Syndicate content The Guardian
Latest education news, comment and analysis on schools, colleges, universities, further and higher education and teaching from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Updated: 46 min 7 sec ago

Education and the arts are right to stand up for European ideals | Editorial

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 18:54
Too much of the EU referendum debate is at best pragmatic. But the need to defend ties of scholarship, research and culture speaks to Europe’s bigger values and widened horizons

Though noble ideals animate the European Union, you often struggle to find them articulated in the referendum campaign. The rhetoric on both sides has focused on the pragmatic at best – look at David Cameron’s five-point pledge with Sadiq Khan yesterday – and the parochial at worst – the farming minister’s anti-green whinge yesterday for example. Yet there are soaring principles behind the European project: that a community of nations, bound by geography, can achieve more at peace and by working together than on their own; and that their citizens are enriched by the possibility of freedom of movement. These simple principles are enacted quietly and practically in the daily work of scholars, educators and artists across Europe.

Take higher education. More than 100 UK vice-chancellors have spoken up for remaining in the EU. Why? The blunt financial fact is that EU money accounts for 16% of research funding. Crucially, the UK is a net recipient. If Britain were to leave the EU, it would lose access not only to this money, but to its unfettered links with the brightest European academics. Some 15% of academic staff in Britain come from other EU countries. This cosmopolitanism is something that should be celebrated, not deprecated.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Regional dialects are dying out – it’s enough to get you blarting

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 18:09

Britons are increasingly speaking like southern Englanders, according to an app produced by Cambridge University. Here’s a guide to some bostin’ words and phrases at risk of extinction

Never mind whether you take it with jam or cream, does your “scone” rhyme with “gone” or “stone”? Chances are, it’s the former. Basically the “stone” pronunciation of scone is almost gone. Still with me?

According to the first set of results from an app mapping changes in English dialects launched in January by the University of Cambridge, regional accents are dying out. The English Dialects app, downloaded 70,000 times already, has generated data from 30,000 users across 4,000 locations. And the results reveal Britons from the West Country to the north-east are increasingly speaking like southerners. In essence, the app draws a modern picture of a land of identikit scones and ‘arms’ lopped of their resounding ‘r’s in which a pesky piece of wood caught beneath the skin is no longer known as a spool, spile, speel, spell, spelk, shiver, spill, sliver, or splint, depending on where you are from, but simply a boring old splinter. It’s enough to get you blarting. Or crying, as it’s now more commonly known.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Stephen Eyers obituary

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 17:54

My friend and colleague Stephen Eyers, who has died aged 73, was an English teacher and adviser of teachers. We met in 1974, on my first day at Vauxhall Manor school in Lambeth, south London, one of the best comprehensives in the capital at the time, where he had been working since 1972.

Vauxhall Manor’s staff regarded the language and culture of the school’s working class, ethnically diverse students as something to value and build upon. The English department invited poets into the school, took parties to Italy, and ran frequent visits to theatres in London, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. Exam results were among the best in London for comparable schools and Stephen made a major contribution to these achievements.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Eton provost threatens to quit Tories over 'social engineering' agenda

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 15:32

Lord Waldegrave says he will resign the party whip in protest at plan to ask job candidates if they went to private school

Moves to make employers ask job candidates if they went to fee-paying schools have led to threats from the provost of Eton college to quit the Tory party whip in the Lords.

Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, the crown-appointed provost of David Cameron’s old school and a former Conservative cabinet minister, is unhappy at the plans, which form part of the government’s “life chances” agenda.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

The Soweto uprising: share your experiences, pictures and perspectives

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 08:30

Forty years ago apartheid police killed hundreds of children protesting in the Johannesburg township. Were you there? We want your help telling this story

Wednesday 16 June 1976 was a day that would change South Africa, when some 10,000 black children and teenagers took to the streets of Soweto to protest against being forced to study in Afrikaans, the language of their white oppressors.

As apartheid police responded to the march with force, the protest turned violent. By the end of the day, around 176 young people had been killed and thousands more injured when police fired live ammunition into the crowd.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Half-term extras

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 08:00

A chance for pupils to get their hands dirty

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Old Etonian Tory peer threatens to rebel over public school plan

Mon, 30/05/2016 - 01:10

Proposal for companies to ask where job applicants went to school is discriminatory, says Lord Waldegrave, who may resign party whip over the issue

Former Conservative cabinet minister and the provost of Eton College, William Waldegrave has threatened to resign the party whip if the government pushes ahead with a voluntary plan to request that companies ask job applicants if they went to a private school.

