The TESS Archive - 30 August 2002
New bid to stop tests boycott
- Ministers have moved to thwart any boycott of internal assessment by launching yet another effort to cut the post-16 testing burden. But they face a daunting struggle in attempting to reconcile the contradictory views of schools and colleges about the three mandatory unit tests, prelims and the final exams. So far, all efforts have failed.
SNP backs escape route from school
- Third and fourth-year pupils turned off by traditional Standard grade courses should attend colleges for vocational courses at a far earlier age, the SNP says. Mike Russell, shadow education minister, will press for the change in a major speech at Moray House School of Education. Mr Russell wants to encourage 14- and 15-year-olds to attend FE colleges but stay under schools' supervision.
Nuisance kids, nuisance calls
- Parents will be bombarded with automated telephone calls if children at Stonelaw High in Rutherglen truant and they do nothing about it. A Truancy Call automated system will telephone on the first day a pupil is absent without permission - and keep calling until contact is established. Brian Cooklin, the school's head, said teachers would normally have to make an average of 50-60 calls a day to track down truants.
TV contest too sexy for unions
- If headteachers start demanding a swimwear round in staff interviews, blame ITV. An estimated three million people tuned in to watch five "hunks" and five "babes" battle it out live for the title of Britain's sexiest teacher. "People have this idea that women teachers always wear glasses and long skirts," said sexiest female teacher Natasha Grey, 24. "This shows that they are real people." Teaching unions complained that the beauty contest demeaned the profession.
University elite seize chance to elect
- German students who pass the school-leavers' exam will no longer get automatic entry to the university of their choice. The move to give universities freedom to select students means Germany looks set to develop a British-style hierarchy of institutions, as popular degree courses raise the entry hurdle.