Guardian Unlimited: Education

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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
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The secret trainee social worker's diary: 'My experiences as a carer help me'

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 15:00

Mentoring young people who look after parents with mental health problems is part of the preparation for a fast-track graduate programme

Monday

I get a call from the Think Ahead team, checking some details before I start my role with them in July. I’ve been accepted on to their fast-track graduate programme, which means I’ll be joining an NHS mental health team to train as a social worker.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

A third of 18-24-year-olds scared to check bank balance, poll finds

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 14:24

Results of study lead to NUS warning of poverty crisis, against backdrop of UCL rent strike and scrapping of maintenance grants

Nearly a third of young people in the UK say they are too scared to look at their bank balance, a survey has found, as student unions warn of an emerging national crisis.

The finding, which comes during national student money week, raises concerns about a generation struggling to service debt as they try to get an education in the hope of securing their financial future. It is feared money worries are deterring many from taking up the opportunity of higher education.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

What kind of law firm should I apply to?

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 11:17

No two law firms are the same, so before you apply for a job, make sure you understand the different kinds of employers you could approach

As an aspiring lawyer, understanding the differences between the various types of law firms is essential when applying for training contracts.

Most UK firms fit into the following few broad categories: high street (smaller firms serving a predominantly private client base in a local area); regional/national (larger multi-office firms serving a city or counties, often with a London office); City (based in the City of London, with a strong brand and international presence, often with a steer towards corporate work); and niche firms (which focus on a specialist area of law, for example, intellectual property).

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

A moment that changed me: being made head girl | Lemara Lindsay-Prince

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 11:07
At school I was a troublemaker. Then two of my teachers made a shocking suggestion – and I learned that a person need not be defined by their past

At certain times in my life my parents remind me that I wasn’t meant to be here. I know that sounds like I was some kind of mistake, but what they really mean is that some people had written me off at certain stages in my life, and there were many cliched discussions about the wrong choices I was making. Everything I’ve accomplished is a reminder of how far I’ve come.

I was born to West Indian parents, and it was instilled into me that I would have to work twice as hard to get half as much. That education wasn’t a joke – it was the only way to make it. But there I was in secondary school, taking the mick, thinking it was better to be recognised by a group of girls older than me than by my peers – and most definitely than by my teachers.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The secret diary of a student nurse: 'I'm asked to look after a patient who has been violent'

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 08:00

A student nurse says her ward is constantly understaffed, putting extra strain on nurses and healthcare assistants as they try to deal with difficult and distressed patients

My week begins with a 12-hour shift. I arrive and the nurses’ station is worryingly empty. Not once have we been fully staffed in the past few weeks and the pressure of an impending inspection by the Care Quality Commission, the healthcare regulator, is growing. I start by helping patients with their breakfast, as the night staff did not have time. The food – porridge and bread – looks disgusting. No wonder they prefer to eat the chocolates and sweets their families bring. I am relied upon greatly to help with personal care needs, despite being a supernumerary. My frantic mentor is doing three nurses’ jobs while hoping to avoid a drug error.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Universities told to raise numbers of working-class and black students

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 07:00

Jo Johnson tells universities to increase access to higher education among poorer white boys and cut dropout rates among black students

The government has imposed new rules on universities requiring them to work more closely with schools in poorer areas, targeting white working-class boys in particular in a bid to get them into higher education, the Guardian can reveal.

Following the prime minister’s ferocious criticism of levels of inclusion and diversity in universities, the government has issued fresh guidance to the Office for Fair Access (Offa) demanding that universities do more to boost social mobility and raise aspirations among disadvantaged groups.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Universities must reach out to the poorest in society – for everybody’s sake | Jo Johnson

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 07:00
If universities broaden their intake, it won’t be just the individuals involved who benefit. The government is helping them do just that

Last week, the prime minister gathered university leaders at Downing Street as part of a move to break down the barriers blocking under-represented young people from going to university. Now, we are taking action – publishing the first new guidance on fair access in five years.

