News in Brief

Careers help still poor

Significant improvement is needed in the quality of advice given to pupils about their options for courses and careers, the Government admitted this week. Bill Rammell, minister for lifelong learning, told a fringe meeting: "The Government has made huge progress in the field of education and skills, but the area where we have made least progress is in advice and guidance. The right support, options and choices are still not being put to young people in the right way."

Inquiry blight tackled

Police inquiries into teachers facing allegations could be speeded up to avoid unnecessary damage to their careers. Jim Knight, schools minister, told a Labour party conference fringe meeting this week: "Too often police investigations take so long that it blights someone's career. We have been working with the Association of Chief Police Officers to try and get that side of things resolved quickly. Any internal procedures can then be resolved afterwards."

Union allowed in

A group of independent schools has agreed to recognise the leading teachers' unions and heads' associations. The United Church School Trust, which runs 10 schools, agreed teachers should have professional union staff negotiating for them. The deal, which starts this month, covers all teachers except supply, temporary and peripatetic.

A gift at TES show

The National Association for Able Children in Education is to run seminars to help teachers provide gifted learners with a challenging curriculum at the TES Education Show next month. The sessions are among more than 60 being laid on by experts in various fields - from the new early years and primary frameworks to developments in science education and ICT. The show will be held on October 10-11 at London's Olympia.

Strike at new school

Teachers were due to strike just days after moving into a new Pounds 20 million school building. Members of the NASUWT teachers' union at Sinfin Community School in Derby were due to walk out yesterday over possible plans to convert the school into an academy, controlled by Derby College. The 43 members also plan strike action on October 21 and 23. Dave Wilkinson, NASUWT's Derby branch secretary, said: "It is madness to open a Pounds 20m school one year and then give it to a sponsor."

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