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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'This is a red line': voices from the university pensions strike

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 22:04

A student finds solidarity with her lecturers, even as they count the cost of weeks of lost teaching

International student from Guatemala, doing journalism at Cardiff University

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

70,000 students call for compensation over UCU lecturer strike

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 21:27

Petitions demand pay-back for lost classes as university union nears action over pension plans

Almost 70,000 students have signed petitions demanding compensation from their universities in the run-up to planned strike action by lecturers, starting this Thursday, which threatens to bring disruption to campuses for weeks.

The University and College Union (UCU), whose members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action, had hoped university heads would return to the negotiating table but they now say that strike action is inevitable.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Is religion really a toxic brand? | Letters

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 19:30
Readers respond to a Guardian editorial on religious education

If the purpose of religious and moral teaching is to make people good, it has failed (Editorial, 17 February). We are no better now than we were a thousand years ago. What makes us act rightly is our character – that part of ourselves where our instincts and virtues repose without our constant, conscious awareness. For example, those Poles and Dutch who sheltered Jews from the Nazis did so impulsively without weighing moral imperatives or self-interest. The men who leapt upon the terrorist on the 15.17 to Paris did so without conscious reference to their Christian values. One said afterwards that he couldn’t remember how he got from his seat to the fight. Those people displayed good character with its submerged virtues of courage and compassion. It cannot be taught, no more than an acorn can be instructed to become a tree. It must be nurtured: that means, for a start, that all infants must have a secure, contented and loving upbringing; and that means generous state support and provision for feckless, incapable and unlucky parents. Schools on their own are helpless in this matter.
Michael McManus
Leeds

• Your recognition that humanism should form part of religious education is welcome, especially as the Department for Education has defiantly refused to accept a recent court judgment to that effect. But your next remark is even more important: “this needs to be part of a much bigger shake-up”. Too often at present RE syllabuses deal with “the six world religions” (and occasionally humanism) in silos, each with its own allocation of time, and too often uncritically on their own terms.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The tuition fee review is about saving the government money, not students | David Morris

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 16:46

If the government cuts tuition fees most students won’t benefit, and universities will be left to plug the funding gap

The much-awaited major review of post-18 education and funding has arrived. This week, the prime minister, Theresa May, took to the stage at Derby College to announce her plans. All this fanfare provides a clue to just how much the government wants to win back young voters.

Despite this, the terms of reference released by the Department for Education suggest that this major review may be little more than a tinker. The core principles of the current system will persist: tuition fees will remain, student numbers will not be capped. The clichéd objectives of “competition and choice” and “value for money” are beats of the same drum we’ve been hearing since 2010.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

May has got it all wrong on education. She should listen to Labour | Angela Rayner

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 13:58
The prime minister’s review will result in nothing more than tinkering around the edges of a broken system

Theresa May has finally admitted that the Conservatives have got it woefully wrong on education. But, instead of reversing their destructive policies, they have announced a long-winded review.

This seems to be May’s new default position. Under pressure from Labour over their deeply unpopular and damaging policies, the Tories have started announcing reviews, giving the impression they’re taking action without actually changing anything.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How do you tackle radicalisation? With polar bears at primary school

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 08:15

A 98% Muslim school in Birmingham is pioneering a new way to counter extremism by starting with the youngest pupils

Shazia arrived in Britain from Pakistan in 1990, settled with her husband in Birmingham and felt safe. They built a comfortable life together and had four children; the eldest is now at university and the youngest is a pupil at Parkfield community primary school.

But Shazia, a Muslim, no longer feels safe in the UK, she says. It’s not because of racism – she works for a large company where her headscarf is not an issue – but through constant fear of terrorist attacks. They may be carried out in the name of Islam but, she says, they are in direct contradiction to the faith’s pacifist teaching and compassion.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Stopping Brexit: ‘The kids don’t want what’s being forced on them’

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 08:00

A youth campaign is touring universities to argue there is no point in pursuing a future young people voted against

Ask Will Dry what made him vote leave in the EU referendum, and he offers a string of reasons: talk of Turkish membership, promises of £350m for the NHS, the idea that it would be easy to negotiate trade deals with the rest of the world. “Every one of those things was a lie,” he says.

Embarrassed by his mistake, but not by changing his mind – “there is always more passion in a convert” – he is one of four young people to found a youth campaign, Our Future Our Choice (Ofoc), which aims to put young people at the forefront of stopping Brexit. Next month, he will take a year out from studying PPE at Oxford to devote himself full time to the campaign.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Flexible working sounds lovely, but it would make the teacher shortage worse | Laura McInerney

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 07:50

If 40% of teachers go down to four days a week, we’ll need another 40,000 extra people to replace them

Britain has a severe teacher shortage. New recruits have been below target for five years in a row and applications for training courses are down a third again this year. Combine this with a quarter of new teachers leaving the job within three years, plus high drop-out rates among women in their thirties who make up much of the profession, and you can see the problem.

The government has a grand plan. Since last October the Department for Education has been pushing flexible working as a solution to overcome the shortage, urging heads to offer part-time work, and serious thinkers meeting at “flexible working summits” to pledge their support.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Helping gifted children is all very well – but what about the rest? | Dawn Foster

Mar, 20/02/2018 - 07:00
The BBC’s new series Generation Gifted follows a few talented children – they may be struggling, but their classmates are almost invisible

What do you want to be when you grow up? In the BBC’s new series Generation Gifted, six children are followed from the age of 13 until their GCSE year, and are asked the question by their teachers and parents, and the documentary team. The children are all exceptionally bright, achieving marks far above the national average, but all are from starkly disadvantaged backgrounds. This fact colours their answers: Liam’s aptitude for science, especially biology, is remarkable, yet he aims to become a chef “who uses science”, only becoming convinced of the possibility of a scientific career after intensive prodding by his biology teacher. Shakira is a promising artist, yet limits her hopes to becoming a tattoo artist and admits she thinks it unlikely she’ll leave Tamworth, her home town.

Related: Never mind social mobility. Poverty is an insult to us all | Zoe Williams

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

May admits education is failing children but offers no extra cash

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 19:55

PM criticised for ‘moving deckchairs on a sinking ship’ with overhaul of post-18 funding

Theresa May has admitted that the education system is failing to serve the “needs of every child” but immediately faced criticism as it emerged that plans to overhaul post-18 funding would be unlikely to result in more money from the Treasury.

Critics highlighted the government’s terms of reference for the review, which will be led by the former City financier Philip Augur and could result in lower fees for some courses and the return of maintenance grants.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

How to fix our universities – cap the number of students | Sonia Sodha

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 19:44
Theresa May has finally diagnosed the problems in higher education, but she’s still reaching the wrong answers

It’s not news that Theresa May can’t do politics. So the prime minister railing against “one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world” – one engineered by her own government colleagues, which she voted to introduce – feels like a classically May misstep.

But politics aside, May is asking some of the right questions. She just doesn’t have the answers. The current student funding system is a product of government cock-up.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

The Guardian view on university financing: the making of a market mess | Editorial

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 19:26
What the Tories are offering is just an accelerated form of a winner-takes-all marketisation where top performers increasingly capture all the rewards while the rest are left with crumbs

The wrong-headed and misguided policy of creating a market in higher education services in England has been a hallmark of modern-day Conservatism. The thinking was that consumers of such services were 18-year-olds who would purchase courses that would help them to secure well-paid jobs in institutions refreshed by self-interest. Tuition fees were trebled to a maximum £9,000 a year in 2012 – so that universities could use the income to cover large cuts to the direct public funding of teaching. The then higher education minister claimed that “unleashing the forces of consumerism is the best single way we’ve got of restoring high academic standards”.

The price of that consumerism is that students now leave university with almost £51,000 of debt. For poorer students the burden is even higher. This load is carried by twentysomethings who enter a job market where wage growth is at its lowest for two centuries. Many will never pay off the loan; a perversity that means taxpayers will end up footing the bill. No wonder that the star of last year’s election was Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto commitment to abolish tuition fees. Today Theresa May essentially bought Mr Corbyn’s argument but not his conclusion. She accepted that England now had “one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world” but argued that scrapping fees was not the answer. Instead, she said the problem was one of value for money, that “the level of fees charged do not relate to the cost or quality of the course”. Mrs May’s statement amounts to doubling down on consumerism.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

University strikes could hit exams and graduation ceremonies

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 19:11

University and College Union takes action in dispute over pensions

Strike action by university lecturers which is due to start this week will be extended to disrupt summer examinations and graduation ceremonies if there is no resolution to a dispute over pensions.

