Category: Education

Mary Tory raises on teaching: ‘It is evil to destroy the hope of children. We do it

AAs early as January 2021, when the delta form of coronavirus spread across the UK, the death toll from covidia continued to rise, Boris Johnson insisted that schools were safe for immunized workers and children.

On the weekend before the expiration date, Mary Boosted began work. The joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) thinks he must take steps to ensure the safety of teachers. Knowing his employment law, he acted quickly. “We advised members not to enter a workplace where they have personal rights that would cause them harm,” he said, citing details of the 1996 Employment Rights Act.

By Monday morning, a quarter of all primary school teachers had signed a “Section 44” letter refusing to enter their classrooms. That evening the Prime Minister went on TV again, admitting that the schools had “vectored the transmission” and left England in lockdown.

The intervention situation was life or death, but detailed skills and willingness to speak were the hallmarks of Boosted. It made a difference, and she’s proud of it. “We have reassured our members that they have the right to understand and to exercise their rights,” he said Throughout the epidemic, he has relentlessly called for the protection of teachers and children, placing information on infections and masks and ventilation in schools.

Boosted will be in Bournemouth this weekend for his final annual conference as joint general secretary, as he prepares to retire in 2023. She has a new book about improving the lives of teachers and the potential of children. In a Zoom interview, he described how in his 20 years as a union official he has argued with ministers many times. He once “literally” banged his head on a desk, he says, during a meeting with then-school minister Nick Gibbe, and had “three standup rows” with Michael Gove when he was education secretary. “She is OK [Gove] I get angry when I say no, I don’t think it’s a good idea to take the test in Victorian times. ” He must have implemented his plan.

“I told him: ‘You can’t rule me. It is not my job to agree with you or to smooth out your policy. It’s my job to stand up for my profession, and for the children and young people they work with. And I will do it without fear or favor. ‘

Nadeem Jahawi, the current education secretary, whose school white paper was published last month, described her as “ambitious and narrow-minded”. His main proposal is that by 2030 all schools will be in the multi-academy trust “Again, the government believes in structural reform – in this case full academicization – which will do nothing to improve the quality of our schools,” he says. “It is a mystery why ministers did not take the opportunity to reform the curriculum and assessment system and address the teacher crisis seriously.”

Boosted’s book sets his own ideas. Clearly this is about stopping teacher dropouts – the latest government figures show that 40% leave in 10 years of qualifying, and more than a quarter in just a few years. However, it is also generally about the improvement of education in English schools, for the benefit of the children as well as for the teaching profession.

Are you violent I asked him. “I am,” he replied without hesitation. “But I hope I’m never rude. Sometimes my irritability gets better – but I try to be humble. I try to be kind. “

Violence is expected, he said, when discussing a major national issue, such as the problem facing schools or child poverty, “because they are such serious issues. And I’m not going to be distracted. I’m not going to waste my time. And if you take me Going forward, you’ll know your information better, because I do. “

One of his goals is to visit the school. “Offstead has to go,” he says suddenly. “Surprisingly” there is little evidence that inspections, which put unspeakable pressure on teachers and head teachers, raise standards in schools, Boosted argues. And meaninglessness and pain have contributed to the erosion and retention crisis of teacher autonomy in his 40 years of education, he believes. “I’m not arguing that we don’t need inspections, I’m arguing that the current inspections are completely invalid.” It should be replaced, he suggests, by a team of regional inspectors who specialize in a specific area of ​​school provision.

He wants to see a new independent body that would limit the power of politicians to interfere in basic education, such as curricula and national assessments. Surprisingly, he called for a pay rise for teachers – not just for new teachers, but for all of them – and for more flexible work.

But a fundamental problem, which he always draws attention to, is poverty, which keeps many children out of school. Four million children live in poverty in the UK – “an average of nine children per 30 classes”. Citing research from the Institute for Education Policy, he said about 40% of the achievement gap between poor children and their rich peers is set in stone before school starts. And it is unrealistic to expect teachers to fill this void. “The most capable and lucky of the poor children will be saved from their deep hardships. But why should we poor children be exceptional? Why don’t we, as a society, simply determine that they live a life free from the misery of poverty and that it is shame, suffering and loss?

Teachers see the effects of inconvenience on children on a daily basis but are unable to speak, with ministers constantly reminding them that they cannot express any political bias. They fear retaliation and this hinders negotiations. “I think this book needed to be written for a long time because the teachers’ voices have been silenced,” he says. This is an angry book, he admits. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s proven. “

Anger on the part of the children stems from Bausted’s own learning experience and that of his parents. One of the teachers’ eight children, he grew up in Bolton, attended elementary school in the state where his mother and father taught, and then in grammar school. At home, her father would place an order on the dinner table, starting a topic for the family to debate. “It simply came to our notice then.

After completing his English degree from the University of Hull in 1981, he “dropped out of school.” At Harrow’s Bentley Wood High School, where he taught English, it took him about three years to discover he was good at it, he says. In 1988 he moved to a state school in Harrow, where he spent five years as head of the English department.

