Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Education secretary Michael Gove will today announce a major climbdown over his controversial plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of a new English baccalaureate, reports the Independent.
GCSEs will remain, although they will be reformed in an attempt to restore confidence in them as an internationally respected qualification. It is understood that Mr Gove decided to act after being warned by civil servants that one key plank of his reforms - handing each of the core subjects over to just one exam board - could breach European Union rules on public service contracts and be open to judicial review.
The BBC reports on the government’s ‘bedroom tax’ which is to be introduced in April and seeks to reduce over occupancy of homes by people on housing benefit.
Speaking on the Today Programme, pensions minister Steve Webb said provisions has been made to allow disabled people in modified homes to keep their spare bedrooms which a top up scheme to be operated by councils. He said local authorities had a better understanding of local housing needs and where a shortfall in benefits should be supplemented.
In an extremely unusual move, chancellor George Osborne has put pressure on the Bank of England to adopt a looser monetary policy the day before the bank’s monetary policy committee announces the outcome of its monthly meeting, the Financial Times reports.
Writing in the Guardian, columnist Zoe Williams claims public sector outsourcing is creating a “shadow state”, with a handful of large firms operating “as an unelected oligarchy”.
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