Daily News Headlines – 16th December

A round-up of the schools related headlines from over the weekend and this morning

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, has warned that large numbers of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria could place a major strain on Britain’s education system. A survey by the LGA in September found that almost half of England’s school districts will have more primary pupils than places within two years.

The Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw has attacked England’s 164 state-funded grammar schools for holding poorer pupils back from getting on in life, and rejected calls for the creation of more state grammars.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has rejected proposals to open the first new grammar school campus for 50 years. It was decided plans to open an annexe or satellite school in Sevenoaks, Kent, was effectively an application to open a new school, which was rejected under legislation which forbids the opening of new selective schools. Members of Kent County Council pledged not to give up. Cllr Roger Gough, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The council took specialist advice on this matter and remains convinced that an annexe of an already established grammar school is the right way to respond to this issue.”

One of the first free schools to open is to close in April after failing two inspections. Discovery New School, in Crawley, failed to make sufficient progress after it was put into special measures. The school was based on Montessori principles and cost £2 million.

More than half of free schools opened with spare places and a nearly one in four had 60 per cent of the pupils they had predicted. On average, free schools which opened in September 2012 had 16 per cent fewer pupils than they had predicted before opening.

One school playing field is being sold off every three weeks under the Coalition. Department for Education figures show 57 playing fields have been sold off since May 2010.