Education & schools work update
Headlines from the world of education and schools work:
- Boys lag behind girls after two school years: Boys are lagging behind girls in the basics after just two years at school, official figures show.
- NUS starts campaign to oust leading Lib Dems: National Union of Students launch ‘decapitation’ strategy aimed at ousting Nick Clegg and other top Liberal Democrats in protest at the party’s U-turn on tuition fees.
- Heads back plans for central funding of schools: Head teachers have given a broad welcome to plans for Whitehall to take full control of state school funding in England.
- Sure Start children’s centres told to charge for some services: Sarah Teather, the children’s minister, says in an interview with the Observer that services should be targeted at the neediest. Middle-class parents are likely to be charged for an increasing number of services at their local children’s centres under radical plans to overhaul Sure Start – the Labour government’s flagship childcare programme.
- Teachers fear restraint powers will bring chaos: Thousands of teachers in the UK fear chaos in the classroom if the Government goes ahead with plans to give them powers to restrain and search unruly pupils without proper training.
- Exams culture ‘fuelling teenage mental health problems’: A toxic mix of exam pressure, celebrity culture and the internet is fuelling mental health problems among schoolchildren, according to a leading headmistress.
- 700,000 children acting as carers, survey shows: BBC survey finds roughly 8% of secondary school pupils tested taking on caring roles. Almost 700,000 children in the UK may be acting as carers for parents or other relatives.
- Badly behaved pupils ‘should be banned from mainstream school for 12 months’: Badly behaved children are being fast-tracked back into the classroom after being suspended from school for just a few days, according to research.
- Law on religious assemblies in schools ‘should be axed’: Laws forcing schools to stage a daily Christian assembly should be scrapped because children should not be “coerced” into religion, according to a head teachers’ leader.
- School pupils plan national walkout over tuition fees: Thousands of schoolchildren and sixth formers are expected to take part in a national walkout on Wednesday as student protests over fees, which saw more than 50,000 people march in London last week, are stepped up across the country.
- GCSEs to punish poor spelling: For seven years, spelling, punctuation and grammar have been deemed less than essential in GCSE exams, but under rules set to be outlined in an education White Paper, pupils will lose as much as five cent of their marks in all subjects if they fall short with their written English.
- Teachers stunned after Michael Gove scraps ‘sport for all’ funding: Schools fear for health of children and Olympic legacy following decision to axe £162m of government money for sport.