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BTec students could lose apprenticeship places to A-level graduates as they continue to wait for results – more than a week after they should have been published. While A-level students received their results on Thursday – and won the fight on Monday to get them replaced by teacher assessments – many BTec students have been left without answers. Level 1 and 2 courses, usually undertaken as an equivalent to GCSEs, were expected on Thursday, but were pulled on Wednesday by exam board Pearson ahead of a re-grading process to bring them in line with GCSEs. It has not yet been made clear when affected pupils will actually get their results. Many Level 3 students, who should have received their results a week ago, are still waiting too. But while Level 1 and 2 students are often planning a move into further education, Level 3 students may have apprenticeships, jobs and university places hanging in the balance. Apprenticeship positions do open up year-round, but as course-leavers get their results in late summer it is a popular time for applications to close ahead of an autumn start. Jade Walker, 18, from Somerset, was hoping to move onto an apprenticeship scheme after finishing her Level 3 BTec IT course – but without her results she has already missed deadlines for some applications and is worried about falling behind on more as the cut-off dates rapidly approach. She told HuffPost UK: “I was hoping to apply for apprenticeships in the next month, but obviously if I don’t have my results I can’t do that. “It’s really quite different to university – you don’t have a place and there’s nothing just there waiting for you. It’s like a job application, so if you don’t apply in time you can’t do anything about it.“Some of the deadlines were this week, and some have passed already so I’ve missed out on those. It’s so frustrating and I’m disappointed because I was really interested in some of them and now they’ve gone.” A Pearson spokesperson has apologised for the “additional uncertainty” imposed on students, adding: “Our priority is to ensure fair outcomes for BTEC students and we will work around the clock to provide revised grades as soon as we can.”They also said the regrading process was taking place to “address concerns about unfairness in relation to A-levels and GCSEs and ensure no BTec student is disadvantaged”. The delay isn’t just impacting students applying for apprenticeships – job applications and university places have also been thrown into a precarious position. Leo Carr, 19, from West Sussex, is waiting for his results following a two-year Level 3 course in creative digital media production. He’s desperate to start applying for jobs, but without his grades he doesn’t know what he’s eligible for.“Without my grades I’m just left guessing. I don’t know what to apply for or really where to start,” he said.“I don’t know anything really about my future prospects, or what sort of career I can build. I’m not sure how the grade adjustment will affect me either yet. “No one from my course has had their grades yet, but we’ve heard of other people being severely under-graded. There was one person I heard of who had Merits all through the course, but when he got his grade he had failed and felt like he’d wasted two years of his life completely. “I’ve put my heart and soul into this course for the past two years, and hearing stories like that has just been horrendous. I’m just sat here, when I was already supposed to have had my grades, not even knowing if I’ll have a future.” The delay has impacted hopeful university students too. Without their grades they can’t confirm their places or get in via clearing, and all the while student accommodation and courses are filling up rapidly with a cohort of A-level students. The delay has impacted hopeful students like Maria Oakley’s 20-year-old daughter, who studied BTec Level 3 drama after leaving her A-level courses as a result of mental health problems and is now hoping for a university place through clearing. “There needs to be accountability for what has happened, and at the moment we haven’t seen any,” Oakley said. “It’s so unfair that bright, ambitious students like my daughter have just been left in limbo as the universities fill up. It’s so hard and frustrating, and she is suffering terribly while we wait. “BTecs are treated as the poor second cousin when compared to A-levels, but there are so many courses and incredible kids doing amazing things and now their lives are on hold. “They’ve already been through six months of torture with Covid-19, and now this? My daughter is stuck, she can’t make plans, can’t even think about what university she wants to go to – until she sees her results she basically doesn’t have any options.” Zak Pickett, 21, from Liverpool, is in a similar position. He spent two years studying for a Level 3 extended diploma in aviation operations and is hoping to go to university to study policing, but can’t confirm his offer until his results come through. He said: “I’ve had very little communication from my college about the mess that is happening – one email in a week doesn’t cut it in my opinion.“The email came in on Tuesday evening and said we’d expect the results by the end of Wednesday – bearing in mind that nothing about the results being pulled was out yet – so I was eagerly refreshing UCAS Track hoping for the best.“I clicked on the news on my break to find out the BTec results had been pulled, and now I’m back to square one, unable to sign anything related to university because I don’t know whether I’m going or not.” While his university is currently holding his place he said friends of his had been told by their universities that they needed to get confirmation of their results or their offers would be retracted. He added: “I can’t imagine what some of those other students under their mental health support programmes at college are going through. I hope they’re getting the support they need.” While the A-level fiasco was reported on widely as results came out, some BTec students feel that their struggle to get the results they deserve has gone unrecognised – especially for those who are not aiming for top universities and instead are heading into employment. Walker said:  “People have always thought that BTecs are lower qualifications than A-levels – I think that really needs to be corrected. “It’s been so hard to get people to understand what we’ve been going through over the past week and the fact that this could have a massive impact on our futures.” Related... Six Questions Gavin Williamson Still Needs To Answer About The Exams Fiasco Government Agrees Deal With Universities After Exam Grading Fiasco Labour Demands Gavin Williamson Publish All Correspondence Over Exams Fiasco
A British school student is threatening to sue the UK government over an algorithm that was used to determine final grades after national exams were cancelled due to the pandemic. The algorithm has been widely criticized for hurting bright students at disadvantaged schools, costing them life-changing places at top colleges. Almost 280,000 students saw their A-levels downgraded from what teachers had predicted thanks to the algorithm. An online petition to change the system has already been signed by nearly 250,000 people. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A student is threatening to sue the UK government over an algorithm used to determine the final grades of school leavers in the absence of formal examinations during the pandemic. Curtis Parfitt-Ford, a student at a comprehensive school in London, is working with the justice non-profit Foxglove to initiate legal proceedings this week if the UK government does not change its policy.  Parfitt-Ford says he's happy with his own results, but says people in his school have been affected by their grades being downgraded by the algorithm. The results were published on Thursday, and have caused national outcry. "The government has a lot of explaining to do to all the young people whose futures have been really, really impacted by this," Parfitt-Ford told Business Insider. During a chaotic 72 hours, the UK government has tried to justify the process it has used to determine final results in a year where students have been unable to sit exams thanks to the pandemic. These results affect which universities students will — or won't — attend. The UK's education regulator, Ofqual, has explained how the grading process, aka the algorithm, works in a 300-page technical document. Broadly, it relies on two things: the school's own assessment of how an individual student should do; and wider information on how the school did on exam results in prior years. There was likely never a perfect solution for grading a cohort of students who didn't take exams. But this second part of the algorithm has been widely criticized for penalizing outliers — bright students at disadvantaged schools — thanks to that reliance on data about a school's historical performance. Critics say teachers' assessments are a better reflection of a student's academic merit. "These problems happen when there isn't transparency in algorithmic decisions," said Cori Crider, director at Foxglove, which is helping with Parfitt-Ford's legal challenge. "They're these problems are only being discovered by outside advisors basically now." A quarter of a million students had their results downgraded thanks to the algorithm According to figures from the exam regulator Ofqual, 40% of teacher assessments on an individual's grades were downgraded, amounting to almost 280,000 students and costing many their university places. (The government has disputed this interpretation.) "A computer programme has determined the life chances of thousands and thousands and thousands of British kids," added Crider. "[And] it's turned out to be designed in a way that is biased and unfair." On Sunday, thousands of students gathered at Westminster, London outside the Department for Education to protest their results. At one point, they chanted: "Fuck the algorithm." chants of “fuck the algorithm” as a speaker talks of losing her place at medical school because she was downgraded. — huck (@HUCKmagazine) August 16, 2020 The algorithm favors expensive private schools, which have smaller classes For students in classes of 15 or fewer, the grade predictions given to students by their teachers were given weight, meaning that the student's actual academic performance was taken into account. In classes of fewer than five pupils, these teacher predictions were given as the final grade. As fee-paying independent schools are far more likely to have smaller class sizes, this means that students from more affluent backgrounds are more likely to have been judged on their own academic merits. "It's particularly disadvantaging that especially bright kids from the underperforming school who is on track to get that school's first A* in Maths. That kid was totally stuffed by this algorithm," said Crider. "Whereas if you went to a tiny little independent fee-paying school and studied classics, a lot more often, you were fine." Under the current system, students themselves are not able to appeal their results directly. Students' only options are to sit the exams later this year, or for the school to appeal on their behalf by providing evidence that the performance of previous cohorts is no longer representative.  Confusingly, the exam regulator over the weekend issued guidance on how schools could appeal, then withdrew it the same day. Parfitt-Ford and Foxglove want at minimum to enable students to appeal directly on the basis of their individual academic merit for free. Historically appeals to exam boards can cost students upwards of £100 ($130) if their grade remains unchanged, discriminating against students from poorer backgrounds.  Critics are hoping for a government U-turn similar to the one seen in Scotland earlier this month. Scottish students are now able to appeal and get teacher predictions as their final grade after a public outcry forced a change in policy after the results had been announced.  But even this may have negative consequences. In the rest of the UK, university places are already filling up fast and whatever changes are made could come too late. Offers for university places are often "conditional", meaning they are contingent on a student achieving their predicted grades. "I'm not entirely sure there is a best-case scenario at this stage," said Parfitt-Ford, adding that it's frustrating that earlier action was not taken. "The fact is, if I could see that happening a week in advance, then I'm more than sure that people in government could see that happening a lot more than a week in advance."  He adds: "We have to get that appeals system in, because not doing so is to provide an injustice that not only affects students now, but will affect students for the rest of their lives." Parfitt-Ford has already launched an online petition, which has accrued almost 250,000 signatures at the time of writing, and a crowdfund campaign to pay for legal proceedings. The debate over the UK's exam results is part of a wider battle against algorithm-driven government decision making with in-built biases. On 4 August, Foxglove won the first-ever case against a UK government algorithm that was being used by the Home Office to grade visa applications. During the pandemic, it also brought a successful transparency challenge against the handover of NHS data to US tech giants like Apple and Google.  "[We're] concerned that these systems are being rolled out with no transparency and with a total democratic deficit," says Crider.  A Department of Education spokesman told Sky on Sunday after a weekend of confusion: " "Hundreds of thousands of students have received a calculated grade that will enable them to progress to the next stage of their education or into work. "We have been clear that we want to build as much fairness into the appeals process as possible to help young people in the most difficult cases and have been working with Ofqual to achieve that. "Ofqual continues to consider how to best deliver the appeals process to give schools and pupils the clarity they need."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What it takes to be a PGA Tour caddie
Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.Pupils awaiting their A-level results in England say they are “angry” and “demoralised” amid fears their expected grades will be lowered by a computer on Thursday.Those who attended school in deprived areas with historically lower-achieving exam performances say they are particularly worried they will be unfairly penalised by the algorithm used by regulator Ofqual.The government is facing pressure to ensure exam results in England “will not exacerbate existing inequalities” by “biased” statistical modelling after students from poorer backgrounds in Scotland were hit hardest by downgrading last week.Results for Higher awards north of the border were branded a “disaster” when the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) downgraded 124,000 results. On Tuesday the SNP-led Holyrood government announced all grades that had initially been lowered by the algorithm would be binned and replaced by the original assessments carried out by teachers. Later that day ministers announced some pupils in England would be allowed to use results in mock A-level exams as the basis for an appeal against the grades they were given, so long as the mocks were held under exam conditions and could be “validated” by the schools.Students will still be able to sit exams in the autumn if they are unhappy with the grades they secured in mock exams, or if they are dissatisfied with results awarded by exam boards on Thursday.But the appeals process – where individual students in England are dependent on schools and colleges to appeal against results on their behalf – is expected to remain the same.Labour has warned that Boris Johnson risks “robbing a generation of young people of their future” over the relentless policy changes, U-turns and backpedalling over the last few weeks.Rhianna, 17, is waiting to hear if she will meet her predicted AAAs in order to meet a conditional offer to study politics at the London School of Economics. She said she had initially been feeling “quite confident” when she first heard her grades would be based on predictions. “I knew and trusted that my teachers would be honest,” she tells HuffPost UK.But following the cancellation of exams due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s A-level and GCSE grades will be determined based on an algorithm that relies on grades submitted by teachers and a pupil’s past exam results – as well as the school’s past exam performance.It would be a slap to the face if they didn’t get the results their teachers told them they deserved.Jennifer, 18, BelfastThe new model has left Rhianna “disheartened” and made her “really lose confidence in the process”. That her sixth form college in Bristol is “really large and doesn’t perform very well in league tables” has left her “extremely worried”.If she receives her grade predictions, Rhianna would be the first in her family to go to university; if she doesn’t, she may not be able to afford her rent while she studies for resits in autumn.“University has always been a really significant step for me, so to lose that due to a statistical model would be really disappointing,” she said. “It would be really devastating for a lot of poorer students who would have really succeeded during normal examinations.”The news that her grades will potentially be downgraded has made her “really lose belief” she can start uni in September and she says she has been “hesitant” to make any plans or preparations.“It angers me how casual the Ofqual are approaching these results, especially since they justify the injustice of the system with the offer of autumn examinations.” she continues. “Not everyone has the luxury of a gap year or will even be able to afford the re-sits.”She hopes the U-turn over school leavers’ grades in Scotland will mean the exam board in England will consider reforming the grading system.“The policy reversal around exam results in Scotland has demonstrated that the system doesn’t work and unfairly impacts disadvantaged students. If Scotland has admitted the failures within their similar grading system, then so should Ofqual.”Nearly 40% of A-level grade recommendations by teachers are expected to be downgraded, schools minister Nick Gibb told the Today Programme on Radio 4 on Wednesday morning.With around 250,000 pupils due to receive their results on Thursday, 100,000 could be at risk of shattered dreams and wrecked plans. Catalin, from Richmond upon Thames, describes his life as being “on hold” while he waits to hear if he will meet the AAB grades he needs to get into Royal Holloway, University of London.Historically only 2% of students at his college achieve AAB or higher, and Catalin believes it is “likely” at least one of his grades will be downgraded. “I certainly think both me and my classmates will be affected no matter what our performance could have been,” he said.By penalising students from poor-performing schools, this year’s results will leave “entire cohorts demoralised”. “The [other years] will see that despite the Year 13s and 11s putting in effort, they will still just get assigned the results of the previous year, shattering the myth of a meritocracy.”He added: “The same students who are at a disadvantage because of the school they go to – and by extension their background – are also the ones that don’t have the option of sitting the exams in September and taking a gap year somewhere in a tropical country.“They also don’t have parents with the know-how to chase after their sixth form and appeal their grades – not that appealing would do much good, either.”If he does not meet his grade predictions, he will try to find another place through clearing. “Taking a gap year isn’t an option for me as job opportunities are scarce right now and, like many people, I can’t afford to just go live abroad for a year.“My plans for August have pretty much all been shelved and my life is on hold [because of] the anxiety from waiting and the fact that I have no clue what university I will end up going to.”The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) has predicted a record number of students will use clearing to find places at UK universities, with so many students predicted to receive downgraded results.Afrina, who is predicted AAB, tells HuffPost UK she is worried because her school in Leyton, east London, “doesn’t have the best historical data and is in a disadvantaged area”.“Students in deprived areas of London are automatically deprived due to how the grades will be assessed,” she says. “Me and my classmates will definitely be affected due to the location of our college. I don’t think it’s fair.”She was also recently diagnosed with dyslexia, which would have normally given her extra time to take her A-level exams. But because results now depend on her past performance, she worries she will be given lower grades than the ones she deserves.“My grades went up by two grades for one of the subjects whereby I was given extra time in February,” she adds. “I’m feeling really apprehensive about my results as I’m not too sure what to expect.”A study by University College London has found predicting A-level grades is a “near-impossible” task, with researchers only able to accurately predict one in four pupils’ best three subjects. Comprehensive students were also found to be twice as likely to be under-predicted by modelling than grammar or private schools.That students from poor-performing schools are the most likely to be downgraded is, in one pupil’s opinion, “one of the most unfair things about the whole situation”.“It’s not fair to assume that just because someone attends a ‘bad’ school they would probably perform poorly,” Catherine, 18, says. “Cases should be looked at on an individual basis rather than judging a student’s capability by their socio-economic background.”Even then, she points out “predictions aren’t an accurate representation of how students would actually perform”.“A lot of the time, students out-perform their predicted grades, as they tend to really knuckle-down and study during exam season. This means they end up performing significantly better than expected.”The discriminatory nature of basing results on a school’s past performance has even angered pupils who will less likely be affected. As a student at a high-achieving comprehensive in Belfast with an unconditional university offer, Jennifer, 18, admits she is “lucky to be where I am right now”.She says she trusts her teachers to give the most accurate predictions of her results. “I felt that as long as the teachers had a say based on their interactions and knowledge of them as students, then I felt that the results would be as fair as it would get.“That’s why the input of the teacher felt like such an important factor to making these results fair and accurate. They know how their students act and behave, what they achieved in mock exams and their coursework, understand their work ethic, and have been through good and bad moments with them.“It does worry me that people in less advantageous situations will be negatively impacted by this.“It would almost be a slap to the face if they didn’t get the results they were expecting – the results that their teachers told them they deserved.”Related... I’m An A-Level Teacher Forced To Grade My Pupils. I’m Dreading Results Day UK Urged To Scrap Moderated A-Level Grades After Scottish U-Turn No Cash, No Wi-Fi, No Help: One Mum's Story Reveals Sheer Inequality Of Home-Schooling
Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing. Sign up now. All school leavers’ grades that were lowered by “biased” computer algorithms in Scotland last week will be withdrawn and replaced by teacher assessments, the SNP-led government has confirmed. The major U-turn by Scottish education secretary John Swinney comes amid mounting criticism that poorer students were hit hardest by modelling that gave them unfairly harsh results during the pandemic. The results for Scotland’s Higher awards were last week branded a “disaster” after the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) downgraded 124,000 results. Teachers, parents and pupils hit out at the SQA after the results downgraded teachers’ recommended awards for pupils from the poorest 20% of areas by more than 15 points, while recommendations for the best-off pupils were downgraded by just under 10 points.Swinney, who may still face a vote of no confidence in Holyrood over the issue, has now said all grades moderated down will be withdrawn and new certificates sent out. Meanwhile, no results that were moderated up will be cut back as Swinney said it would not “in any way be fair to do so”. The news will pile pressure on Gavin Williamson, England’s education secretary, to avoid a similar catastrophe south of the border when A-level results are published this week, amid concern the same modelling could be used. Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Swinney said he had “listened carefully to young people” and had moved to “fix” the problem quickly.He said: “Using powers available to me in the Education (Scotland) Act 1996, I am today directing the SQA to re-issue those awards based solely on teacher or lecturer judgement.“Schools will be able to confirm the estimates they provided for pupils to those that are returning to school this week and next.“The SQA will issue fresh certificates to affected candidates as soon as possible and, importantly, will inform Ucas and other admission bodies of the new grades as soon as practical in the coming days to allow for applications to college and university to be progressed.”He said that the SNP-led government was worried that accepting the original estimates from teachers “would run the risk of undermining the value of qualifications in 2020”.But he then added: “In the light of events, and of listening to young people, we now accept that concern, which is not without foundation, is outweighed by the concern that young people, particularly from working class backgrounds may lose faith in the education system and form the view that no matter how hard you work, the system is against you.“Education is the route out of poverty for young people in deprived communities and we cannot risk allowing that view to take hold.” He added that the coronavirus crisis had made 2020 “unique” for pupils. First minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday apologised to thousands of pupils whose results were downgraded by the moderation process and pledged they would not face an arduous appeals process.She accepted that the “burden has not fallen equally across society” and said” “We accept we didn’t get this right and I’m sorry for that.” As a result of the changes the new Higher pass rate is up 14.4%, the National 5 pass rate is up 10.7%, and the Advanced Higher pass rate is up 13.7%.Despite the U-turn, Swinney continues to face calls for his resignation including from the former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. A total U-turn on the position Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney had doubled down on for days. Welcome relief for pupils who've been put through the wringer. But be in no doubt, this is a shambles & an honourable man would have offered his resignation.— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) August 11, 2020Meanwhile, the news has been welcomed by campaigners, including teenagers hit by the estimated results. Erin Bleakley, 17, who organised a protest of around 100 students in Glasgow’s George Square against how the exam results were reached, said: “I think we would all like to say a generous thank you for not only the apology but the results being reverted back to teacher estimates.“I did not think this day would come.”Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Today’s decision by John Swinney creates huge problems for Gavin Williamson and the English government.“We now have two qualification systems required for entry into UK universities, operating on completely different criteria with wildly different pass rates. This can only increase the worries that students in England have about the fairness of the grades they will receive on Thursday.“It will also intensify the competition with English students for university places.”  Related... Labour Demands SNP Education Secretary Quits After Poorer Pupils Have Exam Grades Lowered Tories Hand Schools With Richer Pupils More 'Levelling Up' Cash Government Under Pressure To Avoid Exam Results 'Disaster' That Hurts Poorest
It’s always tricky to lure and keep talented software developers.And if they’re already part of your company, other employers will try to poach them.The perennial talent shortage in technology doesn’t help either:IT companies are always in flux when solving technology problems.Demand for specific IT skills change every few years.Because of this, last year’s sought-after skills might not be in vogue now.At Remote Workmate, we’re all about finding the best people and matching them with clients.Just divide your total number of leavers in a month by your average number of employees in a month.These days, the most effective way is via a pulse survey, which is a short survey sent out on a regular basis.Look at what people say in anonymous suggestion boxes (if you have one).Examine why people leaveSooner or later, your employees will leave.After all, people’s needs change.If you can keep your turnover at 10% (which is a good number to aim for) and your leavers are low performers, your company should do fine.Knowing this would help you address issues and persuade your superstars to stay.Here are a few ways you can get to the root of the problem:Run regular engagement interviews to find out your employees’ motivations and outlook.Have an external consultant do exit interviews.
Unless you have completely given up reading the news (and honestly, who could blame you at the moment?) you have probably heard about the critical Russia report, which dropped on Tuesday after months of delay. The paper, which was written by parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC), found the UK government – and intelligence agencies – did not do enough to investigate or protect the UK from Russian interference in the 2016 EU referendum. (Yes, the report is a *big* deal.) Among the accusations from MPs was that the UK was “clearly a target” for disinformation campaigns around its elections – including the referendum on Brexit – but that no organisation had stepped up to grab this “hot potato”. The ISC has called on the government to create a new protocol with social media companies to bar from their platforms Russian “bots” intent on hostile state activity. But transport secretary Grant Shapps doesn’t seem convinced. The government has already rejected calls for an inquiry into the EU referendum, insisting there is “no evidence” of successful interference (though that’s mainly because no one looked for any). But speaking on Wednesday, Shapps appeared to go even further – and suggest that Brits were simply too clever to fall for bots, Russian or otherwise. He told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “We know that these bots exist. I think the British people were more intelligent than to fall for, sort of, social media...” Unfortunately for Shapps (and his faith in the British public), researchers believe he is wrong.A research collaboration between the University of Swansea and the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017 found: “Leavers were more likely to be influenced by bots compared to Remainers.“These results suggest that dissemination of information is consistent with what is frequently referred to as an ‘echo chamber’ – a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a defined system, revealing that the outcome is that information is more fragmented rather than uniform across people.”A paper by the same team considering the impact of bots’ tweets on the referendum and on the 2016 US presidential election found that “bots had a perhaps limited, but tangible effect on humans”. Overall, they wrote, “our results suggest that the aggressive use of Twitter bots, coupled with the fragmentation of social media and the role of sentiment, could contribute to the vote outcomes”.Its authors also point to a “massive volume of ‘Russian’ tweets [about the referendum] created only a few days before the voting day,” that “reached its peak during the voting and result days, then dropped immediately afterwards”. They used the default profile language of the accounts to determine whether they might be of Russian origin, though pointed out these. were not necessarily all bots. Tho Pham, one of the paper’s authors, told the Times that “the main conclusion is that bots were used on purpose and had influence”. The Times had revealed that Russian Twitter accounts – many of which are believed to be bots – had posted more than 45,000 messages in 48 hours during the EU referendum. But that’s not all. In 2018, Bloomberg reported that a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that Twitter bots added 1.76% to the pro-Leave vote share during the EU referendum.Related... Spy Agencies 'Didn't Do Enough To Protect Brexit Vote From Russian Interference' 5 Things We *Didn't* Learn From The Russia Report Bots Are Likely Responsible For Nearly Half Of Covid-19 Tweets, Say Researchers
We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.The end of Year 11 is a rite of passage many of us remember fondly – the shirt signing, the prom, the traditional egg and flour fight outside the school gates.That last one may be unique to my school, but up and down the country, traditions have been missed and leavers’ assemblies have been cancelled. Covid-19 put an abrupt end to school in March, meaning a generation of 16-year-olds have missed out.As the summer term officially ends – and the dream of a last hurrah is well and truly gone – we spoke to the class of 2020 about how they’re feeling. READ MORE: 'Their Story Is An Important One': Lockdown Through The Eyes Of Teenagers ‘I didn’t get that experience like everyone else’The end of the school year was abrupt for all Year 11s, but it was cut even shorter for Emily Westerby, who missed the last days on site due to being off sick with possible coronavirus symptoms.  “I thought I’d be back, I thought I’d do my GCSEs,” says Emily, from Newcastle. “So it was a real shock, I didn’t get to say goodbye to anybody, my friends or my teachers.”Emily, who’s a mentee with The Girls Network, had a clear idea of what Year 11 was going to look like – and how it would end – having watched her older brother enjoy it several years earlier. So she’s sad everything was cancelled. “I didn’t get to do study leave, I didn’t get to do after-school revision sessions,” she says. “I didn’t have early nights before my GCSEs or go for breakfast in the morning before my exams. I didn’t get that experience like everyone else. I used to look forward to it so much, just to finally feel grown up, in a way.”Emily is due to start college next year, but still doesn’t know if the course will be delivered in-person or online. “I’m a little bit anxious about it, because I still don’t know what’s happening,” she says.  ‘It doesn’t feel like a milestone anymore’Madeleine, from Lancashire, says the end of the school year “feels strange, and anti climactical”.″[It’s] almost as if we’ve been cheated out of our end of year celebrations,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like a milestone anymore – simply an extended holiday.”Luckily, Madeleine’s school allowed Year 11s to have a celebration on the last day, including shirt signing, dancing and singing, which she says was great fun. “It was last minute and we would’ve loved an assembly, too, but given the circumstances we were extremely grateful for what we got,” she says.At first, Madeleine was disappointed exams were cancelled after all the preparation and revising, but she says the disappointment didn’t last long. “I was relieved to have been saved from the stress and pressure of them. I’m a little nervous that the grade allocation is out of my hands now,” she says. Next year, she’ll be staying on at her school for sixth form: “I’m really looking forward to it, as it gives you that extra independence.” ‘Prom would’ve been a nice goodbye’ Xavier, from London, says there’s an element of relief that the school year is now officially over. “It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders to be honest, but it’s also a shame I won’t get the same satisfaction of completing my GCSEs as the previous years have had,” he says. “The announcement that we weren’t going back to school happened a bit too suddenly. I was looking forward to having a proper farewell with all my friends. I think the prom would’ve been a nice goodbye, but at the same time, I won’t really know what I actually missed out on.”Xavier is concerned about his exam results, as he says teachers haven’t given him the correct predicted grades in the past. “We’ve been told we can redo our GCSEs, which is something I’ll probably do as I feel my predicted grades won’t be great.”  Next year, Xavier should be going to college and he’s also going to sign up for the NCS (National Citizen Service). ”[I want to] put myself out there and hopefully build my confidence by doing different things and meeting new people,” he says. “I feel like I’ve missed out a bit in the last few months, so hopefully this will be something that will help fill that gap.” ‘It was quite unexpected, but we just had to cope’Hollie Morris, from Merseyside, really wanted to enjoy “the full leavers’ day experience, with everyone being dead positive and happy,” so she’s disappointed with the way the year ended. “I was looking forward to there being a leavers’ assembly, looking at pictures of us from Year 7 in 2015 right up to now, but we just couldn’t have that,” she says. “We literally got told two days before we left, so it was quite unexpected but we just had to cope.”Hollie, who’s a mentee with The Girls Network, says she has missed the social aspects of school over the past few months. “Some of my friends have got mental health [issues] and it’s hard for them, because they feel better when they’re around people.”The Year 11 prom planned for July was postponed, which was particularly gutting for Hollie, but she’s glad her head of year has organised an alternative event for December. She’s also trying to stay optimistic by focussing her attention on starting sixth form, saying: “I can’t wait to see all the teachers!”“I feel like a bit of normality is what we need now,” she adds. “If we have to social distance in school, I think it’s better than staying at home.”‘It has all been taken away from us’Aimee Farmer, from Birmingham, is “honestly gutted” that Year 11 was cut so short. “We had so much to look forward to, even after we left school for the summer, and now it has all been taken away from us,” she says.“We missed out on a proper goodbye with a leavers’ assembly, we didn’t get to sign shirts properly. We missed out on our prom, which was the final time all our year would be together as people are moving onto new places.”She feels confident about the grades she’ll be assigned in some subjects, but adds: “I’m very nervous about what I will be given in maths, as it has always been a struggle for me.”Aimee plans to stay at her school to study musical theatre next year. “I’m excited to study what I enjoy again as I haven’t done a musical theatre class since March,” she says. “However, if I’m in the unfortunate position that I have to retake maths, then it will be extra stress that I won’t look forward to.”READ MORE: This Is Isolation, Summed Up Poignantly By 8 Young Artists During Lockdown 'Collect Child, Leave Immediately': The Loss Of The Playground Pick-Up Buzz 7 Habits Of Highly Emotionally Intelligent Kids
Called following the popular civil engineer, Thomas Telford, the area of Telford in Shropshire has generally had contacts to leading edge industries and yet town itself is hardly 40 years old.The heritage of Telford has apparent hyperlinks to the'Black Country'and the Professional Revolution that changed the face area of Britain.This founder town attitude has continued to the present day time, with Telford property a great several IT training course booking system  company specialists and High-Tech Industries.Nicknamed'The Birthplace of Industry ', Telford is now the home of modern technology industries with major players from across the world taking on residence.There are many big IT services organizations with operations in the town including Limit Gemini, Fujitsu and EDS.Consequently of the influx of such organisations, the IT industry has grown around the city and if you are trying to find almost any IT training company Telford most surely has the select of the bunch.The, primarily foreign, IT companies actually moved to Telford in the early 80's and presented a huge contrast to the traditional hard-labour market that the region was previously associated with.Today, Telford activities a young than average population indicating several there are lots of education leavers looking to take IT teaching and transfer to pc industries.As a result of the give attention to High-Tech industry industries, Telford has some of the most comprehensive IT training schedules of any city in the UK.
Title The causes of poor performance in English language learning at grade 7thTitleThe causes of poor efficiency in English language studying at grade seventh.Abstract:The purpose of this research is to seek out out the explanations of poor efficiency in English language studying.The findings revealed that educating methodologies impacts efficiency of scholars in English language learning.Lack of motivation can be one of many causes of scholars’ poor efficiency in English.Therefore, it's necessary to spotlight the causes of poor performance in English language studying.We Will Write a Custom Essay SpecificallyFor You For Only $thirteen.ninety/web page!1.1 Aim of Research:The purpose of this research is to search out out the explanations of poor efficiency of grade 7th in public faculties.In this context, questions below shall be answered:1- What type of methodologies are used that impacts English language learning?2-Why college students’ background effect the ability of English language studying?3-What kind of issues students face whereas learning English?4-What kind of issues college students face in syllabus?5-Why dad and mom’ education impact students’ functionality to be taught English?The aims of this research had been to look at:1-To discover out wither teacher perceive educating methodologies.2- To know wither college students lack English basis.3-To learn about parental training.four-To determine wither college students need to depend on L1 while learning L2.1.2 Importance of Research:In public sectors, a lot of the components affecting efficiency of students in English usually are not highlighted for higher results.Literature ReviewMost of the authors consider that there are some purpose behind the poor performance of English language learning.“According to Roger (2003) some so known as English language lecturers usually are not academically qualified to teach the subject and a such do not educate it hell and as they are not specialist within the field of study, they're graduates of different discipline secondary school leavers, who took to educating English as a result of they might not rid even instructing appointment in their respective disciplines.
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Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, discusses the ramifications of the current tech skills gap and what needs to be done in a Q with TechRadar Pro.How can firms and organisations such as yourselves help inspire school leavers and students into tech based roles?Firstly, organisations should actively promote their training and development schemes alongside the variety of the roles that fall under the umbrella of being ‘tech based.’ Then, companies should also highlight the array of tech apprenticeship programmes on offer today for emerging I.T.This investment will take both time and money, but if organisations have the capacity to support long-term planning, the prioritisation of next generation talent is likely to prove more efficient for them in future.With the limited entry-level talent the UK currently has, it’s crucial we encourage young people to enter the sector by promoting the variety of jobs available outside of generic IT jobs.There are a host of innovative, creative, progressive and thrilling roles that await the next generation of tech workers and we must play a role in addressing this before we miss out as an industry and a nation.
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For better or for worse, tech will play a pivotal role in this year’s European elections, which promise to be a heated and fraught affair, and have the potential for the same kind of foreign influence that marred the 2016 US Presidential Election.European elections are frequently overlooked, as evidenced by their historically low voter turnout.Looking at 2014’s EU elections, for example, shows just 35 percent of eligible Brits casting a ballot for their MEPs.Firstly, you’ve got a Europe-wide rise of far-right Eurosceptic parties, like Italy’s Lega Nord and Germany’s AFD.Elsewhere, initiatives are taking root to monitor Facebook and other social networks for potential electoral malfeasance.Nigel Farage’s newly-formed Brexit Party promises to be the primary outlet of rage for leavers.
Leavers vs remainers, it is ON.The solid British institution that is Poundland has announced a very divisive pair of new products: passport covers that declare your Brexit affiliation.You can either go for the red cover that says "European Union" across the top and "still proud to be European" at the bottom, or the GOOD OLD BRITISH BLUE one that says none of those things, and only refers to the UK and Ireland.This is kind of the equivalent of those beer shops near universities that put signs outside saying how many cases of beer each college at the university has bought, as a way of stoking competition (and sales).If Poundland has the good sense to announce which passport cover sold more, we can consider this a kind of second referendum – albeit one where you have to pay a pound and you can vote as many times as you like.The passport covers are in Poundland stores across the country now, so if you feel strongly one way or the other, you know what to do.
Apex Legends rolled out a new update yesterday (April 3), carrying some minor improvements, but unfortunately it also came laden with several errors.Let’s start with the penalty for rage quitters and other early-game leavers, which folks on Reddit first observed was in the game, but not in the notes for patch 1.1.According to those in Reddit who experienced the feature in the live game, the countermeasure was triggered by a player leaving three matches in a row before their squad was wiped out, or before they were timed out (i.e., they died, weren’t revived, and their banner wasn’t recovered by teammates before the timer expired).Apex Legends loot map: here's where to find the best gearIn the case of leaving three games like so, the offending player was given a five-minute ‘leaver penalty’, meaning they couldn’t get back into the game until this period had expired.In other words, five minutes on the main menu naughty step for early quitting.
It's the default choice for office leavers and children's parties, although the kiddies always end up traumatised from seeing someone eat the face plate.Clearly, Asda knows we can't get enough caterpillar, so it's released a new giant version of its Clyde The Caterpillar Cake, called Clyde the Colossal Caterpillar.If you're thinking "Wait, I thought the caterpillar was called Colin?"Colin is a Marks and Spencer special, and also comes in a giant version.So which cake should you choose in the Battle of the Giant Caterpillars (a film we would definitely watch)?But where the M cake has the advantage is that the board it comes on has a pool of chocolate which you can personalise with a name and message.