News at a glance

1st June 2012 at 01:00

Early education boost

A planned expansion of free early education has been brought forward. At the moment, all three- and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week. This was due to be extended to disadvantaged two-year-olds from 2013, but the programme will now start in 10 areas this September.

Free school funds double

Assistance for groups wanting to open free schools in deprived areas is to be doubled, with #163;500,000 made available to support 40 projects, the New Schools Network has announced. The charity raised the money from donations to its development programme, which is accepting applications now for schools opening in September 2014.

Body worries start young

Children as young as 5 are increasingly suffering from body image anxieties, according to an inquiry by MPs. Negative body image is an underlying cause of health and relationship problems and a major barrier to participation in school and progression at work, according to a report co-authored by politicians and health and education charity Central YMCA.

The best in medicine

Medical schools should widen the pool of talent they draw from by making it easier for those from poorer backgrounds to study medicine, a report says. Former Labour health secretary Alan Milburn, the government's independent reviewer on social mobility, said teenagers from state schools should be given work experience, including one-year foundation courses.

Home education support

An inquiry has been launched into the support offered to home educators. The Commons Education Select Committee will look at financial and other help available to home educators and is collecting evidence on the duties of councils and the help available for children to move on to further and higher education.

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