In brief

24th April 2009 at 01:00

Shortage of places

London's boroughs need Pounds 740 million to guarantee every five year-old a school place over the next five years, a new report has warned. Research by London Councils, which represents the capital's boroughs, says three- quarters are having to provide temporary classrooms or increase class sizes to cope with demand.

Predictions say there will be a shortfall of 18,300 reception places by 2014 as the capital's birth rate has grown by 20.5 per cent over the last eight years. The economic downturn has not helped, as it has meant fewer parents are opting for independent schools or moving outside the capital.

Teacher suspended

The teacher who lifted the lid on a state school head taking home Pounds 130,000 in bonuses has been suspended. Hank Roberts spoke about the "sickness of the bonus culture" creeping into education at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' conference in Liverpool two weeks ago. He said nearly Pounds 1 million was paid to senior staff at his school in bonuses over seven years. Sir Alan Davies, head of Copland School in Wembley, had admitted taking home "about Pounds 310,000 to 320,000" over two years. Mr Roberts, who is head of geography at Copland, has been suspended over an unrelated matter, which he has called "trumped-up nonsense" intended to "gag" him.

Head boy arrested

The head boy of an independent school has been arrested following allegations that he brandished a kitchen knife during a party. It is understood Darryl Marfo, who joined Pangbourne College in Berkshire on a sports scholarship for rugby, became embroiled in a dispute with a soldier at a house party near army barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire. He and another student from the Pounds 25,000-a-year school were arrested and questioned by police on suspicion of affray.

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