ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The life
A Christian perspective on society and the education industry for the Christian professional in education.

University student buildings still in Grenfell style cladding.

Thousands of students arriving at university for freshers’ week face sleeping in high-rise accommodation wrapped in combustible Grenfell-style cladding, the government has admitted.

Fifty-four privately owned student residential towers in England remain clad in aluminium composite material similar to that which helped spread the fire at Grenfell Tower 15 months ago, claiming 72 lives. The extent of the problem was revealed in figures released on Thursday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Only eight of the 62 student towers rising over 18 metres and using material that officials said breached building regulations have so far been completely fixed, according to the data. Remediation plans were unclear for 23 of the towers, officials said.

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University cleaner goes on holiday thanks to students.

A university cleaner has been on holiday to Jamaica after students donated £1,500 so he could visit family for the first time in a decade.

About 230 University of Bristol students crowdfunded the week's trip for Herman Gordon and his wife Denise.

Mr Gordon said: "God bless you all. Everybody will see this and think that I'm a trillionaire."

A video of the cleaner breaking down in tears when he was told about the trip in June went viral.

Mr Gordon, who has worked at Bristol University as part of the cleaning staff for 12 years, stayed at the Montego Bay resort with his wife.

    

Mrs Gordon thanked students "for this gift that they have given to me and Herman".

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Girls and young women feel unsafe outside the home.

An "alarmingly high" number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK.

The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone.

More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said.

But girls are responding more robustly than before and were also more likely to call themselves feminists, it said.

The research, the tenth over as many years, found more girls claim to understand what feminism means, with almost half saying they are feminists - up from a third in 2013.

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Spanish University and 'giveaway diplomas'.

A Spanish university is being investigated for allegedly giving away diplomas to hundreds of Italian nationals.

King Juan Carlos University in Madrid reportedly granted law diplomas to around 500 Italians with limited Spanish language skills.

The university already faces claims of awarding fraudulent master's degrees to two Popular Party (PP) politicians.

A court spokesman said the latest probe was at a "very early stage."

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Increase in ethnic minority university students in London.

Almost three quarters of university students from London will be from ethnic minorities by the end of the next decade, say researchers.

The analysis, based on demographic changes and university entry rates, shows 27% of students from London will be white - down from 37% at present.

White students will still be the biggest ethnic group - followed by 21% from African backgrounds, up from 17%.

The report, from a university access group, forecasts "hyper-diversity".

Londoners have high rates of university entry - with almost one in five of all students across the UK coming from the city.

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What do students eat?

Rose harissa paste, organic cider vinegar and Swiss bouillon powder - ingredients needed for the "student store cupboard", according to one supermarket.

The assertion has led to predictable ridicule, with not even all five items on Waitrose's list combining to produce a recognisable meal for the £13 outlay.

Twenty-year-old Eleanor Gray, a third-year student at the University of Nottingham, tells the BBC the suggestions are "not very realistic" for those without a "large budget".

So what are students actually eating?

Catrin Stewart, 20, is in her final year at the University of Manchester and is currently food editor of the student paper.

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Fresh call for smacking ban in the home.

Smacking is harmful to children's mental health and should be banned, school psychologists say.

The Association of Educational Psychologists has tabled a motion to the TUC Conference calling for physical punishment to be outlawed.

Presently, although corporal punishment is banned in schools, parents can "smack" or physically chastise a child as long as it is deemed "reasonable".

Psychologists say there are many better ways of teaching right from wrong.

Member of the AEP national executive committee, John Drewicz, will tell the conference in Manchester: "Smacking is harmful to a child's mental health, it models aggressive behaviour and it says to them that it is OK to use violence."

    

He will add: "Sixty countries already have full bans, including Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Portugal, and it is time to make violence against children illegal in the UK in all settings, including the home."

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Scottish children "let down" on mental health?

The Scottish government has admitted that children and young people are being "let down" by the country's mental health services.

Child mental health has been a key priority for the government as part of its goal of making Scotland the best country in the world to grow up in.

But a watchdog's report has found that specialist services are struggling to cope with increasing demand.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said the situation was "unacceptable".

The Scottish government's target of having 90% of children and young people start treatment within 18 weeks of being referred to specialist mental health services has never been met since being introduced in December 2014.

    

Instead, waiting times have increased since the target was set - with 26% waiting longer than 18 weeks last year, compared to only 15% in 2013/14.

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How has life changed for 18 year olds?

Dubbed Generation Sensible, the 18-year-olds of today are much more likely to be found in the university library than the local pub, research suggests.

The Office for National Statistics paper compares their habits with those of 18-year-olds around the year 2000.

It might be an oversimplification to call today's older teenagers "boffins" and those at that age around the millennium "boozers", the ONS suggests.

But cigarettes and alcohol simply do not play as big a part in their lives.

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Students should be able to declare mental health issues on UCAS forms.

Prospective students should declare eating disorders and any history of self-harm under a new section on Ucas application forms, the head of mental health for Universities UK (UUK) has urged.

The university admissions process must be changed to encourage more students to tell institutions about their mental health before they arrive for Freshers’ Week, according to Steve West, vice chancellor of the University of West England (UWE).

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