The week

10th July 2009 at 01:00

Newspapers normally avoid headlines as apparently mundane as "Sats results delivered on time". Yet, after last year's marking debacle, the announcement that 99.9 per cent of key stage 2 results had been completed by this week's deadline was newsworthy. But some heads were still concerned about the marking quality. Rachel Ross, head of Woolton Hill Junior School in Berkshire, told The Independent she had found "lots of errors", including a case where a marker thought "distinctive" should be spelt "destinctive". Will more mistakes emerge? It's a "destinct" possibility.

The Conservatives announced they would raise the hurdle for entry to teaching by blocking anyone with a degree below a 2:2 or grades below a B in GCSE maths and English. They would also make the literacy and numeracy tests for teachers harder, and limit resits to one. As the Association of Teachers and Lecturers noted, the idea of raising the GCSE barrier was also considered by the recent Williams review into maths - which dismissed it because it could cause a primary teacher shortage.

The Tories' next proposal was to scrap the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency. The announcement was part of what some commentators called the Conservatives' "bonfire of the quangos" (though David Cameron's exact words were: "It would be far too simplistic for me to announce some kind of 'bonfire of the quangos' ...").

Fraud law only applies to money or property. So does a state school place count as either? This is the quandary that may have scuppered a London council's attempt to prosecute a parent who claimed she lived at her mother's address to get her child into a popular primary. Harrow Council withdrew its case against Mrinal Patel, citing legal technicalities. Sunday Express columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer sympathised with Mrs Patel, arguing that parents are desperate because state education has "fallen into the abyss", with schools languishing in "chaos and hopelessness". Hmm ... The two primaries closest to Mrs Patel's real address are described by Ofsted as "good with outstanding features".

Disturbing revelation of the week: former Guantanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed said he believed British agents were complicit in his torture in Morocco. How did he know? According to The Guardian, his "interrogators told him his GCSE grades". There's no escaping our high-stakes exam system.

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