News at a glance

10th October 2014 at 01:00

`Hysterical' parents block African charity visit

A school in Stockport has been forced to cancel a visit from a West African charity aid worker and her son owing to the "misguided hysteria" of parents who feared their children could be infected with the Ebola virus. Kofi Mason-Sesay, a nine-year-old boy from Sierra Leone, was expected to study at St Simon's Catholic Primary School for a month while his British mother, Miriam, was in the country on fundraising duties for charity EducAid. Headteacher Elizabeth Inman said she was forced to cancel the trip after opposition from parents. Ms Mason-Sesay and her son have been screened for the disease and granted unrestricted movement in the UK.

Work experience fees mean poorest lose out

Work experience is being put beyond the reach of the young people who need it most as schools charge to arrange placements, according to careers experts. The government's decision to withdraw funding for work experience has led some schools either to drop it entirely or to introduce a charge of between pound;35 and pound;50 to cover administration costs. But experts warn that even small sums could exacerbate existing social inequalities. Siobhan Neary, a researcher in career development at the University of Derby, said that pupils from deprived areas were more likely to lose out. "If you have got to pay pound;30, that is a lot of money if you're on benefits," she said.

New study highlights hidden alcohol abuse

Authorities are "in denial" over the scale of the problem of parental alcohol misuse and the harm it causes to children, a major study has revealed this week. Research into the issue, ordered by the children's commissioner for England, showed that young people often did not receive the proper help from health and social services. Joanna Manning of charity the Children's Society, said: "Children and young people are suffering the impact of their parents' drinking for a long time before it comes to the notice of the authorities - if it does at all."

Study on student gambling wins funding

Can gambling be used to help hook children on learning? A study on the topic, exploring the effect of adding an element of chance to whether students got a gold star for a right answer, is one of six neuroscience projects that will get a share of pound;4 million research funding. The trials will also explore later starts to the school day for teenagers and the effects of intense PE lessons on academic performance, among other ideas. The projects are being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Schools will pay for tax breaks, warns Nick Clegg

A Conservative government would reduce spending on schools to pay for the party's pledges on tax cuts, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said this week. In a speech at his party's conference in Glasgow, the deputy prime minister said: "Everything they promise will be paid for by cutting the support to the working-age poor and cutting further and faster the money which goes to our schools, our police, our social-care homes and other unprotected services."

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