News that an academy trust founded by the Conservative peer Lord James O’Shaughnessy is advertising for unpaid volunteers to fill key roles in its two primary schools was met with disbelief and dismay by teachers earlier this month. The Floreat Education Academies Trust is looking for full-time and part-time volunteers to fill the jobs of finance assistant, office administrator and personal assistant to the chief executive, Janet Hilary, who was paid £128,768 in 2018. Andrew Morrish chief executive, Victoria Academies Trust, West Midlands “No, schools shouldn’t rely on volunteers – although with funding levels at an all-time low, I can understand why school leaders are having to make such difficult decisions. We are at a cliff edge. There are more than 300,000 additional pupils in the system since 2015, the education services grant for academies has been scrapped to the tune of £600m, and almost a third of local authority secondary schools are in … [Read more...] about Should schools fill key roles with volunteers?
Most people recognise Dara Hayes for her statement fluorescent blue hair, killer smile and incredible dance tunes. The 26-year-old from Sydney - who goes by the stage name DJ Tigerlily - has a chaotic schedule because of her trips abroad and late night sets in pubs and clubs, which makes staying healthy difficult. 'I used to be kind of unhealthy... lots of drinking, eating junk food at bad times of the evening (3am after my DJ shows) and not exercising regularly,' she explained in her latest Instagram post. Scroll down for video DJ Tigerlily admitted that adopting a wholefood plant-based lifestyle and doing weight training three to five times a week was all it took But by changing her diet and training she was able to sculpt the body of her dreams. 'I changed two things in my life and my body (and mind) changed accordingly... can you guess what they are? Small steps day by day create huge results over time,' she said. Dara revealed that adopting a wholefood … [Read more...] about ‘I’m fitter, healthier and stronger’: Global superstar DJ Tigerlily, 26, shares the two lifestyle changes that helped her transform her body in months
For more than a century, Dabiq was one of northern Syria’s forsaken villages, a speck on a vast agricultural plain between the Turkish border and the deserts of Iraq, which hardly seemed likely to shape the fate of nations. A weathered sign at its entrance said 4,000 people lived there, most of whom appeared to have left by 2013, driven out over time by a lack of work – and lately by insurrection. For the first three years of Syria’s civil war, the arrival of a strange car would lure bored children to the town’s otherwise empty streets, scattering cats and chickens as they scampered after it. Little else moved. Dabiq’s few remaining men worked on the odd building project: a half-finished mosque, a humble house for one local who had just returned after 10 years labouring in Lebanon, or a fence for the shrine that was the town’s only showpiece – the tomb of Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. The Ummayad caliph was buried under a mound of earth in 717, … [Read more...] about Why Isis fights
Iraqi Kurdish leaders are considering offering territory seized by their forces in the offensive to recapture Mosul from Isis as a bargaining chip in a new push for independence from Baghdad. As Iraqi forces continue their advance towards key Isis-defended districts in west Mosul, attention is turning to what northern Iraq will look like once the jihadi group is routed. Ministers from the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) believe that one option might be offering to Baghdad land their peshmerga forces have recaptured from Isis in return for self-rule, the pinnacle of Kurdish ambition for decades. Speaking from his office in the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil, foreign minister Falah Mustafa said that, although the Mosul alliance of Iraqi and peshmerga troops was on course to quash Isis in Iraq’s second city, the time had arrived for Kurdistan to move forward by itself. “It’s important that the right to self-determination is put on the table – we need to put … [Read more...] about Kurds offer land for independence in struggle to reshape Iraq
Not long ago, Rob Wood found himself at Heston Blumenthal’s house, in south-west London, where he was being persuaded to eat a flower. They were supposed to have been discussing the TV chef’s latest project, testing music’s effects on the dining experience, for which he had hired Wood to pick the songs. Instead, he was recounting a recent trip to south-east Asia. The flowers on his kitchen table, he said, were from that same trip: he was trying to capture their flavour for a dish he was developing. Wood smelled the flowers. Blumenthal, increasingly animated, urged him to take a bite; he wanted the music to capture and complement the flower’s exotic qualities. Under duress, Wood had a little nibble. Wood is the founder and creative director of Music Concierge, a company that chooses background music for businesses. His clients include iconic fashion brands, such as Harvey Nichols and Mulberry, and luxury London hotels, such as the Connaught and the Savoy. Some … [Read more...] about Inside the booming business of background music