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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: 10 min 4 sec ago

The task: design a high school for 21st century blue-collar America

13 min 6 sec ago

An innovative Rust Belt school district prepares students for industrial jobs – but also competition from robots

The high school students clustered around a 4ft-tall red robot with long arms and cartoonish eyes. A so-called collaborative robot, programmed to work with humans at the Prent Corporation, a packaging company, it looked cute, not intimidating.

But on this “Manufacturing Day”, which in the last few years has given local high schoolers the chance to don safety goggles and step inside factory walls, the robot delivered a not-so-subtle reminder that their teachers have tried to drill into them: the unskilled jobs that paid earlier generations so well are dwindling, gone offshore and to robots like this one.

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Categories: Διεθνή Media

Hard Brexit could cripple UK science, say Nobel prizewinners

51 min 41 sec ago

Dozens of scientists write letter to May and Juncker setting out their concerns

A coalition of Nobel laureates has said a hard Brexit could cripple UK science, in a letter to Theresa May and the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The letter, signed by 29 Nobel prizewinners and six Fields medallists, says the UK “must now strive to ensure that as little harm as possible is done to research”.

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Britain has created a crisis in childhood, says former children’s commissioner

3 hours 28 min ago
Sir Al Aynsley-Green has written a hard-hitting book that he hopes will shame politicians and spark a national debate

Childhood is being ruined in the UK, and the education system under Theresa May’s government is largely to blame. That is the central message of a new book, The British Betrayal of Childhood, published this week by the former children’s commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green.

“Is there a crisis in childhood in Britain? My answer is an unequivocal yes,” says Aynsley-Green. “Mrs May’s government is not doing enough for children, especially in education.”

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Jumpin’ jets, a woman! Call to update children’s books with female academics

3 hours 43 min ago
Dr Frankenstinker, Professor Branestawm … How can little girls become academics when all the role models are men?

Women! Pah!” scoffs the comic book hero Dan Dare, on hearing that his new colleague for a space trip to Venus is – SHOCK! HORROR! – a woman. Cool, calm and collected, Prof Jocelyn Mabel Peabody doesn’t see “what all the fuss is about”, as she faces a lineup of appalled male faces.

Peabody is more than competent. “I’m a first class geologist, botanist, agriculturist … and a qualified space pilot as well,” she observes dryly. Who better to evaluate whether Venus might offer a food source that could save life on Earth?

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Dear Damian Hinds, What’s so difficult about giving every child a library ticket? | Michael Rosen

3 hours 58 min ago
Yet another report has shown children who read for pleasure are at an advantage. Yet many children still don’t have books

Yet again a report has come out showing that children who have books to read outside of school are well equipped to access education. The study, published in the journal Social Science Research, shows children with access to more books developed a direct positive relationship with literacy, numeracy and even IT skills in later years.

You know this already, though, because it says so in Reading: the Next Steps, [pdf] produced by your very own department in 2015.

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Children's services are at breaking point, experts say

11 hours 12 min ago

Charities, teaching unions and medical colleges accuse UK government of ignoring young people

Children’s services from Sure Start to schools and NHS mental health are at breaking point, according to a coalition of 120 organisations that have called on the chancellor to invest in young people in the budget next week.

An open letter to Philip Hammond and Theresa May from a group of charities, teaching unions and medical colleges accuses the government of ignoring children and young people in its spending plans.

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Did you solve it? Cutting the perfect slice.

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 19:00

The answers to today’s puzzles

In my puzzle column earlier today I set you the following puzzles:

1. Can you cut the shape below into two identical parts using one single line? The line does not have to be straight.

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Applying to university? Here's your step-by-step guide

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 16:25

Ucas is open for university applications for 2019. Here’s all you need to know

Maybe it’s all you’ve been thinking about through years of school lessons, or maybe you’ve just started wondering whether uni could be for you – either way, it’s time to crack the application process. You’re going to come across confusing-sounding buzzwords and acronyms, and “Ucas” will become the most-used four letter word in your vocab – but the process is fairly simple.

How do I apply?

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Special needs pupils being failed by system 'on verge of crisis'

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 15:00

Rising demand puts councils in England at risk of bankruptcy, Guardian investigation reveals

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are being failed by a system that is “on the verge of crisis” as demand for specialist support soars and threatens to bankrupt local authorities, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

Parents of children with SEND are increasingly locked in prolonged and costly disputes with councils across England who are too often failing to deliver on their legal obligations.

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Special needs: 'It's soul-destroying to have to watch your daughter get worse’

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 15:00

More and more parents of children with SEND are having to battle for services councils are failing to deliver. Here are two of them

Mary Riddell’s daughter Dakota, now nine, was born at 24 weeks and has been diagnosed with a number of conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning delay.

“She’s a warrior,” says Riddell. “She’s fantastic. She just gets on with everything and takes it all on the chin.” But just as Dakota has had to battle for life, so her mother has battled to get the right educational support for her.

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Secondary school bans talking in the corridors to keep children calm

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 11:51

Parents of pupils at Ninestiles in Birmingham complain the academy will ‘feel like prison’

A secondary school has banned pupils from talking between lessons, threatening detention to children who break the rule.

In a letter to parents, Ninestiles school in Acocks Green, Birmingham, said pupils would be expected to move around the building in silence when they return after the half term holidays.

