Storytelling teacher wins TV spot
A primary school teacher from London is to star on national television after winning a TES competition. Des Hegarty, from Wilbury Primary School in Edmonton, was selected to appear on the Bookaboo children's programme after submitting a video of himself reading aloud from a storybook. The show's creator, Lucy Goodman, said he had "entranced" judges with his vocal characterisations. Mr Hegarty said his students were delighted when he told them of the win. "I feel just totally brilliant and hearing the children cheer was unforgettable," he said.
School sport `lacks rigour', Olympian's mentor says
Standards of sport in British schools need to improve, the former physical education teacher of one of the country's Olympic heroes has said. Alan Watkinson spotted the talents of future double Olympic champion Mo Farah when the athlete was a boy, but in a new report by the Smith Institute think-tank, The Future of School and Community Sport, Mr Watkinson said: "Physical education and school sport lacks rigorous structure and systems; the workforce, particularly at primary school level, is undertrained; specialist teachers at secondary level are forced to compromise or prioritise (and) relationships between community sport and schools remain largely underdeveloped."
Somalia aims to get 1 million children into school
Authorities in war-torn Somalia have launched a campaign to get 1 million children into school. The project, which will run for three years, "aims to give a quarter of the young people currently out of the education system a chance to learn", the United Nations Children's Fund said. The initiative will include construction and renovations of schools, teacher recruitment and training, technical and vocational training for older children and special programmes for rural communities. Only four in 10 children in Somalia currently attend school, one of the lowest levels in the world.
Spanish parliament to vote on Holocaust studies
The Spanish parliament is to vote on whether to make Holocaust studies compulsory at school. If passed, the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany will be introduced to the curriculum "at various stages of basic education", Spanish news agency Europa Press reported. Jewish figures in Spain welcomed the possible move, but said children should also be taught to understand the context of the Holocaust and should learn more about Jewish history.
Last week's TES included a story about a lack of research for government education policies ("Ofsted's approach `is not backed by research"). The sub-headline to the piece said there was no evidence for the effectiveness of the Teach First teacher training scheme. However, research by Dr Rebecca Allen of the University of London's Institute of Education has established that Teach First improves results in participating schools.