26th February 2016 at 00:00

Coming out ‘helps gay pupils’ results’

Gay and lesbian pupils who are out to some people but not to others tend to perform less well at school than those who are out to everyone or to no one.

Ryan Watson, from the University of Arizona, Tuscon, along with two other academics, compared pupils who were open about their sexuality to family, friends and schoolmates with those who were only selectively out, or not at all.

The researchers found that teenagers who were out to everyone or to no one tended to perform best at school, both academically and socially. By contrast, those who were negotiating what the researchers call “complex patterns of outness” were more likely to underperform academically, and to be bullied by their classmates.

Best early years providers pay more

Outstanding providers of early years education pay their staff more than their counterparts judged to be inadequate or in need of improvement, research shows.

Charles Maughan, Jill Rutter and Adam Butler, of the Family and Childcare Trust, analysed 900 job adverts between October and December last year. They found that early years providers graded “outstanding” by Ofsted paid non-supervisory staff an average of £1.45 more per hour than those deemed to be inadequate or in need of improvement. The researchers suggest that the quality of the setting may be linked to the fact that they are prepared to pay more for better qualified staff.

This is significant, they add, because only high-quality early years education helps to narrow developmental gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers.

Teachers ‘need ethics training’

Trainee teachers need to be better prepared to deal with the ethical challenges of modern teaching, academics believe.

Bruce Maxwell, from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, along with fellow academics from Canada, England and the Netherlands, found that fewer than a quarter of teacher-training programmes in the five countries they surveyed – the US, England, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands – included a mandatory ethics course.

The academics suggest that expanding ethics education for pre-service teachers would bring teaching in line with training courses for other professions.

Boys ‘lose control’ as voice breaks

Schoolboys tend to feel a loss of control over their bodies as their voices break, a new study has found.

Patrick Freer, of Georgia State University, US, spoke with 12 boys at the London Oratory School. Some of the boys, aged between 12 and 18, were school choristers; others were only casual singers.

Professor Freer questioned them about their understanding of their own changing voices, as well as the perceived effects of voice change on their singing ability.

He found that even experienced choristers felt a loss of autonomy as their voices changed.

Connect to nature for better Sats results

Children who feel connected to nature achieve better results in their key stage 2 tests than those who do not, research has found.

Psychologists from the University of Derby questioned 775 primary pupils to find out how strongly they agreed with statements such as “When I feel sad, I like to go outside into nature” and “being in the natural environment makes me feel peaceful”. Children who felt particularly connected to nature performed consistently well in their English key stage 2 tests.


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