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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
Updated: 5 min ago

Women with master's degrees paid less than men without them in England

2 hours 17 min ago

Black graduates also paid significantly less on average than white peers, data shows

Women in England with postgraduate degrees still earn less than men with only bachelor’s degrees, while salaries for graduate men are growing at a faster pace than for their female peers, according to the latest official data on graduate earnings.

The figures from the Department for Education’s graduate labour market statistics show that women with postgraduates degrees, including master’s degrees and doctorates, earn a median pay of £37,000 a year. But men with first degrees earned an average of £38,500 in 2018, while men holding postgraduate degrees were paid £43,000.

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As a teacher, I know parents are right to march against unfair tests for under-fives | Holly Rigby

5 hours 51 min ago
Exposing young children to pointless, distressing assessments in the first few weeks of school could kill their love of learning

When I imagine the perfect way for a four-year-old to spend an afternoon, it chiefly involves making mud pies, eating raisins, finger painting with friends, all topped off by a much-needed afternoon nap. What it does not include is marching to Downing Street to protest against government education policy. Nor does it involve being subjected to a high-stakes assessment in the first six weeks of beginning school.

Yet the government’s plans to reintroduce compulsory baseline assessments for four-year-olds next year means that parents and their young children have been left with little choice but to protest. The baseline tests will supposedly assess the maths and literacy ability of children when they start school. Schools can then be held accountable for the “progress” students make from reception to year six. But the March of the Four-Year-Olds will descend on Downing Street on Thursday to deliver a petition, signed by 64,000 people, demanding that the government listens to the growing evidence that these tests are both damaging and unnecessary.

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If universities cut lecturers' pensions, they should brace themselves for more strikes | Paul Cottrell

7 hours 28 min ago

Universities are threatening to make staff redundant if pension costs increase, but this is the wrong approach

The government has singled out universities as the only group that will be given no support to deal with the increased costs of staff pensions in the teachers’ pension scheme. This is extremely worrying.

The scheme covers staff in schools, further education colleges, prisons and the modern (or post-92) university sector.

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Former Texas tennis coach admits to $100,000 bribe in college admissions scandal

Wed, 24/04/2019 - 22:59

The former men’s tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin pleaded guilty on Wednesday to accepting a $100,000 bribe in the college admissions bribery scheme and will cooperate with authorities.

Michael Center, 55, is the third coach to plead guilty in the high-profile case that has also ensnared wealthy parents, including executives and Hollywood actresses, across the United States.

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Poorer children 'twice as likely to be out of work in later life'

Wed, 24/04/2019 - 02:01

Adults who had free school meals worse off than similarly qualified peers, charity finds

Disadvantaged children who qualify for free school meals are twice as likely to be out of work in later life than their better-off peers, and even when they get good qualifications at school the employment gap remains, according to research.

A report by Impetus, a venture philanthropy charity that aims to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, found that 26% of those on FSM were not in education, employment, or training (Neet) after leaving school, compared with only 13% of non-FSM youngsters.

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Criminal charges possible over leaks of A-level maths papers

Τρίτη, 23/04/2019 - 20:43

Edexcel exam board says it has upgraded security after online leaks in 2017-18

Police investigating leaks of A-level maths exam papers have referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which will consider bringing criminal charges.

The file dates back to a leak in 2017, when the exam board Edexcel was forced to issue replacement questions at the last minute to a limited number of exam centres after reports that some students had access to content in advance.

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If ministers really want to trust teachers it’s time to ditch the number fairies | Michael Rosen

Τρίτη, 23/04/2019 - 09:14

Rather than relying on data and measurement, the UK government should listen to teachers, parents and pupils

Do you think it is now possible to produce statistics on schools that not only ignore what teachers, headteachers and parents have to say about the children, but don’t even have to be attached to real pupils? Can there be fictive figures, floating above a school like number fairies?

I had this thought at a school I visited. It went like this: the headteacher tells me he’s just had an Ofsted inspection and it’s not looking good. The inspector looked at the results from year to year and the performance levels haven’t been maintained. The headteacher looks worried, he thinks there is a possibility that they might be put into “special measures” or even forcibly turned into an academy. He pulls out a chart, points at the list of children in year 6 and explains to me that hardly any of them have been at the school for more than 18 months. They are new to the country, new to speaking English. He’s proud that they did so well in the Sats in year 2 for seven-year-olds and proud of his staff.

