UK Society

Let's Get Heretical on Education: Competition Has Failed

Natalie Bennett | Posted 01.08.2014 | UK Politics
Natalie Bennett

Let's start with one heretical thought: competition is disastrous in our education system and should be abandoned as a guiding principle. Instead what we need is cooperation - an informal co-operative of pupils, teachers, parents, communities working together to help achieve the best possible outcome for each pupil.

Dead End Towns and Daring to Change

Charlotte Ballantyne | Posted 21.07.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Charlotte Ballantyne

Everyone has a different relationship with their home town, both growing up and as adults. Some can't wait to escape, others never want to leave. We all lead our own lives and must make these decisions for ourselves, so I would never judge someone for doing what makes them happy. But our home towns are just one tiny corner of a large planet, which has a whole lot of stuff to offer.

Increased Expectations of Disabled People

Simon Stevens | Posted 27.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Stevens

My biggest complaint about being disabled is not that people are hostile to me, but that they are too kind to me with patronising pity, and believe me people can be harmed by kindness as much as hostility.

Can Disabled People Work Together?

Simon Stevens | Posted 20.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Stevens

With the next election less than 12 months away, this generation of disabled people have an opportunity to move forward and work together to make a positive difference for the benefit of the next generation, and I for one will do my part to make this happen.

Name and Shame?

Ema Borges | Posted 24.06.2014 | UK Tech
Ema Borges

I reacted yesterday to a Twitter post where someone named and shamed a lady who had killed her kitten in a microwave. This disturbed woman's picture went up, just to show her face, and beneath the picture were many comments from naturally reactive, sickened people.

Breaking Away From Expectations

Charlotte Ballantyne | Posted 07.06.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Charlotte Ballantyne

Our society is built around expectations. Expectations as to how we look, how we behave, the type of job we should have, the type of person we should marry, the trajectory our life should take. Often these aren't even conscience thoughts about a person, just things we naturally assume to be the case. But why?

School Places: Everyone Only Wants the Best for Their Children Right?

Francesca Richards-Spiller | Posted 07.06.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Francesca Richards-Spiller

Defining children according to wealth or merit in specific subjects sits very uncomfortably with me. What about supporting kids' interests, building on enthusiasm? What about maintaining friendships between kids of different social backgrounds rather than keeping them in separate worlds? Isn't it heartbreaking when children are separated from their best friends...

Is Breastfeeding in Taxi Ranks Really the Problem in Blackpool?

Antonia Charlesworth | Posted 06.06.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Antonia Charlesworth

I wrote to Blackpool Council, incensed that I hadn't been simply moved on. The fact I was feeding at the time had magnified events and my humiliation. It's ironic, I thought, that Blackpool Council professes to encourage breastfeeding... While I waited for a response from the council (which I still haven't got directly) I became more indignant. The rude parking warden, his lack of sympathy and my own feelings of vulnerability and violation over the photos he took underlined how breastfeeding in public was a near impossible ask.

The Modern Documentary

Esther Hayden | Posted 02.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Esther Hayden

Reality TV in documentary style is now endemic over every station and picking up frequency, Sex, Singing And Not Spending Money could be the title used for nearly every one of these.

We Must Realise That Pornography Doesn't Exist in a Vacuum

Helen Reeves | Posted 27.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Helen Reeves

I've been listening to current debates about pornography - most recently about young children watching it - and it got me thinking. For feminists, pornography is one of those particularly contentious issues, along with prostitution and the other sexual industries. Really, anything with a sexual element is quite a contested terrain.

The Fear of Disability Keeps People Safe

Simon Stevens | Posted 25.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Stevens

As a child I remember all those public service adverts aimed at children to keep us safe, and in particularly the Green Cross code. The message of the Green Cross code was simply, cross the road safely or you may be killed or become injured, or even worse, end up disabled.

On Being Called A Nazi

Jemma Wayne | Posted 24.05.2014 | UK Politics
Jemma Wayne

It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...

