Calendar of controversy

27th December 1996 at 00:00
January: The Government announces its network of literacy and numeracy centres.

February: Labour frontbencher Harriet Harman's choice of a grant-maintained grammar school some distance from her home for her second son causes uproar.

March: Sixteen five and six-year-olds and their teacher, Gwen Mayor, are murdered by gun-wielding Thomas Hamilton during a gym lesson at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland.

April: Sir Ron Dearing produces his report on 16-19 education.

May: Office for Standards in Education produces a controversial and damning report on reading in three London boroughs.

June: Evidence of a chronic shortage of graduates willing to train as maths and science teachers reported to MPs.

July: Paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell bursts into St Luke's Infants School in Wolverhampton and attacks nursery children with a machete.

August: Universities throw admissions system into chaos by "poaching" thousands of school leavers without using official channels.

October: Problem pupils hit the headlines with emergency action at the Ridings in Halifax and the closure of Manton school in Nottingham over the behaviour of a 10-year-old boy.

November: Government plans to halve the number of teachers taking early retirement over the next three years causes a furore.

December: Standards Over Time report from the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Office for Standards in Education, demonstrating that depth in A-levels might have been sacrificed to breadth.

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