SCHOOLS NEWS Oct/2

Posted on October 18, 2008 by Amy Tolmie
Categories: Primary, Secondary, 16-19s, SEN,

Your weekly round up of news from the world of education. Here are some of the headlines from the last week that caught my eye...

A pick from the news last week:

Balls scraps Key Stage 3 testing: Schools secretary Ed Balls has announced that testing for 14 year olds at Key Stage 3 is to be abolished with immediate effect. Download the letter from Ed Balls explaining the changes here.

Enquiry finds flaws in 14-19 diplomas: Diplomas offer "weak vocational learning opportunities" and will do little to reduce the number of unemployed young people, an investigation of 14-19 education has concluded. See more

Government defends its progress on diplomas: Schools secretary and schools minister reveal plans to develop the new qualifications and reject claims that the academies programme will lose momentum. See more

This turmoil is good news for schools: Economic woe could end the stranglehold of business so we can build an education system to help Britain's poorest. See more

New chapter begins for home studies: Some now believe homework can be counterproductive, and children deserve a work-life balance. See more

Majority of schools to become 'self-governing', says Knight: In a bid to allay fears that the academies programme will falter, minister insists schools will have greater autonomy. See more

Also in the news:

In a week where two more faith based academies were opened in Hull and Scunthorpe there were questions surrounding the effectiveness and fairness of such schools. The Church of England surveyed 1,000 people and the results show that 58% of those interviewed say church schools do not contribute to creating divisions in society. Highlighting the 18-24 year old age group showed a less optimistic figure, with just 37% saying they didn't think society suffered from allowing faith based schools.

In the poll, just under half said they believed children from better-off backgrounds were more likely to get places. However, Rev Jan Ainsworth, the Church of England's chief education officer, confirmed that the Church of England is committed to "supporting the ban on interviews or the seeking of other information about the family during the admissions process."

A large majority (78%) agreed that church schools promote good behaviour and positive attitudes while 79% agreed church schools help young people develop a sense of right and wrong.