See the `red light' and pause GCSE reform, MPs say
Ministers should acknowledge the "red light" that education experts have given their controversial plans for English Baccalaureate Certificates and "slow down the pace of reform", MPs said yesterday. The cross-party Commons Education Select Committee said the government was "trying to do too much too quickly". It fears EBCs could narrow the curriculum. Its report also raised concerns about the effect the new exams will have on the bottom 40 per cent of lower attaining pupils, warning that planned statements of achievement for those who don't pass EBCs could become "a badge of failure".
NUT executive votes against March strike
Proposals for strike action in March have been narrowly voted down by the NUT leadership. The union's national executive last week decided against striking on 13 March by 22 votes to 20. The executives of the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions are due to meet later this month to discuss the next phase of their industrial strategy ahead of their annual conferences over Easter. The unions are currently involved in a "work-to-rule" campaign. According to a survey by the National Foundation for Educational Research released this week, 60 per cent of teachers say the action is having no impact because staff are not taking part. Just 9 per cent said the action was definitely having an impact.
Eton to lend expertise to boarding free school
The most prestigious private school in England is to become the educational sponsor of a new state-funded boarding school. Eton College will lend educational expertise to the new Holyport College near Maidenhead, which will open in September under the government's free schools programme. Eton says the secondary school will be "modelled on an independent boarding school" and about 45 per cent of pupils will board. It will not charge tuition fees but parents and bursaries will pay boarding costs.
TUC warns of `creeping privatisation' in schools
Educational opportunities available to British children are being undermined by "austerity and creeping privatisation", Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O'Grady warned this week. Speaking at the conference of Education International, a federation of teaching unions from across the globe, Ms O'Grady also criticised the government's free schools and academies programmes. "We're seeing all aspects of education policy . driven not by the needs of young people but by right-wing ideology," she said.
Computer science enters EBac measure
Computer science is to be included in the English Baccalaureate league table measure for GCSE level exams sat from summer 2015, it was announced this week. The change has been welcomed by computer industry leaders and will see the subject included in the science options, of which pupils must pass two to achieve an EBac.
TES journalists clean up at awards ceremony
TES swept the board at this year's Education Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. William Stewart won the prize for outstanding national education journalism for the second time in three years, Stephen Exley took the award for outstanding FE journalism and David Marley won the outstanding school journalism prize. Adi Bloom and Richard Vaughan were runners-up. Reporters from our sister magazines TES Scotland and Times Higher Education also took runner-up prizes.