News at a glance
School expansion will get #163;1bn building bonus
Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Autumn Statement this week that #163;1 billion will be invested in expanding good schools and building 100 new free schools and academies. He also announced #163;270 million in capital funding for colleges. The money for schools comes after criticism from teachers of the infrastructure following the abolition of the Building Schools for the Future programme.
EBac puts art out of the picture, says Turner winner
The winner of this year's Turner Prize, Elizabeth Price (pictured below), has become the latest high-profile figure from the arts to criticise the government's curriculum reforms. Ms Price, who was awarded the #163;25,000 prize this week, said that the English Baccalaureate performance measure is marginalising art in schools. "What's depressing about the EBac is not only that it will be difficult for individuals to fulfil their ambitions or get to identify their own capabilities... but also what you end up with is art becoming something that is available only to privileged people," she said in an interview.
Minister announces new Welsh qualifications body
A new body will be created to award and regulate qualifications in Wales, it was revealed this week. Education minister Leighton Andrews announced that he was pressing ahead with the plans less than a week after they were recommended in a major report into the future of 14-19 qualifications. The new body, Qualifications Wales, will be separate from the Welsh government, which is currently responsible for regulating qualifications in the country.
Montessori charity seeks teaching partners
The Montessori St Nicholas charity is looking for partners to develop and extend its teaching method in disadvantaged communities across the UK. There are more than 700 Montessori nurseries and schools in the UK but only a handful in the state sector. The charity wants to build on its work for children aged 5 and under. Partners who agree to work for two years will receive funding and support to develop Montessori teaching.
Council reprimanded over SEN pupil's education
Buckinghamshire County Council has been criticised for failing to properly educate a boy with special educational needs for more than a year. The Local Government Ombudsman found that the boy had received no education at all between February and May 2010, and then only a little over five hours a week until April 2011, after he had stopped attending school at 13 because he suffered from anxiety related to autism. Ombudsman Anne Seex recommended the council pay for additional tuition, educational opportunities and equipment for the boy, apologise to his grandparents, who care for him, and pay them #163;2,000 in compensation. The council has agreed to this.
Cuts could cause 1 in 5 library services to close
Library services at one in five schools face closure, a new survey has found. The services are not statutory but are offered by most authorities, lending books and resources to schools and providing training. The survey of 52 authorities that currently offer a service, by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, found that 40 per cent are contending with lower funding and 22 per cent said they could face closure.