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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Universities got off lightly, but will poorest students pay the price?

Xov, 26/11/2015 - 08:00

The spending review was lenient to higher education. Beware though, Mr Osborne, debt-burdened graduates may yet take revenge at the ballot box

George Osborne took to the despatch box for the spending review with a confidence that was lacking at many of his earlier big fiscal statements. It is easier for a chancellor when there are things to give away and not just snatch. Despite continuing austerity and some large departmental cuts, there were moments when George Osborne resembled Gordon Brown in his largesse.

For higher education, there was a new commitment to protect research spending in real terms, better even than the cash protection in place since 2010. Despite the fears expressed by the research community in recent weeks, it was never all that likely the Osborne would give up the reputation he has sought to build as “the first science chancellor”. But this was not the only good news.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Parents want Ofsted to inspect schools more frequently, survey finds

Xov, 26/11/2015 - 08:00

70% of parents believe assessments should take place every one to two years regardless of a school’s inspection grade

The majority of parents feel schools should be inspected by Ofsted more frequently, a survey has found.

A YouGov poll of 1,067 parents, conducted on behalf of the inspectorate, revealed that 70% believe assessments should take place every one or two years, regardless of a school’s inspection grade.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Further education sector's relief as government pulls back from further cuts

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 22:14

Funding for 16-19-year-olds and adult skills protected in spending review and sixth-form colleges will be allowed to become academies to end VAT burden

Further education and sixth-form colleges breathed a sigh of relief in the wake of the spending review after the government pulled back from more cuts to the already fragile sector.

George Osborne’s announcement that core funding for 16-19 year-olds and adult skills would be protected followed a campaign to highlight the plight of further education, which has undergone five years of cuts and is currently undergoing an area review.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

NHS settlement may not be enough for seven-day service, experts warn

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 21:14

Forcing trainee nurses and midwives to take out student loans may deter applicants and hinder efforts to prevent ill-health, despite £3.8bn funding boost

George Osborne’s £3.8bn boost for the beleaguered health service may prove insufficient to deliver the promised seven-day NHS, medical organisations have warned.

Experts within and outside the NHS welcomed the chancellor’s vow for a better funded health service but raised concern that cutting other public health budgets and forcing trainee nurses and midwives to take out student loans would hinder efforts to prevent ill-health.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

George Osborne scraps tax credit cuts in welfare U-turn

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 20:11

Chancellor says in autumn statement that improvement in public finances means he is able to ditch controversial cut

George Osborne executed a U-turn on planned cuts to tax credits, using an unexpected £27bn fiscal windfall in a bid to defuse a damaging political row.

The chancellor had promised to modify his plan, which would have cost low-income families an average of £1,000 a year, after a rebellion in the Lords and among his own MPs.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Education secretary made ‘error of law’ on new religious studies GCSE – high court

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 19:19

Judge rules in favour of three families who argued Nicky Morgan failed to reflect the pluralistic nature of the UK in curriculum

Parents challenging the government’s new religious studies GCSE, which they say relegates non-religious worldviews, have welcomed a high court ruling in their favour.

Mr Justice Warby said the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, had erred in asserting that the GCSE, due to come into effect in September next year, would “fulfil the entirety of the state’s RE [religious education] duties”.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Student loans: Osborne criticised for 'back door' repayments change

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 18:55

Chancellor attacked for breaking pledge that income threshold at which monies must be paid back would rise in line with earnings

Students and graduates who have taken out student loans since 2012 will face higher repayments after the £21,000 income threshold at which borrowings must be paid back was frozen for five years.

The controversial change – omitted from the chancellor’s spending review speech in the Commons on Wednesday – means that on average a former student will pay £306 a year more in 2020-21 compared with 2016-17.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Public service winners and losers in spending review

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 16:36

A department-by-department rundown of how Osborne’s changes will hit health, education and others in Whitehall

George Osborne has announced a series of cuts and giveaways to departments up and down Whitehall in the 2015 spending review.

From the departments of education and health to the Home Office and local government, public spending is to undergo radical changes before the next election. Here is how each will be affected by the chancellor’s autumn statement.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

What can we learn from the great German school turnaround?

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 13:47

It took Germany just over a decade to improve test scores and reduce inequality. Their education overhaul is a lesson in structure, monitoring and philosophy

In 2000, Germany experienced an uncomfortable reality check when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed disappointing results for performance and equality in its schools.

The country tested below average in maths, reading and science in the Programme for International Assessment (Pisa) report – and received the unwanted accolade of having the most unequal education performance among the 43 countries examined .

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Cambridge Gates scholars urge foundation to divest

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 12:54

Recipients of Gates foundation scholarships at Cambridge University attack ‘untenable’ investments in fossil fuels

Recipients of Cambridge University scholarships funded by and named in honour of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have attacked the global health charity’s “untenable” investments in fossil fuels.

In a letter, 98 present and former Gates scholars urged the world’s largest charitable foundation to drop coal, oil and gas companies from its $43bn fund.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Ignore the advice and fall head over halls at university

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 11:29

Halls of residence romances rarely last, but that’s no reason not to give one a go

Throwing caution to the wind, and doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do before I started university, I found myself in a relationship with someone a staircase away within three months of starting university.

There is something ​unique about ​​having a close bond with someone when university life is still relatively new

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Will video kill the lecturing star?

