News at a glance

31st January 2014 at 00:00

Iranian teacher's act of kindness goes viral

A teacher in Iran has become an internet sensation after shaving his head to show solidarity with a student who lost his hair as a result of illness. Ali Mohammadian decided to shave his head when he noticed that students at Sheikh Shaltoot elementary school in Marivan were bullying eight-year-old Mahan Rahimi. He posted a picture of himself with the boy on Facebook and, overnight, hundreds of Iranians shared the post. Soon, the entire class had shaved their hair, too. "When I logged on to my Facebook the next day, I couldn't believe the number of people who had liked it and shared it," the teacher said.

Bankers back call to widen access to sector

Bankers are backing a campaign to encourage more state-educated people to pursue careers in financial services. The call comes after a report from UK social mobility charity the Sutton Trust found that more than half of leaders in the sector were privately educated. The trust is now joining forces with Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Lloyds Bank to try to improve access for state-educated workers, through activities such as mentoring and training.

Woman abused by principal wins landmark case

A woman from the Republic of Ireland who was sexually abused by her school principal has won a landmark lawsuit against the state for failing to protect her. Louise O'Keeffe took the case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that she had suffered inhuman and degrading treatment while a student at Dunderrow National School in County Cork in 1973. The Strasbourg-based court ruled on Tuesday that her rights were breached on two grounds, in a judgment that could prove significant for other victims of abuse.

Unrealistic expectations of the unworldly young

Young people still have unrealistic expectations of work, with some asking employers where they can take a nap or failing to turn up for job interviews, a leading business group has warned. In a new report, the British Chambers of Commerce says that schools need further incentives to focus on teaching young people the "softer" skills - such as teamwork, willingness to learn and communication - that they will require in the jobs market. "Successive governments and education establishments have failed young people by not ensuring that they are properly prepared for the world of work," the reports adds.

'Snow days' don't damage learning, study finds

Shutting schools because of occasional bad weather, such as snow, does not adversely affect learning, according to a study from Harvard University. The research, led by academic Joshua Goodman, aims to put to an end to the perennial winter argument of whether schools should try to stay open during periods of heavy snow. The report analyses seven years of US test results, concluding that there is no evidence of snow closures damaging learning. Student absenteeism through sickness or truancy was a much bigger problem, Professor Goodman said.

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