News at a glance

Asian students more likely to progress, figures show

Students with an Asian background are more likely to progress to education, employment or training at the age of 18 than those from other ethnic groups, statistics from England show. Around 80 per cent of Asian students continued in education or moved on to jobs or training, compared with only 69 per cent of white students. Official "destination data" published by the government also revealed racial disparities in the proportions of students progressing to leading universities: 21 per cent of Asian students went to a leading university in 2010, but this was true for only 14 per cent of white students and 11 per cent of black students.

Bankrupt US school districts to be shut down

Two bankrupt school districts in Michigan, US, will be shut down and their students sent to schools in neighbouring areas. Buena Vista, a tiny, low-performing district, could not obtain a bailout to allow it to run for the new school year, triggering its closure under state law. Approximately 400 students will now be reassigned to schools in other areas. A second school district, Inkster, will also be dissolved because of bankruptcy.

Agenda claims as ratings fall among teacher trainers

The number of university teacher training departments in England achieving "outstanding" inspection ratings have fallen dramatically, leading to claims that the regime has become politicised. Analysis by Times Higher Education, the TES's sister magazine, shows that the proportion of Ofsted inspections at higher education institutions resulting in an "outstanding" judgement has fallen from 47.4 to 15.4 per cent under a new inspection framework. This comes at a time when education secretary Michael Gove is championing school-led training routes such as School Direct. An Ofsted spokeswoman said: "We entirely refute any suggestion that our inspection judgements are driven by the government's School Direct policy or any other hidden agenda."

China earthquake shakes 77,000 students

More than 360 schools and 77,000 students have been affected by an earthquake in China's Gansu province, the country's education ministry has said. A total of 16,100 students will not be able to return to school because their classrooms and dormitories were damaged in the 6.6-magnitude quake, in the city of Dingxi on Monday. It has left at least 95 people dead and more than 1,000 injured. No students are thought to have been injured because they were on holiday, but teachers have been asked to return to assist the rescue effort.

Bees force school to buzz off early

A headteacher was forced to close his school a day early because of a swarm of bees. James Kilmartin, headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove, England, made the decision because the school had become too hot as a result of keeping windows closed, and some staff and students were allergic to bee stings. The school broke up on Tuesday instead of Wednesday after the swarm gathered at the top of a teaching block. "Due to a combination of excessive heat and a lack of ventilation, linked to a swarm of bees, I have made the decision to close the school to students tomorrow," Dr Kilmartin said.

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