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Ashley Kent, head of the education, environment and economy group at the Institute of Education, University of London, is the new president of the Geographical Association.

Mike Berry, head of the building and civil engineering faculty at Hull College, has been elected chair of the British Association of Construction Heads.

Peter Joslin, the chief constable of Warwickshire Constabulary and Britain's longest serving policeman, has been appointed vice-chair of the Prince Michael Road Safety Awards. He succeeds Sir Andrew Sloan, the former chief constable of Strathclyde Police, who has retired.

CONFERENCES SEPTEMBER 19 AND 25 REMOVING THE BARRIERS TO ACHIEVEMENT Organised by Royal Society of Arts at Barbican Centre, London EC2, and National Railway Museum, York, respectively, for those working with lower attainers and under achievers. Speakers include: Stephen Byers MP, shadow minister for education and employment; Nick Tate, chief executive, School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (London venue only); and John Hillier, chief executive, National Council for Vocational Qualifications. Fee: Pounds 117.50, Pounds 88.12 (discounted rate). Details: Caroline Geraghty, 01203 470033.

SEPTEMBER 25 MEDIA MOVES: CAREERS IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES Organised by British Film Institute at National Film Theatre, South Bank, London SE1, for anyone charged with advising young people about media studies courses and career prospects in the rapidly changing media industries. Fee: Pounds 65. Details: Alpa Patel, 0171 255 1444.

SEPTEMBER 30 TECHNOLOGY FOR SECONDARY MATHEMATICS Organised by and held at Oundle School, near Peterborough. It will feature Autograph, spreadsheets, Derive for Windows, the Internet, interactive learning systems and T192 graphic calculators. Fee: Pounds 40. Details: 01832 273444.

EVENTS SEPTEMBER 17 AND 26 MYTHICAL QUEST LECTURES Free lunchtime lectures linked to the British Library's "Mythical Quest" exhibition will be held in the British Museum lecture theatre, Great Russell Street, London WC1, 1.15-2pm. The first, on the Holy Grail, will be given by Richard Barber, author of numerous books on Arthurian literature, and the second, on Jason and the Golden Fleece, by Scot McKendrick, curator of the exhibition. Details: 0171 412 7760 or 0171 412 7797 (recorded information).

MONTHLY STARTING SEPTEMBER 21-22 THE GREAT ART ADVENTURE The Tate Liverpool is running drop in afternoons, 1.30-4.30 pm, for children aged five upwards with accompanying adults. Themes include: characters and conversations; Rachel Whiteread Shedding Life; home and away; and Christmas games. Also available, on every second Sunday of the month from September 8, are drop in afternoons for 14 to 25-year-olds on similar themes, where they can have a go at a gallery game, join in thought-provoking discussions and try out a challenging practical activity in the studio. Free except in paying exhibitions. Details: Naomi Horlock, 0151 709 3223.

SEPTEMBER 24 AND 26 CHOICE AND DIVERSITY Debates organised by Campaign for State Education at Institute of Education, London WC1, 6pm, and Friend's Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester, 7 pm, respectively. In London, the debates involve Professor Richard Pring, Oxford University, and Dr John Marks, a member of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority.(admission Pounds 5, members free); and in Manchester, Dr James Tooley, Manchester University, and John Dunford, past president, Secondary Heads Association, (admission Pounds 3, members free). Details: 0181 944 8206.

COMPETITIONS MOTOROLA YOUTH PARLIAMENT COMPETITION The Citizenship Foundation invites secondary and sixth form groups to make, and send in by February 14, a 20-minute video of their own question time and debate. The top four regional winners proceed to a "live" play-off debate - last year held on the Parliament set at Granada Studios. Prizes include meetings with leading political and media personalities in Westminster. Schools should register by October 30. Details: Mary Domanska, 0171 236 2171 or e-mail: citfou MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: THEATRICAL MAKE-UP The Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and Treasure House of Make-Up is inviting initial entries from pupils aged up to 18 by October 31. Finals will be held at the Education Show, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on March 7. The winner will receive a 24-colour make-up palette and a half-day workshop for their school plus make-up worth Pounds 100 for the school's drama department. Send SAE to: Ann Jones, 73 Berry Hill Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG18 4RU.

SAFETY FIRST The Road Safety Officers' National Films Committee is inviting primary schools to submit a short video, by October 31, about a road safety initiative in which pupils and teachers are involved. Judging will take account of artistic and original scripting as well as road safety content. Details: D G Harrington, Road Safety Officer, London Borough of Redbridge, Ley Street House, 479499 Ley Street, Ilford, Essex IG2 7QX.

PUBLICATIONs HOT OFF THE PRESS Harrow Council's Community and Youth Service is looking for budding editors, journalists, photographers, production staff and an agony aunt in their mid to late teens to work on the first edition of a new magazine for the same age group in Harrow. Young people unable to make a regular commitment to the project may still contribute occasional articles and photographs. Meetings to plan the launch are held at the Hatch End Training Rooms, adjacent to the Harrow Arts Centre every Thursday at 7.30pm, or further information is available from 0181 424 1905.

OFSTED POLICIES Has any secondary school recently passed OFSTED? The Royal Hospital Chelsea is offering a conducted tour of the hospital to a school prepared to loan a copy of OFSTED's Policies "to one heading that way". Please contact the Clerk to the Governors, Gordon House, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR.

INFORMATION CHILDLINE COOKIE CHALLENGE The ChildLine charity, supported by Homepride Flour, is challenging schools, youth groups and organisations to make and sell half a million telephone shaped cookies to raise money towards its Pounds 7 million tenth birthday appeal. This will help provide extra phone lines and train more counsellors. To obtain free pack look out for promotional bags of Homepride Flour or write to: ChildLine Cookie Challenge, PO Box 1111, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7LY.

RESEARCHREQUESTS THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN To help with his B.Ed dissertation, Glen Booth, of Westminster College, Oxford, would like to hear from key stage 2 teachers who have attempted to incorporate all children into their IT lessons. Have you noticed any improvements in SEN children who use IT and how do you overcome the problem of SEN children not becoming proficient in IT because their class mates always finish their work first? Address: 34 Valley Gardens, North Walsham, Norfolk NR28 9QE.

AGE DISCRIMINATION WITHIN THE FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION SECTORS For his master's degree dissertation, Robert Cherry, a business studies lecturer at Wulfrun College of Further Education, would like to hear from lecturers in FE and HE who feel they have been victims of ageism. Comments from retired lecturers also welcome. All information will be treated in absolute confidence. Address: 103 Jeffcock Road, Wolverhampton WV3 7AG.

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