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Beacon status can be a burden

BEACON schools, chosen as examples of good practice, can help raise standards but the scheme has left some teachers feeling overburdened, says a study.

The National Foundation for Educational Research study looked at 75 beacon schools, which receive about pound;35,000 a year to share expertise with their peers. It said pupils may suffer disruption as supply teachers cover for staff released to spread good practice.

Computer boost to boys' spelling BOYS can be helped t improve their spelling skills by using computers, a new study has shown.

Research by Margaret Evans presented to the British Psychological Society's conference in London this week looked at an exercise where a teacher read aloud a list of words for pupils to write down. Pupils then typed the same words on to a computer screen without the help of a spellchecker. Every child made fewer errors on screen, but the improvement was particularly marked among boys.

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