Teaching disadvantaged children there makes him realize how strongly schools are bound to the communities they serve. “I will work from 7am to 9pm and then I will work all weekend. I have invested in the lives of those children. But I could see that there were a lot of them who didn’t believe that the good of society was coming to them – no matter what their school did. Their lives were so miserable that it destroyed any sense of belonging they had. “

The feeling of his deep anger drives him every day. “It is evil for children to lose hope before they start. And we do it for children on a large scale in this country. “

In 1991 he left teaching for the Academy. “I had a daughter and I couldn’t see how I could continue the rate of punitive work.” He earned a PhD, set up a PGCE course at York University, and later ran a school of education at Kingston University.

He was shocked to find some aspects of the academy. “I couldn’t fully believe the level of unemployment.” There were “very clever people who did not have social skills”, endless meetings where “war was waged through words”, and in various organizations he encountered “casual abuse”. “If you were a woman who was fiercely outspoken, it was not acceptable. And my reaction to that was quite fiery.”

She remembers being told she was “sharp” at the meeting because the men talked about her and had to fight for equal pay.

By 2003, he felt he had hit a glass ceiling. He saw an advertisement in the Guardian: The Teachers and Lecturers Association was looking for a new general secretary. “I am 42. I have never been a cabinet minister in a union.” But he got the job, holding the position for 14 years. When ATL merged with the National Union of Teachers in 2017, he took on his current role at NEU alongside Kevin Courtney.

Perhaps one of the reasons for his success as a union leader is that he firmly believes that it is his duty to tell the truth to the authorities, although most of his members cannot. “I’m in this very convenient position, where a lot of teachers would love to be, where I can say what I think.” And she enjoys it.

He said in meetings it is often clear that although civil servants or ministers “probably” do not like what he is saying, they may fight to argue against him because he has all the information at his fingertips. That’s why it’s so important to read the details. “

As he and Courtney prepare to retire from NEU in August 2023, and begin the election of a new general secretary, he is hopeful that his book will spark a debate on how to empower teachers and improve education in England.

However, he is not optimistic that the current administration will listen to his views. “We have found a zombie government that can do nothing because it is led by a prime minister who has no moral authority to lead.” Although he remains hopeful that his advice will be heard in the end, perhaps the future Labor government. “Radical reform requires political will – and serious leadership,” he said

Surveillance not support: How The solution Teacher Hold on Crisis, published by Mary Boosted By John Cat

It would cost middle earners পরিবর্ত 30k to change student loans in England, the analysis says.

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, students seeking higher-income graduate jobs will save £ 20,000 in debt repayments if they delay entering university, while middle-income earners will have to pay another £ 30,000 for their lifetime.

The IFS analysis highlights how the change in government student loans in the UK, which will take effect next year, greatly increases the tendency for high-paid graduates to repay loans.

Students in courses such as medicine, economics and law, which can lead to lucrative careers, will benefit from borrowing in a new format from September 2023, because interest rates are lower.

Conversely, students who expect to go into a low-paying job should enroll in a graduate course this year to take advantage of a loan write-off that occurs after 30 years instead of 40 years and a higher starting income before repaying the loan, a change of government.

The IFS noted, “For the 2022 school holidays, this means that the incentive to take a gap year will most importantly depend on their expected future earnings.”

Ben Waltman, a senior research economist at IFS, says: “Student debt reform will reduce the cost of borrowing for taxpayers and higher earners, whereas low-income borrowers will pay much more.

“The exact amount is inevitably uncertain, but our best guess is that lower-middle-income earners from the 2023 entry cohort will face the maximum additional costs of about £ 30,000 in their lifetime.

“The ultimate impact of reform is highly uncertain, and the future will depend on economic development and government policy for many decades to come.”

The IFS says the government’s changes – announced in a spring statement by Chancellor, Sage Sunak – have snatched away progressive elements of the system introduced in 2012, describing the policy as “moving away from a system that redistributes widely from top to bottom”. Graduation earnings “.

Larissa Kennedy, president of the National Union of Students, described the changes as “calculated cruelty” at a time when the cost of living was rising.

“Ministers are placing young people in unimaginable debt for the next 40 years of their lives. It’s nothing more than an attack on opportunity, “said Kennedy.

Under the existing system, interest rates on loans to high-income graduates are set by the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. However, the change means the RPI rate will be used to set the interest rate alone.

“Under the new system, most will repay what they borrowed – not more or less. It pushes us away from something like graduation tax for which the term ‘student loan system’ is more appropriate, “the IFS said.

For most graduates, the 2012-era loan system involves repaying 9% of their earnings on top of the 30-year repayment threshold, regardless of their total debt. Under the change, with a 40-year repayment period, IFS expects more than 70% of graduates to repay their loans in full.

The IFS also draws attention to the slightest change, which changes the starting point of debt repayment.

Graduates currently pay over £ 27,295 on their earnings, raising the threshold each year in line with average income growth. After the change of government, the threshold will rise more slowly, based on the RPI rate – which IFS says will only cost middle-income graduates more than £ 10,000 to pay higher in their lifetime.

“It simply came to our notice then that there was no significant change in the content of the press announcing the reforms,” ​​the IFS said.

Economists say the changes “make England’s higher education funding system more internationally” by using lower public spending than other developed countries to support higher education.

