Education News Roundup – January 2011

From parents who spent a fortune on their child’s nativity play, to pupils in the capital who are topping tables for obesity, we head under the covers once again to see what lessons are being learned in the world of education.

London tops obese pupil list

The Evening Standard has reported that more than one in five pupils who leave primary school in London are obese.

Figures published by the NHS Information Centre have revealed that the number of overweight 10 to 11 year olds is on the increase. The statistics are based on the National Child Measurement Programme which assesses the weight of primary school children.

The story reports that the capital also tops the list for obese reception year children. In London, on average, 11.6% of reception year pupils are obese compared to 8.4% in the South East coast region.

Pupil photos in the picture

Parents should be free to photograph their children in nativity plays, says Information Commissioner Christopher Graham.

The guidance was apparently issued to schools after a number of them banned photography on their premises in order to protect pupils who were adopted or in foster care. In one case, a father even complained he was threatened with arrest.

As reported on BBC News Online, the regulator confirmed photos for personal use are not covered by the Data Protection Act.

One in ten primary schools missing targets

Almost one in 10 primary schools are failing to meet the government’s minimum standards for English and maths, says a report in the Financial Times

Recent primary school league tables have shown 962 schools are failing to meet new benchmarks for core skills, with around 73.5 per cent of 11-year-olds reaching the required standard.

Failing schools are faced with a number of options to turn around their performance. These include the options to become a semi-independent Academy under a new head teacher or merging with a good school nearby.

School budgets to suffer

The Daily Mail has reported that school budgets look set to suffer due to inflation running at a higher rate than expected.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has frozen the level of per pupil funding for schools which is the money that pays for teachers and to keep schools. However, inflation levels now mean many schools could soon be left out of pocket.

Religious studies left out

The Catholic Education Service has expressed disappointment that religious studies is being omitted from a new style school league table and will not be included as one of the qualifying humanity subjects.

And finally…

Away in a five star manger

Proud parents spent as much as £150 on their child’s Christmas play, says an article on BBC News Online

This ‘manger chic’ trend has been revealed by department store Debenhams as parents replaced traditional costumes made from old tea towels and stripy pyjamas, with luxury pashmina scarves and silk turbans.

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