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By Pete Moore On September 14th, 2012 at 9:35 am

Almost a third of Britain’s leading universities still have places available with less than a week to go before the application deadline, following a sharp drop in student applications, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Thirty thousand more places have been made available through the clearing system than at this time last year, increasing suspicions that £9,000-a-year tuition fees have put off many school-leavers.

Some university products are not worth the price charged? A worthwhile discovery. So let them reduce prices or withdraw the products.


By David Vance On September 11th, 2012 at 8:34 am

As you may know, I am diabetic. Well a type 2 diabetic to be precise and I manage it through diet and exercise. I am therefore very aware of the issues that confront Diabetics so this story caught my eye.

The parents of a four-year-old boy with diabetes have said their son has not been able to start P1 because of issues over staff training. Josh Todd from Bangor was diagnosed with the condition in January. He was due to begin primary school last week. His parents say he has not been able to go in due to issues over whether staff are fully trained in diabetes care.

Now initially, my reaction was dismay for the young boy. Being a type 1 Diabetic at age 4 is not good.  But then I thought about it a bit more and wondered how schools can be expected to have such medical expertise? In my day, a zillion years, ago, there was the school nurse. She gave injections and things like that. But why should TEACHERS be expected to have such expertise in issues such as injecting Insulin? Surely that it wrong? I am not saying the child’s needs should not be accommodated, I AM saying teachers should not be expected to do the accommodating.


By David Vance On August 26th, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hitchens calls it like it is here;

“How we used to jeer at the Soviet Union for claiming record tractor production, record wheat production and record economic growth.  These fatuous lies were obvious falsehoods, in a country where the fields were full of weeds, the factories rusty museums of incompetence and waste, and life a series of queues for rare, wonky consumer goods and unfresh food. But our own official figures are now just as laughably false. The worst of all are the annual claims that our schools are producing a new generation of brilliant wonder-children…..

What connects both the lunacy of the Soviet “tractor stats” and our “Education stats” is the deplorable hand of the State….manipulating, distorting, twisting.  That is why I favour dis-establishing Education and the State.


By David Vance On August 20th, 2012 at 9:52 am

This is quite unbelievable stuff. Just consider;

Almost nine in 10 teenagers sat qualifications in subjects such as call centre skills, cake decorating, health and safety and hazard control last year instead of conventional GCSEs, it emerged.

As Ian Dury once sang “What a waste”. Education has been dumbed down to such a point that our children are now studying the most worthless subjects imaginable whilst avoiding the really important subjects. They may be able to explain the key features to health and safety control but cannot do simple Maths, write in plain English, or communicate in the most important ways.  This con is perpetuated by the radical egalitarians that hold the most senior positions in Education. These are the “child centred” goons who have done so much to deny kids a decent education in pursuance of their lunatic socialist engineering.  The sooner we find a way to totally disconnect Education from the State the better. It is akin to a cancer, endlessly corrupting, dumbing down.


By David Vance On August 16th, 2012 at 9:20 am

Today is the day many kids get their A level results, their passport to University.  But hold…

“The proportion of A-levels scoring at least an A grade has fallen for the first time in 21 years after exam watchdogs introduced tougher marking rules. In total, 26.6 per cent of exams were given an A or A*, down from 27 per cent last year – believed to be the biggest drop in the history of the qualification. Official figures also show that boys overtook girls at A* grade for the first time. The top mark was awarded to 8% of boys’ entries and 7.9% of girls’. The last time the proportion of A-levels scoring an A dropped was in 1991, when 11.9% of papers were awarded the grade compared to 12% in 1990.”

For years, teaching has been manipulated by politicians to ensure results soared – regardless of rigour.  That is so wrong on so many levels – like crime in a multi-story car park . Kids are cheated, they think they have achieved tremendous things until one interviews them and discovers they lack some basic skills.  I feel sorry for them, I think it is a scandal the way they are let down.


By David Vance On July 31st, 2012 at 9:20 am

Interesting article here which posits the idea that young people are going to bad universities to study subjects no employers want. We’ve been saying this on ATW for years but nice to see such a distinguished commentator as Dr Martin Stephen spell it out for the slow of thinking.

“Surprised to hear that more than 20,000 graduates from the year of 2011 were still unemployed six months after they graduated? We shouldn’t be. This is a full-scale tragedy written, orchestrated and adapted for real life by the Government, and the victims are our young people.

