Education Update – July 2012 to September 2012

Selected items from the National scene as reported by TES

TES 20th July 2012

Free Schools

DfE announced 102 Free Schools have been approved to open from September 2013 – a 50% increase on 2012.  59 of these are being led by teacher groups.

Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland is to open as a Free School.  It has changed its policy to teach Creationism as a scientific theory and will not now teach Creationism in Science.

TES 27th July 2012

5080 pupils were permanently excluded in 2010-2011, as against 5740 in 2009-2010.

89 pupils aged 5 to 11 were ordered out of class for assault during 2010-2011.

TES 24th August 2012

GCSE exam results reflect a drop in A* and A-C grades

Girls maintained their performance lead in all subjects.

TES 31st August 2012


Ofqual, the exams’ watchdog, recognises a problem in shifting grade boundaries affecting a quarter of secondary schools in England and Wales.  This forces colleges to lower grade requirements from C to D.  Grades in English were especially affected.  GCSEs to be overhauled and more rigorous O level style exams introduced.

Sexualisation of children is causing a panic but without clear definitions.  This is due to:

  • Increase of sexting (transmitting sexual images and messages via mobiles)
  • Childline reports that calls from teenagers upset by adult images has increased by 34%.

TES 7th September 2012

New Schools Minister, David Laws, replaces Nick Gibbs.

TES 21st September 2012

Exam changes continue:-

The English Baccalaureate introduced by Michael Gove:

  • Tougher English      Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) in English, Maths and Science to be      introduced in 2015 and sat by pupils from 2017 onwards.  The EBaC will involve a concise 3-hour      exam only.
  • EBCs in History, Geography      and Ancient and Modern Languages will be introduced later
  • Pupils who fail at 16 will      be expected to try again in subsequent years.
  • GCSEs will co-exist for      the first years of the EBCs.       Meanwhile the tougher standard IBCE is offered by 82 private schools      and 112 state schools.

Liberal Democrats want to scrap externally assessed Key Stage 2 SATs at the end of primary school.


There are now 2309 academies in England and another 282 opening this month.  Secondary academies number 1484; Primary academies 769; Special academies 56.

TES 29th September 2012

RE being cut from English Baccalaureate

  • Out of a pole of 265      schools by the National Association of RE (NATRE).
  • 1 in 4 schools is cutting      back on specialist teachers in RE.
  • 33% of schools fail to      meet statutory requirements to offer RE in Years 10 and 11.
  • 24% of schools report a      reduction in specialist RE teachers for September 2012.

Performance-related pay is supported by Ofsted’s chief, Sir Michael Wilshall