News at a glance

Girls to collaborate on coding across the Atlantic

Disadvantaged girls from London are to work with their peers in Kingston, Jamaica, on a coding project designed to challenge the stereotype of computer programmers as geeky males. The pilot scheme will involve 13- to 14-year-old pupils chosen from secondary schools in the two capital cities. It is being run by British charity Generating Genius as part of efforts to engage more students in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Charity founder Dr Tony Sewell said: "A lack of female role models makes many girls think of computer programmers as male and geeky - men who can't get a date and eat cold pizza late at night."

Outcry over beating of blind pupil in India

A media storm over cruelty against schoolchildren erupted in India this week after a video clip of a beating at a school for blind children was shown on television and circulated on the internet. Newspapers in the country have described the incident in the south-eastern Andhra Pradesh state as "barbaric" and a "chilling reminder of the corporal punishment that children face at schools". The incident led to the arrest of the school's principal and its secretary. It comes soon after the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl in a school in Bangalore, which sparked nationwide concerns over pupil safety.

Ethnic minorities receive fewer university offers

Ethnic minority students are less likely to receive offers from UK universities than other young people, according to a study by the London School of Economics. The research analyses 50,000 university applications from 2008, finding that, on average, Pakistani candidates received seven fewer offers for every 100 applications compared with their white British counterparts. The disadvantage remains for most minority groups even after academic achievement, social background and school type are taken into account. But there is "very little" evidence that would-be candidates from ethnic minority groups are reluctant to apply to high-status universities, the study says. Students from comprehensive schools are also less likely to receive an offer, it adds.

Australian teachers sue over laptop lease fees

Education authorities in the Australian state of Victoria could face a bill for millions of dollars because of a dispute over teachers paying for the laptop computers they use for work. Fortnightly deductions of up to A$17 (pound;9) have been taken from teachers' salaries to pay for the devices. But now the Australian Education Union is suing the state education department, insisting it is "unreasonable" for teachers to be made to lease computers that they need for their duties. The union wants the department to repay all the deductions made since July 2009, plus interest.

Row over extra cash for brightest sixth-formers

A dispute over post-16 funding in England continued this week after ministers announced that additional money would be provided for students studying four or more A-levels, the International Baccalaureate or the 16-19 TechBacc. But the funding of between pound;400 and pound;800 per student is aimed only at stretching the brightest and will be dependent on them achieving at least B grades or equivalent in all their subjects. Headteachers' leaders claimed that the money would do nothing to combat a general shortage of sixth-form funding.

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