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

Irish concerns over Sex Education.

Sir, – When the uproar arose over the so-called “baptism barrier”, the mantra of those assailing the Catholic Church’s position was the overriding importance of parental choice. But now that veneer has been stripped away with the proposals to neuter any parent’s rights to choose to have their children taught Catholic values around sexual activity. What has been exposed is a naked attempt to foist a pagan/atheistic/satanic (take your pick) hedonism on all schoolchildren regardless of their parents’ wishes.The Catholic Church has a beautiful, coherent, holistic theology of the body, which holds that sexual activity should be characterised by an indissoluble bond between the partners and an openness to new life. Such is the importance it attaches to this teaching is that the degree to which one lives it, or repents for infractions of it, could be a decisive factor in determining whether one enjoys eternal bliss in the afterlife or the separation from God known as Hell. To prevent the passing on of this sound doctrine is blatant persecution of the Catholic Church. The issue is not whether parents may choose to opt out of this education if they do not agree with it, the issue has become whether parents’ rights to choose it should be respected.– Yours, etc



Dublin 15.

The Irish Times.



Baker clause ignored on careers duty.

The Baker clause has been labelled a “law without teeth” after it emerged the government did not take any action against schools for non-compliance in the first year of its existence.

The Department for Education also admitted it only wrote to half of the trusts it originally claimed to have contacted in relation to non-compliance. Around two-thirds of secondary schools are thought to be breaking the law.

Read more.

Halal and Kosher meat cut from Oxford college menu.

The Oxford college which cut octopus from its menu in the name of inclusivity has now voted to ban Halal and Kosher meat, citing animal welfare concerns. 

Students at Somerville initially set out to “ensure that different groups of people can eat in hall more”, following the College President’s decision to ban octopus tartine from the Freshers’ welcome dinner.

But undergraduates argued that serving Halal and Kosher meat was problematic due to “animal welfare concerns” on the basis that animals are not stunned prior to being killed.

Read more.

200 mile round trip to see orthodontist.

Teenagers in parts of Caithness and Sutherland are having to make 200 mile-long (322 km) round trips for orthodontic treatment in Inverness.

The dental care is not available on the NHS in the areas.

Campaigners claim 950 orthodontic appointments each year involved local young people, and the trips had an impact on their exam revision time.

NHS Highland said it, like other health boards, was experiencing a shortage of orthodontic consultants.

It said it was working with the North of Scotland Planning Group, which is a collaboration between it and Grampian, Orkney, Shetland, Tayside and Western Isles health boards, on finding a solution.

Read more.

Hungarian mothers of 4 escape income tax for life.

Hungarian women with four children or more will be exempted for life from paying income tax, the prime minister has said, unveiling plans designed to boost the number of babies being born.

It was a way of defending Hungary's future without depending on immigration, Viktor Orban said.

The right-wing nationalist particularly opposes immigration by Muslims.

Hungary's population is falling by 32,000 a year. Women there have fewer children than the EU average.

Read more.

Should schools start later in the day?

Meditation and sleep are proven to aid mental health and productivity in young people, allowing enhanced coherence between brain parts.

Lack of sleep is directly related to heightened stress, which has been shown to shrink the brain’s capacity, leading to increased emotional tendencies and worsened short-term memory. How can we expect our children to concentrate at school if they are unrested and stressed?

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Should middle class parents lose free nursery hours.

Middle class parents should lose their free nursery hours because the Government’s flagship policy is “entrenching inequality”, a select committee has said.

Under the policy, working parents who earn up to £100,000 between them are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare for three to four-year-olds, which is double the 15 hours they were previously entitled to. 

The multi-billion pound taxpayer funded scheme, which came into force in September 2017, was aimed at encouraging parents to get back into work rather than getting put off by prohibitive childcare costs.

Read more.

Very few black female academics.

A pervasive culture of bullying and stereotyping at UK universities is blocking the professorial paths for black female academics, a report has warned.

The minority group have to work harder and employ mentally draining strategies at speed to try to prove themselves, according to research from the University and College Union (UCU).

Read more detail.

Researchers look at how children from single-parent and two-parent families fare in life.

Researchers have been looking at how children from single-parent and two-parent families fare in life. So what did they find?

Family life is more richly varied than ever before. A growing proportion of parents in the UK choose to live together, rather than getting married.

And during the past 20 years about one in five children has been growing up in a lone-parent family.

This reflects big social shifts in attitudes and opportunities, some of which started in the 1960s, when women began to gain more control over when to have children.

Two large studies in the UK and the US have been following children growing up since about the year 2000.

Read more.

University applications rise.

University applications have gone up for the first time in three years – but the rise is fuelled by soaring applications from overseas rather the British students.

Figures from Ucas, the university admissions service, show that 561,420 people have applied to start a course this autumn, the first increase since 2016.

The rise is driven by to a record 63,690 students from outside the European Union (EU) applying to UK institutions, an increase of 9 per cent compared to last year.

The figures will be welcomes by the UK’s higher education sector, which relies on international students to boost its income.

Under EU laws, universities must charge European students the same level of fees as their British peers, but non-EU students can be charged at a higher rate. 

Read more.


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