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In brief

Premature pupils

Two out of three children born prematurely require extra support at school by the age of 11. And premature children are 77 times more likely to have special educational needs, according to research conducted at Warwick, London and Nottingham universities. Academics assessed more than 200 11-year-olds born before 26 weeks, comparing them with 153 full-term classmates. Most needed help throughout primary. Half performed below average for their age in all subjects. Almost as many experienced serious difficulties in literacy and maths. Children due in September, but born early so they had to start school a year early, were most acutely affected.

Homophobic bullying

Homophobic bullying affects more than 150,000 gay pupils in British schools, according to a YouGov survey of 2,043 teachers, commissioned by the campaign group Stonewall. Nine in 10 secondary teachers and two out of five in primaries said pupils experienced the problem even if they were not gay. Only two in five secondary teachers and less than half in primaries said their heads showed clear leadership in tackling the problem.

HE modules in school

Sixth-formers should study university modules alongside A-levels to prepare them for higher education, according to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. It also wants pupils to think about university when they start secondary school. These were just two of the ideas discussed at the trust's conference in London this week.

Disabled students

A new course will help disabled young people who want to go on to higher education. On ^ Up, a free scheme run by the National Star College in Cheltenham, will give children a chance to try living away from home and attend university taster courses.


A decade of laureates

The 10th anniversary of the children's laureate will be marked by all five writers who have held the post. Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen - the current laureate - will choose their favourite stories and give a talk to 100 10-year-olds at Waterstone's in Piccadilly, London, on April 27. The next laureate will be revealed on June 9.

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