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Provisional figures from the latest annual survey of attendance and absence for the school year 2000-01 show that primary school pupils missed 5.02 per cent of school sessions due to authorised absence, including sickness, bereavement or religious observance. Unauthorised absence, from temporary exclusions to truancy, accounted for 1.54 per cent of missed sessions by primary school children. The figures have slightly risen since 1999-2000.

(Photograph) - Congratulations are due to Lisa Young who, despite having only three years of primary education, has been awarded the NCFE Student of the Year. A student at Blackpool and The Fylde College in Lancashire, she was one of nine finalists selected from 200 nominees nationwide. Lisa was originally chosen as NCFE Student of the Year in the North-west region but went on to win the national award.

Early years practitioners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland say what the important training issues are from their perspective Nick Waller, training officer for Powys County Council and manager of the Machynlleth Community Nursery:

Our mini series on implementing the new SEN code of practice by Collette Drifte considers termly reviews As a special needs co-ordinator (SENCO), Val James is responsible for organising and conducting the regular reviews of the SEN children in the nursery...

(Photograph) - Six-year-old Kirsty Howard from Manchester met pop star Victoria Beckham when she was honoured last week at the annual Woman's Own Children of Courage awards in London. Kirsty was born with a rare condition in which her heart is back to front and other organs are misplaced. She has undergone 11 major operations and has a heavy oxygen cylinder permanently attached to her body. Photo Michael Melia

We look back on one busy year and forward to another one, as Mahrukh Choughtai asks a selection of people in the early years workforce what's on their wish list for 2002 This year saw the start of Labour's second term in office and yet more change for the early years sector, most significantly the transfer of care inspections to Ofsted.

The New Lanark site of the world's first nursery and infant school has been awarded World Heritage Status. The industrial cotton-spinning village is only the fourth site in Scotland to receive the status given to places of exceptional value. It joins...

This two-part project covers all six areas of learning, indicated by: Personal, social and emotional development

Christmas time in the nursery means life is busy as excited children count down the days to Santa's visit with their presents. Nursery staff are under pressure, as they ensure every child makes a card, gifts and calendar. Then there are the rehearsals...

A book to help early years workers develop young children's musical awareness has been produced by the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries in association with Nursery World. A Guide to Choosing Musical Instruments includes a comprehensive assessment of musical instruments on the market. The guide costs 5 or 4.50 to members (including p&p) from the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries, 68 Churchway, London NW1 1LT (020 7387 9592).

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