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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Parents expect a university degree to increase their children's income

Survey shows parents have high expectations of the power of a degree, but experts warn graduate pay has fallenAlmost two in five parents expect that a university degree will increase their children's income earning potential and enable them to get ahead in the workplace, a report by HSBC has shown.The research, which surveyed over 4,500 parents in 15 countries, was carried out by Ipsos Mori

Teaching union calls for better advice on tackling FGM

Delegates at ATL conference says teachers need more guidance if they are to identify victims of female genital mutilationSchool staff should scrutinise holiday requests and be vigilant if pupils appear in pain or make frequent toilet visits, teachers have suggested in a conference debate on tackling female genital mutilation (FGM).Teachers have the power to identify victims of FGM, but they

Primary school places: fewer parents get first choice

About 600,000 children chase reception places at thousands of state primaries in England as country deals with baby boomEngland's first national offer day for primary school places has been marked by fewer parents receiving their first choice, as councils race to open new classrooms to accommodate swelling school rolls.Around 600,000 children are chasing reception class spots in thousands of

Primary school places: how to challenge a decision

If you are one of the thousands of parents whose children have not been allocated a place, here is what you can do about itThe parents of thousands of children will learn on Wednesday that they have not been allocated their first choice of primary school. If you are one of them, it is possible to challenge the decision. Here is what you can do: Continue reading...

National offer day: did you get the primary school place you wanted?

Families of more than 600,000 four-year-olds in England find out which primary school their children will attend on Wednesday. Did you get the school you wanted? Tell us in our open threadIt is the first national offer day for primary schools. Families of more than 600,000 four-year-olds in England will find out where they have been accepted, with an increased number expected to find they hav

Universities must make languages relevant

The numbers of students studying languages degrees is at its lowest in a decade universities must make their academic study more pertinent, argues Katrin Kohl UK students taking languages degrees at record lowThe contrast between the plummeting number of undergraduates in modern foreign language (MFL) courses and the soaring number of students in science, technology, engineering and maths (Ste

Compulsory school age in danger of becoming two, survey shows

Children's commissioner says almost half of parents admit to using nurseries to improve chances of getting school placesThe children's commissioner has warned that the effective age to begin compulsory education is in danger of becoming two rather than four as parents try to gain advantage in winning places in coveted primary schools by putting their infants in the school's nursery provision.

Change of direction needed on schools | @guardianletters

David Laws has noticed the approaching general election (Boost for teachers, 15 April), but his attempt to distance himself from the disastrous education policies of the coalition government is unconvincing. Much more than pre-election posturing is needed. The government should change direction. A responsible government would: Champion collaboration between schools based on successful initiat

Hoggart: student's inspiration and friend to the establishment | @guardianletters

There has been only one Guardian mention, briefly and disparagingly (Obituary, 11 April), of Richard Hoggart's links with Unesco in the outpourings of tribute. But I know how important these were to him from my experience of working closely together in the 1990s to secure Britain's return to that organisation after the shameful withdrawal by the Thatcher government in 1985.He saw its work in pr

When a child turns violent there is too little help for school or pupil | Bergistra

Avoiding permanent exclusions is becoming harder as services which help schools support children are cutMary O'Hara on cuts to child and mental health servicesIn schools like ours, serving an area of high deprivation, emotion and anxiety often run high. Parents at the end of their tether may bring in children who are traumatised. It's not uncommon to hear a parent tell their children they may

Teachers left to pick up pieces from cuts to youth mental health servicess | Mary O'Hara

Schools are struggling to cope with pupils' problems as council spending on therapy and counselling dries upBergistra on staff under stressAs the headteacher of large primary school in the west of England, Joan Cunningham is accustomed to the demanding aspects of managing an intake from a mainly disadvantaged area. However, for the past couple of years, she says, one issue has escalated so dra

Why aren't Chinese students at UK universities getting top degrees?

New research shows undergraduates from China studying at British universities get fewer firsts than those from other countriesFor Yali Liu, the hardest thing about UK higher education is having to go to the pub. "It's how much you need to invest socially with other students," she says. "I don't like going to a pub or club, but people just keep going out and I feel the pressure to go out too." T

What if your academy brand loses its shine? | Laura McInerney

By signing up to become an academy, a school becomes part of a 'brand'. Its reputation and pupils' prospects will be tainted if other academies in the same brand failBeing guided by "brands" can be a good or a bad thing. If buying presents for teenaged family members, it's very helpful. You buy them a Superdry hoody and you're officially the world's coolest aunt: job done.But brands have a d

Recruiting university staff takes a lot of academic time | Jonathan Wolff

Hundreds of hours are spent on each appointment, says Jonathan Wolff. But does anyone know a better way?A friend who worked in a bank told me that academics are prized customers for credit card companies. Our tastes tend to be more expansive and expensive than we can finance with our income, but our salaries are highly reliable and we are not the sort of people to walk away from debts. Furtherm

Teachers say long days make 'ghosts' of children dropped at school gates

ATL survey shows pupils becoming withdrawn and falling asleep frequently as parental commitments reduce time with familyWork commitments are forcing parents to put children as young as four in school for eight hours a day, leaving ghost-like youngsters who are overtired and withdrawn, teachers have warned.More than half of teachers and support staff believe children are spending less time wi

GCSE grade alignment | @guardianletters

The suggestion that GCSE results in England will be pegged to the exam results of students in China is misleading (Report, 3 April). It is important that people understand how the new GCSE grading system will work and can have their say on where standards should be set. I urge everyone to take a look at our proposals and let us know their views. We propose matching the new grade 4 to current gra

Missed chances to introduce a fairer school funding formula | @guardianletters

Fiona Millar (School funding kicked into the long grass again, 8 April) is right to highlight the unfairness of our current funding system for schools. Even allowing for higher area costs and deprivation in London, the gap between most London boroughs and much of the rest of country is far too high, reaching £1,000 per pupil in some cases.This inequity dates back to the time when local counci

Seeing red

The devil objects to the detail Continue reading...

Teachers missing out on lunchbreaks, conference told

Disappearance of staffrooms and increasing workloads mean many teachers do not get proper break, ATL conference hearsToo many teachers are missing out on lunchtime breaks as schools scrap staffrooms and increase teacher workloads, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference has heard.Many teachers are denied a break away from pupils, either because there is no staffroom

Will doing a master's get you a better job? Well, maybe

Statistics suggest that people with a master's are more likely to find work, but such figures should be treated with cautionIt was a love of comedy that encouraged Alex Blower to study a postgraduate degree in drama. After taking a year out to work as activities vice president at his student union, he decided that a master's qualification would allow him to specialise in his area of interest.

Children can swipe a screen but can't use toy building blocks, teachers warn

Teachers call for research into effects of tablet addiction amid concerns computer habits are hindering progress at schoolChildren are arriving at nursery school able to "swipe a screen" but lacking the manipulative skills to play with building blocks, teachers have warned.They fear that children are being given tablets to use "as a replacement for contact time with the parent" and say such

Ofsted inspections and targets harming teachers' mental health, finds survey

More than half of teachers surveyed by ATL union say work pressures having detrimental effect on their mental wellbeingA relentless inspection regime and culture of target-setting is damaging teachers' mental health, with many reporting stress and exhaustion, a survey by a teaching union has found.More than half (55%) of those questioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) say

Teachers 'denied pay rises for not volunteering to do school clubs'

Union says heads are basing salaries on willingness to dig the school garden or run activities after lessons Parents asked to pay for basic suppliesTeachers are being unfairly denied pay rises because they fail to volunteer to run lunchtime clubs, drive the minibus or help with digging the school garden, the leader of one of the biggest teaching unions has claimed.Headteachers have been gi

I need a verb table, I can't learn Spanish with just a smartphone

After a month of trying to learn Spanish with only a smartphone app, Alan Haburchak is crying out for some structureIn my last post, I wrote about how difficult it was attempting to learn a new language using only an app. Duolingo is well designed, but I'd come to the conclusion that I (and I suspect other people) have difficulty motivating myself to stay dedicated to practising and learning a

Schools asking parents to pay for basic supplies, survey finds

Parents are being asked to make voluntary contributions for items once covered by school budgets, say teachersParents are being asked to pay towards everyday activities and equipment in state schools, including basic items such as pens, paper and books, a survey of teachers has found.The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said its members report that schools are asking for voluntary contr

Intelligent reforms of student loans | @guardianletters

The issue of non-repayment raised by the Sutton Trust and the Institute for Fiscal Studies is just one of the problems with the student loan system (Report, 10 April). By introducing lower monthly repayments as a sweetener when the £9,000 fees were introduced, the government has in fact created something more burdensome for graduates by locking them into an average of 26 years of debt. Add this

Pressure on primary school places adds to anxiety on offer day

More than one in five children in areas of greatest demand are expected to miss out on first-choice schoolMore than a fifth of children in the worst affected parts of the country are expected to miss out on their parents' first choice of primary school next week as pressure on spaces continues to rise owing to the increasing birth rate.In the first national offer day for primary schools, on

Danny Alexander refuses to rule out further tuition fees rise

Liberal Democrats' most senior finance minister says party cannot guarantee fees will stay at £9,000 after next general electionThe Liberal Democrats' most senior finance minister has said the party cannot rule out raising tuition fees higher than £9,000-a-year after the next election, despite the bitter row that engulfed the party when Nick Clegg abandoned a flagship pledge to oppose the polic

Students: bring your own technology to uni

Asking students to use their own tech in lectures could save money, but will it damage attention spans?A few years ago, if a student got their phone out in a lecture, this was quite a clear sign that they were no longer paying attention. But today, using a phone or tablet in the lecture hall is actually encouraged by universities, many of which are asking students to use their own technology to

My father died when I started university, and I didn't tell anyone

After my father's death I quietly imploded without anyone around me at university noticingMy father died when I was 18. It still feels very strange to write that, much less say it out loud. One afternoon halfway through my first week at university he suffered a bowel infarction, and died almost instantly.My dad was not the picture of healthy living he was a chain smoker and a heavy drinker.


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