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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Ditching the sets: why we're teaching mixed ability lessons for science

Mér, 22/11/2017 - 08:00

We’ve moved away from setting students by attainment – and are seeing positive change in how students engage in learning

Teaching mixed ability classes is unpopular and against the trend. A team from University College London recently attempted to investigate mixed attainment classes, but found it so uncommon that they were forced to abandon the full trial. Becky Taylor, who led the project, said schools are unwilling to embrace the model, which is perceived as risky and unconventional. Teachers and senior leaders often believe it takes more planning and that “setting” is expected by parents.

Related: Well done? A guide to using praise effectively in the classroom

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

'Impossible' New Zealand maths exam even flummoxes teachers

Mér, 22/11/2017 - 04:43

Complaints being investigated after ‘geometric reasoning’ section of high school paper left brightest students despondent and in tears

A New Zealand maths exam for high school students has been criticised as “impossible” with even the brightest students left despondent and in tears at the difficulty of the questions.

New Zealand year 11 students sat the maths exams on Monday, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has since received a number of complaints regarding the unreasonable difficulty of the paper.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Grenfell campaigners fight to save further education college

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 19:11

Residents fear closure of site after merger of Kensington and Chelsea College with another outside the borough

Grenfell campaigners met ministers in an attempt to save a further education college for the community as part of a drive to secure local assets as “reparations” for the tragedy.

Kensington and Chelsea College, a popular but financially struggling adult education college at which many Grenfell residents studied, is poised to merge with a further education college based in another London borough next month.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Bath University staff plan urgent meeting over vice-chancellor's pay

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 19:08

Union leaders say open days have become ‘embarrassing’ with questions about £468,000 awarded to Glynis Breakwell, the highest in the country

Staff at Bath University are to hold an emergency meeting to discuss “deep anger and concern” at the institution’s leadership, after a report from the higher education regulator found its reputation had been damaged by controversy over the vice-chancellor’s pay.

Union leaders say that student open days at Bath have become “embarrassing” with questions about the high levels of pay received by Bath’s vice-chancellor, Glynis Breakwell, whose £468,000 in salary and benefits are the highest of any university leader in the country.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Graduate in £1m claim was badly let down by Oxford, court told

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 16:57

Lawyer for Faiz Siddiqui, who alleges ‘inadequate’ teaching stunted his career, says low 2:1 was ‘huge disappointment’

An Oxford graduate is suing the university for £1m on the grounds that his failure to get a top degree 17 years ago cost him the chance of a lucrative legal career.

Faiz Siddiqui alleges the “inadequate” teaching he received on the Indian special subject part of his modern history course resulted in him getting only a low upper second degree when he took his finals in June 2000 instead of a first or high 2:1.

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Landmark case over pay and conditions for university support staff

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 15:16

Workers’ battle to negotiate with University of London rather than contractor could have implications for other outsourced staff

A union is launching a legal challenge over the rights of 75 university support staff to negotiate their pay and conditions, in a landmark case that could improve rights for outsourced workers.

The receptionists, security officers, postroom staff and porters working at the University of London are employed through the facilities management company Cordant Security, but are seeking the right to agree their pay and conditions directly with the university.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The dos and don’ts of writing a personal statement for law

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 12:45

Avoid legal jargon – and be aware of what is (and isn’t) covered on the course

If you’re interested in the intricacies of a criminal mind, don’t bother putting it in your personal statement for law, says Pamela Thomas, admissions tutor and law lecturer at Birmingham City University. “Students often write about the psychology of criminals in their statement, but that’s really criminology rather than law. Before you start writing, make sure you know what’s covered in the course.”

Another way to irk admissions tutors is to write about your “passion” without any supporting evidence. To really show your enthusiasm, the opening statement should be based on your experiences and how they shaped your ambition to study law, says Dr Martina McClean, legal admissions tutor for the University of Hull.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

‘Working-class children get less of everything in education - including respect’

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 08:14
Interview Diane Reay grew up on a council estate, the eldest of eight, and became a Cambridge professor. Now she wants to talk about inequality in education

When Diane Reay, Cambridge University professor of education, started researching her book about working class children’s experiences of education, she had no idea just how much inequality she would uncover in state schools today. “The most important thing I found out was that we are still educating different social classes for different functions in society.”

She expected to find the English state system was providing roughly the same education for all. “But it doesn’t. Even within a comprehensive school, when they’re all in the same building, the working classes are still getting less education than the middle classes, just as they had when my dad was at school at the beginning of the 20th century.”

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Poach the student: how UK universities could compete for second or third years

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 08:00
Admissions service welcomes moves to let undergraduates take their credits to different institutions

Students who don’t quite make the A-level grades to get into their first-choice university could soon be given a second chance: they may be able to switch in their second or even third year under government plans that could see universities poaching undergraduates from rival institutions.

Jo Johnson, the higher education minister, has already set out the government’s vision for a system where students can move more easily between HE providers without losing credit for the work they have already undertaken.

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Sexual harassment: It’s not only rife in showbiz and Westminster - it’s in UK schools | Laura McInerney

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 07:50

As a trainee teacher I found the word ‘whore’ on my classroom door more than once. But does a Scottish scheme hold a solution for both teachers and pupils?

If sexual harassment in politics and showbiz has raised eyebrows of late, the level of it in schools should set alarm bells ringing. Reports of sexual offences by children towards other children are on the increase. There’s also a broad gamut of harassment in schools, as in all workplaces. Even in the less serious cases – boys pinging girls’ bras, for example – for those targeted it can be wearing and humiliating.

Teachers are not immune, either. Cases have yet to be reported of inappropriate behaviour by school leaders but there is plenty of pupil-on-teacher abuse. As a 23-year-old trainee I found the word “whore” written on my classroom door more than once. At the time I rolled my eyes and wiped it off. Now I’d be mad as hell.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The security guards who could change the face of employment in Britain | Aditya Chakrabortty

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 07:00

How does a respectable institution such as the University of London become a place of abuse and humiliation? A legal battle could transform workers’ rights

The University of London ranks among the grandest and most renowned higher education institutions, and it sports values to match: “that every member of staff is treated with dignity … at work”; “equality of opportunity … in which individuals are treated equitably”; “diversity, social inclusion and respect”.

I have been reporting on the university for four years, during which time I have met a fair number of its workers. They include a grandmother, Marta Luna, employed as a cleaner at a Bloomsbury student hall, where the supervisor instructed her and her colleagues to throw their coats and bags in one giant box on the floor. Lunch was eaten in the laundry room. At the end of each shift, she remembered, “it was like a jumble sale”. Picture your grandma, kneeling in front of strangers to reclaim her own handbag.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Philip Hammond to target young voters with rail fare and student loan measures

Mar, 21/11/2017 - 01:01

Budget will introduce discount railcard for under-30s and unveil action to prevent overpayment of student loans

Philip Hammond will pitch to win over younger voters with a new offer of cheaper rail fares for the under-30s and plans to prevent graduates from overpaying student loans.

The chancellor will use Wednesday’s budget to launch a new discount railcard from spring 2018 for 4.5 million people aged between 26-30, though it has not been confirmed how much the discount would be.

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Kent grammar school plans 'unsafe space' including Mein Kampf

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 22:22

Simon Langton school, which previously invited Milo Yiannopoulous to speak, creates forum for sixth form pupils

A grammar school that has previously been criticised for inviting the right-wing controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos to speak has announced plans to create an “unsafe space” incorporating texts including Mein Kampf.

Sixth form pupils at the Simon Langton grammar school for boys in Canterbury will take part in a forum which is described as “an antidote to the poison of political correctness” and examine “the most beautifully disturbed and disturbing ideas, all of them presented without trigger warnings”.

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Calls for Bath University vice-chancellor to resign after damning report

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 21:40

Universities watchdog finds governance of senior pay lacked transparency and says reputation of Bath has been damaged

Staff at the University of Bath have demanded the immediate resignation of the vice-chancellor and board of governors after the publication of a damning report into senior pay and governance at the university.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) said oversight of the vice-chancellor’s pay, which is governed by a remuneration committee, lacked transparency and that the reputation of the university had been damaged.

