In brief

20th March 2009 at 00:00

Undercover TV rap

A teacher who filmed undercover footage in schools for a Channel 4 documentary has appeared before the General Teaching Council for England on disciplinary charges. Alex Dolan, who filmed unruly pupils and teachers apparently trying to mislead Ofsted inspectors, faces charges of unacceptable professional conduct. The case opened in November but was adjourned until this week in order to gather further evidence. A verdict is expected next week.

AS-level consistency

Ofqual has announced measures to ensure standards remain consistent in AS-levels this year following new specifications designed to make the exams more challenging. It has attended meetings to try to spot grades that differ from those expected in good time. It wants to avoid the controversy of last year, when a new science GCSE led to a row over differing standards that embroiled Ofqual and all three of the main exam boards. There were bigger problems last time A-levels were reformed in 2002, when a grading dispute contributed to the resignation of former education secretary Estelle Morris.

Ministerial know-how

Education ministers should be required to work in a school or college to prepare them for their job, a heads' leader said this week. "Nobody should be allowed to become an education minister without first being a teacher for a month - including break duty on a wet Friday - and being a head for a month," John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the organisation's annual conference.

Spotting gang signs

Teachers have been asked to spot gang activity by looking out for graffiti-style tags on pupils' exercise books or on school walls. Beverley Hughes, children's minister, said other signs included pupils having a new nickname and dropping out of activities.

Tip-off from Canada

Norfolk police arrested a 16-year-old pupil after receiving a tip-off from Canada that he was about to vandalise his school. The boy was questioned by detectives after he entered Attleborough High School carrying a knife, matches and a canister of flammable liquid. Police were alerted by a member of the public in Canada who had read a threatening message posted on the internet.

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