News at a glance

6th July 2012 at 01:00

Watch your language, says Stonewall

More than half of gay and bisexual pupils in Britain's schools suffer from homophobic bullying and almost a quarter of young gay people have attempted to take their own lives, according to research published by gay-rights charity Stonewall. The findings - from research carried out by the University of Cambridge - were released this week in the charity's School Report 2012. It reveals that 99 per cent of young gay pupils hear homophobic language including "that's so gay" and "you're so gay".

Four heads are better than one

Grants of #163;25,000 are to be made available to primary schools that want to set up chains of academies, the Department for Education has announced. The money will be given to groups of at least four schools that want to establish themselves in a chain in an attempt to help primaries that want to convert but feel they do not have the capacity to do so alone. Currently, about 6 per cent of primary schools are academies or have applied to convert to academy status.

Attack on free school bombshells

There is no proper planning over where free schools are being opened, meaning they are being used as an "unguided missile", rather than a "targeted weapon" in improving schools, according to the Royal Society of Arts. The charity and thinktank made the criticism in a report calling for school commissioners to monitor standards now that almost half of secondary schools are academies.

Jamie takes another bite out of school dinners

Ministers have ordered a review of school dinners amid concerns that some children are still being given unhealthy food. About four-fifths of schools do not offer pupils at least one portion of vegetables or salad a day, according to official figures. Education secretary Michael Gove has faced strong criticism from television chef Jamie Oliver, who has expressed concern that academies are exempt from tough food standards. Mr Oliver said it was "time for action".

I think, therefore I can

The Education Endowment Foundation has given #163;272,000 to a study that aims to find out whether pondering philosophical questions helps children to do better at school. The study, which will work with 5,400 pupils over three years, is one of nine projects given a share of #163;3.8 million this week by the foundation, which was set up to support efforts to close the attainment gap for poor pupils. Other awards include #163;1 million for a project in Plymouth to help parents develop their children's reading.

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