1994 at a glance

23rd December 1994 at 00:00
January: Sir Ron Dearing's report recommends cuts of up to 50 per cent in the national curriculum. The NASUWT hails it as a victory, but the NUT test boycott goes on.

February: teachers awarded a 2.9 per cent pay rise, but many councils pass on some or all the bill to schools, threatening jobs and services and leading to predictions of bigger classes.

March: a Royal Society of Arts report, Start Right, calls for part-time education for all three to five-year-olds, with full-time entry put back to six. Its author, Sir Christopher Ball, says high-quality early-years services are needed to give children a good start in life.

April: NUT annual conference votes to continue test boycott and call for action on class sizes, league tables and the introduction of vocational education for 14-year-olds.

May: members of School Curriculum and Assessment Authority's English and primary advisory groups criticise Dearing for over-riding their advice by recommending compulsory reading lists for secondary pupils and that seven-year-olds be taught Standard English.

June: Education Secretary John Patten apologises to Birmingham's director of education after calling him "a nutter" and "a madman". He agrees to pay substantial damages.

July: Gillian Shephard replaces the sacked Patten.

August: the new General National Vocational Qualification proves a success in getting a high proportion of students into university, but there is concern over the 5O per cent who fail to complete courses.

September: research at London University finds that the quality of primary teaching will affect a child's performance right through to GCSE.

October: a TES survey of grant-maintained schools finds eight out of ten would resist a Labour government's attempts to force them back into a local authority "framework".

November: Labour's new education spokesman David Blunkett calls for talks with GM school heads to discuss a new "flexible and accepted framework" for all state and voluntary schools.

December: the NUT announces it is to ballot its members with the recommendation that it calls off its testing boycott.

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