ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

The week
News items from the week’s daily and education press, covering the major education news stories of the week.

Parents rate early years educators.

Nine in ten parents of children six and under agree that early years educators have an essential role to play in their child’s development and believe they should be paid accordingly, research suggests.

Read more.


Grammar school expansion.

Grammar school 'extension' for more than 1,000 pupils paves the way for dozens more 'satellite campuses' around the country - despite ban on new schools

  • The plan involves the creation of a 'satellite campus' of an existing school in Kent
  • The creation of new grammars was banned but this could pave the way more 
  • Grammar schools are in high demand among parents who want the best

Read more.


Universities in deficit.

Nearly one in four universities in England were in deficit last year, according to an official compilation of data that suggests more financial difficulties could be on the way.

The number of universities in England with operating deficits in 2017-18 increased to 32, compared with 24 the year before and 10 in 2015-16. Across the UK, the number reporting deficits rose to 47, compared with 40 in 2016-17.

The figures come after warnings of the financial challenges facing many British universities, but especially those in England that are dealing with increased competition and rely heavily on undergraduate tuition fees, which could be cut.

Reading University, which was reported recently by the Guardian to have benefited from the sale of land belonging to a separate trust, was among those with deficits higher than 10% of their annual income.

Reading’s income, reported to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, was £317m against total expenditure of £348m.

Read more.


Paypal urged to block essay writing firms.

The education secretary is calling on payments firms such as PayPal to block transactions for essay writing firms, in a bid to beat university cheats.

Damian Hinds says it is "unethical for these companies to profit from this dishonest business".

He also suggests UK universities should consider US-style "honour codes" where students promise not to cheat.

A PayPal spokesman says an "internal review is already under way" into essay-writing services.

Read more.


Cambridge University rescinds offer to Dr Jordan Peterson.

Cambridge University has rescinded its invitation of a visiting fellowship to an academic whose views on gender have been condemned by critics.

University of Toronto psychology professor Dr Jordan Peterson had planned to be with Cambridge's Faculty of Divinity for two months in autumn.

But on Wednesday the university took the invitation back after a review.

Dr Peterson said the faculty had "made a serious error of judgement in rescinding their offer to me".

The author has previously said he refuses to comply with Canadian laws compelling him to use the gender-neutral pronoun of an individual's choice, and in 2016 released a video lecture series questioning political correctness.

    

He also took aim at a campus culture of "social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists".

Dr Peterson said he did not object to trans people or to choosing which traditional pronoun they prefer.

Read more.


Parents to lose the right to opt-out of Relationships and Sex Education from 2020

This is a guest post by David Kurten AM. 

Under cover of Brexit, the government is pushing through one of the most unpopular and destructive policies ever considered by a ‘Conservative’ government. It wants to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools from September 2020. Highly sexualised material is already available in hundreds of primary schools, which undermine traditional family values and confuses children about gender, but teaching these things will become compulsory in all schools if the government gets its way.

Many parents and Parliamentarians are simply unaware of the kind of explicit materials already available in primary schools. They are told they are for ‘anti-bullying programs’ and for ‘safeguarding’ children. Busy MPs and peers are hoodwinked by these words, but the document ‘Too Much, Too Young’ clearly explains what has been already been recommended for children as young as 5-years-old. 

The vote on the statutory instrument which will make it law was originally planned for Thursday 28th March but has been brought forward to Wednesday 20th March – the same day as the third vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. It will be debated in the Commons straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. 

It is almost unheard of for a statutory instrument to be defeated in the House of Commons as MPs from the governing party do not normally vote against them. This is an issue which cuts across party lines however, so it may be that a majority of MPs may vote against it, however unlikely.  

Read the full story.


Sex, Schools, Society Interview.

Listen to Lynda Rose in conversation with Rodney Hearth of Air TV, discussing the latest Relationships and Sex Education Regulations, currently going through Parliament, and how we got where we are today.

View the full interview here: Sex, Schools, Society Interview


No deal preparations for Local Authorities.

EU Exit: no deal preparations for local authority children’s services in England  

    Advice to local authority children’s services in England on how to prepare in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Read more.


Protests end as LGBT lessons end

A school at the centre of a row about teaching LGBT rights says it will not resume the lessons until a resolution has been reached with angry parents.

Weekly protests against the classes have been held outside the gates of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

After a meeting on Tuesday, the school said it wanted to continue working with parents to "find a solution".

Parents welcomed the decision and called off planned protests.

The school denied an earlier suspension of the lessons was a U-turn, saying it had always planned to stop the 'No Outsiders' project at half-term.

    

But the decision made after Tuesday's meeting means they will be stopped indefinitely.

Read the detail.


Pupil climate strikes spread around the world.

 

Thousands of school pupils worldwide have abandoned classrooms for a day of protest against climate change.

 

India, South Korea, Australia and the US are among the countries where teenagers are already on strike.

 

The day of action is expected to embrace about 100 countries. They are inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who protests weekly outside Sweden's parliament.

 

Scientists say tougher measures are needed to cut global warming.

 

The Paris climate agreement of 2017 committed nearly 200 countries to keeping global temperatures "well below" 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and to striving for a maximum of 1.5C.

 

    

 

Read more.

 


 

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