General election 2017: ITV hosts first leaders' debate – as it happened

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 23:10

All the day’s campaign news, as the Conservatives launch a manifesto for ‘country and community’ and the first leaders’ TV debate takes place

11.01pm BST

There’s a reason why PMQs attracts so much interest at Westminster, even though the quality of “debate” is often poor. It’s because, when the prime minister and the leader of the opposition are speaking, there’s a hinge that connects the arguments to decisions that get taken, things that happen, stuff that matters etc. The PM and opposition leader have to defend what they do, and so whether they can defend it or not convincingly actually counts.

But if the people who are engaged in a political debate don’t have that sort of authority, even if they speak with the wit and intellect of characters from an Aaron Sorkin drama, it is not going to have the same edge. And no one would confuse what happened tonight with a Sorkin script.

10.25pm BST

The ITV leaders debate has exposed the patchwork, oddly shaped nature of the UK’s political system. The only two party leaders with a realistic chance of becoming prime minister, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, have declined to appear – further highlighting the weakness of this format, in which the speakers spent much of the debate virtue-signalling, untested.

We had leaders of two nationalist parties whose candidates only stand in small parts of the UK, in Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National party, and Leanne Wood from the Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru. Yet neither are candidates in the election. Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats, Caroline Lucas of the English Greens and Paul Nuttall of Ukip are standing, yet none has a realistic chance of being in the next government. The Greens will likely end with one MP, in Lucas. Ukip are likely to end with none at all.

FM: "Growing the economy means doing more to support business, in Scotland we're taking 100000 businesses out of business rates." #ITVDebate

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It's 50 years since Indigenous Australians first 'counted'. Why has so little changed?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 21:00

In 1967 Australia voted in a landmark referendum to finally include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in its census. But, as Paul Daley reports, the fight for genuine equality for the country’s first people is far from over

Sol Bellear, a former rugby league player for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Aboriginal rights activist, sits in the soft autumn sunshine at a cafe intersecting Redfern Park and the oval that remains the spiritual home of his beloved club.

He sips a Red Bull “heart starter” and English breakfast tea. And he shakes his head while contemplating the anniversaries of what ought to have been transformative moments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – starting with the 1967 “citizenship” referendum that first made their existence in Australia “official”.

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Unauthorised term-time holidays soar in England after legal challenge

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 18:09

Sharp increase revealed in DfE figures follows parent’s successful challenge against a fine for his daughter’s absence

The number of children taken out of school for unauthorised holidays soared at the end of last year, after high-profile legal challenges called into doubt the government’s ability to punish parents for absences.

Figures from the Department for Education (DfE) revealed a sharp increase in pupils missing school for unauthorised family holidays at the start of the school year in England last September.

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Tories pledge school cash from cutting free infant meals

BBC - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 17:46
Conservatives promise an extra £1bn per year for schools from scrapping free meals for all infants.
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Christopher Moore obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 17:29

My brother, Christopher Moore, who has died aged 78, made a significant contribution to education in Quaker schools in Britain. For eight years, he was a member of the committee of Ackworth school in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, five of them as clerk – the Quaker equivalent of the chair. More recently, he acted as clerk of the committee for two years at the Mount school in York.

These roles drew on his experience as a teacher – his lifetime occupation, first for five years at the King’s school, Chester, and then as head of chemistry at the Quaker Bootham school, York. Although his subject was chemistry, he was committed to the idea that his subject could only be a small part of a young person’s learning. After leaving full-time teaching in 1998, he was able to give some of his time to the organisation known as The Year in Industry, which arranges for pupils leaving school to spend time in industry before going to university.

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From bursaries to gender balance: what needs to change in nursing?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 16:18

Our expert panel took a constructive look at the state of nursing in the UK. Here are the best bits of the discussion

On International Nurses’ Day, we brought together a panel of students, qualified nurses and educators to answer readers’ questions on the state of the profession. After a drop in student applications following NHS bursary cuts; a post-Brexit exodus of EU staff; and a possible strike by the Royal College of Nursing, there was plenty to discuss. Here’s what we learned.

