Move is designed to help students with disabilities such as anxiety or sensory issues
Manchester University’s students’ union has become the latest student body to vote to replace applause with “jazz hands” in an attempt to make events more accessible for people with disabilities.
At its first meeting of the academic year, the union voted to use British sign language clapping, which involves waving your hands in the air, instead of audible clapping, at events.Continue reading...
Controversy erupted over the weekend as Brighton University was accused in the Sunday Times of “grooming” students into prostitution. The university had allowed a sex workers’ health and support service to run a stall at a freshers’ fair, with breathlessly outraged reportage noting that the organisation shared a booklet advising sex workers of their legal rights, and that the stall featured a “wheel of sexual wellbeing”.
The service in question offers nonjudgmental advice, support and healthcare to sex workers in Sussex, alongside support to women who use drugs and women who need support in escaping domestic violence.Continue reading...
An estimated 15,000 teachers are snapped up overseas each year, driven away by the stress in British schools
The English education system is broken, says Freya Odell, a state secondary school teacher with 18 years’ experience. This month, she followed in the footsteps of thousands of other talented, fed-up teachers and moved abroad – in her case, to St George’s British International School in Rome.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision. My job in England took over my life. Over the past year, I had stopped laughing and smiling. I had lost all sense of who I am.”Continue reading...
Families with £190k income receive awards meant to help disadvantaged attend Yehudi Menuhin and Chetham’s schools
For most of her life Natasha Petrovic has been a carer for her sick parents but, despite her responsibilities, she has found the time to pursue her love of music. When she was four they encouraged her to learn the violin at her Surrey primary and she was soon hooked.
At the age of eight she passed the auditions to the Yehudi Menuhin music school near Cobham, within commuting distance of home. Because her parents were unemployed, Petrovic received a full bursary to cover the fees. Now in the sixth form, she plans to go to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and work in outreach to encourage music in state schools and institutions such as prisons.Continue reading...
Sam Gyimah has done little to solve the looming Brexit threat to research funding
Being the minister responsible for higher education in the UK should be a breeze. Oxford and Cambridge brush the top of any international ranking, with another three or four of our universities on their heels. True, the US does better, but not for its size, and no other country comes close. The UK hasn’t done so well in anything since Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick and the Beatles and the Stones. Not even cycling or dressage can compete.
Sam Gyimah, appointed to the job in January 2018, faced a choice. Should he work with the sector to build on its strengths, or treat it as a delinquent infant in need of a good talking to, in the tradition of his immediate predecessor, Jo Johnson?Continue reading...
University to raise £500m for ‘transition programme’ to support less well-off applicants
Cambridge University has launched a £500m fundraising campaign to pay for a new “transition programme” to encourage and support applications from talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds who might otherwise not get a place.
The scheme will include an intensive three-week bridging programme plus an additional transition year prior to a degree, to raise the attainment of disadvantaged students who have academic potential but may fall short of high entry requirements.Continue reading...
Hopes that Norwich school would help youngsters recover from abuse or bereavement and rejoin mainstream education
The UK’s first school for children who have experienced early-life trauma such as neglect or abuse and are currently being failed by the education system could open within two years.
The short-stay school would provide children aged four to seven with therapy and education to prepare them to rejoin mainstream schooling.Continue reading...
I worked for three years at a proofreading company which is technically billed as an “educational charity”. This online company markets itself as a totally innocent organisation that helps students edit their essays, and on the face of it, nothing about this operation would seem morally dubious. Of course, two of the online company’s services – proofreading and heavy editing – are far away from any wrongdoing. In the former instance, students submit work to receive a cosmetic spelling and grammar check. In the latter – a slightly costlier makeover – the syntax of essays is also edited. Most of us have access to this sort of assistance, one way or another – an intelligent aunt or uncle, an older sibling, or perhaps parents will scan over an essay. And, of course, many students are affected by conditions beyond their control that result in them unfairly losing marks for trifling spelling and grammar mistakes.
The third service – “rewriting” – was rather more morally suspect, and was one of the most ethically dubious practices I’ve ever engaged in (I suppose I should get out more).Continue reading...
The attempt to ban “essay mills” is likely to just drive them underground (University chiefs ‘urge education secretary to ban essay mills’, 27 September). The easiest way to avoid this practice is for lecturers/tutors to stop setting “essays”. Other forms of assessment are available – and should be less boring to read and easier to mark.
(National Teaching Fellow), Sheffield
• I’ve liked the Guardian’s smart, sophisticated dark-blue masthead. I’d like a bit of warning of upcoming colour changes; I visited the shop half asleep on Saturday, and the bright pink was a bit startling. Was this done to make sure we were all paying attention on a Saturday morning?
Sturminster Marshall, Dorset