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Changes to tier 2 visas ‘not a risk government should take’

29 September 2016

A senior adviser from EEF has called for the government to pause upcoming changes to tighten the Tier 2 visa system for non-EU migrants.

A senior adviser to the UK manufacturers’ organisation EEF is calling on the government to scrap or, at least, put on hold upcoming changes to tighten the Tier 2 visa system for non-EU migrants, in a bid to avoid worsening the nation’s skills shortage.

Verity O’Keefe, the EEF’s senior employment and skills policy adviser, says the post-Brexit uncertainty over the future of the principle of the free movement of people across the EU is heightening employers’ fears over...

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Staying connected to your child at boarding school

29 September 2016

Keeping in touch with boarders Enrolling your child in a boarding school is a huge and heart wrenching decision and not one that you took lightly. Once made you’ll feel confident your motives were the right ones; you want the undeniable benefits the school will bring your child. You also know that not being there to mop up tears, to help with homework, resolve daily crises and talk about boys, or girls, is going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life. But you are doing this for your child’s best future.

For expat parents, boarding school is often...

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Education reform in England

28 September 2016

Just before June’s Brexit bombshell nudged all other events off the news agenda, government plans for education reform were dominating the headlines. And with Theresa May’s first domestic speech as Prime Minister, in which she announced that she planned to lift the ban on the expansion of new grammar schools, it seems that education is firmly back on the policy agenda for Brexit Britain.

The government’s central aim in its programme of education reform is to drive up standards in England’s schools to match those of schools in other high-performing countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) international...

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European economy expected to continue at a steady pace

28 September 2016

Mr Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee members on 26 September that recovery in the euro area is expected to continue at a moderate and steady pace, but slower than envisaged in June due to a lower foreign demand outlook. On the positive side, he said that the euro area economy showed resilience to global and political uncertainty, notably following the UK referendum outcome.

Real GDP growth is now forecast at 1.7 per cent for 2016 and 1.6 per cent for 2017 and 2018. Inflation is forecast at 0.2 per cent for 2016 and 1.2 per cent for 2017,...

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Ineos boss calls for UK shale exploitation as first US shipment arrives

28 September 2016

The first shipment of US shale gas to the UK arrived in Scotland on Tuesday, renewing the controversy over the future of the fracking industry in Britain.

Although the UK is estimated to have substantial reserves of shale gas, government and industry desires to exploit them in a bid to end the nation’s growing reliance on imports, they have so far been stymied by conservationists and community groups opposed to local fracking plans.

The US shale gas shipment arrived at the Ineos petrochemical plant in Grangemouth as Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and chairman of the company, told the BBC that fracking was...

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Fashion retailer George Davies: ‘Promote more women to top fashion jobs’

28 September 2016

Mr Davies, founder of clothing retailer Next and behind the George at Asda label, says more needs to be done to promote them to director level, reports the BBC.

Women “have more vision than men” and their promotion would help boost firms, he told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours.

Campaigners Women in Retail welcomed his call, saying retail was often still a “boys’ club”.

Research published earlier this year, by the group, found that while 60 per cent of those employed in the retail industry are women and 85 per cent of all retail purchases are made or influenced by women, only...

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Brexit Britain WILL thrive out of EU as our economy SURGES ahead

27 September 2016

LEADING economists have accepted at last that British business is surging ahead following the Brexit vote, the Treasury revealed yesterday.

A monthly analysis of forecasts prepared for Chancellor Philip Hammond showed that dozens of independent experts believe national output will continue growing this year.

On average, they expect growth to continue at exactly the same rate as forecast before the EU referendum.

The verdict was a major reversal following earlier expectations that the country’s decision to leave the EU would deliver a massive shock to the economy.

Instead, the data suggests that the historic vote had no significant impact on growth at all.

The u-turn...

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John McDonnell vows ‘£10 real living wage in 2020’

27 September 2016

Labour would introduce a “real living wage” of at least £10 an hour in 2020 if in power, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has announced.

The announcement was made yesterday by McDonnell, who said it was “the level needed for a decent life” and that under a Labour government “everyone will earn enough to live on”.

A new National Living Wage, which came into force in April, requires employers to pay workers over 25 at least £7.20 an hour, rising to £9 by 2020.

Mr McDonnell told conference that the Living Wage — currently £7.20 per hour for workers aged over 25, £6.70 per...

