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Daily memo 19-23 June 2017

Welcome to the Parent Zone Daily memo. Here are the stories that have grabbed our attention in education, social care and the digital world...  

Friday 23 June 2017

Image: Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0

Specs appeal 

Review of Snapchat's Spectacles. If you want to video strangers as you do your shopping, post it on Snapchat and look like Elton John while doing it, these are for you.


Evolution revolution

Turkish schools 'to stop teaching evolution.' One of the reasons given for the proposal is that it's too complicated for students, apparently.


Teacher numbers take a tumble

Teacher shortage deepens as vacancies rise by 26% and recruitment falls.


New app warning

Parents warned about new video chat app, Monkey, as the Victoria Derbyshire programme finds that adults are sharing sexual content with underage teens on it.

Image: Christopher, CC BY-SA 2.0

Facebook fights back against extremism

Facebook launches UK initiative to combat extremist content on the platform.


Swipe left

How Tinder helped Labour gain votes in the UK election.


Thursday 22 June 2017

Image: Public Domain 

Keeping it private

According to a recent study, WhatsApp is quickly becoming one of the main ways people discover and discuss news, showing a growing trend toward having more private conversations on social media.


A digital proposal

Online safety expert John Carr highlights the relevant snippets from the Queen’s speech regarding proposals for a new digital charter, hoping to ensure that the UK is the safest place to be online.


Beggin' you

A comprehensive school asks parents for £25 a term to help solve financial problems.


In pursuit of perfection

According to a report, social media pressure, with makeover apps and online plastic surgery games aimed at children, means more young people are turning to cosmetic procedures.


None the wiser

MPs from all parties are left wondering about the state of education funding after pledge not to cut budgets was left out of Queen’s speech.

Image: Public Domain 

Under pressure

Teachers could soon find themselves more stressed out than ever. Recent proposals that would change how Ofsted inspects schools risk increasing the pressure.


Wednesday 21 June 2017

Image: Public Domain 

Trained to help

A new report says mental health services for children and teenagers should be brought into schools and thinktank urges the government to make mental health a necessary part of teacher training.


Absent friends

Kids that are regularly missing school are more of a concern than those taking term-time holidays, and fining parents isn’t the answer, says the president of the National Union of Teachers.


Team players

Schools are exploring the advantages of getting all kids to work together in mixed-ability classes until everybody has ‘got it’.


Decisions, decisions

The kids are in charge! Netflix is launching two interactive children's TV shows that ask youngsters to choose between two options at different stages.


Techie toddlers

A health poll finds that one-third of pre-schoolers own smartphones or tablets and half of these are using them without supervision.

Image: Nilufer Gadgleva, CC BY 2.0

Let’s get creative!

There is a call for more focus on writing for fun as new research suggests that children who enjoy scribbling words outside of the classroom are more likely to do well at school.


Tuesday 20 June 2017

Image: Andrew Mercer, CC BY 2.0


Wild things

With no classrooms, lessons or homework, kids at this New Zealand school spend most of their day outdoors, exploring the countryside, learning to fish, hunt and trap possums.


Liar Liar

A new set of studies across nine countries reveal that social media is being used to manipulate public opinion around the world with the promotion of lies, misinformation and propaganda by governments and individuals.


Taking sides

The European Union is considering banning ‘backdoors’ that allow the reading of encrypted messaging on services such as WhatsApp, putting it in direct conflict with the UK government’s desire to have access to all communications.



With the importance of digital skills still growing and an estimated 100,000 new coding jobs in the UK by 2020, schools are investing in expanding computer coding clubs to give pupils more opportunities.



Monday 19 June 2017

Image: Public Domain

We don’t need no (computer) education

There is growing concern amongst experts that not enough students want to study computing at school or continue it for further education. How can teachers encourage its take up at school and beyond?


SOS: Stressed Out Students

Recent statistics on teen mental health show a significant increase in young people seeking help for exam stress. But, is exam stress really rising or are students just getting better at seeking help?


Extreme measures

Google has announced plans to tackle the spread of terrorist material online. The tech giant says the threat poses a serious challenge and that more immediate action needs to be taken.


Politics outside the classroom

Former physics and maths teacher, Layla Moran, is the new education spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats. Her predecessor Sarah Olney lost her seat in the general election.


Modern family

Long working hours, after school activities and the difficulty of getting kids to stop using their electronic gadgets, have an impact on the traditional notion of a set bedtime. The Telegraph looks at the effect of modern life on kids’ sleeping patterns.

Image: Public Domain

Breaking language barriers

Language teachers watch out! An Australian plumber has invented an earpiece that can interpret 8 different languages in real-time. The earpiece was unveiled at the United Nations AI for Good summit in Geneva last week and could impact global business in a digital age.