Headlines from the world of education and schools work:

Ministers launch investigation into special needs: Ministers have launched a formal inquiry into children with special needs amid concerns that the numbers being diagnosed have shot up in recent years.

A fifth of girls pregnant by 18, survey reveals: Almost one in five girls say they have been pregnant at least once by the age of 18, according to a Government survey.

Fall in drug use among schoolchildren: Biggest decline in smoking, where number of 11- to 15-year-olds who had smoked has fallen to 29%, from 54% in 1982. Fewer schoolchildren are smoking, drinking or taking drugs, according to an NHS report which contradicts the widespread belief that such behaviour is increasingly popular with young people.

One in five pupils receive wrong Sats grade: As many as one in five pupils are given the wrong grade in some Sats papers due to inconsistent marking, according to a study by the exams watchdog.

Sharp fall in pupils expelled from school: Dramatic drop in school exclusions prompts claims that problems students are being passed from school to school

Summer-born children ‘lag behind at school’: Summer-born children are more likely to fail their exams, be victimised by bullies and have special needs, according to a study.

Sats row as four-in-10 children ‘fail’ tests: Around four-in-10 children are expected to start secondary school in September without a proper grasp of the basics.

Who will advise young people if Connexions goes?: There is still no sign of what will replace Connexions when it has been decimated by cuts

Youth unemployment rising in most regions: TUC argues young people were hit hard by the recession and their outlook could darken as public sector job losses mount

Pupils do better at school if teachers are not fixated on test results: Institute of Education study finds exam performance improves if students concentrate on learning rather than grades

Universities chief declares death of “gap year” and proposes “bridging year” instead: The era of the traditional gap year is over and students should abandon plans to see the world before going to university, the head of the admissions body has warned.

3,500 straight A students ‘to miss university’: As many as 3,500 students with straight A grades at A-level face missing out on university, a Government minister has warned.

BT receives 24,000 applications for 220 apprenticeships: Telecoms group BT has received more than 100 applications for each of its apprenticeship places this year

Local authorities and schools losing track of children, claims Ofsted: Survey of 15 LEAs by education watchdog reveals none of them are confident they know about all children living in their area

A-level pass rate rises to 97.6%: A-level pass rates today rose to another record high of 97.6% while an unprecedented 27% of entries achieved an A, in results which will sharpen the intense battle for places at university this year.

A-level results: Gender gap narrowing: Boys are catching up with girls as the gulf between the sexes reaches its narrowest point in almost a decade.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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