Monday, September 26, 2016

British Primary school scraps rule that children as young as three should walk with hands behind backs 'at all times' after parents' outcry

A primary school has scrapped a rule ordering children to walk with their hands clasped behind their backs 'at all times' after a backlash from parents.

The 214-pupils at St George the Martyr Primary School in Camden, north London, were told last year that they must walk in the 'correct way' in school corridors, which school bosses called the 'University Walk'.

The term is believed to derive from how students at posh universities - such as Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews - were told to walk in bygone years.

Executive headteacher Angela Abrahams brought in the rule last year, much to the fury of parents, in a bid to 'strengthen pupil safety, maximise learning time' and 'raise their aspirations'.

Parents, however, were horrified, with some saying their kids looked like 'something out of a chain gang'.

Mrs Abrahams, however, left her job before the summer holidays and has been replaced by new headteacher Adam Young, who has 'quietly' dropped the order that kids walk with their hands behind their backs.

Mr Young is believed to have been alerted to the 'unpopularity' of the rule - which tells all kids at the school, aged 3-11, to walk with their hands 'clasped behind their backs' when on the school premises - by staff and parents.

Speaking this week, one parent - who asked not to be named - said: 'It was like the children were living in the 18th century.

'What so-called educators forget is that this is a primary school where children are just beginning to learn.

'There is so much going on in their heads that they do not need to constantly be reprimanded for walking in a perfectly natural way with their arms down by their sides.

'Children do not naturally walk with their hands behind their backs - they are not Lord Snooty, they are little kids trying their best to learn.'

She added: 'It's a blessed relief that all the nonsense has now been scrapped now that a new headteacher has taken over. 'Now kids can get back to being kids.'

Another parent, again unnamed, said the walk was 'akin to prisoners being moved jails', adding: 'School is for learning and developing your mind, not walking single file like prisoners on a chain gang.'

Mother-of-two Maisie Rowe told the Camden New Journal newspaper this week: 'They have quietly shelved the rule.

'I think it just faded away last year as teachers stopped enforcing it and then it has gone this school year.'

Speaking last November, former head Angela Abrahams said: 'Our recently introduced 'University Walk' inspires children to be the best they can be and to 'go shine in the world'.

'It was introduced to strengthen pupil safety, further raise the aspirations of pupils and to maximise learning time.

'Staff report that they appreciate the impact it has had on learning time and pupils continue to be very happy and excited about learning.'

The new headmaster has so far not commented on the scrapping of the rule.


U.S. Education Dept. Issues Guidance to Boost Academic Achievement of 'English Learners'

A fat lot they would know

In the last several decades, English learners have been among the fastest-growing populations in America's schools, now comprising nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, according the Education Department.

On Friday, the Education Department released non-regulatory "guidance" to help states, districts and schools "provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement" of those 4.8 million English learners.

“In too many places across the country, English learners get less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, and less access to the resources they need to succeed," Education Secretary John King Jr. said in a news release. "Together, we can change that reality."

King said that under the "Every Student Succeeds Act," the Education Department aims to "give students the gift of bilingualism and of multilingualism so they are prepared for college and career with a better sense of themselves, their community, their future, and a better appreciation for our diversity as a country.”

The new guidance promotes "effective, research-based language instruction programs" for the diverse English-learner (EL) population, which includes "recently arrived" ELs, long-term ELs and ELs with disabilities.

This guidance explains in detail how Title III funds may be used to provide supplemental services that improve English proficiency and academic achievement of English learners. Those funds may also be used to "increase the knowledge and skills of teachers who serve ELs."

The Education Department notes that all services provided to ELs using Title III funds must supplement, and not supplant, the services that must be provided to ELs under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, and other state or local laws.

"The Department hopes that this guidance will strengthen State and local efforts to improve educational outcomes for ELs and immigrant children and youth; connect States, (local education agencies) and schools with promising practices and helpful resources; and promote effective LIEPs (Language Instruction Educational Plan) for all ELs."


Ringleader of Oxford University plot to remove Cecil Rhodes statue is accused of racism after admitting he wanted to 'WHIP' a fellow student because he was white

The ringleader of the Oxford University ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign has been accused of racism after admitting he wanted to ‘whip’ a fellow student because he was white.

Ntokozo Qwabe, 25, was filmed using a stick to hit a student’s mobile phone out of his hands – and then ranted online that his victim was guilty of ‘white apartheid settler colonial entitlement’.

It comes after the activist, who has been a postgraduate student at Oxford, led a failed campaign last year for a statue of Cecil Rhodes to be removed from Oriel College.

He claimed that because the 19th-century politician was a colonialist, forcing ethnic minority students walk past it amounted to ‘violence’. The law student then completed his studies in Britain and returned to South Africa, but continued to stir up trouble there. He was recently widely criticised for making a waitress cry in his native Cape Town after refusing to tip her because she was white.

Qwabe’s latest torrent of abuse was written on Facebook after he led a campus protest at the University of Cape Town earlier this week.

Waving a big stick, he led a group of agitators who disrupted a final-year law lecture by singing and standing on tables. When the students refused to leave and one started filming the protest on his mobile phone, he hit it with a stick.

The video of the alleged attack went viral on the internet. Responding to critics who accused him of racism, Qwabe wrote: ‘It is NOT true that I “assaulted” and “whipped with a stick” a white student during our shutdown of the arrogant UCT Law Faculty!

‘Although I wish I’d actually not been a good law-abiding citizen & whipped the white apartheid settler colonial entitlement out of the b******.’

A petition signed by 40,000 people was delivered to Oxford University this year calling on it to revoke Qwabe’s Rhodes scholarship, which allowed him to study using the legacy money left by the politician.


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