KNOWLEDGE – Christians in Education


Children as young as seven who fidget and don’t pay attention in class do worse in their GCSEs, a new study has found. The research showed a relationship between attentiveness in primary schools and the likelihood of achieving good grades. Academics at Nottingham and Bristol universities said their research highlights how not paying attention in class can have long-lasting academic implications.  Researches analysed the behaviour and exam results of more than 11,000 children who took part in Bristol’s Children of the 90s study. Read more

Children will do what their teachers do, rather than what they say, new research from the US shows. When teachers’ words and deeds conflict, children will always follow actions over instructions, academics at Boston University have found. ‘Adults may provide conflicting verbal and behavioural information,’ the academics write in a paper presented this month at the American Educational Research Association conference in Chicago. ‘For example, parents may state the importance of not snacking before meals, but then snack before meals anyway.’ Read more

Tenever is a high-rise housing estate with a reputation for poverty and crime, located at the end of a tram line in the northern German city of Bremen. Eight years ago, one of Europe’s best-known orchestras moved their rehearsal rooms to a secondary school on this housing estate and pupils from Tenever found themselves sharing their corridors and lunch tables with professional musicians. Read more to find out what happened.

Creationism is still taught in dozens of faith schools despite Government threats to withdraw their funding..  Last August Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said schools found teaching creationism as scientific fact would not be eligible for any money from the taxpayer.  Yet a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests show that 54 private schools are still being funded by local authorities, while continuing to teach that the Earth began with Adam and Eve. Read more

The OECD offers a cautionary tale from Sweden, which began experimenting with publicly funded independent schools over 20 years ago. Steadily they became entrenched as part of the system and were for the most part accepted as a useful bit of grit in the oyster when it came to raising average standards. Not any more, however. Reviewing the best comparative evidence, the OECD describes ‘a decade of declining … performance’.  Read more

Staging early interventions to stop young people going off the rails and getting into serious difficulties could save £1.7bn a year, a coalition of more than 50 leading charities say. The next government should set up a ring-fenced fund to tackle social problems early and stop young people’s lives being ruined by mental health problems, bad parenting and antisocial behaviour, the campaigners argue.  Read more

The issue of education has barely come up during the election. But where are we? Lord Baker, former education secretary, once complained that ‘our education system is not the product of a single directing mind – a Napoleon or a Bismarck – let alone the expression of a single guiding principle’. It still isn’t. So what is the future, as a school budget squeeze approaches? Read more

Children who are facing adversity, such as illness or parents splitting up, are more likely to confide in their pet than brothers or sisters, according to research. Matt Cassels at Cambridge University says far too little attention has been paid to the significant role of pets in young people’s emotions. ‘They may feel that their pets are not judging them,’ said Mr Cassels. His research is based on a 10-year study of 100 families in the UK. Read more