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Sector news, 12 - 23 November 2012


Where are the disabled teachers? Guardian, 12 November 2012

In this article Dorothy Lepkowska writes about a profoundly deaf trainee drama teacher working in a school in Sussex, and finds less than 1 per cent of the teaching workforce has a disability, according to figures from the Department for Education. She says numbers are likely to fall further still as school budgets decline and the costs of employing disabled staff and making building modifications and equipment available may be too great for many schools, depriving pupils of important role models.


Postgrads opt to do business degrees Guardian, 13 November 2012

This article examines the rise in subjects such as management and accounting being studied at postgraduate level, as many more entry-level jobs are requiring specific skills that come from a well-designed MA degree.


College's bid for full degree-awarding powers rejected TES, 16 November 2012

The first bid by a college for full degree-awarding powers has been rejected, forcing the largest provider of degree-level courses in FE to sign a new partnership with a university to avoid scrapping its HE provision. Bradford College had gone through a four-year approval process involving the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) but the Privy Council declined its application on the QAA’s recommendation. So far there are only two colleges which have won the right to award their own foundation degrees and none has been approved to award bachelor’s degrees or postgraduate qualifications. Bradford’s current awarding institution, Leeds Metropolitan University, has cancelled all its partnerships with colleges except for foundation degrees, so the college has now signed a new agreement with Teesside University.The college intends to reapply at the next available opportunity in June 2013


One in 10 is bullied for keeping the faith TES, 16 November 2012

Bullying is still going on in colleges, with more than one in 10 adult learners experiencing harassment because of their religion, a new report commissioned by the Skills Funding Agency has found. Just over half of the more than 1,100 respondents to the SFA's survey considered themselves to have a religion, with the vast majority of those - more than 80 per cent - stating that they were either Christian or Muslim. But 11 per cent also reported that they had been bullied or harassed because of their religion or belief. Just under half of them had reported the incident to their college. The NUS vice president for welfare Pete Mercer described the findings as distressing.


Top state school students wary of elite universities Guardian, 15 November 2012

Poor advice and a lack of confidence means high-achieving state school students are far less likely to apply to the most selective universities than their privately-educated counterparts, according to research jointly commissioned by the Sutton Trust and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The report finds that many state school students regretted that they hadn't been more ambitious when they applied to university. It says fears about living costs and a lack of information had prevented them from aiming higher. Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, which represents 12 of the 13 most selective universities, says her members recognise that poorer students are under-represented compared with middle-class students. But she says that they are committed to widening access.