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How the Government's plans to end child poverty were botched

The massive government programme launched 10 years ago to raise millions of children out of poverty has been slated by critics as a disaster. Successive reports on the £3bn Sure Start scheme, set up when Labour came to power in 1997 to tackle the social and economic problems of pre-school children and their families, say that it has failed to make a significant impact.

Inside Schools

Steve McCormack: Schools can't cope with all these languages

Thursday, 8 May 2008

A strange thing happened to me recently when I did a day of supply teaching at a central London comprehensive. I found myself, for four of the six lessons of the day, teaching Bengali. I've had some strange tasks thrown at me as a supply teacher over the years: an all-girls' PE lesson and improvised drama in a windowless studio. But never have I been taken so far outside my comfort zone as with the Bengali classes.

Education Diary: National Association of Head Teachers' conference

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Last weekend's National Association of Head Teachers' conference began on Saturday after a hard day's night for many of the head teachers gathered in Liverpool for the event. They spent the previous night at the city's Cavern Club – the venue that launched The Beatles on to an unsuspecting world. By all accounts, a good time was had by all, with much singing and dancing with the locals.

Leading Article: Testing headache for the minister

Thursday, 8 May 2008

The fragile partnership between Britain's biggest head teachers' organisation, the National Association of Head Teachers, and the Government was exposed at the weekend when Children's Minister Beverley Hughes' attempts to justify its policy on testing was greeted by cries of "rubbish" from the floor.

Diary of a Primary School Mum: 'Four books a week? Now that isn't funny'

Thursday, 8 May 2008

The past has a funny way of catching up with you – although "funny" isn't always an accurate description. Take the beginning of Reception. There we were, only halfway through the autumn term, and Miss Perry was already being unfairly maligned. "Why isn't she doing any proper lessons?" I despaired to my husband. "At this rate they won't be literate until they're 20." Formal tuition couldn't start soon enough; euphoria reigned the first time homework was dished out.

Lord's prayer: Andrew Adonis on why he still has faith in academies

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Andrew Adonis is in a buoyant mood. He hasn't given up on the idea that Eton will become a sponsor of the Government's flagship academies programme. And Oxford and Cambridge universities are being targeted, too.

Education Diary: Fallout from the teachers' strike

Thursday, 1 May 2008

* The fallout from the teachers' strike has produced a flurry of activity. The ATL says it has had a surge of membership enquiries. The NASUWT says it has, too, and that this always happens when another union takes a strong position. The NUT is boasting of its own surge. Membership at Royston High School in Barnsley is said to have swelled to include more than 80 per cent of staff. The NUT can even boast the scalp of Tony Mitchell, who was previously Royston's NASUWT rep for 20 years.

Leading Article: Two out of one does not go

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The motivation behind the splitting of the old Department for Education and Skills into two was to provide joined-up government. It was essential that all children's services should be housed under one roof, Gordon Brown argued. And so the new Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) came into being. The word "education" disappeared from both titles. Education, however, would gain from having at least two ministers round the Cabinet table in future, it was argued.

Leading Article: The facts of life

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Schools and sixth-form colleges are doing students a grave disservice by not telling them which A-level subjects are taken seriously by the best universities and which not. Young people need to understand the consequences of opting for subjects like film studies and media studies.

Diary of a Primary School Mum: 'Club Med? A wigwam in the garden more like'

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Cloud cuckoo land, that's where I've been. All those irate parents, in the papers, on the telly, harping on about how it's more package steals than package deals when it comes to booking a school summer holiday, well it has gone whoosh over my head until now, because until now we've travelled off-season.

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