A study by the country's largest teaching union has found more children are turning up to school hungry and unable to pay attention in class
Premier League stars from the region have joined a literacy drive by naming their favourite books.
Members of the National Union of Teachers demonstrated in one of Birmingham's central squares today over workload, pay and pensions.
The head of Ofsted is to take a "personal lead" in the watchdog's investigation into allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover plot at a number of Birmingham schools, it has been announced.
Sir Michael Wilshaw is to visit the city next week to meet those directly involved in the inspections.
Ofsted has assessed more than a dozen Birmingham schools in recent weeks in the wake of the so-called "Trojan Horse" allegations and the findings are expected to be published in early May.
An Ofsted spokesman said: "Sir Michael has made clear that he is taking a personal lead in agreeing the individual reports and ensuring that they fully address concerns that have been raised."
A leaked report into three Birmingham schools at the centre of the so-called Trojan Horse plot appears to confirm allegations of "Islamification" within the curriculum.
Extracts of the report have been published in a national newspaper, and a former teacher at one of the schools, who warned of extremist influences says he now feels vindicated.
Six schools implicated in the so-called "Trojan Horse" plot by extremists to "Islamise" secular state education are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
According to the newspaper, the six will be rated “inadequate” by the schools inspectorate after a series of snap inspections over the past few weeks.
Ofsted will reportedly also take action at a further nine schools in the city.
Only one of the 17 schools inspected by Ofsted so far in connection with the alleged plotis said to have received a clean bill of health, although one report is yet to be completed.
Attempts were made to destabilise a Birmingham school named in the alleged "Trojan Horse" takeover plot, its governors have claimed.
In a statement issued after the arrest of four of its former staff members as part of a fraud inquiry, Adderley Primary alleged that a well organised group had tried to disrupt the school.
The school is one of four which were named in the "Trojan Horse" letter purporting to detail efforts by Muslim hard-liners to take over the management of several Birmingham schools.
In its statement to parents, Adderley Primary's governing body confirmed that several headteachers in the city had informed the authorities of "malicious and targeted" efforts to remove them from their posts.
"Attempts have been made at Adderley to destabilise the school by a very small but well organised group of individuals," the statement read.
NASUWT's general secretary Chris Keates says most cases of teachers being paid compensation could be avoided if employers followed good employment practices.
– NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates
The tragedy is that in most cases compensation would be unnecessary if employers followed good employment practices and followed health and safety procedures.
Instead teachers have their careers, lives and health blighted and millions of pounds of public money has to be spent.
Employers flout the law, but it's the teachers and the taxpayers who pay the price.
The NASUWT's largest assault claim was for a West Midlands secondary school teacher who was injured after being assaulted by two pupils, as she attempted to break up a fight between the pair.
She received £113,905 in compensation, plus an additional £200,473 in a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) award.
A 33-year-old college teacher from the East Midlands was given a settlement of £500,000 after sustaining a back injury when a lift she was travelling in at work suddenly dropped from the mezzanine floor to the reception.
A third NASUWT member, from the South East, got a CICA compensation award worth £91,784 after being punched in the mouth by a Year 10 pupil. The 59-year-old suffered a broken root on a tooth and developed post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tens of millions of pounds worth of compensation was awarded to teachers in the last year for accidents, attacks and discrimination at work.
Figures show a surge in payouts to school staff, with the overall totals reaching record levels.
One 33-year-old West Midlands teacher received more than £300,000 after she was injured breaking up a fight between two pupils.
Information obtained from three of the UK's largest unions show that a number of school staff were handed five or six-figure payouts, with figures indicating that the total amount paid out in compensation last year stretched to more than £40 million.
The NASUWT teaching union said it secured around £20.7 million for its members in 2013 - over 30% more than in 2012.
Careers in carpentry, joinery, fashion and sports will all be on show today as hundreds of students in the Black Country will get the chance to try their hand at potential jobs for the future.
Sandwell College and Walsall College have teamed up to hold the Sandwell & Walsall Skills Show Experience, which will be staged at Bank's Stadium in Walsall from 10am until 7pm.
Food demonstrations, dog grooming, nail art, business quizzes, computer games design, a virtual catwalk and an automotive challenge will all be taking place, while employers including the NHS, Bandals and the AA will be offering advice to job hunters.
Scott Upton, vice principal at Sandwell College, welcomed the launch of the event.
Skills are the key to people building rewarding careers as the economy recovers.
At this event, a wide range of skills will be on show, as well as opportunities for young people and young adults who are the future of our region.