A week in

11th December 2015 at 00:00

Headteachers have welcomed government plans that will allow schools to continue to make their own decisions about whether they offer wrap-around care. The NAHT heads’ union was concerned that a parental right to request childcare at schools for the full working day during term time and in the holidays could undermine headteachers. But a government consultation on the issue has assured schools that they will still have ultimate decision-making powers on the issue.

The positive effects of going to pre-school at age 3 are still detectable in students at age 17 – but the effects have disappeared by the time students take their A-level exams, research from the University of Oxford shows. Students who had attended a pre-school were more likely to enter AS exams than those who had not, the government-funded study found. However, the effects did not continue on to full A-level courses. The research follows the influential Effective Provision of Pre-school Education study, which found that having a pre-school education raised a child’s GCSE results from the equivalent of seven GCSE C grades to seven GCSE B grades.

Primary and nursery schools should do more to boost the school performance of the poorest children and prevent drop-outs at age 16, the social mobility tsar has said. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, told the House of Lords committee on social mobility that it was “a national scandal” that poor children were underserved by the education system at every level.

A former primary headteacher has been banned from teaching after being found guilty of dishonestly amending pupils’ test papers.The professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership made a recommendation that Rehana Siraj-Allan, former headteacher of Easton CE Primary, Bristol, should be banned from the classroom indefinitely after tampering with test papers. The panel, sitting last month, heard that she had been under severe pressure to show that attainment had improved.

Helen Ward (@teshelen)

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