News at a glance

21st June 2013 at 01:00

Schoolgirl shot by Taliban will address the UN

The Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for going to school is to address the United Nations next month in a bid to highlight the similar plight of other children around the world. Malala Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt last October after she stood up for her right to go to school in her home country. She underwent surgery in the UK and now attends Edgbaston High School in Birmingham, in England's West Midlands. She will mark her 16th birthday by addressing the UN General Assembly. She will call for education to become an urgent priority in failing states across the globe, and for "other Malalas" to be provided with assistance.

Working hours limit could be scrapped in UK

Limits to teachers' working hours and restrictions on what tasks they must undertake should be scrapped, England's Department for Education believes. The department's submission to the School Teachers' Review Body, which it must consult before changing teachers' pay and conditions, argued that current regulations were "overly prescriptive". At present, teachers can work for a maximum of 1,265 hours a year, spread over 195 days, and do not have to undertake specified administrative tasks, including bulk photocopying and creating classroom displays. "This is unhelpfully restrictive for schools that are seeking to manage their teaching staff and plan their timetable as effectively and efficiently as possible," the submission said.

Australian schools accused of piling on the pressure

Principals and teachers in Australia are putting too much pressure on students to pass controversial exams, it has been claimed. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority has warned that school leaders are creating undue stress among students by giving the impression that national literacy and numeracy assessments are high-stakes tests. Responding to an inquiry led by the Australian Senate, the body said that schools were guilty of excessive teaching to the test when it came to annual reading, writing, spelling and numeracy exams sat by eight- to 14-year-olds.

Use pupil premium for early intervention, study says

More "pupil premium" funding for poor students should be diverted to primary schools (for five- to 11-year-olds) in a bid to close the attainment gap between children from rich and poor families, according to research. The #163;1.25 billion earmarked for pupil premium funding in England and Wales, which is allocated to students in receipt of free school meals, should be concentrated on primary rather than secondary students (aged 11-18), found the study, published by the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank.

Share your insights on the First World War

Teachers in the UK are being asked to contribute to a major project launched to coincide with next year's centenary of the beginning of the First World War. Researchers will explore the link between education and the way in which the war is perceived and commemorated today. The First World War in the Classroom project includes a large-scale survey of history and English teachers. The research, led by the University of Exeter, will conclude in May next year. Teachers can take part in the survey at

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