Related: A university funding system designed to crush the aspirations of the poor

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Average university boss's salary rises 14% in five years

Xov, 11/02/2016 - 01:01

Union report says average rise for vice-chancellors last year alone was 3%, to £272,000, but 27 heads enjoyed increases of more than 10%

Pay for university bosses has soared by 14% over the last five years, with the average vice-chancellor’s salary now just under £275,000, according to a new report. The highest single earner was Andrew Hamilton, until recently the vice-chancellor at Oxford University, who was paid £462,000 for the academic year 2014-15, states the report, published on Thursday.

The University of Salford spent £516,000 on vice-chancellors’ pay for two incumbents in 2014-15, according to the document. Meanwhile, the average pay rise for vice-chancellors last year was an inflation-busting 3%, though 27 university heads enjoyed a pay increase of more than 10%.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

GPS, construction and video games – everyday uses for Pythagoras’s theorem

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 19:22

Lily Allen wonders if anyone still needs to be taught a bit of ancient Greek geometry. Well, for a start, without it there would be no digital music

Lily Allen gave a voice to bored schoolchildren everywhere this week when she posted on Twitter to moan about Pythagoras’s theorem. “I left school 15 years ago and I’ve not used Pythagoras’s theorem once or even seen a Bunsen burner,” she complained. But before the back rows of maths classes across the country start cheering, she suggested some even more boring lessons. “Are they teaching children about how mortgages work, national insurance or how to fill out a self-assessment tax return yet?”

Education minister Nick Gibb quickly stepped in to admonish Allen. “Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a job like yours,” he sniffed. “For many people maths and science are crucial to their career & life chances.”

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Nicola Sturgeon announces £23m to help disadvantaged students enter medicine in Scotland

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 19:22

50 more places at medical schools for those from deprived areas and ‘entry level’ programmes among measures planned over five years by first minister

Nicola Sturgeon is to spend £23m on boosting the number of students from poor backgrounds at Scottish medical schools after a study found they were dominated by attendees from the most affluent homes.

The first minister’s initiative draws heavily on data disclosed by the Guardian that only 4.3% of students at Scotland’s five medical schools came from the poorest 20% of postcodes, with Scottish students more likely to be from private schools or with parents from elite professions.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

John Tobias obituary

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 18:45

My father, John Tobias, who has died aged 93, was a teacher who discovered his vocation while training RAF pilots during the second world war.

John was born in Plumstead, south-east London, to Hilda and Ernest Tobias. Ernest had been a professional flautist and violinist who later worked as a senior manager in a mining company. John was educated at Cardinal Vaughan school, in Kensington, where he excelled academically and in sport.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Laurence Lerner obituary

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 18:17

My father, Laurence Lerner, known as Larry, who has died aged 90, was an academic and writer. The name of his 1999 autobiography, Wandering Professor, describes his life aptly. He taught variously in Africa, America and around Europe. At Queen’s University Belfast, one of his students was a young Seamus Heaney.

In all, my father published nine volumes of poetry, including Selves (1969); a series of poems inspired by the Bible called Chapter and Verse (1984); The Man I Killed (1980); and his final volume, Rembrandt’s Mirror (1987), in which he imagines the painter making a late self-portrait. He also wrote three novels and numerous books of literary criticism as well as many articles and much-loved, lighthearted poems for his family.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Chris Clegg obituary

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 16:34

Chris Clegg, my friend and colleague, who has died aged 67 from cancer, was professor of organisational psychology at Leeds Business School. As well as making significant contributions within his core discipline, he worked across disciplinary boundaries, conducting and publishing research with colleagues in engineering, medicine and computer science. He was dedicated to research of real-world value.

At Leeds he was also director of research of the management division, director of the Centre for Socio-Technical Systems Design, and director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership for Design.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The teacher recruitment crisis: views from the frontline

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 16:21

As a new report reveals the extent of the shortage facing the teaching profession, we ask our community about the impact it is having on their classrooms

The National Audit Office (NAO) has laid bare the extent of the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching. The number of teachers leaving the profession has increased by 11% over three years and ministers have failed to hit their recruitment target for four consecutive years (despite a £700m annual bill for their efforts).

