12th February 2016 at 00:00

Pupils segregate in Northern Ireland

Persistent religious self-segregation of students takes place in mixed classrooms in Northern Ireland, British academics have found. Shelley McKeown from the University of Bristol, and Maurice Stringer and Ed Cairns from the University of Ulster, observed the behaviour between Protestants and Catholics through seating choice, in three integrated secondary schools in Northern Ireland. Students from Year 8 and Year 10 were observed at multiple points in the school year, and students consistently sat with those of their own faith.

Job conditions force new teachers out

Researchers have explored what they say is an international trend towards teachers leaving the profession within their first year. Vincent Dupriez, Bernard Delvaux and Sandrine Lothaire, from the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, analysed four successive cohorts of new teachers in French-speaking Belgium to assess why a high proportion did not make it to a second year. The study found that there was a very close relationship between job conditions during the first year and exit rates. In addition, new teachers in secondary education are more likely to leave in the first year than their peers at pre-school and primary levels.

Mainstream schooling backed

Vulnerable young people are more likely to stay on-track with their education if they remain at a mainstream school, analysis has found. Academics from Massey University in New Zealand analysed a mixed-methods study of 605 young people in New Zealand, aged 13 to 17 years, facing adversity. Additional educational services did not appear to contribute directly to positive educational outcomes, the findings revealed. Instead, staying in a mainstream school was the strongest predictor of whether a vulnerable young person would continue with their education.

Travellers take home-school ‘risk’

Traveller families educating their own children is still perceived as “a risk” – despite their longstanding traditions of home education, a new study has found. Kalwant Bhopal, from the University of Southampton, and Martin Myers, Open University, looked at case studies of 10 Traveller families living on the south coast of England to examine their experience of home education. The study argues that the marginal status of Traveller families exposes them to particular vulnerabilities associated with failure, incompetence and lack of concern regarding the education of their children.


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