A Week in Education

18th January 2008 at 00:00
Teachers' unions are considering strike action after the Government announced a three-year pay-deal that would leave teachers worse off. Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary, revealed that teachers would be given a 2.45 per cent pay rise this year, followed by further increases of 2.3 per cent in 2009 and 2010. This is more than the 2 per cent Gordon Brown ordered but less than the 4 per cent the NUT says would keep up with inflation.

Independent schools will have to take in more pupils from poor homes or lose tax breaks worth about pound;100 million a year. A report published by the Charity Commission this week said private schools should consider lowering their fees, so that they do not function as "exclusive clubs" for the wealthy.

New research indicates a surge in baptism figures for older Catholic children as parents try to get them into over-subscribed faith schools. The Pastoral Research Centre Trust, which carried out the study, blames lapsed Catholic parents, who realise their child requires a baptism certificate to be considered for popular Catholic primaries.

Nick Clegg used his first key speech as Liberal Democrat leader to unveil his version of Labour's academies. His "free schools" would be state schools sponsored by private companies, charities or parents but out of local authority control. Mr Clegg also said good teachers should be given extra funding to help disadvantaged pupils.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has developed a computer game with multiple-choice questions from the national curriculum. The department defended its involvement in Buzz!, which will be sold for pound;35, claiming it will motivate reluctant pupils.

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