News at a glance

2nd November 2012 at 00:00

A new addition to post-16 maths study

Experts have welcomed plans to develop a curriculum that would teach post-16 students maths to help them tackle "real life" problems. The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education has voiced its support for plans to fund the development of a course for pupils to ensure they keep studying maths until the age of 18. Education secretary Michael Gove pledged #163;275,000 in funding to charity Mathematics in Education and Industry to explore how more sixth-form and FE college students will study maths after GCSE.

Phone smugglers collared in exam rooms

Examiners reported 2,550 cases of cheating and other cases of "malpractice" in this summer's GCSE and A-level exams, according to a report published by exams regulator Ofqual. The most common problem, in 1,325 cases, was the use of "unauthorised material" in exam rooms, most commonly a mobile phone or other electronic device. The number of malpractice cases this year dropped by 32 per cent compared to last summer, representing 0.02 per cent of the total number of examinations sat by students.

Homophobia ruins sport for gay pupils

Homophobia in school can put gay students off sport for life, according to research by the National Union of Students. Just a third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students questioned by the NUS said they were prepared to take part in team sports by the time they got to college or university. A total of 14.3 per cent said that homophobia had put them off. The culture around sport was blamed by 46.8 per cent as the reason why they avoided sport, while 41.9 per cent said they had been put off by a negative experience at school.

Former superhead to stand trial

A knighted former "superhead" and five of his ex-colleagues and governors will stand trial in September 2013 accused of a multi-million-pound fraud at a north-west London comprehensive. Sir Alan Davies was suspended from Copland Community School, Wembley, in 2009 after allegations of serious financial mismanagement at the secondary. He has been charged with conspiring to defraud Brent Council with former deputy head Dr Richard Evans; former chair of governors Indravadan Patel; former bursar Columbus Udokoro; former human resources manager Michele McKenzie; and former deputy chair of governors Martin Day.

Not dancing for joy at EBCs

Proposed changes to the curriculum are a "serious threat" to the future of dance in the UK, according to the man in charge of Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. Artistic director Alistair Spalding has written to education secretary Michael Gove over the proposals to introduce English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs), which exclude arts subjects. "This is a great pity as we are currently reaping the rewards the investment in dance education has brought us," he said.

Pupils give royal couple a reel reason to visit

Children at a special school desperate for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to come and visit their new state-of-the-art classrooms have sent the royal couple an unusual invitation. Pupils at Birtenshaw School in Bolton, who have physical or learning disabilities, have made a short film for the royal couple asking them to spend time with them in their new #163;6 million building. The film, which has been sent to the Duke and Duchess, shows their new facilities and children holding a banner that says "please come to our school".

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