‘Ukrainian has become a symbol’: interest in language is growing in Russia

BPrior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Scott Richards was planning to move to Kiev from his current base in Zurich. As Richards, the leader of the Eastern Europe team for an investment firm, has already spoken Russian. Now, with his family relocated, Richards is “deeply immersed” in studying Ukrainian and taking an intensive online course at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

“I want to speak with Ukrainians to celebrate their culture, their independence and the incredible courage with which they now stand in their own defense in the face of indescribable and unspeakable barbarism,” he said.

Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, at the root of the notion that there is no unique Ukrainian identity, has only increased global interest in the Ukrainian language. Oppressed and denounced as a peasant dialect by the Russian and Soviet empires, Ukrainian is a distinct language from Russian, with some similarities between Italian and Portuguese.

The language learning app Duolingo reported a 577% increase in the number of users worldwide studying Ukrainian and 2,677% in Poland, welcoming more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees. In Ukraine, where native Russian speakers have increasingly embraced Ukrainian since the 2014 revolution, a new Ukrainian conversation club has received nearly 1,000 sign ups in just three days.

Like most Ukrainians, 20-year-old Sophia Reshetniak is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian. She grew up using Russian with her family, but learned Ukrainian at school. (According to a 2019 survey, about 46% of the population speaks Ukrainian at home, 28% Russian and a quarter speak both equally.)

“It’s my second mother tongue,” he said. “I have friends from the west [of Ukraine] And they speak Ukrainian and we understand each other. “

Before Russia invaded his hometown of Kharkiv, Reshetniak was a university student and taught private lessons in English, Ukrainian, and Russian. She has lost her regular students since fleeing the country, but has since found new ones through a social initiative called Natakallam, which employs displaced people to teach their language and share their culture online.

Natakallam, meaning “we speak” in Arabic, was launched in Lebanon in 2015 with the aim of generating income for Syrians fleeing the war and losing their livelihoods. “You can help, but giving a job or earning a living is much more rewarding and rewarding and makes people feel much more empowered,” said co-founder Aline Sara. “They have a sense of dignity and a sense of purpose, and they share their stories, which we really need to hear from the world,” he said. The company pays tutors a minimum of $ 10 per hour.

The platform has expanded to offer lessons in Armenian, English, French, Kurdish, Persian and Spanish, and in March hired its first Ukrainian and Russian teachers. Sarah said that about 150 to 200 people have expressed interest in studying these two languages, with “somewhat more traction” being more widely spoken in Russian, although many want to learn both.

Reshetniak now teaches from a room in a hostel he shares with his 15-year-old sister in the Czech village. Within days of being onboard at NaTakallam, he met his first students. Two are learning Ukrainian and three are learning Russian.

Although Reshetniyak does not view Russian as “the language of the enemy”, some who once used it to visit Ukraine are choosing to learn Ukrainian as a sign of respect.

Polina Levina, a Canadian with Russian parents and a Kharkiv grandmother who spent two years in Donetsk and Kiev working with the United Nations on human rights, said she “always felt that speaking fluent Russian was enough to get involved in the country.” Now, he believes, it is important “to be able to listen to the language that Ukrainians like to speak, if they do not like it, not to give their language the freedom to return to Franca.”

Some students see Ukrainian studies as a way to help rebuild the country. Abby Davis, an IT project management consultant based in Atlanta, lived with her evangelical family in the 90’s as a “bilingual child” in Druzhkivka, a town in the predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Donbass region of Ukraine. He hopes to apply his skills to strengthen the country’s IT infrastructure and is using the Pimsleur app to learn some conversational Ukrainian “ready to help”.

Several learning platforms have extended special offers related to Ukraine. LingQ is offering free access to Ukrainian lessons and a free premium account for Ukrainians studying other languages. MyCoolClass, a teacher-owned cooperative, waived fees and facilitated the application process for Ukrainian teachers using its platform. Duolingo has promised to donate all advertising revenue generated by Ukrainian students to the relief effort “at least for next year”.

Richards still plans to settle in Kiev when it is safe to do so, and hopes to be able to speak Ukrainian.

“It’s like the war has changed everything,” he said. “Ukrainian tradition has become a symbol of survival, strength and resistance.”

There are lessons for refugee students in Manchester Car Park who do not have school space

Charities say children of refugees and asylum seekers are taking lessons at Hotel Car Park in Manchester because no space has been found at the local school.

More than a hundred children are believed to have fled with their families from countries including Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and Syria, with the Home Office keeping them in various hotels in the city awaiting news of their asylum application.

Dr Reta Moran, founder of the Manchester-based charity Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research (RAPAR), said the volunteers were teaching children in the car park of a hotel where they live. He called on the Manchester City Council – as well as the outsourcing firm Cerco, which has a Home Office agreement to provide accommodation in this part of the UK – to address the issue urgently.

Moran says: “Many of these children have been victims of war and abuse. Since then they have had a painful journey to the UK and upon arrival they have experienced long delays in our asylum and immigration arrangements. ”

A resident of a Manchester hotel, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian that about 30 children, mostly of Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi, Yemeni and Sudanese descent, lived in the same compound as him, and some were waiting. At least six months for a school place.

