zoom Dragged by lackluster freight rates in the container shipping market during the first half of 2016, the shipping and logistics company China COSCO Holdings Company Limited recorded a net loss of CNY 4.8 billion (USD 720 million) for the period.Despite the slower growth of shipping capacity when compared with last year, no significant improvement was made in the imbalance between supply and demand of the shipping sector, China COSCO said, adding that “the freight rates stayed weak and repeatedly fell to record lows.”The freight rates of main routes between Europe and America dropped by some 40% year-on-year, and those for the routes between Asia and Europe plunged to USD 50/TEU.In the face of challenging market conditions, China COSCO implemented business reform and restructuring in the first half of the year. The company said that it achieved progress in the consolidation of container shipping business, which was launched on March 1, 2016.As of the end of June this year, COSCO’s fleet had 304 vessels with total capacity of 1.61 million TEUs, representing an increase of 83.3% year-on-year, while it handled 7.4 billion TEUs during the period, an increase of 39.2% year-on-year.As at the end of the first half the company’s terminal segment operated 171 berths across the coastal regions in China and several major ports in the world. Of which, 149 berths were for container shipping, 20 berths for dry-bulk cargoes and two berths for automobiles.“Looking ahead into the second half of 2016, the growth rate of global container fleet capacity is expected to slow down, while the market demand is expected to pick up in the third quarter, the traditional peak shipping season. However, the container shipping industry will continue to be plagued by over-capacity problem and the market condition will remain challenging,” China COSCO said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged a £14bn cash injection for primary and secondary schools in England, to be delivered over three yearsCredit:Aaron Chown/PA Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged a £14bn cash injection for primary and secondary schools in England, to be delivered over three years. This means the schools budget will be £52.2bn in 2022/23.Chancellor Sajid Javid has also earmarked £400m in additional funding for providers of education to 16 to 19-year-olds so they can teach young people the skills they need to enter well-paid jobs.The boost is the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010.On a visit to the further education college in Bristol where he studied economics, maths and computer science, Mr Javid said: “Further education, like all our public services, is a lifeline of opportunity for our young people.”We’ll make a strong statement in backing it at this week’s Spending Round and I’ll continue to look at what more we can do to help, just as my FE college opened my horizons and set me on my way.” Schools rated ‘outstanding’ will no longer be exempt from routine Ofsted inspections, the Education Secretary has announced, after it emerged that some have not been checked for more than a decade.Gavin Williamson unveiled the new rule as part of a raft of measures to tackle under-performance and ensure standards continue to rise, saying he would “leave no stone unturned” to achieve this.Since 2012, ‘outstanding’ schools have not been legally required to undergo routine inspections and are only visited if the watchdog has concerns about their performance.A report by the National Audit Office last year found that 296 had not been inspected for more than 10 years – during which time standards could steeply decline.But they will now be subject to the same visits as other schools to ensure the quality of education remains high and to reassure parents that their children are still receiving first class teaching.It comes after Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, urged ministers to lift the exemption to ensure that the rating remains a “meaningful and a genuine beacon of excellence”.’Outstanding’ schools are highly sought after by parents and can drive up nearby house prices as families flock to the local area so that they qualify for the catchment area.But this academic year only 16 per cent of schools retained their ‘outstanding’ status following re-inspection compared with 33 per cent last year.Inspections can take place at any time after the first five working school days in the autumn term. The frequency of inspections depends on Ofsted’s findings.Schools can request that their inspection be deferred or cancelled, but only in exceptional circumstances. In the announcement, Mr Williamson also promised extra funding for top performing academies and more support for schools consistently rated ‘requires improvement’.He said a specialist academy trust will be piloted in the North of England to overhaul the most challenging schools struggling with long term underperformance. Mr Williamson said: “Every parent wants to know their child is getting a great education and I will leave no stone unturned in my drive to deliver that.”Education standards in this country have been transformed since 2010, and I am determined to make sure those schools that are leading the way are sharing their expertise and lifting up others so every child, no matter where they are from has the best possible start in life.“This government has delivered on its promise to deliver a huge cash boost for the education system and now we will continue our relentless focus on standards by backing teachers, school leaders and the sector as a whole to do what they do best and deliver the best for our children.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.