The meeting followed the news that more than 50% of children in state-funded schools in England are now taught in an academy or free school, with standards rising faster in many sponsored academies than in similar council-run schools.Standards in faith schools are also impressive, with last year’s GCSE data showing faith schools perform better than their non-faith counterparts, while over half of the top performing 5% of schools at Key Stage 2, are faith schools.Representatives from all major faiths attended the meeting, including individuals from the Church of England, Muslim, Catholic, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu faiths, and from the Methodist Church.They were joined by leaders of high performing faith multi-academy trusts – Hamid Patel of Star Academy Trust, Nitesh Gor of Avanti Schools Trust and Dr Brinder Mohan Singh of Nishkam School Trust.These trusts are just three examples of faith groups combining their own ethos and values with the freedom and autonomy that academies and free schools enjoy, to create thriving schools providing the education their pupils deserve.Director of the Catholic Education Service, Paul Barber, said: The Catholic Church has been a longstanding Government partner in the provision of education, and today’s meeting highlights the continued strong working relationship we enjoy with the Department. Nearly a quarter of all Catholic schools in England are academies and we welcome the continued support of the Secretary of State for Catholic dioceses and their academisation plans. As the country’s second largest provider of schools, we remain committed to providing high quality Catholic education centred around the formation of the whole child. Faith leaders are being encouraged to convert more of their schools to academies – joining hundreds of schools across the country already benefiting from higher standards after academy conversion and building on the leading role faith groups have played in delivering the Government’s education reforms.At a round-table of representatives from all major faiths held on 29 January, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds set out the benefits of becoming an academy school – placing freedom into the hands of school leaders and helping schools to work together to achieve more than they can alone.The Education Secretary also praised the role faith organisations have had in the Government’s education reforms since 2010, with more than a quarter of state-funded faith schools already having academy status and more than 100 faith free schools open or due to open soon. The figures reflect an upturn in the pace of academy conversion within faith groups, with more groups now also establishing their own multi academy trusts.The department would also like to see more people from faith groups choosing to join the thousands of volunteers already offering their time, energy, skills and expertise as school governors and trustees.Mr Hinds said: The diversity of schools in this country is one our education system’s most valuable assets, and faith schools play a pivotal role in that. They have led the way in embracing our reforms, with innovative free schools and high performing academies, taking advantage of the freedom and autonomy those choices provide. Faith schools make up one-third of the schools in England. I want to see even more faith schools enjoying the benefits of academy conversion, with even more faith groups using the exciting opportunity the free schools route provides. In doing so, the leaders of these schools will ensure they are the ones making the right decisions for their pupils and for their communities, as I firmly believe they should be.
May 13, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Canadian authorities reported progress yesterday in their battle to stamp out avian influenza in British Columbia, while news services reported possible signs of a new strain of avian flu virus in the outbreak area.Canadian officials announced plans on Apr 5 to sacrifice about 19 million poultry in the Fraser River Valley near Vancouver to control an outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian flu. The disease has been detected in 40 commercial poultry farms and 10 backyard flocks.Yesterday the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the campaign to destroy all poultry within 3 kilometers of infected farms was nearing completion. A total of 296 backyard flocks had been destroyed, the agency said.More than 500 sites have tested negative for avian flu, and no new infected farms have been found since Apr 29, the CFIA said. The agency said workers have begun cleaning and disinfecting 21 of the 40 infected farms.Also yesterday, British Columbia officials they had found what may be a new strain of avian flu on a duck and goose farm at Abbotsford, B.C., in the outbreak area, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia medical health officer, said blood tests of geese and ducks revealed what looked like antibodies to an H5 avian flu virus, but the findings were not confirmed, according to the story. Confirmatory test results were expected tomorrow. The birds were not sick, the report said.The recent widespread avian flu outbreaks in East Asia, which led to 24 fatal human cases and the sacrifice of millions of birds, involved an H5N1 virus. But Kendall said the absence of illness in the Canadian birds suggests the strain involved is not the same as in the Asian outbreaks.The AP report said the finding of a possible new virus prompted officials to close a school across the road from the duck and goose farm. No children or staff members at the school had any signs of illness, said Sally Greenwood of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). She said the school would be closed until the end of the week and that plans called for destroying all the birds on the farm by then, according to the report.The report quoted Rick Thiessen, president of the British Columbia Chicken Growers Association, as saying that 75% of the poultry in the outbreak area had been destroyed.In other developments, a consortium of British Columbia medical agencies reported last week that they had sequenced the genome of the H7N3 virus involved in the outbreak.”The genome sequencing demonstrated that this is entirely a bird isolate, and contains no human influenza A genes at this time,” stated an announcement from the British Columbia Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Center, the BCCDC, and the Animal Health Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.The project revealed a previously unknown mutation in the virus that could explain its increased virulence, the statement said.
The NHRA resumed its season Saturday in front of an expected crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.Fans were not allowed at Friday’s practice session but returned in a limited capacity for qualifying NHRA President Glen Cromwell said ticket sales were capped at about 10 to 15% of normal capacity.They also are expected to attend Sunday’s finals.Most fans wore face coverings on a hot, sun-drenched day, complying with county guidelines, and observed social distancing in the stands, pits and at concession areas.John Force Racing did not attend the first of two consecutive weeks of activity in Indianapolis. Manager Aaron Boone announced the diagnosis Saturday. He said Chapman “overall is doing well” but “will not be here for the foreseeable future.”Chapman threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and Boone wouldn’t comment on whether he had been at Yankee Stadium since. Boone said the team had gone through contact tracing protocols, and no other players or personnel would be forced to isolate because of Chapman’s positive test.The Yankees will open their regular season July 23 against the World Series champion Nationals at Washington. If Chapman isn’t back by the opener, Boone said left-hander Zack Britton would be a “natural guy” to replace him, but a formal decision hasn’t been made.Chapman, a six-time All-Star, has 273 career saves, including 37 last season when he had a 2.21 ERA.___ The weekend ends a 138-day hiatus for America’s top drag racing series.“The NHRA Task Force spent months going through detail after detail to get this done,” Cromwell told The Associated Press. “It’s been a lot of work the past 3 1/2 months.”___Coronavirus cases spiking in the Las Vegas area contributed to the NHL choosing two Canadian cities to complete its season.Deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Saturday called the rise a “concern” to the league. He adds that it was “one of the reasons” the NHL chose to put games in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Las Vegas was long considered a front-runner. The Latest: Yankees closer Chapman has virus, symptoms Captain Tom was aged 99 in April when he decided to do laps of his backyard garden on his walker until his 100th birthday to fundraise for Britain’s National Health Service. He aimed for 1,000 pounds ($1,200). By his birthday on April 30, he raised nearly 33 million pounds ($42 million).He was knighted in May.Beckham said: “The highlight of my whole career was being made England captain. To have Sir Tom as our captain — it doesn’t get any better than that.”___The Houston Astros have canceled their workout after learning that a staff member could have been exposed to a person outside the organization with the coronavirus. July 11, 2020 Associated Press It’s the second time this week the Astros have canceled a workout because of concerns about the pandemic. Houston also scrapped its Monday workout because of delays with testing results due to the holiday weekend, as did some other teams around the majors.General manager James Click said they decided to cancel Saturday’s workout as a precaution.“As part of MLB’s testing and reporting plan, we were alerted that a staff member was potentially exposed to a COVID-positive individual outside the organization,” Click said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled today’s workout. We are working closely with MLB and our team physicians to follow the established testing and cleaning protocols so that we can safely bring our players and staff back to the field as soon as possible.”___Parma soccer club has announced that a non-playing member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms. Parma says the person is asymptomatic and is being isolated according to Italian government protocols. The Serie A club adds that every other member of the team tested negative but that the rest of the squad was being kept under observation at its training center.According to the league’s virus protocol, Parma can still play its home game against Bologna in the top tier on Sunday as usual.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Daly says one player testing positive when play starts isn’t expected to shut down the playoffs, but an outbreak would change the equation. He didn’t say what the league considered an outbreak.___David Beckham has presented a framed England soccer shirt to Captain Tom Moore, who was named the honorary captain of a special England Lionhearts team.The Lionhearts are an initiative by England’s Football Association to celebrate 23 people who have inspired during the pandemic.Beckham went to the Bedfordshire home of Captain Tom to say thank you to the World War II veteran.