A confused 12 months for Tony, Ruth, Cyril... and God

23rd December 2005 at 00:00
Good year

Tony Blair: Labour's third election victory secured the Prime Minister's place in the history books and gave him the chance of radical education reform.

Faith groups: October's white paper will allow churches to create new schools on the cheap, while Islamic schools are being encouraged to join the state sector.

Classroom teachers: Prophets of doom who claimed that schools would not be able deliver on the promise of half a day per week non-contact time were proved wrong when it was introduced in September.

Current teachers: They will still be able to retire on a full pension at 60 after ministers did a U-turn.

Sir Cyril Taylor: the empire of specialist schools headed by "the real education secretary" was expanded to include academies.

Bad year

Tony Blair: A reduced majority and rebellious Labour MPs put in jeopardy plans to promote choice by creating a new category of trust schools.

God: Academics warned that He is being edited out of religious education lessons to avoid boring pupils.

Headteachers: While PPA cut teachers' workload, heads complained their burden was increasing with extra teaching duties, Ofsted self-assessment and staffing reviews.

Future teachers: Will have to work until 65 to qualify for a full pension.

Ruth Kelly: her push for parent power and rejection of Mike Tomlinson's report on secondary reforms have failed to win hearts and minds of teachers.

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