ lives
As I look around the staffroom I am struck by the fact that, among the piles of exercise books and unwashed coffee cups, there is an endangered species, dwindling to the point of extinction.
I’m not talking about the semi-corporate teachers who look like they’d be more at home in a boardroom than a classroom – they are flourishing. The threatened group I speak of is that most British breed: the eccentric.Continue reading...
Since graduating with a double degree in economics and political science in 2007, I have been working in the public service in a variety of roles from economist, government relations adviser and now, a senior policy analyst. I have been fortunate enough to work in the more competitive and prestigious central departments with apparently interesting work. However, I have felt severely unfulfilled and demotivated for the full eight years of my career.Continue reading...
‘Had I known that Oxford offered something called a Piers Gaveston party, I’d have reworked my life plans accordingly
What really annoys me about the whole “prime minister shagged a dead pig” scandal is that, if I’d known Oxford University was full of orgies, I’d have tried a hell of a lot harder to get in. Why oh why, when state school kids like me were told we could possibly apply to the top universities if we toiled and toiled, did nobody tell us there would be parties like these? Parties involving the abuse of substances so mind-altering that you might actually desire to become one with a recently deceased farmyard animal? For this is the allegation: that our honourable member, David Cameron, inserted his rather less honourable member into a pig. I have no evidence that this even happened, or that drugs were involved, but just think what fantastic drugs they must have been. The week before, he was overheard slagging off Yorkshire people, something that only earns him respect from Yorkists such as myself. I have never liked Cameron more, having never liked him at all.
All of this outreach work that Oxbridge does with the state sector: coming round to our schools, telling us that a world-class education isn’t just for the rich. If they’d simply come to my sixth-form college and explained that hanging out with future leaders of the realm didn’t mean we’d have to stop taking ecstasy, we’d have jumped at the chance. As it was, most of my friends applied to Manchester, so we could carry on raving, rather than spend three years somewhere we suspected we’d have to speak ancient Greek to buy a packet of crisps. Had I known that Oxford also offered something called a Piers Gaveston party where you can, it is rumoured, watch live sex shows, I’d have reworked my life plans accordingly.Continue reading...
Right. That’s it from all of us on the liveblog. Many thanks for your company and comments. We leave you with Liz Ford’s report on a historic day.
To cheers, applause and probably a tinge of relief, the 17 global goals that will provide the blueprint for the world’s development over the next 15 years were ratified by UN member states in New York on Friday.
After speeches from Pope Francis and the Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, and songs from Shakira and Angelique Kidjo, the ambitious agenda – which aims to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality for all people in all countries – was signed off by 193 countries at the start of a three-day UN summit on sustainable development …
Here’s the latest take on the pope’s speech from my colleagues Suzanne Goldenberg and Stephanie Kirchgaessner:
The pope demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment on Friday in a forceful speech to the United Nations that warned against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”.
A day after making history by becoming the first pope to address Congress, Francis for the first time asserted that nature – as well as humanity – had rights.
A prominent secularist and activist has been barred from speaking at a student union event due to fears her speech would “incite hatred” against Muslim students.
In 1981, Dafydd Jones, who would later become a noted society photographer, entered a Sunday Times competition for young photojournalists. After his pictures of Oxford’s ‘bright young things’ ran alongside a seminal article by Ian Jack, he continued to photograph members of the university’s unguarded jeunesse dorée – from Nigella Lawson to David CameronContinue reading...
When Ian Jack reported on Oxford’s most privileged students in 1981, he didn’t hear anything about dead pigs – but he did find a splendidly unguarded group of youths getting ‘hog-whimpering’ drunk. So did their grip on the establishment turn out to be as firm as they believed? Of course it did
• Click here for a gallery of Dafydd Jones’ Oxford party photographs
I first heard of the Piers Gaveston Society in February 1981, which would also be the first time I heard of Piers Gaveston. No search engines in those days. “Gaveston, Piers de – see Edward II,” said my old biographical dictionary. He was mentioned as the young Gascon nobleman who became Edward’s lover – or “favourite” as the dictionary discreetly put it – when Edward’s father, Edward I, was still on the throne. Father and son, king and prince, then went on a warring expedition to Scotland, where the lovesick boy abandoned his dying father to hurry south to Gaveston’s London embrace. It didn’t end happily. Other nobles, jealous and fearful of his influence, had Gaveston done away with. Later Edward II lost a new Scottish war and was himself eventually murdered in Berkeley Castle, according to some accounts by being buggered with a red-hot poker.
Reflecting some of this history, the Oxford student dining club that bore Gaveston’s name had honorary positions that included Catamite and Master of Debauchery. Membership of the society was limited to 13. In 1981, none of my informants mentioned this week’s fantastical disclosures about dead pigs’ heads and an initiation ritual that required a new member, David Cameron, to stick his penis into one. Nevertheless, porkers were a part of the Oxford student conversation 35 years ago. A favourite phrase was “hog-whimpering”, as in “hog-whimpering drunk”.Continue reading...
Shadow education secretary says pending decision in Kent could open floodgates, and accuses Tories of ‘complete lack of new thinking’
The Conservatives will drag England’s schools into the past by reviving grammar schools, demoralising teachers and cutting resources, according to the new shadow education secretary.
Lucy Powell, who took over the education role last week following Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory, said Labour would fiercely contest any move by the government to allow the revival of selective schools. A decision on the proposed expansion of a Kent grammar school is expected soon.Continue reading...
Education’s ideological distaste for private sector must be overcome to build schools, train teachers and meet sustainable development goals
There have been some real achievements in global education following the establishment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) by the UN in 2000. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the proportion of children enrolled in primary school has risen from 52% in 1990 to 80% this year.
However, in the dash to get children into the classroom, there was too little focus on the quality of the education once they were there. UNESCO estimates that of the world’s 650 million primary school children, at least 250 million lack even basic literacy and numeracy skills.