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Education in brief: Is the DfE trying to rig the teacher-education market?

Education in brief: Is the DfE trying to rig the teacher-education market?

A London local authority is facing pressure to release an investigation report on management practice at a school once described as “outstanding” by Ofsted. Newham council has rejected a freedom of information request for the report, which was written about activities at Langdon school in the period from 2004 to 2009, after a probe by education consultant Tim Blanchard.

Allegations investigated included claims that free school meals and pupil attendance data were falsified. Newham has relied on a provision within freedom of information legislation that can allow the non-release of reports on the basis that individuals could be identified.

Rick Helm, a former teacher at the school who made the request, is challenging the decision through the information commissioner. Newham said: “Newham council’s decision [not to release the report] is currently being reviewed by the information commissioner. It would be inappropriate to comment further.” Read more

Warwick Mansell | The Guardian | 20th May 2013

A third of local authorities not complying with energy directive

Over a third of local authorities across England and Wales are not complying with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request carried out by the Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA).

PEPA issued the FoI request amid concerns that the government was failing to track how millions of pounds, allocated to ensuring authorities complied with the EPBD, was actually being spent.
When asked directly if they comply with the EPBD, 58% of authorities confirmed they do indeed comply, while 30% advised they were non-compliant and a further 12% did not answer the question. Since 1st August 2007, local authorities have had an obligation to ensure they comply with the EPBD, with all public buildings over 500m2 required to have a Display Energy Certificate (DEC). Read more
Green Build News | 20th May 2013

Number of animals used in Welsh university experiments rises 83% over three years

The use of animals in scientific experiments by Welsh universities has increased 83% over the past three years – with more than 180,000 creatures used in total. Four Welsh universities – Cardiff University, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University and Bangor University – experimented on animals.

Figures released under Freedom of Information show that in total 84,249 were used last year, compared with 54,169 in 2011 and 45,862 in 2010.

Cardiff University alone used 61,181 animals in 2012, compared with 52,309 in 2011 and 45,591 in 2010 – an increase of 34% over the period. The bulk of last year’s rise was due to a project involving anaesthetising then releasing wild salmon in rivers, a Cardiff University spokesman said. Read more

Peter Law | Wales Online | 20th May 2013

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