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The TESS Archive - 24 January 2003

The month the final signal was received from NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, 7.5 billion miles from Earth, and Andre Agassi won the Australian Open, his last Grand Slam tennis title, at the age of 32

The month the final signal was received from NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, 7.5 billion miles from Earth, and Andre Agassi won the Australian Open, his last Grand Slam tennis title, at the age of 32

Special schools' focus criticised

- In yet another mould-breaking move, inspectors have insisted that more special schools switch from a tight focus on the basics in English, maths and social development. The view emerged after significant curriculum failings were found in more than half the schools reviewed over the past five years. Schools are criticised for paying too little attention to art and design, music, drama, RME, ICT, science and home economics.

Edinburgh gets smart

- More schools in Edinburgh are to be encouraged to adopt uniforms - but, despite press reports, the city council will stop short of making them compulsory. Ewan Aitken, the council's executive member for education, said that it would be "encouraging and supporting" the adoption of uniforms because there is now sufficient evidence that they help create a sense of school community and improve discipline.

Highland bites the health bullet

- Highland councillors were this week set to take a major initiative on health promotion in schools that will be among the most ambitious in the country. This will include a ban on unhealthy items in tuck shops, "smoke- free zones" and the reintroduction of free milk in primaries.

Russell riled by CRE snub

- Opposition to the private member's bill that attempts to give Gaelic "secure status" in law - promoted by SNP education spokesperson Michael Russell - has come from an unexpected quarter, the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland. Its acting head, Mike Conboy, states in a paper to the parliamentary education committee that "it is potentially damaging to race relations to promote one language and its associated culture above others to the degree that the bill proposes".

'Neutron Jack' heads to NYC

- New York has enlisted legendary executive "Neutron Jack" Welch in its drive to make its education system the image of a lean, mean business. Mr Welch, the hard-driving executive credited with revitalising the fortunes of General Electric, will be training headteachers and lead the city's schools advisory panel. He won the "neutron" tag for his aggressive management style.

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