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The latest shake-up in vocational training means cutbacks in the money and time allocated to train Government-funded early years NVQ students. Mary Evans assesses the effect on staff shortages

It is ironic that the Government is condoning passive smoking by children, says Maggie Jones

Teachers can read what their peers think about websites and software they've tested, as Jenny Benjamin reports

Careful planning will give children the first-hand experiences they need to start learning about writing, says Julian Grenier

Alengthy pay dispute over the payment of term-time school staff in Northern Ireland during school holidays is edging closer to a settlement. A comprehensive package put forward before Christmas by management of the Province's five Education and Library...

Having read the news of the research carried out on target setting in the early years ('Children gain when they can set targets', 7 December), I'm not sure many of us needed to be told that school policies and teachers' professional knowledge were the...

Until very recently, nearly all our communication with our readers happened via the post or the telephone. Now, e-mail is increasingly the channel by which we receive feedback, queries and information, as the early years sector gears up to grasp the opportunities...

Nursery schools outperform primary schools even though a significantly greater proportion of children in nursery school settings live in difficult socio-economic circumstances, according to a Department for Education and Employment report. The report,...

As a nanny, you will make many decisions every week, and not all of them have to be checked out with children's parents. You should have a good idea of what the family would like you to do, and how. But the awkward questions about babies, bodily functions and death may raise issues that you know should be clarified first in an adult conversation. Once you've taken a decision about a delicate issue, be ready to mention to the child's parents what was asked and how you replied.

Leading children's charities and politicians have renewed their call for independent child commissioners or ministers for children to be appointed in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Following the second reading of the Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill in the Commons last week, both the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and ChildLine said the rest of the UK and Northern Ireland should follow the lead of Wales and appoint their own commissioners.

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