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A visitor to Morley College’s Artists at Morley 1969-2009 exhibition inspects Maggi Hambling’s portrait of former Morley Principal Barry Till. Dr Till, who was Principal from 1965 to 1986, opened the exhibition, which celebrated the work of artists associated with Morley. The exhibition marked the fortieth anniversary

of the Morley Gallery and included paintings by artists Robert Medley and Maggi Hambling, printmaking by Frank Connelly, ceramics by Jill Crowley and sculpture by Sheila Vollmer, in addition to drawings, watercolours and textile pieces from artists who have made a significant contribution to the college.

Work is no guaranteed route out of

poverty, says JRF report POVERTY AND INEQUALITY Government and employers must improve terms and conditions if work is to break the cycle of poverty, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The study, which was conducted by a team at Sheffield Hallam University, examined the experiences and perceptions of work among residents living in six deprived areas in the UK.

While many of those interviewed saw the value of working – in terms of increased self- esteem and reduced isolation – they gained little financially. Researchers found that poverty-level pay can force those in employment to work excessive hours, harming the quality of their family life. For those out of work, this can act as a disincentive to leave benefits, the researchers found. Many low-paid workers were unable to pay for childcare and their jobs lacked the flexibility to allow them to fulfil their parenting responsibilities. The report also found that training and

education often failed either to help people get into the jobs market or to progress in their careers. Even with new skills and qualifications there was often little scope for progression at work. Professor Ian Cole, the project director, said: ‘Having followed the lives of a range of people living in deprived neighbourhoods, it becomes clear that work at any price is not necessarily a route out of poverty. Many people have to juggle low pay and long or unsociable working hours with the demands of family life and they can barely make ends meet. ‘There needs to be a stronger focus on the quality of work on offer. Government and employers should work together to improve terms and conditions so that work can break the cycle of poverty and support family life. Policy-makers also need to take into account the reality of how difficult it is to find work in areas that were struggling even before the recession hit.’ Go to:

Quick Reads, the initiative which brings books by bestselling writers and well-known personalities to people who have lost the reading habit, find reading tough, or simply want a fast, fun read, will celebrate its fifth anniversary next year with the launch of 10 new titles. Andy McNab, Cathy Kelly and Val McDermid are among the authors who will provide new books for the list, which will be launched on World Book Day, 4 March 2010. Since its inception in 2006, over one and a quarter million Quick Reads books have reached hundreds of thousands of new readers.

Universities will be pressed to accept lower grades from students who show potential despite a poor home life or unambitious schooling, under a 10-year framework for higher education in England set out by Lord Mandelson. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said: ‘Nobody should be disadvantaged or penalised on the basis of the families that they come from or the schools they attended and the way in which a simple assessment based on A-level results might exclude them.’

He also promised greater involvement of employers in course design and more degrees aimed at mature and part-time students, rather than 18-year-olds. Students would be expected to behave more like ‘consumers’ when it came to their university education, Lord Mandelson said, and would need far more information about courses, such as teaching quality and future employability. He told a CBI summit last month that there needed to be ‘a greater degree of competition between institutions’ and that students should be encouraged to be more ‘picky, choosy and demanding’. ‘As students who go into higher education pay more, they will expect more, and are entitled to receive more, in terms not just of the range of courses but in the quality of experience they receive during their time in the higher education system,’ he said. He added that he would shortly announce the promised independent review of tuition fees in England.

bullet on social mobility, but education and higher skills are as close as you get to one

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, speaking at the CBI higher education summit in London


QUOTE UNQUOTE There is no silver

Richard Olivier

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