We need to see the figures that show employment numbers broken down to show the difference between the “new” universities, and Oxbridge or older, more established universities. We need the figures broken down also by degree subject. If they are, we start to see the true story: aspirational young people encouraged to go to universities that lack credibility to study subjects employers don’t want. Result? Massive debt, wasted years and slapping hamburgers in an outlet where the manager joined McDonald’s straight from school.

It’s our fault we’ve let our young people down. We have no definition of what a university is – is it academic, vocational, for research or for use as a finishing school? Is it what we understand by a university, or simply a glorified college? We have no real means of matching the numbers taking degrees to the needs of either the country or the employment market. We can’t fund the universities we have, and the contact time on some arts courses is derisory.

The funding crisis created by maniac expansion threatens our world-class universities with demotion, as well as the creation of a disaffected generation who feel they were sold a pup. Is there anyone in there brave enough in there to admit that we can’t afford to send 50 per cent of our young people to university, they can’t afford it and we really need to bring back the distinction between College and University? Or are we happier to have thousands of new unemployed who as well as no jobs have no prospect of paying back the £30,000 debt they acquired to prove there were no jobs for them?”

I think the answer is, remarkably, that we are happy to have thousands of young people mired in debt with no prospect of a job but waving worthless Degrees. Enjoy.


By David Vance On July 23rd, 2012 at 9:02 am

Get this;

“Hundreds of teachers who will receive lucrative redundancy packages this summer can return to the classroom after just one month. Under the enhanced package announced by Education Minister John O’Dowd in January at least one teacher is set to receive more than £100,000 to leave their teaching post this August. The six-figure sum is comparable with payouts made to police officers who stood down under Patten and the current redundancy scheme being offered to prison officers targeted by paramilitaries at the height of the Troubles. Mr O’Dowd has said that “it is not lawful to prevent a teacher who has received redundancy compensation from seeking to return to employment”.

All this cash lavished on public sector workers and THEN politicians and media wonder why private sector is through the floor? I fail to see WHY teacher are being mad redundant, that seems a waste and I also do not understand WHY such cosmic scales of redundancy are applied against their departure?

Then place washer ‘B’ onto bolt ‘A’

By Mike Cunningham On July 11th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

When people ask what exactly it is that Automotive Engineering Technicians do for a living, you can always tell them to watch this video!



H/t to the Filthy Engineer


By David Vance On May 11th, 2012 at 8:25 am

Reaction: The Scottish Government played down the development, saying it would only apply to a small number of students, but anyone who lives in the UK who has an Irish grandparent can obtain an Irish passport and apply under the same loophole

This amused me greatly and it is a great instance of the law of unintended consequences.

Thousands of English and Welsh students will be able to claim free tuition at Scottish universities by claiming Irish grandparents, it was revealed today. Last week, it emerged that students from Northern Ireland could avoid fees by taking dual Republic of Ireland citizenship and applying as EU students, which would result in them having their fees paid under European equality law. The Scottish Government played down the development, saying it would only apply to a small number of students.

HOWEVER….and this is the hilarious bit;

Nearly 625,000 people living in England and Wales claimed Irish ethnicity in the 2001 census – and as many as six million across the UK are estimated to have at least one Irish grandparent. In some cases, even UK residents with an Irish great-grandparent could apply for an Irish passport.

EU legislation means that Scotland CANNOT discriminate against anyone claiming parentage from the EU. It can and does actively discriminate against people from England Wales and Northern Ireland. Unless, of course, they can claim to be vaguely Irish. The cost to the Scottish Executive will be colossal if this is shown to be legal and it will wreck the SNP’s carefully costed plan of educational discrimination against people in the rest of the UK!


By David Vance On May 2nd, 2012 at 9:16 am

When it is not YOUR money, it is so easy to spend it!

The cost of supplying substitute teachers in Northern Ireland has soared to more than £60m, it can be revealed. In the last academic year (2010/11) almost £61.5m was paid out for substitute teachers —£8.6m more than 2006/07 when it cost just under £53m. The South Education and Library board forked out the most for substitute teachers at £14.8m compared to £9.9m in the Western Education and Library Board.

Being a supply teacher is a nice little earner and suits more than few retired teachers. Tidy extra income to supplement that generous pension, don’t you know? Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, we have thousands of young newly qualified teachers WITHOUT a job. Makes sense, right?