Latest Educational News

Brexit result: What does it mean for the UK’s higher education sector and students?

by BBC News, June 25, 2016

Classified as General.

UCL among first to confirm it will not change tuition fees for EU students next year, as European University Association says British institutions are - and remain - 'an essential part of the European family'

Figures within the higher education sector will have awoken with a bitter taste on Friday with the news the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

Secret Teacher: restraining pupils is humiliating – for everyone

by The Guardian, June 25, 2016

Classified as General.

Physical restraint is degrading and ineffective: the techniques are inept, and guidance on when to use them is ambiguous

I have been summoned from my classroom to relieve a colleague. When I come across the incident in the corridor, I see two teachers restraining a pupil on the floor. One of them is tiring and needs to be swapped, by me. We go through the procedure of disentangling limbs until I slide into the classic “figure four” restraint – my right arm threaded under the pupil’s, with my left hand clasping my own forearm and my right leg crossed over his at the ankle.

EU Referendum: Reassurance sought over EU students

by BBC, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

Universities have pledged to pressure ministers to ensure European staff and students can still work and study in the UK after the vote to leave the EU.
Vice-chancellors from the Universities UK umbrella group say the decision to leave will create "significant challenges" for higher education.
They are already in talks with EU commissioners, it is understood.
The Russell Group of top research universities says it will work with ministers to safeguard research funds.
These leading institutions get £500m a year in EU investment.

Teachers’ strike: NUT announce walk-out from schools on 5 July

by Independent, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

Teachers across England will strike on 5 July after members of the National Union of Teachers voted by more than nine to one in favour of industrial action.

The last national teachers strike, in July 2014, over teachers' pay, pensions and working conditions were highly disruptive to both parents and children, as around a fifth of schools across England and Wales were forced to close.

NUT said the decision to strike was a response to funding concerns along with continuing issues over conditions for teachers.

The union is demanding an increase in funding for schools and education, and want to see guaranteed terms and conditions in all types of schools.

It also wants to resume negotiations on contracts that will allow teacher workloads to be addressed.

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary of the NUT, said: “The NUT is not taking action lightly.

“In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.

“The effects on children's education are also real and damaging.

“As a result of school funding cuts, class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave."

EU referendum result: What does Brexit mean for the UK’s higher education sector and students?

by The independant, June 24, 2016

Classified as General.

UCL among first to confirm it will not change tuition fees for EU students for next year, as the European University Association says British institutions are - and remain - 'an essential part of the European family of universities'

Figures within the higher education sector will have awoken with a bitter taste on Friday with the news the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

On Monday, the heads of 103 universities had issued an impassioned open letter expressing how they were “gravely concerned” about the impact of a Leave vote on their universities and students, cautioning voters that the power of their universities on local communities and economy “should not be underestimated.”

The signatories added: “Every year, universities generate over £73 billion for the UK economy - £3.7bn of which is generated by students from EU countries, while supporting nearly 380,000 jobs. Strong universities benefit the British people - creating employable graduates and cutting-edge research discoveries that improve lives.”

Students, too, it seemed were on the side of Remain, and referendum results have shown some 75 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted Remain, compared to around 40 per cent of over 65s.

But how are reactions faring now that the arguably surprising results have been announced?

Poor pupils 'are still let down', warns Ofsted boss

by BBC News, June 23, 2016

Classified as General.

Poor pupils are still being let down by the English education system, Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned.
In a speech on Thursday, he will highlight the "appalling injustice" of children from poorer homes continuing to fall behind their wealthier peers.
Sir Michael will call for a tougher stance on "feckless parents" who allow children to break school rules.
The Department for Education said every child, no matter what their background, deserved a world-class education.
He will also defend testing in schools, saying this offers disadvantaged pupils the prospect of a better life.
In a speech at the Festival of Education, taking place at Wellington College, Sir Michael will say the failure to improve the educational chances of the poor "disfigures" England's school system.
"The needle has barely moved," he will say.
"In 2005, the attainment gap between free school meal [FSM] and non-FSM pupils in secondary schools was 28 percentage points - it is still 28 percentage points now."

What would Brexit mean for universities and would EU students still be able to study in the UK?

by Daily Telegraph, June 22, 2016

Classified as General.

How would Brexit impact higher education?

University leaders and some Conservative MPs have been warning for months over the potentially ‘damaging’ effects for higher education if the UK voted for Brexit.

