At a glance headlines: September 19, 2013


The amount spent on examinations by schools is revealed, the row over teachers' pay continues in Scotland, and the schools minister is to appear before MPs to answer questions on the school places crisis. SecEd's At a glance headlines for September 19, 20

Pay rejection

Members of the NASUWT in Scotland have rejected the latest pay offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). Teachers have been offered a one per cent rise for 2013/14 and a further one per cent rise for 2014/15, but NASUWT says this falls short of inflation rates and “does not compensate teachers for the significant cuts in salary they have suffered since April 2010”.

A statement from NASUWT said: “The offer is also conditional on teachers accepting detrimental changes to their terms and conditions, including the removal of the list of administrative and clerical duties that do not require teachers’ professional skills and abilities.”

General secretary Chris Keates added: “To add insult to injury, teachers in Scotland are the only ones in the UK to have been offered one per cent with additional strings attached. This is unwarranted and unacceptable.”

Exam statistics

Schools spent an estimated £304 million on entries, including re-sits and late entries, for GCSE and A levels in 2011/12. Ofqual’s Annual Qualifications Market Report also shows that there were 4.9 million GCSE achievements (meaning any award other than a U, absent or fail) in schools in England, 320,000 in Wales and 181,000 in Northern Ireland.

The most popular GCSEs, maths and English, saw more than 660,000 achievements each, while science had 553,900, English literature 462,300 and religious studies 458,700. At A level, maths saw the most achievements with 126,800, followed by English with 120,500, biology with 86,300, psychology with 78,700, chemistry with 69,900 and history with 66,200. 

In 2011/12, there were more than 20,000 registered qualifications available with 176 awarding organisations recognised to deliver them. In total there were 16 million achievements across them all, including 5.5 million at GCSE, 2.1 million at A level, and 8.7 million across other types of qualifications.

Laws faces MPs

Schools minister David Laws is to appear before MPs to answer questions about the school places crisis. It is thought that 256,000 school places are needed by September 2014 and questions have been raised over whether the government has invested enough to meet demand. 

The session of the House of Commons Education Select Committee will take place on October 23. The committee, which is chaired by Graham Stuart MP, will quiz the minister on the “current and future availability of school places in England” among other related issues. Written comments are invited in the run-up to the session and must be submitted by October 7. Visit:


Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Claim Free Subscription