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Michael Gove warned by exams watchdog to rethink EBacc

Michael Gove warned by exams watchdog to rethink EBacc         

The exams watchdog has warned Michael Gove that his plans to replace GCSEs with an English baccalaureate qualification are effectively unworkable, and is urging him to make changes.

The comments by Glenys Stacey, chief regulator of Ofqual, come in a letter sent to the education secretary last month and released by Ofqual after MPs quizzed Gove on Wednesday morning. The letter, copied to Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector at Ofsted, is a significant blow to Gove’s plans and follows CBI criticism of the changes.

Gove refused to tell the Commons education select committee what concerns Ofqual had raised about his planned replacement exams for pupils at 16, also known as the Ebacc or EBC. Gove said Stacey had written to him but that they would need to ask Ofqual for details.

After Gove’s appearance Stephen Twigg, wrote to education officials requesting the letter under freedom of information laws. Ofqual soon released it. Read more.

Peter Walker | The Guardian | 5th December 2012

Indian officers named in report on Kashmir abuses

Hundreds of serving Indian soldiers, including senior officers, are accused of involvement in widespread human rights abuses in Kashmir in a new report to be published on Thursday.

Many have been decorated and promoted despite serious allegations against them, the authors say. In a move likely to provoke anger, the report, by a team of veteran legal activists in the Himalayan state, names 500 “alleged perpetrators” ranging from low-ranking policemen to Indian army generals.

The report is based on documents obtained under new freedom of information legislation, police statements, the government’s own investigations and hundreds of interviews with family members and other witnesses. “Cases … reveal that there is a policy not to genuinely investigate or prosecute the armed forces for human rights violations. On the contrary, alleged perpetrators of crimes are awarded, rewarded and promoted,” the report’s authors said in a press statement. Read more.

Jason Burke | The Guardian | 6th December 2012

Follow the public pound

The longer David Cameron spends in power, the more he blushes over the U-turns he has made since assuming the mantle of prime ministerial office.

In opposition, here is what the then prime minister-in-waiting had to say about extending the Freedom of Information Act: “We will expand the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to include taxpayer-funded bodies.”

Cameron’s lofty plans were contained in a document titled “Big ideas to give Britain real change.”

One of the biggest ideas, now a victim to prime ministerial amnesia, was contained in this promise: “A Conservative government will increase the range of publicly funded bodies that are subject to scrutiny using Section 5 orders under the Freedom of Information Act.” Among a range of public bodies included were. Read more.

Grahame Morris MP | Morning Star | 5th December 2012

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