In brief

29th May 2009 at 01:00

Learn to manage risk

Schools should break free of the "cotton wool culture" and organise higher-octane trips for their pupils, according to the Assembly Government in Wales. A 200-page guidance document urges schools to organise more adventurous outings - including extreme sports - to teach today's youngsters to manage risk and take responsibility for their actions. Teachers and union leaders have generally welcomed the move.

Compulsory cooking

Three-quarters of British children do not know how to boil an egg, research carried out for the supermarket group Morrisons revealed. Forty- five per cent never or rarely help with meals in the evening. A spokesman for the Department of Children, Schools and Families said cooking would be made compulsory in secondaries in England from 2011.

Costly external exams

The Conservatives have called for a shake-up in the examination system in England after it was revealed that the cost of running external exams has shot up by Pounds 100 million to Pounds 265 million over five years.

Unite against attack

Political and military violence is depriving a growing number of children of the right to education, according to a report for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. A summit held by the agency to discuss Education under Attack at the Scottish Parliament urged all governments to call a halt to violence against staff and students in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand, Nepal, Colombia, Pakistan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Money well spent

Pupils as young as six must be targeted if governments are to stand any chance of preventing post-16s dropping out of education, employment or training. A report by left-of-centre think tank Demos says investing in early intervention is better for children and for the taxpayer. It cited an estimate that every Pounds 1 spent on reading tuition for six-year-olds would save the taxpayer more than Pounds 10 during their lifetimes.

Cut and paste

A Canadian report claims the bulk of graduates are less well-prepared for university than they were before mandatory testing. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations dubbed today's student generation the "Wikipedia kids" - they know how to cut and paste but little about how to read, think and incorporate what they have learned into a wider body of knowledge.

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