England & Wales

What we’re reading 25/11/10


Education White Paper: teachers ‘to be given personality tests’. The LGiU’s education expert John Fowler is poring through the White Paper as we speak. We’ll post something once he’s done. In the meantime, here’s some reaction from the press. The Telegraph leads with the proposal that teachers will have to sit personality tests. This comes after comes after Ofsted complained that teaching was “dull and uninspiring” in as many as half of secondary schools in England. Call me old-fashioned, but I’d have to say that putting a lot of HR bureaucrats in charge of the teacher recruitment process is the surest way to guarantee that teachers are a bunch of dullards yet devised. It’ll be goodbye, Mr Chips, if this becomes legislation.

Pickles makes failed bid for more cash. An excellent bit of good old-fashioned journalism by LGC. The paper reports that Eric Pickles made an unsuccessful bid for Treasury support after CLG figures revealed that a combination of spending cuts, and the decision to remove ring-fences from grants for deprived areas, could result in a 38 per cent reduction in some areas and a 37% increase in others over four years. The situation has been described as “desperate”. Quite.

BAE Woodford sub-contractors lose their jobs. It’s been estimated that public spending cuts will result in the loss of almost half a million private sector jobs. Here’s what’s happening to one community. It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.

Government cutting councils free. Grant Shapps made this speech yesterday at Westminster Council. His opener was spot-on: “I want you to spend less time listening to me and more time listening to your residents!”. I’m not sure, however, that many council leaders will thank him for making a virtue of “cutting” local government.