News in Brief

Tes Editorial

Exam standards equal

Exams offered by different boards are of equal standard, the head of the new qualifications regulator said this week after The TES revealed how Ofqual asked England's largest board to lower a GCSE grade boundary to bring it into line with rival courses. The claims from Kathleen Tattersall, of Ofqual, came as Michael Gove, shadow schools secretary, accused Ofqual of bullying the AQA into lowering standards for GCSE science. Mr Gove said a Conservative government would force Ofqual to guarantee that GCSEs and A-levels were as tough as the most rigorous exams in the world.

Capita takes on EMAs

Capita has won the contract to deliver educational maintenance allowances following the sacking of Liberata after more than 200,000 sixth former and FE college students failed to receive payments on time. Computer glitches and problems with Liberata's helpline have been blamed for the weeks of delay. Capita will take over next Friday.

Get ahead for a head

To avoid "boom and bust" in school leadership, new heads must start thinking about who could succeed them as soon as they take up their posts, the National College for School Leadership said this week. Steve Munby, its chief executive, told its national conference for new heads that they needed to find teachers who had potential and could grow with their leader's support.

Sing-song ding-dong

Another 20,000 teachers need extra training if singing in primary schools is to be preserved, says the Sing Up campaign, which marks its first anniversary today. Its research shows that while the majority of primary pupils sing at some stage in the school day, three in five do not currently have regular opportunities to sing. The programme has trained 15,000 school staff to in leading singing.

Pounds 96k job vacancy

Ruth Pimentel, director in charge of the Early Years Foundation Stage, has resigned from the National Strategies. EYFS is a curriculum for pre-school children which was made statutory in September. It sets out 69 early learning goals. Two of the most controversial - that children should be able to write their name and form simple sentences - are under review. Ms Pimentel leaves in January. The Pounds 96,000-a-year post is being advertised.

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