Draw chalk made by children in a hotel car park
Draw chalk made by children in a hotel car park. Photo: Rapper

“They have two hours of formal‘ Esol ’English lessons every week,” he said. “But often it is up to one or two teachers – sometimes even adults – to adjust learning for children of different nationalities, ages, backgrounds and levels.”

He said the lessons learned in the temporary car park classrooms were “very unorganized, with a mix of volunteers and residents”, but “it is very important for children who are at a critical stage of development”.

Another resident of the same hotel added: “Sometimes they are doing some supervising math with chalk on the ground, or the residents sharing their skills like art or sewing. It’s informal, but kids are annoyed and excited without it. It’s also good for them to build their social skills by interacting with other kids. “

Moran, who has worked with asylum seekers in Manchester for two decades, says children are failing by the system, adding: Impossible work whose English may not be strong.

“It often falls to charitable volunteers to help fill out these forms, which are then sent to the city council for processing.”

Madeleine Summerfield, a volunteer at the charity Care 4 Calais and Hotel Lead for a premises elsewhere in Manchester, says resources for young asylum seekers and refugees have been expanded across the region. The number of people and the availability of space varies between each hotel and city council, he said, focusing on some Afghan refugees, some on Ukrainians and others on “mixed” asylum seekers.

Summerfield added: “Conflicts between local and national policy can make things difficult, but in the end the focus should be on ensuring that all children have the opportunity to be educated and integrated.”

A spokesman for Manchester City Council said: “All staff at the hotels where the families have been accommodated have been instructed to apply for a school place in Manchester and are aware of the need to apply for a place to enter a local school. They have a direct connection to Manchester’s education services.

“In this academic year alone, the council has placed more than 400 refugee and asylum-seeking children in schools and colleges. This includes commissioning places in secondary schools outside Manchester where they did not have enough space in the local area. “

A spokesman for the education department said: “We must do everything possible to welcome refugees who have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict. We hope that every school-age child who arrives here will start going to school soon.

“We believe that the best place for all children to be educated is school and attendance will help children integrate into the communities in which they live.”

Teachers are encouraged to use Taylor Swift lyrics to make Latin accessible.

Latin teachers are being encouraged to use Taylor Swift’s songs, Disney songs, Minecraft and fan fiction to make the ancient language of Virgil and Cicero more accessible to their 21st century students.

In recent decades, schoolgirls – mainly in private schools – have mastered the Latin language through the story of first-century Pompeii banker Lucius Cassilias, and his family, described in the popular Cambridge Latin course, soon. It will be published in the fifth edition.

Now, however, an academic at Cambridge University has developed a new guideline that suggests that Latin should be taught as a modern foreign language, where students are encouraged to speak, sing, write or write creatively, instead of simply learning vocabulary and grammar from the primer. . At the same time, translating hit songs into Latin can enhance students’ understanding of the various techniques used in Roman poetry.

Steven Hunt, who has been teaching Latin for 35 years and is now training Latin teachers, says traditional teaching methods still have their place, but in favor of a more imaginative, open-minded approach to broadening the subject’s appeal.

Currently less than 10,000 students study GCSE Latin and they are irresistible in private schools. According to a recent British Council survey, the Latin language is taught only in Phase 3 – the first three years of secondary education – 2.7% in state schools compared to 49% in independent schools.

In addition to the case for involving “active” Latin students in the classroom, Hunt’s book describes a series of innovative ways to develop students’ translation skills. In an example from a research paper, a university teacher struggles to engage his students in Virgil’s poetry, asking them to translate well-known songs instead. Among their successes was Taylor Swift’s hit Bad Blood, whose chorus was translated Because, dear, now our blood is bad.

Elsewhere, another Latin enthusiast recorded a Disney favorite in Latin, including Let It Go (Free) From Frozen, when 3D digital modeling and Google Earth helped students use Latin as they walked through virtual ancient sites, including a 3D model of Rome built in Minecraft.

“The problem with Latin education is that it has never been the subject of thorough academic scrutiny; We tend to rely on anecdotal information about what seems to be the job, “said Hunt, who hated the Latin language when he first studied it at the age of 11 and feared he would once use text that demeaned slavery and stereotyped female characters. Taught Latin.

“There is no ‘best way’ to teach it,” he said, “but some teachers are developing a rich set of responses to the challenge. Much depends on the principles of modern language learning. Some Latin teachers realize that this is the way to learn any language – dead or alive. “

Last summer the Department of Education announced the launch of a £ 4m project to promote Latin among school children in secondary schools, starting primarily in 40 schools in England, as part of a four-year pilot program for 11- to 16-year-olds.

“The role of Latin as the gatekeeper of elite education is over, but involving more students, especially in public schools, remains a problem,” Hunt said. “The challenge for teachers in the coming years will be whether they are ready to realize these opportunities to present the subject differently, and to broaden the appeal for students, or whether they prefer to stick to familiar routines.”

Taylor Swift: Bad blood

Verse 1

Do you have to do it?

I thought you could be trusted 10

Did you have to waste what was shiny?

Now all is rusty

Do I have to hit where I am weak?

Babu, I couldn’t breathe

And rub it so deeply 15

Nun at the wound as if you were smiling at me


Because baby, now our blood is bad

You know it was crazy love

So take a look at what you did

Because baby, now our blood is bad, hey!


