Smoking in cars is banned. But children still inhale toxic fumes in backseats

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 12/06/2017 - 05:52

Studies show pollution levels inside cars are higher than outside where NO2 emissions are dissipated into the wider atmosphere

Air pollution more harmful to children in cars than outside, warns top scientist

By now, if you are a pedestrian or cyclist you are probably aware that traffic pollution is a danger to your health, but there is one group of people who are perhaps more at risk: children in cars.

Numerous studies have shown how high pollution levels are in cars. A study in Copenhagen found that a driver actually breathed in higher amounts of pollution than a cyclist on the same road. For the cyclist, the emissions dissipated into the wider atmosphere which reduced their exposure, but for the car driver these emissions were circulated and built up in the cabin.

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Steve Hewlett scholarships to support students from low-income families

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 12/06/2017 - 00:02

Royal Television Society and The Media Society launch series of journalism bursaries in memory of the late broadcaster and Guardian columnist

Journalists and their journalism rarely live long in the memory. Broadcasters and broadcasting, particularly in these days of social media, face an even more fleeting passage through the public consciousness.

That Steve Hewlett, the former broadcaster and Guardian columnist, is bucking this trend is an indication of the nature of the man and his impact on his colleagues and the British public. Tonight (Monday 12 June) friends and former colleagues will join forces with the Royal Television Society and The Media Society to launch a series of Steve Hewlett scholarships designed to support young people across the country from low-income families to pursue a career in journalism.

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Private schools to save £522m in tax thanks to charitable status

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 18:06

Tax relief granted to 586 out of 1,038 private schools, including Eton College and Dulwich College

Private schools are set to get tax rebates totalling £522m over the next five years as a result of their controversial status as charities, according to a study of local council records.

Charitable organisations in England and Wales are entitled to relief of 80% on the business rates payable on the buildings they use, and some of the country’s best-known private schools qualify under the rules.

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While Corbyn inspired the young, May was terrifying the old

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 07:00
Deprived students found a natural champion in Labour – but we should remember the party has made expensive promises to pensioners too

The YouTube video artist Cassetteboy made his anti-Brexit stance clear last week when he mocked the prime minister with the words: “It is wrong to believe the fable that Theresa May belongs at the negotiating table.”

It is a sentiment echoed by millions of voters, many of them newly registered millennials, who used the general election to demand many things from MPs, including a softer Brexit than the one planned by May.

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How the Romans can help us to study | Daniel Glaser

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 06:00

The ‘method of loci’ is still the best way of remembering large quantities of information

Studytracks, a new app, is a tempting solution for students in the middle of exams. Downloaded 100,000 times, its creator, music producer George Hammond-Hagan, sang facts from his son’s GCSE physics revision over a hip-hop track - he’s made another 600 tracks since then.

Since Cicero in Roman times, it’s been clear that the secret of remembering things is to mash them up. The ‘method of loci’ is still the gold standard method for memorising large quantities of information. The system works by creating a ‘memory palace’ complete with different rooms. Within the rooms you can place objects that you ‘arrange’ on coat hooks, draped over bannisters, leaning against walls, etc, as a way of committing them to memory.

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What Nicola Sturgeon can learn from Jeremy Corbyn | Kevin McKenna

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 00:05
After 10 ineffective years in power, the first minister should heed the success of the Labour party leader

On the eve of an election when you had dared to hope that compassion might prevail over greed, a reality check was provided by the BBC. Jeremy Corbyn had just finished addressing his 90th rally in a seven-week campaign and, for a few hours, we even began to wonder how Britain might be under a Labour government led by him.

Imagining the howls of anguish from those who stood to lose most under a Corbyn government was the best bit. They had lately begun to cast Corbyn as a Robespierre figure, gleefully imposing a reign of Marxist terror on mild Albion, roaming the country seeking out the necks of capitalists. It took just one word from the BBC to snap us out of the fantasy.

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The Conservative pitch played to the worst in us. Which is never a match for the best in us | Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 00:05
We learned a Tory safe seat is meaningless, decency trumps the ugliness of the rightwing press and young people are more than a demographic

Dear My Children

(I’ve promised never to write about you so no names here)

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Secret Teacher: we need evidence on free schools, not blind faith

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 10/06/2017 - 07:00

I was full of optimism when I took a job at a free school, but we couldn’t give students the education they deserved. Politicians must start listening to concerns

Like many teachers, I’ve experienced intermittent bouts of disillusionment with an education system that can, at times, seem to embody an exam factory. Convinced that there was something better out there, a few years ago I trawled through job adverts in an attempt to find a school that approached education differently. I decided to look at new schools. That way, I figured, I’d be part of building something from the bottom up. So I took a teaching post at a free school that had been open for just under a year.

I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Several other teachers had also decided to embark on what they assumed would be an exciting challenge. We met and quickly realised that while our experience varied significantly – ranging from NQTs to experienced teachers – we all had one thing in common: optimism about the task ahead. We eagerly anticipated the start of term, but when September arrived it became clear that we’d misjudged the situation and made a terrible mistake.

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Why children make the best teachers

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 10/06/2017 - 06:44
Robert Twigger learned to draw better by observing his talented daughter. He simply watched, and didn’t ask too many questions …

There’s one in every school art class. The talented one. The person who can copy any Disney, manga or superhero comic character as easily as they can draw a portrait or sketch a life-drawing pose. In my school art class, there was David and there were the rest of us. The art teacher’s sole method of instruction was to berate us with: “If David can do it, why can’t you?” Because David’s a bloody genius, is what we muttered as we scritched and scratched to no avail, mainly with charcoal, which I hated because it was always snapping. A grade C at art O-level followed and after that, drawing was strictly for the talented.

