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Latest education news, comment and analysis on schools, colleges, universities, further and higher education and teaching from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

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    We must not fail a generation, says chair of group, urging better links between home and campus services

    Mental health services are failing to adequately support students when they leave home and move to university, allowing them to fall through the gaps at a time of increased vulnerability and stressful new pressures, according to research.

    With suicide rates among students on the rise and a sharp increase in demand for mental health support – as much as three-fold in some institutions – universities have acknowledged in a report that current services are letting students down.

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    Money is latest effort by government to resuscitate selective schools in face of opposition from educationalists and policy-makers

    Grammar schools in England will be given tens of millions of pounds to expand, after the education secretary, Damian Hinds, unveiled a fund for selective schools that agree to improve applications from disadvantaged children.

    The £50m fund will potentially allow the creation of new “satellite” campuses of grammar schools away from their existing sites, although the Department for Education said there would be a “very high bar” for such expansions.

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    Britain's half-million pill-poppers could face after-effects that last a lifetime. Anthony Browne reports

    Staring intently in the dim light, the music rocking his body, James snapped the little white tablet in two. Pressed against the wall, his back sheltering them from the dancing crowds, he took half for himself and gave half to his girlfriend. They swallowed, and the weekend's clubbing started.

    'It makes you feel so positive about everyone and everything. You feel so open - you can talk to strangers like they are your closest friends. You feel so sensual, so tactile. I want to touch people's skin, stroke their clothes. And I want to dance, dance, dance,' gushed James. 'It's the best, the most positive experience in my life. It's life-enhancing.'

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    A headteacher says pupil behaviour is better and bullying is down since he barred mobiles in his school. So should others follow suit? Teachers argue for and against

    "You'll have someone's eye out with that" used to be the refrain of teachers in my day. In malevolent hands, a pencil, a rubber, even a piece of paper could become a lethal weapon in class, and that's before we got on to compasses and Bunsen burners.

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    Readers respond to the proposed curriculum changes in the new English baccalaureate

    I wholeheartedly agree with your letter writers (British artists: Ebacc will damage creativity and self-expression, 9 May) and feel very disillusioned that, as a parent of a child in year 3 at primary school, there is nothing to look forward to regarding the teaching of the arts in secondary school as I’d hoped. Sadly it is not just secondary schools that have a declining inclusion of the arts as this is also an issue in primaries. Schools are geared towards teaching the subjects that are tested in Sats in years 2 and 6 and there is a growing danger of children being seen as a statistic rather than an individual. In our local primary, despite music being on the national curriculum, there are minimal opportunities for children to learn an instrument. Primary school should be the place where there are endless opportunities for children to try a variety of activities and be encouraged to use their creative sides to become unique individuals and not forced into the same mould.
    Claire Pumfrey
    Finstock, Oxfordshire

    • Evidence from the Economic and Social Research Council’s Understanding Society data (involving over 30,000 people) shows that people who engage more in the arts become more generous to others with both their time and money. The Ebacc’s likely curtailment of young people’s opportunity to pursue and engage with the arts may serve school performance indicators well but society badly by diminishing the arts’ distinctive capacity to create enduring social and emotional connections with others. Attaining excellence in any area requires time and focus. The foundations are best laid during school years.

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    Who really turned Anne Frank and her family over to the Gestapo? As Dutch historians reopen the archives in search of fresh evidence, one man claims to know. Anton Ahlers says his anti-semitic father betrayed them - for money. He talks for the first time to Ori Golan

    On a warm summer's day on August 4 1944, four Gestapo policemen raided a canal warehouse at 263 Prinsengracht, Amsterdam. The eight Jewish people hiding in the annex there were arrested: Otto Frank, his wife and two children; the van Pels family of three; and Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist. They were taken to Westerbork Kamp and from there herded into cattle wagons bound for Auschwitz. Of the eight, only Otto returned.

    During the raid, a policeman emptied Otto's briefcase to fill it with the fugitives' valuables. In his haste, he dropped a batch of papers and a small diary belonging to Otto's daughter. This diary, the diary of Anne Frank, was to become the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust.

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    With unique skills and a broad range of graduate jobs on offer, music students have better prospects than people imagine

    If you study medicine at university, chances are you'll become a doctor. For music students, it's less obvious what job you'll end up with… but it could be really fulfilling. The perception that options are narrow and jobs are few for music graduates needs to change.

    It's wrongly assumed that when it comes to jobs, music students are confined to their field of study. In reality, music graduates go on to do a wide range of jobs in a variety of different industries.

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    I felt lonely and isolated when I studied on an overcrowded degree course, and my lecturers were unable to support me

    Ever since tuition fees rose to £9,000 in 2012, UK universities have seen a fall in real-terms funding. To plug the gap, oversubscribed institutions sought to rapidly expand when the government lifted the student numbers cap. There is startling confirmation of this in recent figures: between 2011 and 2016, Aston University grew by 80%, Coventry University by 53% and Surrey by 50%.

    But this is a short-sighted decision that risks growing tensions between the university and its local community and damaging student wellbeing. Universities have more to lose than they are perhaps prepared to accept.