More than 1 million students in 65 universities across the UK will be affected by industrial action by members of the University and College Union (UCU), which begins on Thursday with 14 days of strikes spread over four weeks.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

'Forgive my sense of deja vu': students on Theresa May's tuition fees review

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 18:20

Students past and present respond to May’s review into higher education funding

George, 21, politics and sociology student at the University of Bristol

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

May skewered by even Schofield's softballs on This Morning sofa | John Crace

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 17:21

The PM demonstrated to her late-morning student audience you don’t need a degree – or any chutzpah – to get to No 10

Theresa May was taking no chances. She had been told that no student got out of bed much before 11, so just to be on the safe side she delayed her arrival on the This Morning sofa until nearer 11.30, to maximise her audience. This was the day of her government’s higher education funding review and what better way to show she really did have students’ best interests at heart than keeping it real with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby?

Related: May insists she does not worry about being 'stabbed in the back'

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

After Florida, I had lost hope. Then I saw Emma González | Suzanne Moore

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 17:11

In a speech on Saturday, the high school student wiped back tears and demanded that US gun laws must change. These kids are fighting for their lives

It’s Presidents’ Day today. Why not celebrate with a discount on bump stocks? Their manufacturer, Slide Fire, has a special offer on. You don’t know what a bump stock is? What kind of loser are you? It’s the device by which you can make a semi-automatic rifle function as a fully automatic one. Your own machine gun! You just keep your finger on the trigger and can fire between 400 and 800 rounds a minute. The discount code, by the way, is Maga: Make America Great Again.

Bump stocks were found on the Las Vegas shooter’s guns. Of course they were. If you want to kill as many people possible in a short time, they are your friend. Useful for a school shooting.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

What are your experiences of supplement use in school sport?

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 17:10

Experts have warned that PE teachers found selling pupils supplements ‘might encourage doping’. We want to hear your views and experiences

Teachers and rugby coaches are buying supplements in bulk and selling them to their students, according to new research.

Academics at Leeds Beckett University found that some teachers were selling student rugby players weight-gaining supplements because there is a drive to build muscle and use nutritional aids in the sport.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Theresa May speaking in Derby about tuition fees plan - politics as it happened

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 16:25

Follow the day’s political developments as they happened, including the prime minister’s speech as she launched a review of post-18 education

3.25pm GMT

I’m going to close this live blog down now. Thanks for reading and for all of your comments.

Theresa May has set out the government’s review of post-18 education in a speech in Derby on Monday afternoon. The prime minister said it would focus on ensuring everyone could access higher education, the funding system, incentivising choice and competition and how to deliver the skills the country needs.

Related: May warns universities over high cost of tuition fees

Related: May insists she does not worry about being 'stabbed in the back'

3.05pm GMT

Theresa May says we should be concerned when Vice-Chancellors sit on remuneration bodies that determine their pay

A bit of a change of pace to end the question and answer session:

May asked about Corbyn and Czech claims 'it's for individual MP s to be accountable - where there are allegations of this sort they shoudl be prepared to be open and transparent'

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Tuition fees: key questions about the government review

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 12:57

What can we expect from the sweeping review into post-18 education and funding?

It has been on the cards since the Conservatives promised a major review of funding across tertiary education in their election manifesto last May. With graduate debt running at £50,000 upwards, there has been growing concern about the cost of going to university and whether it represents value for money. Fees in the UK are among the highest in the world, and some doubt there will be a return on such a huge investment in terms of graduate earnings.

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade

Tell us what you think of Theresa May's tuition fees plans

Lun, 19/02/2018 - 12:56

How does a planned review into higher education affect you, and what value do you think university education has in your situation?

Theresa May will deliver a speech on Monday announcing a review of higher education funding, warning universities they may need to charge less for some courses.

Related: May warns universities over high cost of tuition fees

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Categorías: Educación, Universidade