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IN BRIEF ISSUE 6

Vets Top Job Choice


A Post Office survey of seven year-olds reveals that most of them want to become a vet. Vet took top spot with 12%, teaching came second with 10%, 9% wanted to go into medicine, 8% hoped to become a professional footballer and 7% opted to become a popstar or model.

The survey also found that, whilst 73% receive weekly pocket money averaging £3.74, almost a third of children received no pocket money at all. Of those who were fortunate enough to be given a weekly allowance, it was found that 44% spent their money on sweets whilst 33% opted for toys. With a third of kids expecting to save between 1,000 and 10,000 pounds before they turned 18 and those (10%) with higher aspirations of squirreling away a million, it looks like they are going to have to forfeit some of those trips to the sweet and toy shops!

Male Teacher’s Role


A new study by the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools and the Independent Schools Council claims that children at private prep schools are twice as likely to be taught by a man than pupils in state schools. This observation comes in the wake of last year’s Training and Development Agency poll which found that almost half of the 800 men questioned believed that a male teacher had been a fundamental role model in their life.

This poses further debate on the impact of male teachers in education.

Bad Hair Day


The BBC reports that West Dunbartonshire Council has bought nine sets of hair straighteners for 3 schools after teenage girls said that they were worried about ‘bad hair’ after P.E. classes. The council said that the move was part of wider efforts to improve sports facilities and encourage more girls to participate.

Steiner EYFS Opt Out


Two Steiner schools have been allowed to opt out of some of the goals enforced in the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage scheme, reports The Daily Telegraph. Many elements of formal education do not begin until the age of 7 under the Steiner philosophy.

The two schools that applied for opt out will not have to meet the strict reading and writing targets of the EYFS, which has faced criticism for stifling children’s play. But will this open the door to further opt outs by nurseries that follow alternative teaching philosophies? It may now be difficult for the government to refuse such exemption applications.

Beware – Herbal Medicines


Herbal medicines may have adverse side effects or interfere with other medication. A recent article in the Daily Mirror referring to work from researchers at King’s College, London showed 8 out of 11 Chinese herbal creams to contain powerful steroids not suitable for children.

Education Cuts?


Education spending could be cut by £2bn, said Ed Balls in an interview with The Sunday Times. These savings could be made by axing thousands of senior staff, keeping wages low, and by merging comprehensives to form ‘federations’ with one headteacher covering different schools. Such measures would, he estimates, save over £500m a year.

In response to these tough cuts, Mick Brookes, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said: “We’re looking for him to get his own house in order before criticising school leadership.”

Dr Who Number One


Doctor Who, played by actor David Tennant, has been voted number one choice of primary school children as their ideal headteacher over the likes of Barack Obama, JK Rowling and Cheryl Cole, says The Guardian.

The National College for the Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services commissioned report found that 47% of 9 to 11 yearolds polled said they chose their celebrity because they were fun, 33% picked “someone they look up to,” whilst a similar number cited the celebrity’s popularity. Over 27% went for intelligence as the reason behind their choice. Encouragingly, an astounding 75% said their own headteacher made them feel happy to be at school!