News at a glance

24th January 2014 at 00:00

Win an pound;80,000 learning space for your school

The deadline is fast approaching for entries to a TES competition giving schools the chance to win a school building. Schools hoping to win the building or extension worth pound;80,000 should explain in no more than 300 words why their school deserves a new learning space. The winner will choose the design and layout of their building, which will be constructed on their site during the 2014 summer holiday. Entry forms can be filled in online, or downloaded and emailed to For more information, go to www.tesconnect.combuilding

How family mealtimes can curb truancy

Children who regularly sit down to eat meals with their families are much less likely to skip school, a new report says. The study from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development underlines the serious impact of missed lessons on school performance, but shows that attendance is more closely linked to positive engagement between schools and families than whether a child is from a rich or poor home. In the developed world, 18 per cent of teenagers skipped school at least once in the two weeks prior to the study being carried out in 2012, with Japan showing the lowest rates and Latvia the highest.

Philippines seeks to cut hours of `stressed' staff

Politicians in the Philippines are proposing to cut the working hours of teachers from eight hours a day to six. Teachers' current schedule has left them "stressed out and exhausted, much to the detriment of our students", a bill filed to the country's congress says. Work carried out beyond the six-hour limit should be rewarded with additional compensation of at least 25 per cent of regular pay, the bill continues. Teachers in the Philippines are currently bound by a law that says government workers must put in eight-hour shifts.

`The right thing': Boston seeks more black teachers

School officials in Boston, US, have launched a campaign to recruit more black teachers, after the proportion of black staff dropped below legal levels. Only 21 per cent of teachers in the school district are black, below the 25 per cent minimum stated in law, The Boston Globe reported. The campaign, which will target historically black colleges, was "simply the right thing to do", said interim schools superintendent John McDonough. The school system's largely white teaching force instructs a student population that is 87 per cent black, Latino or Asian.

Malala and Al Gore join forces with students

A host of well-known faces including education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, former US vice-president Al Gore and singer Ellie Goulding will take to the stage at an event that aims to encourage young people in the UK to get involved in voluntary and charitable activities. The "We Day" event on 7 March will be held at Wembley Arena in London and is expected to attract 12,000 students from 400 schools. Tickets to We Day, run by international charity Free the Children, can be obtained by students who commit to take part in at least one local and one global charitable act during the next year. For more information, go to

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