Posted on 26th October 2009
The Learning and Enterprise Centre (based in the Blue Coat School) has recently been announced as the national winner of the Learndirect Centre Award for 2009.

Over 100 people from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland attended the awards ceremony at the Riverbank Park Plaza in London on Monday 19th October, in the hope of winning a national Learndirect Achievement Award.

Each of them had been short listed from over 1,800 nominations nationwide, and had won a regional Learndirect Achievement Award at one of eleven ceremonies held over the summer; The Learning & Enterprise Centre was a North West regional winner of the Learndirect Centre Award. TV and radio presenter Eamonn Holmes and his partner Ruth Langsford hosted the ceremony

The Learndirect Centre Award recognises Centres that have provided outstanding performance and customer care and tutor support for their learners. Evidence was also required of how the Centre has used technology innovatively in order to provide supported e-learning to businesses and individuals.

The Learning and Enterprise Centre uses technology innovatively to deliver Learndirect training. Videoconferencing is its latest method of supporting learners and Facebook is its latest marketing tool. The Centre team has developed strong partnerships with the local business community and agencies in the region, with a focus on work-based learning and employment skills training.

The Centre is always improving access, aiming to help learners who have never had the opportunity to gain qualifications or achieve success through learning before.

On winning the award, Connie Hancock (Centre Manager) from The Learning & Enterprise Centre said: "We have a committed team who are all extremely enthusiastic about adult learning and its ability to empower our learning community. It's a real privilege to win this award and an inspiration to witness how Learndirect can transform lives".

If you would like to find out more about the learning opportunities and qualifications available at the Centre, please call 01244 220404 or log onto our website at www.chester.ac.uk/lec

Posted on 12th July 2009
Primates use hugs and help with grooming as bargaining chips in a world in which mothers with an infant hold the cards, a meeting of senior primatologists has heard.

During a meeting of the Northern England Primates Group (NEPG) at Chester Zoo, the University of Chester's Professor of Behavioural Biology, Colleen Schaffner, reviewed research which shows that embraces and grooming are used as 'currencies' by different species of primate to gain access to an infant.

And in groups where there is only one infant, the mother is able to use 'market forces' to ensure she gets a better deal.

Professor Schaffner explained: "We have seen evidence in studying capuchin monkeys that females will offer grooming to a mother in exchange for access to the infant, and in baboons a market can develop in which a lot more grooming will be asked for before access is granted if there is only one infant in the group.

"With spider monkeys, we have seen that embraces are offered in exchange for access, and again market forces operate. The mother of a sole infant in a group would certainly need more hugs before allowing access. We found this to be the case in wild spider monkeys, and in spider monkeys living at Chester Zoo.

"This is particularly interesting. It is clear what the benefits of grooming would be in terms of hygiene, although beyond reassurance we still need to examine why embraces are used in this way."

Professor Schaffner also briefly discussed her research into the social relationships of spider monkeys, which has found that hugs are also important in reducing aggression when individuals come together. Spider monkeys were much more likely to be aggressive towards each other if they did not embrace on meeting, the research found.

The NEPG is made up of some of the country's leading primatologists, including experts from universities and those working at zoos across the North of England. The meeting was opened by Professor Gordon McGregor Reid, Director General and Chief Executive of Chester Zoo, who was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Chester in 2006.

Professor McGregor Reid spoke about the £35million investment that had been made since 1995, the dramatic £225 million Natural Vision project, and the possibility of gorillas returning to the zoo in a new exhibit to be called Heart of Africa.

He said: "Heart of Africa would be a fantastic immersion experience, giving people a much greater sense of what it is really like out in the field. I think there is a good case for bringing gorillas back to the zoo."

Professor Reid also emphasized the value of research at Chester Zoo and highlighted a collaborative effort between the zoo and the University, in which an enclosure was designed to facilitate ongoing observational research at the University of Chester.

The meeting also heard briefly about gorillas using sticks to wade through water and an instance of an orang-utan spear fishing, while Dr Sonya Hill, the Research Officer at Chester Zoo, discussed ensuring good welfare for zoo primates.

Posted on 2nd July 2009

Experts from the University of Chester's Warrington campus are helping businesses find ways to beat the 'credit crunch'.

Some 30 delegates from small to medium-sized companies attended a business breakfast, offering valuable advice during the financial slump.

Held at the University's Warrington campus, the Breakfast Networking Event was organised by the Faculty of Business and Management in conjunction with the Warrington Chamber of Commerce.

Meryl Bradshaw, Business School Programmes Manager for the Warrington campus, explained: "This is a great way of linking in with the local business community and highlighting how the University can help businesses in the current economic climate.

"The University of Chester is an important part of Warrington's business community, and we have a team of highly qualified business academics who are able to deliver bespoke programmes and innovative training, designed to support future success."

She added: "Networking events are always beneficial for businesses and I am sure that the participants took away a lot of helpful advice."

Chris Pyke, Head of Chester Business School, added: "The business breakfast was a great success, with many companies giving positive feedback. We will be hosting similar networking events in the future."

For further information on all business-related programmes at the University of Chester, contact Meryl Bradshaw by emailing m.bradshaw@chester.ac.uk, or by calling 01925 534205

Although I began my working life as a dental surgeon, I soon realised it was not the career for me and so completed a PGCE in Primary Education in 1975. Since that time, I have taught in a number of primary schools in London and Shropshire, becoming a Head Teacher in 1982.

Qualifications

PhD

Overview

In 1991, I started work at the University of Chester and have held a number of positions at the University, all related to teacher education.

In 2003, I stopped full-time work at the University in order to complete a PhD. My area of research interest was how primary education could be maintained in developing countries during armed conflict and the field work was in Uganda. International Education remains an especial interest.

Teaching

In 2007, I was appointed a Visting Fellow of the University

I never regretted my decision to change from dentistry to primary teaching (and my patients were probably happy with that decision as well!) and I still find the whole business of education fascinating. It is a privilege to work with the next generations of teachers; I hope some of my enthusiasm transmits itself to them.

Duis consequat pharetra turpis. Mauris interdum dictum libero. Vestibulum arcu augue, pulvinar sit amet, auctor at, laoreet eu, orci. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Etiam ullamcorper, nisi eu lacinia tristique, eros nisl placerat erat, eget fringilla lectus tellus vitae felis. Suspendisse id velit ac nisi gravida viverra. In est nisl, ullamcorper sed, lacinia a, luctus nec, tortor. Sed quis diam ac tortor aliquet hendrerit. Fusce tortor augue, vulputate ut, eleifend eu, placerat scelerisque, risus. Nam a lorem eu orci vulputate suscipit. Phasellus ante est, auctor eu, vehicula nec, fermentum in, orci. Sed at ante. In non sem at augue semper vulputate. Morbi eget felis. Curabitur nisi. Aliquam id neque eget diam eleifend vestibulum. Maecenas nec purus. Aenean sit amet nisi. Aenean cursus, sapien porta facilisis eleifend, purus tellus ultricies quam, nec iaculis augue mauris non augue. Curabitur ac nisi.

Qualifications

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Overview

Nam ornare euismod massa. Ut iaculis, leo ultrices porta luctus, lorem tellus imperdiet risus, nec condimentum velit leo egestas nisl. Morbi urna libero, sollicitudin in, laoreet quis, malesuada vitae, ante. Nulla eu magna. Sed sagittis viverra quam. Morbi diam. Integer luctus elementum mi. Nunc ut purus sed lectus suscipit sodales. Maecenas laoreet feugiat lectus. Donec lacinia elit ac neque. Integer augue nisl, porttitor vitae, consequat at, iaculis sit amet, metus. Vestibulum a arcu. Etiam vel lectus.

Duis consequat pharetra turpis. Mauris interdum dictum libero. Vestibulum arcu augue, pulvinar sit amet, auctor at, laoreet eu, orci. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Etiam ullamcorper, nisi eu lacinia tristique, eros nisl placerat erat, eget fringilla lectus tellus vitae felis. Suspendisse id velit ac nisi gravida viverra. In est nisl, ullamcorper sed, lacinia a, luctus nec, tortor. Sed quis diam ac tortor aliquet hendrerit. Fusce tortor augue, vulputate ut, eleifend eu, placerat scelerisque, risus. Nam a lorem eu orci vulputate suscipit. Phasellus ante est, auctor eu, vehicula nec, fermentum in, orci. Sed at ante. In non sem at augue semper vulputate. Morbi eget felis. Curabitur nisi. Aliquam id neque eget diam eleifend vestibulum. Maecenas nec purus. Aenean sit amet nisi. Aenean cursus, sapien porta facilisis eleifend, purus tellus ultricies quam, nec iaculis augue mauris non augue. Curabitur ac nisi.

Teaching

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Research

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Published work

Nam ornare euismod massa. Ut iaculis, leo ultrices porta luctus, lorem tellus imperdiet risus, nec condimentum velit leo egestas nisl. Morbi urna libero, sollicitudin in, laoreet quis, malesuada vitae, ante. Nulla eu magna. Sed sagittis viverra quam. Morbi diam. Integer luctus elementum mi. Nunc ut purus sed lectus suscipit sodales. Maecenas laoreet feugiat lectus. Donec lacinia elit ac neque. Integer augue nisl, porttitor vitae, consequat at, iaculis sit amet, metus. Vestibulum a arcu. Etiam vel lectus.

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