A Week in Education

6th June 2008 at 01:00
Teachers should help with a national clampdown on underage drinking, ministers said
Teachers should help with a national clampdown on underage drinking, ministers said. The Government published a youth alcohol action plan which said that schools would be given advice on how to help pupils at risk of alcohol abuse. A review will also be launched to re-examine how PSHE lessons could tackle the problem better. Page 14

Maths exams are much easier now than 30 years ago, according to a study by the think tank Reform. The report claimed the decline in maths standards followed efforts to make the subject more relevant to the workplace. This has resulted in key mathematical concepts being overlooked. Reform said the drop in standards had a devastating impact on the City and could threaten the future of the economy. Page 7

A 15-year-old girl in south London became the latest school-age victim of knife crime. Arsema Dawit was stabbed as she walked home from the Harris Academy in Bermondsey. She is believed to be the 16th teenager to die violently in London this year. The attack occurred the day after the fatal stabbing in Leeds of Pat Regan, an anti-gun campaigner who had visited schools.

Schools were enlisted in a national strategy to prevent young people becoming extremists. As The TES revealed last week, the Government announced plans for British Muslim clerics to visit schools to help place Islam and the Koran in the context of multicultural Britain. Schools will also be asked to help identify Muslim pupils at risk of becoming involved in extremist activities. Page 11

Children may soon be sent to school with an allen key in their satchels: Britain's first flat-pack school is to be assembled by next year. The three-storey building will serve pupils at St Agnes primary in Manchester. Shipped from Switzerland, the school will have nine classrooms, a rooftop playground and a nursery area. Holes for doors, windows and electrical sockets are cut in advance. Construction will begin next month.

Day-dreaming pupils who gaze out the window during lessons do better at school than their constantly attentive classmates. Academics from Stirling University found that daydreamers were often consolidating their learning, even though they appeared distracted. The academics also found that daydreamers performed better in tests and problem-solving activities. By contrast, they noticed that underachieving pupils rarely averted their gaze from the teacher.

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