Education Diary: Save Adult Education campaign
Thursday 22 May 2008
What is going on in adult education? As we reported in this supplement earlier in May, the Government's promotion of "informal adult learning" is placing traditional, non-vocational evening classes under threat. But reading the letter from skills minister David Lammy, you wouldn't know it.
Many are concerned about the cuts in adult education. Enter a new national campaign run by The Independent's own sub-editor Nigel Pollitt. The campaign is the brainchild of adult learners seeking to defend traditional adult education from further cuts and to fight the idea that self-directed, online learning can replace professionally run classes for adults, as suggested in the Government consultation paper, Informal Adult Learning. Visit the campaign's one-stop shop website, www.saveadulteducation.co.uk, for more information.
* This morning at 10am sees pupils across the country out of their seats: not in defiance of school rules but standing up against school bullies. The Big Stand 2008 is supported by the likes of Dame Kelly Holmes and Girls Aloud. Last year Gordon Brown attended, and one million people took part. This year, Beatbullying aims to have two million participants. Over half of young people have experienced some sort of bullying. Much worse, 20 children a year commit suicide as a result of being bullied. Now there's cyber-bullying – abusive emails and text messages. Visit www.beatbullying.org/thebigstand to sign up to the cause.
* This evening, any of you in the Golden Valley – that's the Hay Valley – might want to attend a talk called "The Schools Crisis and After". It's part of the Hay Festival and is being given by Chris Barker, head of Fairfield High, a successful comprehensive school in rural Herefordshire that has staved off closure – until 2011 at least. He will be talking about the importance of schools to rural areas. "Schools are an incredibly important part of these young people's lives as many of them live in very isolated communities," he says.
* "Two of the UK's largest exam boards, Edexcel and AQA, have given permission for students to use light-emitting nasal probes during this year's exams." This year's exam horror story? No: just a way to beat hay fever. Amazingly, research has shown that snivelling children who take hay fever medication before their exams drop a grade, as the drugs make them drowsy. Now, they've been given the green light to use an Allergy Reliever developed by Lloydspharmacy, costing £14.99 ( www.lloydspharmacy.co.uk). The device uses red light therapy to suppress the cells that release histamine, so relieving the symptoms of hay fever without drugs.
* First Arsene Wenger, now the Dalai Lama. His Holiness received an honorary degree from London Metropolitan University this week, and attended the ceremony in person. "London Metropolitan University, is the first London university to honour the Tibetan spiritual leader," pipes a press release. This year marks the 10th anniversary of London Met's Tibetan scholarship programme for Tibetan students from India, Nepal and Bhutan. The Dalai Lama is in exalted company. We're sure that his latest qualification will take pride of place alongside the Nobel Peace Prize and the key to New York City.
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