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News round-up 30/11: Birth rate rise puts pressure on school places

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government


Councils have been “forced to create thousands of additional primary school places” because of pressure on reception classes, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says the Office of the Schools Adjudicator has said a rise in the birth rate meant some councils had to create new places for up to 600 extra pupils.

Meanwhile, a letter to the Guardian, from Luca Salice, chair of the Camden chairs’ and governors’ forum, puts the success of the borough’s schools down to good relationships with the authority. “In Camden there are hardly any academies and free schools”, Mr Salice writes.

“The ‘Camden model’ is based on the recognition that schools thrive not by making themselves independent of the local education authority, but by being part of a ‘family of schools’ that works closely in partnership [with it].” Ofsted’s annual report this week showed Camden had more primary school pupils at good and outstanding schools than anywhere else in England.


Fuel poverty

The Telegraph has greeted the publication of the Energy Bill by claiming that families will be burdened with “tripled green taxes” to pay for nuclear power, wind farms and the cost of cleaning up factories.

The Times believes the wind sector could be the biggest loser from the bill, claiming that money from levies on domestic bills will be diverted to heavy industries and major businesses such as supermarkets to help them cut their energy consumption.

According to the FT, the Bill’s unveiling has received a mixed response from industry and consumer groups, while the Guardian welcomes signs that the Government is getting serious over energy demand reduction.


UK business bank

The creation of a state-backed business bank has been delayed after Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed that no announcement is expected in next week’s Autumn Statement, the Times reveals. However, Dr Cable told a TUC/BCC event that the bank could still be ready to lend in months, not years.



A senior civil servant suspended over the cancelled West Coast mainline rail tender has told a judge she has been “unfairly scapegoated for political reasons”, the Financial Times reports.

The prime minister has overruled the head of the civil service and the energy secretary by vetoing appointment of climate change expert David Kennedy as permanent secretary of the Department for Energy, the Financial Times reports. The move is likely to raise fears the government is moving to a US style of civil service in which ministers have more say in appointments, the paper says.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • More customer subsidies for companies to live within the pretend free market in energy.

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