Here are links to some of this week’s education-related news:
- MPs have described ministers’ response to their recommendations on science lessons as “hugely disappointing”.
- The teaching of computer science must become more relevant to modern needs, said the government.
- The Government is to set out plans for up to a dozen new specialist schools aimed at providing the “highest quality maths teaching in the world”.
- Funding for literacy and numeracy, which represents about a quarter of the skills budget, is to be reformed amid claims that colleges and training providers are failing to help adults with the greatest problems.
- In the week that hundreds of thousands of heads and teachers staged a national strike, chancellor George Osborne has poured petrol on the flames by indicating his intention to introduce regional pay deals for teachers.
- Ofsted’s next chief inspector set out a controversial raft of policies this week, including plans to condemn schools that give teachers automatic pay rises when not enough lessons are “good” and to assess staff standards of dress.
- Almost three-quarters of England’s councils are reviewing or making cuts to optional school transport services, data suggests.
- Calculators may be restricted in primary schools until children have mastered basic arithmetic including knowing times tables by heart, a minister has said. Read the official announcement by the Department for Education here.
Pensions and Industrial Action:
- Strike disruption has hit thousands of schools across the country, as public sector workers walked out over pension reforms. You can read the official response from the Department for Education here.
- Union leaders and Department for Education officials met for the first time since the strikes.
- The government’s public sector pensions policy has been given a major boost following a High Court ruling.
Tests and Exams:
- Nearly half of children who pass grammar school entrance exams are turned away because there are not enough places.
- Sixth-formers could be forced to sit three A-levels in one day under plans to radically overhaul university admissions, a senior examiner has warned.
- Iain Duncan Smith has said tackling child poverty by boosting family income through benefits is a narrow approach which “looks set to have failed”.
- More free places in nursery or childcare are being made available to two-year-olds in England, under plans set out by Chancellor George Osborne.
- A Carmarthenshire sixth-former is a school bus driver, taking 38 pupils to and from his school every day.
Next week’s Teaching Events include: