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The Department for Education is to open a new wave of alternative-provision free schools, in an effort to transform the sector. In its document Creating Opportunity for All, published this week, the government says that new alternative-provision free schools work best when they are designed as part of a local network of schools, and created to meet a supply in areas of need. Read more

Ofqual was ‘especially disappointed’ by the extent to which exam boards changed grades last year, and ensuring it doesn’t happen again is a ‘key priority’, according to Richard Garrett, the regulator’s director of strategic relationships. He said Ofqual was considering what action should be taken against boards which failed to crack down on marking changes. Read more

Where is the best secondary school in England? Blackburn – and, defying all stereotypes, the school that came third in this year’s national GCSE rankings is also in the Lancashire town. So why haven’t more people heard that this is the country’s educational powerhouse? Is it because both are Muslim state schools? Or because they’re in a northern former mill town, rather than a north London suburb? Read more

The support of successive governments for faith schools has encouraged religious groups to believe they have total control over children’s education, writes secular campaigner Andrew Copson. But the government cannot allow culture, tradition, or religion to be used to deprive any person of their rights – and that includes children. Read more