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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

Bright pupils 'held back by league tables'

The best GCSE candidates are not being given the chance to excel due to government exam league tables, a head teachers' leader warns today.

Exam system in 'disarray'

As teenagers across the country anticipate their GCSE results this week, concerns were raised today that the exam system is in "disarray" and in need overhauling.

Weighting given to final A-level exam will help boys

Boys will narrow the gap in performance between them and girls in this year's A-level results, it was forecast today.

Alan Smithers: Letting schools do their own thing is a recipe for chaos

Iam warming to the new Government's policies. Binning academic diplomas, Sir Jim Rose's recommendations on the primary curriculum and the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the General Teaching Council all look good moves to me – provided they are replaced by something better. But I cannot see where the extended academies programme is going. Michael Gove has said many times that he has drawn inspiration from the charter schools in the United States and the Kunskapsskolan in Sweden. Some of the charter schools have impressive records. They have, however, tended to attract the better pupils, leaving other schools worse off. They have also tended to take fewer pupils with special needs and to have higher dropout rates. The apparent success of Swedish "free schools" is linked to home background.

Alan Smithers: 'So, who will decide on the curriculum now?'

Few in the present economic climate will be surprised that the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) is to be scrapped. It has become overblown financially and has lost its way educationally. The current curriculum is full of vacuous generalities about cultural understanding, collaboration and inclusion, but leaves us little wiser about substance. But this government faces the practical realities of what, if anything, is to take its place.

Leading Article: Segregation is the root of the problem

The latest report from the Sutton Trust shows just how class-bound England still is. Being born to a parent with a university degree is more likely to guarantee a child top grades at school in England than in the USA, Australia and Germany. Why should this be? The researchers think that the stark inequality they uncovered could be due to highly educated parents ensuring their children have places at top-performing secondary schools – the "sharp elbow" syndrome. Such schools often have better resources and teaching. They are usually in expensive neighbourhoods, which means that parents from poorer areas may live too far away for their child to be awarded a place.

Alan Smithers: Why will no party be bold on school admissions?

Soon after I arrived at the University of Buckingham, the vice-chancellor affectionately dubbed me Comrade Smithers. On hearing this, an old friend snorted, "God, if they think you are left wing, what does that say about the rest of the university?" But in this election I find that I am to the left of all three main parties in wanting a simple, clear, centrally set structure for secondary education. The key to this is the admissions process.

Selective schools not more socially exclusive, says study

Top comprehensives take less than their fair share of pupils from deprived homes

Hard labour for Newcastle after Lovenkrands lift

Newcastle United 3 Preston North End 0

Matt Gatward: Merson relives fear that replay could ruin a knees-up

View From The Sofa: Time of our Lives, Sky Sports

Alan Smithers: Why do the political parties have so little to offer us?

Am I alone in feeling gloomy about the prospects for education this year? It's not just the cuts. Schools are to be protected to some extent, which of course is very bad news for the universities heavily dependent on public funds. What bothers me more is that an election should be a time for taking stock and making plans, yet the parties have little to offer.

The real Rudolphs

You don’t need to visit Lapland to see Santa’s other helpers – there’s a herd of wild reindeer in Scotland. Lucy Gillmore meets Hobnob, Flapjack and friends

Brief respite before more rain sweeps in

Parts of Cumbria worst hit by floods will get some respite from the rain tonight but more bad weather is expected over the weekend, a forecaster said.

Labour's campus revolution

Students given guaranteed access to lecturers and employment statistics of courses in return for higher fees

Richard Garner: There is much to be recommended in Mandelson’s blueprint

It is, of course, hard to argue with the concept that our universities should do their best to equip the nation with the skilled workforce that it needs to compete in the globalised economy of the 21st century.

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