News Round-up – 22nd January

A brief summary of the recent education related headlines:


Taxpayer-funded academy chains have paid millions of pounds into the private businesses of directors, trustees and their relatives, documents obtained by the Guardian show. Critics fear the Department for Education is not closely monitoring the circulation of public money from academies to private firms. There is no implication that the chains or their directors or trustees have broken any rules, and all insisted that they had been properly audited. 

  • Labour school tsars to curb rowdy kids

A discipline tsar will be sent into every school under Labour plans to get tough on disruptive pupils. Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt will today unveil his blueprint to stamp up indiscipline in the classroom. He will also say all state school teachers must be fully qualified to reverse the watering down of standards.

Nearly 1,000 teachers have been accused of having sexual relationships with pupils in the past five years. A Freedom of Information request to more than 200 councils by the BBC found 959 teachers had been suspended, disciplined or dismissed and 254 charged as a result of allegations.

Thousands of newly qualified teachers are being ‘left to flounder’ in schools each year because of their inadequate training, Sir Michael Wilshaw warned yesterday. The Ofsted chief inspector said 40 per cent quit the profession within five years of qualifying because they found it ‘too difficult’ and were ill-equipped to deal with any unruly pupils. 

Anthony Seldon, the head teacher at Wellington College, has defended his idea to make parents who earn more than £80,000 a year pay a fee for their child to attend state school. A spokesman for the Education Secretary Michael Gove said Seldon’s plan would not be Conservative Party policy. Seldon said a fee would increase social mobility.