At a glance headlines: September 12, 2013


The impact of reading for pleasure on attainment, teachers' poor retirement planning and a £1,000 poetry challenge are among the SecEd At a glance headlines for September 12, 2013.

Reading pleasure

Children who read for pleasure are likely to perform better at school than those who don’t, according to a study from the Institute of Education. The research, led by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, looked at the reading behaviours and the test results in maths, vocabulary and spelling of approximately 6,000 young people followed by the 1970 British Cohort Study. The research showed that children who read books often at the age of 10 and more than once a week at the age of 16 gained higher results. The area on which reading for pleasure was found to have the most positive impact was on the development of vocabulary.

Back to school?

Teachers are more likely to return to work after retirement than any other public sector employees. Half of teachers are considering a part-time role throughout their retirement, according to a survey by Teachers Assurance. They also found that one in 10 teachers, while being a member of their public pension scheme, admit to having never saved towards retirement. The research involved more than 500 public sector workers who are approaching retirement or who have just retired, including employees from the NHS, civil service, education and police.

Parents unaware

More than a quarter of parents are unaware that their children will now have to stay in education or training until they are 17. This month sees the raising of the participation age for the first time since 1972, meaning that students must remain in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 (this rises to 18 in 2015). A poll by Apprenticeship provider Kaplan found that 26 per cent of the 1,154 parents involved were unaware of the change. A fifth of parents of 16-year-olds were also unaware, despite their children being the first cohort affected.

More UTCs open

A total of 17 university technical colleges (UTCs) are now running across England after 12 institutions opened their doors this month. The 14 to 18 schools offer technical and practical education and plans are in train for 44 to be open by 2015. The 17 UTCs have a total of 2,300 students and are the only schools to prepare students for Advance Apprenticeships at 16 and Higher Apprenticeships at 18. All UTCs must be supported by a university and local employers, who are involved in designing and delivering the curriculum. Visit:\

Poetry challenge

Talented young poets could win up to £1,000 for their school through the Power of Poetry competition run by Young Writers. The competition is open to 11 to 18-year-olds and there are no restrictions on poetic style and subject. To help teachers engage students, Young Writers provides a free lesson plan and resources to explore poetic techniques. The closing date for the competition is the October 25. Visit:



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