Is school funding the next crisis?

Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Schools have been warning the prime minister that the sums for school budgets do not add up

After the NHS and social care, is the next funding crisis going to be in England's schools?

Like a snowball getting bigger as it rolls downhill, momentum is gathering around the warnings of school leaders about impending cash problems.

Head teachers have said a lack of cash might force them to cut school hours.

Ministers were forced by a Parliamentary question to reveal that more than half of academies lacked enough income to cover their expenditure.

And school governors - the embodiment of local civic worthies - have threatened to go on strike for the first time, rather than sign off such underfunded budgets.

Read full article Is school funding the next crisis?

Who really paid up to help Syria?

Media captionThe BBC's Alex Forsyth travelled to Lebanon to meet some of Syria's refugee children

There have been angry recriminations about the UK's apparent scaling back of plans to accept unaccompanied child refugees.

Lord Dubs, with all the moral freight and sense of history of a refugee from Nazism, said the government was going back on its own commitments.

Read full article Who really paid up to help Syria?

Cable warns of 'appalling' record on skills

vince cable Image copyright PA
Image caption Vince Cable says the low status of vocational qualifications has deep roots

"Britain has done appallingly badly at vocational education for many years," says Sir Vince Cable, former business secretary, as Theresa May's industrial strategy promises to regenerate technical training and tackle the skills shortage.

But why has this always been such a struggle? You could build a paper mountain out of all the plans to give vocational education the same status as university degrees, A-levels and GCSEs.

Read full article Cable warns of 'appalling' record on skills

Could tuition fees really cost £54,000?

tuition fee protest Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The last time tuition fees were increased there were waves of student protests

How much will it cost to get a degree in England when tuition fees increase to £9,250 in the autumn?

How about £54,000?

Read full article Could tuition fees really cost £54,000?

What does post-truth mean for a philosopher?

AC Grayling Image copyright NCH
Image caption AC Grayling says a post-truth world threatens the "fabric of democracy"

"Post-truth" has come to describe a type of campaigning that has turned the political world upside down.

Fuelled by emotive arguments rather than fact-checks, it was a phrase that tried to capture the gut-instinct, anti-establishment politics that swept Donald Trump and Brexit supporters to victory.

Read full article What does post-truth mean for a philosopher?

Oxford academics warning of Brexit 'disaster'

Oxford
Image caption MPs held the select committee hearing on Brexit at Oxford University

A "hard Brexit" would be the "biggest disaster" to have hit the UK's universities for many years, a university head told MPs.

Alistair Fitt, vice chancellor of Oxford Brookes, was giving evidence to the Education Select Committee, holding a special away-day session at the University of Oxford.

Read full article Oxford academics warning of Brexit 'disaster'

Sir Michael Wilshaw's 10 last questions

Wilshaw
Image caption Sir Michael Wilshaw has been a controversial head of the education watchdog

When Sir Michael Wilshaw steps down this week as head of Ofsted, it will see the departure of English education's most dominant figure.

Outspoken and influential, this former London head teacher, who will be succeeded by Amanda Spielman, often set the agenda more than education secretaries.

Read full article Sir Michael Wilshaw's 10 last questions

10 ways to be the cleverest country

  • 30 November 2016
  • From the section Business
Pokemon characters in Singapore Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Conformist cultures might have a head start in education rankings?

When it comes to global education rankings it always seems to be the same story. Asian educational superpowers take all the top places and everyone else goes in for bouts of doubt and recrimination.

For education ministers across most of the world this must be a gloomy time, trying to come up with an upbeat explanation for another round of mid-table mediocrity.

Read full article 10 ways to be the cleverest country

'I got to know death': Syrian youths start again in London

Syrian refugees leave the Calais Jungle camp Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Young people were moved from the Calais Jungle camp, but what happened next?

"I was introduced to the concept of death. My cousins died, my brother was mutilated, my parents died.

"I got to know death.

Read full article 'I got to know death': Syrian youths start again in London

Working hard and going backwards

Brian Morris
Image caption Brian Morris is a volunteer in a food bank, which now has to help people who are working

Travelling to work can be grim enough at the best of times - but imagine if you got there and were told there was no work and you had to go home again without getting paid.

That is the kind of experience described by workers trying to keep afloat in a job market of casual jobs, agency work and zero-hour contracts.

Read full article Working hard and going backwards