News at a glance

22nd August 2014 at 01:00

TES and Amnesty to reward talented students

Amnesty International has announced the launch of this year's Amnesty Youth Awards, in partnership with TES. The competition for students aged 7-19 opens for entries on 8 September and the closing date is 30 January. There are five categories linked to human rights: reporter, songwriter and performer, photographer, campaigner and fundraiser. Amnesty will provide resources to help teachers assist students with their entries and link the competition to the curriculum. Prizes will be awarded in four age categories: 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and 16-19. Key dates for the competition are detailed on the free wall planner accompanying this issue of TES. For more information, visit

Police to carry semi-automatic rifles in US schools

A school board in California has voted to arm campus police officers with military-grade sub-automatic rifles. The Compton school board backed the move to equip officers with the guns - which can fire 800 rounds in a minute - in order to defend pupils against armed intruders. The state's police union supported the decision, highlighting the fact that the rifles would be able to pierce body armour, which could be worn by an intruder. The union added: "If we encounter an active mass murderer on campus with a rifle or body armour, our officers may not adequately be prepared to stop that suspect."

Tuition fees could double if cap were lifted, experts say

Top universities would charge upwards of pound;17,500 a year for an undergraduate degree if the cap on fees were removed, according to analysis released this week. TES' sister publication Times Higher Education examined the possibility of the government removing the cap, which experts predict will happen by the end of the next parliament. Currently, almost all universities charge the maximum fee of pound;9,000 a year in a bid to avoid appearing substandard. But David Palfreyman, director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, believes that uncapped fees would result in a greater range of charges from universities.

Gaza prepares for an uncertain new school year

Urgent work is under way in Gaza to get schools and teachers ready for the start of the new academic year later this month. A Unesco survey, undertaken during the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas this week, finds that 25 schools have been destroyed or severely damaged by shelling and a further 230 schools and 10 higher education institutions have been affected. It is expected that, if a permanent ceasefire is agreed, it will take two or three weeks of preparation before schools can open to the 450,000 children in the region. The first two weeks of term are likely to be devoted to psychological support and recreational activities.

UK pupils raise funds for WW1 remembrance

Students in Gloucester are attempting to raise pound;1 million for the Royal British Legion over the next four years to mark the centenary of the First World War. The campaign is being driven by pupils from the city, who hope to take the project nationwide by persuading schools, cadet organisations and universities across the UK to join. The scheme, which launched on Armed Forces Day last month, aims to raise funds and educate young people on the history of the conflict.


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