Jane stays ahead but not a great time to play God

23rd December 2005 at 00:00
Good year

Tony Blair: Labour's third election victory secured his place in the history books and gave him the chance of radical school reform.

Jane Davidson: still popular with educationists, and spearheading a national debate on pedagogy and good practice in Wales.

Early years: the foundation phase may have been delayed in Wales, but there was more cash for under-threes.

Faith groups: October's white paper will allow churches to create new schools on the cheap, while Islamic schools are being encouraged to join the state sector.

Classroom teachers: prophets of doom who claimed schools could not deliver on the promise of half-a-day per week non-contact time were proved wrong in September.

Current teachers: they will still be able to retire on a full pension at 60 after ministers' U-turn.

Bad year

Tony Blair: a reduced majority and rebellious Labour MPs put in jeopardy plans to promote choice by creating a new category of trust schools.

Jane Davidson: the election put Labour in a minority in the Assembly government, allowing the opposition parties to win key votes on student fees, school funding and support for small schools.

God: He is being edited out of religious education lessons to avoid boring pupils.

Heads: while PPA cut teachers' workload, heads complained their burden was increasing with extra teaching duties, Estyn self-assessment and staffing reviews.

Future teachers: will have to work until 65 to qualify for a full pension.

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