For people like Dahlia, my daughter. She is the David of her class. But unlike with David, I was able to watch how she developed, how she came to be brilliant at art.

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School budgets at breaking point thanks to cuts | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 09/06/2017 - 18:48
Many schools are being forced to close early, class sizes are increasing and subjects being dropped from the curriculum, says Kevin Courtney of the NUT

It is surprising that your article “Our experts on the public services manifesto pledges” (Society, 7 June) does not mention education, despite it being the third most important issue of the general election. Parents, teachers, governors, local authorities and many MPs have voiced their very real and pressing concerns about the state of school budgets. Heads are having to plead with parents for additional funds to cover everything from glue sticks to building repairs. Many schools are being forced to close early, class sizes are increasing and subjects being dropped from the curriculum. All this to balance the books. Schools are not crying wolf, they really do not have the money to provide the education children and young people deserve. For some headteachers the situation is so intolerable that resignation has been the only option. In 2017 this simply should not be happening. For a world class education system we need well-resourced and properly funded schools.
Kevin Courtney
General secretary, National Union of Teachers

• Join the debate – email

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Students inspired by Corbyn played big role in Labour surge

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 09/06/2017 - 15:11

Campaigners say young people were highly motivated to turn out, but are now frustrated by ‘broken’ electoral system

The surprise surge of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party in the general election has been explained by a significant rise in youth turnout, with experts saying 18 to 24-year-old voters could have turned a number of key constituencies red.

Though no official age breakdown of voters has been calculated, figures point to a significant increase in turnout among young people as well as a significant increase in overall turnout in university towns.

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Please keep the flames to six feet! The wild and wonderful world of Walthamstow art school

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 09/06/2017 - 14:13

In the early 1960s, the old guard running Walthamstow art school quit – and a riotous spirit took hold, galvanising students from Ian Dury to Peter Blake. Now a new show, Be Magnificent, is celebrating the glory days

Terry Day’s eyes widen as he remembers arriving at the Walthamstow School of Art in March 1962. A small, wiry 76-year- old, his voice a mix of Dagenham roots and a lifetime spent as a British free jazz hepcat and pioneer, he sums it up quite simply: “The students were running the place. Nobody ever came and said ‘You gotta do this’ or ‘You gotta do that’. There was a lot of freedom.” His old friend Laurie Lewis, a photographer and film-maker – the National Portrait Gallery holds a clutch of his prints – laughs and nods his head. “You were encouraged to try everything,” he says.

Officially named the South West Essex Technical College and School of Art, Walthamstow School of Art hit a roll in the early 60s. When students such as Day and Lewis finished there, they applied to the Royal College of Art to continue their studies. As Lewis recalls: “If a local art school got someone into the Royal College they’d be very pleased. If they got in two people they’d be jumping up and down.”

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It's hard to articulate grief after a suicide – but we still need support

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 09/06/2017 - 07:30

Staff coping with suicide bereavement may not feel comfortable asking for help. So how should universities look after them?

Last spring, I interviewed successfully for what I can only describe as my dream job. For the first time, six years after finishing my PhD, I could see a clear future in academia. Two months before I was due to start, my sister ended her life. Beyond the emotional complexities of suicide bereavement, I couldn’t have predicted the ways my working life would be affected.

A recent study at UCL found that staff and students whose loved ones had died through suicide were 80% more likely to drop out of their job or studies than those where death was from other causes. Every experience of grief is unique, but an emerging body of research has begun to consider the distinct challenges faced by those who have lost loved ones through suicide. Alexandra Pitman, who authored the UCL study, suggests “employers should be aware of the significant impact that suicide bereavement has on people’s working lives and make adjustments to help their staff return to work”.

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OCR exam board admits Psychology test paper 'mistake'

BBC - Thu, 08/06/2017 - 20:29
Students tweeted their shock after seeing a Maths question in the Psychology A Level exam
Categories: Education news feeds

Stephen Cotgrove obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 08/06/2017 - 18:43

My grandfather, Stephen Cotgrove, who has died aged 96, made an important contribution to sociology, including overseeing its introduction to the A-level syllabus.

Stephen was professor of sociology at the University of Bath (1966-84) and pro-vice chancellor (1974-78). He devoted his research to the sociology of science and technology, believing strongly that society should be examined using scientific methods.

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Advertising watchdog forces Reading University to ditch 'top 1%' claim

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 08/06/2017 - 17:58

‘Misleading’ claim is also made by other UK institutions as they compete to attract students

Claims made by UK universities to attract students have been called into question after the University of Reading was forced to withdraw its assertion that it was in the top 1% of institutions globally.

The university agreed to remove the claim from its website and other marketing materials after a complaint was made to the advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), in April.

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My daughter's school trip was cancelled after the terror attacks. It's not ‘business as usual’ | Afua Hirsch

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 08/06/2017 - 15:52

My daughter was excited about her class outing to the Tower of London – until parents asked for it to be cancelled. So much for keeping calm and carrying on

With terror now comes a sinking sense of familiarity. A tragically well-rehearsed routine, in which our particularly British brand of resilience is repeated like a mantra: they will not divide us, we stand together, stronger, our cities are open for business.

Related: Schools cancel trips in the wake of London and Manchester terror attacks

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Universities challenged on top 1% advert

BBC - Thu, 08/06/2017 - 15:09
The advertising watchdog questions claims about universities being in the top 1% worldwide.
Categories: Education news feeds