Proposals published by Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock last week to request that leading companies should ask if potential employees were educated privately as one tool among others to improve chances for state-educated pupils and enhance social mobility.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Academy trust accused of discriminating against disabled pupils

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 13:01

Parents furious after Dean Trust says it will move children with special educational needs and disabilities to worse school

An academy trust has been accused of segregating disabled pupils after announcing that it would bus children with special educational needs and disabilities from a well-performing school to a worse school because of limited resources.

The Dean Trust, which runs schools in Trafford, Cheshire and Liverpool, has informed parents of children with special needs who are due to start at Ashton-on-Mersey school in September that, because of “limited resources”, their children will attend lessons at the undersubscribed Broadoak school in Partington, six miles away.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

What jobs can you do with an arts or humanities degree? – live chat

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 10:00

Join our live chat on Wednesday 1 June from 1-2.30pm to ask the experts about graduate career options

It’s not always obvious what career paths graduates who studied an arts or humanities degree can pursue. What job, for example, awaits you after reading literature, art or philosophy at university?

The answer is that there isn’t just one type of career on offer. Arts and humanities graduates end up in sectors as diverse as healthcare and computing. “The employment opportunities are greater than ever before,” says Emma Hunt, deputy vice-chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth, who says the idea of arts students being less employable is an outdated one. “Creative graduates are no longer tied to just one segment of the employment landscape.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Major Tim Peake answers schoolchildren’s questions from space

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 09:00

The British astronaut’s multimedia ability, and the efforts of volunteers back on Earth, are bringing the excitement of his mission into the classroom

It’s a drizzly summer morning down here on planet Earth. Soft is-it-or-isn’t-it rain is falling from the sky. The hedgerows are bursting with nettles and cowslips. And the earth is damp and smells of… I take a deep noseful and think about this. It smells of earth. If you were a long, long way away in a cold and alien place, this spot here, Ottery St Mary, near the folded east Devon hills, is the kind of landscape that might come to you in a hallucinatory dream.

It’s the essence of the English countryside on a cool early summer morning. And somewhere, high above, in a tin capsule circling planet Earth, is Major Tim. The urge to quote David Bowie lyrics is almost irresistible – is irresistible – because at the King’s School in Ottery St Mary, there’s a massive antenna in the playground, a temporary space station in the school hall and a small crowd of children and parents waiting patiently. Ground control is literally about to call Major Tim: Tim Peake – our man in space. The first Briton in space for a long time and the first of the modern social-media age, a role that has led to other firsts, including being the first astronaut to appear at the Brit awards and “run” the London marathon and, for one morning only, the first to speak to the students at the King’s School, live, from the International Space Station.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

School leaders reveal their top tips on being a good interviewer

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 08:00

Ensuring you get the best out of candidates requires careful planning and clear communication

The purpose of any interview is to find the best person for the job. But with candidates’ nerves jangling and the recruitment crisis causing increased pressure, it can be hard to make sure the right appointment is made.

So we’ve spoken to a range of headteachers and deputies from across the UK to find their top tips on how to be a good interviewer. Here are some insider tips:

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Boys who live with books ‘earn more as adults’

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 00:05

Italian economists find access to books can materially affect earnings compared with those who grew up with few or none

“A room without books is like a body without a soul,” observed the Roman philosopher, Cicero. It can also be a sign of financial hardship to come.

New research has uncovered a strong correlation between the earnings of adults and whether they grew up surrounded by books as children.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

What you need to teach at LSE? A role in Maleficent | Catherine Bennett

Sun, 29/05/2016 - 00:05
The university’s appointment of Angelina Jolie reveals much about the marketisation of higher education

Though it may take a while to establish her long-term contribution to the reputational recovery of the LSE, following its embrace of the Gaddafis , the awarding of a professorship to the actor and humanitarian envoy Angelina Jolie has already helped distract from that university’s ranking in the latest league table. So much so that the makers of these lists may want to consider adding a celebrity variable to valuations such as student satisfaction and job prospects.