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British CEOs Consider Relocation After Brexit, KPMG Survey Shows

27 September 2016

CEOs are reacting to the prevailing uncertainty with contingency planning

LONDON—Three-quarters of British chief executives say they are considering moving their headquarters or some of their operations outside the U.K. as a result of the country’s vote to leave the European Union, according to a survey by accounting firm KPMG.

The firm polled one hundred CEOs at companies involved in businesses such as manufacturing and retail, with annual revenue ranging from £100 million ($129.7 million) to more than £1 billion. Among those polled, 23% said they were “definitely considering” a move as a result of the June 23 vote by Britain to...

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English tourism set for bumper decade, says report

27 September 2016

New research from the Local Government Association predicts that English tourism could grow by almost three per cent every year for the next ten years.

English tourism is set to grow by almost three per cent every year over the next decade, out-stripping growth in the economy as a whole, according to research published on Tuesday – World Tourism Day ­– by the Local Government Association (LGA).

The LGA said the research, which it commissioned from the RCS consultancy, showed that local authorities could use the government’s devolution agenda to turn their areas into “thriving tourist hotspots” for both British and overseas...

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UK ‘to benefit more from Brexit than rest of EU’

27 September 2016

Mathias Doepfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, discusses how the EU referendum may leave the UK in a more advantageous position than the remaining countries. The vote to leave the European Union could see the UK prosper more than nations remaining in the bloc, according to Mathias Doepfner, chief executive of the German publishing giant Axel Springer.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, Mr Doepfner said that while there would inevitably be problems in the short term for the UK, he could see the UK adopting a “more free market-oriented model” that could be a “highly attractive” alternative to...

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Euro parliament chief brands Brexit a ‘lose, lose’

26 September 2016

The president of the European Parliament has said Britain’s vote in June to leave the EU is a disaster for both the UK and the EU. Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, has described the Brexit vote in June’s referendum as a “disaster” for both the UK and the European Union.

In a speech at the London School of Economics on Friday afternoon, Mr Schulz said the leave vote represented a “lose, lose” situation for both sides and, after talks with Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, he suggested the UK government was taken by surprise by the referendum...

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EU to lose millions more jobs than UK if Brexit barriers erected

26 September 2016

Some 2.2 million more jobs in the European Union are reliant on trade with the UK than the number of British jobs dependent on exports to the EU, according to an analysis by the Civitas think-tank.

The findings suggest that the EU has far more to lose than Britain in terms of employment and trade should tariff barriers be imposed once the UK exits the bloc.

According to the Civitas analysis, 5.8 million jobs in the continental EU are tied to trade with the UK, compared to 3.6 million posts in the UK tied to exports to other EU nations.

The report, published...

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'Significant' risk to UK firms if passporting rights lost after Brexit

26 September 2016

Treasury publishes FCA data showing over 8,000 companies authorised in other EU states use these rules to do business in UK

A fresh warning about the impact Brexit would have on the City has been issued after a powerful committee of MPs published data showing that almost 5,500 UK firms rely on corporate “passports” to conduct business across the EU.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury select committee, said the business put at risk if the UK lost its access to the single market – and associated passporting rights for individual companies – was significant.

The Conservative MP published data provided by the...

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One in 10 firms report EU workers planning to quit

26 September 2016

ive per cent have already seen resignations in the wake of Brexit referendum, says BCC survey; impact on workforce seen as most concerning aspect of Brexit

EU nationals in around two-fifths (41 per cent) of British businesses have expressed concerns about their right to work in the UK after it leaves the EU, according to a new survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Five per cent of organisations experienced resignations from EU employees in the month following the referendum on EU membership, while 10 per cent reported that some workers had signalled their intention to leave the UK, according to...

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Brexit has had no major impact on the economy, says ONS

23 September 2016

Office of National Statistics’ view contrasts starkly with Bank of England and the OECD, who have both slashed forecasts.

The Brexit vote has had no major impact on the economy, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

“The referendum result appears, so far, not to have had a major effect on the UK economy,” ONS chief economist Joe Grice said, whilst warning that worse could be yet to come. “It hasn’t fallen at the first fence but longer-term effects remain to be seen,” he said.

The ONS had further good news for Theresa May, revealing that government borrowing for August had fallen...

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Why is the British education so revered around the world?

22 September 2016

Independent schools are part of the Great British fabric and there is nothing more quintessentially British than the house system – just think of Mr Chips or even Harry Potter. However, with so many schools now opening on international shores, the salient question is whether the house system has also made the journey. Brighton College Bangkok, for example, has four houses in common with its sister school in England. In our opinion, the successful implementation of the house system is integral to ensuring the same quality as our sister schools.

What is the house system?

At its most basic, it is a...

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HR volunteers to link local labour markets with schools

22 September 2016

A new national partnership between the Careers and Enterprise Company and the CIPD plans to recruit 500 HR professional volunteers to support young people find fulfilling work in a fast-moving labour market.

Members of the professional body for HR and people development will work alongside other senior business volunteers as part of the Enterprise Adviser Network to help schools understand the local labour market and develop a whole school careers education strategy, announced the CIPD today.

Introducing the scheme, Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive, said: “Far too often we hear about young people who leave school unprepared for the challenges of working...

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Government intervention can help sustain post-referendum jobs market success

22 September 2016

Business confidence has deteriorated significantly since the EU referendum, but employers say they need to hire more staff to meet demand, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

A third of employers surveyed in the three months to August say they have no capacity to take on more work without hiring more staff, while 43 per cent say they have only ‘a little’ spare capacity and would need to grow their workforce in order to meet an increase in demand.

More than a fifth of businesses plan to take on more permanent staff in the next...

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London prime property prices ‘to stall until 2019’

21 September 2016

Prime property prices in central London are expected to have fallen over 2016 by nine per cent by year’s end and will not return to growth until 2019, according to a report from Savills.

But the estate agents said that in the three years 2019-2021, anticipated price growth was 21 per cent among £4 million-plus properties in areas such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia.

The report said that the top end of the market in London had been heavily impacted by changes to stamp duty, including April’s three per cent surcharge on second-home buyers, and by uncertainty surrounding the referendum vote...

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May moves to reassure US banks eyeing relocation

21 September 2016

Theresa May met with US executives to hear their concerns following reports that US banks were considering moving operations out of London amid reports they would lose their ‘passporting rights’ post-Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has assured leaders of some of America’s biggest financial institutions that the UK will achieve the “best possible” trade deal with the European Union when it leaves the bloc, probably in 2019.

Mrs May, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting, said she met with US executives because she wanted “to hear from them what their concerns are” amid reports that major US...

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Government announces 77 new schools for England

20 September 2016

Education Secretary, Justine Greening has announced the approval of 77 new free schools in England.

The government has announced the latest round of free school approvals and has confirmed the September opening of some long anticipate new schools, including a new performing arts school in Liverpool spearheaded by Sir Paul McCartney. The news is likely to be welcomed by relocating families struggling to find good school places in their new location.

What are free schools?

Free schools can be set up by parents, teachers, charities, businesses, cultural and sporting bodies, community groups, academy trusts and sponsors, and existing schools in response to demand...

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Employers will promote internal talent to meet Brexit challenge

20 September 2016

Bosses are divided on whether staff morale will suffer following Brexit, with 48 percent of respondents to a recent survey believing it will and 51 percent expecting no change, despite 74 percent of organisations believing employees are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ by the impact of the vote. Though the majority of companies (82 percent) believe it is their duty to keep employees informed of the potential impact of Brexit on their organisations, few (11 percent) have started communicating openly. The report by Mercer, Planning for Brexit – Talent Implications, also suggests the while the true impact of potential changes to...

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UK property market recovering from ‘referendum wobble’

19 September 2016

The latest report from Rightmove shows the UK property market has recovered following a dip immediately after Brexit in June.

Further evidence that the UK property market has bounced back after dipping in the immediate aftermath of June’s referendum on EU membership, emerged on Monday in the latest report from Rightmove.

The online property portal said that asking prices had increased by £2,277 over the past month, a 0.7 per cent rise since August 20, which took the average asking price for a home in England and Wales to £306,499. Prices fell by more than £6,000 in July following the Brexit...

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Middle East investors look to North of England for Brexit bargains

19 September 2016

UK residential property has long been a favourite for Middle East investors. Now with Sterling remaining at historically low levels in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, many are taking the opportunity to build a portfolio at a saving of over 10%. Property agents are reporting a surge in sales to investors from UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East and North African states with currencies pegged to the dollar. However interest is moving away from the central London hotspots to Northern cities such as Manchester and Liverpool where yields are higher and there is greater...

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UK immigration and asylum tribunal fees to rise by 500%

16 September 2016

The government is to press ahead with increases of up to 500% in court fees for immigration and asylum cases, despite a consultation in which all but five of 147 responses opposed the move.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed the decision on Thursday, saying it was grateful for the responses to the consultation, but the policy remained that, where fees were charged to access public services, they should be set at such a level to recover the full cost.

The decision means that fees for an application to the first-tier tribunal dealing with immigration and asylum cases will increase from £80...

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UK retail sales shrug off Brexit vote

16 September 2016

UK retail sales were stronger than expected in August, suggesting consumer confidence has held up in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Sales volumes fell by just 0.2% last month, the Office for National Statistics said, while sales were up 6.2% from August last year

The ONS said the underlying pattern for the retail sector was “solid growth”. “Overall the figures do not suggest any major fall in post-referendum consumer confidence,” it said. The sales increase for July was also revised higher from 1.4% to 1.9% - the best performance for the month in 14 years. ING economist James Knightley said the figures offered further...

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European Commission president, Juncker, says UK might not receive access to the single market after leaving the EU.

15 September 2016

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, has warned that the UK might not be granted access to the single market after it leaves the European Union.

In his annual State of the Union speech, Mr Juncker said Britain could not expect “a la carte” access to the free trade zone with European leaders seeing free movement of people as a fundamental condition of membership.

Insisting that the Brexit vote did not signal “the disintegration of the European Union”, Mr Juncker accepted that the bloc was facing an “existential threat” because of growing nationalist and populist movements in various European nations.

In his address...

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100,000 job applicants lie on CV in attempt to secure employment

15 September 2016

Almost 100,000 job applicants have lied about qualifications in the past three years as they attempt to secure a job – and many are getting away with it as employers fail to check credentials before offering a contract, according to a new survey.

The AXELOS study found that almost half of UK-based HR professionals do not always check that applicant’s qualifications are valid.

Many organisations only find out members of staff have lied on their application after they have started work. 14 percent of HR professionals said they had dealt with at least five incidences within the last three years of employees...

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3 Tools to Build a Leadership Pipeline

15 September 2016

Leaders are difficult to find, leaving many companies scrambling when a higher ranking employee decides to leave.

1. Create an employer branding message.

Growth opportunities are great for attracting top talent and retaining employees. LinkedIn’s “Why and How People Change Jobs” report found that 45 percent of the 10,536 people surveyed who changed companies between late 2014 and early 2015 say they left because they were concerned about a lack of advancement opportunities. Fifty-nine percent say they started a new job for a stronger career path and more opportunity.

2. Start a talent mobility program.

Talent mobility programs are essential for building a robust...

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Company values a 'deal-breaker' for job candidates

14 September 2016

Half of UK professionals would consider turning down job offers from companies that don’t share their purpose, according to LinkedIn research.

New research released by LinkedIn today reveals that thousands of UK businesses could be missing out on hiring top talent by not doing enough to promote their company’s values to prospective candidates.

The global HR survey found that more than one-half of UK professionals (52 per cent) consider the sharing of an organisation’s purpose or values a deal-breaker. Despite this, only a minority of UK employers currently promote their company’s values or purpose when advertising roles.

Individuals considering international assignments are perhaps...

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Qualifications and education in Scotland

14 September 2016

The Scottish education system is distinctly different from other countries in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish parliament, through the Scotland Act 1998, has legislative control over all aspects of education in Scotland.

What is the curriculum in Scotland?

Scotland follows the Curriculum for Excellence (also known as the CfE) across nursery, primary and secondary schools. Unlike England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are no phases or stages, the curriculum runs from age three to 18. The aim of the curriculum is to provide a wider and more flexible range of subjects. Unlike the English system, the Scottish government only sets guidelines about the...

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Britain faces long road to trade deals

13 September 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to make Britain a global leader in trade after Brexit, but former negotiators say the country faces a long slog despite warm words from some world leaders over forging new relationships.

With other countries reluctant to get involved in detailed discussions until Britain’s future ties with the European Union are clear, and a lack of negotiators in London ready to begin talks, any firm deals could be years away. While the government says it can do the groundwork, Britain cannot formally sign trade agreements until it leaves the EU, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said...

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Appeal ruling opens UK employment law to British expats

13 September 2016

British expats may be able to use UK employment law following a ruling by the EAT, with potential implications for HR departments.

British expatriates working for UK companies or organisations abroad could use UK employment laws to pursue claims against their employers following a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

The ruling could have far-reaching implications for HR departments at global companies assigning UK nationals to foreign postings, according to lawyers involved in the case.

In an article for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, solicitors at Penningtons Manches – a UK law firm headquartered in London – reveal that an...

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Businesses see older workers as most talented employees

13 September 2016

Disabled people and migrant staff also rated highly in CIPD report on attitudes to employability

Older workers are perceived as the most talented and employable of all underrepresented demographic groups in the workforce, according to a new CIPD survey of more than 2,000 HR managers and line managers – with disabled people and migrant workers also scoring highly.

The Attitudes to employability and talent report, which explored views towards employability, saw workers aged over 55 scoring an average of 6.93 out of 10 when ranked on the attributes used to describe a talented employee.

They were seen as having a more positive attitude...

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Education system in England

12 September 2016

For families relocating with children, finding the right school can seem a daunting task. With different school systems operating around the world, each country presents its own set of problems. Here we try to provide a summary of the English education system to help families make the right school choice.

UK education system

The education systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have continued to diversify in recent years. Scotland has its own qualifications framework, and while the systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland share some similarities, on closer inspection they all have their own distinctions.

Take a look at the...

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‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!' UK expats in legal bid to make ‘DICTATOR’ Juncker start Brexit talks

12 September 2016

UK nationals living abroad have taken the fight to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who is blocking any negotiations between the country and other EU states.

Describing Mr Juncker as a “bully” and a “dictator”, pressure group A Fair Deal for Expats will now legally challenge the decision at the European Court of Justice.

Spokesman John Shaw said: “People in Britain and across Europe have become accustomed to Mr Juncker’s antagonistic style and bombastic rhetoric.

“But his dictatorial-style bullying tactics will not be tolerated. Enough is enough.”

He added while the UK is still a member of the 28-country bloc, Mr Juncker...

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Britons may have to apply to visit Europe after Brexit

12 September 2016

European commission drawing up plans based on US system, which charges applicants a fee.

British citizens may have to apply online and pay to travel to Europe after the UK leaves the EU, under plans being drawn up by the bloc for a visa waiver programme similar to the US system.

The European commission is due to unveil draft legislation for the EU travel information and authorisation system (Etias) later this year as part of a broader response to calls for greater security across the continent following recent terror attacks in France and Belgium.

The scheme would cover all visitors to the passport-free...

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More than 900,000 UK workers now on zero-hours contracts

09 September 2016

TUC urges government to better support staff at sharp end of labour market as figures show surge in insecure jobs

The number of UK workers on zero-hours contracts has leapt 20% in a year to more than 900,000, indicating that insecure employment has become a permanent and growing feature of the jobs market.

The Office for National Statistics said 903,000, or 2.9%, of the employed workforce were on zero-hours contracts – which do not offer guaranteed hours or sick pay – in their main job, up from 747,000 last year.

Response to the data, the general secretary of trade union umbrella body the...

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Cautious optimism and activity increase for London property market

09 September 2016

There has been an increase in landlords’ flexibility and autumn activity, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Central London Sales and Letting indices for August.

In the three months to July the number of new properties put on the market increased 38.9 per cent, in comparison to the same period a year earlier. A series of tax rises and the potential effect of Brexit have led to an uncertainty over price growth in the sales market and subsequently caused a steady increase in supply over the past year.

The number of new prospective tenants increased 7.2 per cent in the three months to...

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5 Tips for Living in Gerrards Cross, England

09 September 2016

Living in Gerrards Cross

Given the easy commute from Gerrards Cross to London, it is predictably an expensive place to live. Here are some properties for sale and properties to buy in Gerrards Cross. Gerrards Cross is reported to be the most expensive postcode in Buckinghamshire.

Gerrards Cross is also sometimes referred to as mini Hollywood due to the celebrities that live there or near it.

Schools in Gerrards Cross

ACS Hillingdon International School writes that “historic towns such as Beaconsfield, Chalfont St Peter, or Gerrards Cross are all well within the school’s extensive busing zone.”

Here is a list of schools in Buckinghamshire, which...

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More pupils to learn Mandarin

09 September 2016

A new £10 million Mandarin Excellence Programme will see at least 5,000 young people on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.

Hundreds of secondary school pupils in England have already begun intensive lessons in Mandarin Chinese as the first initiative of its kind is rolled out across the country.

Secondary school pupils will study Mandarin for eight hours a week over the course of the next four years through the programme – a significant increase on the time pupils currently spend on the subject.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and is seen as important...

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