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Has 2003 been your year?


Teachers - the TV programme. The third series of the Channel 4 drama was a hit. It was joined as a small-screen success by That'll Teach 'Em, the story of today's teenagers in a 1950s boarding school and Second Chance, which saw Ryan Bell excluded from Downside, the independent boarding school.

Ken Boston - the disasters expected during this year's exams season were avoided. He has completely overhauled the much-maligned Qualifications and Curriculum Authority without creating too many problems. So far at least ...

Graduates - with Tony Blair pressing ahead with plans for top-up fees, those who have already graduated can afford to feel a little smug. After all, very few left university pound;30,000 in debt.

Ashby primary school - Teachers' image received a boost when staff at the school decided to give up a day's pay to help stave off cuts. Ministers were less pleased by the plan which came at the height of the funding crisis.

Personalised learning - last year the phrase on every minister's lips was "informed professionalism". In 2003 it was "personalised learning". What it actually meant remained a mystery.

NUT delegates - ministers' boycott of the National Union of Teachers' annual conference may have infuriated the leadership, but delegates seemed pleased not to sit through the customary 20 minutes of New Labour speak.

The row about teachers harassing ministers was also avoided.


Dairy Milk - Cadbury faced fierce criticism after launching a scheme which encourages children to buy chocolate bars to gain sports equipment for their school. The scheme is expected to be scrapped next year.

Margaret Hodge - her "dream job" as children's minister became a nightmare when a child abuse scandal from her days as leader of Islington council returned to haunt her. Her description of a victim of abuse as "extremely disturbed" in a letter to the BBC only served to reignite the row. It cost her a public apology and a pound;10,000 donation to charity.

Damian Green - few noticed him as shadow education secretary but even fewer marked his exit. His efforts to form an unlikely alliance with the NUT were cut short by Michael Howard.

Stephen Crowne - the civil servant in charge of school funding was left cowed as the Government's complex reforms fell apart round his ears. Not only did the Government not see the crisis coming but they wasted valuable political capital denying the existence of the problem.

Satisfactory teachers - David Bell, chief inspector, started the year by announcing that satisfactory teaching was not good enough any more. A new inspection framework, introduced in September, means schools where the majority of lessons are satisfactory can now have their teaching rated as unacceptable.

General Teaching Council England - A TES poll of 500 teachers discovered that half thought the GTCE "unsatisfactory" to "very poor" (47 per cent) and only 12 per cent thought the GTCE "good" to "excellent", giving it the lowest overall satisfaction rating of any education organisation.

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