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A Week in Education

the new term kicked off this week accompanied by a raft of government measures to tackle poor behaviour in schools.

PARENTS WHO fail to supervise their children during the first five days of an exclusion from school could be fined pound;50. Schools will have to provide full-time education for excluded pupils after the sixth day. Until now, they have not been responsible for providing lessons until the 16th day.

Heads will be able to force parents to sign parenting contracts if their children misbehave. If they fail to comply, schools can apply to a court for a parenting order that would make them attend parenting classes.

Secondaries have been urged to offer lessons to teach pupils how to connect with their emotions in an effort to stem bad behaviour.

The year ahead, page 4

private schools boasted this week that their pupils are three times as likely to score A and A* grades at GCSE than their state school counterparts. A report by the Independent Schools Council found that nearly six out of 10 GCSE exams taken in private schools received the top two grades, compared with two in 10 nationally.

The figures follow claims from the AQA exam board that standards were rising in comprehensives and falling in independent schools.

The ISC has said many of its schools were penalised because they were teaching the International GCSE, which is not included in the overall figures.

tory leader David Cameron is considering a policy of holding pupils back in primary school if they fail to make the grade. A party policy review group also recommended a new professional body for teachers, abolishing AS levels and promoting smaller schools to achieve better behaviour and exam results.

Full story, page 10

a row has erupted over the use of a popular series of recorder- playing books written by a predatory paedophile. Brian Davey's four-part series Recorder Playing is popular in schools, but one of his victims called for a sheet music agency to stop selling them.

Davey's stepdaughter Antoinette Lyons, who was abused by him as a child, also complained because the books were dedicated to her two children. Stickers have now been placed over their names.

Fans of the books have said that banning them would be like not listening to Wagner because he was anti-semitic, or Richard Strauss because he was a Nazi party member.

and finally, there has been a wave of organisations getting on to the back-to school bandwagon by producing their own polls.

The hotel chain Travelodge found that half of parents struggle to get their children to go to bed early as the new term begins. A poll by the providers of Velvet toilet paper found that children are more environmentally aware than their parents but that only half care about protecting animals and a third about their carbon footprints. The savings bank Alliance and Leicester found that parents are paying out pound;3 billion a year for their children's extra-curricular activities.

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