We're hiring! Be a digital sub-editor on NewStatesman.com

The NS website is looking for an enthusiastic, web-savvy sub.

Digital sub-editor  – newstatesman.com

The New Statesman is hiring a digital sub-editor, who will work on our website and digital editions.

This a full-time paid job based in our office in Blackfriars, with a salary to be determined depending on experience.

The successful candidate will be passionate and enthusiastic about how articles are presented, with a keen eye for an engaging headline. They will work primarily on newstatesman.com, subbing and uploading articles, writing SEO-friendly headlines and picture captions, as well as working on the New Statesman’s iPad app and Kindle editions. The position is a junior one on our expanding web desk, and would suit a sub-editor with some experience in online production.

The ideal candidate will:

-          Have excellent editing and fact-checking skills

-          Have a working knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation and writing headlines for the internet

-          Demonstrate the ability to work efficiently and without errors in a fast-paced environment

-          Have a background in sub-editing or production

-          Be passionate about the detail of how articles are presented

-          Be familiar with how to use a web content management system

-          Have some experience with using photo-editing software

Please apply with a CV and a covering letter to Deputy Editor Helen Lewis on helen[at]newstatesman[dot]co[dot]uk by Monday 14 October at 5pm. As part of your covering letter, please include a 200-word outline of how you think the presentation of articles on newstatesman.com could be improved. Please do not include large attachments with your email. 

NB Applications which do not follow this outline will not be considered. Please note that this is a production role, not a reporting or writing one.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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The SATs strike: why parents are taking their children out of school to protest against exams

Parents are keeping their children away from school to highlight the dangers of “over testing” young pupils.

My heart is beating fast and I feel sick. I force myself to eat some chocolate because someone said it might help. I take a deep breath and open the door…

The hall is silent except for the occasional cough and the shuffling of chairs. The stench of nervous sweat lingers in the air.

“Turn over your papers, you may begin.”

I look at the clock and I am filled with panic. I feel like I might pass out. I pick up my pen but my palms are so sweaty it is hard to grip it properly. I want to cry. I want to scream, and I really need the toilet.

This was how I felt before every GCSE exam I took. I was 16. This was also how I felt before taking my driving test, aged 22, and my journalism training (NCTJ) exams when I was 24.

Being tested makes most of us feel anxious. After all, we have just one chance to get stuff right. To remember everything we have learned in a short space of time. To recall facts and figures under pressure; to avoid failure.

Even the most academic of adults can find being in an exam situation stressful, so it’s not hard to imagine how a young child about to sit their Year 2 SATs must feel.

Today thousands of parents are keeping their kids off school in protest at these tough new national tests. They are risking fines, prosecution and possible jail time for breach of government rules. By yesterday morning, more than 37,000 people had signed a petition backing the Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign and I was one of them.

I have a daughter in reception class who will be just six years old when she sits her SATs. These little ones are barely out of pull-up pants and now they are expected to take formal exams! What next? Babies taught while they are in the womb? Toddlers sitting spelling tests?

Infants have fragile self-esteem. A blow to their confidence at such an impressionable age can affect them way into adulthood. We need to build them up not tear them down. We need to ensure they enjoy school, not dread it. Anxiety and fear are not conducive to learning. It is like throwing books at their heads as a way of teaching them to read. It will not work. They are not machines. They need to want to learn.

When did we stop treating children like children? Maybe David Cameron would be happier if we just stopped reproducing all together. After all, what use to the economy are these pesky kids with their tiny brains and individual emotional needs? Running around all happy and carefree, selfishly enjoying their childhood without any regard to government statistics or national targets.

Year 2 SATs, along with proposals for a longer school day and calls for baseline reception assessments (thankfully now dropped) are just further proof that the government do not have our children’s best interests at heart. It also shows a distinct lack of common sense. It doesn’t take a PhD in education to comprehend that a child is far more likely to thrive in a calm, supportive and enjoyable environment. Learning should be fun. The value in learning through play seems to be largely underestimated.

The UK already has a far lower school starting age than many other countries, and in my opinion, we are already forcing them into a formal learning environment way too soon.

With mental health illness rates among British children already on the rise, it is about time our kids were put first. The government needs to stop “throwing books at heads” and start listening to teachers and parents about what is best for the children.

Emily-Jane Clark is a freelance journalist, mother-of-two and creator of stolensleep.com, a humorous antithesis to baby advice.