Society

Four out of five children in care have special educational needs | Education

Four out of five children taken into care in England during their school years required support for special educational needs (SEN) at some point between the ages of five and 16, according to research. The study, which examined data on almost half a million children who began school in September 2005, found that of the 6,240 children who entered the care system during their school years, 83% required additional SEN support. Researchers from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child…

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Should a teacher report a pupil for Extinction Rebellion activism? | Education

Counter-terror police issued guidance requiring teachers to report members of Extinction Rebellion to the authorities under the Prevent powers. The guide was recalled after the Guardian revealed its existence, but later another list emerged citing the group, as well as Greenpeace and Stop the Badger Cull. Ed Finch Teacher, Larkrise primary school, Oxford No. While I would report a pupil for extremism if I believed they had motive, intent and ability to endanger property or life, I know numerous people…

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Flawed thinking behind school isolation booths | Letters | Education

There would be an argument in favour of the use of isolation rooms or cubicles for troublesome young people in school if there was any evidence that they worked (Alarm as more schools use ‘degrading’ isolation booths, 18 January). In fact there appears to be no such evidence. The evidence that we do have is that teachers who use praised-based strategies to improve pupils’ behaviour in class experience far fewer disruptive incidents and hence less need to be punitive. Yes,…

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Schools ‘converting toilet blocks into isolation booths’ | Education

Schools are converting toilet blocks and classrooms to build isolation booths to accommodate “disruptive” children, the children’s commissioner has said, as campaigners warn that excessive use of the practice could be putting young people’s mental health at risk. Anne Longfield said she had heard “horror stories” about children’s experiences in isolation booths – spaces in which pupils sit in silence for hours as punishment for breaking school rules and disruptive behaviour. Some pupils told her they had been put in…

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Slip-up leaves priests rolling in the aisles | Brief letters | Education

We applaud the rise in state-sector intake across Oxford University and are glad to see individual colleges praised (Report, 16 January). Perhaps Mansfield College deserves a mention. In a quietly radical fashion, we have led the way in Oxford access for 20 years. Our state intake has been over 80% for 10 years and over 90% since 2016. And more than 90% of our state-sector intake this year is from non-selective schools – a meaningful statistic for Oxford University.Lucinda RumseySenior…

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Free period products to be available in schools and colleges in England | Education

Tampons, sanitary pads and other period products will be made freely available to all state schools and colleges in England starting next week, with the launch of a scheme funded by the Department for Education. The scheme follows the government’s commitment last year to pay for sanitary products for primary and secondary schools, in an effort to tackle “period poverty”, which can cause girls from low-income families to missschool. “We know that it is not easy for everyone to access…

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Knocked up due to lack of a rubber | Brief letters | Education

Re your article on the dating of the Church of the Nativity (Church of the Nativity Jeopardy answer sparks Israel-Palestine storm, 13 January), the full and correct answer to the Jeopardy question is “the Roman province of Syria-Palestina”. As currently conceived, neither “Palestine” nor “Israel” existed at that time, and even Syria-Palestina ceased to exist by AD 390.Dr James AndersonHastings, New Zealand • I read that Oakham has a betting shop but there is opposition to McDonald’s there (Report, 15…

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Sacked or silenced: academics say they are blocked from exploring trans issues | Education

On the December morning that Jo Phoenix, professor of criminology at the Open University, was to give a lecture at Essex University on trans rights in prisons, Twitter roared into action, with several Essex staff and students tweeting allegations that a “transphobe” would be on campus. By 10am Phoenix was warned by a member of university staff that some students were threatening to shut down her lecture, as they said LGBT+ staff and students wouldn’t feel safe if Phoenix gave…

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London council launches free school meals pilot scheme | Education

A scheme to offer pupils free school breakfast and lunch irrespective of income has been launched in an attempt to tackle the growing food poverty crisis in parts of the UK. Hammersmith and Fulham council rolled out the scheme in west London on Wednesday. It said the national free school meals system was not working, leaving many children going to school hungry and remaining hungry throughout the day. Officials say the threshold for families to qualify for free school meals…

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‘Every moment here is magical’: Essex school wins dementia award | Education

A primary school in Essex has won a national dementia award for an innovative intergenerational project, which brings together isolated older adults and children in need of additional support with extraordinary results. The project at Downshall primary school in Ilford is one of a growing number of intergenerational initiatives in the UK designed to bring benefits to both old and young, while helping to fill the gaps left by cuts to local community support services. At Downshall, older adults experiencing…

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In the 2020s universities need to step up as a central pillar of civil society | Jonathan Wolff | Education

Higher education review of the decade? Hmm. The 2010s will be remembered by me as the age of the academic league table. Global, local, research, teaching, or knowledge exchange; official, unofficial, by newspaper or blogger. Give academics a new league table performance indicator, and we’ll go a-chasing, with all the dignity of a soap opera character at the Boxing Day sales. And what is in store for the 2020s? Brexit planning suggests universities will be keener still to inch up…

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Everyone welcome: inside the schools that haven’t expelled a child since 2013 | Education

Jason Thurley, headteacher at Beacon academy, near Grimsby, leans across the table explaining why yet another of his pupils was excluded before joining the school. “He’d brought in a £1 potato gun. It was at the bottom of his bag and so he goes up to his form tutor and says, ‘I don’t want to get into trouble with this, sir, can you take it?’ And he gets permanently excluded. The school said ‘we have a zero-tolerance policy on firearms’.”…

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Olive Keidan obituary | Education

My mother, Olive Keidan, who has died aged 95, was a psychiatric social worker who became a lecturer in social administration at Liverpool and Bangor universities. She was born in Liverpool to Alice Walters and her Scottish husband, Thomas Tulloch, an engineer. After attending Holly Lodge school in Liverpool she trained in social work at Liverpool University (1942-44), then worked for the next two decades as an evacuation welfare officer, maternity and child welfare almoner, tutor, and a psychiatric social…

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‘I was angry I couldn’t even say the word’: UK teens refuse to be silent about periods | Education

For most of her life, Molly Fenton had dreaded getting her period. Every month, the 17-year-old student at Llanishen high school in Cardiff would feel ashamed: uncomfortable, untouchable, unclean. “I couldn’t even say the word ‘period’ without feeling embarrassed,” she says. She is not the only girl to have felt anxious about attending school when she was menstruating. A 2019 survey by the girls’ rights charity Plan International UK found that more than half of girls aged 14-21 have missed…

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Sally Thomas obituary | Society

My friend Sally Thomas, who has died of cancer aged 60, was a pioneering lecturer in early childhood studies. I met her more than 20 years ago when she joined my MA programme at Trinity College, Carmarthen (now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David). She was a lively student, passionate about children and play. In 2000 Sally joined the staff, teaching on the new early childhood studies programmes. She was born in Sutton Coldfield (then in Warwickshire and now…

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Parents’ three-year battle to win support for their autistic son | Education

Like many nine-year-olds, Gyan Pansar lists riding his scooter, swimming and playing football among his favourite things to do. He is cheerful and inquisitive, and loves to be physically active. But it took three years of extreme will and determination for his parents to help Gyan, who is severely autistic, get to this stage. “Previously we couldn’t take him into any social situation because he’d just cry and flop on the floor. He was not a happy child,” said his…

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