Verse 1

Was it done for you?

I thought I could trust you.

Was it shiny because it was destroyed for you?

At the moment, this is not a sic.

How weak am I?

Care, I couldn’t breathe.

It was rubbing too high on you;

You smile when you see me, oh salt in the wound!


And, dear, now our blood is bad.

You know it was the craziest love

See facts from you

And, dear, now our blood is bad.


Public school students in England are as happy with life as their peers in private schools – survey

According to a new study by researchers at University College London, young adults and teenagers who attend public schools in England are happier with their lives than their peers in private schools.

The study found some differences in mental health or life satisfaction between the two groups, which surprised the study authors because there is considerable benefit in spending for the well-being and support they enjoy in private schools.

Dr. Morag Henderson, UCL’s Institute for Social Research, lead author of the paper, says: “While school resources are high in private schools, academic stress can also affect students, and so we see that each force is discouraging the other.”

The study – published in the Cambridge Journal of Education on Thursday – was based on a national sample of more than 15,000 people born between 1989 and 1990 who went to school in England and surveyed teenagers and later in their 20s.

“While these approaches do not prove causal, the absence of significant positive effects suggests that there is no evidence that parents who decide to pay for private schools are benefiting their children’s mental health and life satisfaction,” the author says.

The study measured participants’ mental health by asking questions such as: “Have you been able to focus on what you are doing?” And “Are you sleep deprived due to anxiety?” It found slight differences in responses between the two groups before and after adjusting for factors such as social background and educational attainment.

Those who attended fee-paying individual schools reported higher life satisfaction in their 20s. But after adjusting responses to exclude benefit effects such as higher income, home ownership, and better test results, the researchers again found no significant difference in satisfaction levels.

Private school girls reported better mental health status at age 16 than their peers at state schools but did not see the same gap at age 14 or 15.

The study concludes that “there is no added benefit to private schooling in terms of mental health and life satisfaction” for the study group. But it warns that since the sample group went to school, private schools have increased their spending on health and pastoral care.

Dr Henderson said it was possible that increased pastoral support had “just begun to make a difference” for private school students, who he thought might have received more support during the Covid lockdown.

“It simply came to our notice then. This question is ready for future analysis, “said Dr. Henderson.

A preliminary study of those born in 1970 found that women in a private school in the UK were associated with “higher emotional distress”. But since the 1980s, private schools have increased their spending to support students.

‘When you stop fighting, you start mourning’: Parents are fighting

DAfter their daughter died in April 2018, Robert and Margaret Abrahart became detectives. “It’s a survival process – we’re going to be the subject, we’re going to organize,” Robert said. “That seems to be the only way to deal with it.” The day Natasha, a student at the University of Bristol, was told they had committed suicide, they went to identify her body, then went to clean her flat. There they found an envelope containing Natasha all her online passwords. Back home in Nottingham, they logged into her university email account and found their daughter telling at least one staff member that she was feeling suicidal.

In the four years since then, they have sought an answer, turning it into a civic action against the University of Bristol, which was heard for several days last month. A verdict is yet to come on whether the university violated its legal obligation to Natasha and, if so, whether it contributed to her death (for which compensation must be paid). It’s been a long, costly process – couples paid their pensions to pay for it – but even a successful outcome would not seem like a victory, says Margaret, unless it begins a broader understanding of student suicide, and makes sense at all universities. Change. “We want to tell the universities, if this happened to Natasha, could it happen to anyone else? Why stop it?

Natasha’s death was one of 11 suicides or suspected suicides in Bristol between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Hugh Brady, said: “The death of a student for any reason is a real tragedy. Quickly, a number really shed tears at the very heart of our organization, and now our motto is: Mental health is everyone’s business at our university. “

Natasha, 20, was extremely intelligent, loved math and physics, and was a highly accomplished student. She was close to her younger brother, had a group of friends whom she had known for a long time and was also a lover. From an early age, he also showed signs of social anxiety disorder: he did not talk in class, was wary of new people, and even talked to supposedly simple things like shop staff, he would pass on to his friends. At university, her parents have since learned that Natasha used to send other people to the bar to order drinks for her.

Her parents were not worried about her going to university because she was very self-reliant and independent. “What I didn’t see was that her strengths were actually linked to her social concerns,” Margaret said, “because that means she doesn’t have to talk to other people.”

Natasha committed suicide the day she was scheduled to give a presentation as part of her physics degree. He found verbal assessment almost impossible, missing an interview and missing others, which meant he was at risk of not passing the module and progressing.

Natasha Abrahart in 2016.
Natasha Abrahart in 2016. Photo: Family Handout / PA

In an investigation into her death in 2019, Corona concluded that the amount of negligence by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, where Natasha was referred after seeing a university GP, contributed to her suicide. Investigations and trials have found evidence that Natasha was probably terrified of the presentation she was supposed to give to students and staff at a large lecture theater. Abrahart believes the investigation did not look into the details of the university’s role in their daughter’s death and why – despite Natasha’s difficulties – she was not given the support she needed.

Robert noted that they have an ideal background for pursuing such a cause – he was a professor of geography at the University of Nottingham and Margaret worked at the NHS mental health services. They both have a perception of the world. “We’re retired,” he added. “We can spend the whole day in it.”

They sued Bristol under the Equality Act, arguing that Natasha had been discriminated against because of her mental disability and that the university could make reasonable adjustments. “They knew there was a problem,” Robert said. “School of Physics staff thought he couldn’t fix it until he jumped with hoops.” Staffers had been aware since at least the previous October that Natasha had fought the verbal assessment. A lecturer contacted the university’s disability services for advice on what could be adjusted, but he did not listen and did not follow through. Natasha also contacted an administration manager at the department and told him in an email that she had suicidal thoughts; The manager took her to an appointment with the university’s GP, but the investigation found no evidence that the administrator informed the Student Welfare Service about Natasha’s risk of suicide.

Robert and Margaret complained that Natasha was tasked with contacting these services and filling out a form with a description of her situation – but with social anxiety and depression her parents believed it was an impossible task. “Everyone is trying to get him to signposts for help, but the biggest problem with social concerns is talking to people and that’s exactly what they’re recommending,” said Margaret. “He couldn’t get the doctor’s letter, he couldn’t fill out the form, which they claim they’ll be able to adjust,” Robert said. He believes that Natasha’s difficulties were obvious, and that further allowances – such as switching oral presentations for a written assessment – could easily be made. “It simply came to our notice then. Six months later, he still hasn’t done it, and then his six months of absence, bad marks, growing frustration, and then he’s committed suicide. “

In March 2018, Robert received a phone call from Natasha’s flatmate that he had attempted suicide (a few days later). Natasha, who liked talking on the phone, said she felt good and would not do it again. “We wanted to pick him up and he stopped us,” Margaret said. They confirmed that he had made an appointment with the GP the next morning. He took a break for Easter the next day, but kept coming home late, until Margaret went downstairs to tell him not to come back.

“It’s hard to know what to do,” Robert said. “You can go downstairs and drag him, but he’s an adult.”

On the Easter holiday Natasha felt better, even quieter than usual, but when Margaret tried to talk to him about the suicide attempt, he refused to discuss it. Natasha told her parents that the university knew what was happening, but she did not tell them about the presentation she was worried about. Just two weeks after Margaret took Natasha back to Bristol, Natasha committed suicide.

What Abrahart hopes to get out of their court case is “more clarity in the equality law, and more clarity in care responsibilities,” Robert said. She says investing in more counselors and reducing the waiting time for students to improve their mental health, but they don’t believe it will help Natasha with her special difficulties (her boyfriend told them she was given a helpline number; when she called, they turned off the phone). Until he was silent).

They are furious about the way, in Natasha’s case, they believe the problem was transferred to the NHS, without reflecting on the grievances they complained about. “In all areas of business, people have occupational health, but we don’t seem to have it [for students]Margaret says. “And yet everyone knows that study is stressful. It’s about universities looking at their processes: is it safe? Is this actually the best way? Is it part of their education? There was a thought that students should not be here if they do not accept it. ” Robert added: “Universities are not a test of tolerance – people go there for education.”

In its official response, the university said academic and non-academic staff tried to engage Abrahart with alternative assessments. But it argued that removing the use of verbal assessment was unreasonable because it would “compromise” with Abrahart’s teaching. In a statement at the end of the court case, the University of Bristol stated that “physics school staff were instrumental in helping Natasha access appropriate professional assistance” and that this, in particular, where the presentation was concerned, included colleagues’ efforts to present her laboratory results to her peers. Offering alternatives to assess Natasha’s concerns, including not taking her on stage, not allowing others to appear, and not answering any further questions. May change. “

Outside of Natasha, Abraharts now wants to see increased protection for all vulnerable young adults, often staying away from home for the first time. This may end up with issues such as dismissing students from their courses via email. “You don’t get it on the job,” Robert said. In July 2020, Meredith Foulcos, a student at Cardiff University, took her own life after receiving an automated email stating that she had failed her exam and would not be allowed to enter her third year, although her exam results were later upgraded to pass; In February of this year, Cardiff apologized.

A few days after Natasha’s death, another student from Bristol, Ben Murray, took his own life. Instead of a face-to-face meeting, he was told by letter and email that he would be expelled from the university if he failed to deliver a speech and an examination. Following Marr’s death, and the campaign run by his family, Bristol reviewed the dismissal process and introduced a policy whereby students would agree with the university to contact their parents if they were concerned about their well-being.

According to the latest figures, 95 students have committed suicide in England and Wales in the 12 months since July 2017, and Abrahart is in contact with other affected families. Each year, Margaret said, “It’s possible there are about 100 people who could have had preventable deaths. With so many students, we see that they may have opted out, not fully involved with the university in a timely manner. If you can do something that At first glance, before people make that first attempt, people won’t go any further along the line. ” Without centralized observation, Margaret believes, it is easier for universities to view the small number of suicides in each institution as a tragic inconsistency. “But if you put all the universities together, you can learn from each other,” he says “And if it saves a life, it can save the pain of losing …” he paused. “One of the things I’ve learned is how many people are affected by suicide.” Not just Natasha’s family and friends, but staff as well.