They argue the move could mean the UK would lose out on research funding granted by the EU.

This could also mean academics struggle to cooperate on research projects.

Yes - some.

Demand for higher education is so high that even if fewer EU students came to study here, universities would be no worse off financially and would be able to offset the drop with home students.

In fact, those institutions with dwindling numbers of EU students could make up the numbers with UK students and even increase their numbers now that the quotas on the number of students they can take has been lifted, leaving them with more money in the bank.

A drop in EU students, who would be financially worse off as a result of a hike in fees, would mean UK students can increase their chances of getting into university.

Universities might also be able to avoid EU regulations on clinical trials, which some argue has a damaging effect on research and innovation.

Would EU students still be able to study in the UK?

'What should our son be doing to win a place at Cambridge university?'

by Daily Telegraph, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Question: What can our son do to make his application to Cambridge stand out?

My son is keen to study English literature at Cambridge with the intention of working in broadcasting as a writer.

At the moment he is in Year 11 at a state grammar school taking his GCSEs. He will take A-levels in English, history, maths and further maths. We are interested to know what extra curricular activities he could do through sixth form which would make his application stand out?

Currently, he teaches English at our local Kumon centre once a week; writes weekly for the school website and magazine, and also spends a lot of time writing fiction. He has published one of his radio plays online and won an accolade from Southampton University for writing a song for a musical.

In addition he has Grade 8 distinction on the Violin and plays in the county youth orchestra. He also plays the piano and electric guitar to a high level and has worked as a volunteer at our local open air museum.

Steve Watts: Admissions tutors would all say 'read, read, read'

There is certainly no problem with the subjects your son will be taking at A-level. These will show his abilities not only in his chosen English literature, but history will give contextual breadth and maths will show admissions tutors such as me that he can think analytically.

When asked what else would make an applicant competitive for studying English, academics and admissions tutors would all chorus ‘read, read, read’. Reading beyond the syllabus is nearly always good advice anyway, but for students of literature it is crucial.

Oxford University students launch scholarship campaign to help get refugees back into education

by Independent, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Developments come as US government reveals refugees from across the world will be able to take more than 1,000 online university courses for free.

A student at Oxford University who started a campaign to fund scholarships for refugees has revealed that £240,000 has been pledged over a two-year period.

BBC News reports how biomedical engineering student, Thais Roque, launched the Oxford Students Refugee Campaign (OxSRC) in October last year, aiming to lobby the university and colleges to provide scholarships for refugee and asylum-seeking students.

From the, so far, 11,000 students who have joined the cause, supporters will donate £1 a month over the two years.

It is hoped that, starting in the academic year 2017/18, scholarships will be available at the institution for those whose education has been disrupted because of conflict or natural disaster, with applications opening this September.

Teacher or not, Ofsted’s new chief inspector passes the test

by The Guardian, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Amanda Spielman, banker-turned-academy chain adviser, will be the next Ofsted chief inspector, it has been announced. A few formalities are necessary, a cross-party coalition of MPs will talk to her next Wednesday before giving her the final nod, but presuming no funny business occurs Spielman is in.

Overstating the importance of the inspectorate is difficult. Even though the current chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, is forever telling school leaders to be mavericks and take their own path, most heads diligently, even slavishly, follow Ofsted pronouncements.

School’s results go from Bottom to top, thanks to Shakespeare

by The Guardian, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

nder bright spotlights in the drama room, students are getting into character as magical beings. The cast members of A Midsummer Night’s Dream grin and grimace as they skip, climb, leap and crawl through the plastic chairs that double as their enchanted forest.

This is a rehearsal at King Ethelbert school, in Thanet, east Kent, for a performance that will be the culmination of two years’ work during which the school has transformed from one of the worst in the country to one of the best of its type. And, says the headteacher, it’s thanks to Shakespeare.

Teaching assistants face violence at work, says union

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

More than half (53%) of UK teaching assistants (TAs) have experienced physical violence at school in the past year, a poll by Unison has found.
The survey of more than 8,000 TAs found three-quarters (76%) had witnessed some form of physical violence.
More than half (53%) had experienced, and 73% had witnessed, verbal threats at school.
Ministers say no-one should have to work in fear of violence or harassment, in or outside school or online.

Welsh universities firmly behind EU membership

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Welsh universities have nailed their colours firmly to the mast in the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.
They have received millions from the EU for research and new buildings.
The representative body Universities Wales says this funding ultimately has huge benefits for the Welsh economy.
But the Leave campaign say that universities and science would continue to get at least the same level of investment after Brexit.