The NAO report, Training New Teachers, revealed some stark realities about the impact of the crisis. For example, more secondary school classes are now being taught by teachers without a relevant post-A-level qualification in their subject – particularly in physics.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Britain’s comprehensive schools are being wiped out. Here’s how it’s being done | Lola Okolosie

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 14:50
It’s an odd way to conduct education policy – promoting academies and starving schools of funds. But what’s really worrying is how powerless parents are in the process

“Academies raise standards”, or so we have been told. As Melissa Benn and Janet Downs write in their excellent book The Truth About Our Schools, this is a myth that has “taken on the force of a quasi-biblical truth in public life”. Announced often, its utterance alone has become the basis of its validity. This is an odd way to conduct educational policy. Facts should really speak for themselves, but this doesn’t seem to be the case where academies are concerned.

Related: 'Massively' improved state schools threaten private sector

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Back to the future of programming: Usborne revives 1980s coding books for children

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 11:51

From Machine Code For Beginners to Computer Spacegames, the books that taught a generation of children to program have returned for free

A generation of children in the 1980s learned about programming from a series of computing books by Usborne Publishing. Now the company has rereleased them in free digital versions.

Originally aimed at children learning to program their ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro and Commodore 64 computers, the series included books like Practical Things To Do With a Microcomputer, Machine Code for Beginners, and Write Your Own Adventure Programs.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

I wish I weren't the only girl in my computer science class

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 11:13

I’m determined to do well in a traditionally male area, and I think more girls should consider doing Stem subjects

I’m 17, and I’m the only girl in my computer science class. I’m pretty much the same as my classmates, only shorter. I expected a large majority of my classmates to be male, but being the only girl is slightly mind-blowing. I also study engineering, and am hugely outnumbered in that too.

People think it’s unusual for me to study a subject that is associated with boys and leads to what is generally considered a man’s job. Stem subjects are still male dominated: nearly four out of five of those who took A-level physics in 2012 were male. And only about half of female Stem graduates go on to work in Stem roles.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

I knew nursing was what I had to do – my bursary made it possible

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 08:45

Axing student bursaries will make it harder to address the nursing shortage in the NHS and patient care will suffer

Nursing is a profession I had always considered but it took me a long time to take the decision to finally apply. I had my doubts, part of me wondered if I really wanted it enough to make all the sacrifices.

Four years ago all that changed. My dad was found dead at home and at the same time my granny was in a hospice receiving palliative care. She didn’t have long and I had to say goodbye earlier than I thought I would. I will never forget the nurse who smiled as I walked in, understood and hugged me as I cried on her shoulder. For a few minutes, I didn’t have to be strong, because she let me have some time to just be. From then on I knew nursing was what I had to do.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How to force metrics to take feelings into account

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 08:15

Plagued by higher education’s obsession with metrics, university staff are moving towards quantifying the emotional business of alumni relations

How we use metrics in higher education is a fiercely debated topic , and as the Teaching Excellence Framework is rolled out, looks set to stay high on the agenda. Yet academics are not the only ones facing an increased emphasis on measurement. Over the last few years administrative staff have also felt the pain of the numbers game. But there’s been very little debate about how the shift to a data-driven culture is affecting us.

What does the emphasis on metrics mean for people who work in alumni relations? Online tools such as Google Analytics, for example, have been used to check web statistics for quite a while. But workplaces are constantly evolving, putting staff under pressure to generate more and more data.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Teachers are leaving as government falls short on recruitment, NAO finds

Mér, 10/02/2016 - 01:01

Number of teachers leaving the profession has risen 11% over three years, NAO says, and recruitment targets have been missed for past four years

The number of teachers leaving the profession has increased by 11% over three years as the government continues to fall short of recruitment targets, Whitehall’s independent spending watchdog has found.

Despite spending £700m every year on training, ministers have failed to reach their own goals for recruitment for four consecutive years, according to the National Audit Office.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade