News at a glance

Wikipedia pioneer challenges UK computing plans

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has raised concerns about the length of time that pupils are expected to study computing in England's schools under the new curriculum. Speaking to TES, Mr Wales questioned whether students should study the subject from age 5-14 as dictated by the reformed curriculum, which was brought into effect this month. "I have some caution about how optional it is, particularly when you look at how many years [young people] will be expected to study it," Mr Wales said. "Everyone should be exposed to it and a little bit of programming can really ramp up your skill level, but that doesn't mean you have to become a master programmer." Mr Wales will present a talk to pupils on 1 October as part of the Future of Innovation, Connectivity and Discovery series with charity Speakers for Schools. To watch the speech live from 2pm and for details of more talks in the series, visit www.tesconnect.comJimmyWales

`Every school should be an academy by 2019'

One of England's new regional school commissioners, Sir David Carter, has backed proposals for every school in the country to become an academy within the next five years. Sir David, who took up the post as commissioner for the South West of England at the start of this month, has supported a report by right-leaning thinktank Policy Exchange, which calls for every school to become an academy by 2019, and to join a chain a year later. "An entirely autonomous academised system is a vision which I wholly endorse," Sir David said. "Not because of a statistical quest to have every school an academy, but because the academy in which you will work will be part of a wider family and the independence this brings creates opportunity for innovation and choice." Sir David will be speaking at the Independent Academies Association autumn national conference in London on 9 October. For more information, visit bit.lyIAAConference

Record university admissions boosted by BTECs

Universities have accepted a record number of students this year, and young people who hold vocational qualifications have fuelled the boom in entries. According to statistics released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, there has been a 4 per cent rise in acceptances to both universities and colleges since last year. It means that nearly 500,000 UK and EU students have been accepted to study, including the highest-ever level of those holding BTEC equivalents of grades ABB. The percentage of students holding A-levels in the same grades fell by 2 per cent, however.

Missing Banksy reappears in Somerset school

A Banksy creation that disappeared from the wall of a building has been exhibited at a school in Somerset, after being hidden under a bed for four years. The artwork, one of the anonymous artist's celebrated early stencil creations, went on display in Nailsea School when an unnamed teacher brought it in; the piece was previously last seen on a property that was due for destruction in 2010. "My husband was working on a building project and the Banksy was on one of the walls," the teacher said. "It was going to be covered over or destroyed so he sought permission from the owner to remove it and keep it himself. The owner agreed, so one afternoon he spent four hours cutting it out."

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