Health

Free period products to be available in schools and colleges in England | Education

Tampons, sanitary pads and other period products will be made freely available to all state schools and colleges in England starting next week, with the launch of a scheme funded by the Department for Education. The scheme follows the government’s commitment last year to pay for sanitary products for primary and secondary schools, in an effort to tackle “period poverty”, which can cause girls from low-income families to missschool. “We know that it is not easy for everyone to access…

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‘Every moment here is magical’: Essex school wins dementia award | Education

A primary school in Essex has won a national dementia award for an innovative intergenerational project, which brings together isolated older adults and children in need of additional support with extraordinary results. The project at Downshall primary school in Ilford is one of a growing number of intergenerational initiatives in the UK designed to bring benefits to both old and young, while helping to fill the gaps left by cuts to local community support services. At Downshall, older adults experiencing…

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Olive Keidan obituary | Education

My mother, Olive Keidan, who has died aged 95, was a psychiatric social worker who became a lecturer in social administration at Liverpool and Bangor universities. She was born in Liverpool to Alice Walters and her Scottish husband, Thomas Tulloch, an engineer. After attending Holly Lodge school in Liverpool she trained in social work at Liverpool University (1942-44), then worked for the next two decades as an evacuation welfare officer, maternity and child welfare almoner, tutor, and a psychiatric social…

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‘I was angry I couldn’t even say the word’: UK teens refuse to be silent about periods | Education

For most of her life, Molly Fenton had dreaded getting her period. Every month, the 17-year-old student at Llanishen high school in Cardiff would feel ashamed: uncomfortable, untouchable, unclean. “I couldn’t even say the word ‘period’ without feeling embarrassed,” she says. She is not the only girl to have felt anxious about attending school when she was menstruating. A 2019 survey by the girls’ rights charity Plan International UK found that more than half of girls aged 14-21 have missed…

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‘Women have been woefully neglected’: does medical science have a gender problem? | Education

When Lynn Enright had a hysteroscopy to examine the inside of the womb, her searing pain was dismissed by medical professionals. She finally understood why when she started working on her book on female anatomy, Vagina: A Re-education. She was looking for research on pain and women’s health, only to be shocked by how little data she found. It wasn’t just the topic of pain that was poorly researched. The lack of evidence was a problem she encountered time and…

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‘Students have a bad name’: how cities are healing the town v gown divide | Education

Wild parties, chaotic flatshares and heavy drinking are viewed with affection as the youthful hijinks associated with university life – but not by everyone. With some universities rapidly expanding following the removal of the student numbers cap, these behaviours are fuelling a growing divide between students and their local communities. The past year has seen reports describe how residents are “fed up” with noisy student parties in Bristol, how student housing is “destroying the local community” in Brighton and Liverpool,…

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British girls have finally made the global top table … for fear of failure. How terrifying | Laura McInerney | Education

Last year, in randomly selected school halls across the country, Britain pitted its 15-year-olds in an academic competition of wits against children from 79 other countries. The Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests have taken place across the globe every three years since 2000, and a country’s score is often used to boast about its smartness (or otherwise). The results this year showed the United Kingdom has finally made it into the top five. But our standout statistic isn’t…

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‘Far too many are struggling’: are universities failing autistic students? | Education

Matthew Moffatt, who is autistic, struggled when he started at De Montfort University. “When I saw how busy my lecture theatre was, it was terrifying,” he says. “My sense of panic is through the roof and I’m not very good at controlling it. It just builds really quickly – I start shaking and want to leave.” He hadn’t wanted to go to university because he didn’t think he would fit in, and hated the idea of presentations and busy lectures.…

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Next NHS staff shortages will include radiographers, as courses close | Education

Radiography and nursing degree courses may be at risk of closure, academics are warning – at a time when the NHS is wrestling with a recruitment crisis. The Council of Deans of Health has now drawn up an “at risk” list of university courses struggling to attract and retain enough students following the removal of the student bursary in 2017. The courses include: radiography, mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, podiatry and prosthetics. The list also includes orthotics, which is…

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Universities warned Cameron in 2011 that trainee cuts would cause nursing shortage | Education

Universities warned the government for years that they needed to train more nurses to avert a staffing crisis – but ministers repeatedly refused, saying nurses would end up unemployed, letters seen by the Guardian show. Now there are 44,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS, and leaked government documents suggest this could reach 70,000 in five years. Universities say they have been unable to attract enough nursing trainees since the bursary for nursing degrees was abolished in 2017. The Conservatives’ manifesto…

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How physical exercise makes your brain work better | Education

The brain is often described as being “like a muscle”. It’s a comparison that props up the brain training industry and keeps school children hunched over desks. We judge literacy and numeracy exercises as more beneficial for your brain than running, playing and learning on the move. But the brain-as-muscle analogy doesn’t quite work. To build up your biceps you can’t avoid flexing them. When it comes to your brain, an oblique approach can be surprisingly effective. In particular, working…

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Doctors call for tighter control of traditional Chinese medicine | Education

Europe’s leading doctors are to call for tighter regulation of traditional Chinese medicine, anxious that recent recognition by the World Health Organization will encourage the use of unproven therapies that can sometimes be harmful. The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) and the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council will issue a joint statement on Thursday urging the WHO to clarify how traditional Chinese medicine and other complementary therapies should be used. Earlier this year, the WHO decided to add…

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UK work absence due to sickness ‘halved in past two decades’ | Society

The rate of absence from work due to sickness in people in the UK with no long-term health problems has halved in the past two decades, official figures reveal. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said minor illnesses were the most common cause of absences when all groups of people were taken into account in 2018, accounting for more than a quarter of the more than 141m days missed. That was followed by musculoskeletal problems, at nearly 20%. Discounting “other”…

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Ease up on the tea, spit, and go electric – the definitive guide to world-beating teeth | Education

Britain has long had a global reputation for bad teeth, and scientists now say we may have the worst in the nation’s history. After examining the teeth of 17th-century skulls, researchers from Queen Mary University of London found fewer missing teeth and less decay than today, blaming widespread sugar consumption and lack of basic hygiene for the sorry state of our teeth. Here, then, is an ultimate guide to optimum dental care. How should you clean your teeth? The steadfast…

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Secret Teacher: Class, I wish I’d told you the truth about my mental health | Teacher Network

Last year, I quit teaching. I had completed my NQT induction, and despite the years of self-doubt and tears I’d finally come to recognise that I was a competent teacher, and had started to believe my positive feedback. I had also come to realise, however, that teaching was an unhealthy career choice for me. I am a perfectionist – or now, I hope, a recovering perfectionist – who is prone to anxiety. Unfortunately, I could not reconcile these aspects of…

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Special needs children are being failed | Letters | Education

This is the most damning select committee report I’ve ever read (Children with special needs plunged into ‘nightmare of bureaucracy’, 23 October). Line after line, it shows that the education system for disabled children is completely broken. Parents are forced to become protesters, lawyers and bureaucrats to stand any sort of chance of getting the support their child is legally entitled to. The government now has a golden opportunity to carry out a root and branch review of the system,…

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