Despite saying a lot about the legal process, Margaret and Robert find it difficult to describe the effects of their daughter’s death on themselves. “Every big life event will be noticed by the fact that Natasha is not there,” Margaret said. “It simply came to our notice then. The sensitive side, we put it away; We’ve focused on practical issues instead, because it’s easy. “Four years into the legal battle, he said,” our new job, so when it’s gone, he’ll die and he’ll have to deal with it. When you stop fighting. That’s when you start to mourn. So it’s a very mixed feeling. ”

  • In the UK, Papyrus, a youth suicide charity, can be contacted on 0800 068 4141 or by email at [email protected]. In the UK, Samaritans can be reached at 116 123 or by email at [email protected]. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

Sage Sunak and his wife have donated more than £ 100,000 to Winchester College Sage Sunak

Sage Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murthy, have donated more than £ 100,000 to the Chancellor’s old private school, Winchester College.

The private boys boarding school, which costs £ 43,335 a year, has published a grant in its annual journal.

A spokesperson for Sunak said: “The sage and his wife have been and will continue to be involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic activities over the years. These grants are meant to help fund scholarships for children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to travel to Winchester. “

Since 2020, the school’s journal has listed him as a donor who has donated more than £ 100,000 in total, suggesting that he was a regular donor.

Speaking about his private education in Winchester, where he was Head Boy, Sunak told Sky last month: “I’m really lucky to have that opportunity. It was something that was really awesome, it definitely took my life in a different direction.

“It simply came to our notice then. And I look back on that time. It helps me to be who I am as a person and it helps me to do the work the way I do it And it convinces me that education is one of the best tools we can use in politics to spread the word. “

Labor has highlighted Sunak’s earlier claim that it has “maximized” the amount it can provide to state schools, and continues to subsidize “elite private schools” through tax breaks.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Britain should have the best public school in the world. But after 12 years of Tory neglect, four out of 10 of our children drop out of school without the qualifications they need.

“Labor sage Sunak will put an end to paying taxes at the hands of his old boys’ network and instead use the money to improve schools in each state, so that everyone leaves education ready for work and life.”

Sunak’s personal assets have recently come under investigation for investing in his wife Infosys, whose business was in Russia.

Murthy owns approximately 90 690m of shares in Indian IT services and raises about £ 11.5m in annual dividends. The Guardian reported last week that it was “urgently” closing its office in Russia.

Sunak was under increasing pressure to respond to allegations that his family was collecting “Blood Money” dividends from the firm’s continued activities in Russia despite the Ukraine invasion.

Labor leader Kier Sturmer called on the chancellor to disclose whether his family was benefiting from Russian-made money when the government imposed sanctions on organizations and individuals.

After verifying his wife’s whereabouts at Infosys, Sunak told the BBC’s Newscast that it was “very annoying and … wrong for people to try to approach my wife”.

My students have returned badly by the epidemic. Not a ‘catch up’ lesson

L.Last week, while watching an old DVD about “Growth and Change” with my 2nd class of the year, a child in the program blew out their birthday candle and shared a piece of cake with their friends. This spread tension in the classroom. “Miss, was it before Corona? It’s embarrassing! “

Birthday parties are a small part of what little kids have missed in the last two years. Since the first lockdown began, children have missed months of classroom learning, game dates, drama teams and football practice. Recent offset research shows that the epidemic has delayed the social skills of young children – resulting in some being unable to understand facial expressions. These will not surprise any teacher. There were no national lockdowns or two-week “bubbles” this academic year, and this relative continuity was great. However, returning to school has given staff a clearer understanding of how the epidemic has affected children’s development.

Recent reports from Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of Offset, echo what I have seen among young children in my school. The primary year non-statutory curriculum is based on the principle that all areas of education are connected. It places more emphasis on communication and social and physical development than on older year curricula, where progress is more traditionally defined in the academic sense. So it is not surprising that children who have missed months of nursery and reception – the school year that teaches them how to play collaboratively with others and express their needs or ideas – are now showing the gap in these basic skills.

In my school, some children are now struggling to express what they need or want, to answer simple questions or to follow short instructions. This has a knock-on effect on their social skills. Those who have not practiced too much in conversation or sharing with others find it difficult to play and use school resources. Many children have missed out on opportunities for physical development; Boys and girls between the ages of four and five prefer to go to the toilet through the corridor instead of walking.

My school emphasizes a relational approach to education, recognizing that children learn best when they feel safe, secure, and stable. I see anxiety in the students I teach, which manifests itself in different ways – pain and suffering, reluctance to enter the classroom in the morning, reluctance to try new things – all affect their ability to work in the classroom. Classroom teachers and teacher assistants are very important for developing a sense of security in young children. Every time one of us falls ill with Kovid-19, it affects the children we read to.

I often think that sudden school closures during the last two years of lockdowns, which give school staff or families very little time to mentally prepare children for dramatic changes, have left a lasting impression on children that they can rely on school as a constant. In their lives. It is really sad to think of those children who lack stability in their home life and what effect this abrupt closure will have on them.

