ASCL fights robustly for schools funding | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 19:08

Fiona Millar erroneously portrays ASCL as reflecting rather than challenging government policy (Anti-academy head squares up to establishment elite in union election, 10 January). Nothing could be further from the reality. The association has robustly challenged government policy on many issues and continues to do so. ASCL currently campaigns vigorously for improved funding for schools and colleges, and for urgent action to address the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. ASCL is not in a “comfort zone” about these or any other issues, as a study of my press statements would immediately reveal.

ASCL is playing a leading role in fighting for improved funding and teacher supply, often alongside other education unions and associations. The association has argued directly to ministers and in public that a properly resourced education system is essential to the life chances of young people and the future economic wellbeing of the country. I make no apologies for taking a constructive approach to negotiating with government, or basing arguments on evidence, because this is the most effective way of achieving results.

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A can of Spam is less dangerous these days | Brief letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 19:04
Red meat cancer link | Charges against Lula | Robots as people | Ring pull safety | Peanut butter on Weetabix

Naomi Elster writes: “There isn’t currently any strong evidence that eating too much red meat causes cancer”, before noting that Cancer Research UK is a “reliable source … for advice and support” (The truth about cancer diets, G2, 16 January). However, responding to the WHO’s October 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer report which classified red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK’s epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, said: “Cancer Research UK supports IARC’s decision that there’s strong enough evidence to classify … red meat as a probable cause of cancer.
Ian Sinclair

• The letter headed “Standing in solidarity with Brazil’s Lula” (14 January) shows a remarkably one-sided view and a lack of concern for the facts. An example: “Investigating Lula, prosecutors have been unable to find any illegal activity committed.” This is nonsense. Lula has been charged on various counts including money laundering, being a member of a criminal organisation, influence peddling and misconduct. More than 50 Brazilian politicians, past and present and from various parties, have been charged with illegal activities and Lula is one of them.
John Fenn

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Netflix: is it every student’s worst addiction?

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 14:46

How easy is it to give up Netflix at the weekend? Not very, when that seductive countdown timer is hell-bent on leading you astray

In the silent hours of a cold winter evening, I’m one of thousands of students around the country struggling with the same internal question: should I watch another episode?

Realising I have a problem, I’ve been trying to stop watching Netflix on the weekends. It’s easy to distract myself on Friday and Saturday by going out with friends or reading. But come Sunday, I can’t resist any longer. I start a marathon that ends up lasting five hours.

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Knowsley planning return of A-levels after shut down

BBC - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 14:34
Knowsley, which became the first borough to lose all its A-level classes, has plans for the exam to return.
Categories: Education news feeds

Time to take on greed: why business schools must engage in intellectual activism

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 14:23

The next generation of corporate leaders are being taught risky practices with little regard for ethics. Educators need to challenge the status quo

“How can you work in a business school?” The question was put to me by a professor of politics. Her own background was at an elite US art college, and we shared similar political and intellectual persuasions. “The stereotype of someone working in a business school is of one who serves the 1%,” she told me.

Related: What will happen in higher education in 2017?

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Poor public transport puts rural schools out of reach

BBC - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 11:55
Young people in rural areas are missing out on chances in education because of poor public transport.
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Are students justified in banning the sale of newspapers on campus?

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 11:27

Four speakers to debate the student union motions in some universities to prevent the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Sun being sold

Expect fireworks next Tuesday during a panel discussion at City, University of London when four people debate whether campus campaigns against the sale of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express are justified.

On the panel will be Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World who spent five years as editor of the Sunday People; Tom Slater, deputy editor of Spiked Online; Liz Gerard, the former Times night editor who runs the excellent SubScribe blog; and Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. It will be chaired by a City, University of London student, Ghazzala Zubair.

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Cuts, cuts, cuts. Headteachers tell of school system ‘that could implode’

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 07:15

No textbooks, no counsellor, no support for special needs. Headteachers warn the schools funding crisis cannot go on

A report by the National Audit Office has said schools face cuts of 8% in real terms by 2019-20. While the government said school funding would be ringfenced, headteachers are facing a mountain of increased costs: higher contributions to national insurance and teachers’ pensions, the introduction of the “national living wage”, pay rises and the apprenticeship levy. There’s no extra money for these, nor is funding per pupil rising in line with inflation. The NAO warned that cuts could put students’ “educational outcomes at risk”. To make matters worse, the education services grant, worth £600m, is also being cut, which means there will be less money for local authorities or academies to provide services such as school improvement.

Meanwhile, headteachers are nervously keeping an eye on proposals for a new funding formula for schools in 2018-19, expected to redistribute money from inner-city schools to rural areas. But even schools that are likely to gain under this model say any extra cash will be eaten up by increased costs.

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Lego professor of play: apply now for the most coveted job in education

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 07:00
The world’s first professor of play – funded by Lego – is being sought by Cambridge University. What is the job description?

There are only three days left to apply for what could be the most coveted job in education: the Lego professor of play, development and learning at the University of Cambridge.

The closing date for applications for the brand new, permanent post is this Friday, 20 January. The successful candidate will not only enjoy all the perks of a typical Cambridge professor – including a job that commands an average salary of £83,981 – he or she will also lead Cambridge’s newly established Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (Pedal).

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You can see the cuts in the NHS but the cuts in schools are as dire | Laura McInerney

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 06:45
Schools are heading towards mass bankruptcy yet no one photographs the incremental damage done to children

As recent weeks have shown, hospitals are in crisis, with ill people lying in corridors, in pain, as treatment is held back for hours. Those images are why the public worries about the NHS and almost always supports extra cash for it.

School crises are less visual. No one photographs the child with learning difficulty, sobbing as the teaching assistant they worked with for the past three years is booted out. No one sees the cuts in music lessons, the special needs children who are told to go somewhere else because the school cannot afford to take them, the extra pupils in a class – or 10.

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SQA 'urgently needs to build trust'

BBC - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 01:44
Urgent work is needed to rebuild the relationship between Scotland's teachers and the country's exam body, according to MSPs.
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MPs call for unpaid internships ban

BBC - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 00:49
Unpaid internships should be stopped as a barrier to social mobility, says a parliamentary report.
Categories: Education news feeds

Body anxious teens avoid PE, says report

BBC - Tue, 17/01/2017 - 00:46
Almost a third of 2,000 UK teenagers told a survey they avoid PE because of body anxiety.
Categories: Education news feeds

Natural selection making 'education genes' rarer, says Icelandic study

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 16/01/2017 - 20:00

Researchers say that while the effect corresponds to a small drop in IQ per decade, over centuries the impact could be profound

Tempting as it may be, it would be wrong to claim that with each generation humans are becoming more stupid. As scientists are often so keen to point out, it is a bit more complicated than that.

A study from Iceland is the latest to raise the prospect of a downwards spiral into imbecility. The research from deCODE, a genetics firm in Reykjavik, finds that groups of genes that predispose people to spend more years in education became a little rarer in the country from 1910 to 1975.

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