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Proposal to help pupils from weak schools into HE

A-level students who attend poorly performing schools should be given extra credit by universities, a report by one of the country's "big three" exam boards has demanded. The paper for AQA is being handed out at party conferences to encourage politicians to discuss ways to get pupils at weaker schools who show academic potential to continue with higher education. The report's author, Dr Neil Stringer of AQA, said research suggested students from "more favourable circumstances" were matched academically by their less privileged counterparts at university. Dr Stringer, senior research associate at the exam board's Centre for Education Research and Policy, pointed to the example of a London University medical school that makes offers to pupils from poorer schools that require lower A-level grades. The idea has, however, been attacked by top independent schools and ministers.

Teachers put some away for a rainy day

Teachers are regular and careful savers, according to research published by specialist financial adviser Wesleyan for Teachers. A survey of 200 teachers found that eight out of 10 have some savings, and nearly three- quarters put away money every month, with 70 per cent of those questioned saying they save between pound;100 and pound;500 every pay day. The company said teachers could be pound;1,400 a year worse off because of the ongoing public- sector pay freeze and inflation, and said teachers should switch their savings to products like ISAs to produce better long-term returns.

`Robust' recovery plan promised for Blaenau Gwent

Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews has promised that local authority Blaenau Gwent will have a "robust" recovery plan in place by the end of October. The council was put into special measures in July after Welsh inspectorate Estyn judged its education services "unsatisfactory". Two education commissioners and a taskforce led by Neath Port Talbot council have been appointed to help the recovery.

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