Teachers identified a number of issues raised in recent offset searches at the beginning of the epidemic. Education experts have called for a “Summer of Play” in 2021, and Kevin Courtney of NEU has called for schools to be flexible in organizing curricula to support children’s mental needs in 2020. So it seems confusing that the Department of Education has chosen to pay more attention to the lost academic education than to miss the social, physical, communication and mental development of the children. The National Tutoring Program, assessing children through SAT after a two-year break, or applying for a minimum classroom time will not solve these problems.

Babies are naturally tolerant. In addition to the anxiety and fear surrounding Kovid-19, they have dealt with the epidemic with humor and creativity. It was interesting to see how my students portrayed the epidemic in their games, stories and drawings. Many more have adapted to the epidemic than some of the adults I know. While this school year has been tedious for kids (my 2nd year has not been an uninterrupted period of education like this year), I can already see the strong part that time and continuity will play a role in children’s development after the lockdown.

All the staff at the school want the best for the children they serve, although their point of view will be different to see the “best”. I feel fortunate that my school did not impose some of the instructions I heard others received, such as setting up post-school “catch-up” sessions for children under the age of six, or mocking SATs for the first week in September 2021. At the school I attend, leaders acknowledge that filling the learning gap is a long-term, ongoing project that will require collaboration and communication between staff of different ages over the next year.

Over the past academic year, working in 1, I have created more time on school days for play and research, and given children the opportunity to develop the social, physical, communication and mental skills they missed after a broken year of reception. Although we endured more lockdowns and class-bubble off that year, I have been working with the same kids for 2 years now and believe that the extra time dedicated to these basic learning skills and behaviors has long-term effects that I don’t think are extra classroom hours or statutory. Evaluation will be achieved. Perhaps a key lesson from the epidemic is that government and primary schools should draw more inspiration from elementary school curricula – with an emphasis on communication and social and physical education – and value these basic areas of development as well as academic achievement.

Darwin’s Journal Returned to Cambridge University Library | Charles Darwin

The plot was worthy of a Dan Brown thriller – two Charles Darwin manuscripts worth millions of pounds have been reported stolen from a Cambridge University library after being missing for two decades.

The disappearance prompted a global appeal with the help of local police and Interpol. Now, in a strange twist, notebooks – including one of Darwin’s seminal 1837 Tree of Life sketches – are returned anonymously in a pink gift bag, with a typed note on an envelope wishing the librarian a Happy Easter.

The bag was dropped off on March 9 on the fourth floor of a 17-story building on the floor of a public area of ​​the library outside the librarian’s office, in an area not covered by CCTV. Who left them and where they were remains a mystery.

Dr. Jessica Gardner, who became director of the library service in 2017 and who reported to police that notebooks had been stolen, described her joy at their return as “unpleasant.” “It’s almost impossible to express my deepest and adequate sense of relief at the safe return of the notebook,” he said. “I am devastated to learn of their loss, along with many others around the world.

The notebooks were found missing in 2001
The notebooks were found missing in 2001. Photo: Cambridge University Library / PA

“Notebooks can now be restored to their proper place in Cambridge, along with the rest of the Darwin Archives, at the center of the country’s cultural and scientific heritage, with the archives of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking.”

It was not until 2001 that notebooks, representing some of the first indications of Darwin’s radical theory of evolution through natural selection, were essentially missing. They were removed from storage for photography, and the work was recorded as complete in November 2000. But a subsequent routine check in January 2001 found that they had not been returned. Workers at the time believed they had been mistakenly placed.

Fingerprint searches of key library locations, containing about 10 million books, maps, manuscripts, and other items, did not prove fruitful, and books were finally reported stolen at Cambridge Constabulary in 2020.

Police then launched an investigation and informed Interpol, the university made a worldwide request for information. Their return after almost a year and a half has shocked and delighted the authorities.

Pink gift bags and typed envelopes.
The notebooks were left in a pink gift bag outside the librarian’s office. Photo: Cambridge University Library / PA

Professor Stephen J. Toop, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, said he was “incredibly happy to hear that notebooks have returned safely to their rightful home.” “Objects like these are important for our understanding of the history of mankind, not just the history of science,” he said.

The manuscripts were said to be in good condition and there were no obvious signs of significant handling or loss in the years since their disappearance. They were wrapped together with clingfilm inside their archive box. A plain brown envelope had the message “Librarian / Happy Easter / X” printed on it.

Dr Mark Parcel, deputy director of the library’s research collection, had earlier said he was sure the manuscripts would not be sold on the open market and expected similar results at London’s Lambeth Palace, where items were stolen after the second bombing. World War II.

“More than forty years later, literally as a result of the death crisis of conscience, those items were made public and returned to Lambeth,” he said.

Although there was no CCTV in the area where the manuscripts were returned, Gardner said the building’s entrances and exits were covered, as were targeted areas such as the Strongroom and Specialist Reading Room. He said the available footage had been handed over to police, adding: “It’s really a mystery. We don’t know how and we don’t know who.”

Gardner said the library building has “significantly changed” since then, with card-and-PIN access to secure areas, an onsite security team, high-security strongroom and additional CCTV. More reviews were to come, he added.

The notebooks will go on public display from July as part of the library’s Darwin Inn Conversation Exhibition.

A Cambridgeshire Constabulary spokesman said: “Our investigation is open and we are following some lines of inquiry. We are renewing our application for anyone with information about the case to contact us. ”