Every failing school across the South East will be forced to become an academy under new rules proposed by the government today. At the moment there has to be local consultation before conversion but that will be scrapped.
It means 16 schools in Kent graded as "inadequate" by Ofsted will be targeted - plus another four in Medway and seven across Sussex. Another seven on the Isle of Wight will be handed over to sponsors to improve their performance - plus a further five in Reading and three in Oxfordshire. So-called "coasting schools" where pupils may do well - but don't make as much progress as they should will also be targeted.
Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports
Failing schools across the South will be forced to turn into academies under new rules announced by the government.
Up to a thousand primary and secondary schools nationwide could be taken out of local government control if the new bill goes ahead. Critics say the proposals are undemocratic. Eastbrook Primary at Southwick in Sussex became an academy two years ago. Since then, results have improved dramatically. Here's what the headteacher Julia Sherlock had to say.
Every school rated as inadequate by Ofsted will be turned into academies under new laws, the Education Secretary has announced.Read the full story ›
It's a chilling fact that parents of young drivers fear the most: teenage motorists are more likely to be involved in a car crash than any other age group. That's despite the fact that those youngsters make up only a very small number of drivers.
The RAC say if new licence restrictions for inexperienced drivers were brought in, every year more than 43 people could be prevented from being injured or killed. Derek Johnson reports, speaking to mother Denise Tegg and safety expert Wale Yusuff.
Schools minister David Laws has said the cost of school uniforms was often "unnecessarily high" at a time when family budgets were being squeezed. Speaking as the Liberal Democrat conference gets under way in Glasgow, Mr Laws added:
Costs at the start of a school term can quickly add up, particularly for families with several school age children. School uniforms can be an important sign of identity and pride, but at a time when many family budgets are squeezed parents should not be forced to spend more than they need to.
We will send a strong signal to schools that it is vital to secure value for money for parents before changing or introducing new school uniforms. Parents need to be able to shop around to find the best deal.
The coalition is urging schools to avoid branded uniforms to cut bills for hard-pressed parents.
Schools minister David Laws said the cost of clothing was often "unnecessarily high" at a time when family budgets were being squeezed.
An Office of Fair Trading investigation last year suggested that three quarters of schools placed restrictions on where uniforms could be bought.
That typically added £5 to the price tag for each item, leaving parents an estimated £52 million a year worse off.
Reading East MP Rob Wilson praises the government's policy of creating University Technical Colleges. A new UTC is due to open in Reading in September.
Ten more free schools won government approval to launch in the region today. They will open in 2014.Read the full story ›
Will the government's new test on spelling, grammar and punctuation at the end of primary school raise standards of literacy?Read the full story ›
A new learning and education centre opens at Dungeness B in Kent
School children learn about nuclear power with the opening of a new learning centre at Dungenes B. They will also be given tours of the power station.