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Yes, that time of the year is looming when university applicants should begin crafting an essay masterpiece of no more than 4,000 characters. Here is a great 10-step guide from The Student Room that contains sage advice like "it is never too early to start!"

from TES

Teachers and academics 'disagree' over what makes for a good UCAS personal statement

Personal Statements: agreeing to disagree is not a solution!

The 10 most important pieces of advice for anyone starting A-levels, courtesy of our friends at The Student Room. Some points may appear obvious but how quickly they can be forgotten!

A detailed two-part video presented by a recent Oxford graduate on how to craft your Personal Statement in the allotted 4,000 characters. Well worth taking the time. Part One: Part Two:

This Study Planner is a great free resource from The Student Room. There are hundreds out there but this one is on our recommended list.

This is from a US site aimed at art students. It has several sample Artist Statements that offer some guidance but, remember, your Statement is a personal missive and there is no magic formula.

from The Independent

Teacher recruitment, not grammar schools, is the real problem

Common sense at a time when UNESCO is reporting that 69 million new teachers are required to meet the Millennium goal of universal primary and secondary education by 2030. How politicians cloud macro-education issues to score party points never ceases to surprise.

Have some sympathy for art students. They have to endure the onerous task of the Personal Statement and complete an Artist Statement as well. Here is an excellent and irreverent site run by artists that pinpoints what is required.

Here is a helpful UCAS video guide from an enthusiastic admissions tutor explaining the key points to include in a Personal Statement and what to leave out.

Several leading medical and dentistry colleges require students to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test. Candidates have just one shot at the test during the year and it should be taken by October prior to applications.