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A Week in Education

EVERY COMPREHENSIVE would have its own grammar stream "in every subject in every school" under a Conservative government. David Cameron, the party leader, outlined his vision for a blue Britain in a speech on Monday. He pledged to bring rigour to the curriculum, with setting and streaming in every subject.

The Daily Mail claimed that this was an attempt "to steady Tory nerves"

after party in-fighting over selective education. And George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, insisted that it was part of a Conservative attempt to "accentuate the positive".

Anthony Seldon, page 25

school truants cost the country pound;800 million a year, a study revealed this week. There are 200,000 persistent truants in the UK, the New Philanthropy Capital organisation claims, each of whom costs pound;44,468 over their lifetime. Each of the 10,000 exclusions a year costs pound;63,851. Truants are likely to leave school with few qualifications and, as a result, earn less. The loss to society is lower tax revenue, higher crime and more pressure on the benefits system.

more than 1 million pupils taking GCSE, AS and A-level exams are suffering from stress, according to the Government's examinations watchdog. George Turnbull, the official "exams doctor", appointed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, said that pupils taking exams this year were experiencing the highest levels of exam stress yet. He said that schools'

pressure to do well in the league tables is being transferred on to the pupils sitting the exams.

A second report, by the children's charity, NCH, suggests that more than 1 million children are suffering from mental health problems, with one child in ten having a mental health disorder to a "clinically significant"


the daily express predicted classroom chaos as it broke the news that half the schoolchildren in many British cities do not speak English as their first language. The figures, released by the Department of Education and Skills, show that 53.4 per cent of inner-London primary pupils speak a first language other than English. In Birmingham, Bradford, Luton and Blackburn primaries, four out of 10 pupils have a different first language.

The Express blamed the influx of Eastern European immigrants, along with high birth rates among Asian families, for the "alarming" news.

It added that this widespread weakness in English was hindering the development of "native pupils".

teachers have been seeing double at a nursery in Wales, where half of the class come with a matching pair. Fran Thomas, a teacher at Flying Start nursery at Pembroke Dock in West Wales, whose class of 20 pupils includes five sets of twins.

There were several double-takes when she discovered that all five pairs live within a mile of one another and were born within the same six months.

Three of the pairs are identical.

"There must be something in the water," said Ms Thomas.

Double TroubleTES magazine, page 20

they said...

Schools are shown the way to return to traditional reading

Daily Mail

we say...

The Mail was not alone in hailing the Letters and Sounds phonics programme as a back-to-basics move. Other papers described it as a return to methods that fell out of favour 30 years ago. The return to synthetic phonics followed the Rose review last year. However, most primaries use a phonics-based programme, either on its own or combined with other methods.

More than two thirds use Jolly Phonics, a commercial scheme that meets the Government's standards. Now sound out the letters: m-i-s-t-a-k-e.Approved at last, page 13

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