Useful education links from 17th-24th May

These are some of the education stories we found interesting between the 26th April and 17th-24th May 2013. 

More than 300,000 children missing school every day  (The Telegraph)

More than 300,000 school children miss school every day according to a report released by the Department for Education. The number of children missing school has increased by 33,000 in one year because of factors including sickness, family holidays and religious festivals such as Eid. Over 6.2 children are registered at either primary or secondary schools in the UK and the report suggests that between September-December 2012, 323,634 children were absent from school.

Two private schools to axe fees and accept state funding (The Telegraph)

Two private schools in the UK are set to scrap their fees and convert into state funded schools as part of the Government’s ‘Free School’ programme.  Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Lancashire and Chetwynde School in Cumbria join 15 other schools in the UK who have decided to drop their fees and convert to the state sector in the past year. The decision follows a decline in parental demands for independent education in some parts of the country due to the economic crisis.

Majority of parents believe sex education should be compulsory in secondary schools, YouGov poll reveals (The Independent)

A new YouGov poll has revealed that the majority of parents believe that sex education lessons should be compulsory in schools. They say that schools must address the issue of sexual consent. The survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Women revealed that more than 86% of adult participants believe that lessons should also cover the topic of how to develop ‘respectful relationships’. It is also accompanied by a report which is highly critical of the lack of action taken by the Department for Education to take steps to curb abuse throughout schools.

New curriculum workload ‘too high’ EIS union survey warns (BBC Education News)

Over 80% of nursery and primary school teachers in Scotland have raised their concerns about high levels of workload pupils face under the new curriculum. A poll conducted by the Educational Institute of Scotland suggests that half of teachers across the country had little confidence in assessments under the new curriculum, The Curriculum of Excellence. (CfE)

Never mind the career prospects, follow your star when choosing degree, teenagers told (The Times)

The Chief Executive of UCAS has warned teenagers not to choose a degree subject on the basis that it might lead to a good job. Mary Curnock Cook has said that students should follow their hearts as well as their heads when applying for degree courses. Last week a survey published by Which? and the Higher Education Institute found that 32% of undergraduates might have chosen a different degree course if it had known more about the demands of the course.

More than a million primary school children unable to swim, says major survey (The Independent)

A report by the swimming governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association has revealed that more than a million primary school children are unable to swim. The report shows that 51 per cent of 7-11 year olds are unable to swim the typical length of a swimming pool which is 5 metres. The report also found that only 2 percent of primary schools reach the Government’s target of providing 22 hours of swimming lessons to children per year. It found that children receive an average of  8 hours of swimming lessons per year.

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