A week in

29th July 2016 at 00:00

Background noise in school or at home could seriously harm a child’s education, a US study suggests. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers analysed how pre-school children learned words amid distractions such as TV, radio and people talking (bit.ly/WordsNoise). The study, in the journal Child Development, found that such children struggled to pick up vocabulary, with potential knock-on effects including poor school performance.

Most councils do not have enough holiday childcare to meet demand, a survey has found. The Family and Childcare Trust found that 78 per cent fell short, although figures were worse in England (88 per cent) and Wales (100 per cent). Overall, more than 5 million children aged 5-14 cannot access adequate holiday childcare. Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, said the survey (bit.ly/HolsCare) showed “the challenges families face balancing home and working life right through their children’s school years”.

A child numeracy event will tackle what organisers describe as an “urgent” need to improve performance. The latest Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) showed a clear gap in numeracy between pupils from affluent areas and those from poorer communities. Around two-third of pupils were performing well or very well in P4 and P7, dropping to 40 per cent in S2. The Children in Scotland conference (bit.ly/NumeracyConf) takes place in Edinburgh on 7 October.

A primary teacher alleged to have sent messages to a 17-year-old pupil will have to wait to find out if he has a future in the profession. Bilal al-Bukhaari – formerly Gerry Corr – was due to go before a General Teaching Council for Scotland fitness-to-teach panel this month, but the date has been postponed. The allegations include that, while working in East Ayrshire, he invited the girl to go running, take her to a football match and go to Manchester.


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