11th December 2015 at 00:00

Number of new careers ‘small’

Just 0.5 per cent of jobs did not exist a decade ago, according to research, putting a damper on claims that children need schools to prepare them for futuristic jobs. The number of entirely new careers being created is “strikingly small”, with 99.5 per cent of job descriptions existing both in 2010 and 2000, a study of industry in the US by researchers at the University of Oxford and Lund University in Sweden reveals. But the research shows that there was “substantial” variation across the country. Silicon Valley, California, for example, had a much higher proportion of workers in “new” industries than Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Grading fears for A-level music

Researchers have warned that a lack of consistency in A-level music assessment could mean that students are missing out on top grades. A report from Birmingham City University says that nearly three-quarters of 71 teachers surveyed did not believe grading in composition units was “consistent”. Meanwhile, 66 per cent said that assessment requirements were unclear, which meant they were not confident about predicting students’ grades.

Bedroom tax ‘affects pupils’ learning’

The government’s “bedroom tax” is leaving children hungry and stressed at school, according to a new study. School staff told how children were showing signs of emotional distress caused by the effects of poverty. Material hardship was affecting children’s ability to learn, they said. Professor Ruth Lupton, from the University of Manchester, said: “Our study suggests that the pressure put on families by this cut in benefits may also be working contrary to other policies that are intended to support child wellbeing and educational achievement, diminishing their effectiveness.”

Ebooks inspire boys to read more

Ebooks can help to boost boys’ reading and encourage them to enjoy the subject, according to research from the National Literacy Trust. A new study shows that youngsters who used electronic devices read for longer and were more likely to say that reading is cool. Boys had a bigger attitude change towards reading after picking up an ebook than girls. The study is based on a survey of 468 pupils at 40 schools who took part in an e-reading project. Overall, youngsters taking part saw their reading levels increase by an average of eight months. For boys, 34.4 per cent described reading as cool at the start of the scheme, and this rose to 66.5 per cent by the end.

Irena Barker (@IrenaBarker)

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