OCR admits 'unacceptable' marking mistakes
Dozens of GCSE and A-level grades had to be changed after marking errors left candidates with the wrong results, the OCR exam board admitted this week. About 250 students are thought to have been affected, with some pupils given results that were wrong by up to two grades. OCR said it was "disappointed" to confirm that a number of grade changes had been made and said the errors were "unacceptable". Mistakes were made by examiners in transcribing and adding up marks in last summer's exams, OCR said.
Government gives #163;10m for reading lessons
Poor children who are behind in reading and writing are to be offered catch-up lessons before they start secondary school, it has been announced. Under the #163;10 million scheme, disadvantaged pupils who fail to reach level 4 in English by the end of primary school will be given the chance to take part. Pupils who are eligible for free school meals or who are looked-after children will have access to the classes. Ministers said the move, which is being funded through the pupil premium, is part of a bid to narrow the achievement gap between disadvantaged pupils and their richer classmates.
NCSL chief executive to leave for pastures new
Steve Munby is leaving the National College for School Leadership after more than seven years as chief executive to take on the same role at the CfBT Education Trust, a charity running schools, Ofsted inspections and other education services. He is the third senior figure to leave since the college became part of the Department for Education in April. Mr Munby acknowledged the exodus in an email to colleagues seen by TES, saying it made his decision harder.
Bishop calls Christian soldiers to arms
Church schools need to develop their "spiritual core" in the face of suspicion and attack from parts of society, a leading Church of England bishop has said. The Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford and chairman of the Church of England board of education, said CofE schools were under suspicion and attack from "many corners". The bishop was speaking in a presentation to the General Synod on the Church School of the Future report published earlier this year. The report outlines how the Church of England expects to create 200 more schools over the next five years.
Projects for the disadvantaged get to SHINE
Teachers with bright ideas for helping disadvantaged students have been given grants totalling #163;124,000 to fund one-year pilot programmes in a new national competition run by the educational charity SHINE in conjunction with TES. Grants were given to 11 winning projects, which range from increasing parental involvement in reading activities to developing free YouTube maths tutoring for GCSE and A-level students. The "Let Teachers SHINE" projects will begin in September 2012 and are expected to benefit more than 1,700 disadvantaged students.
We all love lashings of ginger beer
The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton tops a list of the nation's favourite childhood books of all time. The study was commissioned by children's charity Plan UK. It found that the top five books were the Famous Five series, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne.