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In Brief

Database trial

The first teachers were due to begin using a new national database containing details of all under-18s this week. The Contactpoint database is being trialled by 17 local authorities in the North West. Some teachers will be given access to the system, which will allow them to check if "warning flags" have been placed on a child's record by social workers or doctors. The database was first recommended after the inquiry into the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie.

Pupils off the boil

Three-quarters of British children do not know how to boil an egg, according to new research. Forty-five per cent never or rarely help with the evening meal, even though 34 per cent of parents want them to. The poll for Morrisons said 37 per cent of children preferred watching television or surfing the internet to cooking. A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said they were making cooking compulsory in secondary schools from 2011.

Damaged by abuse

Attendance among children and staff at a school dogged by an allegation of a sexual assault was severely affected, Ofsted has revealed. Three boys were suspended from Cabot Primary School in Bristol last year after another boy accused them of abusing him in the toilets. Inspectors, who revisited the school because it had previously been rated as satisfactory, said the incident had "impacted on parental and staff confidence and the self-esteem of the pupils". The previous head resigned in November 2008, followed by the chair and vice-chair of governors. Ofsted said all issues "are now resolved", and a new head will start in September.

Talent project

UK parents of gifted and talented children are set to join forces with similar families around the world as part of a new research project. The scheme, formed by the National Association of Gifted Children, was formed after a meeting between parents from the UK, Austria and Turkey at Warwick University. Parental Action for Gifted and Talented is a two-year project researching the needs of the parents of gifted children. The project has received funding from the Grundtvig Foundation, part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme.

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