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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 1999): Education - UK - Schools

ALL PUPILS FACE ANNUAL NATIONAL TEST

J. Judd
Independent, May 4th 1999, p.9

National tests have been so successful in motivating pupils that government examination advisers at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority are preparing to introduce more of them. Pupils already face compulsory tests in English, maths and science at the ages of 7, 11 and 14 and the authority offers optional tests at 8, 9 and 10. It is now drawing up plans for optional tests for pupils aged 12 and 13.

CURRICULUM PLAN FOR NURSERIES UNDER ATTACK

J. Carvel
Guardian, May 6th 1999, p.7

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has proposed as learning goals for pre-school age children, that they should be able to count to ten, write their names and be able to spell simple words by the age of five. These proposals have been condemned as dangerously unsuitable by heads of 16 out of 18 early excellence centres. They said that children under six should not be forced into formal learning but allowed to develop social skills and learn through play.

EDUCATION REFORM RISKS WIDENING THE CLASS DIVIDE

S. Targett
Financial Times, May 4th 1999, p.13

The end of the assisted places scheme will mean that the social profile of private schools will change. They will be unable to subsidise bright children from poor families from their own resources, and will be forced to make up the shortfall in pupil numbers by targeting rich families.

FAILING ISLINGTON SCHOOLS FACE PRIVATISATION

J. Carvel
Guardian, May 17th 1999, p.6

Reports that the government is about to deliver a fierce ultimatum to the London Borough of Islington, pointing out that its failing education department will be privatised if standards do not improve dramatically in three months.

INCORPORATION OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS INTO UK LAW: IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION

P. Meredith
European Journal for Education Law and Policy, vol.2, 1998, p.7-23

Explores a number of key areas in which the incorporation of the ECHR into UK law has the potential to enhance individual rights in the field of education, including parental choice of school, collective worship and aspects of the secular curriculum. It is concluded that the incorporation of the Convention will have only a very marginal impact on the reality of individual rights to education.

ISLINGTON LOOKS TO PRIVATE SECTOR

R. Bennett
Financial Times, May 18th 1999, p.10

Reports on Islington Council's plans to bring in private sector companies to help run its schools in an attempt to reverse its disastrous record on education. Under the Council's plan, Islington would replace the existing education committee with a ruling body that would include one or more private companies. The ruling body would be chaired by a leading educationalist. The education service would be reorganised into 11 separate units, including a standards and achievement unit that would replace the existing inspection division.

(See also Municipal Journal, May 21st 1999, p.6)

LET TEACHERS TAKE THE LESSONS AND THE BLAME

J. Daley
Daily Telegraph, May 18th 1999, p.22

Advocates the retention of grant-maintained schools, a return of the right for every school to select a proportion of its pupils on merit, and the institution of a rigorous system of national tests in which it would be impossible to achieve the higher grades without a sound knowledge of historical events and the classical texts of English literature.

'MUMS ARMY' TO START TEACHING

Anon.
Times, May 24th 1999, p.8

Reports government plans to introduce unqualified classroom assistants who will start teaching the slowest readers in primary school after only 15 hours training.

REFRAMING SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS: SHAPING A SHARED AGENDA

S. Wolfendale
Child: Care, Health and Development, vol.25, 1999, p.175-178

There appears to be a will, at all levels, to co-ordinate policies and practices for special educational needs, to involve parents as equals in framing and participating in services, and to work actively towards effective communication across all agencies and providers in the field.

THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM IN ENGLAND: THE CONSULTATION MATERIALS

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
London, 1999.

Proposes that primary schools resume a full programme of history, geography, music, art and physical education as well as finding room for the government's literacy and numeracy hours. Secondary schools will be expected to devote 5% of curriculum time to new lessons on citizenship and to teach other elements of a programme to be known as preparation for adult life.

(For comment see Times, May 14th 1999, p.4)

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