In brief

Maths progress

Seven-year-olds on a one-to-one programme devised to improve their maths skills have made an average of one year's progress in just three months. Numbers Count will be a core part of the Government's Every Child Counts programme, which is due to be introduced nationally in September 2010. The pilot tracked 789 Year 2 pupils, who on average received 40 half-hour lessons and moved from a "number age" of 5 years 8 months to 6 years 8 months. But around 50 children did not make progress and more research will be carried out to determine why. Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said: "Almost 40 per cent of children helped by the programme are on free school meals. Intervention programmes like Every Child Counts are a proven way to quickly help children catch up with their peers."

Down with exclusions

People should consider chaining themselves to local authority railings to protest against school exclusions, as they are punitive and seldom help improve pupil behaviour, according to Professor Carl Parsons from Canterbury Christ Church University. The academic, who has researched exclusions for 15 years, will argue in a lecture on Tuesday that local authorities could help by using initiatives such as joint working between schools, managed moves, and multi-agency working.

Tabberer goes east

Ralph Tabberer is leaving his post as director general of schools at the Department for Children, Schools and Families to work for an international chain of fee-paying schools. He will join Gems Education in Dubai as chief schools officer for the Middle East, north Africa and south east Asia next month, subject to Cabinet Office approval.

NCSL rebranded

The National College for School Leadership is to be renamed the National College for School and Children's Leadership in recognition of its recently expanded role. The college was asked last year to help develop training for children's services directors, as well as heads, after the inquiry into the Baby ^P case found that Sharon Shoesmith, director of children's services in Haringey, lacked expertise in social care. The rebranding was expected to coincide with the publication of Lord Laming's report on child protection, which will be examined in next week's TES.

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