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A Week in Education

The drive to reduce class sizes was condemned as a "waste of money" by Dylan Wiliam, deputy director of London University's Institute of Education. He said it would be cheaper for teachers to change their methods instead.

Cutting class sizes from 30 to 20 costs about pound;20,000 a year for each class, but introducing a system of formative assessment would only cost pound;2,000. The technique, used instinctively by many teachers, involves monitoring the progress of a whole class throughout each lesson and day by day.

Jersey has become a centre of media attention after the remains of a child's body were discovered at a former children's home.

Police have said about six more bodies may be buried at Haut de la Garenne, which was originally a boys' school and is now a youth hostel. Police, who have been investigating large-scale alleged child abuse on the island since 2006, have begun sifting through reports on missing people going back almost half a century.

Figures obtained by the Conservatives highlighted the squeeze on school places. The data indicated that more than 100,000 children failed to get their first choice of secondary school last September, although 82 per cent did.

The statistics also showed that 3,126 children failed to be allocated a place at all. Michael Gove, the shadow children's secretary, complained there were not enough "good" school places.

Students from the poorest performing schools can do as well in their degrees as students from the best schools, even if they start with lower A-level grades.

A study compared students at St George's medical school, part of London University, which has lower A-level grade requirements for students from schools with poor exam results. In first year final exams, there was a less than 1 per cent difference in marks between those students and others.

David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader, was criticised for releasing a press release describing pupil visits to Auschwitz as one of 26 Government "gimmicks".

The TES reported last year that the Government would be funding trips for two sixth-form pupils from every secondary school to the site of the concentration camp.

Ministers are giving pound;4.65 million to the Holocaust Education Trust, covering two-thirds of the trips costs, and schools will pay pound;100 per student.

A 13-year-old diver became one of the youngest Britons ever chosen to represent the UK at the Olympic Games. Tom Daley, a pupil at Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth, Devon, qualified for the Beijing Olympics after a stunning performance in the diving World Cup in China last weekend.

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