A good deal of councillor case work involves helping tenants of private housing to get essential repairs done. A London council - Newham - is said to be the first in the country to initiate a licensing scheme for private landlords with the aim of eradicating poor quality accommodation and imposing fines where no improvements are made. Another borough, Waltham Forest, is considering a new landlord accreditation scheme as a way of pushing up standards in the private rented sector. However, such schemes need adequate resources to be managed. It would be good if Brent could adopt a similar scheme but fear it will be some time before it could be afforded.
Lots of young people got their GCSE results last week. Students in Brent have done well again, putting the borough’s schools amongst the most successful in the country. However, the examination regulator, Ofqual, has begun an inquiry into GCSE results after admitting a problem with the grades issued in some examination papers. It appears that the grading levels has changed during the year at the behest of Education Minister, Michael Gove, and levels given in June GCSE examinations were different (and more stringent) than levels given to students sitting the same exams in January. Colleges are thought to have based offers for students to join A level courses on the earlier GCSE levels and some students finding they just miss out because of the changes. My own granddaughter could miss getting into the course she wanted because she got a ‘C’ rather than a ‘B’ in maths. There may be many more young people marked down unexpectedly by the minister’s interference.