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    As the news became so out-there that the jokes wrote themselves, I faced a Kafkaesque nightmare

    About five years ago, a water pipe under the floorboards in the kitchen started leaking. It was some months after the plumber had been that my wife pointed out we hadn’t received a single call on the landline since the leak. I picked up the phone, found it was completely dead and realised the plumber must have cut through the cable when he was mending the pipe. A normal person would have called out an engineer to fix the line, but somehow it all felt like too much hassle and I kept putting it off. And off. It was only recently that I accepted this was something I was never going to get round to doing, and I could live quite happily without all the voice messages offering to reclaim PPI that must have backed up on the answerphone, so I called TalkTalk to tell them I wanted to stop the line rental. Which is where the nightmare started. TalkTalk spent the best part of a day passing me on to different departments, each of which claimed they had no record of me as a customer, despite them sending me a bill with an account number on it every month. Time after time, I was told I couldn’t cancel an account that didn’t exist on their system. By the end, I was almost in tears and told the customer services assistant to make a note that I was cancelling both my non-existent account and my direct debit. Today I got another bill that included a £12.50 fee for late payment the previous month. I phoned TalkTalk again but am still none the wiser about whether my account has been closed. Help.

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    A new global fund will create 200m school places and help end child marriage, trafficking and labour in developing countries

    Once a child refugee fleeing Sudan, and now a prize-winning American entrepreneur, Manyang Kher is using a lifetime of hard knocks, a never-give-up attitude and some rapidly learned skills to change the world.

    At the age of just three, he was caught up in his country’s civil war. During a raid, his village was razed to the ground. His father was killed and his mother vanished, presumed dead. Terrified, Manyang ran for his life and kept running.

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    Education secretary says fund will allow grammar schools to expand, creating 3,000-4,000 places

    The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has defended a £50m fund to resuscitate grammar schools but admitted it would help only about 3,500 children.

    The fund, which will allow the creation of new “satellite” campuses away from schools’ existing sites, has been criticised for favouring selective education at the expense of comprehensive schools.

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    There is growing evidence that feeling isolated can affect our health and even job prospects. But help is available

    University can be a lonely place, with the move away from home, deadlines and the pressure to go out every night. This can affect your mental health and even future job prospects, according to a recent study. And the problem of young people feeling lonely “may well be getting worse”, says Kate Jopling, loneliness expert and former director of the Campaign to End Loneliness. Getting out of the rut isn’t always easy, but there are ways students can help themselves. Experts and students share their advice.

    Related: Loneliness linked to major life setbacks for millennials, study says

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    The Conservatives’ £50m bung for these pointless, divisive, regressive institutions really is the last word in zombie policy

    This morning, not for the first (or the last) time, I had to be patiently reminded not to rant and rave at the radio while taking a shower. The trigger? The government’s announcement that it was bunging an extra 50 million quid at grammar schools that wanted to expand. It’s the ultimate zombie policy. Just when you think the 11-plus is, if not finally dead and buried, then at least quarantined, it’s rising from the grave once again.

    Related: Damian Hinds defends £50m grammar schools fund

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    Experts condemn ‘callous’ timing of second series, which coincides with exam season

    Mental health experts have criticised the return of the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, expressing concern that the second series of the drama about a teenager’s suicide is due for release as summer exam stress peaks.

    The story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker’s life and death continues on Friday 18 May when the second series is made available online just as UK students are doing their GCSEs and A-levels.

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    Your reaction to some of our most discussed stories on Friday, including grammar school funding expansion

    UK grammar school funding was one of the key issues getting you talking today. We’re also looking at your thoughts on a feature about one man’s experiences collecting insect stings and the potential merits of going bald.

    To join in the conversation you can click on the links in the comments below to expand and add your thoughts.

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    The UK government’s education policies are damaging and benefiting the few. It’s time for a rethink

    Would you want the government to build a hospital for the healthy? It would produce great results: low mortality rates, successful cancer outcomes, no doubt very high patient satisfaction ratings. It would also be government money for people who don’t need it. The same thinking applies to grammar schools which herd bright children into well-stocked classrooms when they would have achieved good results almost anywhere they went. Yet the government persists in this form of a nostalgic sop, offering £50m to bolster a discredited system. There are better things to spend money on when class sizes are rising and teacher numbers shrinking.

    Ministers could also make some cash available to make a flagship policy work. By 2025 nine-tenths of students are meant to be entered for an “English baccalaureate”. Pupils are to be steered towards subjects judged to be crucial to a child’s education. However, when overlaid on schools’ budgets shrinking in real terms, the policy narrows an education rather than broadening it. Incessant budget cuts to state schools mean they are being obliged to offer fewer options, consolidating teaching around the designated core subjects: English literature, English language, maths, two or three sciences, history or geography, and a foreign language. There’s no money for anything else.

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    Experts say grammar schools pose a threat to the prospects of disadvantaged children

    Opposition to the latest attempt to revive grammar schools remains undimmed, as the government published details of its plans to pump funds into making more places available at selective schools in England.

    The government is arguing for expanding school admissions on the basis of exam results for children at 11 - but its latest effort appears unlikely to win converts despite the claim by the education secretary, Damian Hinds, that it will promote social mobility.

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    If you're feeling stressed you're not alone. Here a student blogger shares her tips for reducing stress

    Read more: my child is unhappy at university, what should I do?

    Young people should have everything to be happy about, but as the generation with the least responsibility we actually experience the most stress. A 2013 survey by the Nightline Association found that 65% of students feel stressed.

    Students juggle part time jobs with university, worry about assignments and stress about the future and how to make the next step. Trying to manage all these things at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

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    How can you prepare for a medical degree? Try reading some books that will open your mind

    How to write for Blogging Students
    Top tips for surviving medical school

    I will be starting medical school in September. With a few weeks of holiday ahead, I am cramming in some reading before I start the course.

    But I'm not just reading textbooks: I think there are certain types of books that help strengthen motivation, and crucially, develop a better understanding of the people we'll be caring for – because doctors deal with people, not just anatomy.

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