The ability of certain pathogens, such as those which cause malaria, influenza and HIV, to disguise themselves and evade host immunity poses an enormous challenge to developing vaccines against these important diseases. Just what do these bugs have in their wardrobes that enables them to keep outwitting us? Can we find a way to use this knowledge against them?
Recession, debts, budget cuts, tax – it’s all about saving money these days, and identifying the sectors of society with highest and lowest return per invested penny. One UK sector that is renowned for its ability to deliver excellence on very limited budget is science and technology: over 10% of global scientific output is produced in the UK, despite the fact that our country only holds 1% of the global population, and spend less on science per capita than most other countries.
British school children are in school for just a few hours five days a week for around 38/40 weeks a year. It really doesn’t add up to very much overall so why do we allow so much of that precious time to be wasted?
If we’re going to improve educational results in this country, it means less of an obsessive focus on the schools – and more attention to the grotesque broader inequalities of modern British society.
After plans to scrap the GCSE were leaked to the Daily Mail last week, I tweeted: “Can anyone anywhere tell me why it’s massively right wing to believe in an academically rigorous education for the poorest students? #Gove”.
It looks like pupils across England will sit GCSEs for the last time in 2015, paving the way for more traditional exams modelled on the old O-levels the following year. This is undeniably a bold move – breath-taking even – which has taken politicians and educationalists completely by surprise. But is it right?
It’s easy to dismiss Michael Gove’s decision to replace GCSEs with O-Levels as a “ludicrous” move. In fact, that was the exact term used by Mary Bousted, leader of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, who accused the Education Secretary of having a rose-tinted view of the past. As the news emerged last night, the Twitterati jumped all over it. Why stop at bringing back GCSEs, they cried. What about leg warmers and fax machines?
Derogatory language is common among children, but is using terms that have undoubtedly negative connotations detrimental to how children will view minority groups, or are efforts to quell offensive language among school children futile, and a step too far?
What is it about the British and school uniform? Forcing children into corporate dress has, in my not inconsiderable experience, absolutely nothing to do with discipline, contrary to popular belief.
Steve Eaton Evans, sunglasses on head, welcomed me to Queen’s College in damp Taunton last week for a non-profit conference of drama teachers. Under the dark skies of the South of England and the dark times for drama teachers that have seen many of my colleagues take on less drama and even sometimes switching [...]
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