At a glance

16th September 2011 at 01:00
NASUWT to ballot on industrial action .

The NASUWT, the only one of the "big three" classroom unions not to take part in the 30 June strike over changes to teachers' pensions, is set to take industrial action of its own. The decision coincided with an announcement from heads' union the NAHT that it will start balloting its members on industrial action later this month. For the first time in a decade, the NASUWT is asking members whether to strike or take another form of industrial action later this term. "Teachers have faced 15 months of relentless attacks on their pay, pensions, working conditions and job security," general secretary Chris Keates said.

... and Welsh union UCAC to strike

Meanwhile in Wales, Welsh-medium education union UCAC will hold a one-day strike on Wednesday 5 October in protest at the Westminster Government's plans to cut teachers' pensions. The decision was made this week after a summer ballot in which 89 per cent of members said they were in favour of taking industrial action (on a turnout of 56 per cent). General secretary Elaine Edwards said the "attack" on pensions was "entirely uncalled-for and wholly unfair".

Gove's plan to make teaching appeal to scientists

Dividing up the science national curriculum between biology, chemistry and physics, instead of areas like "environment, earth and universe", could encourage more scientists to teach, Michael Gove said in a speech this week. The education secretary believes scientists, particularly physicists, are put off by the idea of teaching general science. He is also exploring training specialist primary science and maths teachers.

Call for bad-behaviour sanctions - for parents

Parents should be stripped of their benefits if they persistently fail to accept support from schools to improve their children's behaviour, a report released this week has said. The study, by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a right-of-centre think-tank set up by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, states that the Government should introduce "powers of compulsion" to tackle poor behaviour. CSJ executive director Gavin Poole said: "If support is being offered and parents are still refusing to co-operate, compelling parents to get involved could include a wide range of sanctions, such as loss of child benefit payments or welfare benefits."

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