The United Kingdom is a few months away from crashing out of the European Union, the main opposition party is engaged in political fratricide and the country faces the highest risk of recession since 2007. Yet 160,000 Conservative party members will land us, almost certainly, with yet another Etonian prime minister, the 20th in our history. Whether the UK ends up being led by Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, one thing is certain: the winner will be the private school sector.
For all the populist triumphs, the elite are blossoming in this anti-elitist era. Only 7% of the general population have a private education lavished upon them. Yet last month a survey by the Sutton Trust revealed that the upper echelons of power were five times more likely to be populated by the privately educated than by those who went to state schools. It is not just the professions. Even the England cricket team is shown increasingly to be the preserve of those who went to private schools.Continue reading...
“My goodness, we need empathetic intelligent creative people today.” So said the new children’s laureate, Cressida Cowell, in an interview with the Guardian at the weekend. The author believes reading is a crucial way for young people to develop these capacities, and plans to use her position to promote it. This is a laudable aim, and projects she has already supported are promising signs of what lies ahead. Last year she launched the Free Writing Friday campaign with the National Literary Trust, urging teachers to let children have 15 minutes every Friday to write whatever they want in a special book, in the knowledge that this work will not be marked or graded.
Clearly 15 minutes of creativity a week is not enough. Nor is writing the only form of artistic expression that needs encouragement. But Cowell’s voice is a welcome addition to those of campaigners already calling for an increased focus on imagination in schools. There must be a bigger focus on releasing artistry to open wide the doors of young minds. It ought to be the case that young people can go where their instinct takes them. The arts enrich people’s lives. Medical science can make us live to 100. If you haven’t got a feel for the wonder of the arts, one might wonder what’s the point of living until 100?Continue reading...
Ein Projekt hilft Grundschülern mit und ohne Fluchterfahrung, Konflikte friedlich zu lösen - und dabei fürs Leben zu lernen.
Schon im Klassenzimmer eine Art Brain-Doktor, der sein Publikum mit Tricks verzaubert.
Am Freitag ist das Finale der milliardenschweren Exzellenzstrategie. Welche Unis dürfen Siege feiern?
Student speaks out over response to violent sexual taunts by male undergraduates
One of the female students targeted by a male “rape chat” group at the University of Warwick has warned women and minorities that it is not a safe place to study.
Danielle – not her real name – questioned the fitness of the university’s vice-chancellor, Stuart Croft, to do his job because of his response to the complaint she and another female student brought last year after discovering they had been the subject of violent sexual comments exchanged among a group of male undergraduates.Continue reading...
For several years austerity and the funding crisis have been the root cause of many significant and unwelcome issues faced by schools up and down the country. Headteachers have spoken out about rising class sizes, having our curricular offer diminished and an inability to meet a growing need to support children and families across a range of complex social and emotional issues. Often the victims of schools cuts have been the most disadvantaged pupils and those who have to contend with a special need and/or disability.
It’s often been surprising that, as headteachers have spoken out and charted potentially damaging shortfalls in their provision, parents have been tremendously supportive and saved their criticism for the government and Department for Education.Continue reading...
A n exceptionally abundant glut of sexual harassment news may have overshadowed a significant victory for students at Warwick University, which, thanks to its administration’s complacency over sexist abuse, has come to occupy a prominent place in the misogyny league tables.
As any female undergraduate can tell you, this is a highly competitive field, but only Warwick has excelled to the point of getting its concern for the perpetrators broadcast across social media, as #shameonyouWarwick. Student protests, then national headlines, provoked by the feeble official response to the discovery of rape “chat” by some male students, led to the university commissioning an independent review, by Dr Sharon Persaud, and now to an apology to the victims from Warwick’s vice-chancellor, Prof Stuart Croft. “We are genuinely sorry,” he said. Pity about the “genuinely” but, moving on, “I should have been quicker. I should have reached out.”Continue reading...
Tale of two schools: ‘We’re paying for a mother to bring her child to school out of PTA funds – and from my pocket’
Headteachers reveal how lack of funding is forcing them to raise cash from donations to pay for staff and even books
Headteacher Paul Stubbings knows that the pupils at his west London comprehensive school have the right to a free, fully funded state education. Yet he spends a quarter of his time asking their parents to give his school hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, meeting frequently with individual, potential donors.
He blames the government for putting him in this extraordinary supplicatory position: “I fully and freely acknowledge that what we are now doing [is] being driven to make up deficiencies in state funding. But children have a right to a top-quality state education. If the state isn’t willing to pay for that, I’ve got to do everything I can to secure it on their behalf.”Continue reading...
A new survey reveals prejudice is on the rise for the first time in decades
The number of people believing there is nothing wrong with gay sex has fallen for the first time since the Aids crisis. The British Social Attitudes survey puts it at dipping from 68% in 2017 to 66% in 2018, leaving a third of the population in some way opposed. NatCen, who conducted the survey, said that, while further polling was advisable, “liberalisation of attitudes does seem to be slowing down”.
The findings coincide with the first decrease in more than a decade of people comfortable with pre-marital sex. On the plus side, last week also saw the Commons victory for gay legislation in Northern Ireland. Still, what a hammering same-sex couples have had recently – everything from attacks on buses to Ann Widdecombe (the Aunt Lydia of Brexit, anyone?) pondering how science could “produce an answer” to gayness. In this context, is the NatCen survey indicative of new attitudes, or yet more evidence that people are feeling bolder about expressing previously veiled prejudices?Continue reading...
Exclusive: £64m has been spent on university technical colleges that have closed
Part of the government’s flagship free schools programme is facing mounting financial difficulties because of its unpopularity with parents and pupils, with schools forced to pay back millions of pounds to the Department for Education and cut staff after failing to attract and retain students.
University technical colleges (UTCs), a type of free school in England that was launched in 2010, ran up debts of £14m last year after many fell short of their forecasts for pupil numbers. Others had to borrow money from the DfE’s funding arm, throwing into question their long-term viability.Continue reading...
Stehen die Zensuren fest, flaut der Unterricht ab: Filme gucken, Ausflüge, Spiele. Eltern ärgert das. Mancherorts greifen nun die Behörden durch, damit die laue Zeit nicht ausufert.
Grill tutors on course specifics or just get a feel for the town vibe on these fact-finding days
Open days are not just a good opportunity for students; they also give family members an insight into university life. But parents shouldn’t try to “relive their youth”, says James Busson, co-director of student recruitment at the University of Sheffield. Instead, they are there to play a supporting role, to help students learn about a university.
So how can you all get the most out of the day?Continue reading...
Die Prüfungen sind geschrieben, die Abiturienten feierlich verabschiedet. Doch die Ergebnisse unterscheiden sich in den einzelnen Bundesländern teils deutlich. Ein erster Überblick.