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The Government is to Publish an Education White Paper Next Week

Monday 22nd November 2010


The Telegraph reports on a new review of the current schools curriculum that is to be launched in December 2010, and be introduced into schools from September 2013 onwards. Experts in individual subjects will be brought in to analyse the content of the current curriculum, for example, Simon Schama to advise the history, and the standard of education in Britain compared with other countries in the world, will be examined.

Changes to the way examinations are scheduled, and taken, will form part of this reform. Modules will be dropped in favour of the previous model of two years of study, followed by an exam at the end of that period. Pupils will also be marked down for poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. The regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, Ofqual, is to be given new powers to enforce high standards in schools and examinations. Exam questions will also now be compared closely with those from academically rigorous countries like China, Singapore and South Korea. And a new reading test will be introduced for all six-year-olds.

The checking method that Ofsetd currently uses to inspect schools will change dramatically too, from comparing up to 18 different criteria to just 4 categories instead. These are teaching, leadership, behaviour and attainment. In terms of discipline, teachers will now have simpler rules for using force and will have more power to search pupils without their consent for more dangerous, or banned items, including alcohol, mobile phones, pornography, and fireworks. Teachers will also have more protection from false and malicious allegations from pupils too. Existing teachers will benefit from reform of their salaries, with pay bargaining to be scrapped, and the best teachers allowed to earn more than the average teacher’s salary. Plus only trainee teachers with good degrees, a 2:2 level, or higher will qualify for government funding for their training.

A new “national funding formula" could be introduced to fund schools directly from Whitehall while removing the influence of local councils on the schools budgets.

 

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