Mér, 25/11/2015 - 08:00

No. But ‘flipping’ your classroom gives students the chance to apply ideas rather than simply absorbing them

You may have heard about the flipped classroom approach, in which lectures are viewed at home and class time is used for discussion, project work and other practical exercises. You may also have been wondering whether to bother with it, and how it actually would work in practice.

For our modules on conflict resolution and international relations, we have created short video lectures for our students – from first-year undergraduates to master’s – to watch at home. And when they come to class, we work on applying what they have already learned. Here are our tips on how to flip:

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Michael Sterne obituary

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 18:15

My grandfather, Michael Sterne, who has died aged 79, was a tireless advocate for educational equality, in particular speaking up for children with special educational needs.

Michael worked in various local education authorities, always deeply concerned with providing opportunities for the most disadvantaged, advocating community education and lifelong learning. He worked with the British Dyslexia Association and Prisoners Abroad, and he co-founded and chaired the National Literacy Association, which championed better access to books for children, particularly those in public care.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

One of San Francisco's toughest schools transformed by the power of meditation

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 16:51

A pioneering programme has reduced stress and improved grades at Visitacion Valley middle school – with lessons other schools can learn from

There was a time when Visitacion Valley middle school in San Francisco could have featured in a gritty US crime drama. Surrounded by drugs and gang violence, the kids were stressed out and agitated. One day children came in to find three dead bodies dumped in the schoolyard. “In 2006 there were 38 killings in our neighbourhood,” says Barry O’Driscoll, the school’s head of physical education (PE). He says the lives of students were infected by violence in the community, and several fights would break out every day.

In 2007 a meditation programme called Quiet Time was brought in to meet some of these challenges. “When I first heard about it I thought it probably wasn’t going to work,” says O’Driscoll. “We get thrown a new thing every couple of years so I didn’t put too much faith in it.” But in April, just a month after meditation began, teachers noticed changes in behaviour. “Students seemed happy,” says O’Driscoll. “They worked harder, paid more attention, were easier to teach and the number of fights fell dramatically.”

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Dozens of 'white student unions' appear on social media amid racism protests

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 15:29

Groups claim to speak for students at Stanford, New York University, University of Missouri and elsewhere, but their origins are uncertain

At least 30 social media profiles of so-called “white student unions” have been set up in the last week, in response to nationwide student protests demanding action to address campus racism.

The pages claim to represent students at universities like Stanford, New York University and UC Berkeley, as well as at the University of Missouri, where protests this month forced the ouster of president Tim Wolfe and inspired activism on campuses elsewhere.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Ofsted finds serious failings at private faith schools

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 15:13

Chief inspector raises concerns with education secretary after 17 of 22 schools inspected were judged inadequate or ‘requiring improvement’

Segregated governors’ meetings, pupils who thought France was part of Britain, toilets without paper or hot water and broken fire escapes were among the “serious concerns” uncovered by Ofsted inspectors during visits to private faith schools across England.

The failings were outlined in a letter by Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, after inspections of 22 independent Islamic and Christian schools made by Ofsted since dismantling the inspectorate previously overseeing private faith schools.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Reform could force universities to choose between teaching and research

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 14:59

The Tef is call to action for leaders, but it could unite or divide – and exacerbate existing tensions with staff

One of the overlooked aspects of the coming reforms to higher education is the clear challenge to its leaders. The green paper – and specifically the Teaching Excellence Framework (Tef) – represents a subtle call to action for vice-chancellors, the response to which could reshape the sector.

Many who work in universities feel there is a growing disconnect between managers and practitioners – the leaders and the teachers. The Research Excellence Framework (Ref) is usually held up as Exhibit A in this argument, and the National Student Survey as Exhibit B. Managers are too reliant on metrics to boost funding and reputation, the argument goes, and perverse incentives mean that not enough time is given either to teaching or to research.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

More cuts to further education will push colleges 'over the precipice'

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 14:00

Students hoping for a second chance at education, and better lives for their families, likely to lose out if George Osborne takes axe to FE budget again

When Jemma Coe was a schoolgirl in Great Yarmouth, she was in no state of mind to learn. She describes her younger self as “troubled” – a child who teachers were not able to reach and who crashed out of school at 15 without any qualifications. “I was in chaos,” she says.

But Coe, now 24 and a single mother to a three-year-old daughter, is back in the classroom and wants to learn. She was finally beginning to find her feet – only to discover that her course is to be closed because of government-imposed funding cuts.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

England has highest university tuition fees in industrialised world, survey finds

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 12:41

OECD’s annual survey of education across 34 countries shows England has highest fees, followed by US and Japan

England has the highest average undergraduate tuition fees in the industrialised world, although this investment tends to be repaid many times in higher graduate wages, according to an annual survey of education across more than 30 countries.

On average, English undergraduates paid just under £6,000 in annual tuition fees in the 2013-14 year, after the government’s decision to triple maximum fees, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How students use FOI to investigate their universities

Mar, 24/11/2015 - 11:18

After the government’s proposal to exempt universities from the Freedom of Information Act, students highlight how it’s used to hold those in power to account

Perhaps you want to know which universities make the most in library fines, or are curious about what the gender pay gap is like at the top. Or maybe you suspect your university staff are spending too much on first-class rail tickets or the dean’s office furnishings. These are just some of the ways that students are using freedom of information (FOI) requests to find out eye-opening facts about their universities’ activities.

But recently the government has put forward a proposal to make universities exempt from the Freedom of Information Act in a recent green paper on higher education reform.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade