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Posts Tagged ‘schools’

English pupils ‘less tolerant on immigration’

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

School pupils in England have less tolerant attitudes to immigration, and are less interested in news than their international peers, a study finds. The research showed a hardening of attitudes on immigrants, jail sentences and benefit payments as students in England got older. The National Foundation for Educational Research also found that English pupils’ knowledge of the EU was poor.

But it found that regular citizenship classes could raise civic involvement.

The research tracked the attitudes of some 24,000 pupils over nine years, as they aged from 11 to 18.

It showed that over time, the cohort experienced a hardening of attitudes towards refugees and immigrants, jail sentences and benefit payments. It also showed their trust in politicians declined.

The researchers also compared the attitudes of English teenagers with those of their international counterparts.

This revealed that English pupils had attitudes which were “broadly democratic and tolerant”, the study said.

But “their tolerance of immigration is well below the international average and their view of European migration is particularly critical,” the researchers said.

English pupils had a “low” level of interest in social and political issues, the study found.

The report’s authors noted that this is an international trend, but that English young people had a level of news media interest significantly below the international average.

Pupils in England scored significantly above average in the international test of civic knowledge and understanding when compared to all participating countries.

But when compared only to their European counterparts, their performance was average.

Their knowledge of the European Union was significantly below that of other pupils in Europe, with English pupils scoring the worst on many questions of all 24 member states that took part in the study.

Pupils in England had a strong sense of national identity, which outweighed their sense of European identity.

The report’s authors noted that this is an international trend, but that English young people had a level of news media interest significantly below the international average.

Pupils in England scored significantly above average in the international test of civic knowledge and understanding when compared to all participating countries.

But when compared only to their European counterparts, their performance was average.

Their knowledge of the European Union was significantly below that of other pupils in Europe, with English pupils scoring the worst on many questions of all 24 member states that took part in the study.

Pupils in England had a strong sense of national identity, which outweighed their sense of European identity.

‘Weakening attachment’

The research also showed a weakening of English pupils’ attachment to their communities at local, national and European level, although their attachment to their school communities remained strong.

Trust in social, civil and political institutions also remained high, although 33% reported in the latest survey that they do not trust politicians “at all” – up from 20% at age 11.

The findings indicated that when citizenship education learning is delivered in slots of more than 45 minutes per week on a regular basis, it can improve young people’s chances of positive involvement in civic activities.

It also suggested that this can lead to young people feeling more able to make a difference to their communities.

Citizenship became compulsory for pupils aged 11 to 16 in September 2002 and a GCSE is available in the subject.

In the citizenship classes, young people learn about democracy and justice, the structure of political systems and how to function in that structure.

Curriculum shake-up

But Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants to slim down the national curriculum.

On Sunday he told the BBC that “hundreds of pages of prescription” aimed at teachers would be removed.

The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) last month said it understood that citizenship will be made non-statutory in the coming curriculum shake-up.

It fears this will mean the end for a subject which, it says, chimes with the Conservatives’ “Big Society” idea.

The government said it had not decided the future status of any subject.

Millicent Scott, Development Manager at the ACT said citizenship education, when taught well, equipped young people with the skills to appreciate the intricacies of controversial issues:

“The future health of British democracy will only be secure if we have an active, engaged electorate who participate in public life. Citizenship education supports the development of these skills.”

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said citizenship classes were “a very important part of education” But she said many schools struggle to find sufficient time to teach it properly. “Also, as the report suggests, teachers need to have access to training in order to be able to teach the subject effectively,” she added.

Citizenship education is statutory in some form in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and is one of the national priorities for education in Scotland.

Pupils in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were not included in the study.

All-boys schools are not the answer

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

read more about it here

What about you ?

Would you be ready to attend a single sex school ?

Why ? Why not ?

School lunches: Push for healthier foods faces barriers

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Parents fighting for healthy lunches at school : more here

School lessons to tackle domestic violence

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Every school pupil in England is to be taught that domestic violence against women and girls is unacceptable, as part of a new government strategy.

Under the plans, from 2011 children will be taught from the age of five how to prevent violent relationships.

And next year, two helplines will be set up to deal with sexual violence and stalking and harassment.

The charity Refuge has welcomed the move but parents’ groups questioned the government’s interference.

More than £13m is being provided to help support male and female victims of sexual and domestic violence in a range of actions by the police, local authorities, NHS and government.

From 2011, lessons in gender equality and preventing violence in relationships will be compulsory in the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum.

Before qualifying, trainee teachers will have to learn about teaching gender awareness and domestic violence.

Schools minister Vernon Coaker said lessons would be age appropriate.

ON THE CURRICULUM
The issue of domestic violence will be dealt with in the sex and relationships element of PSHE lessons
The focus in primary schools is on developing positive relationships; naming body parts; what is appropriate intimacy; and puberty
It aims to prepare young people for mature and unembarrassed discussion when they are older

“The appropriateness of what you do with someone who is five years old is totally different in terms of content and how you will be taught to someone who is 15 or 16,” he said.

Younger children could be taught to prevent bullying and learn how names could hurt people, he added.

 

Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

School lessons to tackle domestic violence outlined

Domestic violence victim

One million women a year are said to experience domestic violence

Every school pupil in England is to be taught that domestic violence against women and girls is unacceptable, as part of a new government strategy.

Under the plans, from 2011 children will be taught from the age of five how to prevent violent relationships.

And next year, two helplines will be set up to deal with sexual violence and stalking and harassment.

The charity Refuge has welcomed the move but parents’ groups questioned the government’s interference.

More than £13m is being provided to help support male and female victims of sexual and domestic violence in a range of actions by the police, local authorities, NHS and government.

This political correctness is turning our children into confused mini-adults from the age of five to nine
Margaret Morrissey, Parents Outloud

From 2011, lessons in gender equality and preventing violence in relationships will be compulsory in the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum.

Before qualifying, trainee teachers will have to learn about teaching gender awareness and domestic violence.

Schools minister Vernon Coaker said lessons would be age appropriate.

ON THE CURRICULUM
The issue of domestic violence will be dealt with in the sex and relationships element of PSHE lessons
The focus in primary schools is on developing positive relationships; naming body parts; what is appropriate intimacy; and puberty
It aims to prepare young people for mature and unembarrassed discussion when they are older

“The appropriateness of what you do with someone who is five years old is totally different in terms of content and how you will be taught to someone who is 15 or 16,” he said.

Younger children could be taught to prevent bullying and learn how names could hurt people, he added.

But critics have accused the government of interfering in how parents bring up their children.

Margaret Morrissey, of the Parents Outloud campaign group, said schools should focus on teaching children to read and write.

“This political correctness is turning our children into confused mini-adults from the age of five to nine,” she said.

Strangling and slapping

Recent research by the children’s charity NSPCC found one in four girls, some as young as 13, had been slapped or hit by their boyfriends.

It also found one in nine had been beaten up, hit by objects or strangled.

Christine Barter, NSPCC senior research fellow at Bristol University, said it was a significant problem that had not been addressed.

Graphic showing the extent of domestic violence

She suggested the problem arose from teenage girls’ “unequal power relationships” with boyfriends – a feature of violent adult relationships too.

She said it was particularly disconcerting that these girls were not telling anyone about the violence.

Plans will also see the piloting of domestic violence protection orders – or “Go” orders – which could see perpetrators excluded from their homes and give victims space to apply for longer-term protection.

A health taskforce set up to examine the role of the NHS in response to female victims of violence will publish recommendations in 2010.

There were 293,000 incidents of domestic violence in 2008/09, with 77% of the victims women, according to the British Crime Survey.

However, the government estimates up to one million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse every year.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said domestic violence against men was also a problem but women and girls were the focus of this latest strategy because 80% of domestic violence victims were female.

The strategy coincides with the launch of the Four Ways to Speak Out campaign by domestic violence charity Refuge, fronted by famous faces such as Dame Helen Mirren and Sheryl Gascoigne.

ANALYSIS
Sue Littlemore, BBC News

Why is the government launching a campaign to end violence against women and girls in particular?

The difference is that women disproportionately become the victims of these crimes.

The figures on domestic violence demonstrate the point.

The latest Home Office figures suggest that in one year, 106 people were killed by a current or former partner.

But the overwhelming majority, 72 of them, were women. It means that domestic attacks result in the death of at least one woman every week, on average, in England and Wales.

 

It wants people to sign a petition urging the government to put an end to “the postcode lottery of domestic violence services”.

Lisa King, director of communications at Refuge, welcomed the government’s plans but said one in three authorities still did not provide such services.

She believes councils should be required by law to provide services for victims of domestic violence and the government should help fund them.

She added that the “particular needs” of abused women from ethnic minority backgrounds also needed to be properly served.

It is a view echoed by Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council.

“We know that refugee women are disproportionately likely to be affected by rape and sexual violence… it is therefore of great concern that women fleeing violence find it difficult to access appropriate services in the UK, and there is nothing in this strategy to address this,” she said.

Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, said tackling violence against women and girls was one of the government’s top priorities and prevention was critical to long-term change.

“We have to work to change attitudes in order to eliminate violence against women and girls and to make it clear beyond doubt that any form of violence against women is unacceptable,” she said.

Cheerleaders

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Remember how we mentionned cheerleaders when we talked about American high schools ?

I found this video of the Penn State University cheerleaders. I have to admit that they’re quite good at what they’re doing (more gymnastics than simply singing and shouting)

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