Daily news briefing from the UKEdNewsdesk, initially published on the UKEdChat App.
Scroll down to read the headlines and extracts.
Children ‘fending for themselves online’
Youngsters are being left to fend for themselves on the internet against dangers such as bullying and grooming, a report has said.
The Children’s Commissioner for England said children did not know how to deal with common problems they found online.
Full story at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38508888
Plans to fast-track higher education startups into universities ‘a risk too far’
Government plans to fast-track degree-awarding powers to new startup institutions as part of its controversial higher education proposals are “a risk too far”, experts in the sector are warning.
Ministers say the legislation, which returns to parliament for further scrutiny next week, will increase competition and choice in the higher education sector, and deliver value for money for students.
Alarm at move to reveal identity of whistleblowers who exposed Trojan Horse scandal
A move to reveal whistleblowers’ identities to headteachers facing disciplinary action linked to the “Trojan Horse” scandal is “astonishing” and “beggars belief”, union and school chiefs have said.
Birmingham City Council said it was “extremely alarmed” that lawyers acting for the Department for Education (DfE) had written to notify dozens of people, who had given evidence about allegations of hardline Islamic influence in classrooms on the promise of anonymity.
Kent school head defends sending home girls in too-short skirts
A headteacher in Kent has defended sending pupils home from school because their skirts were too short, saying parents who did not like the strict uniform rules could choose to have their daughters educated elsewhere.
Girls at Ebbsfleet academy in Swanscombe were turned away on the first day of term after Christmas because their skirts did not conform to uniform policy which stipulates that skirts should be navy, A-line or pleated, and no shorter than 5cm above the knee.
Careless student cooks cause hundreds of fires every year
Poor student cooking is costing London fire fighters hundreds of hours a year, with fire officers called to student accommodation buildings over 10-times-per-week in the capital during 2015.
The figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, show that students living in halls of residence caused almost 6 per cent of all indoor fires recorded by London Fire Brigade – despite only making up an estimated 0.4 per cent of London’s population.
Oxbridge now recognises the importance of mental health – it’s time for the rest to follow suit
Mental health: it’s something all of us have, and an issue one in four of us will fall foul of every single year. Awareness and understanding of these issues is only on the rise.
Sadly though, it seems that awareness is yet to turn into any meaningful action. In terms of funding or improved treatment, only 55 percent of NHS mental health trusts have increased their budgets since 2012. In fact, mental health only accounts for 13 percent of the NHS total budget, despite the inescapable fact that 28 percent of burden placed on the health service is in some way related to mental illness.
Nursery inspections in Scotland fall by one-third
The number of nursery inspections carried out by Scottish Government agency Education Scotland has fallen by one-third in the last five years, it has emerged.
The reduction came to light in answer to a parliamentary question in which education secretary John Swinney admitted that the number of inspections fell from 201 in 2011 to 135 in the last year.
France says ‘non!’ to hitting kids as it bans corporal punishment
Child abuse was already illegal in France, but a new bill bans all corporal punishment.
The “Equality and Citizenship” bill passed on Dec. 22, forbidding cruel, degrading, and/or humiliating treatment of children by their parents.
The bill makes spanking a civil, rather than a criminal offence.
Full story at The NY Daily News
New study finds girls feel unprepared for puberty
Girls from low-income families in the U.S. are unprepared for puberty and have largely negative experiences of this transition, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their latest paper on the puberty experiences of African-American, Caucasian, and Hispanic girls living mostly in urban areas of the Northeastern U.S. shows that the majority of low-income girls feel they lack the information and readiness to cope with the onset of menstruation. The research is one of the first comprehensive systematic reviews of the literature on puberty experiences of low-income girls in the U.S.
Full story at TheEdWire