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Scrapping free school lunches is an attack on struggling families | Nick Clegg

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 15:34
The Liberal Democrats pushed for the introduction of free infant school lunches in 2014. This Conservative U-turn cynically targets the vulnerable

So much for compassionate Conservatism. So much for helping the “just about managing”. During my time as deputy prime minister, I repeatedly blocked the Conservatives from proceeding with tax, welfare, education and pensions policies that did not cater for the neediest in society. I became wearily familiar with the Conservative party’s habit of placing greater priority on the needs of “their” voters than those of society at large.

Related: Tory manifesto: more elderly people will have to pay for own social care

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The real importance of a silly-sounding GCSE question on Darwin | Jenny Rohn

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 12:00

Students have expressed scorn over a biology exam question on ‘Victorian monkey memes’. So how much does teaching the history of science matter?

According to BuzzFeed, British year 11 students encountered a Biology exam question this week about science history and were “confused”, using Twitter to vent their frustration.

Students taking the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) version of the GCSE exam were reportedly asked to explain why Victorian journalists lampooned Charles Darwin as a monkey in cartoons – thereby scuppering their chance to shine on topics they’d studied hard for, such as photosynthesis and the menstrual cycle.

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Want to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin? Start digging for worms

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 11:00

We all know what an earthworm looks like, but scientists have surprisingly little information on the worm species living in our gardens and allotments. Here’s how you can help

“There are few animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world than the earthworm” - so wrote Charles Darwin in his best-selling book The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, which was based on his observations of earthworms in his own garden at Downe, Kent.

Now, 135 years later, we still don’t know how many and what types of earthworms there are in gardens, allotments, and other green spaces - despite their importance in creating healthy soil.

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School choice

BBC - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 10:52
If the US moves towards a voucher system, what does the OECD say about the possible consequences?
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Girlguiding overhauls badges to help girls 'thrive'

BBC - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 09:46
Classic badges likely to be replaced by new ones, including Upcycling and Vlogging.
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Exercise programme 'can reduce concussion' in youth rugby

BBC - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 08:23
Strength, balance and movement exercises help teenagers avoid injury, a study says.
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2VCs: How worried should universities be about the general election?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 08:00

Labour has pledged to abolish tuition fees and the Conservatives are threatening a hard Brexit and a tighter visa regime for international students. How will universities face the prevailing headwinds?

When Labour pledged to abolish university tuition fees in its general election manifesto, it put higher education firmly on the campaign agenda. The party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, formally launched his campaign for election from Manchester. As part of our 2VCs series, Anna Fazackerley visits the city to talk to Dame Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor of research-intensive Manchester University, and Prof Malcolm Press, vice-chancellor of its modern university neighbour, Manchester Metropolitan, about what the general election means for them.

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Why the Oxford stabbing student really is too talented for jail | Simon Jenkins

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 07:00

The scandal is not that Lavinia Woodwarde could be spared prison for stabbing her boyfriend. It is that so many others are denied the same understanding

The way to stay out of prison in today’s Britain is to go to Oxford University. Christ Church college undergraduate Lavinia Woodward, 24, dosed on drugs, punched her boyfriend in the face, stabbed him with a bread knife, hurled a laptop at him, then followed up with a glass and a jam jar. They do nothing by halves at Christ Church.

Her defence counsel, a full QC, explained that she was just a humble drug addict who had led “a very troubled life”. It was as if these things were normal. Woodward has not even been expelled. As it was, said the QC, she just wanted to grow up and be a heart surgeon. A prison record for knife crime would not look good on her CV.

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Baylor football players raped women as 'bonding experience', lawsuit alleges

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 17/05/2017 - 23:01
  • Lawsuit filed in federal court claims players took part in gang rapes
  • Baylor accused of violating Title IX and fostering culture of violence on campus

The latest lawsuit against Baylor University alleges that its football players took part in gang rapes as a team-bonding experience for new recruits.

The suit was filed in federal court in Waco by a plaintiff identified as Jane Doe, who was part of a campus sports team.

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Lib Dems pledge £5.8bn for England's school budgets

BBC - Wed, 17/05/2017 - 17:02
They would also reintroduce maintenance grants, but stop short of scrapping tuition fees in England.
Categories: Education news feeds