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Children’s charities and social work groups had launched an application for judicial review

The government has withdrawn a controversial document that claims some statutory protections for vulnerable children are “myths”, after a charity launched an application for judicial review, the Guardian has learned.

The “myth-busting” guide, issued last July, advised local authorities that they are legally permitted to reduce or even remove support from children in long-term foster care, who run away or go missing from home or care, who are remanded in custody and those who have left care and are still living with their former foster carers.

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Fraternity has been suspended after video surfaces showing some of its members mocking slavery and using a racial slur

A University of Georgia fraternity is being investigated over a video which circulated on social media and showed some of its members mocking slavery and using a racial slur.

The video shows a student hitting another with a belt while saying the words “Pick my cotton” and then a racial slur.

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Education secretary Damian Hinds to take tough measures on institutions found guilty of artificial grade inflation

British universities must slash the number of top degrees they award or risk undermining their world-class reputation, the education secretary has warned.

Damian Hinds said there had been a steep and unjustifiable rise in the awarding of first-class degrees, urging universities to “reset the norm” by handing out a higher proportion of 2:1s. Offending universities could face fines, or even be prevented from awarding degrees at all.

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The philosopher, who died last week, made huge contributions to British life. Why are her successors absent from the national conversation?

A couple of years ago, the death of a public intellectual, such as the philosopher Mary Warnock, who died on Thursday, would be marked by reflections on whether we have seen the death of the public intellectual as a phenomenon.

In 2019, when an academic psychologist can do sell-out lecture tours off the back of YouTube success, there’s less reason to believe that the public is repulsed by big ideas, unfussily presented. Unfortunately, that psychologist is Jordan Peterson and his “big ideas” are a mush of homily and conservatism, making it tempting to wish that public intellectuals really weren’t a thing any more.

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Headteachers tell of the damage caused by years of cuts to their capital and maintenance budgets

In one of the classrooms of Gillotts secondary school in Henley-on-Thames, there is a mysterious, acrid smell. It is a school day but the room is empty because this “awful” scent, a mix of damp and chemicals, clogs children’s throats and clings to the teachers’ hair and clothes long after they go home.

“That classroom is shut and unusable because of the smell – and I could really do with that classroom,” said headteacher Catharine Darnton. Her state school has 900 pupils and, like many other heads across the country, she has struggled to maintain her dilapidated building in the face of the government’s austerity cuts. As well as the stink, heating failures and electricity blow-outs have led to partial temporary closures of the school and blocked drains have threatened to leak raw sewage onto the playground. Darnton has been forced to take money intended for the education of students and allocate it to repairs and even capital expenditure. The low point came when, in winter, the building was so cold and dark she had to consider closing the school. “It was insane,” she said.

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Performance data reveals how much the country still suffers from educational gerrymandering

In Scotland, the new middle-class rites of spring are upon us. They may not yet carry the resonance of Glyndebourne, Henley or Royal Ascot but the social and economic implications for thousands of families are quite profound. This is when Scotland’s state school league tables are published and when families begin to inspect university prospectuses and neighbourhood maths tutors start browsing the BMW and Mercedes catalogues.

Actually, to describe the state school performance data as “league tables” isn’t quite accurate. Holyrood deliberately avoids arranging this data in a league table format because to do so would be simplistic, entirely subjective and fail to offer a wider picture of a school’s performance beyond bald academic numbers. It’s left to newspapers to arrange them in league table format based on the numbers of pupils from each school gaining A-passes. Thus, we get to see some depressingly familiar patterns emerge: schools in affluent neighbourhoods figure heavily in the top 20 while those in our disadvantaged communities are gathered near the foot.

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Campaigners concerned ahead of speech in Birmingham by Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett

In a YouTube clip published last year, the softly spoken Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett takes to the stage, apologises for delaying lunch, stutters slightly – saying she has an entrenched fear of public speaking – before launching into an impassioned speech about the government’s “totalitarian endeavour to indoctrinate our children in sexual ideologies”.

Godfrey-Faussett, who describes herself as a chartered psychologist and Muslim academic, is the latest voice entering the tinderbox row over LGBT lessons in Birmingham schools.

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King’s College London to review security procedures as students explore legal action

King’s College London is to order an independent review of its security procedures after a group of students said they were singled out as troublemakers and barred from campus during a visit by the Queen.

The 10 undergraduates say they are exploring legal action against KCL after their security passes were blocked and they were unable to attend lectures or go into libraries on Tuesday morning and early afternoon.

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Schools are broke, but without teaching assistants, children’s education will suffer. We must lobby the government

Next month I could lose my job. My 11 years as a teaching assistant could be coming to an end due to government cuts in education.

Across the London borough of Hackney, where I work, 66 schools have had government cuts to per-pupil funding since 2015. Headteachers have been left with the unenviable task of cutting back on subjects and staff to balance the books. Often, teaching assistants are the first to go. Our role is to support pupils in the classroom through assisting teachers in the delivery of the national curriculum to all children. For some of us, this could involve working as a full classroom assistant, while for many it is the one-to-one or small group interventions that are considered of greatest need.

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The curator, who has died aged 55, was the only person to curate both the Venice Biennale and Documenta, helped redefine what African art could be and provided a platform for the likes of Steve McQueen

Okwui Enwezor, who has died aged 55, was a peerless, charismatic Nigerian curator who helped place non-western art histories on an equal footing with the long-established narrative of European and North American art. Part of a generation of auteur curators who rose to prominence in the 1990s, he, more than any other, was one with a mission.

“The way I see it, it is like night and day. The 80s and before was the colonial, Jim Crow, and apartheid days put together,” Enwezor said in 2005. “It was completely acceptable to the curators of the period that contemporary art did not happen in places like Africa, Asia, South America or the Middle East … globalisation transformed the myopia that previously ruled.”

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