Education News Roundup


What’s been happening in the world of education this month? In our regular snoop through the headlines, we find out where teachers have been rated in a poll of the best dressed professions, hear about a ‘pupils’ court’ which is challenging speeding drivers, and learn about the youngsters living on a daily diet of junk food. Join us and have your say

Speeding drivers face ‘pupils court’

Drivers who are caught breaking the 30mph speed limit outside Greasby Junior School, in Wirral, Merseyside have been explaining their actions as part of a special ‘pupils’ court’.

The students have been confronting speeding drivers as part of an initiative being run by Wirral Council’s Road Safety Team and Merseyside Police, reports BBC News.

During the scheme nine drivers were caught speeding outside the school over a three-hour period. Excuses given by the drivers included being late for work and that they didn’t know what the speed limit was.

Pupils living on ‘junk food’

A poll of 2000 11-to-16-year-olds, commissioned by the British Heart Foundation, has found many youngsters are still living on a daily diet of junk food, reports the Mirror.

The survey has found many children are failing to eat enough fruit and veg, with almost a third  (29%) of secondary-age pupils eating sweets, crisps and chocolate three or more times a day. Two in five (40%) say that fizzy or energy drinks are their daily drink of choice.

Pupils pass on breakfast

A new study by the Local Authority Caterers Association and ParentPay has shown that around one in six secondary school pupils are going without breakfast.

The findings, reported by PA, were produced following a survey of 10,000 UK parents, and have raised concerns that youngsters may be left struggling in lessons and more likely to become disruptive.

The report was commissioned to mark National School Meals Week. Other findings of the study reveal that almost one in six (14.8%) of parents with children eligible for free school meal do not take up the entitlement.

Teaching ‘Oscars’ for stars of the classroom

The annual Teaching Awards, nick-named the ‘Oscars’ of the teaching profession, were recently staged at London’s Palace Theatre.

Christine Emmett from Hamilton was awarded the top accolade of UK Teacher of the Year, after beating 22,000 teachers from across the country for the title. Christine, who is a teacher at St Elizabeth’s Primary School, was handed her award by designer Vivienne Westwood at a glitzy award ceremony held in London.

According to STV it was Christine’s enthusiasm, creativity and passion for teaching which clinched the title for her.

Another teacher in the spotlight at the awards was 71-year-old art and drama teacher, Jeff Stratton. He was honoured with a lifetime achievement award, reports the Independent.

Jeff was recognised for a career spanning over 50 years. The teacher, who also works as a community artist, ploughs any money he earns from commissions back into his arts budget.

Specialist teaching for primary pupils

Teachers in core specialist subjects, such as mathematics, science and foreign languages, may soon be shipped in to schools to assist children as young as five, under new government plans to give pupils the best start in education, says the Daily Telegraph.

Education Secretary Michael Gove describes the shift from ‘all-rounders’ to subject specialists as a move which could help put state-educated pupils on a par with those in fee-paying schools.

From 2012, funding will be reallocated to allow more training places to be made available for subject specialist primary school teachers.

Australian society warns of drowning dangers

The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia has warned that Australia faces a “drowning crisis” as in the past ten years more than half a million children have finished primary school without knowing how to swim.

The society believes that at least 50,000 children have left primary school every year without being able to swim 50m, or to keep themselves afloat for two minutes – the national benchmark.

They have launched a ‘Swim and Survive’ fund, which aims to put 10,000 children through swimming lessons by the end of next year, says The Australian.

Sabbaticals for ‘burnout’ teachers

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the new head of Ofsted, has suggested good teachers who push themselves too hard and suffer a burnout should be given sabbaticals to recover.

He made the remarks while making his first public appearance on the Commons Education Committee, reports the Independent.

Research has shown that seven out of 10 teachers claim their health has suffered because of their job and 36 per cent have taken time off, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

‘Satisfactory’ schools urgently need improving

An annual report released by Ofsted has found that thousands of pupils are in schools which are below acceptable levels and with no prospect of improving. The report says schools are not raising the ambitions of children, writes the Evening Standard.

Findings of the report show that 41% of schools are only rated ‘satisfactory’ for teaching. The article also comments that 20 per % of schools that serve the most deprived pupils are four times more likely to be failing than schools in rich areas.

And finally….

Teachers named worst dressed profession

Teachers have been named as shamed as the worst dressed profession, in new research appearing in the Daily Mail.

Of 2000 people questioned by retailer High & Mighty, a whopping 50% named teachers as being top of the class when it comes to poor dress.  Other professions making the list of worst dressed included builders and postmen.

In contrast, at the other end of the scale were estate agents, bankers and those in the legal profession, who were all ranked best dressed.

The study revealed that one in five teachers admit to wearing the same shirt for three days in a row – in contrast with 20 % of bankers, who say they change their shirt twice a day.


 

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