Author: Yvonne Wancke

Yvonne Wancke is a lecturer in Maths, Accounting and Research Skills at INTO Newcastle University. She is a member of the Labour Party and coordinator for Mutual Aid, Jesmond. She regularly writes and directs local and student theatre productions. She has lived in Newcastle all of her life and is passionate about the North East and the local community.

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BREAKING: Head of Ofqual resigns

Yvonne Wancke

The head of Ofqual, Sally Collier, has resigned today. This follows the turmoil around the A level and GCSE results this year. Originally A level students were given teacher assessments in place of exams. This was replaced by the use of a controversial algorithm based mainly on two key factors: the student’s prior attainment (in […]

BREAKINGUPDATED

Johnson flip flops on holiday

Yvonne Wancke

Today it was announced that the controversial ‘algorithm’ which decided A-level and GCSE grades would finally be abolished. This is a huge U- turn from the Westminster government. The algorithm was initially used as a way of standardising this year’s A-level results and was based largely on a student’s prior attainment as well as a […]

Blame it on the algorithm?

Yvonne Wancke

Algorithms have been mentioned a lot in recent days. We hear that it was an ‘algorithm’ that was responsible for the ‘downgrading’ of A level results this year. In fact, there is nothing wrong with an algorithm. Of itself it is neutral. Neither good nor bad. Let’s take a closer look. Firstly, what is an […]

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Nissan Night Vigil UPDATED

Yvonne Wancke

Local residents from the North East held a socially distanced night vigil outside the Nissan factory in Sunderland (Washington) on Friday 14th August at 9.30pm.  The group is concerned about the effect of a No Deal Brexit on industry and jobs throughout the North East and particularly at the Nissan plant in Sunderland. Members of […]

What a mockery!

Yvonne Wancke

Today it was announced that A-level and GCSE students in England would be guaranteed to achieve a grade which was no lower than their ‘mock’ grade. This begs a number of questions. Firstly, how accurate is a mock grade? Many of us have heard countless times the expression “it’s only the mocks”. As one Newcastle […]

73.4% of statistics are made up on the spot

Yvonne Wancke

On graphs, statistics and misleading numbers We are bombarded with numbers, graphs and statistics every day. We turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, click on a website and there they are, a vast array of images, figures and assumptions, so much to absorb and understand. It can be tempting to just soak it […]

Pandemic Python

Yvonne Wancke

Pandemic Python have been a great success and in the words of one Jesmond resident: “Niceness breeds niceness”

No to No-Deal Brexit at Nissan, Sunderland

Yvonne Wancke
Protesters at the Angel of the North

A group of concerned local residents from the North East are planning a socially distanced protest outside the Nissan factory in Sunderland (Washington). The group will call on the government to reject a No Deal Brexit as members are worried that this would risk jobs and seriously damage the economy. The protest will take place […]

Good Neighbours in Byker

Yvonne Wancke
Byker Mutual Aid banner

The beginning of lockdown saw a huge number of Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups spring up around the country. One of the first such groups to get started in Newcastle was Byker, an area close to the city centre. I talked to Silvie Fisch, local resident and group member to find out more. “The group was initiated […]

Mutual aid and solidarity in Alnwick

Yvonne Wancke
The Alnwick community larder, in an old BT phone box.

An interview with an activist If you take a walk in the centre of the pretty market town of Alnwick, Northumberland, you may stumble upon a community larder, in an old BT phone box…. It is clean and tidy, there is a good supply of well organised and presented food, and you can find hand […]