What percentage of the university’s teaching staff has appeared in a top-grossing film, such as Professor Jolie Pitt’s Maleficent? Rates high for gowns? How many undergraduates are forced to endure three years of toil without meeting someone who has been up – at least – for a Bafta? Recalculated on that basis, the LSE comes top of all the universities in the world, with Oxford in second place, the credit for that going entirely to one college, Lady Margaret Hall. It recently awarded visiting fellowships to, among others, Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Neil Tennant, of the Pet Shop Boys, promising “fascinating interactions”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Two-hour test kit hailed as boon to HIV care in Africa

Sat, 28/05/2016 - 22:01

Cambridge scientist Helen Lee’s simple, mobile device will speed up detection and treatment rates

A revolutionary device developed by a team of Cambridge scientists is transforming the diagnosis of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. The machine – known as Samba (simple amplification-based assay) – can tell whether a person is infected with the virus within two hours of them giving a tiny blood sample. Virus carriers can then be offered immediate treatment and advice.

More than 20 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are thought to be carrying HIV, the virus that causes Aids. The chaotic conditions in some parts of this region – with transport, health services and electricity supply often poor or nonexistent – have made it extraordinarily difficult for doctors to keep track of infected individuals.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Teachers, tell us about your experiences of online abuse

Sat, 28/05/2016 - 09:20

Half of teachers have been targeted by pupils or their parents online – what can be done about the problem?

Half of teachers have been victims of social media abuse from pupils and their parents, the teaching union NASUWT said this week.

According to a survey of 1,300 teachers carried out by the union, more than half of those who had suffered abuse said it had come from parents – an increase from 40% in 2015. NASUWT, which is representing teachers and pupils in the Reclaim the Internet campaign, added that too often online harassment of teachers is not dealt with effectively.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Secret Teacher: I was treated like a naughty pupil for not wearing a tie

Sat, 28/05/2016 - 07:00

An insignificant choice of workwear led to diktats and thinly veiled threats. Schools might teach liberty but they don’t practise it

During my schooldays I was forever being told to tuck in my shirt. It bothered me – I couldn’t see the relationship between my shirt and my ability to learn. One day, when my history teacher barked his familiar request to “tuck that shirt in”, I asked why.

I was all but dragged to the deputy headteacher’s office and it was there I first heard about the “hidden curriculum”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

What can my daughter buy her form tutor as a leaving gift?

Sat, 28/05/2016 - 07:00

We don’t even know if this is still the done thing

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

This week’s question:

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Student loans: the next big mis-selling scandal?

Sat, 28/05/2016 - 06:59

A change to loan conditions, made after it’s taken out? A mortgage company can’t legally do that to borrowers, but it seems the government can

Many graduates have been shocked this week to see just how their debt is escalating, with interest charged at up to 3.9%. That’s more than the typical rate on a first-time buyer mortgage. Have they been mis-sold a dodgy loan?

University of Nottingham graduate Simon Crowther’s post on Facebook went viral this week, after he revealed how much interest is being added to his debt. He’s part of the first wave of graduates to have left university after paying £9,000-a-year fees. His total debt, a year after leaving college, jumped to £41,976 by the end of March, with the interest racking up by as much as £180 a month. Crowther claims he was mis-sold the loan and “cheated by a government who encouraged many of us to undertake higher education, despite trebling the cost of attending university”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

Have student loan interest rates really shot up?

Fri, 27/05/2016 - 17:22

A young graduate was in the news this week after posting his student loan statement online showing that he was accruing up to £180 a month in interest – or a rate of 6.6% – when he thought he had signed up to a rate of just 0.5%

A Facebook post by a recent graduate suggesting that interest rates on student loans have been hiked went viral this week – so have rates really gone up?

The post, by a graduate called Simon Crowther who finished a degree in civil engineering last year, suggested that he and other students had seen their interest rates hiked after the sale of the Student Loans Company to a private firm. Crowther seems to have struck a nerve with other students when he published his statement, showing he was racking up as much as £180 a month in interest on a £40,000 loan for tuition fees and maintenance. He said he had expected to pay just 0.5% when he signed up, but rates had been increased when the company was sold off. But Crowther is mistaken – the interest rates on the loans had been set before he and his contemporaries started university in 2012.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds

‘It's like Florence Nightingale’s time’: South Sudan’s public services collapse

Fri, 27/05/2016 - 15:17

From candlelit births to a lack of power and basic supplies, the desperate plight of South Sudan’s largest public hospital is symptomatic of a countrywide crisis

Wednesday afternoon found Jeremiah Kuol pacing up and down the maternity ward of Juba teaching hospital, wondering whether his wife, Hannah Nyabok, would live or die.

She had suffered a severe haemorrhage after giving birth the day before but, with South Sudan’s largest public hospital facing a week-long power cut and a shortage of medicine, there seemed little hope of saving her life.

Continue reading...
Categories: Education news feeds