Education charity Classics for All distances itself from high-profile supporter
The Ides of March may be long past but Boris Johnson has found himself, like Julius Caesar, under attack from an unusual direction – in Johnson’s case, the nation’s classical scholars.
Following his incendiary remarks about Muslim women wearing the burqa, Johnson has found his position on a charity promoting the study of classics under threat, after several members threatened to cut their ties if Johnson’s were not.Continue reading...
Tribunal judge says aggressive behaviour is not a choice for children with autism
Children with special needs who have been excluded from schools for aggressive behaviour linked to their condition are being discriminated against, a judge has ruled.
Judge Alison Rowley, sitting in the upper tribunal, said it was “repugnant” to consider such behaviour as “criminal or antisocial” when it was a direct result of a child’s condition and “not a choice”.Continue reading...
The transition to university is drastic – and not everyone sails through it. That’s why university mental health setups are second to none
At the beginning of his second year at Loughborough University, Rahul Mathasing started struggling. His moods were becoming darker, his motivation disappeared and he started missing lectures. He approached the university medical centre, which referred him to the local NHS community mental health team. His pattern of behaviour – manic episodes in which he couldn’t concentrate or sleep, as well as episodes of very low moods – led to a diagnosis, in February 2015, of bipolar disorder.
I’ve been acting professionally for more than 25 years now, but I know what it’s like to have that dream jeopardised by a lack of money. I never received a grant for drama school. My first year’s fees were cobbled together by my late mother and an East End bookmaker. And at the end of my first year, I had to audition for a scholarship to pay for the rest of the course. If I hadn’t won that I would have been out – dream over before I’d even begun. So I welcome what Maureen Beattie, the president of Equity, had to say about the lack of opportunities for working-class youngsters to pursue a career in acting.Continue reading...
My Café Scientifique project brings academics and the public together in an informal setting. It has been a revelation
Twenty years ago, Café Scientifique was born, borrowing from the French tradition of café philosophiques, where challenging ideas are discussed in the informal setting of a cafe or bar. That it’s still going is testament to just how much public interest academic work can have if it’s presented in an accessible way.
When I started Café Scientifique with Duncan Dallas, a science television producer, we wanted to create evenings which were a bit like going to the theatre or a comedy gig, truly making science part of popular culture. But we also wanted to get people to ask challenging questions of all these scientists, medics and engineers, democratising the world of research.Continue reading...
Funding crisis means some UK headteachers spend more than 50% of their time seeking charity for essential subjects
The village of Benenden in Kent has a green nearly as big as a football pitch. At one end stands a charming stone church. On the western edge is a picturesque mid-19th century building out of which, at 9.15am on a Wednesday, a stream of children dash, wearing their blue and white PE kit. This is Benenden primary, a state school in one of the wealthiest areas of the country: just up the road, the famous Benenden School charges parents £12,650 a term.
The little state school, though, with its cramped and crumbling building, and an intake of only 162, has sub-standard facilities and is constantly strapped for cash. If governors hadn’t slashed the budget at Easter by substantially reducing teaching assistant hours and asking the headteacher, Gill Knox, to reduce her working hours to four days a week, rising fixed costs would have taken the school into deficit. Even schools in well-heeled areas – this one has just 8% of pupils eligible for the pupil premium – are facing financial crisis.Continue reading...
The government needs new ways to attract more teachers if it’s not willing to fund a competitive salary
Teachers are the envy of the country during the summer break, snoozing and reading for six weeks. But spare them a thought: when they finished term last month they had no idea what salary they would return to in September. The cowardly government waited for schools to break up before announcing it would ignore the independent review body on teacher pay and not provide the recommended pay increase after all.
This shows remarkable chutzpah. Almost 30 years ago, when the government wrestled teacher pay negotiations away from the unions, it did so on the basis that an independent board would carefully consider the evidence each year before decreeing a fair pay rise. It was always possible for the education secretary to ignore what someone smarter, who had spent more time looking at the evidence, had recommended. But why would you, and why now, given there is a serious teacher shortage?Continue reading...
A scheme lauded by Barack Obama is steering pupils out of hardship and into university
Two years ago Phoenix academy in Shepherds Bush, west London, was put in special measures. Its headteacher, Oli Knight, knows that turning around academic performance and behaviour in a school where many students come from challenging backgrounds isn’t easy. But he’s hoping an ambitious project inspired by an American success story can make the difference.
Phoenix is one of 15 secondary, primary and nursery schools being supported by a programme of interventions run by a relatively new charity, the West London Zone (WLZ). The aim is to steer children in one of the most deprived areas in the country away from a life of hardship and into university. Its CEO, Louisa Mitchell, says it’s about “driving change for an entire generation”.Continue reading...
US topples Britain as most popular country for educating world’s political leaders
The UK’s fabled “soft power” influencing international affairs is under threat from restrictive immigration policies, after a new survey revealed the UK has been supplanted by the US as the most popular place of education for the world’s political leaders.
The annual survey by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) found that of the current crop of presidents, prime ministers and monarchs in power in about 200 countries, 58 studied in the US and 57 in the UK – a turnaround from previous surveys in which the UK topped the chart.Continue reading...
Von Smartphone-Verboten an Schulen hält Medienpädagoge Peter Holnick nicht viel: Er hat konkrete Vorschläge für ihre Nutzung im Unterricht.
Schüler lieben Handys, doch sie stören den Unterricht. Also verbannen immer mehr Länder sie aus den Klassenzimmern. Aber funktioniert das? Besuch in einer Schule ohne Handys.