School ‘transformation’ pledged Ed Balls has set out plans to shake up schools in England.This sounds nearly as good as the package put out to stop people losing their homes. ED-balls


Last Updated – 30th June 2009 at 10:23 PM –>

School 'transformation' pledged

Addressing MPs, he said that the plans would “transform our school system to meet the challenges of the 21st century”.

The schools secretary explained that the government would match “continued investment with reform and higher expectations”.

Balls also said the government had a duty to step in when education services are failing.

“I will not shirk that responsibility,” he added.

The white paper includes new entitlements to personalised support for every child, and a ‘parent guarantee’ for every parent.

Every child will be promised a personal tutor, with any primary pupil falling behind in Key Stage 2 being entitled to 10 hours of one-to-one tuition.

“For those who are behind at the start of secondary school, we will now guarantee one-to-one or small group catch-up tuition in Year 7,” said the white paper.

There will also be a pledge of access to five hours of PE and sport each week and a wide range of out-of-school activities.

The pupil and parent guarantees will be “underpinned by legislation, and implemented across the country in the coming years”.

There will be a new system for accrediting education providers who wish to run groups of schools, with £20m made available to deliver reform.

A ‘school report card’ for every school will “provide a rounded assessment of school performance and enable parents and the public to make better informed judgements about the effectiveness of each school”.

And there will also be a renewable ‘licence to teach’, linked to a new professional development entitlement for teachers.

“This will mean that every teacher will need to keep their skills up to date and demonstrate periodically that their professional practice and development meets the standards required for the profession, and that they will have access to the necessary professional development support,” said the white paper.

“We will begin the roll out of the licence to teach and new entitlement with newly qualified teachers and for those returning to teaching.”

But shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said the promises on tutoring had already been made but the government had “failed to deliver” them.

“Simply repeating the same old nonsense over and over ad nauseum hasn’t exactly helped the prime minister to new heights of popularity and it won’t help him,” Gove told the schools secretary.

And he argued that it was not new entitlements that were needed to improve education. “We need a new government because all the good ideas in this white paper are Tory ideas,” Gove said.

First Time Users of Pain Relievers Continue to Surpass All Other Drugs; Number of New Ecstasy and Stimulant Users Increases


Source: CESARFax, 9/17/2007

More than 2.1 million persons ages 12 or older used prescription-type pain relievers for the first time in 2006,according to recently released data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). While the number of new users of pain relievers has been decreasing since 2003, it continues to be the drug category with the largest number of new initiates since surpassing marijuana in 2002. The number of first-time marijuana users has declined significantly, from nearly 3.0million in in 2000 to slightly more than 2.0 million in 2006. Other recent changes in the initiation of illicit drugs include increases in the number of first time ecstasy users (from 615,000 in 2005 to 860,000 in 2006) and in the number of first-time nonmedical users of prescription-type stimulants*(from 647,000 to 845,000). Previous research has found that changes in initiation levels “are often leading indicators of emerging patterns of substance use”(p. 49).

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