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A-level revision tips for top grades – with less stress

Τρίτη, 23/04/2019 - 08:59

Practice papers and plenty of rest and recreation are the recipe for success, say last year’s students

Spring brings bluebells, apple blossom and the return of the cuckoo, but for thousands of A-level candidates it’s the season of exam stress and revision. Students will be putting in long hours to reach their university place offers, so how can they make the best use of their time?

Who better to ask than last year’s candidates who got the grades they needed to secure their first choice of university place? Looking back, they agree it’s not the amount of time spent revising that matters but the effort put in. You have to make neuron connections, not massage your brain gently between bursts of social media therapy, they say. Plenty of breaks and the occasional night out helped them to make the most of their hours spent revising.

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Boys will be boys? How schools can be guilty of gender bias

Τρίτη, 23/04/2019 - 08:45

Too many teachers think boys can’t do as well as girls, says the teacher on a mission to change attitudes

People tend to be surprised when they first hear what Matt Pinkett does for a living. “They assume I’m a bouncer, or perhaps a barman,” says Pinkett, 33, who shaves his head and has an East End accent. “What do they expect a head of English to look like – should I be wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches?”

He certainly isn’t wearing that right now: he is in a sharp suit, shirt, braces. But it’s not just the appearance of teachers that Pinkett, who teaches at Kings college, Guildford, wants to challenge; it’s the bias that some have around their expectations of their male pupils, and what they can achieve. That’s the issue at the heart of Boys Don’t Try?, the book he has co-authored with fellow English teacher Mark Roberts; as its subtitle explains, it is all about “rethinking masculinity in schools”.

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How the Green New Deal was hatched in a London bar – podcast

Τρίτη, 23/04/2019 - 05:00

In 2007, over a friendly drink, the Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Elliott, came up with a radical plan to address the effects of the financial crisis and climate change. He called it the Green New Deal. Plus: the Guardian’s education correspondent on why schools are going to test four-year-olds

In 2007, Larry Elliott met a friend to discuss the financial crisis. Over the course of the evening, and several drinks, they cooked up the Green New Deal – a plan to deal with the effects of the economic crisis and the threat of climate change. They formed the Green New Deal Group and, though Gordon Brown and Barack Obama briefly flirted with the idea, it did not progress much further.

But in 2018, the youngest US congresswoman in history, the Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, picked it up and the idea has been gaining traction ever since. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan mixes old and new. She wants a living-wage job for anyone who wants one; universal healthcare; and basic income programmes as part of a “detailed national, industrial, economic mobilisation plan” that would ensure the US is powered by 100% renewable electricity, and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, agriculture and other industries.

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Greta Thunberg backs climate general strike to force leaders to act

Δευτέρα, 22/04/2019 - 21:00

Swedish activist says world faces ‘existential crisis’ and must achieve goals of Paris deal

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, has given her support for a general strike for the climate, saying the student movement she inspired needs more support from older generations to ensure politicians keep their promises under the Paris agreement.

Speaking at a public event in London as Extinction Rebellion protests continued in the capital, the initiator of the school strike for climate movement was typically frank about the scale of the problem the world faces and the impact her campaign has made. “People are slowly becoming more aware, but emissions continue to rise. We can’t focus on small things. Basically, nothing has changed,” she said.

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'We teach the hard way': prison coding initiative launches in Teesside

Δευτέρα, 22/04/2019 - 16:38

Innovative scheme is Europe’s first to train convicts to code and connect them with employers

Prisoners in English jails are being taught computer code to give them the chance to earn up to £600 a day and plug a major shortage of web developers on release.

Code 4000, the first European initiative to train convicts to code and connect them with employers in the outside world, has just launched in HMP Holme House in Stockton, Teesside, where students including Mark Robinson are learning how to build websites.

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Can you solve it? The puzzle that is Donald Trump

Δευτέρα, 22/04/2019 - 09:10

Reinventing the tangram

The tangram was the first ever puzzle craze – and it is still going strong.

You may have come across it before. You are shown a shape, and you must arrange seven pieces – five triangles, a square and a rhombus – to make that shape.

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On the first Stephen Lawrence Day, let’s admit our communities are still unequal | Doreen Lawrence

Δευτέρα, 22/04/2019 - 08:00

We must build a society that doesn’t exclude anyone on grounds of race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability or background

The 22nd of April is the first National Stephen Lawrence Day – a day commemorating the life of my son, Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in an unprovoked racist attack.

Stephen’s story is both tragic and inspirational. But I wish for Stephen’s name not to be identified just with his murder, but with the impact he has left on this country and the hope and inspiration he continues to give many young people.

