Daily roundup: The dawn of EBacc, Scottish play and a TV campaign for East Anglian children

Neil Puffett
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Details of the biggest exams overhaul in a generation, Scottish MPs urged to enshrine the right to play in law, and a TV campaign highlighting issues affecting children in East Anglia, all in the news today.

Michael Gove has announced details of a new English Baccalaureate Certificate. Image: Crown Copyright
Michael Gove has announced details of a new English Baccalaureate Certificate. Image: Crown Copyright

English GCSEs in core subjects will be replaced by a new qualification called the English Baccalaureate Certificate, under proposals set out by the Education Secretary Michael Gove. The shake-up will mean a single end-of-course exam and just one exam board for core subjects. The new exams will be taken in 2017 by pupils beginning secondary school this year. Gove said GCSEs were “conceived and designed for a different age and a different world”.

A lobby group is planning to call on Scottish MPs to give children a legal right to play. Play Scotland wants the children's bill going through the Scottish Parliament to include legislation that will require councils to make play provision statutory. It has created a petition calling for a duty on local authorities to provide sufficient play opportunities for children, although the Scottish government has said it does not believe legal provision is the answer.

A hard-hitting TV campaign is to highlight the plight of children who have been affected by domestic violence, drink and drug abuse and poverty in East Anglia. Ormiston has commissioned the advert as part of a major relaunch. Geoff Prescott, chief executive at the charity, said: “The launch will serve as a driver to help raise awareness of the issues faced within the region and the essential work that is going on in our community – day in and day out – to ensure that children grow up free from stigma and disadvantage.”

Two leading charities, Guide Dogs and the National Blind Children’s Society (NBCS), are creating a closer relationship to help improve opportunities for children and young people who are blind or partially sighted. The charities have signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their experience, knowledge and skills. Carolyn Fullard, NBCS chief executive, said: “We feel strongly that working together with Guide Dogs we can make a real difference to the many families with young people who need our help.”

A nursery in York remains closed following the death of a three-year-old girl yesterday afternoon, the BBC reports. The accident happened at the nursery at York College when the girl became entangled in play equipment. Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances and Ofsted and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed of the incident. The principal of York College, Alison Birkinshaw, described the death as death "devastating".

And finally, a new £1m home for looked-after young people has opened in Lancashire. The unit that will provide accommodation for up to six young people aged between 12 and 18. Tony Winder, chairman of the county council’s corporate parenting board, said: "This is an excellent building with wonderful staff, but the people who make it special are the young people who live here. Now it feels like a proper home.”

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