Education Oct 26 2010

Is the New Schools Network fit to set up state schools?

Link to original post on the Local Schools Network Listening to Rachel Wolf, CEO of the New Schools Network, on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning, it was impossible to avoid the conclusion that this organisation is not really fit to set up new schools. Questioned about whether children should be taught by unqualified teachers, […]

Education Oct 20 2010

Schools should have less freedom on admissions, not more

One area in which the Coalition government has been suspiciously quiet is school admissions. There has been talk of a ‘simplified’ Code of Practice but earlier plans to allow ‘first come first served’ waiting lists, or to give priority access to parents who start free schools have either been deemed unworkable, or are being carefully […]

Education Oct 18 2010

When it comes to school funding, read the small print not the spin

Five months ago I wrote this column for Guardian Education and was chided by various friends and colleagues for being cynical about the overblown promise of a pupil premium and the effect it might have on schools in a risky, fluid school funding environment. Having followed the various, often conflicting versions of where school budgets […]

Education Oct 11 2010

Schools can’t make society fairer on their own

Is anyone is seriously surprised at the findings of the latest report from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. The conclusion of  ‘How fair is Britain’? Our nation has glaring inequalities between men and women, rich and poor, and different ethnic groups. No wonder all our young political leaders are in a fight to the […]

Education Sep 27 2010

Private school bursaries are not a public benefit

So private schools are planning to lure state-educated pupils into their sixth forms with the promise of partial bursaries to study certain subjects. Ever since the 2006 Charities Act, the private sector has been under pressure to prove it provides ‘public benefit’ and this must be the latest wheeze. The 2006 Act led to the […]

Education Sep 14 2010

Fairer admissions for poor children? Let’s start by ending selection

So Michael Gove wants the admissions system to benefit poor children. Excellent. But rather than given a few schools the option of prioritising children on free school meals, he should start by ending academic selection, and all the other covert methods many schools use to hand pick the affluent children most likely to succeed. And […]

Education Sep 14 2010

Free schools – who really gets to choose?

Link to original article in Guardian Education I am not in the habit of reading the Spectator, but a few weeks ago someone alerted me to its front page story ‘The new school bullies’. I got an honourable mention for supporting legal challenges to academies. The gist of the piece was that similar ‘guerrilla’ tactics […]

Education Sep 10 2010

Why did the rush for academy and free school status fizzle out?

Almost the first thing the Coalition government announced after the May election was the urgent need for legislation to enable the mass creation of academies and so-called ‘free schools’. The rationale for the urgency being that there were several thousand local authority-maintained schools desperate to break away and hundreds of groups who wanted to establish […]

By Guy Dixon 0 comments
Education Sep 7 2010

Labour leadership candidates need to make a break from the past

Link to original Comment is free article It was gratifying to read about Cllr Elaine Costigan, the Tory councillor who defected to Labour over her party’s education policies and the shoddy way in which her own government withdrew funding for new school buildings. Maybe she could encourage a bit more frankness among her new colleagues. […]

Education Aug 26 2010

Guess what? The state sector is closing the gap.

You may not have realised it from the media coverage but this year’s exam results showed the state sector gaining on private schools at both GCSE and A level. In comprehensives the proportion of GCSE grades being an A or A* rose by 0.9 % and those achieving C or better rose by2.2%. In private […]

By Henry Stewart, Chair of Governors Stoke Newington School 0 comments