Government pledges 'fairer' funding for England
The government will introduce a "fairer" funding system for all schools in England by bringing in a national funding formula by 2015-16, it was announced this week. Setting out his spending review for 2015-16, Chancellor George Osborne committed the government to ironing out major discrepancies between per-student funding levels. Currently, per-student funding for similar schools in different areas can differ by up to #163;1,000, which a national funding formula would seek to abolish. Labelling it as a historic reform, Mr Osborne added that the current system was "unfair and we are going to put it right". The chancellor also announced that 180 new free schools would be created in 2015-16.
Reforms go through as Australian PM is ousted
Julia Gillard may have been ousted as Australian prime minister by her own party this week but, in one of her final acts as leader, she managed to get her package of education funding reforms passed by the Senate. The Gonski plan will ensure that schools receive an extra A$14.5 billion (#163;8.8 billion), with two-thirds of the money coming from the federal government. However, many states and territories - which would have to stump up the rest of the cash - have been slow to sign up. The final decision on the future of the plans will be made by her successor as leader, Kevin Rudd.
Teachers strike in the North of England
The UK's biggest two teaching unions embarked on a campaign of strike action yesterday. The NUT and the NASUWT held a strike at schools across the North West of England over concerns about changes to teachers' pay, pensions and working conditions. Further regional strikes are expected in September and October, culminating in a national strike in November. The industrial action followed a call from the official pay review body for all teachers to receive a 1 per cent pay rise in September. This would be the first increase after a two-year public sector pay freeze.
Welsh minister resigns over 'apparent conflict'
Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews has resigned after a row over a school closure. Mr Andrews was seen holding a banner in support of Pentre Primary School in his Rhondda Cynon Taf constituency - despite the school's closure being brought about by one of his own policies. In a letter to First Minister Carwyn Jones, released on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Andrews said: "I regret that my commitment to my constituents may have led me to an apparent conflict which led to difficulty for the government."
Wild elephant herd forces school closure in India
A school in Bangalore, India, was closed for the day after its campus was invaded by a herd of wild elephants. The group of 15 animals entered the site of Inventure Academy on Monday, prompting staff to send children home. Eighteen other schools in the area have stepped up security measures after the incident.