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The life
A Christian perspective on society and the education industry for the Christian professional in education.

Black children missing from grammar school debate.

The argument for the reintroduction of grammar schools hinges on the idea of meritocracy, but this denies the ways race and other social factors such as class impact education and grammar school admissions. Black students are already at a disadvantage in our education system, and May’s plans will worsen this.

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Social media having negative impact on young people's mental health.

Four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health, with Instagram the most damaging, according to research by two health organisations.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

The survey, published on Friday, concluded that Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also harmful. Among the five only YouTube was judged to have a positive impact.

The four platforms have a negative effect because they can exacerbate children’s and young people’s body image worries, and worsen bullying, sleep problems and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, the participants said.

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Girl with high IQ "rejected" by grammar school.

A girl with a ‘higher IQ than Einstein’ was rejected by a grammar school despite being one of the brightest children in the world.

Mia Golosino has an IQ of 162 – the highest possible score on the test she took, well over the so-called genius benchmark of 140.

It puts her well into the top 1% of people when it comes to brain power – but even so, she was turned down for her first choice school.

She had applied for Aylesbury High grammar school after sitting the 11-plus exam privately.

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Toxic fumes for schools in Hampstead.

Concerned parents and residents are determined to make the threat of toxic air a local election issue, as figures reveal that almost 55 per cent of schools in Hampstead are exposed to toxic fumes.

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Children go without seeing their parents.

Many UK children are going for days without seeing their parents because of the stresses and strains of modern life, a charity is warning.

Some 27% of 1,207 parents surveyed for the British Heart Foundation said they were too busy, in an average day, to spend any time with their children.

Nearly three in 10 parents said they left the house, without seeing their children, at least once a week.

The charity said the "daily grind" was driving families apart.

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Childcare passport?

Politicians are being urged to simplify the way they fund free childcare for pre-school children by creating what is being dubbed a "childcare passport".

The National Day Nurseries Association idea would draw all existing funding streams into one account which parents could then use as they choose.

The body, which represents 20,000 independent nurseries, says the current funding system is too complicated.

The idea could "solve" the childcare issue for the long term, it said.

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Boys could wear skirts at private school.

Boys could be allowed to wear skirts at a north London private school if a plan for gender neutral uniforms comes in.

Highgate School is considering mix-and-match outfits for pupils after head teachers said that growing numbers of children were questioning their gender.

The school, which charges up to £6,790 a term, has also been encouraged to allow unisex toilets and open all sports to all pupils.

Girls at the school can wear grey trousers, dark blue jackets and ties.

But boys are not currently allowed to wear grey pleated skirts, although they would be under the new proposed dress code.


"We are asking them, should it be called uniform number one and uniform number two?," said head Adam Pettitt.

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Babies learn faster if fathers involved.

Babies learn faster if their fathers engage with them in the first few months of life, a study suggests.

An active male role in the early stages of babies' development produced better performance in cognitive tests by the age of two, researchers found.

The team from Imperial College London, King's College London and Oxford University, says the findings show the value of early paternal involvement.

They said the signs could be seen from as early as three months.

The study said there was "compelling support" for the importance of a mother's impact on a child's cognitive development, but more interest was now focused on the association between father-infant interactions and development.

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Anthony Joshua and boxing.

And it’s all true. Boxing has changed his life for the better. I’ve met Joshua a couple of times and he really is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth young men whose acquaintance you’ll ever make, so I’m not sure he was ever going to become the modern-day Scarface that some of his biographers would have us believe he would become, had he not decided to pursue a career in the squared circle. Nevertheless, boxing has been good for him. And this is only the beginning for a kid who is on his way to becoming one of the most wealthy and famous human beings on the planet.

But let’s not be suckered into believing that Joshua’s success in any way provides a road map for black kids from disadvantaged backgrounds in general. Joshua is an outlier who has been blessed with the perfect physique, an enormous amount of guts, tremendous talent and the capacity to work hard enough to be the best on the planet at what he does. If you were to design the perfect athlete from head to toe, he wouldn’t look too different to Anthony Joshua.

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Children at school being sunburnt.

Thousands of children are facing painful sunburn because teachers are too afraid to put sun cream on students, it has been claimed.

Teachers at many schools have been told not to put sunscreen on pupils for fear of opening themselves up to allegations of child abuse.

But a survey has found two thirds of parents want rules relaxed so teachers can help.

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