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Our schools are beyond breaking point – where is the outrage? | John Harris

Δευτέρα, 22/04/2019 - 08:00

Bone-headed reforms and deep cuts have left our education system is a scandalous state of disrepair

Last summer, as the politics of Britain’s exit from the EU staggered on and England’s World Cup run offered some kind of respite, I spent an afternoon in Brownhills, near the West Midlands town of Walsall. I was there to try to get beyond the deafening inanities of Brexit, and report on the mounting financial crisis facing England’s education system. At Millfield primary school, everything once again became clear.

Millfield serves a deprived catchment area, and is the kind of place whose everyday magic becomes obvious as soon as you walk in. It has an imaginative approach to education and a track record of helping children in difficult circumstances. Despite its location among tarmac and trunk roads, it specialises in outdoor activities such as canoeing and hiking. But the day I was there, all the talk was of which bits of its provision would have to go. Its headteacher, Michelle Sheehy, was blunt: “We’re heading for a £200,000 deficit. So we need to cut.”

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Year 6 pupils spend Easter at school cramming for Sats

Sun, 21/04/2019 - 19:30

Teaching officials angry that children are having to attend revision classes over holidays

Children at hundreds of primary schools in England are being asked to attend Sats revision classes over the Easter holidays, a teaching union official has revealed, warning that it was part of a disturbing trend.

Darren Northcott, the NASUWT national officer for education, said revision classes for primary school pupils were unheard of five years ago but that he now knew of hundreds of cases of pupils in their final year of primary – Year 6 – being asked in for “cramming” by their schools ahead of the tests next month.

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Female teachers need protection from sexual harassment, says union

Sun, 21/04/2019 - 15:35

Call for ‘upskirting’ videos to be taken more seriously by schools and government

Female teachers are not being protected against “upskirting” videos and other forms of online sexual harassment by pupils, the leader of one of the UK’s main teaching unions has said, calling for schools and governments to take the issue more seriously.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT, said her organisation had found multiple instances of women being subjected to upskirting by pupils in secondary schools, including by some as young as 11, and cases where teachers’ faces had been digitally Photoshopped on to pornographic images.

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Messaging apps ‘expose teachers to aggression from parents’

Sun, 21/04/2019 - 11:00
Union says members are receiving angry late-night messages

The rapid spread of email and messaging apps has triggered a surge in parents sending aggressive queries to their children’s teachers and demanding immediate answers, according to a teaching union.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of NASUWT, said her members had reported an increase in messages being sent via specialist school apps such as Class Dojo from parents. Often these message are sent as late as 1am and contain complaints about having to fill out forms or about the disciplining of their child.

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As Brexit absorbs all political energy and guile, the country’s problems mount | Anne McElvoy

Sun, 21/04/2019 - 10:00
Paralysed in a quest to fulfil its EU destiny, the governement has allowed other serious items on its agenda to fall into an abyss

We can all list our favourite reasons why the Brexit promised in the pale dawn sunlight of June 2016 has not turned out to be a walk in the park or even a final date with EU destiny. But whatever we now think of the outcome of the referendum, we are all trapped in the old Indian saying about the banyan tree – under its shade little new can grow. Sometimes, I miss my role writing about politics of the kind that was not just about meaningful(ish) votes, all-or-nothing dates leading to the next cliff edge, scoldings from EU leaders, and whether Theresa May is on her way out, only to be there the next week and off on another walking holiday.

One day political archaeologists will dig into the frozen tundra and find the remains of government activity preserved under the permafrost. It might well start with HS2, which was once a glorious project slashing commuting times to Birmingham, with vague promises of what it might achieve for “the North”. (Westminster has a terminology as inexact as Narnia for areas outside the south-east.) Now, unnoticed by all but high-speed train-spotters, the project’s completion cost, date, capacity, speed and even where it should terminate in London are in question. Sir Terry Morgan, the outgone chairman, has described the price tag as a “guesstimate”. New sums suggest the cost might rise from £56bn to nearly twice that amount, before we add on trains and power costs.

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Dixie school district: why it took 22 years to change a name in liberal California

Sun, 21/04/2019 - 09:00

A moniker associated with the Confederacy is finally being eliminated after a decades-long battle over its origins

The first record of someone in San Rafael raising an eyebrow at the name of the Dixie school district – whose name is synonymous with the Confederacy – dates back to 1863, a month after its founding and two years into the American civil war.

“It is supposed, by the ominous name, that the young ideas are here to be ‘trained how to shoot’ you,” wrote the Red Bluff Independent, in its 11 December edition.

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