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An alternative approach to helping looked-after children gain good grades

When middle-class children fall behind at school, the parental response is often special tutoring. In London, tutoring for secondary school admission is a substantial industry, and in Birmingham almost all children being put in for grammar school tests are tutored. I'm not judging this, by the way, I was tutored (fruitlessly) for my French O-level; and we paid for extra music lessons whenever needed.

Shhh... Every Child Matters lives on

Watch out, the language police are about. An internal Department for Education memo lists 30 terms the government wants consigned to history, and the words that should be used in their place. Many relate directly to children's services.

Putting payment-by-results under the microscope

So the new high ground in the funding of public policy for young people is "payment-by-results". It is so easy to say, so immediately appealing that one can hardly argue against it. Quite naturally, in the difficult fiscal times to come, people will want value for money.

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