News at a glance

6th December 2013 at 00:00

China outlines 10 deadly sins of education

Chinese officials have vowed to punish teachers who use corporal punishment, molest students, accept bribes or moonlight in other jobs. The country's ministry of education released details of its plan as part of a public consultation on a new code of conduct for teachers. The document lays out the 10 key offences teachers could be punished for, which also include making comments or taking action against the Communist Party and state policies, treating students unfairly, and making money by selling teaching materials to students.

Master's degrees to be must-haves in Australia

Teachers in South Australia will be required to have a master's degree from 2020. The state is the first in the country to make the move, which officials said would improve the quality and status of teachers. "We need to raise the status of teaching and education leadership (to become) important, highly valued jobs that are equal in terms of community impact to being a doctor or engineer," state premier Jay Weatherill said. "These changes will ensure that new teachers coming into the system, replacing experienced teachers who are retiring, are highly skilled."

School backtracks on expulsion threat over `distracting' hairstyle

A US school that threatened to expel a girl because her long Afro hairstyle was causing a "distraction" has now informed her that she does not need to cut her locks. Vanessa VanDyke, a student at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, was told that her hair infringed the school's uniform code and given a week to trim it. The issue first arose when the girl's mother complained to the school about her daughter being taunted by other students because of her hair. School board member Carl Jackson said he hoped the student could now put the incident behind her. "We love Vanessa. We want her back and we are not asking for any alterations," he told local media.

Protect tots from `technological creep', survey says

Just a quarter of people think it is beneficial for young children to be exposed to technology at nursery school, a survey suggests. The study says that preschoolers need to be protected from "technological creep", such as the use of tablet computers in nursery schools. Just 26 per cent of the 806 people surveyed said that it was good for children to use information communications technology in their early years. "Children are increasingly exposed to an overwhelming amount of technology at an early age," said Davina Ludlow, director of, which carried out the study. Tablet computers were "displacing the traditional methods of learning and play activities", she added.

`Hubs' at heart of drive for better maths teaching

A network of schools specialising in training maths teachers in England has been announced by education minister Elizabeth Truss in a bid to drive up standards. The Department for Education is putting pound;11 million into developing 30 "mathematics education strategic hubs". Each leading school will provide support to other schools in its area in recruiting maths specialists, providing ongoing training and advocating suitable maths enrichment programmes. The move was announced in the wake of the latest Pisa international rankings, which showed that England's performance in maths has stagnated over the past three years.

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