A Week in Education

27th April 2007 at 01:00
HOWLS OF media outrage greeted the General Teaching Council's decision to haul Angela Mason in front of a misconduct hearing for covertly filming her pupils swearing and fighting for a television documentary.

The supply teacher was accused of "misusing her professional position" when she went undercover in schools, using a hidden camera to film scenes for Channel 5's Classroom Chaos.

The Mail on Sunday accused the GTC of being the "real school bully". But a London head told the four-day hearing, due to finish yesterday, that parents of his pupils felt her "deliberate manipulation" of his school's classes was deplorable.

Any bad behaviour found among boys could be down to a lack of school sport, according to research by Professor Ann Buchanan of Oxford university, who also concluded that under-achievement could be linked to the way boys used their brains.

But Durham university academics reached a different conclusion, blaming a feminisation of the exam system for the gender achievement gap.

Those boys whose bad behaviour landed them spells in referral units were increasingly likely to be taught alongside pupils with learning difficulties, according to figures obtained by the Conserva-tives. They showed the number of children with physical and emotional problems in the units had more than doubled since 1997, the Daily Telegraph reported.

In the Vale of Glamorgan, sixth former Melissa Massey was attracting attention for her film Is it cos I is posh? documenting the "awful"

conditions at her school, Cowbridge comprehensive, which she claimed was being penalised for achieving good grades and serving an affluent area.

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, a reluctance among schools to enter pupils for "harder" A-levels such as maths is forcing universities to provide remedial lessons in the subject for science students.

Gordon Brown might consider joining them. During a visit to Chorlton high, Manchester, the man responsible for the last 11 budgets confessed to pupils he was not very good at maths, despite studying it at school and for one year at university.

Figures from Oxford and Cambridge university colleges revealed that former state school pupils had almost identical achievements to their privately educated counterparts.

Some 21 per cent of pupils from private schools gained first class honours compared with 19 per cent of those from state schools.

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