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New Ofsted chief sets out plans

Ofsted's next chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, set out a raft of policies last 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. He also plans to broaden his drive for higher standards by ending the watchdog's description of schools as "satisfactory" and having inspectors check heads' judgments of individual teachers.

Sacking fears over banding system

Following the introduction of a banding system to measure the success or failure of schools in Wales, heads' union ASCL Cymru said last week that a number of local authorities had threatened to sack heads because of their schools' provisional banding places. This flew in the face of the official line, that banding is designed to identify schools in need of extra support from their local authorities.

Grammar plans to open free school

Westminster Government hopes that leading independents will help lift the state sector received a huge boost last week with news that Manchester Grammar plans to open a free school in 2013. The pound;10,000-a-year school wants to open a 20-pupil primary in the Ancoats area of the city, called New Islington Free School.

Less science seen in primaries

Following the demise of England's key stage 2 science Sats, research by the Wellcome Trust shows there is now less science teaching in many primaries and it has a lower status compared with "core subjects" English and maths than when it was one of the three Sats subjects.

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