News at a glance

13th September 2013 at 01:00

Gay teachers get the backing of eight in 10 Britons

Just over eight out of 10 people in Britain think it is acceptable for a gay person to teach in a school, a new survey of social attitudes has found. NatCen Social Research, which carried out the poll, said this was significantly higher than a previous survey conducted in 1983, when only four out of 10 thought it was acceptable. Nine out of 10 of the 3,000 people surveyed said they felt comfortable with a gay person holding a position in public life, compared with five out of 10 people 30 years ago.

Greek teachers vote `overwhelmingly' for strikes

Teachers in Greece will hold "long-term" strikes this term, after the country's government was forced to make public sector job cuts because of its bailout conditions. Themis Kotsifakis, leader of the teaching union OLME, said members had voted "overwhelmingly" for strike action. Earlier this year, the Greek government ordered a ban on teachers' strikes, but it was later lifted. More than 2,000 teachers held a peaceful protest outside the Greek parliament in Athens earlier this week.

Reading for pleasure boosts maths progress

Reading for pleasure has a greater impact on a child's general educational development - including their progress in maths - than how educated their parents are, a study suggests. The findings show that children who read often at the age of 10, and then read books and newspapers more than once a week when they are 16, perform better in English and mathematics than those who read less. The research, by academics at the Institute of Education, University of London, looked at the reading habits of around 6,000 children from the 1970 British Cohort Study. Study author Dr Alice Sullivan said: "It may seem surprising that reading for pleasure would help to improve children's maths scores."

Polish bishops oppose `audacious' sex education

Catholic bishops in Poland have spoken out against sex education in schools and are encouraging parents to oppose it. "Faced with ever more audacious attempts to bring sexual education into Polish schools, against the Christian vision of humanity, we make this appeal to parents: be vigilant about what schools are teaching your children," the Polish bishops' conference writes in a letter read out in all churches. The letter warns that Poland is witnessing "the disappearance of a transparent hierarchy of values and the collapse of authority", Catholic newspaper The Tablet reported.

UK education widens divide between rich and poor

The UK education system is widening divisions between the richest and poorest children, a survey says. It suggests that two-thirds of British adults believe the structure of state and private schools creates a social divide. More than half say that one of the reasons parents choose to educate their children privately is to separate their offspring from poorer children. The survey, commissioned by social charity the Challenge Network, asked 2,004 adults for their views on education.

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