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It is absurd and prejudiced to suggest that hijab ‘sexualises’ girls | Letter

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 20:16
Will Ofsted now extend primary school inspections so that they cover questions about skullcaps and turbans as well as female headgear, asks Dr Sana Ramiz

Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, says “creating an environment where primary school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls” (Inspectors to question girls in primary school who wear hijab, 20 November). These inspections and the accusation that hijab “sexualises” girls are absurd and reek of prejudice.

As a Muslim mother, I do not believe, according to Islamic jurisprudence, that my daughters should wear hijab before they are young women and I will never coerce them to wear hijab at any stage. Yet, in an attempt to copy my mother, I stubbornly wore hijab as a young girl against the wish of my parents then. So, I would like to ask Amanda Spielman, will Ofsted inspectors be “questioning” young girls copying their mothers, whether by wearing hijab, lipstick or stilettos?

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Did you solve it? This apple teaser is hard core!

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 18:00

The solution to today’s puzzle

On my puzzle blog earlier today I set you the following puzzle:

You and your two friends Pip and Blossom are captured by an evil gang of logicians. In order to gain your freedom, the gang’s chief, Kurt, sets you this fearsome challenge. The three of you are put in adjacent cells. In each cell is a quantity of apples. Each of you can count the number of apples in your own cell, but not in anyone else’s. You are told that each cell has at least one apple, and at most nine apples, and no two cells have the same number of apples.

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Cambridge student died in fall after taking legal high, inquest told

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 15:39

Thomas Millward, 19, died in hospital after sustaining ‘traumatic’ brain injury in stairwell of Girton College, court hears

A first-year Cambridge student was found naked and unconscious after taking a legal high and falling down a stairwell, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Millward was found injured at the bottom of stairs after police were called to 148-year-old Girton College on 5 March last year.

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Doctor Who theme's co-creator honoured with posthumous PhD

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 15:04

Career of Delia Derbyshire, an under-appreciated electronic music pioneer, recognised by hometown university

The under-appreciated electronic music pioneer behind the Doctor Who theme is to be honoured posthumously with a doctorate from her hometown university as the programme gears up for the debut of its first female lead.

Largely ignored in life and barred from working in studios because she was a woman, Delia Derbyshire, will be awarded an honorary PhD from Coventry University on Monday.

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A gold star for the nurseries that have stopped being glitter bugs | Jules Howard

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 11:00
As well as polluting our seas with microplastics, the devilish dandruff turns up all over my house and about my person – I applaud those schools banning it

What will the rocks record about the lives we lead? What might a future palaeontologist, human or otherwise, make of the structures that will come to signify these moments in which you and I live our lives? They will notice extinctions, of course. Fossils of mammals’ tusks and horns will abound in the rocks, only to disappear when we humans turn up. They will come across our mines – enormous trace fossils, perhaps the largest ever to have existed. They will see, by studying fossil pollen, that the climate changed. They will find our discarded KFC bones and they will wonder how the world supported so many chickens. And there, among it all, they will probably find that most awful of human inventions: glitter. Oodles of it – purples, pinks and reds – crushed into rocks the world over. Mineralised madness. Our lowest ebb. What will those future palaeontologists make of it? What will glitter say about us?

Perhaps this is our mark in the geological strata. A post-glitter epoch that all started with a handful of nurseries

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Vice-chancellors, add your voices to the call for a second EU referendum | Nick Hillman

Lun, 20/11/2017 - 08:30

Universities came out in force to defend UK membership of the EU. With negotiations mired, they should be calling for another vote


Since the EU referendum, university leaders have worked hard to accept the result while highlighting the challenges ahead. Amid concerns that the vote for Brexit showed a disconnect between universities and their local communities, some have sought to engage with those outside their institutions more deeply. But they have, seemingly, shied away from becoming too involved in the wider public debates. It is worth asking whether the time has come to re-enter the fray.

It seems to me that the higher education sector’s leaders could be helping to prepare the ground for a second referendum on our future relationship with the EU. There is a long tradition of countries having two votes on controversial European matters and it seems increasingly plausible that the UK could do likewise.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade