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PSA Teachers' e-News: June 2015

FAO:  , 1st June.

Dear ,

I hope this message finds you well at what I appreciate is a very busy time of year for everyone.

Given the current pressures on everyone's time, June's PSA Teachers' e-News has been kept deliberately short and sweet:

Our best wishes to all your students during this exam period!

Pressure Groups, Anti-Politics and Representation Conference

The Political Studies Association is organising a Sixth Form conference on “Pressure Groups, Anti-politics and Representation”. The conference will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 13th October 2015 at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in London.

The aim of the conference – linking to the Magna Carta celebrations – is to get young people thinking about the duties and limits of state power, the rights of the people, and thinking about the rules of our democracy.  The conference will explore these themes by creating engagement between young people and the experiences of either radical or less mainstream political campaign groups or charities. 

The PSA's own academic members will also be involved during the conference to introduce students to academic research around the themes of the conference.  The conference will bring the research/ workshop discussions together with a panel of representatives who are actively out there “doing” or campaigning on these issues.

A draft programme is available online here.

There is no charge for this event and PSA Teacher Members are being offered priority booking.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided to students and their teacher(s).  Places are limited and allocated on a first-come-first-served basisImage: friendsoftheearthscotland CC BY-NC-ND

Registration Is Now Open

Registration for the PSA's Sixth Form conference on “Pressure Groups, Anti-politics and Representation” is now open via the PSA's Eventbrite page:


Please note: places are available on a first come first served basis. Students are welcome to attend on their own by registering individually.

Final Places Remaining: free workshops on applying to study politics at university

For the fourth consecutive year, we are running a series of free one-day workshops in late June and early July for students who are thinking of studying politics as a single or joint honours degree.

The workshops will cover areas such as: selecting the right course and institution, the application process, and what to expect when you get to university.  New for 2015 - all workshops will include a session called "Working in Politics" delivered by a practitioner to talk to prospective politics students about their experiences of working in political roles and how a degree in politics could relate to this.

A draft programme can be viewed online here and this year’s dates are as follows: 

University of Stirling  - Tuesday 16th June  
University of Manchester  - Wednesday 24th June
Warwick University  - Thursday 25th June  
University College London  - Monday 29th June (nearly at capacity!)  
University of Bristol  - Wednesday 1st July  

Students who have attended these workshops in the past have always found them to be extremely useful. In particular, the session on the application process, which is led by a politics admissions tutor, outlines the process in much more detail than time permits during an Open Day. Lunch will also be provided for students and their teacher(s).

REGISTER online via the PSA's Eventbrite page.

UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign

We are very pleased to announce the publication of "UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign”.

Featuring 71 articles from 92 leading UK academics, this special publication captures the immediate thoughts, reflections and early research insights on the 2015 UK General Election from the cutting edge of media and politics research.

Published 10 days after the election, these contributions are short and accessible. They are aimed at a wider audience and would be good material for high achieving A-level or Scottish Higher students.

See the Election Analysis website for more details. Or visit the PSA website to download a free PDF of the publication here.

Some notable articles for your students are:

Revision Resources: PSA General Election Media Briefings

The PSA's General Election Media Briefings and a number of other interactive resources are available for download (including podcasts and slides):

The Conservative Party - Professor Jane Green (University of Manchester)
Video - Podcast - Slides

The Labour Party - Professor Tim Bale (Queen Mary, University of London)
Video - Podcast

The Liberal Democrats - Dr David Cutts (University of Bath)
Video - Podcast - Slides

UKIP - Dr Matthew Goodwin (University of Nottingham)
Video - Slides

The Green Party - Professor Sarah Birch (University of Glasgow)
Video - Slides

The SNP - Dr Rob Johns (University of Essex)
Video - Slides

The Latest Forecast and Likely Coalition Permutations (16 April 2015) with Professor John Curtice (University of Strathclyde), Dr Jennifer Hudson (University College London) and others.
Slides and Presentation Pack - Video (via BBC) - Podcasts

You can also watch these back on the BBC's iPlayer here.

We hope that you find these useful for your teaching.

“Designing for Democracy – what would you propose?”

Our annual competition is back! For the fourth consecutive year, we are inviting groups of A-Level and Higher Education students to submit short videos on a topical subject. This year’s competition asks students to explore the question:

Designing for Democracy – what would you propose?” 

The aim of this competition, kindly sponsored by both the Design Commission and YouGov, is to get students exploring the advantages and disadvantages of different types of democratic systems, whilst creating their own proposal.

As in previous years, the winning group receive their award at the PSA’s Annual Awards Dinner in London in December which is broadcast on BBC Parliament.  Accommodation is provided for them, along with their teacher in a central London hotel.  On top of this, the winning students will each be invited to spend a week voluntarily shadowing the YouGov political team during their school holidays! 

Check out our competition poster outlining all the details about this year’s competition and for how to enter. For video ideas please view our 2014 competition page online here.

Twilight Seminar for Politics Teachers

Designed for those teaching subjects such as A-level Government & Politics, Parliament Education Services' specialist seminars provide a range of in-depth sessions with a focus on specific topics relating to the work of Parliament, chosen to reflect areas of the syllabus.

On Tuesday 9th June between 4.00pm – 7.00pm, there will be three seminars around the theme of Parliament and the EU.

Speakers include: Stephen Kinnock MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Vaughne Miller, House of Commons Library EU specialist

To book a place, please email: teachertraining@parliament.uk

Keeping up-to-date with the PSA schools' initiatives

Follow the PSA on Twitter or search for the #PSAschools hashtag for real time updates for all our schools' activities, news and campaigns.

As a PSA Teacher Member you have full access to the Schools’ Area of the PSA website.  Here you can find all the latest information about the following initiatives we offer to schools:

•         Free Speakers Programmes for Schools sessions
•         Free professional development resources
•         Free subscriptions to leading publications, including Political Insight
•         Priority registration to PSA schools' events including our Annual Parliament Week event
•         Priority registration for student career workshops

Keeping In Touch...

Don't forget, members can access the Teachers' e-News archive online here.

I’m always keen to hear from you, so please keep in touch or let me know how we can serve you better. If you feel any colleagues would be interested in this e-Newsletter, please forward them a copy.

With very best wishes,

James Ludley
Programme Development Officer

020 7321 2545
PSA Head Office, 113a Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6HJ.