News at a glance

PE poll fuels fears of `inactivity crisis'

The amount of PE offered in schools has dropped to less than two hours a week under the coalition government, according to a survey, prompting concerns that the outlook for physical activity among young people is "bleak and worrying". Despite demands for politicians to capitalise on the London 2012 Olympics, the school poll shows that the amount of time dedicated to PE has declined since 2010, leading to calls for more to be done to counter the "inactivity crisis". The research, conducted by the Youth Sport Trust, coincides with the launch of its manifesto. The trust's chair, Baroness Sue Campbell, said: "Reversing the growing levels of physical inactivity among young people is a seismic challenge. With one in three children leaving primary school obese or overweight, and less than one in five meeting the minimum recommended guidelines for physical activity, it is a bleak and worrying picture."

Science teachers back practicals reform, OCR says

Science teachers support controversial changes to A-level and GCSE practical work, according to one of England's three big exam boards. Qualifications regulator Ofqual's plan to stop the assessment of practicals contributing to overall grades has been strongly opposed by science groups, which warned it could lead to laboratory experiments being downgraded. But OCR, which lobbied for the approach, said teachers who took part in trials were more enthusiastic. "We have said all along that we think this new way of working will be really positive for the student experience and we are now seeing that come through from the pilots," chief executive Mark Dawe said.

Can't live without books? Win a library's worth

Schools will have the chance to win enough books to fill a library after the launch of a new prize, the World Book Day Award. To enter the competition, schools must respond to the statement "Why we can't live without books" in any medium they choose - for example, by writing a poem or making a model. Best-selling US author James Patterson, creator of the Alex Cross series, has donated to the award and will also be involved in judging the entries. "Children have a fundamental right to libraries and to books that will interest them," he said. The deadline for entries is Friday 30 January. For more information, visit

School attacked by Taliban reopens in Pakistan

Hundreds of pupils this week returned to classes at the Pakistani school where more than 150 of their classmates and teachers were killed in a Taliban attack last month. Security was tight for the first morning back at the Army Public School in Peshawar, where a commemorative ceremony took place. There was a large military presence and vehicles were not allowed within hundreds of metres of the school. Security measures have been stepped up across the country, with armed guards stationed at schools and metal detectors and high boundary walls installed to avert further attacks by militants.

FE Awards: last chance to get `early bird' discount

Time is running out to reserve your place at the prestigious TES FE Awards, so book your table today to receive a reduced "early bird" rate. The ceremony, which recognises excellence among teachers, leaders, colleges and providers, will take place on Friday 27 February at the Grosvenor House hotel in London. The winners of 13 categories will be announced, including teacher of the year, FE provider of the year and lifetime achievement. The discount ends after today, so book your tickets now at

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you