News at a glance

TES launches online Welsh education hub

An online hub for teachers, school leaders and educationists in Wales makes its debut today. TES Connect Cymru will provide all the breaking news, analysis, resources and job opportunities anyone could want to help build a successful career in Welsh education. To celebrate the launch of the site, TES has teamed up with the Welsh rugby team and organised a competition for Welsh students to nominate their most inspiring teachers. Up for grabs is a first prize of pound;5,000 to go towards information and communications technology and a second prize of pound;2,000. Read more at tesconnect.comwales

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Low ranking knocks children's confidence

Children's rankings relative to their classmates at primary school can affect their performance later on in life, a study from the London School of Economics has claimed. Students who were ranked below their peers sometimes lost confidence, leading to lower academic achievement in secondary school, the study found, while the opposite was true of students ranked top. The report challenges the assumption that the performance of lower-achieving children improves when they are surrounded by more intelligent classmates.

Hundreds of US students hack school-issued iPads

Students in a US school district were able to bypass the security on their school-issued iPads within hours of receiving the devices, it was discovered. About 400 teenagers from the Center Grove Community School Corporation in Indiana worked out how to reprogram their computer tablets so they could download games and access social media sites. Speaking to the Associated Press, Keith Krueger, the chief executive of the Consortium for School Networking, said: "It's frustrating, and it's a huge challenge for any district."

`Neo-Victorian' curriculum too narrow, expert says

The UK government's new primary national curriculum encourages a "neo- Victorian" focus on reading, writing and maths at the expense of other subjects, a leading education expert has claimed. Science, the arts and humanities, as well as physical, emotional and moral development, were "no less important" to children's futures than the three Rs, according to Professor Robin Alexander, chair of the newly established Cambridge Primary Review Trust. He suggested that a curriculum focusing heavily on literacy and numeracy undervalued the cultural and economic worth of other subjects.

Strikes could affect three-quarters of schools

Three-quarters of schools in several regions of England could close because of a teachers' strike next week. A survey by support services company the Key of 1,100 school leaders across the regions affected found that 21 per cent thought it was "very likely" their school would have to close and 57 per cent said it was a possibility. Members of the two largest unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, will strike on Tuesday in the Eastern, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions. A strike in other parts of the country, including London, is scheduled for 17 October.

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