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9th March 2012 at 00:00

This week


He came, he saw, he insulted

David Cameron stood up at the Conservative spring conference. He spoke. He angered the whole teaching profession. Schools, he said, were in thrall to an "ideology" that is against competition and competitive sport.


Goodbye to homework

Rules dictating the amount of homework that can be set were scrapped. Heads and their staff are now free to decide how much time parents will have to spend forcing Little Johnny to work. Or doing it themselves.


Beauty and the Prince

Prince Harry's trip to the Caribbean got going. Between chatting to Miss Worlds, he spent a couple of hours discussing local issues with schoolchildren in the Bahamas national stadium in Nassau. The lucky thing.


Third of schools satisfactory

Ofsted revealed the results of inspections in the last quarter of 2011. According to the inspectorate, nearly 31 per cent were judged "satisfactory", a rating that will soon change to "requires improvement".


Four in five schools in peril?

Some 84 per cent of primaries and secondaries in Northern Ireland are at risk of closure, according to a report. The local NAHT threw doubt on the findings, insisting that the data were misrepresented.


A question of exclusion

Charlie Taylor, the government's behaviour tsar, announced plans to crack down on the multifarious and often unsuitable alternative provision that excluded pupils find themselves in.


Party in the middle

The Liberal Democrats' spring conference starts in Gateshead. Expect scrapping over any number of issues, including academies, free schools, exclusion policy and, well, just about everything else.

Next week

10-16 March 2012


Broomsticks and bludgers

The first UK quidditch game played to the official International Quidditch Association rules will take place, with a team of muggles from the University of Leicester travelling away to take on Keele.


Fukushima one year on

The first anniversary of the enormous earthquake off the Japanese coast, which set in motion the tsunami that killed thousands of people and led to the second largest nuclear accident in history.


Commonwealth celebrations

Commonwealth Day. The day when, in theory at least, adults and children of the organisation's 54 members - which range from Rwanda to New Zealand - celebrate their bonds of friendship (see pages 36-37).


Battle zombies with maths

Knowing how long we have before zombies arrive could be the difference between life, death and zombification, according to mathematician Thomas Woolley's speech at the Cambridge Science Festival.


So you think you can teach?

To mark the 10th annual Teach First Week, celebrities including Jon Snow and Vivienne Westwood will deliver lessons in front of the cameras. Shadow education minister Maggie Jones will run the gauntlet today.


Et tu, Brute?

Expect a murmur of interest from the English department and possibly more from the Latin team: it's the Ides of March, the anniversary of the slaying of Julius Caesar in the Senate.


And they're off

It's the Cheltenham Gold Cup, arguably the greatest day in the National Hunt diary. Will the mighty Kauto Star steal the crown from last year's winner Long Run? Place your bets, please.

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