Labour has dropped its opposition to the Conservatives' free schools policy, the new shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has announced.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that £5m in compensation was awarded to pupils in England and Wales last year.
Schools have a "moral responsibility" to keep the cost of pupils' uniform down, council leaders warned today.
Teachers are preparing for a fresh round of strikes at the end of June in a long and bitter row with the Government over pay, pensions and conditions.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) could walkout this summer if the dispute is not resolved.
The union will debate whether to stage fresh walkouts at their annual conference, being held in Brighton, which seeks co-ordinated national strikes in the week beginning Monday June 23 if "significant progress" is not made in ongoing talks with the Government.
The move comes just weeks after the NUT staged a national walkout and offers the prospect of widespread disruption to schools in England and Wales in the summer term.
Drugs education for children as young as 10 should be broadened, one of the Government's chief drug advisers has said.
Professor Simon Gibbons, a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), told a public hearing that more needs to be done on drugs education in primary and middle schools.
The subject of drugs does not form part of the National Curriculum at primary level, although it is at a school's discretion to include it within the teaching of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.
Mr Gibbons, a professor of medicinal phytochemistry at University College London (UCL), said:
"I would certainly like to see more done on the education done in primary settings.
"I have two young daughters who are eight and 10 and the elder one is certainly at that age when she is starting to be aware of some of these materials.
"At the primary and middle school phase there's not enough information on drug education for 10, 11, 12-year-olds - that's something we should be pushing for."
Education Secretary Michael Gove has praised the work of playwright William Shakespeare and claims he was "another grammar schoolboy made good".
The Tory Cabinet member's comments come days after he criticised the "ridiculous" numbers of Old Etonians in Prime Minister David Cameron's inner circle.
Mr Gove told the Commons pupils could be put off an author for life if they were poorly taught.
MPs heard there is evidence that awful teaching of the works of Shakespeare could deter youngsters from English literature for a long time.
New figures show that nearly half of the money paid out in student loans is never going to be repaid. But the Business Secretary Vince Cable has told ITV News the government has nothing to apologise for. ITV News reporter Claire Stewart has the details.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has said state education in the UK was "bog standard" for decades, but a "relentess" focus on teacher quality has improved schools.
Gove, who has made no secret of his desire to see state schools run more like independents, said
"tectonic plates" have started to shift in this "historic period in state education" as the schools have improved more last year than at any time in Ofsted's history.
"We need to thank the nations teachers. We have the best generation of English teachers ever working in English classrooms," he said.
Gove's speech comes amid a public row with Labour and Lib Dem MPs following the decision to replace the chair of Ofsted, Labour's Baroness Sally Morgan
A number of teachers have reacted in fury online on the ITV News Facebook page over Labour plans to introduce so-called 'licences to teach'.
Some people think that teachers only work from 9am till 3pm. The average teacher works 100-110 hours a week as I have to, and that is every week including holidays.
We have to plan, mark and assess around 500-600 pieces of work per week, that's on average. Planning and assessment takes up about 40-50 hours of my week every week.
I've worked in my job for 12 plus years and I must admit the teachers I work with are outstanding, also excellent. But - agency teachers not quite sure about - get paid far too much and have no consideration or care for the children / really not fair on the school or the children.
They are already making the teaching profession almost impossible. The amount of hours we put in trying to manage the work load and little chance of actually having some sort of life is depressing enough. Leave us to do what we love and are passionate about - help children achieve their potential.
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Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, has said that a licence to practice in teaching "should apply to headteachers and not just teachers", adding that it should also apply to state and independent schools.
– Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT
It is deeply debilitating and demoralising for teachers that any attempt to have a public debate about developing the teaching profession and the quality of teaching inevitably is hijacked by commentators and presented as a system to 'root out incompetent teachers' and present our public education system as failing.
No group of workers, least of all teachers, deserves to be treated in this way. No wonder resignations from the profession are high and recruitment to teacher training is falling.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said it had serious doubts about a proposal to bring in licensing for its members.
– Christine Blower speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
The fact is that teachers are very highly observed. Many of our members describe themselves as being surveilled the whole time.
What Tristram Hunt did not announce was any kind of a properly well-funded rigorous CPD system to which teachers have access.
When he talks about lawyers and doctors they attend good quality CPD, they get the points.That does not sound like what he is announcing for teachers.
There will be a good many teachers who will just see this as another hurdle.
Teaching unions have given a guarded welcome to Labour's plans for teaching licenses, but said that is should be accompanied by greater rights of access to high-quality training.
Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers told The Times (£):
We would need to see the details of the Labour Party’s proposals, but the NUT is heartened to see that Labour recognises the value of investing in teachers’ skills, knowledge and confidence, in a fast-changing world.
If these proposals are a continuation of the Michael Gove’s years of top-down judgmental prescription of how teachers teach, that would be very negative.
As Labour unveils plans for teachers to be licensed, branded "classroom MoTs" by former schools secretary Ed Balls, ITV News has asked you whether it is a good idea.
– Andrew Culley
My graphic design teacher didn't understand Photoshop... I failed the class... went to a different college with a teacher that knew how it worked and got the highest marks. These checks need to happen, it isn't fair that I had to waste my time with a teacher that couldn't teach their subject.
– Lorna Davis
So more stress and pressure on teachers with the 'same standing as professionals' just without the pay that it entails. They can't keep this up.
– James Glover
I'm not a Teacher but wouldn't this mean that if they have the same standing, shouldn't they get paid more?
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