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Can you solve it? Cutting the perfect slice

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 09:10

Puzzles that will have you in pieces

Hello guzzlers,

Scalpels at the ready! Today, three dissection puzzles.

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UK universities face grade inflation crackdown

Δευτέρα, 22/10/2018 - 02:01

Ministers move to address concerns over growing number of first-class degrees

The government has announced plans to crack down on grade inflation in universities amid fears that the growing number of first-class degrees being awarded to students is undermining their value.

More than a quarter of graduates (26%) were awarded a first-class degree last year, up from 18% in 2012-13, according to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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What will help you get into Harvard? Super-rich parents with a chequebook and pen | Arwa Mahdawi

Sun, 21/10/2018 - 17:00

The university’s policy on affirmative action is on trial – but it is the evidence of links between offers of acceptance and donations that is most damning

Want a place at Harvard? Persuade your parents to give the university a nice gift. A new building, perhaps, or a million dollars for a fellowship. That sort of thing.

It has long been understood that you can, to some extent, buy your way into many of the US’s prestigious universities. There are certainly plenty of examples of people with more money than sense being admitted to elite educational institutions. Jared Kushner, for example, got into Harvard despite having a mediocre academic record. To be fair, this may have had nothing to do with his father pledging $2.5m (£1.9m) to the university shortly before he was accepted. Perhaps the admissions office just had a hunch that this was the genius who was finally going to bring peace to the Middle East.

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We risk losing slices of our past if we don’t root out racism in our universities | David Olusoga

Sun, 21/10/2018 - 11:00

History is in crisis when black students refuse to study it and staff suffer abuse

What happens when a highly respected professional body undertakes serious and rigorous research into race and racism in its industry? Then, in the light of depressing findings, the researchers call upon their profession, institutions and colleagues to confront “persistent inequalities in our habits and practices”?

The dismal answer is that both the researchers and their findings are served up, by parts of the press, as disapproval fodder for the “world’s gone mad”, “had enough of experts” demographic; the hard core of the unreality-based community.

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Private schools told to open their swimming pools to state pupils

Sun, 21/10/2018 - 02:29
Move reflects fears for half of British children unable to swim 25 metres by the age of 11

A new drive to encourage private schools to share their swimming pools is being launched by the government amid concerns about the number of children who emerge from primary school unable to swim.

This weekend the education secretary, Damian Hinds, who has three young children, called on private schools to open up their pools to state pupils in their area.

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Row over Muslim scholar's invitation to preach at Anglican service

Sat, 20/10/2018 - 10:00

Blog claims sermon by imam at Oxford church contrary to ‘sacred act of divine worship’ in keeping with C of E rites

An invitation to a distinguished Muslim scholar to preach at a eucharist service in an Oxford church on Sunday has triggered complaints from traditionalists.

Monawar Hussain, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours last year for services to interfaith relations and the community, will deliver a sermon at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, following a request from Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson.

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Nobel laureate Donna Strickland: ‘I see myself as a scientist, not a woman in science’

Sat, 20/10/2018 - 09:00

The Canadian professor is only the third female recipient of the physics prize in its 118-year history, but she is nonplussed by the focus on her gender

When you win a Nobel prize, you can expect a fair bit of attention. When you are a woman and you win the prize in physics, as the Canadian professor Donna Strickland did earlier this month, you can expect the level of attention to be overwhelming.

The day after the announcement, just about everyone Strickland knew – and several people she did not, including Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada – called or emailed with congratulations. The day after that, her inbox overflowed with thousands more messages. The interview requests were similarly incessant; Strickland expects to be travelling non-stop, talking at schools and scientific organisations about her work, for the next two or three years. For a self-described recluse, the frenzy was all a bit much. “Two or three weeks ago, I was an ordinary human being and now I’m not,” she says with a laugh.

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Children's authors welcome Ofsted's move to lighten stress on testing

Fri, 19/10/2018 - 16:38

Writers including Frank Cottrell Boyce and Piers Torday cheer announcement that the schools inspectorate will now reward a broader style of education

Children’s writers including Frank Cottrell Boyce and Piers Torday have hailed Ofsted’s plans to judge schools on the broad range of their education as “great news”.

“Anything that moves away from making humans fit the demands of algorithms instead of the other way round is great news,” said the Carnegie medal-winning Cottrell Boyce, one of a chorus of authors to welcome the proposed changes.

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The School in the Cloud review – how a computer for slum kids inspired a learning debate

Fri, 19/10/2018 - 14:00

This stimulating documentary looks at physicist and TED-talk guru Sugata Mitra’s ideas about using technology to help children learn for themselves

Half term usually brings forth a minor deluge of U-rated animated features, laid out like cinematic kitchen roll to absorb the attention of restless children. This documentary offers, instead, debate-stimulating viewing for all educators enjoying time off, too.

Director Jerry Rothwell has tracked projects set up by Sugata Mitra, a physicist turned TED-talk guru over several years. In the late 90s, Mitra set up an experiment. He made a hole in the wall of his office building in New Delhi, in which he installed a computer screen and mousepad for use by local slum kids. The way he tells the story, after a few months they wanted more expensive graphics cards and a better mouse, and displayed a thirst for knowledge that got Mitra thinking about how our Victorian-designed, factory-style education systems might be improved with modern technology.

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