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Guardian Unlimited: Education
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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Marian McNay, who has died aged 78, was a highly successful primary headteacher, but her most notable achievement came earlier as the first teacher of classes of Italian children in Bedford who had no English. She matched the children by having no Italian, so overcoming the language barrier was an achievement.
This was 1959, and the Italian community in Bedford was big and growing. The London Brick Company was recruiting men from the poverty-stricken areas of Puglia and Campania to work in the huge brickfields near Bedford, which became the town with the biggest concentration of Italians and their descendants in England. Today they constitute about 30% of a population of 80,000.Continue reading...
Any change in a government brings uncertainty. For scientists in Britain, the waiting game ahead of the November spending review is turning into a nail-biter
Back in 2010, UK science dodged a bullet – sort of.
Following a global recession, the scientific community was warned to expect cuts of up to 40% to the core research budget. We rallied, presenting strong arguments for the role of science in fueling the economy. Afterwards, the £4.6b ring-fencing of these funds announced in the subsequent Autumn Spending Review came as a relief.Continue reading...
Research by the NUS has found that most students with maintenance grants would not be at university without them
More than half of students who receive maintenance grants say they would not be at university without them, according to research carried out by the National Union of Students (NUS).
The survey of over 1,280 students recieving grants found that 52% felt they were absolutely essential to their decision to go to university. A further 30% said they believed them to be important or very important.Continue reading...
The discovery of a simple mislabelling of a painting in the British Library has led to a series of new insights for one early career researcher
We all dream of having an Indiana Jones moment, when days, months and years of painstaking archival research leads to the discovery of an artefact of priceless cultural significance.
A few months into my research project on Caribbean literature, I made a surprising discovery. I realised that a watercolour of the Caribbean in the archives of the British Library had been incorrectly recorded.Continue reading...
Don’t feel sorry for us, we don’t need it. Just treat us like everyone else, says star of The Unbreakables, a TV programme about students with complex disabilities
I have a disability – but that doesn’t make me special. Special is a term for someone out of the ordinary. That’s not me, or any of the disabled people I know.
I have cerebral palsy. I didn’t ask for it. Because of my disability I’ve got little choice about where I go to school, where I live, and how I live.Continue reading...
In this clip from BBC Three's 'The Unbreakables', Bradley is asked to become a student ambassador for the school. The programme is set at National Star College in Gloucestershire, which only accepts students with disabilities, and follows the lives, loves and friendships of the young people who attend the college. The three-part series forms part of BBC Three's Defying the Label season Continue reading...
In this clip from BBC Three's 'The Unbreakables', Ed asks college newcomer Beth on a date. The programme is set at National Star College in Gloucestershire, which only accepts students with disabilities, and follows the lives, loves and friendships of the young people who attend the college. The three-part series forms part of BBC Three's Defying the Label season Continue reading...
Independent Commission on Fees says raising undergraduate fees to £9,000 has been major contributor to ‘very concerning’ drop in numbers
The collapse in part-time and mature students studying at universities in England threatens social mobility and economic performance and must be urgently addressed, according to a report into the effect of raising tuition fees.
The Independent Commission on Fees said raising the cost of undergraduate tuition to £9,000 a year has led to “a significant and sustained fall in part-time students and mature students”. It added: “We believe that the new fee regime is a major contributory factor.”Continue reading...
Telling a mother that her newborn child isn’t ‘normal’ was hard but I feel I was destined to become a midwife
Last night I delivered a baby. This still sounds completely surreal. I have been studying midwifery for a mere three months. This is the moment all student midwives eagerly anticipate, yet I am struggling to get my head around the fact that I, Georgina Greenwood, aged 25, brought a new life into the world.
True, a first year’s experience of delivering a baby is guided by the midwife in charge who tells you where to put your hands, but I still have this huge, amazing, want to shout it from the rooftops feeling of knowing that I contributed to the first moments of a baby’s life.
Alessandro Ford was the first western student to be enrolled at Kim Il-sung University. He tells us about his isolated trip with only Eminem for company
Alessandro Ford had a gap year with a difference. His movements were monitored everywhere he went; he spent hours discussing the merits of Juche ideology over American imperialism; and his only contact with the outside world was a 10-minute phone call with his mum once a week.
From August to December last year, the 18-year-old was enrolled as a student at the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang, learning Korean. Whilst the university takes in foreign students from countries including China and Russia, he was the first “western” student to ever study there.Continue reading...
Education secretary announces working groups to find out how marking, lesson planning and tracking pupil progress can be made more efficient
The education secretary has promised teachers she will tackle unnecessary bureaucracy in schools by establishing working groups on marking, lesson planning and pupil data, following years of complaints from those in the profession.