When We Turn Kids Into Praise Junkies

Torsten Klaus | Posted 16.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Torsten Klaus

Why on earth are we using rewards? Is it the way we were conditioned as children? Always dependent on praise and positive judgements from our parents, teachers, friends - and later on in life, partners and bosses. And what happens to us when we don't get that praise? How do we feel then?

How Did The Contraceptive Pill Transform Society?

Katharina Grimm | Posted 11.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Katharina Grimm

The pill revolutionised sex and the way women lived their lives. In 1971, just ten years after the pill was introduced in the UK, 47% of babies were born to women under the age of 25. By 2008, this percentage had dropped to 25%.

I Do Not Want a Fair Society

Simon Stevens | Posted 05.05.2014 | UK
Simon Stevens

When you bang that drum for a 'fair society', maybe for a second ask yourself if that is really what you want? Or do we deserve something much better where we can all win and not just pretend to win? An inclusive society?

Prejudice: Not Just Whom You Know, But Also Where You Live

Miles Hewstone | Posted 04.05.2014 | UK
Miles Hewstone

It has long been known that positive interaction with members of other groups (ethnic, religious and so on) promotes more positive attitudes to others. Why, then, is it sometimes claimed that diversity poses a challenge to modern society, makes people withdraw from interaction, makes us less trusting of one another?

To Thine Own Selfie Be True

Caragh Little | Posted 02.05.2014 | UK Tech
Caragh Little

The selfie is so last year perhaps, but it's hardly a new concept: it's today's equivalent of the artist's self-portrait, in the same way that instagramming your lunch is just the current version of still life. Humankind has always tried to bear reality through gazing into its own identity.

I'm More Worried About How I'll Look at Graduation Rather Than What Degree I'll Achieve

Gemma Parry | Posted 18.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Gemma Parry

Beauty is power, but it is so superficial and is only skin deep. Who you are, how you treat others and what you have achieved, that is what we should remember on our graduation day.

Racism: Is It Inherent or Learned?

Yasmin Ahmed | Posted 17.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Yasmin Ahmed

Race is a social paradigm. It does not intrinsically draw a parallel with our prototypes of anxiety or distrust or phobia, despite the fact that it can develop into one. Thus it is within our authority to foster a social order whereby race is not a profound construct.

Informal Networks Provide Essential Services in Cities

Green Futures | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Tech
Green Futures

In cities across the world, people are coming together in informal networks to deliver services in waste collection, water supply and community welfare that officials fail to deliver. It's time to recognise their value, says Ben Goldfarb.

Why 'Plebgate' Should Be Far From Over

Charlotte Mason | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Charlotte Mason

The 'Plebgate' row involving Andrew Mitchell MP, who resigned following his alleged use of the derogatory term, reopened the wounds of a heated debate about the British class system... Whether Mr Mitchell uttered the word or not, 'Plebgate' is a microcosm of the injustice faced by millions because of where they come from and the opportunities available to them.

The Arts Empower the Young, So Why Are the Arts in Education Not Available for All?

John Nickson | Posted 14.04.2014 | UK Politics
John Nickson

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, is determined to raise academic standards and few would argue against that. However, schools are under pressure to become autonomous, to set their own curriculums and budgets and to move away from local authority control and there is an argument that this policy together with a greater focus on narrow performance measures and less money is undermining the arts in education.

Hurrah for 'That Googley Thing'!

The Mac Twins | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
The Mac Twins

Leon and June are our favourites by a country mile, a couple of retired school teachers, Leon can sometimes drop splinters of ignorance, but June's 'voice of reason' corrects the negative to equal truly endearing television.

Why Immigration Is a Good Thing for the UK

Layla Haidrani | Posted 03.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Layla Haidrani

As a daughter of immigrant parents who came to the UK for postgraduate studies at university, I can safely say that the way immigrants are perceived (particularly exacerbated by right-wing media outlets) is frankly absurd and borderline ludicrous.

Mothers' Challenge To Benefit Cap

PA/The Huffington Post UK | Posted 28.01.2014 | UK

Three single mothers and their children are challenging the legality of the Government's flagship "benefit cap" policy in the Court of Appeal. Two ...