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Showing posts from December, 2020

TEFS Review of the Year 2020

Despite the snow and the cold weather, the sun is still shining in optimism as this post is finalised today. Throughout the year, TEFS has set out to address the wider issues that affect students and young people with fewer advantages. The COVID-19 crisis has been a major force that exposed the widespread inequalities in our society. The attitude of the government to examinations, teaching online, and a lack of support for students with the most need, served to emphasise the extent of the problem. The gap between those with and those without widened even further,  fuelled by the long-term austerity measures. With unemployment rising fast, we enter the new year with many more families joining the ranks of the disadvantaged for the first time.  Please think of those finding things tough through no fault of their own as we enter a difficult new year. If you are able, please give to your local food bank or donate to:   The Trussell Trust - Stop UK Hunger ,  t he Marcus Rashford campaign

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Safe New Year

  Here is a link to a  free TEFS calendar  to download.   Mike Larkin, retired from Queen's University Belfast after 37 years teaching Microbiology, Biochemistry and Genetics. He has served on the Senate and Finance and planning committee of a Russell Group University.

A Christmas reflection and the many lives saved

This is not only a time for Christmas greetings but also a time to reflect on the lives that have been saved so far and the work still to be done.  In the spirit of optimism, I will be raising a glass to our shared humanity and resourcefulness this Christmas day as I look forward to defeating the virus and hopefully a fairer new world in 2021.  I hope you can join me in our virtual world.  The TEFS review of 2020 is almost ready but is being held back for now. The events of 2020 have yet to play out and we still fear what 2021 might hold.  In the meantime, here is a link to a free TEFS calendar to download.  It has pictures of TEFS postings throughout 2020.  Thinking of others. Please think of those finding things tough this Christmas through no fault of their own.  If you are able, please give to your local food bank or donate to: The Trussell Trust - Stop UK Hunger , The Marcus Rashford campaign End Child Food Poverty or Fare Share campaign No one should go hungry this Christmas. 

Shifting the Equality Hub

The Government made a sharp right turn yesterday with the announcement of an initiative on social mobility and equality. The move was timed in the middle of other announcements about the levels of lockdown needed to combat the spread of coronavirus and the impact of COVID-19 over Christmas .  The move looks bold and helpful on the surface, but there are worrying deep-rooted aspects that require closer scrutiny. The core of the plan is for various ‘independent’ bodies to be brought under the direct government control of the cabinet office. This especially means the control of data through an ‘Equality Hub’. The underlying naked liberal philosophy rests uneasily beside an emphasis on data that suggests the fingerprints of Dominic Cummings are all over the scene.  The announcement of the formation of a new ‘Equality Hub’ sponsored by the Cabinet Office will come as welcome news to those expecting more action on the so-called ‘levelling up’ agenda. That it has taken over twelve months