Nicky Morgan said she would ask the three committees to look at the administrative burden faced by teachers and school leaders, after stirring controversy earlier this week when she suggested teachers could reduce workload simply by not answering emails after 5pm.Continue reading...
Supreme court decision in favour of Beaurish Tigere, 20, could pave way for hundreds of other young people settled in UK to fund higher education
A school-leaver who was denied a student loan has succeeded in overturning a blanket ban – related to immigration status – on funding for higher education.
The supreme court decision could pave the way for hundreds of other young people who are settled in Britain and have been to school in this country to carry on to higher education.
Home secretary Theresa May has just announced new immigration rules that will make life harder for many international students in the UK
It’s a tough time for international students in the UK, and their plight has only been made worse by home secretary Theresa May’s recent announcement of changes to the immigration rules.
In a recent confidential letter, May wrote that universities should “develop sustainable funding models that are not so dependent on international students”. And business secretary Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this month that he wants to “break the link” between studying and settling to work in the UK.
From homework help to pop-up shops and food banks, around the UK schools are empowering students to be active citizens and build life skills
For the past six months, Kainat Bibi, has spent Saturday mornings doing homework. This is perhaps not so surprising for a conscientious year 12 student, except that Kainat’s homework is not her own; she works on a scheme run by her school, Carlton Bolling College in Bradford, in which sixth formers support local Syrian refugees with school work in English, maths and science.
“I enjoy it,” says Kainat. “It’s my passion to help people so I find it easy to do.”Continue reading...
With role models including Mark Zuckerberg, starting a business in your 20s is a growing trend
A job for life at MI6 or the uncertainty of a tech startup? For Ross Targett, it didn’t take much persuasion to ditch a potentially lucrative career at the intelligence service after he hit upon a business idea with co-founder Hugh Collins.
Targett and Collins, now aged 24 and 22, met at Entrepreneur First, a selective incubation programme for tech businesses. Fresh out of university they decided to found a startup rather than pursue a graduate career.
University of Bath rewards Yoda the owl for ‘valuable service’ in discouraging seagulls from nesting on campus or scavenging food from staff and students
An owl has been issued with his own library card in recognition of his work tackling seagulls at the University of Bath.
Yoda the European eagle owl visits the campus with his handler twice a week to unsettle the gulls there. The seven-year-old is employed as an environmentally friendly method to control the population and limit any adverse effects.Continue reading...
Your article (27 July) suggesting “elite universities” are not taking sexual assault victims seriously does not at all reflect the attitude and efforts of Russell Group universities.
Our institutions take the issue of any kind of harassment, abuse or violence against students extremely seriously indeed. They have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with these matters, which are a key part of their responsibility to ensure safety and wellbeing.Continue reading...
Academics and student campaigners call for more training, better policies and an end to pretending sexual violence doesn’t happen
Universities need to step up efforts to tackle sexual violence and harassment on campus and believe students who report allegations, academics and student campaigners have said.
Fewer than half of the Russell Group universities monitor sexual violence, a Guardian investigation has found. And only one in six publish guidelines on reporting allegations, while student victims say they are not being taken seriously when they do. One student reported being asked about her drinking when she reported a rape; another was asked why she did not fight harder.Continue reading...
My mother, Judy Giles, who has died of ovarian cancer aged 69, played a pioneering role in the establishment and development of women’s studies as a respected academic subject. A late arrival to academia, Judy viewed her subject from a well-rounded background and broad perspective.
The elder of two children, Judy was born in Lancashire, to Dorothy (nee Holland) and Douglas Major, both lawyers, and grew up in the village of Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands. Here her parents’ love of the bottle and a party made for a chaotic environment and the need to be self-sufficient from a young age. Despite this, her mother was, in 1936, one of the first women to be called to the bar.Continue reading...
Billions of rupees are being spent on vocational training for young villagers, but the shock of moving to a city is leading to high dropout rates from jobs
It was a low-rainfall, low-yield year for farmers in Pilani, in western India. For Ram Vilas’s agro-dependent neighbour, it meant postponing their daughter’s wedding. For Vilas, it meant abandoning his education to start working.
Within a few months of starting work as a rickshaw driver, Vilas realised he needed a better plan for long-term growth and enrolled in a free vocational training course certified by the government. After three months of driving a rickshaw in the morning and evening, and attending hospitality classes (among other course options such as learning to be an electrician, construction worker or bedside assistant) all day, Vilas was offered a job at a top hotel for a monthly income of 8,000 rupees (£80).Continue reading...