Teaching assistants face violence at work, says union

by BBC, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

More than half (53%) of UK teaching assistants (TAs) have experienced physical violence at school in the past year, a poll by Unison has found.
The survey of more than 8,000 TAs found three-quarters (76%) had witnessed some form of physical violence.
More than half (53%) had experienced, and 73% had witnessed, verbal threats at school.
Ministers say no-one should have to work in fear of violence or harassment, in or outside school or online.

Increasing hostility towards private education is unjustified and ignores partnerships with state schools

by Telegraph, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

Ask anyone associated with independent schools and they will tell you there has definitely been a bruising increase in hostility over the past few months.

Press headlines, esteemed commentators and the occasional chief inspector of schools have singled-out private schools for a smörgåsbord of blame and the result has been a creep towards a binary world of us and them, good and bad, privileged and poor, socially mobile and downtrodden.

We've tinkered with education for too long - what we need to do is start again from scratch

by Telegraph, June 21, 2016

Classified as General.

During a recent recording of The Big Questions there was an animated discussion about the failings of white working class boys.

According to a report published last year by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, poor white boys are now the lowest-achieving group in Britain, with just 28 per cent getting five GCSEs at grade C or above. They are also 10 per cent less likely to participate in higher education than any other ethnic group.

What would Brexit mean for universities and would EU students still be able to study in the UK?

by Telegraph, June 20, 2016

Classified as General.

How would Brexit impact higher education?

University leaders and some Conservative MPs have been warning for months over the potentially ‘damaging’ effects for higher education if the UK voted for Brexit.

They argue the move could mean the UK would lose out on research funding granted by the EU.

This could also mean academics struggle to cooperate on research projects.

Are there too many people going to university?

by Telegraph, June 19, 2016

Classified as General.

It's one of the most frequently debated issues in higher education, but the debate over student numbers is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Record numbers of students are entering university each year and following the removal of the cap on university places, the Government has predicted that this trend is likely to continue.

Just shy of 410,000 students were accepted into university by midnight on Results Day last summer, an increase of around 13,000 from 2014.

How physical exercise makes your brain work better

by Guardian Education , June 18, 2016

Classified as General.

Research shows different activities have quite specific mental effects – here’s how moving your body could sharpen your ideas.

The brain is often described as being “like a muscle”. It’s a comparison that props up the brain training industry and keeps school children hunched over desks. We judge literacy and numeracy exercises as more beneficial for your brain than running, playing and learning on the move.

But the brain-as-muscle analogy doesn’t quite work. To build up your biceps you can’t avoid flexing them. When it comes to your brain, an oblique approach can be surprisingly effective. In particular, working your body’s muscles can actually benefit your grey matter.

A wave of studies exploring the unexpected links between mental and bodily fitness is emerging from labs. This research might give you the impetus to get more active. It can also help you choose the best ways to prepare physically for mental challenges such as exams, interviews and creative projects.

Boost your memory
The part of the brain that responds strongly to aerobic exercise is the hippocampus. Well-controlled experiments in children, adults and the elderly show that this brain structure grows as people get fitter. Since the hippocampus is at the core of the brain’s learning and memory systems, this finding partly explains the memory-boosting effects of improved cardiovascular fitness.

As well as slowly improving your memory hardware, exercise can have a more immediate impact on memory formation. German researchers showed that walking or cycling during, but not before, learning helped new foreign language vocabulary to stick. So exercise while you revise. Don’t push it too hard, though: vigorous workouts can raise your stress levels, which can scupper your memory circuits.

Princess Beatrice urges young to speak up for themselves

by BBC News, June 16, 2016

Classified as General.

Pupils might often get told to stop talking in class - but a project in an innovative school in east London has been encouraging them to talk more often.
Or at least to be more articulate and confident in speaking up for themselves.
Pupils at School 21, a free school in Newham, were also given some very different perspectives on finding your own voice - from Princess Beatrice.
The princess is co-founder of a charity, Big Change, that supports young people with skills outside a traditional academic curriculum.
This is not one of the capital's wealthier areas.
It is not the stamping ground of yummy mummies. Instead, there is the Mummy Yum chicken and kebab shop on the corner near the school.

But Princess Beatrice says the idea of learning such life skills is important for anyone growing up, regardless of their background. And everyone has had their own inner struggle with trying to communicate.

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