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LOCAL NEWS

More detail needed on new English Baccalaureate exams England’s exams regulator has said she needs more detail about the new English Baccalaureate qualification. The EBacc, as it is abbreviated to, will replace GCSEs in the core subjects and first be taught from September 2015, with the first exams to be taken in 2017, the government announced last month. But Glenys Stacey said today that Ofqual needed to understand more about the detail of the planned curriculum so that it could shape the qualifications, and warned that the regulator would not be afraid to speak up if the timetable for introducing the new exams was not achievable. Addressing private school heads at the HMC conference in Belfast, Ms Stacey said: “It’s early days, we at Ofqual need to understand more about the detail and about the curriculum so that we can properly envisage and then shape the qualifications. “Some things are worth saying straight away. “Firstly, we will advise government on the timetable for change and we will say if it

is not achievable, or if the risks to standards or delivery are unacceptable.” She later added: “We will always advise government on the timetable and will say if it is not achievable or if the risks to standards are unacceptable. “We will say that and ministers will listen to that. “Is the timetable achievable? “Well, we are not saying at the moment that we have come to a view that it is not possible to achieve it, but there is frankly a lot to understand and work to be done in the coming months to evaluate that.” Ms Stacey added that headteachers in the auditorium should note that when they were asked for a show of hands if they were concerned about the timetable “I put mine up”. The comments come the day after Graham Stuart, chairman of the Commons education select committee said there was a “lack of coherent thinking” in the Department for Education (DfE). He told the conference: “We’ve got a national curriculum review, they’ve barely announced that when

they announced the English Baccalaureate out of a clear blue sky. “One minute they’ve said they’re raising the benchmark on GCSEs, the next they’re scrapping it. “Now if there’s coherent thinking going on in the department then so far it’s passed by the chairman of the education select committee. “All we can do is try, it is very difficult, one of my challenges is trying to get them to slow down.” Source: london24.com

Bangla Times p 05 - 11 October 2012 p Page 35

Fresh alert issued over dangerous laptop leads

Dodgy laptop leads that can electrocute and cause fires are being targeted by Newham Council’s Trading Standards department. Officers are issuing a fresh warning that consumers need to be vigilant. One thousand potentially dangerous leads were seized earlier this year in a swoop. They were in a package destined for a house in the Green Street area and were confiscated at Stansted Airport. It was a joint operation by Newham and Essex Trading Standards officers. The leads did not have proper protection against live parts or

Cllr Unmesh Desai, Newham Council’s executive member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “Make no mistake these are dangerous leads. Computer users - many of them children could be put at risk. “We take crime very seriously in Newham and this was a crime. We simply won’t tolerate it. It is totally unacceptable - and we won’t accept it. “We will remain ever vigilant for other dangerous items. Our enforcement never stops.” Report unsafe goods to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or www. consumerdirect.gov.uk. Source: Newham Council press release

proper insulation. A laboratory test on one sample, carried out for Trading Standards, revealed dangerous circuits and lack of safety markings. Safety experts feared they could have caused fire. Trading Standards suspect these laptop chargers are circulating across the UK and Europe. Officers believe they are being imported illegally from China.

Tower Hamlets awarded for cleanliness Tower Hamlets has been awarded a 4 star cleanliness rating at the Clean Britain Awards following a recent spot check in the borough by an independent body. Clean Britain Awards, run by the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM), carried out an independent unannounced visit to 10 random streets within Tower Hamlets in July 2012. As a result of the inspections, the council was awarded 4 star rating in the large population category in terms of cleanliness. The awards report commented that: “The overall impression of the borough was that of a largely litter free area where clearly everyone: street cleaners, businesses MRP and

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visitors have been engaged and are working Cllr Shahed Ali, lead member for the environment, said: “This rating verifies that together to improve their environment.” The success is largely due to the investment Tower Hamlets in general is a clean borough made in introducing two new Find it Fix it in terms of litter. The awarding of the 4 star teams to the borough and a special machine cleanliness rating confirms the results of the designed to clear away dog mess and disinfect Local Environmental Quality Surveys carried the pavement. There has also been an out by the Muslim Woman’s Collective; that increase of 2,000 litter bins to ensure that the the borough is predominantly free of litter and refuse.” high cleanliness standards are maintained. Mayor Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: For more information on how residents and “This is a great result for Tower Hamlets as businesses can report litter problems, to get a whole. Tackling litter is a Mayoral priority involved in tackling litter locally or arrange and this award is testament to the hard work a community education event visit www. undertaken in the borough in keeping our towerhamlets.gov.uk/litter or call 020 7364 5004. Advert 19/9/12 14:20 press Page 1 streets newspaper litter free.” with calendar 2012:Layout Source:1Tower Hamlets Council release

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