More UK schools reduce school week to save money and boost productivity

Study International | July 01, 2019

Last week, we reported on the growing trend of US schools trimming the school week down to four days a week. A similar trend seems to hitting the UK, with more schools choosing to reduce the school week to four and a half days. On Fridays, pupils from these schools will head home at lunchtime. In Birmingham, 20 schools have already shortened the school week, due to funding shortages. According to the BBC, “Northfield, the catchment area for Bellfield Junior School, is in a deprived part of Birmingham. “Nearly 60% of the 286 pupils at the school are classed as being disadvantaged, receiving free school meals and “pupil premium” – a grant given by the government to a school for each disadvantaged child it educates. Over a third are also on the vulnerable register, while 27% have special educational needs and disabilities.” Head teacher Nigel Atwood, who spearheaded the initiative, said that the school receives £1.3m from the local authority for its annual budget, but around 76 percent to 78 percent of that sum is taken by  staffing costs and wages, leaving around £300,000 for everything else. Deputy Claire du Toit was initially “horrified” when she heard about Atwood’s suggestion, as she wasn’t sure how it would be beneficial to allow children to lose half a day of learning. But they are seeing some positive effects. The new shortened school week means pupils only lose 50 minutes of teaching time and still receive a total of 25 hours a week – 90 minutes more than the recommended minimum set by the Department of Education.

Spotlight

Virtual Reality is being used in classrooms now more than ever. One quarter of the schools are already using VR, and this number is continuing to grow. While most teachers are aware of VR, over three quarters of teachers have never used it in a school environment before and many agree that VR would definitely be a benefit in subjects such as science, history, and the arts and design. In science, students can use Anatomy 4D apps to dissect animals, instead of using real animals. There are even applications to enhance students’ creativity, saving already struggling school art budgets from needing to purchase art supplies.

Spotlight

Virtual Reality is being used in classrooms now more than ever. One quarter of the schools are already using VR, and this number is continuing to grow. While most teachers are aware of VR, over three quarters of teachers have never used it in a school environment before and many agree that VR would definitely be a benefit in subjects such as science, history, and the arts and design. In science, students can use Anatomy 4D apps to dissect animals, instead of using real animals. There are even applications to enhance students’ creativity, saving already struggling school art budgets from needing to purchase art supplies.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

GenXys Partners with Manchester University for Pharmacogenomics Education

Manchester University | November 03, 2022

GenXys, the global leader in precision prescribing software with embedded pharmacogenetic (PGx) data, is teaming up with Manchester University (MU) for pharmacogenomics education. Together, GenXys and MU will help drive global awareness and education of PGx-informed prescribing decisions in support of expanding PGx adoption and pending legislation in the U.S., including the Right Drug Dose Now Act. MU, located in northern Indiana, is a leading national academic institution with a strong educational and research stream in pharmacogenetics. With on-campus, online, and dual (PharmD/MS in PGx) degree programs, as well as a Graduate Certificate in PGx, MU typically has an annual PGx enrollment of 60 to 70 students. The partnership will enable GenXys' expertise and proprietary algorithms in genomics and clinical knowledge to support the expansion of genetically informed medication review capabilities in MU's educational and research space. MU will now be able to integrate GenXys' award-winning Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS), incorporating PGx with other patient data points through embedded translation and interpretation in specific degree programs. This will lead to students further learning appropriate evidence-based precision prescribing options for patients, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and empowering the next generation of clinicians to seamlessly utilize PGx in patient care. As a national leader in pharmacogenetic and clinical education, Manchester University looks to partner with leading-edge technology companies that further the advancement of PGx for better health outcomes, says David Kisor, PharmD, FCP, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics, Director of Pharmacogenomics at MU. "It is recognized that more than 95 percent of the population has at least one PGx variant, and large percentages of patients receiving medications across therapeutic areas do not respond adequately with an initial medication leading to trial-and-error prescribing. Additionally, the consequences and treatments of adverse drug events may cost more than $30 billion annually in the U.S.," Dr. Kisor adds. "By formally measuring the effect of automatic PGx inclusion in CDSS tools in education as well as incorporating GenXys' precision prescribing platform into our advanced courses, we aim to produce the most knowledgeable and equipped individuals who will apply PGx optimally across healthcare settings. Integration of the precision prescribing platform offered by GenXys into the educational content of MU will accelerate the knowledge uptake of PGx in prescribing decisions for the next generation of clinicians and other healthcare professionals. "By working with a stellar academic university like MU, we are able to demonstrate the advantage of including PGx in clinical care for clinicians across different career levels ,There are so many advantages to equipping students and trainees with leading-edge tools and knowledge—the future is looking bright for precision medicine!" Bernard Esquivel, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of GenXys. Auto-analysis of genetic information with other medication interaction points is helping to transform the centuries-old trial-and-error approach to prescribing to one of accuracy. PGx is all about personalized, safe, and appropriate medication options being available at any point of care. When integrated into smart algorithms with other data points, PGx is a critical part of proactive healthcare delivering precision medicine to everyone and leveling up healthcare inequality. MU is at the educational edge of changing day-to-day healthcare, and the partnership with GenXys is a model of commercial and academic integration that supports pending national legislation to provide better population healthcare, improve patient safety, and reduce healthcare costs. About GenXys Health Care Systems GenXys, with a presence across North America, provides the world's most comprehensive precision prescribing solutions with embedded pharmacogenetics to solve one of healthcare's biggest challenges: inappropriate ("trial-and-error") prescribing. GenXys' clinical decision support software suite is in use by major insurance providers, health systems, pharmacies and their pharmacogenetic labs across North America. Ongoing global clinical studies are paving the way into geographical markets to enable GenXys to realize its vision of making every prescription better with its software to increase patient safety, improve population health, and reduce healthcare costs. https://www.genxys.com/ About Manchester University Manchester University, in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Surgent Accounting & Financial Education Presents Two New Online CPE Courses

Surgent | October 14, 2022

Surgent Accounting & Financial Education, a division of KnowFully Learning Group, today announced two new online continuing professional education (CPE) courses created to educate participants about the tax implications of matters recently enacted by President Joe Biden. One course examines how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) impacts auto- and energy-related tax credits, and the other covers the effects of the new Student Debt Relief Plan on individuals and employers"The Inflation Reduction Act's Changes to Auto and Energy-Related Tax Credits (AEC2)" will air on Oct. 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, while "Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness: Analysis and Impact on Individuals and Employers (SLR2)" will air on Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon ET. Each course will also be available on subsequent dates. Self-study will also be available. "Whether for individuals or businesses, tax planning requires an ever-evolving body of knowledge. Our goal at Surgent is to make that education as seamless and up-to-date as possible for tax professionals,These CPE courses address the tax implications of recent pronouncements that affect millions of Americans and U.S. businesses, and we know each will be extremely useful to our clientele." Nick Spoltore, Surgent's vice president of strategic content development. Surgent released a course addressing the initial impacts of the IRA immediately after it was passed in August 2022. This second course is distinct in that it addresses new details about tax credits that have largely emerged in the months following the IRA's passage.The IRA contains several changes to auto and energy-related tax credits, including some that are new and others that have been renamed. Many, if not most, of these credits reduce the cost of individual and business-related expenses. Surgent's AEC2 course covers the mechanics of the new and revised energy-related credits, such as for energy-efficient commercial vehicles, household-related utilities and improvements, and electric cars.The second course, based on the Student Debt Relief Plan, will help industry professionals to serve as critical resources for a large segment of the U.S. population. It is estimated that 70 percent of the educated workforce will have student loans in the coming years.The SLR2 course will thoroughly examine the Student Debt Relief Plan. Course discussion will also include the importance of year-end tax advice, especially for 2022, due to the Jan. 1, 2023, repayment restart and the income certification requirement; action plans for each student debt relief process; automation of IRS data into the various Department of Education systems; and much more.There is a growing need for tax professionals to better understand the intricacies of student loan debt relief as the IRS and Department of Education are automating this information process starting in mid-2023," said Spoltore. "This course will help practitioners digest the vital tax implications of student loan repayment and college funding, for both employers and employees. Each two-hour course is worth two CPE credits. Learn more about AEC2 and SLR2 and register today. About Surgent Surgent Accounting & Financial Education, a division of KnowFully Learning Group, is a provider of the high-impact education experiences that accounting, tax and financial professionals need throughout their careers. For most of the company's 35-year history, Surgent has been a trusted provider of the continuing professional education (CPE), continuing education (CE) and skill-based training that professionals need to maintain their credentials and stay current on industry changes. More recently, Surgent became one of the fastest-growing certification exam review providers, offering adaptive learning-based courses that help learners pass accounting and finance credentialing exams faster. About KnowFully KnowFully Learning Group provides continuing professional education, exam preparation courses and education resources to the accounting, finance and healthcare sectors. KnowFully's suite of learning solutions helps learners become credentialed, satisfy required credit hours to maintain credentials, and stay informed on the latest trends and critical changes in their industries over the course of their careers. The company provides exam preparation and continuing education for accounting, finance, and tax professionals under the Surgent Accounting & Financial Education brand. KnowFully's healthcare education brands include CME Outfitters, CE Concepts, PharmCon, The Rx Consultant, ChiroCredit, IA Med, EMT & Fire Training Inc., Psychotherapy.net and American Fitness Professionals & Associates.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LISC teams up with HBCUs on talent development program for students, expanded capacity for CDFIs

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development. "Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said. JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves. About LISC LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.

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