Education Diary: Annual guide to teacher training

The annual guide to teacher training by Alan Smithers and Pamela Robinson is giving rise to all kinds of generalisations about different school subjects and the personalities they attract. Teachers in the arts, humanities and English are most likely to take up a teaching post on qualifying, the report says. Is this because students of these subjects are sensitive, people-orientated souls who are good at relating to youngsters, while maths and science teachers are dry by comparison? Faced with a class of incorrigible children, the latter soon realise teaching is not for them. A high percentage of PE teachers continue to take up teaching posts, however. How can that be explained? Is it that they have more difficulty finding jobs elsewhere? Ouch!

Despite changing its name to Voice, the Professional Association of Teachers still provides an alternative fare at its conferences. This week, delegates were encouraged to take a break from debate for a seminar in yoga relaxation. The session promised to teach yoga for the classroom: eye and breathing exercises, "mandala" method (whatever that is), yoga warm-ups and postures for balance, strength and flexibility. The teachers would also learn about calming, quietening and talking to children about yoga's health benefits.

Was it just a coincidence that the pier in Weston-super-Mare went up in smoke on one of the hottest days of the year? Not if you're an insurer and risk assessor such as Zurich Municipal. The company recently revealed that last year's cold, damp summer had resulted in the lowest cost of school fires in eight years. Apparently school fires caused just £53m worth of damage in 2007, down £21m on the previous year. The dreadful summer weather last year was, "a significant factor in this decline, with fires less able to take hold and the acute conditions affording less opportunity to would-be deliberate fire-setters". The research comes hot on the heels of Jim Knight's Design for Fire Safety in Schools guide, which announced that all new and refurbished schools would be expected to have sprinkler systems installed. But Larry Stokes, a manager at Zurich Municipal, says: "While the latest figures are substantially down on recent years, the role of last summer's adverse weather should not be overlooked." So what to do Mr Knight? We suggest he don a grass skirt, raise his hands to the heavens and perform a tribal rain dance. Forget bureaucracy!

Back by popular demand: Press Release of the Week. Winner this time is the publishing house Dorling Kindersley, which has come up with a way of making history cool (as if it wasn't cool enough already) with Take Me Back, published this autumn. The book is, we are told, "a newfangled way of looking at old stuff – history has never been so now!" Well omigod! Let's get the girlies round for a Civil War recreation slumber party! The release continues: "Timelines? Yawn. Biographies of kings? Snoozeville." The wordsmiths at DK do get praise for coming up with this gem: "A blast from the past with more front than the Hundred Years War and more pizzazz than opening night at the Colosseum (and the Ancient Romans sure knew how to put on a show)". I smell a bestseller!

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

WORLDbytes: Two-Day Intensive Camera training and Shoot: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March

expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 4 Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A school in Tameside is currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are currently looking for ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower