A Week in Education

26th October 2007 at 01:00
"A-levels on death row" was The Sun's take on the announcement by Ed Balls of three new academically inclined diplomas in science, languages and humanities.

The Children, Schools and Families Secretary said there would be a review of all exam courses for 14 to 19-year-olds in 2013 once the diplomas were up and running.

The review was seen by commentators as an opportunity for the Government to jettison A-levels, if diplomas work. But headline writers weren't waiting until then. "The death knell for GCSEs and A-levels" said the Daily Mail - Pages 16 and 17

The department of Health is considering sending letters to parents after their children have been weighed and measured in school at the ages of five and 10. A spokesman said the letters were being considered as a way of tackling the UK's growing obesity problem. No decision had been made on whether to send them to parents whose children were overweight, to all parents, or to any parents at all. The Times criticised the proposal on the grounds that schools were there to provide education and not to act as a conduit for letters to parents from ministers.

schools have been given a reprieve on government plans to seize and redistribute surplus cash left in school bank accounts.

On Wednesday, ministers were still proposing that schools that had surpluses on their annual budget would have 5 per cent of it taken back, but were going to reconsider applying the change retrospectively - Page 4

blazers, ties and traditional teaching in rows are characteristics of schools featuring in a table of the 100 most successful state secondaries in England, based on their pupils' achievements at GCSE, compiled by the Conservatives.

Michael Gove, the Shadow Schools Secretary, called for a return to traditional teaching methods, such as reciting times tables and learning the dates of kings and queens.

The top five schools in the Tories' table were: The Thomas Telford School in Shropshire; Priory School of Science and Technology in Lincoln; Brooke Weston City Technology College in Northamptonshire; Guru Nanak Sikh Secondary School in west London and Deacon's School in Peterborough.

anthony seldon, Master of Wellington College, was spreading mischief this week in his book Blair Unbound, which is being serialised in The Mail on Sunday.

Dr Seldon claimed that Ed Balls was a key player in the clashes between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown while the former was PM.

The book claimed that Mr Blair protested: "I feel like an abused and bullied wife," after Mr Balls was "astonishingly rude" to him during talks between the camps last year.

Mr Balls dismissed claims as "nonsense" and "tittle tattle".

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