Cambridge gargoyles are given extra weight to protect them against the elements

Telegraph - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 12:10
The waistlines of the landmark statues have been expanded in a bid to stop them crumbling and falling from their perches

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Grandparents to share parental leave

BBC - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 11:18
Working grandparents will be allowed to take time off and share parental leave pay to help care for their grandchildren, the government says.
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Refugee crisis: how your school can help

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 08:00

From fundraising to lobbying the government, there are many practical ways for schools to offer assistance

More than 300,000 refugees are estimated to have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe this year. They are suffering and dying in staggering numbers – more than 2,500 have already lost their lives in 2015.

As community hubs, schools have the power to help. They can motivate the government to take on more than the 4,000 refugees per year it has already committed to, and are well placed to support these people on the ground. Here are some of the ways you can help:

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Are private tutors for children just the latest educational ‘arms race’?

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 00:05
Millions of UK pupils have help with their tuition. Does this boost children otherwise overlooked at school, or just exploit their anxious parents? Tracy McVeigh talks to a student, a tutor and a headteacher

The debate about the state of Britain’s schools rages on, but one thing is clear: parents are ever more addicted to hiring tutors to help their children succeed. New figures show that one in four UK children, and almost half in London, have private tuition to help them with school work.

The proportion of tutored pupils has risen by more than a third over the past decade, from 18% in 2005 to 25% now. In London, 44% of pupils had private or home tuition last year, compared with 34% in 2005. The number of tutors offering their services has burgeoned, as has the number of tuition agencies, leading to fears about an unregulated home industry.

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Half of all teachers in England threaten to quit as morale crashes

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 00:05
Shock poll shows 53% of teachers are thinking of leaving the profession in the next two years

More than half of teachers are considering leaving the profession in the next two years, according to a YouGov poll.

With research suggesting that teachers are working anything up to 60 hours a week, a survey published on Sunday offers evidence of plummeting morale among staff. It reveals that 53% of teachers are thinking of quitting in the next couple of years. The top reasons given were “volume of workload” (61%) and “seeking a better work/life balance” (57%).

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Half of teachers could leave the profession in two years

Telegraph - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 00:01
A new survey has revealed that over half of teachers are considering leaving the profession within two years due to workload and low morale

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Half of teachers in England 'may quit'

BBC - Sun, 04/10/2015 - 00:00
More than half of England's teachers are thinking of leaving their jobs in the next two years, a survey for a teaching union suggests.
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Former Eton head calls for return of nursery rhymes to the classroom

Telegraph - Sat, 03/10/2015 - 18:57
Former headmaster of Eton, Tony Little, says bring back nursery rhymes to help youngsters learn history

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Teens turning to counselling to cope with social media

Telegraph - Sat, 03/10/2015 - 14:00
Leading independent schools are increasing the numbers of psychologists to help teenagers cope with the pressures of appearing popular on social media

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Who needs Oxbridge? Meet the British students headed for Europe

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 03/10/2015 - 11:00

As the UK becomes the most expensive place to study in Europe, thousands are opting for a free degree in Copenhagen or Plovdiv instead. Is it worth it?

Hiroki Takano is not having a good day. “I lost my wallet, and then I realised I’d locked myself out of my apartment.” He sighs. Takano, 21, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, is at the end of his first week of lectures at university. But though this is the sort of thing that happens to freshers with alarming predictability, it’s a bit more complicated in his case. Takano isn’t in Leeds, or Manchester, or Durham, and he can’t just pop into the nearest branch of his bank. He’s in Copenhagen, roughly 600 miles from home.

Over the last fortnight, approximately half a million new undergraduates have embarked on student life at universities across the UK. They’ve unpacked their new kettles and their fresh-from-Ikea duvet covers. They’ve made a few friends (and, in many cases, already had their first regrettable romantic encounters). But, just as they begin to settle into lectures, thousands more British students like Hiroki Takano are already a month or so into their studies at universities across mainland Europe. They have swapped crowded halls of residence for Copenhagen flats, pub crawls for bonding forest campfires in Finland.

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Secret Teacher: I can't help but judge on parents' evening

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 03/10/2015 - 07:00

Meeting students’ families offers a fascinating glimpse into their home lives – and helps me understand their behaviour in class

The long hours crammed behind a desk. The hand-shaking. The attempt to hold a polite grin when you’re desperate for a loo break. Parents’ evenings aren’t usually popular with teachers, but I love them.

It’s not praising students in front of their families that I enjoy so much. It’s not the looks on my pupils’ faces – from joy to outright fear – when I whip out their exercise books as evidence. It’s not even the crucial progress we can make in a good parental meeting, where no one can dispute what was said because everyone was there.

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Premier League to expand primary school sport scheme

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 03/10/2015 - 00:01

David Cameron says league will roll out scheme to every primary school in England and Wales and reveals plan for joint grassroots sport initiative

The Premier League has agreed to expand its school sport programme to every primary school in England and Wales as part of a grassroots sport initiative, Downing Street has announced.

Separately, the Premier League and the government are in discussions about setting up a grassroots sport fund with investment from the league. Further details will be announced as part of the government’s new strategy on sport later in the year.

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Tim Farron says Tories 'stealing lunch money' over school meals threat

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 19:41

Liberal Democrat leader responds to possibility its policy of free meals in primary schools could be axed in autumn spending review

The Department for Education has confirmed that the autumn spending review could see the removal of free school meals for infants, one of the Liberal Democrats’ final achievements in coalition, Tim Farron said on Friday.

The Lib Dem leader was responding to an email sent by the government to the tens of thousands of petitioners urging the government to retain free school meals.

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Jeremy Corbyn tuition fee abolition pledge vies with other policies

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 19:13

Gordon Marsden, shadow higher education minister, confirms key Labour pledge to scrap tuition fees won’t ‘automatically become policy’

Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to abolish student tuition fees will have to compete against alternative policies – including a graduate tax – before being approved by his party, according to Labour’s shadow minister for higher education.

Gordon Marsden, who took over Labour’s shadow universities role after Corbyn was elected leader, said “nothing is ruled in, and nothing is ruled out” over the future of tuition fees. A promise to scrap the fees formed a major part of Corbyn’s appeal to young voters during his successful election campaign.

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Midwives' body condemns plan to make students pay for training

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 18:26

Forcing midwives and nurses in England to take out student loans would aggravate shortage of recruits, says RCM

Proposals by universities to make nursing and midwifery students in England pay their own tuition fees have been condemned by the Royal College of Midwives.

Students training to be a midwife, nurse or allied health professional at university currently have their tuition fees paid in full, but proposals by the Council of Deans of Health and Universities UK would see them forced to take out student loans instead.

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'We want to be part of the solution': universities reach out to refugees

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 16:00

Several UK universities have announced scholarships, jobs and the hope of a new life for those affected by the migrant crisis

As the humanitarian response to the migrant crisis builds momentum, UK universities are among those stepping up to offer assistance. Many have announced scholarships for refugee students, including Warwick, York, Sussex, Edinburgh, the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of East London. The London School of Economics announced on Friday that it will also offer three scholarships per year for undergraduate asylum seekers from 2016, along with 10 postgraduate awards.

Related: A day on a refugee rescue ship: 'this job must be done, there must be no sinking'

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'Global treasure' Koran on display

BBC - Fri, 02/10/2015 - 15:51
Fragments of a Koran believed to be one of the oldest ever found go on public display in Birmingham.
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