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Further afield

Number of teens staying in education rises

The number of 16 to 18-year-olds staying in education has continued to rise, with just 8.5 per cent without a place in school or college or a job in the final quarter of last year. The figure is the lowest since 2005, with a poor job market for young people encouraging them to stay in education for longer. Opportunities are scarcer for 19 to 24-year-olds, with 18.8 per cent with no work or place in education. Unusually, the figures for over-19s show a small rise in the numbers out of education and employment between the third and fourth quarters of the year, when the number without work or a place on a course normally falls with enrolments for the new academic year.

Students head for Iran to compete in science contest

Physics students at John Leggott College in Scunthorpe are heading to Iran for an international competition after defeating a public school. The five A-level students beat Shrewsbury School to earn the right to represent Britain at the International Young Physicists tournament in July, after they spent two months working on tough challenges set by competition organisers. Head of physics Sion Peters-Flynn said: "I am really proud of the students' achievements, as they were tasked with solving problems which required in-depth knowledge, as well as very strong analytical skills."

Parents' advice trumps careers guidance, finds survey

Two-thirds of adults say they would have chosen a different career if they had had the benefit of more appropriate or useful careers advice during their education, a survey reveals. Despite 75 per cent of the 2,000 people surveyed for the Home Learning College, which offers distance-learning courses, saying they had some careers guidance, most said it was of little help. But the results suggest advice may be improving: 90 per cent of under-20s had some guidance and 44 per cent said it was useful. Respondents said their parents gave the best advice, with teachers coming second. Professional careers advice staff were rated the best by just 7 per cent of respondents, but by far the largest group at 40 per cent said they had never received useful advice.

Bradford College saves free bus services from axe

Students and staff at Bradford College have saved free bus services that were destined to become victims of local council cuts. Bradford City Council's draft budget last month revealed plans to end funding for the FreeCityBus, which offers free transport within the city centre and which many students rely on to get to college. Last Friday, after a petition from 1,700 students and staff, the council relented. Nabeel Hussain, president of Bradford College students' union, said: "This campaign has shown that students will not stand further cuts that threaten their right to access education and that they are at the forefront of the campaign to protect those most at risk."

Knowsley offers India community education tips

Educationalists in India interested in offering new opportunities for adults who missed out on qualifications at school heard how to run community education programmes from staff at Knowsley Community College in Kirkby, Merseyside. John Cope, the college's director of curriculum and quality, addressed a conference in Khammam, south-east India. It was arranged by a former teaching assistant at the college, Arun Kumar, who is now working in the south-east of the country. Mr Cope said: "At the moment, if you don't leave high school with qualifications there doesn't seem to be any way back into education. There aren't colleges that cover everything from entry-level to level four courses. They are looking to change that."

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