News at a glance

19th December 2014 at 00:00

All I want for Christmas inspection

A petition has been launched calling on Ofsted not to hold inspections in the run-up to Christmas. The campaign was started by parent Emily Hatch after an inspection began at Poulner Junior School in Hampshire on Tuesday, three days before the end of term. Ms Hatch said the last week of term was not a "fair" time to carry out an inspection, with teachers "run off their feet" overseeing "Christmas performances, parties and lots of well-earned fun activities". More than 160 people signed in the first two days of the campaign. Find the petition at bit.lyXmasInspection

Top private school bids to sponsor academy

A leading independent school has announced plans to sponsor a state-funded academy. Haileybury in Hertfordshire said that, if the proposals were approved, it hoped to become sole sponsor of Turnford School in nearby Cheshunt by September 2015. The partnership would follow 18 months of collaboration between the schools, with Haileybury supporting Turnford with university applications and including pupils from the school in its Combined Cadet Force. Joe Davies, master of Haileybury, said: "Haileybury is delighted to support Turnford's ambition to become an academy school. By sharing our expertise and resources, we believe we can make a difference to Turnford pupils' achievements by helping them fulfil their academic potential."

Study reveals Oxbridge starting salary premium

Graduates from Oxford and Cambridge universities earn 42 per cent more than those from newer universities in their first job, research shows. The study, commissioned by social mobility charity the Sutton Trust, finds that people with Oxbridge degrees have an average starting salary of pound;25,600, compared with just pound;18,000 for those from "post-1992" universities. The research, Earning by Degrees (available at, also reveals a large salary premium for graduates starting careers in medicine, engineering and technology, economics and computer science.

`Vaping' more popular than smoking for US teens

School pupils in the US are more likely to smoke an e-cigarette than a traditional one, major research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests (bit.lyNIDAstudy). According to the survey of 41,000 students from public and private schools, 17 per cent of 12th graders (aged 17-18) reported "vaping" in the previous month, compared with 13.6 per cent who reported smoking a traditional cigarette. Among 10th graders, e-cigarettes had been used by 16 per cent, compared with 7 per cent for regular cigarettes.

Excluded pupils `shine' in BBC documentary

One of the largest schools for pupils who have been removed from mainstream education because of poor behaviour is to feature in a BBC Three documentary. The three-part programme, Excluded: kicked out of school tells the inside story of the Bridge Alternative Provision Academy in south-west London. Clare Paterson, commissioning editor at the BBC, said: "The kids shine through in this series. As a viewer you want them to succeed and you get to see how important it is that they do." The first episode will air on Thursday 15 January.

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