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NEWS IN BRIEF

Gulf expansion


English private schools are expanding into the Gulf, reports the FT, answering to a growing number of expats and Middle Eastern families who want an English private school education. Repton, in Dubai, will be joined by an Oundle offshoot. Wellington College and Brighton College are in advanced talks for sister schools in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi respectively.

The appeal of these schools appears to be internationally recognised qualifications, fluency in English and the “tradition and Englishness” of these the centuries-old institutions. Some schools are however wary of looking abroad for risk of “damaging their brand”. (See our Middle East feature in The Road Less Travelled Section).

Nursery cuts childhood “wheeze”


Spending time with other youngsters at nursery from the age of six to 12 months “can cut the chance of developing asthma by 70%”, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The NHS however highlights that although these findings offer “some evidence that attendance at daycare may provide some protection against persistent wheeze,” more research is called for. It questions whether attendance at nursery itself is protective or “whether the population of children who attend nursery during their childhood is intrinsically different to the population which does not.”

Link between the MMR vaccine and autism ruled out


A new US study that replicates the one carried out by Dr Andrew Wakefield, found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and gastro-intestinal problems, says The Daily Mail. The surge in measles cases in the UK and the US is blamed on the belief by parents that MMR might cause autism.

Several studies have now discredited Dr Wakefield’s research and he is currently undergoing disciplinary action for professional misconduct.

Striped pyjamas


The recent release of the film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ has been supported by the charity, Film Education, who are providing free resources to every UK secondary school. The film makes a brave attempt to deal with the tricky subject of the Holocaust. Whilst adults may be critical of its “Merchant Ivory” format, it will provide a very good starting point for children to face such an important part of our history.

Film Education also runs the National Schools Film Week. Free school screenings and events run from 20th - 24th October this year.

Kidults


And you think young children are expensive . . . A recent report found that an adult child over 18 costs parents a small fortune. 1,200 adults were questioned as to how far they went to financially support their grown up kids. Counting help given with university, first car, first home, and first wedding parents can part with an average of £21,540.

The investment group, LV = says these figures suggest that UK parents spend an estimated £233 bn on their adult children.