School report cards will leave governors 'no excuses'
Ofsted is to produce annual report cards for all state schools, providing data on pupil attainment, progress and attendance. Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said the cards will leave governors with "no excuses" for not having the information they need to hold schools to account. He also called for more paid governors. Heads' leaders warned against governors making crude, data-based judgements.
More Welsh councils placed in special measures
The education services of two more councils in Wales, Merthyr Tydfil and Monmouthshire, have been placed in special measures after being judged unsatisfactory by inspectorate Estyn. Merthyr Tydfil is to lose control of its education services. Education minister Leighton Andrews said he has "no confidence" that the authority can resolve its problems and his preferred option is a merger with neighbouring Rhondda Cynon Taf. The education departments of five of Wales' 22 local authorities have been put in special measures in the past two and a half years.
Elite destination data focus is 'narrow and naive'
Education secretary Michael Gove's decision to publish destination data showing the number of pupils that go on to Russell Group universities has been described as "narrow and naive" by a former top civil servant at the Department for Education. Sir David Bell, who was permanent secretary at the DfE and is now vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, told Times Higher Education: "[The data] is based on a narrow understanding of what constitutes high-quality higher education. I worry that the focus on the Russell Group is narrow and naive when it comes to the strength of the sector as a whole."
Opening up support staff opportunities
Thousands of advertisements for school support roles will be made available to jobseekers thanks to a partnership between TES and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). All vacancies advertised through TES will also be made available through Universal Jobmatch, the DWP's new online job matching service. Employment minister Mark Hoban (pictured, right), who this week visited Lampton School in Hounslow, said: "Support staff are absolutely vital to ensuring that schools run effectively. Through our partnership with TES, I hope we can encourage more jobseekers to think about the many opportunities in the education sector." Lampton has been named as a finalist in the TES Support Stars competition, which recognises outstanding staff. The school is in the running for the top prize of #163;10,000 of multimedia equipment.