News at a glance

18th November 2011 at 00:00

New search powers for teachers pass into law

The Education Act 2011 received royal assent on Tuesday, making it law. A raft of changes have been brought in to restore order to the classroom. Teachers will be given unprecedented powers to search pupils for banned items - and even go through their mobile phones. The act will also give teachers legal powers to tackle bad behaviour in their schools. No-notice detentions will be introduced, and teachers will be granted anonymity should any allegation be made against them. Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "This new legislation hands to teachers all the powers they need to ensure that every classroom is a safe and ordered place where children are free to learn."

Tables and places key to maths success, says Ofsted

Learning multiplication tables and having a good understanding of place value are essential for success in maths, an Ofsted report on primary maths has found. The watchdog surveyed a sample of 10 maintained and 10 independent schools with strong track records in maths. It found all of the schools taught long multiplication in key stage 2, usually in Year 5, after first introducing it through the grid method, which makes place values explicit. Nine of the maintained schools had Year 6 pupils and seven of them taught the traditional long division method, although two only taught it to their high-ability group. Only four of the 10 independent schools taught long division by Year 6, although three more taught it in Year 7.

Psychologists delighted by 'central funding'

The training of educational psychologists will be centrally funded for the first time from next year, ministers have announced, earmarking #163;16 million over the next three years to do so. Children's minister Sarah Teather ordered a review last year after problems emerged with the funding of PhD courses, the only route into the profession. Historically, local authorities were expected to voluntarily fund training, but a third withheld cash last year, leaving the Government to make up the shortfall. Kate Fallon, general secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists, said: "We are delighted with the recommendation that funding for training should be centrally managed, as this will help secure the future of the profession."

Head attacked with bleach after merger gets nod

The headteacher of a private school at the centre of a controversial merger is recovering after it is thought bleach was thrown into his face. Jim Keefe, head of Arnold School in Blackpool, was attacked on Tuesday morning when he opened the door of his home close to the school grounds. He was taken to hospital but released later that day. A police source told the Press Association one line of inquiry was that it may have been a revenge attack over the recently confirmed merger between Arnold School and King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in Lytham St Annes. The Charity Commission said this week that the merger would go ahead after receiving complaints about the proposal.


A news story on pages 8 and 9 of last week's TES reported comments from Stephen Hillier, chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), relating to the failure of many heads to offer part-time and flexible positions to women returning to the classroom, instead turning to new entrants to the profession to fill vacancies. It was headlined "Talent goes to waste as sexist heads shun women returners". Both the TDA and Mr Hillier have asked TES to clarify that there was nothing in Mr Hillier's comments to suggest that he believes school leaders are sexist. We are happy to do so.

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